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The WWE Backlash logo circa 2009

Backlash was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced every April (with the exception of 2005) by professional wrestling promotion World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). The event was created in 1999, with its inaugural event produced as an In Your House event in April of that year. The event in 2000 was rebranded as an annual PPV event for WWE. To coincide with the brand extension, the event was made exclusive to the Raw brand in 2004. In 2007, to follow the format of WrestleMania, all PPV events became tri-branded.

Professional wrestling is a non-competitive professional sport, where matches are prearranged by the promotion's writing staff, and is also considered an athletic performing art, containing strong elements of catch wrestling, mock combat, and theatre. Each PPV event features several professional wrestling matches that involve different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds and storylines. Wrestlers are portrayed as either villains or heroes in the scripted events that build tension and culminate into a wrestling match or series of matches.

In 2010, Extreme Rules will take over the event's late April pay-per-view slot.[1] The current status of this event is unknown.

Contents

History

Backlash is a pay-per-view (PPV) event consisting of a main event and undercard that feature championship matches and other various matches. The first Backlash was originally produced as an In Your House event for World Wrestling Federation (WWF), the former name of WWE.[2] The In Your House event was titled Backlash: In Your House. It took place on April 25, 1999 and aired live on PPV.[3] In 1999, production of In Your House events were canceled,[4] though many of the former In Your House events, such as Backlash, No Way Out, and Judgment Day among others, were rebranded as annual PPV events.[5][6][7]

In 2002, WWF was court ordered to change their name, which resulted in the promotion changing its name to WWE.[2] Later that year, WWE held a draft that split its roster into two distinctive brands of wrestling—Raw and SmackDown.[8], and ECW in 2006.[9] Before the draft, matches featured wrestlers from the roster without any limitations; after the draft, matches only consisted of wrestlers from their distinctive brands. The first Backlash event to be produced under the WWE banner and with roster limitations was Backlash (2003), which took place on April 27, 2003.[10][11] Later on in 2003, WWE announced that PPV events, excluding WrestleMania, SummerSlam, Survivor Series, and the Royal Rumble, would be made exclusive to each brand; Backlash was made exclusive to the Raw brand.[12] After three years of being produced as a brand exclusive event, Backlash 2006 was the final Backlash event that was brand exclusive, as WWE announced that PPV events from then on would feature all three brands of WWE.[13]

Each Backlash event has been held in an indoor arena, with nine events taking place in the United States and one event taking place in Canada.

1999

The inaugural event was held on April 25, 1999 at the Providence Civic Center in Providence, Rhode Island.[11][14] Eight professional wrestling matches were scheduled on the card as well as four matches on Sunday Night Heat before the show aired live.[3][11] Backlash: In Your House was the twenty eighth and final event to be produced under the In Your House chronology. The event had an attendance of 10,939.[11] The event was praised by the Canadian Online Explorer's professional wrestling section giving the show 8 out of 10 and declaring, "the World Wrestling Federation had something to prove and prove it they did".[3] The main event scheduled on the card was a No Disqualificaton Special Guest Referee match for the WWF Championship. The match featured Steve Austin defeating The Rock to retain his championship with guest referee as Shane McMahon.[15]

In addition to the main event, the undercard featured a Boiler Room Brawl between Mankind and Paul Wight, which Mankind won, plus a hardcore match for the WWF Hardcore Championship featuring Al Snow defeating Hardcore Holly, to win the championship.[3][11]

2000

The second Backlash event was held on April 30, 2000 at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C.. Nine professional wrestling matches were scheduled on the card. The event had an attendance of 17,867.[11] The main event was a Special Guest Referee match for the WWF Championship. The match was between reigning champion, Triple H, and challenger The Rock with guest referee Shane McMahon.[16] The Rock defeated Triple H to win the championship.[11][17][18]

Other matches on the event card included a singles match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship between Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho, which Benoit won by disqualification. As a result, Benoit retained the championship. A six man hardcore match for the WWF Hardcore Championship which featured Crash Holly defeating Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Hardcore Holly, Perry Saturn and Tazz to retain the championship. Eddie Guerrero also faced Essa Rios for the WWF European Championship.[17][19]

2001

The Brothers of Destruction were the WWF Tag Team Champions heading into the encounter against Triple H and Steve Austin at Backlash 2001, however they lost the championship.

Backlash 2001 was held on April 29, 2001 at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois.[11][20] Seven professional wrestling matches were scheduled on the card, with two matches scheduled on Sunday Night Heat. The event had an attendance of 17,154.[11] The main event was a Tag team match for the WWF Tag Team Championship, the WWF Championship and the WWF Intercontinental Championship between The Brothers of Destruction (The Undertaker and Kane) versus WWF Champion Steve Austin and Intercontinental Champion Triple H, The Two Man Power Trip in which the person to get the fall would win the Tag Team Championship as well as the championship of the wrestler who was pinned. Austin and Triple H won the match to win the Tag team championship.[21][22]

Other matches that were scheduled on the event card included an Ultimate Submission match between Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle, which Benoit won after winning four falls to three in sudden death overtime, a Last Man Standing match featuring Shane McMahon defeating The Big Show, plus a Triple Threat match for the WWF European Championship between Matt Hardy, Eddie Guerrero and Christian, which Hardy won to retain the championship.[11][21]

2002

The fourth event under the Backlash chronology was held on April 21, 2002 at the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri.[11][23] This was the last Backlash event under the WWF name before the name was changed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).[2] Nine professional wrestling matches were scheduled for the event and one dark match was scheduled before the event began airing live.[11][24] The theme song was "Young Grow Old" (performed by Creed). The event had an attendance of 12,489. The main event on the card was a singles match for the WWF Undisputed Championship, which saw Hollywood Hulk Hogan defeat Triple H to win the championship.[25]

Other matches that were scheduled on the event card included a Special Referee match between The Undertaker and Steve Austin with Ric Flair as guest referee. The Undertaker won the match. Another match was Eddie Guerrero versus Rob Van Dam for the WWF Intercontinental Championship, which Guerrero won to become the new Intercontinental champion. Also Kurt Angle defeated Edge in a singles match.

2003

2003's Backlash was the first Backlash produced under the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) name. It took place on April 27, 2003 at Worcester Centrum in Worcester, Massachusetts and starred talent from the promotion's Raw and SmackDown! brands. Eight professional wrestling matches were scheduled on the card with a dark match taking place before the event went live. The event had an attendance of 10,000 and grossed $450,000 through ticket sales and pay-per-view buys. The theme song for the event was "Remedy" (performed by Cold). The main event was a singles match between Goldberg and The Rock, which Goldberg won.[26] The featured match from the Smackdown! brand was a WWE Championship match between John Cena and reigning champion, Brock Lesnar. Lesnar won the match and retained the championship.

Other matches that were scheduled on the event card included a six man tag team match between the team of Triple H, Ric Flair and Chris Jericho against Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash and Booker T, which Triple H, Flair and Jericho won. The predominant match from the Smackdown! brand was the encounter of The Big Show and Rey Mysterio, which The Big Show won.

2004

The sixth Backlash event was held on April 18, 2004 at the Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta and was a Raw brand-exclusive event. This was the first and only Backlash that has been held in Canada. Eight professional wrestling matches were scheduled on the card. The event had an attendance of 13,000. The main event was a Triple Threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship between reigning champion Chris Benoit, Shawn Michaels and Triple H.[27] Benoit won and retained the championship.

Other matches on the event card included a Hardcore match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship between Randy Orton and Cactus Jack. Orton won the match and retained the championship.[citation needed] Another primary match on the card was between Edge and Kane, which Edge won.

2005

The 2005 event was held on May 1, 2005 at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire and had an attendance of 14,000. Backlash 2005 helped WWE increase its pay-per-view revenue by $4.7 million, through ticket sales and pay-per-view buys. The theme song for the event was "Stronger" (performed by Trust Company). Six professional wrestling matches were scheduled for the event. The main event was a singles match for the World Heavyweight Championship between Batista and Triple H. Batista won the match and retained his championship.[28]

In addition to the main event the undercard featured a Last Man Standing match between Edge and Chris Benoit, which Edge won after Benoit was unable to get to his feet before the referee's count to ten and a Tag team match between the team of Shawn Michaels and Hulk Hogan facing Muhammad Hassan and Daivari, which Hogan and Michaels won.

2006

The 2006 event was held on April 30, 2006 at the Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. The event had an attendance of 14,000 and earned $480,000 through ticket sales and pay-per-view buys. Seven professional wrestling matches were scheduled on the event card. The main event was a Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship between reigning champion John Cena, Triple H and Edge. Cena won the match and retained the championship.[29]

Other matches that were scheduled on the event card included a No Holds Barred match between the team of father and son, Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon facing Shawn Michaels and "God". Vince pinned Michaels to win the match after the Spirit Squad interfered. The other featured match on the card was a singles match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship and Money in the Bank contract between reigning champion Shelton Benjamin and winner of the Money in the Bank ladder match, Rob Van Dam. Rob Van Dam won the match along with the championship and retained his contract.

2007

Edge was one of the challengers (Randy Orton and Shawn Michaels were the other two) challenging for the WWE Championship that was held by John Cena in the Fatal Four-Way match at Backlash 2007.

The ninth Backlash event was held on April 29, 2007 at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. This was the first ever WWE event (with the exception of WrestleMania) that became tri-branded with talent from Raw, SmackDown!, and ECW.[30] The event had an attendance of 14,500. The theme song for the event was "There and Back Again" (performed by Daughtry). Six professional wrestling matches were scheduled on the card with one dark match taking place before the event went live. The main event and featured match on the Raw brand was a Fatal Four-Way match for the WWE Championship between champion John Cena, Randy Orton, Edge and Shawn Michaels. Cena won the match and retained his championship.[31] The featured match on the Smackdown! brand was a Last Man Standing match for the World Heavyweight Championship featuring The Undertaker and Batista. The match ended in a no-contest after both wrestlers were unable to get to there feet by the count of ten.

Other matches on the event card included the featured match on the ECW brand; Bobby Lashley versus Team McMahon (Umaga, Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon) in a Handicap match for the ECW World Championship. Vince won the title and the match for his team after pinning Lashley.[32] The other primary match on the undercard was a singles match between Chris Benoit and Montel Vontavious Porter for the WWE United States Championship, which Benoit won to retain the championship.

2008

The tenth Backlash event took place on April 27, 2008 at the 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, Maryland in front of 9,000 fans. The event received 200,000 pay-per-view buys, more than the previous year's event, Backlash (2007). Seven professional wrestling matches were scheduled on the event card, which featured a supercard, a scheduling of more than one main event. The featured match from the Raw brand was a Fatal Four-Way Elimination match for the WWE Championship.[33] The match featured reigning champion Randy Orton, Triple H, John Cena and John "Bradshaw" Layfield. The match was won by Triple H and he become the new WWE champion. The other main event featured wrestlers from the SmackDown brand, in which reigning World Heavyweight Champion The Undertaker defeated Edge in a regular Singles match to retain the championship.

The featured match from the ECW brand was a singles match for the ECW Championship, in which Kane retained his championship against Chavo Guerrero. The other primary match on the card was a Special Referee match between Shawn Michaels and Batista, in which Chris Jericho was the guest referee. Michaels won the match.

2009

The 2009 event was held on April 26, 2009 at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island.[citation needed] The event had an attendance of 8,500. Seven professional wrestling matches were scheduled on the event card with a dark match taking place before the event went live. The main event was a Last Man Standing match for the World Heavyweight Championship between reigning champion John Cena and Edge.[34] Edge won the match and the championship after The Big Show chokeslammed Cena through a nearby spotlight and Cena wasn't able to get to his feet by the count of ten.

Other matches featured on the event card included a six man tag team match for the WWE Championship. The Legacy (Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase, Jr.) faced the reigning champion Triple H, Batista and Shane McMahon. The Legacy defeated Triple H, Batista and McMahon meaning Orton was the new WWE champion. Also, an "I Quit" match took place featuring Jeff Hardy defeating Matt Hardy.

Events

# Event Date City Venue Main Event
1
Backlash: In Your House
01999-04-25 April 25, 1999
Steve Austin (c) versus The Rock for the WWF Championship[3][35][36]
2
Backlash (2000)
02000-04-30 April 30, 2000
Triple H (c) versus The Rock for the WWF Championship[16][17][37]
3
Backlash (2001)
02001-04-29 April 29, 2001
WWF Champion Steve Austin and Intercontinental Champion Triple H versus WWF Tag Team Champions Kane and The Undertaker[20][21][38]
4
Backlash (2002)
02002-04-21 April 21, 2002
Triple H (c) versus Hulk Hogan for the WWF Undisputed Championship[23][24][39]
5
Backlash (2003)
02003-04-27 April 27, 2003
Goldberg versus The Rock[10][40][41]
6
Backlash (2004)
02004-04-18 April 18, 2004
Chris Benoit (c) versus Shawn Michaels versus Triple H in a Triple Threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship[42][43][44]
7
Backlash (2005)
02005-05-01 May 1, 2005
Batista (c) versus Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship[45][46][47]
8
Backlash (2006)
02006-04-30 April 30, 2006
John Cena (c) versus Edge versus Triple H in a Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship [48][49][50]
9
Backlash (2007)
02007-04-29 April 29, 2007
John Cena (c) versus Edge versus Randy Orton versus Shawn Michaels in a Fatal Four-Way match for the WWE Championship [51][52][53]
10
Backlash (2008)
02008-04-27 April 27, 2008
Randy Orton (c) versus Triple H versus John Cena versus John "Bradshaw" Layfield in a Fatal Four-Way Elimination match for the WWE Championship [54][55][56]
11
Backlash (2009)
02009-04-26 April 26, 2009
John Cena (c) versus Edge in a Last Man Standing match for the World Heavyweight Championship [57][58]
(c) - refers to the champion prior to the match

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