Backlash Preview & Predictions!

The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
Backlash: Preview & Predictions!
The Kingfish Arnie Katz gets you ready for WWE’s April pay per view event!.

WWE is never entirely sure how to book Backlash. It’s hard to get the hype machine rolling after the all-out effort for WrestleMania, yet the promotion doesn’t want to just toss away the show, either.

Some huge feuds could finally come to climaxes at Backlash, especially the Hardy-Hardy and Cena-Edge battles. At the same time, whatever the result of the three-on-three, it is likely that WWE will do at least one more confrontation after this one.

Let’s look at the card, match by match, to see how it shapes up:

C. M. Punk vs. Kane
The Story: Two men, when they have their eyes on the same prize, can easily become enemies. When CM Punk knocked Kane off the ladder in the Money in the Bank match at WM 25, he earned the hatred of the always unpredictable Big Red Machine.

My Prediction: It wouldn’t make much sense to hang a big loss on Punk, since he is lined up for the title shot that goes with Money in the Bank. Kane will make it competitive, but as so often happens, he will come out on the short end in this high-profile match.

Predicted Grade: B-

Chris Jericho vs. Ricky Steamboat
The Story: Last time, Chris Jericho faced three legends. This time, he goes one-on-one against the surprisingly fit and ready Ricky Steamboat.

My Prediction: Thos will be a fairly short match. Steamboat will do what he can and Jericho will do what he must. I expect them to give Steamboat the dignity of not having to take a definitive loss, but I would look for it to be a DQ victory for the Dragon.

Predicted Grade: C+

Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy
I Quit” Match
The Story: The feud between the brothers, started by Matt’s psychotic actions toward his brother, could very well end in the ring at Backlash. This is the kind of match that settles grudges.

My Prediction: Some very interesting singles programs against non-relatives should material for both Hardy boys after the realignment after Backlash, so this could finally be the end of this feud. The brothers ought to reconcile, so after Jeff makes Matt quit, he helps carry his brother to the back. Later in the show, they shake hands and exchange a Manly Hug.

Predicted Grade: A-

Jack Swagger vs. Christian
ECW Championship
The Story: Jack Swagger has given the ECW Championship fresh credibility, but now he faces his most serious challenger to date in the form of Captain Charisma.

My Prediction: The arrival of Kozlov and the Tommy Dreamer deadline angle makes this especially tough to predict. There are so many options and alternatives. I don’t think they would want to turn Swagger face at this point, so a likely scenario would be for Christian to lose to Swagger, who would lose to dream who would lose to Kozlov who would lose to Christian who would lose to Swagger. If that’s what’s on the menu, Christian loses to Swagger in some way that doesn’t take him out of the title picture. It could even be one of those endings where Kozlov rushes to the ring and destroys both men, causing a No Contest.

Predicted Grade: B+

John Cena vs. Edge</b
World Championship
The Story: The feud that has blazed across WWE for so long is coming to what may be a climactic moment (at least for now). The title is on the line, animosity fills the air and no one is going to take a backward step or deliver less than his best.

My Prediction: John Cena is set to make a movie soon, which is only one of the reasons why Edge will win this and take the title. Another is that it might be time for Batista to make his title run with a Cena-Batista rematch waiting in the wings for WM 26.

Predicted Grade: A

Triple H, Batista & Shane McMahon vs. Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes &Ted DiBiase (Jr.)
WWE Title Championship
The Story: The stipulation and the family feud are the twin angles fueling this massive, three-on-three-showdown. The captain of the winning side, either Triple H or Randy Orton, goes home with the coveted title.

My Prediction: When WWE puts together this type of match, they usually have something in mind. A Randy Orton victory caused by a Batista SQ (and there’s a stip that says the title would change hands) could lead into a Triple H-Batista program with the winner then going on to fight Edge for the title.

Predicted Grade: B+

Predicted Grade for Backlash: B

That’s it for today. I’ll be back on Monday with another installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising daily wrestling column. I’ll have the recap and analysis of Backlash and you’ll be able to laugh at my predictions.

— Arnie Katz
Executive Editor
[email protected]

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