Promotional poster featuring Triple H
|Tagline(s)||One Man's Journey to Stand Alone|
|"Young Grow Old" by Creed|
|Promotion||World Wrestling Federation|
|Date||April 21, 2002|
|Venue||Kemper Memorial Arena|
|City||Kansas City, Missouri|
Backlash (2002) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) promotion, which took place on April 21, 2002, at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri. The event starred talent from the Raw and SmackDown! brands. It was the fourth event under the Backlash chronology, the third consecutive Backlash presented by Castrol GTX and the final U.S.-produced pay-per-view to use the WWF name. This was the first WWF pay-per-view event after the Brand Extension, and the first to be held at the Kemper Arena since Over the Edge 1999, in which Owen Hart, competing as the Blue Blazer, lost his life after falling 78 feet from a harness to the ring. Nine professional wrestling matches were scheduled on the event's card.
The main match from the SmackDown! brand featured Hollywood Hulk Hogan defeating Triple H to win the Undisputed WWF Championship and the featured match from the Raw brand was an encounter between The Undertaker and Steve Austin with Ric Flair as special guest referee, which The Undertaker won. The other main match from Raw was a Singles match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship between Rob Van Dam and Eddie Guerrero, which Guerrero won by pinfall to win the championship.
The event featured nine professional wrestling matches with outcomes predetermined by WWE script writers. The matches featured wrestlers portraying their characters in planned storylines that took place before, during and after the event. All wrestlers were from either one of the WWE's brands – SmackDown or Raw – the two storyline divisions in which WWE assigned its employees.
The main feud leading into Backlash 2002 on the SmackDown! brand involved the Undisputed WWF Champion Triple H against Hulk Hogan. At the April 4 episode of SmackDown!, Vince McMahon named Hogan as the number one contender for the title at Backlash. Later on that night, Hogan came out in red and yellow for the first time since his return to the WWE in order to talk about the match, with Triple H saying he won't back down. The next week, Hogan came out to help Edge chase off Chris Jericho and Kurt Angle after Edge fought Jericho. Later on, Triple H fought against Angle as Jericho interfered. Hogan came out to help Triple H to win the match, only for Angle to push Triple H at Hogan after the match, making Hogan attack Triple H and get taken out by Jericho and Angle. The next week, Hogan confronted Jericho as Angle came to help Jericho, prompting Edge to run for the save. In the main event, Jericho and Angle fought Hogan and Triple H, as Hogan accidentally hit Triple H with a steel chair. After the match, Triple H hit Hogan with the chair. On the same night, it was confirmed that if Triple H would lose his title match, he would be drafted to SmackDown.
The main feud on the Raw brand was between The Undertaker and Stone Cold Steve Austin. On the April 1 episode of Raw, Ric Flair awarded Triple H with a new title belt, only for the Undertaker to challenge Triple H for a title match at Backlash. The same night, Austin decided to sign with the Raw brand, however he gave the Stunner to both Ric Flair and Vince McMahon. The next week, The Undertaker confronted Flair about McMahon making the title match for Backlash, making Austin come out and confront him. Flair booked two number one contenders matches on Raw, the first being The Undertaker vs. Rob Van Dam and the second being Austin vs. Razor Ramon; the winners would face each other at Backlash for the number one contendership. Austin and The Undertaker won their respective matches, however, as Flair helped to chase X-Pac from Austin's match, Austin stunned him again. The next week, Flair fined Austin $5,000 and announced that he would be the referee for the match. Razor Ramon and X-Pac came to attack Austin, making Flair book Austin and Bradshaw against Ramon, X-Pac and The Undertaker in the main event. After the match, which Austin lost, The Undertaker attacked him with a steel chair.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (June 2010)|
The night after Backlash, The Big Show betrayed Austin in a tag team match against the nWo and joined the stable. Over the next two weeks, Big Show explained it was because he felt Austin took a main event spot at WrestleMania away from him; at WrestleMania 2000 Big Show challenged for the WWE Championship while Austin had neck surgery, but the following year at WrestleMania X-Seven, Austin competed in the main event for the WWE Championship, while Big Show did not, and at WrestleMania X8, Austin was scheduled a match against Scott Hall while Big Show was at WWE New York Times Square. Later that night, Austin and Bradshaw united with Flair in a battle against the nWo stable, but Flair betrayed both wrestlers and became affiliated with the nWo although he never officially joined. Flair's betrayal eventually led to Booker T's drafting by Flair to be the newest nWo member on May 13, 2002. The feud between Austin and Flair escalated on that episode when Austin gained revenge by costing Flair the Undisputed WWF Championship against Hulk Hogan. This led to a Handicap match at Judgment Day pitting Austin against the team of Flair and Big Show, which Austin won.
After defeating Steve Austin at Backlash, The Undertaker set his sights on the new Undisputed WWF Champion Hulk Hogan by challenging him to a match for the Undisputed WWF Championship at Judgment Day. In 1991, they first fought for the WWE Championship during two different pay per view events. At the Survivor Series event, Undertaker defeated Hogan to win his 1st WWE title. Hogan regained the title over The Undertaker in a rematch at This Tuesday in Texas. The title was eventually declared vacant until the 1992 Royal Rumble event when Ric Flair won the title by winning the Royal Rumble match that also involved The Undertaker and Hogan. Their feud restarted on the April 25 episode of SmackDown!, when Jericho defeated Triple H to become the number one contender due to The Undertaker's interference. Afterwords, Jericho and The Undertaker attacked Triple H until Hogan came down to the ring and assaulted The Undertaker. On the April 29 episode of Raw, when Undertaker interfered in Hogan's non-title match with William Regal by assaulting Hogan. The Undertaker then took Hogan's leather belt and whipped him with it and busted him open with the belt buckle. The following week, Hogan got back at The Undertaker by driving a Semi truck and running over Taker's 18-wheeler prized motorcycle, thus destroying it. On the May 13 episode of Raw, The Undertaker nailed Hogan from behind with the tire-iron then tied Hogan's ankles to his own motorcycle. Moments later, The Undertaker drove his motorcycle around the hallway with Hogan tied to it before ramming Hogan into the pile of boxes and pipes, leaving Hogan lying motionless. At Judgment Day, with the help of Vince McMahon, The Undertaker defeated Hogan to win the championship, his first WWE Championship win in nearly three years.
The feud between Edge and Kurt Angle continued after Backlash on the May 2 episode of SmackDown!, when Angle challenged Edge to a rematch but this time in a Hair vs. Hair match, which Edge accepted. On the May 16 episode of SmackDown!, during a segment between Edge and Triple H, Angle and Chris Jericho attacked both men, ending with Jericho manhandling Edge while Angle cut his hair once with the scissors as an example for their Hair vs. Hair match at Judgment Day. Later that episode, Angle and Jericho defeated Edge and Triple H in a tag match after Angle nailed Edge with the steel chair and followed it with an Angle slam for the win. After the match, Angle tossed Edge's hairpiece onto Edge. In a Hair vs. Hair match at Judgment Day, Edge defeated Angle and shaved the Angle's head bald following it.
Triple H and Chris Jericho continued their feud on the April 25 episode of SmackDown!, where Jericho defeated Triple H in a number one contenders match due to interference by The Undertaker, who also cost Triple H the Undisputed WWF Championship at Backlash. The following week, Jericho challenged Hulk Hogan for the title in a No disqualification match with a stipulation added that if The Undertaker or any Raw superstar interferes in the title match, will be suspended. During the title match, Triple H interfered and distracted Jericho, enabling Hogan to pin Jericho to retain the title. On the May 9 episode of SmackDown!, Vince McMahon ordered that if Triple H lays his hands on McMahon, there will be consequences. Triple H then challenged McMahon to fight him in the ring until Hardcore Holly, Test, Lance Storm, Christian and Reverend D-Von came to the ring and beat Triple H down. Jericho then came down and nailed Triple H with the steel chair then locked him in the Walls of Jericho, ending with McMahon to announce a Hell in a Cell match at Judgment Day, which would be a WrestleMania X8 rematch between the two. Later that night, Jericho and Triple H interfered in each other's matches. First, Reverend D-Von defeated Triple H after Jericho nailed Triple H with the donation box. Then during Jericho's tag team match along with Angle against Edge and Hulk Hogan, Triple H interfered and nailed all four of them with a sledgehammer. Vince McMahon distracted and dared Triple H to nail him with a sledgehammer, enabling Jericho to nail Triple H with the steel chair. They concluded their feud at Judgment Day, when Triple H defeated Jericho in a Hell in a Cell match.
Brock Lesnar continued his feud with Matt and Jeff Hardy on the April 22 episode of Raw when Lesnar defeated Matt Hardy by knockout. On the May 13 episode of Raw, The Hardy Boyz fought Lesnar in a Handicap match and won by disqualification due to interference by Lesnar's manager Paul Heyman. Heyman then announced a tag team match pitting Lesnar and himself against the Hardyz at Judgment Day. During the event, Lesnar and Heyman were victorious after Heyman pinned Jeff Hardy following an F-5 by Lesnar.
|1H||Big Show defeated Justin Credible and Steven Richards||Handicap match||02:11|
|2||Tajiri (with Torrie Wilson) defeated Billy Kidman (c)||Singles match for the WWF Cruiserweight Championship||09:08|
|3||Scott Hall (with X-Pac) defeated Bradshaw (with Faarooq)||Singles match||05:43|
|4||Jazz (c) defeated Trish Stratus||Singles match for the WWF Women's Championship||04:29|
|5||Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) defeated Jeff Hardy (with Lita) by referee stoppage||Singles match||05:32|
|6||Kurt Angle defeated Edge||Singles match||13:25|
|7||Eddie Guerrero defeated Rob Van Dam (c)||Singles match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship||11:43|
|8||The Undertaker defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin||Singles match to determine the number one contender to the Undisputed WWF Championship with Ric Flair as the special guest referee||27:03|
|9||Billy and Chuck (c) (with Rico) defeated Maven and Al Snow||Tag team match for the WWF Tag Team Championship||05:58|
|10||Hollywood Hulk Hogan defeated Triple H (c)||Singles match for the Undisputed WWF Championship; as Triple H lost, he was moved to the SmackDown! brand.||22:04|