WWF Backlash 1999

WWF Backlash 1999

By Big Red Machine
From April 25, 1999

WWF Backlash 1999

THE BROOD (Gangrel, Edge, & Christian) vs. THE MINISTRY OF DARKNESS (Mideon & The Acolytes) - 5.75/10

The crowd had an inexplicably intense hatred for Mideon. They didn't like the other two heels, but they would break out into chants of "MIDEON SUCKS!" even when Mideon was just standing on the apron. The Brood were definitely getting over as babyfaces after their recent turn. The Ministry got the win after interference from Viscera and a Clothesline From Hell.

We were shown Rock arriving at the building, dragging Austin's smoking skull title belt on the ground behind him.

Hardcore Holly(c) vs. Al Snow - 7.25/10

This was fifteen minutes of brawling around backstage and hitting each other with stuff, but they definitely deserve points for creativity, and I certainly found it exciting and physically brutal. Snow could have won but pulled Holly up to try putting him through a table but Holly came back and superplexed Al through it. This led to a very creative spot where they teased a double TKO that turned into a false finished when Holly rolled his arm across Snow's chest but the snow got the shoulder up. Snow eventually got the win. Was this two guys hitting each other with stuff? Yes. But they put a lot more thought into than you'd usually see.

UNDERTAKER GIVES THE MINISTRY A PEP TALK - Meh. He said a bunch of stuff about "the tragedy" and "the destruction" being about to begin. We couldn't hear a good chunk of the beginning due to bad audio quality. This would prove relevant a bit later, and it's one of those promos that only The Undertaker could get away with.

The Godfather(c) (w/his hos) vs. Goldust (w/The Blue Meanie) - no rating... meh segment.

The Godfaher teased that there would be no hos tonight so the fans booed but then cheered when he finally brought them out. This was a bad match that the people really didn't care one lick about that is saved from being given a dud by a comedy bit where Goldust's attempt to use powder on Godfather backfired, blinding him, and then Godfather tricked him into attacking the Meanie. It wasn't even that really saved it so much as it was Godfather reacting to it. The ref not putting in much of an effort to get Meanie out of the ring was dumb, but I still liked the comedy enough to rate it as a segment instead of give it a dud.

MICHAEL COLE INTERVIEWS AL SNOW IN THE BATHROOM- Terrible. How could anyone ever have thought this Al Snow talking to Head crap was good?

The New Age Outlaws vs. Owen Hart & Jeff Jarrett (w/Debra) - 5.25/10

In his pre-match promo, Road Dogg said that the New Age Outlaws "always keep their shiz-nit dog-gy-style," to which Jim Ross simply said "what?"
Debra came out wearing a red suit jacket, high heels, and a bikini. Jim Ross, doing his belt to try to keep things classy (though it was an impossible task with Lawler next to him) simply referred to her as "a potential distraction." Road Dogg flat out said that her breasts were "the only reason everyone in Providence came here." Way to bury the whole card and all of the titles, buddy. Road Dogg asked if Debra would show everyone her breasts. She seemed perfectly willing but Jeff Jarrett but the kaibosh on that. Since we couldn't see Debra's boobs, Road Dogg ordered Billy Gunn to display his ass, instead. He went to do so but was jumped from behind before he was able to expose himself, and the match commenced from there.

The crowd didn't care one bit about this match for a long time. They just chanted "SHOW YOUR PUPPIES!" They eventually got back into it when Road Dogg was starting to make a comeback. He eventually made the hot tag to Billy and the babyfaces eventually got the win. They celebrated with Billy Gunn pulling down his tights and showing everyone his thong-clad ass, which got a big reaction from the high-pitched part of the crowd. Even in 1999, Lawler was still burying Stu Hart for being old.

MICHAEL COLE INTERVIEWS SHANE McMAHON- Michael Cole in 1999 looks like a pedophilic trucker. There. I said it. The rest of you are now free to admit that you were thinking it, too.

Shane swore on his grandfather's grave that he would call things right down the middle, and said that he wanted Vince to stay out his way. Speaking of McMahons being interviewed by men who are lead announcers for major wrestling companies in 2018, we then went to...

KEVIN KELLY INTERVIEWS VINCE & STEPHANIE McMAHON IN THEIR SKYBOX - A fresh-faced and innocent young Stephanie told us that Shane knows how much their grandfather means to their father, so she is certain Shane is telling the truth when he says he'll call it down the middle. I don't think I've ever heard Steph sound more sincere than she did right here. She was excellent. Vince for good as well, saying that Shane had better hope things don't go poorly.

Big Show vs. Mankind - 4/10

There are no pinfalls or submissions here. You win this match by escaping from the Boiler Room. Because of this there was no need for their be a referee in the room... but they did take the time to cut to a shot of referee Teddy Long standing right outside the door, standing perpendicular to the exit, ready to determine who crossed the finish line first.

They didn't have any "near escapes" in this match, so it was just guys hitting each other with stuff... and by stuff I mean panes glass that were lying around, as well as heavy metal object. This not was fun to watch. The lack of false finishes eliminated most of the drama, and everything they did looked horrifically unsafe. Mick cut his hand hitting Big Show with one of the glass panes very early on and bled a lot. It was not fun to watch. Once it was over Bossman and Test showed up to attack Mankind. Big Show fought Bossman off, then Foley gave Test the Mandible Claw. I have no idea why this was necessary.

TRIPLE H & CHYNA PROMOS - Chyna cut a shockingly good promo on X-Pac, then Triple H cut a better one.

AFTERMATH OF THE BOILER ROOM BRAWL - We saw Big Show being attended to by a doctor, then Foley took us a tour of the remains of the match. This was very weird and seemed to serve no purpose and went on for a long time... and it didn't seem like Mick had even had his hand looked at yet.

X-PAC vs. TRIPLE H (w/Chyna) - 6.5/10

X-Pac got shined up but got cut off by Chyna's interference. Triple H worked over X-Pac's previously injured neck for a while, and Chyna occasionally got in on it, too. This went on for a very long time without really feeling like it was building to much of a comeback. Eventually we got a ref bump and Kane came out and chokeslammed both Triple H and Chyna. They wound up in position for X-Pac to hit first Hunter and then Chyna with the Bronco Buster, but Hunter recovered and hit the Pedigree for the win. This did not need to go almost twenty minutes. It would have been much better if they cut about six minutes off of it.

KEN SHAMROCK vs. THE UNDERTAKER (w/Paul Bearer) - 6.75/10

Ministry Undertaker' theme is probably my all-time favorite. The match felt like it went a little too long and they lost the story (Shamrock working over Taker's ankle) along the way. Taker won after distractions from both Bradshaw and Paul Bearer. Given what would happen later in the night, I see no real reason why they didn't put Shamrock over clean here. I understand that you want Shamrock choked out afterwards, but there was no reason why you couldn't just have Shamrock win and then do the exact same thing in the...

POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Good. Bradshaw used a baseball bat to choke Shamrock out, playing off of the go-home Raw and establishing Shamrock's next feud. On a slightly humorous note, they got a close-up of short-haired Bradshaw's face as he was choking Ken out, and for the first time I was able to see JBL's face on pre-JBL Bradshaw, even though the mustache.

VINCE TELLS STEPH TO WAIT IN THE LIMO - He says that he has to watch this next match, but he'll be there once the match is over and then they'll leave and go to Hartford. The limo is guarded by cops, but at this point you probably know where this winds up going.

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin(c) vs. The Rock - 8/10

This was a wild brawl with the general story being Shane's bias and how he would help Rock by doing things like distracting Austin. I liked that they kept it out of the ring for basically the entire match, which answered the question of why Shane didn't just fast-count Austin on any sort of pin or call for the bell when we locked in a submission: because you can't win the match outside of the ring and so there were no pins or submissions. At one point Rock was holding a camera while stomping away on Austin and wound up eating a stunner, and they showed us the POV replay from that camera later, which was cool.

Things got interesting once we made our way back inside the ring. We soon got a spot where Austin went for a Stunner but Rock pushed him off right into Shane. You would think that Shane would use this as an excuse to DQ Austin and screw him out of the title, but in the time it took Shane to recover, Rock had hit Austin with a Rock Bottom, so when Shane got up, he saw Rock about to go for a pin, and- after a moment of visible thought- realized it would be better for Rock to win in a less obviously screwy manner, so instead of calling for the DQ, he went to count the pin... and Austin kicked out. Shane got frustrated and went to hit Austin with the title belt but Austin ducked and Shane hit Rock by accident. Austin went for the pin and Shane counted one... two... and then, knowing Rock wasn't going to kick out, he stopped counting. Austin went to give chase but it was Vince McMahon who got to Shane first, nailing him with the world title. Vince sent Hebner into the ring to count Austin's pinfall on Rock, and Vince threw Austin his "smoking skull" belt.

POST-MATCH SEGMENT - We then cut to the Acolytes showing up to menace Steph's limo, so the cops told the driver to go. Steph implored the driver to stop because "we have to wait for my dad!" but it was then revealed that the driver of the limousine was, in fact, The Undertaker, who drove off after asking that immortal question "Where to, Stephanie?"

We then cut back to the ring where Vince looked unconcerned because, as J.R. told us, he didn't know about it... so if they weren't playing it on the TitanTron, how did J.R. see it? J.R. emphasis that Vince didn't know what was going on actually served a second purpose, which was to subtly explain the reason for the swerve with the Acolytes. After all, if Taker was the driver of the limo (presumably using his magic to switch places with the driver) why didn't he just drive off at any point? The answer to this question is that suddenly driving off before the limo was supposed to leave would have raised suspicion, while staging an attack by the Acolytes creates a reason for the limo to be sent off suddenly, thus buying extra time for Taker to get Steph to wherever the Ministry was going to hide her until it was time for the next night's black wedding before anyone even knew to be looking. (Well... anyone aside from Ross, who would have presumably told Vince as soon as possible. And you could also ask why Taker didn't just magically teleport Steph away. I realize it's not perfect, but at least the swerve part of it made sense.)

Final Thoughts
An extremely wacky show from the WWF. The card on paper definitely fails to live up to expectations, and the main event and the Hardcore Title match were the only things really worth watching, but the show itself has an odd sense of fun about it. It's very much 1999 WWF encapsulated.

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