|"Seasons" by The Veer Union|
|Promotion||World Wrestling Entertainment|
|Date||April 26, 2009|
|Venue||Dunkin' Donuts Center|
|City||Providence, Rhode Island|
Backlash (2009) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) promotion, which took place on April 26, 2009 at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. It featured professional wrestlers and other talent from all WWE's three brands: Raw, SmackDown and ECW. It was the eleventh event under the Backlash chronology. Seven professional wrestling matches were featured on the event's card.
The main event featured wrestlers from the Raw brand in a Last Man Standing match—a match where the first person unable to respond to a ten count by the referee lost—between World Heavyweight Champion John Cena and Edge. Edge won the match and became the new World Heavyweight Champion. The other main match on the card was a Six-Man Tag Team match for the WWE Championship between Triple H (champion), Batista and Shane McMahon, and The Legacy (Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase). Legacy won the match and Orton became the new WWE Champion. Other matches also appeared on the events card. The first was an "I Quit" match between Jeff Hardy and Matt Hardy and Jack Swagger versus Christian for the ECW Championship.
Armageddon helped WWE earn $35.6 million in revenue from PPV events, thanks to an attendance of approximately 8,500 and 182,000 PPV buys. The professional wrestling section of the Canadian Online Explorer website rated the entire event a 7 out of 10.
Backlash featured seven professional wrestling matches that involved different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds and storylines that were played out on Raw, Friday Night SmackDown, and ECW—WWE's television programs. Wrestlers were portrayed as either villains or heroes in the scripted events that built tension and culminated into a wrestling match or series of matches and competed either under their real names or stage names. The event featured wrestlers from WWE's Raw, SmackDown, and ECW brands—a storyline division in which WWE employees are assigned to the television program of the same name.
The main rivalry heading into Backlash was between the McMahon family (Triple H, Vince, Shane and Batista (who was also included in the rivalry) and Randy Orton over the WWE Championship. The feud started in February when Orton attacked Triple H's real-life wife, Stephanie McMahon. As a result, Triple H convinced Orton to challenge him at WrestleMania, which Orton did; and Triple H accepted. At WrestleMania, Triple H defeated Orton to retain the championship. The following night on Raw, WWE chairman Vince McMahon announced that a Six-Man Tag Team match would take place at Backlash between Triple H, Shane McMahon and himself against The Legacy (Orton, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase) which was later turned into a WWE Championship match by new General Manager of Raw, Vickie Guerrero. That same night, Shane and Triple H were attacked by The Legacy, but were saved by a returning Batista. Vince announced that Batista would be taking his place at Backlash in the Tag Team match.
John Cena and Edge were involved in the another main rivalry on the Raw brand over the World Heavyweight Championship. At WWE's February pay-per-view event, No Way Out, Edge attacked Kofi Kingston, who was due to compete in an Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship, took his spot in the match, and won the title from Cena. At WrestleMania, Cena defeated the Edge and The Big Show in a standard match involving three wrestlers, known as a Triple Threat match in WWE, to win the championship back. On the April 6 episode of Raw, General Manager Vickie Guerrero announced that Cena would defend his World Heavyweight Championship against Edge in a Last Man Standing match at Backlash.
Interim General manager Tiffany announced on the April 7 episode of ECW on Sci Fi that Jack Swagger would defend his ECW Championship against the winner of the "elimination chase" at Backlash, which commenced on that night and featured Christian, Tommy Dreamer, Finlay, and Mark Henry. The participants in the chase would have a Fatal Four-Way match, a standard match involving four wrestlers, that night. Henry got pinned the same night, and therefore eliminated from the chase. The remaining three wrestlers competed in a Triple Threat match on the April 14 episode of ECW with the person being pinned or forced to submit being eliminated from the chase. Dreamer was pinned in this contest, leading to a singles match between Finlay and Christian on the April 16 episode of WWE Superstars, which saw Christian get the victory, therefore allowing him to face Swagger for the title at Backlash.
After Matt Hardy turned on his brother, Jeff Hardy, at the Royal Rumble — costing Jeff the WWE Championship —the two embarked on a feud that saw Jeff initially wanting to fight his brother, which lead to a No Disquallification match match at WrestleMania XXV, which saw Matt win. However, with Jeff not fully incapacitated after Matt had vowed to "erase Jeff from the WWE", a stretcher match, a match where the first person to put their opponent on a wheelchair and wheel them past a yellow line located on the entrance ramp, took place between the two, which Matt also won. The following Monday saw Matt drafted to the Raw brand, but after multiple attacks on him by Jeff, the SmackDown general manager, Theodore Long, announced an "I Quit" match between the two on the April 17 episode of SmackDown.
The show commenced with ECW Champion, Jack Swagger, defending his title against Christian. Swagger dominated his opponent early in the match, succeeding in grounding him with takedowns, suplexes, and some heavy slams. The match ended when Swagger ran to attack his opponent, Christian, but Swagger's head collided with the exposed steel, before grabbing him by the arms, and connecting with his finishing move, the Killswitch, and pinning him to win his first ECW title.
The following contest involved Chris Jericho and Ricky Steamboat — with Stamboat competing in his first singles match since 1994. Jericho had the upper hand after connecting with a Codebreaker. Following the attack, Jericho grabbed Steamboat's legs, and applied his signature submission hold the Walls of Jericho, with Steamboat ultimately submitting. Following his loss, Steamboat was given a standing ovation from the crowd.
CM Punk wrestled Kane next, with Punk mainly attacking Kane's arm with kicks and arm bars to prevent him from performing his finishing maneuver, the chokeslam, which requires Kane to lift his opponent with one arm. After Punk tried to incapacitate Kane, he managed to get a hold of Punk's leg to execute a leg-trap chokeslam before pinning him.
The fourth match on the show, the "I Quit" match, featured Matt and Jeff Hardy. Jeff put Matt on a table, and taped him up to the table. Jeff then went under the ring, withdrew a ladder, and setted it up in the corner of the ring closest to Matt. When the referee asked Matt if he wanted to quit, he took the opportunity to talk down Jeff, bringing up the case of what his father and late mother would think of this before uttering the phrase, "I quit". Despite Jeff winning the match and coming down from the ladder onto the top turnbuckle, he still jumped over the ladder, and performed a leg drop on his brother, going through the table.
Santina Marella — (really Santino Marella in drag posing as his fictious twin sister) came down to the ring, and proclaimed her prowess before The Great Khali entered in the hopes of kissing Marella, only to have Marella refuse, claiming to love another man, SmackDown commentator, Jim Ross, who sat at ringside with Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole. This led to Beth Phoenix to come to the ring outraged by what is transpiring with Khali's obliviousness; she challenged Marella for her title of Miss WrestleMania. Before the match started, Khali hit Phoenix, leading to Marella pinning a capsized Phoenix to retain her title.
Main event matches
Triple H, Batista and Shane McMahon faced off against The Legacy (Orton, Rhodes and Dibiase) for the WWE Championship in the next encounter. The match started out with Triple H and Orton brawling out of the ring to the backstage area while Batista and McMahon would continue to wrestle The Legacy. Later on in the match, Orton applied his signature move, the RKO on Triple H. He went for the pin, but his Triple H kicked out of it. Orton won the WWE Championship after running into Triple H with his signature punt and pinning him. Following the match, Triple H was taken out on a stretcher.
The main event contest saw Edge challenging John Cena for the World Heavyweight Championship in a Last Man Standing Match. One notable spot in the match was when Cena put Edge up onto his shoulders, and threw him into the crowd with his finishing maneuver, the Attitude Adjustment. After the wrestlers reached to their feet, they fought around the arena, until they made their way to the stage. Edge then went to Spear Cena again, but Cena lifted Edge onto his shoulders and tried to execute an Attitude Adjustment again. But then The Big Show interfered, pulled Edge off Cena's shoulders, and then lifted up Cena. Show then chokeslammed Cena through a nearby spotlight that exploded; Cena was unable to make the ten-count. Edge won the title for the fifth time. The event came to a close with Cena being taken out on a stretcher.
Following the events that occured at Backlash, a number one contenders match for the WWE Championship was set-up between Batista and The Big Show During the match, John Cena came down to the ring, distracting the Big Show, which led to Batista winning the match. Vickie Guerrero would subsequently announce The Big Show would wrestle Cena at Judgment Day, when Cena would be medically-cleared to compete in the match. At Judgment Day, Cena defeated The Big Show, and then at Extreme Rules in a Submission match.
The World Heavyweight Championship became exclusive to SmackDown due to Edge defeating Cena at Backlash. Jeff Hardy becoming the number-one contender to the championship after winning a fatal four-way match against Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio, and Kane. At Judgment Day, Edge defeated Hardy to retain the championship. However, at Extreme Rules, Hardy defeated Edge in a Ladder match to win the World Heavyweight Championship, only to have CM Punk run down, cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase, and defeat Hardy to win the World Heavyweight Championship.
Due to Orton punting Triple H in the head at Backlash, Triple H was written out of action. Orton and The Legacy were then put in a rivalry with Batista. Batista defeated The Big Show the next night on Raw to face Orton at Judgment Day. At Judgment Day, Batista faced Orton for the title. However, Orton got himself disquallified, which allowed him to retain the WWE Championship. Batista was then beaten down by The Legacy, but he was saved by Ric Flair. Flair told Orton that his next match against Batista was going to be inside a Steel cage at Extreme Rules. At Extreme Rules, Batista defeated Orton to win the championship. The next night on Raw, Orton and The Legacy legitimately injured Batista, which led to Triple H returning; continuing the fued between himself and Orton.
The Dunkin' Donuts Center has a maximum capacity of 14,000 however Backlash only had an attendance of 8,500. It received 182,000 PPV buys, which was less than the 200,000 buys the previous year's event received. Backlash helped World Wrestling Entertainment earn $35.6 million in revenue from PPV events, and this was more than the $17.9 million earned in the previous year quarter; Linda McMahon, the CEO of WWE, confirmed this statement on August 6, 2009 in a quarterly financial report. Canadian Online Explorer's sportswriter, Matt Bishop, gave the show an overall score of 7/10; most of his praise for the show concentrated on the World Heavyweight title match, which he awarded 9/10. Dave Meltzer, writer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, called the show solid, and gave the main event a score of four-and-a-half stars out of five. The Sun's, writers The LilsBoys rated the event a 9/10, stating that the event contained "great matches, solid storylines and well-written endings." They praised the match between Matt and Jeff Hardy, saying that "the ending that was truly something special, one of the best we’ve seen in ages." The LilsBoys also praised the World Heavyweight Championship match, touting it as the "match of the night", and stating the final spot with Big Show throwing Cena into the spotlight was "the year’s most memorable moment so far".
|Dark||Kofi Kingston defeated Dolph Ziggler||Singles match||N/A|
|1||Christian defeated Jack Swagger (c)||Singles match for the ECW Championship||10:59|
|2||Chris Jericho defeated Ricky Steamboat ||Singles match||12:32|
|3||Kane defeated CM Punk||Singles match||09:24|
|4||Jeff Hardy defeated Matt Hardy||"I Quit" match||19:08|
|5||Santina Marella (c) defeated Beth Phoenix||Singles match for the title of "Miss WrestleMania"||00:03|
|6||The Legacy (Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase) defeated Triple H (c), Batista and Shane McMahon||Six-man tag team match for the WWE Championship||22:48|
|7||Edge defeated John Cena (c)||Last Man Standing match for the World Heavyweight Championship||28:24|
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