I don’t know if you’ve heard, but this Sunday’s pay-per-view will see THIS IS THE GREATEST MATCH Backlash between Randy Orton vs Edge. With the whole show being advertised as ‘The Greatest Match’. Even though that doesn’t make any sense. But you know what they say, the risk is worth the reward. Ah, I feel dumber just for saying that.
Edge Unhappy With WWE
But it’s not just fans who are being frustrated by WWE’s over the top branding. One half of the Greatest Match itself, Edge, doesn’t like the tagline either.
Edge told ESPN “there’s no such thing as the greatest match ever” as it’s subjective, much like the greatest song, movie or band of all time – but the answer to that last one is Weezer – and that when he found out how WWE were going to advertise his Orton rematch, he “laughed because I didn’t think it was serious. Then I realized fairly quickly it was. Then my reaction was, is this wise, because anytime you say something the greatest ever beforehand, you’re setting yourself up for failure.”
“All I can do is take it as if this is all just a bonus and in a weird way, a compliment. Or it’s a giant rib…Would I have preferred they not billed it as that? Absolutely.”
According to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, Edge vs Randy Orton is the only match to have been taped in advance of Backlash this Sunday, so WWE have time to edit it enough to live up to its billing. Or it’s all a giant swerve. Make sure to watch mine, Luke and Laurie’s Backlash predictions up later today for what we think it really going to happen.
Do you think Edge vs Orton will live up to its this is the Greatest Match name? Let me know in the comments because I’ll be replying to people FROM OUTTA JOHNNY GARGANO’S WEIRD NXT TAKEOVER HOUSE SET!
But it’s not just Edge who’s criticizing WWE, as the other half of the greatest match of all time that hasn’t even happened yet Randy Orton has started shooting on NXT.
Randy Orton Shoots On NXT
On Sunday night, NXT held its first big show of the No Fans era, NXT TakeOver: In Your House. The set design was incredible, and the promotion did the best it could with the situation, still managing to put on a hugely enjoyable show with Keith Lee vs Johnny Gargano, an excellent first showing for Karrion Kross, and Io Shirai winning her first ever title.
NXT thought it was safe, but lurking in its house was Randy Orton, who tweeted from outta nowhere.
“Heard #WWENXT #TakeoverInYourHouse was great! Slappin my leg for you guys. Sincerely #legslap”
‘Leg slap’ presumably being a derogatory term for how NXT wrestlers actually put in effort.
NXT locker room leader Tommaso Ciampa didn’t take kindly to Orton’s tweet, and replied himself.
“My daughter has been having trouble sleeping. Luckily I found a remedy. Randy Orton matches. Better than NyQuil. Sincerely #AnEntireLockerRoomWhoBustedTheirAsses”
Which only brought out the Viper’s more dickish personality traits, who replied:
“Looks like I hurt the feelings of the self appointed lockeroom leader of a wrestling school. Let me know what time #legslap class starts so I can take my game to the next level.”
Even Orton’s wife got in on the action, tweeting:
“@RandyOrton Isn’t that the same guy who took credit for all those ‘great matches’ that he DIDNT put together?”
But maybe Orton would be tempted to developmental by their new big belt…
Twitter user @BeltFanDan from BeltTalk.com tweeted in May that new WWE championships were in design, and that as soon as they were finished, we’d be seeing them on our screens.
WrestlingInc is reporting that the two belts set to be revamped are the NXT Championship, that will be the same design, only bigger, and the United States Championship, which is going to have a completely new look.
The report states that once replica belts can be sold on wweshop.com, the designs will be revealed on TV.
There’s plenty more news on WrestleTalk.com including an AEW and WWE Twitter war, Tamina getting a new character, what percentage of the WWE roster want to leave, Corey Graves quitting Twitter and the SmackDown viewership for last Friday’s episode. Spoilers: it’s not very good. The links are in the video description below for all of those.
WWE Raw Review
But now it’s time for last night’s episode of Raw… in about 5 minutes.
This is the greatest go-home show Backlash kicked off with the Raw Women’s Champion Asuka being interrupted by the Women’s tag team champions Bayley and Sasha Banks and the SmackDown women’s champion, who’s also Bayley. It’s a good time to be a fan of women’s wrestling in WWE. Bayley, Sasha, Asuka, Io Shirai down in NXT. Nothing can stop all our favourites with all the bel-
A few promo interruptions later, we got a three way tag with Banks and Bayley vs the IIconics vs the opponents for later tonight Asuka and Flair – but how will they co-exist?!
All sarcasm aside, even without Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey, WWE are treating their women’s division with incredible respect, giving them both the opening and closing matches of this episode. They’re actually committing to their women’s revolution mantra from several years ago, far beyond the efforts of other major promotions. Asuka picked up the win, for Charlotte to then beat her up after the match. What a babyface.
Seth Rollins interviewed Rey Mysterio remotely, where Rey had launched a heat-seeking Aleister Black missile, hitting Rollins so hard, it started a tag match between Black and Carillo vs Seth’s Disciples of Murphy and Theory.
Black and Murphy have incredible chemistry together, so it’s a shame it was just used as quick fodder for yet another disciples loss, and then heels beat down babyfaces post-match.
Christian made his WWE return next to interview Edge on the Peep Show. But instead of hijinks, the segment focused on Edge building a feud with the concept of having the greatest match ever, rather than against Orton himself – where he freaked out that everyone’s putting the expectations so high.
Expectations that include still-on-the-payroll Kurt Angle (they’re really getting their 90-day non-compete’s worth), who chose Edge to win the greatest match ever, reading the autocue like WWE had one of his many kids hostage.
In the latest edition of the Street Profits vs Viking Raiders feud, the two teams now competed in a Decathalon of sports like Flip Cup, Sword Fighting, and Dance Off. The two teams tied yet again, keeping their feud stuck in some kind of lockdown purgatory.
Angel Garza and Andrade dominated KO in a US title No. 1 contenders triple threat next, but in a significant strategic oversight, the heels – who are in a faction together, with a manager who’s supposed to give them some kind of masterplan direction – never once thought to discuss amongst themselves who would win this match in advance. This led to their chop-heavy, wild brawl knocking over Vega.
The final third of the match, with all three men going at each other was really exciting, for Andrade to steal the win, pinning Garza off a KO stunner.
Caruso Alert! After MVP heartwarmingly wore a Shad Gaspard t-shirt backstage – what a heel – we got him hosting a VIP Lounge segment for his special guest, Lashley.
The cheeky scamp that he is, though, Drew McIntyre came out instead, where the two built the Backlash title match around moves – making it just as much about Claymore vs Full Nelson, as Lashley vs McIntyre. Drew and MVP have really good chemistry on the mic together.
This led into the tag match between Bobby and MVP vs the Viking Raiders, which also brought out the babyface brigade of the Street Profits – who provided more crowd noise than the 30 or so captive NXT recruits.
The tag match was really fun, and while the ‘anything you can do’ feud has been borderline nonsense, it has given the Raiders some much needed character in the ring. And I was very much into the burgeoning Scottish/Vikings team-up between them and Drew.
Caruso Alert! Lana said everything’s fine in a backstage interview mid-match, definitely foreshadowing her getting involved on Sunday. And then Lashley made Erik pass out in the Full Nelson. That’s one point for the Masterlock, and a loss for the Claymore. As Drew hit Bobby with one immediately after, but Lashley stayed on his feet while stumbling away!
But rightly so, after the should’ve main evented last week, the final spot was reserved for Asuka vs Charlotte – following Asuka’s awesome slap of Flair backstage earlier.
Pulling double duty after tagging in the opener, Asuka took on Charlotte in a terrific 30minute+ main event – with plenty of added context at ringside, with Sasha Banks, Bayley and the IIconics brawling, and the spectre of Nia Jax looming in the background, who distracted Asuka for Flair to win. Well, kind of, Asuka actually kicked out before the 3 count.
A lot of people are very down on Charlotte winning yet again. Asuka is in the title match this weekend, and Flair gets another victory after beating Asuka last week (and every other time in her career), and not even putting over Shirai at NXT TakeOver.
I, however, really don’t mind it. And I’ll tell you why.
This match was built around how Asuka has never beaten Charlotte. That’s a genuinely intriguing story that should build to Asuka eventually beating Flair on a big stage. For me, this is an important chapter in that overall arc, furthering the Jax match for this Sunday, but also setting up Flair as her next opponent. I know where’s Liv Morgan, where’s Bianca BelAir. But right now, I’m really into the Flair vs Asuka rivalry, and the excellent matches they’ve been having
That was this week’s Raw in about 5 minutes. What do you think about WWE’s booking of Charlotte? Tell me I’m an idiot for not sharing your opinion in the comments down below because I’ll be replying FROM OUTTA THE IMPOSSIBLE EXPECTATIONS WWE HAVE SET FOR EDGE VS RANDY ORTON.
I really enjoyed how seriously WWE booked their women’s division this week, and the Drew vs Lashley feud continues to have a big fight feel. But for a go-home show, I thought it needed a much bigger cliffhanger angle. This week’s Raw is AvRAWge.
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