It's really easy to be a miserable wrestling fan. However, in this snow globe of negativity, I do my best to find the silver lining, but sometimes, one doesn't exist.
And that was the case for Backlash.
Before we sink our teeth into WWE's rotten show, I do want to offer a little perspective. Considering how much content WWE is responsible for on a weekly basis, the law of averages says they should put out clunky shows multiple times a year. But that doesn't happen. So when a putrid pay-per-view does air, it stands out—making Backlash the oozing zit in the corner of a beautiful person's mouth.
So let's dig into the rotting carcass that was Backlash; here are 10 reasons why it failed:
The Basic Issue
Thanks to the Superstar Shake-Up and the Greatest Royal Rumble, Backlash was always destined to be background music. I mean, how are we supposed to get excited for a show if Michael Cole can only squawk about it for two episodes of RAW?
With WWE forced to shotgun the show, every match felt underdeveloped at best and pointless at worst. This made it all too easy for our minds to wander as nearly all outcomes were foreseeable.
Luckily, WWE won't be hosting any more pay-per-views on two week's notice in 2018.prevnext
It Was Literally All Down Hill
Seth Rollins vs. The Miz was WWE's best bullet of 2018. This was two Superstars in their prime telling a relentless story that had us all clapping like the happiest seals in the circus when it was done.
However, there was still three hours of Backlash that had to follow the sizzling first act and none of them could touch the Intercontinental opener. This made us all wish we had just gone to bed earlier.prevnext
Alexa Bliss Was Injured
While "disaster" may be hyperbolic for our title today, Bliss' injury may be a more literal interpretation of the word.
Bliss is one of WWE's best performers. Losing her, even if just for a couple of weeks, will leave a gaping void in an already thin RAW Women's Division. Who is left to chase Nia Jax and her title?
Sasha Banks and Bayley are occupied. Ember Moon made it to the main roster less than a month ago. Mickie James and Natalya are wrapped up with Ronda Rousey, leaving only Ruby Riott available for Nia.prevnext
Charlotte Flair Lost
This one is a little more open to discussion but hear me out.
Carmella beating Charlotte Flair was huge for her, and it was an objectively surprising moment, but that's kind of where the positives stop.
To me, Charlotte Flair is the best female wrestler of all time, and it's not really close. Her losing a pay-per-view match after the biggest win of her career (Asuka at 'Mania) just felt a little incongruent.
I think Carmella is will be fine as champion, but the role feels a little big for her. I think the better move was to have Charlotte win and start a program with Becky Lynch or even Asuka.prevnext
Enzo Amore Chants
I like Enzo Amore. Probably not on a personal level, but I genuinely appreciated his WWE character. However, I don't think I'd start a "We Want Enzo" chant in public—especially if it was Daniel Bryan's second pay-per-view match in three years.
Sure, Bryan and Big Cass' could have been better but the Newark crowd started clamoring for Amore before the bell even rang. While it was only a couple knuckleheads, their chorus rang out in front of the WWE Network and signaled to us that this match is worthy of mockery.
Tisk, tisk, New Jersey.prevnext
The Position of the WWE Championship Match
Considering the Universal Championship was not at Backlash, conventional wisdom says the second mightiest title, the WWE Championship, would close the show.
Instead, it came on at about the halfway point, which signaled two things:
1. We were in for a wonky finish
2. That Roman Reigns was main eventing.prevnext
The Finish of the WWE Championship Match
I love bathroom humor more than most folks, but does it have to end WWE Championship matches?
Look, we get it, Shinsuke Nakamura is on a personal vendetta so turn AJ Styles' testicles into pulp. That's OK. But a double-count out after a double groin kick?
I understand that WWE didn't want to switch the title just yet or have anyone pinned, but they would have been better off ending the match after Styles was smacked with a ricocheting chair.prevnext
Nicholas Was Actually a More Remarkable Tag Team Partner for Braun Strowman Than Bobby Lashley
Old schoolers were upset that a 10-year old boy got a WrestleMania moment with Braun Strowman instead of an employed WWE Superstar. Turns out, WWE may have been onto something.
Lashley debuted the night after WrestleMania, but his time back with the company could not be more dismissable. In his defense, he hasn't been put in interesting situations, but at Backlash, Strowman would have been better off alone.prevnext
People Left the Main Event in Droves
I think a lot of the outrage over Roman Reigns' monopoly of WWE's biggest moments is a little silly. However, fans made a statement at Backlash that is hard to ignore: they went home.
Some much has been made about the way fans react to The Big Dog. WWE officials have rallied behind the fervent opinions of Reigns and used that "noise" to underline the strength of Roman's brand.
But leaving the show that you paid to see is a glaring example of apathy. And indifference is the worst thing we could ever show a wrestler.prevnext
After 3.5 hours of Backlash, WWE shut off its cameras having summoned little reason for users to watch RAW or SmackDown this week. The joke's on us because we still win because Vince McMahon indoctrinated us decades ago, but it would be nice to have a little incentive.
Backlash's water cooler moments are a cast in a negative light: fans leaving, Enzo chants, predictable show. There was nothing to get excited about, and boring the audience is a cardinal sin of showbusiness, right?prev