When a friend of mine text me Friday and asked if I was going to watch Backlash, I replied, “No.” I immediately followed that message with, “Yes, but I hate myself for it.” His reply, comedically, “I hope it doesn’t LACK BASH.” It definitely lacked bash.
Edge and Randy Orton’s billed “Greatest Wrestling Match of All Time” was a fine wrestling match. The pre-match explanation from Tom Phillips intrigued me. We were told this is the future of wrestling. We’d have enhanced audio, different camera angles, and what WWE believed was the “greatest wrestling match of all time”. I cranked the surround sound and minimized distractions. The MSG mic dropped from the ceiling and Howard Finkel’s voice introduced the competitors and, presumably like most, I marked out pretty hard. But then the wrestling started. An immediate collar and elbow tie up led to the dumbest camera angle I’ve ever seen and one that you can not capture live.
This is not a natural position for a cameraperson to be in, clearly. As the match progressed, it became clear that the “enhanced audio” was simply crowd noise being pumped in. The “crowd” of wrestlers was dead the entire night but suddenly came alive for the final match, starting chants of “this is awesome” and “holy shit”, not. That crowd noise was pumped in and for me, didn’t enhance the match at all. The match was fine. In David Allen Coe’s epic country anthem “You Never Even Called Me by My Name” he notes that he told songwriter Steve Goodman that it was not the perfect country and western song because “he hadn’t said anything at all about mama, or trains, or trucks, or prison, or gettin drunk.” This match was not the greatest match of all time because it didn’t have a kickout at three, an intriguing storyline, polarizing larger than life characters, a venue fit for the gimmick, etc., etc., etc. This was not the greatest wrestling match this week. It was a fine match. Nothing more.
I enjoyed Asuka’s title defense. I don’t hate double countouts as much as the rest of the world apparently. I’ll always prefer a time limit draw to a double countout, but I hate DQ finishes, so I was fine with a double countout. I also didn’t mind McIntyre’s title defense against Lashley, but I really hated the finish there. I love McIntyre but I would prefer that Lashley held the belt right now. The Lana/Lashley/MVP stuff isn’t doing it for me. The triple threat women’s tag match should’ve been better than it was. The match I enjoyed the most was the Miz and Morrison handicap match against Strowman. It’s a fresh idea and the Miz instinctively pulling Morrison off is smart writing, something WWE is desperate for right now.
I hated what they did with the Vikings and the Street Profits. I hate Sheamus going over on Jeff Hardy. Hardy, who has clearly dealt with some personal demons, is being called a junkie over and over again and as he sat in the ring after his defeat yesterday, Corey Graves said, “Jeff Hardy is ashamed of himself. And he should be.” That’s infuriating and unsurprising.
I’m excited to not watch Raw tonight.