WWE Backlash 2020
Running Time: 192 Minutes
Number Of Discs: 1
Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
Released: July 27 2020
(Thanks to Fetch Publicity for arranging this review.)
WWE Backlash 2020 was headlined by Edge vs. Randy Orton in a WrestleMania rematch. So far, so good, but WWE hammered home the message repeatedly beforehand that this would be “the greatest wrestling match ever”, to the point where even if the former Rated RKO members had produced a bona fide classic, fans still would have scoffed on it. Did Edge and Orton achieve their (well, WWE’s) goal, or did they fall short? Rewatching the card on DVD should give us the answer.
The opening three-way tag bout for the Women’s Tag Team Titles between Bayley & Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross and The IIconics is a good one, and it ties up the entertaining yet brief hostilities between all three squads. Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus has a real personal issue and is a very well-worked match, with Sheamus coming out on top in order to keep the story going (since he could then continue to taunt Hardy in the weeks to come). Meanwhile, Nia Jax and Asuka is a TV-level contest with a disputed finish, making it pure filler.
Though few others did, I enjoyed John Morrison and The Miz’s obsession with taunting and pranking Braun Strowman ahead of their Universal Championship battle, though I can accept that this didn’t feel like an attraction worthy of SmackDown’s biggest prize. It also wasn’t a surprise at all that Strowman retained, even if the heels came closer than I expected to capturing the belt. Far better is Drew McIntyre vs. Bobby Lashley, which was a great WWE Title contest (even if Lashley nearly broke McIntyre’s neck during the bout by seemingly dropping him on his head at ringside), and it’s another feather in Drew’s cap as he has quietly built up an artistically successful reign as Raw’s top babyface. Meanwhile, I have no idea how to explain the extended angle that replaced a match involving The Street Profits and The Viking Raiders; it was WWE’s worst cinematic effort yet, with its main jokes simply not connecting, and the whole premise feeling utterly bizarre, even by the standards of these “out of the box” presentations.
And so we come to the main event, as Edge and Orton aimed to top, well, everything that had ever happened in wrestling history. Whether they succeeded or not is down to personal opinion, though very few people have come out and said that they did with a straight face. Nevertheless, they did deliver a strong outing, one that probably does require a second viewing in order to judge it fairly, rather than against the company’s hype machine. Orton ultimately scored the win with an RKO to even the score with the Rated R Superstar, though it’s going to be a while for the two men to have that decisive rubber match, as Edge tore his triceps during the bout (or rather the reshooting of certain parts of the contest, such are the benefits of the current environment that allows for these major matches to be pre-taped). Hopefully, by the time he does return in late 2020/early 2021, he and Orton can settle their score in front of an actual live crowd, even if it means waiting until WrestleMania 37 to do it.
So, if you’re looking to watch WWE Backlash 2020 to genuinely see the best wrestling match ever held, you’re likely to be disappointed. But if you just want a few hours of decent sports entertainment, then between Edge vs. Orton, McIntyre vs. Lashley and Hardy vs. Sheamus (plus the Kick-Off Show bout between Apollo Crews and Andrade for the United States Title, which is included as a DVD extra), then you’ll likely be satisfied by this DVD.
Overall Rating: 6/10 – Reasonable