By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Aired June 14, 2020 live on WWE Network and pay-per-view
Taped in Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
WWE Backlash Kickoff Show match result: Apollo Crews defeated Andrade in 7:25 to retain the U.S. Championship.
A video package opened the show and showed some clips of some of legendary WWE matches while focusing on the Edge vs. Randy Orton feud…
Entrances for the WWE Women’s Tag Title match took place. After the challengers were introduced, Kayla Braxton interviewed the champions backstage. After Bayley boasted, Braxton asked Bayley if her friendship with Banks would end if they lost the tag titles. Banks said their friendship is unstoppable. While Banks made her entrance, Bayley accused Braxton of trying to get into her head…
1. Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross vs. “The IIconics” Peyton Royce and Billie Kay in a Triple Threat for the WWE Women’s Tag Titles. The Smackdown broadcast team of Michael Cole and Corey Graves were on commentary for the match. Cole reminded viewers that the winners of the match would defend the titles against Shotzi Blackheart and Tegan Nox on Wednesday’s NXT television show.
One member of each team was allowed in the ring at the same time. There was a nice set up rapid fire pin attempts while Banks, Bliss, and Royce were in the ring together. They got up and knocked the various opponents off the apron. They all entered the ring and there was a brief jawing session before things settled back into three women in the ring at once. Late in the match, Bliss hit Twisted Bliss on Royce, but Banks pulled Bliss off and rolled her into a pin…
Sasha Banks and Bayley defeated Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross and Peyton Royce & Billie Kay in 8:50 in a Triple Threat to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: They did a pretty good job of making the match work with three women in the ring at once. There were plenty of near falls that were broken up by the third person in the match. As expected, it will be Banks and Bayley facing Blackheart and Nox on the NXT television show. Join John Moore for his weekly live review of NXT every Wednesday night.
Footage aired from earlier in the day of Braun Strowman parking his sports car in the Performance Center parking lot. Cole noted that Strowman got the windshield fixed after Miz and Morrison smashed it. Cole also noted that Kickoff Show announcement that there will not be co-champions if The Miz and John Morrison beat Strowman. Rather, the person who scores the pin or submission would be the new WWE Universal Champion…
An ad aired for the WWE Extreme Rules event on Sunday, July 19…
Cole set up a video package on the Jeff Hardy and Sheamus feud and questioned what would happen if Hardy loses their match…
2. Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus. Cole and Graves remained on the call for the Smackdown match. Hardy kicked Sheamus off the apron a few minutes in. Hardy went to ringside and then ran and leapt from the ring steps onto Sheamus. Hardy took the top part of the ring steps off, then dropped them when the referee threatened disqualification.
Back inside the ring, Sheamus got the better of Hardy and delivered a series of elbows to the back of his head. Sheamus dumped Hardy onto the turnbuckle and Hardy sold a knee injury with the idea being that his knee hit the ring post. Sheamus performed an awkward slam of Hardy in the middle of the ring, then dropped a knee from the second rope and got a two count at 5:30.
Sheamus remained on the offensive and executed a pair of Irish Curse backbreakers and then covered Hardy for a two count. Sheamus drilled Hardy with a knee to the head and got another near fall. Cole spoke about frustration setting in for Sheamus, who apparently heard him and then yelled at him about it.
Sheamus clotheslined Hardy and then went up top and looked to the spectator wrestlers before going for a clothesline that Hardy ducked. Hardy hit a Whisper in the Wind for a two count. A short time later, Hardy went for a Whisper in the Wind, but Sheamus avoided it. Hardy dodged a Brogue Kick attempt and put Sheamus down with a clothesline. Hardy went up top for his finisher, but Sheamus recovered and cut him off.
Sheamus joined Hardy on the ropes and set up for a superplex, but Hardy pushed him back into the ring. Hardy set up for his finisher again. Sheamus swept the legs of Hardy and then performed White Noise in the middle of the ring for a near fall. Sheamus applied a Cloverleaf. Sheamus worked over Hardy and told him he would help him with his demons. Sheamus delivered a series of forearms to the chest of Hardy.
Sheamus hoisted up Hardy on his shoulders. Hardy held onto the ropes and broke free. Hardy sent Sheamus into the corner, then dropped him with a Twist of Fate. Hardy performed a Swanton Bomb and had the pin, but Sheamus put a foot on the ropes to break the count. Sheamus rolled to ringside. Hardy followed and ran the barricade and jumped into a big kick from Sheamus. Back inside the ring, Sheamus blasted Hardy with a Brogue Kick and pinned him…
Sheamus defeated Jeff Hardy in 16:50.
Powell’s POV: An entertaining match. The near fall of the Swanton was well done, as I assumed that was going to be the finish. Smackdown has a shortage of meaningful heels, so it’s wise to give Sheamus a meaningful win.
After some advertising, Miz and Morrison tried to play it cool when they were told that only one of them could be WWE Universal Champion. Otis and Mandy Rose showed up. Otis told them that he might cash in if one of them win the match…
A video package set up the Raw Women’s Championship match…
3. Asuka vs. Nia Jax for the Raw Women’s Championship. The Raw broadcast team of Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Samoa Joe were on the call. Asuka applied an early octopus armbar, which Jax powered out of. Jax clotheslined Asuka, who got up and went after the arm again, but Jax knocked her down with another clothesline. Jax bodyslammed Asuka and covered her for a two count. Jax performed a spinebuster slam and got another two count at 3:35.
Jax performed a Jackhammer for another near fall. Asuka rallied with some kicks and a shining wizard for a two count of her own. Asuka fired a couple of kicks at Jax and then missile dropkicked her. Asuka performed a hip attack for a two count. Asuka fired a series of kicks at Jax, who ducked the last one and hit a sit-out powerbomb for another two count. Jax charged at Asuka, who moved, causing Jax to crash shoulder first through the ropes and into the post.
Asuka went up top. Jax cut her off. Asuka went for an armbar over the ropes, but fell to the apron, then pulled Jax over the top rope to the floor. Asuka applied a flying armbar on the floor, but Jax powered her up and slammed her down. The fight on the floor continued while the referee counted out both women. Afterward, Asuka performed a hip attack from the apron onto Jax at ringside…
Asuka fought Nia Jax to a double count-out in 8:25 and retained the Raw Women’s Championship.
Powell’s POV: A solid match with a finish that prolonged the feud. I can’t say that I really wanted to see another match, but I assume there will be some of that tonight given that Extreme Rules is the next pay-per-view.
MVP was shown talking on the phone in front of one of the rings at the WWE Performance Center. He was ordering champagne for Bobby Lashley’s victory party. Lana showed up and MVP ended the call. Lana wanted to give MVP some advice, but he cut her off and suggested that she have the conversation with her husband. MVP said she won’t do that because she’s scared to death of what he’d tell her. MVP excused himself while saying he had to tend to the new WWE Champion…
A video package set up the WWE Universal Title match…
The Miz and John Morrison made their entrance and set up their music video. They replayed the video that was shown on the Kickoff Show and included some shots of Miz and Morrison dancing to their own song in the ring. Strowman’s entrance eventually interrupted the video…
4. Braun Strowman vs. The Miz and John Morrison in a handicap match for the WWE Universal Championship. Cole and Graves were on the call. Cole recalled that Strowman lost the Intercontinental Championship in a handicap match. Miz teased starting the match and instead tagged in Morrison. Miz hit Strowman with a cheap shot before leaving the ring. Morrison tagged out quickly, but Miz dropped off the apron to stall. Morrison distracted Strowman, then Miz returned to the ring and hit Strowman.
A short time later, Morrison used some parkour to dodge Strowman, who eventually caught him with a punch to the head. Miz checked in again and Strowman no-sold his punches. Miz tried to tag out, but Morrison was down at ringside. Morrison returned to the corner and Strowman sent Miz crashing into him to knock him right back to ringside. Strowman sent Miz to the floor and followed him. When Miz returned to the ring, Morrison caught Strowman with a springboard kick.
Morrison performed a corkscrew dive onto Strowman. Miz fired a kick to the head of Strowman and then applied a chinlock. Strowman stood up and backed Miz into the corner where Morrison tagged in. Morrison worked over Strowman with punches, kicks, and a knee to the head. Miz tagged in and they performed a double DDT. Miz covered Strowman for just a one count at 4:30.
Miz fired a series of Daniel Bryan style kicks at Strowman and then sang his song. Strowman cut him off and dominated Miz. Morrison tagged in and shoved Miz out of the corner, which led to Strowman crashing and burning. Morrison worked over Strowman and then tagged in Miz, who leapt from the top rope and clubbed Strowman on the way down.
Morrison tagged in and performed a Skull Crushing Finale with a kick combo move. Morrison covered Strowman, but Miz pulled his partner off. Miz was apologetic and even put Morrison back on top of Strowman and watched as the ref made a two count. Strowman rallied with a chokeslam on Miz. Morrison springboarded from the ropes into a punch. Strowman picked up Morrison and performed a running powerslam for the win…
Braun Strowman defeated The Miz and John Morrison in a handicap match in 7:20 to retain the WWE Universal Championship.
Powell’s POV: The wrestlers worked hard and I liked the quick tags by Miz and Morrision, but there was never any doubt as to the outcome of the match. This felt like something that belonged on Smackdown rather than on a pay-per-view. And given the shortage of meaningful Smackdown heels, it’s actually a shame that they didn’t try to build up Miz and Morrison as singles heels rather than make them look like scrubs in this match.
Cole and Graves spoke about Sami Zayn having to forfeit the Intercontinental Title, which led to the tournament that AJ Styles won on Friday by defeating Daniel Bryan to win the vacated title…
New Intercontinental Champion AJ Styles was interviewed by Kayla Braxton on the backstage set. Styles said he could have taken the night off and he earned it after his performance on Friday. Styles said he’s probably the greatest champion in WWE history and thus he should have the greatest championship celebration. Styles said he wanted everyone, including Bryan, to be there. Styles said he wasn’t saying that Bryan isn’t one of the best performers to lace up the boots, but he’s just not phenomenal…
A video package set up the WWE Championship match…
5. Drew McIntyre vs. Bobby Lashley (w/MVP) for the WWE Championship. Phillips, Saxton, and Joe were on commentary. Before the bell, McIntyre and MVP jawed with one another and then Lashley put McIntyre in the Full Nelson. Two referees ran out and joined the match referee in talking Lashley down. Lashley released the hold. The match referee checked on McIntyre, who said he was okay to start the match.
Lashley was the early aggressor and worked over McIntyre, who was still wearing his ring jacket. Lana was shown watching the match on a backstage monitor. Lashley removed McIntyre’s jacket and continued to dominate him while MVP shouted encouragement from ringside. McIntyre performed a northern lights suplex into a bridge, but Lashley quickly kicked out and went back on the offensive.
McIntyre clotheslined Lashley over the to rope at 3:35 and then followed him to ringside. McIntyre drove Lashley into the barricade twice. MVP got in McIntyre’s face for a moment. Lashley used the distraction to hoist up McIntyre and then dumped him awkwardly and dangerously on the floor (good lord). Lashley put McIntyre on his shoulders and ran him into the ring post.
McIntyre came back with a suplex at ringside. Both wrestlers returned to the ring and exchanged strikes in the middle of the ring. McIntyre got the better of it and went up top and leapt off before hitting Lashley with a shot to the chest. McIntyre kipped up. McIntyre performed a spinebuster and rolled Lashley into a pin for a near fall. Lashley came back with a one-armed slam. Lashley covered McIntyre, who kicked out at one.
MVP barked orders from the floor and then Lashley set up for the Full Nelson. McIntyre blocked it and didn’t let Lashley lock his fingers to fully apply the hold. Lashley gave up on it and opted to punch the back of McIntyre’s head in the corner.
McIntyre countered into a reverse Alabama Slam, which led to a two count. McIntyre clotheslined Lashley over the top rope. McIntyre went up top and leapt at Lashley, who caught him in a crossface. McIntyre countered into Tombstone piledriver position, but Lashley countered into an ankle lock, which McIntyre kicked out of.
Lashley charged at McIntyre, who caught him in an armbar, which Lashley broke via the ropes. McIntyre superplexed Lashley. The spectator wrestlers chanted “fight forever.” Ugh. McIntyre got to his feet and delivered his countdown for the Claymore Kick. McIntyre charged for his finisher, but Lashley speared him and covered him for a near fall.
Lana walked to ringside and ended up on the apron. McIntyre hit Lashley, who stopped short of running into Lana. McIntyre headbutted Lashley, who bumped into Lana and knocked her off the apron and onto MVP on the floor. McIntyre hit the Claymore Kick and scored the pin…
Drew McIntyre defeated Bobby Lashley in 13:15 to retain the WWE Championship.
After the match, Lashley and MVP looked down at Lana, who was seated on the floor. They both walked past her and headed to the back while McIntyre celebrated in the ring…
Powell’s POV: A solid match aside from the finish and the near miss moment when Lashley dumped McIntyre recklessly on the floor. Fortunately, McIntyre appeared to be fine. The finish was along the lines of what you had to expect given the way Lana has been hanging around in the background. I was hoping for something better with Lana, but at least the right guy went over, and obviously the goal was to protect Lashley in the process.
After some advertising, the broadcast team started to set up a video package on the Raw Tag Title match, but they had to cut backstage where the Street Profits and Viking Raiders were fighting. One of the Profits dumped Erik onto the windshield of Braun Strowman’s car. The Profits noted that it was Strowman’s car and ran inside the building. The Viking Raiders looked just as nervous and ran into the building.
The cameras followed and music started playing as the fight continued inside the Performance Center. The Profits found golf clubs. The Raiders had shields. Erik had a hatchet and Ivar had a bowling ball. They ended up in a tented area where the Raiders beat their shields. Montez Ford suggested they put the weapons down and fight like men. Both teams slowly put down the weapons.
The teams went back to fighting. Ford and Ivar were down while Erik and Angelo Dawkins fought out of the tented area. Ivar picked up the bowling ball and then we got to see his flashback to the bowling skit from Raw. Ivar rolled the ball into the nuts of Ford and said, “Strike!” Ivar was all smiles as he left the tented area. He found Erik lying on the ground outside the building and checked on him. Dawkins speared Ivar through a glass door We got to see a flashback to more of the Raw skits.
“Anything you can do,” Ivar said. Dawkins filled in the “we can do better.” The respective partners showed up and helped them to their feet. The teams started asking why they did certain things to one another and then Ivar said they could take the fight outside.
Several motorcycles drove into the picture and the drivers revved the engines. One of the drivers got off his bike, approached both teams, and removed his helmet to reveal Akira Tozaawa, who told them in Japanese that anything they can do, we can do better. Tozawa tossed his helmet to Ivar, who tossed it aside. The Profits and Raiders huddled and opted to fight the “ninjas on bikes.” They agreed that they had to fight together.
A graphic showed “Viking Profits.” The two tag teams comically beat up the bike riding ninjas. Eventually, Tozawa motioned for another man, who walked into the picture. The camera panned up the giant man, whose face was covered. The man put his hand on a sword. Ivar used the force to pull a turkey leg into his hand. Erik said had it, but the other tag wrestlers held him back and they all fled.
Once they were alone, the teams bickered over who took care of all the ninjas. They started fighting. Dawkins took Erik off the top of a truck and into a dumpster below. Ford said this was crazy, then Ivar tossed him into the dumpster. Ivar dove into the dumpster. The teams laid in the trash and had more flashbacks. Referee Jessika Carr showed up on top of the truck and delivered the line about Ivar being cute, but Erik not so much. The teams in the dumpster heard a groan and started freaking out. The tentacle of a creature reached out as they all tried to get away…
Powell’s POV: F— this pandemic and f— cinematic comedy matches. I’m so over this nonsense. Some of the cinematics are better than others, of course, but this cutesy shit just wasn’t for me.
After some advertising, Phillips said it wouldn’t be fair to the participants in the next match if it wasn’t held in front of thousands of people. Saxton spoke about how WWE would use enhancements during the match… A video package set up the main event…
6. Edge vs. Randy Orton. Referee Charles Robinson wore an old school blue button-up shirt with a bow tie. WWE used canned crowd noise during the entrances. The old school MSG mic lowered from the ceiling and then Howard Finkel audio clips introduced both men. Robinson brought the wrestlers together and delivered pre-match instructions. Phillips said the moment has arrived and this is the greatest wrestling match ever.
Orton controlled the early slow paced offense. They did a spot where Edge rolled to ringside and Orton followed. Edge teased returning to the ring and Orton did the same, then Edge delivered a big boot to the head of Orton. Back inside the ring, the slow paced build continued with Edge getting the better of things.
At 9:45, Orton caught Edge on the ropes with a punch. Orton set up for a superplex to the outside, but Edge fought him off with a couple of headbutts. Edge clotheslined Orton from the ring apron. Orton came up bleeding from the forehead and smiled (insert the “blood and guts” jokes here). A loud “this is awesome” chant played while the spectator wrestlers were shown clapping.
At 16:00, Orton took offensive control and slammed Edge onto the broadcast table. Orton rolled Edge back inside the ring and covered him for a two count. Edge started to rally, but Orton shoved him back first into the corner. The broadcast team played up Edge’s surgically repaired neck. Orton performed two of the Three Amigos suplexes. Edge blocked the third and then performed the Three Amigos.
At 21:50, both men were at ringside when Orton pulled Edge into the ring post. The broadcast team played up the neck injury possibilities again. Back in the ring, Orton performed a superplex. Orton covered Edge for a near fall. Phillips noted that the suplex was a move used by Randy’s father Bob Orton Jr. Both wrestlers went for simultaneous cross body blocks and remained down for a bit at 25:10.
Edge had Orton down and went to the ropes, but Orton got to his feet and cut him off with punches. Orton set up for a top rope draping DDT. Edge slipped away and dropped Orton with a DDT. Edge struggled to get Orton on his back and then covered him for a two count. A short time later, Edge performed a cross body block from the top rope for a near fall at 28:40.
Edge caught Orton in a crossface. Orton teased tapping out, then rolled Edge into a pin for a two count. Edge went for Orton’s arm, but Orton countered into an Olympic Slam and covered Edge for a near fall. Phillips recalled that Kurt Angle predicted an Edge win and assumed that Orton was thumbing his nose at Angle by performing his move.
Orton went for a dropkick, but Edge caught him with a powerbomb and got a near fall. A short time later, Edge avoided an RKO attempt and ended up hitting him with an Unprettier for a good near fall. Another canned “this is awesome” chant was inserted. Orton came back by dumping Edge awkwardly onto the top rope.
Orton put Edge down with a Pedigree and covered him for a near fall. Orton was upset about the referee’s count. Joe said Orton had every right to be upset with the official. The spectator wrestlers chanted “fight forever.” Edge caught Orton with a Rock Bottom and only got a near fall at 37:25. Edge set up for what appeared to be a figure four, but Orton avoided it. Edge ducked a punch and went for a backslide. Orton avoided it and caught Edge with an uppercut in the corner just before the 39:00 mark.
Edge came back and caught Orton in a few pins that resulted in near falls. Orton got to his feet and dropped Edge with an RKO. Orton covered Edge for a near fall. The broadcast team played up how big it was for Edge to kick out of the move. They replayed the footage and questioned whether Edge actually got his shoulder up. Orton waited for Edge to get up and ended up taking a spear. Edge got up and speared Orton again and only got a near fall at 42:05.
Orton shot Edge into the corner. Edge hopped onto the middle rope and lunged at Orton, who hit him with an RKO on the way down. Orton covered Edge for another near fall. Saxton said Edge’s body was failing him, but his fighting spirit was keeping him in the game. Orton picked up Edge, who caught him in the standing triangle hold, but Orton kicked him below the belt. Orton punt kicked Edge and covered him for the three count…
Randy Orton defeated Edge in 44:45.
After the match, Orton knelt by Edge and spoke to him while his own entrance music played. Orton told Edge to go home. “Be with Beth, be with your girls.” Orton mentioned something about Uncle Randy. Orton stood up and they piped in boos. The broadcast team recapped highlights from the match. EMTs brought a stretcher to the ring. Edge fought off the help while Saxton questioned what was going through his mind. Phillips questioned if Orton just ended the redemption story of Edge. One of them also questioned if it was the greatest wrestling match ever…
Powell’s POV: WWE officials owe Edge and Orton an apology. The awful marketing slogan and the canned crowd noise took away from what was a really good main event match. Both men worked their asses off and didn’t deserve the baggage that came with the “greatest match ever” bullshit. I enjoyed the way they worked in a lot of classic finishers from various wrestlers. Unfortunately, this is probably the last time we’ll see Edge in the ring for a while, as there are reports that he suffered a torn triceps during the match. I couldn’t pinpoint where it happened, but his arm appeared to bruise.
Overall, this could have been a solid B-level pay-per-view and at times it was, but the awful cinematic and the tinkering with the main event really left a sour taste in my mouth. Orton and Edge did their best to save it and it will be interesting to see if Jake Barnett thinks they pulled it off when we co-host the audio review for Dot Net Members coming up shortly. Let us know what you thought of the show by assigning it a letter grade and voting for the best match in our post show polls available on the main page.
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