Thursday, November 30, 2023

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Five Backlash matches to rewatch

The Backlash pay-per-view is today and on that card is two women’s matches with championships on the line.

The Backlash event itself has a long history with the company. It is an event that has come and gone since it debuted in 1999. For ten years straight it was something to watch annually and didn’t return until 2016 in a big way for the women. After taking a break from the schedule last year, it is back.

First, we have a Triple Threat of the Women’s Tag Team Championship. Sasha Banks & Bayley will have their first defense since becoming champions to face both Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross and The IIconics. Both teams that the champs have a history with. The other match will have the RAW Women’s Championship on the line as Asuka defends her title against Nia Jax.

Besides by the year, the following are in no particular order. Let’s go over five women’s matches that Diva Dirt feels deserve a revisit.

Jazz vs. Trish Stratus (c) – Women’s Championship 2003

If ever there ever was a list of feuds between two women in the early 2000’s Jazz and Trish Stratus certainly was at the top of that list. So much in fact the women battled for the Women’s Championship at both Backlash in 2002 and this one in 2003.

During this time Theodore Long accompanied Jazz to the ring which was the determining factor of the match. As a precursor to the bout, Stratus was said to have had injured ribs and according to the storyline shouldn’t have been wrestling.

As the match comes to a conclusion, Stratus hits Stratusfaction and goes for the pin. Long threw a shoe at her in order to break the pin. Jazz took advantage of the distraction as she counters a springboard sunset flip. She grabs ahold of the middle rope to get the leverage for the pin. This would be her second championship reign. She defeated Stratus for her first reign as well.

Victoria (c) vs. Lita – Women’s Championship 2004

Two women who certainly had incredible chemistry in the ring were Lita and Victoria. For this match, Victoria was the champion heading in and Lita won a Battle Royal to get this title shot. It was a pretty equal back and forth between the two. Lita tried to win via submission with a headlock into a reverse chin lock before Victoria was able to get to the rope for a break.

Victoria then hit a moonsault, but was unable to get Lita fully as she rolled out of the way. Lita went for a quick pin followed by a Twist of Fate but was still unable to put the champion away. An inside cradle by Victoria was how it ended for her to creating her belt.

After the match, both Molly Holly and Gail Kim attacked the pair.

Melina (c) vs. Mickie James – Women’s Championship 2007

Melina, who was in her second reign as champion had to defend her reign against a woman who was no stranger to gold – Mickie James. Melina actually defeated James just a couple of months before for the title for her first reign. This may not have been the longest match but the storyline was there.

In fact, Melina became a two-time champion just a few days before at a Live Event in Paris, France. James actually won the Triple Threat which involved Victoria. Melina was granted a rematch at that same moment because she argued that James pinned Victoria and not her. Although that is the rules of a Triple Threat, Melina had the match restarted and won back her title.

The champion would have James’ number again in this match as she hit a reverse DDT to retain her gold.

Becky Lynch vs. Naomi vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Carmella vs. Natalya vs. Nikki Bella – SmackDown Women’s Championship 2016

Perhaps the most popular match ever in Backlash history for the women came in 2016. In 2016 the women’s (r)evolution was in full swing and with that came a new Women’s Championship belt and the removal of the term Divas. As a way to create more opportunities, SmackDown received their very own title. The Women’s Championship then became the RAW Women’s Championship and we now needed our inaugural women for the SmackDown brand.

Known as the SmackDown Six, these six women launched an incredible women’s division that is still talked about to this day. These six went at it and put it all on the line to make history in a six-pack elimination match. The match would last 15-minutes which would have been unheard of just a year prior.

Alexa Bliss would be eliminated first after nine minutes by Naomi after a pin. Bliss was hanging onto the ropes as she was on Natalya’s shoulder. Naomi would hit a suplex like powerbomb driving her to the mat to get the elimination. Naomi would succumb to submission and be the second eliminated shortly after by the Sharpshooter.

The trend continues as Nikki Bella then eliminated Natalya with a backbreaker followed by a jackknife cover on Bella from Carmella. This led us down to two. In the end, the armbar by Becky Lynch on Carmella put her in the history books as the first-ever SmackDown Women’s Champion.

Carmella (c) vs. Charlotte Flair – SmackDown Women’s Championship 2018

The last match on this list to rewatch comes more recently. It was actually the last time Backlash took place which was 2018. Charlotte Flair and Carmella had a feud throughout this year and it all started the week after WrestleMania a month before this match.

Carmella cashed in her Money in the Bank briefcase to win the title from Flair on SmackDown. This meant that she had to prove she just wasn’t a flash in the pan, especially against Flair.

After a spear by Flair, she tried to regain the title right there with a Figure Eight but the champion was able to counter before it could even start into the Code of Silence. Flair wouldn’t tap as she was able to showcase her strength lifting Carmella up to break the hold.

Flair missed a moonsault, landed on her feet, but tweaked her knee. Carmella saw that and kicked the knee. A jackknife cover hold then led to Carmella retaining her title.

Were any of these matches favorites of yours from a Backlash event? What other matches do you recall that stick out to you? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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