Promotional poster featuring Chris Jericho
|Promotion||World Wrestling Federation|
|Date||April 30, 2000|
Backlash (2000) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) promotion. It took place on April 30, 2000, at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C.. It was the second event under the Backlash chronology. Nine professional wrestling matches were scheduled on the event's card.
The main event was a singles match for the WWF Championship with Shane McMahon as special guest referee, in which The Rock (aided by Stone Cold Steve Austin) defeated Triple H to win the championship. Featured matches on the undercard included Chris Benoit defeating Chris Jericho by disqualification to retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship and a six-man Hardcore match for the WWF Hardcore Championship, which Crash Holly won to retain the championship.
The event featured nine professional wrestling matches that involved different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds and storylines. Wrestlers were portrayed as either villains or fan favorites as they followed a series of events which built tension, culminating in a wrestling match or series of matches.
After Vince McMahon betrayed The Rock at WrestleMania, Vince joined forces with Triple H, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley, Shane McMahon, and D-Generation X to fully complete the formation of the heel faction, the McMahon-Helmsley Faction. The Faction's new objectives revolved around keeping Triple H as WWF Champion, though they also helped Stephanie win the Woman's Championship, through dirty tactics of interfering in matches, and ambushing dissenters at inopportune times. On the first episode of Raw Is War after WrestleMania, the Rock won the right to face Triple H for the WWF Championship at Backlash, but the Faction made stipulations to the title match that would give Triple H a full advantage: Vince and Stephanie would be allowed to be ringside for the match, and Shane was named the referee for the match.
In addition to The Rock, another noted figure who opposed the Faction was referee Earl Hebner, who started to feud with Triple H, culminating on the April 17 episode of Raw, where Triple H defended his WWF Title against Chris Jericho. During the match, Hebner came to relieve the original referee, who had gotten knocked out, which caused Triple H to argue with Hebner. The distraction allowed Jericho to take advantage and pin Triple H to win the title, though Hebner visibly called a fast pinfall. The Faction then brought Hebner and another referee to the ring, where the other referee admitted that Hebner made an unfair pinfall. Triple H then had Hebner fired, and reversed the decision, allowing Triple H to regain the title. Later that night, WWF CEO Linda McMahon, the only member of the McMahon family to not be a member of The Faction, arrived, and announced that she declared The Rock to be "outnumbered" at Backlash, and decided that she would allow one WWF wrestler to be in The Rock's corner at Backlash: Stone Cold Steve Austin, who had not been seen in the WWF since the previous year's Survivor Series. On the final episode of SmackDown! prior to Backlash, Austin made his first WWF appearance in 6 months, where he dropped a concrete barrier from a crane onto the "DX Express" bus, causing it to explode.
Before Backlash aired live on pay-per-view, Sunday Night Heat was broadcast live on USA Network. It featured matches taped several days earlier as well as a live in-ring interview with Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley where she claimed her father Vince McMahon will have a surprise for Steve Austin later in the night and she also claimed her husband Triple H will retain his championship later in the night as well.
Just prior to the main event title match, Vince announced that supposedly Stone Cold would not be at the arena, giving Triple H full advantage going into the match. The Faction's stipulations took full effect, as Shane McMahon, as guest referee, would call a fast pin count whenever Triple H tried to pin The Rock, and would idly stand by with his hands behind his back whenever the Rock tried a pinfall. During the match, the Rock would counter by giving Triple H and Shane, combined, a Rock Bottom through the Spanish announcers' table, which incapacitated Shane. Vince and Triple H then worked together to beat down the Rock, with Vince calling fellow Faction members Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson, dressed in referee shirts, to call the pinfall. The Rock kicked out of the first pin attempt, which prompted Vince to hit The Rock with a chair. Austin then suddenly arrived with a chair, which he used to hit Triple H, Vince, Shane, Brisco, and Patterson, before returning backstage, while Linda McMahon arrived with Earl Hebner, who had been rehired by Linda. The Rock then hit Triple H with the People's Elbow, and Hebner, on Linda's orders, called the pinfall, giving The Rock the WWF Championship.
The ongoing feud between The Rock and the McMahon-Helmsley Faction would continue for the next couple months. On Raw Is War the Monday after Backlash, Vince made The Rock defend his WWF Championship against Shane in a cage match, which The Rock was successful in defending the title. Triple H would end up getting a rematch at Judgment Day, an Iron Man Match, with Triple H's old friend, Shawn Michaels, as the guest referee. Triple H would get the deciding victory in the final seconds when The Undertaker interfered, attacking Triple H, which Michaels called as a victory by disqualification for Triple H, giving Triple H back the WWF Championship. The Undertaker, now in a new biker gimmick, joined The Rock in a feud with The Faction, with Kane joining in as well, which culminated in a 3-on-3 tag team match at King of the Ring against Triple H, Vince, and Shane, where The Rock won the WWF Championship again by pinning Vince.
- Powell, Jason (May 1, 2000). "Rock victorious at Backlash, Game Over for Triple H". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved December 17, 2012.