Backlash 2004 was the sixth annual Backlash professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It was presented by Square Enix's Drakengard. It took place on April 18, 2004 at the Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta and was a Raw brand-exclusive event. This was the first Backlash event held outside the United States.
The main event was a Triple Threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship involving reigning champion Chris Benoit, Triple H, and Shawn Michaels, which Benoit won after forcing Michaels to submit to the sharpshooter. One of the predominant matches on the card was Randy Orton versus Cactus Jack in a Hardcore match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship. Orton won the match and retained the title after pinning Cactus following an RKO. Another primary match on the undercard was Edge versus Kane, which Edge won by pinfall after executing a spear.
The main feud heading into Backlash was between Chris Benoit, Triple H, and Shawn Michaels over the World Heavyweight Championship. Chris Benoit won the title one month prior at WrestleMania XX when he defeated Michaels and then-champion Triple H in a Triple Threat match. Benoit won the match by forcing Triple H to submit to the Crippler Crossface. The following night on Raw, Benoit and Michaels defeated Evolution (Randy Orton, Ric Flair, and Batista) in a 3-on-2 Handicap tag team match. Benoit and Michaels won the match after Benoit forced Batista to submit to the Sharpshooter. On the March 22 edition of Raw, Triple H was drafted over to the SmackDown! brand, and Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff announced that Michaels would receive a World title match against Benoit at Backlash. Four days later on the March 25 edition of SmackDown!, SmackDown! General Manager Kurt Angle announced that Triple H had been traded back to Raw in exchange for The Dudley Boyz and Booker T. The next week on Raw, Bischoff made the one-on-one World Heavyweight Championship match between champion Chris Benoit and Shawn Michaels, a Triple Threat match also involving Triple H.
The other main match on the card was a Hardcore match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship between Randy Orton and Cactus Jack. Three months prior at the Royal Rumble, after Mick Foley eliminated Orton from the Royal Rumble match, Orton hit Foley with a steel chair, and the two brawled up the ramp and into the back. In March at WrestleMania XX, Evolution (Orton, Batista, and Ric Flair) faced off against The Rock 'n' Sock Connection (Foley and The Rock) in a Handicap match. Evolution won the match when Orton pinned Foley after an RKO. Two weeks later, on the March 22 edition of Raw, Foley challenged Orton to a Hardcore match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship at Backlash, which Orton accepted that same night.
Another feud heading into the event was between Chris Jericho and Christian and Trish Stratus. At WrestleMania XX, Christian defeated Jericho. After the match, Stratus, Jericho's on-screen girlfriend at the time, turned on Jericho and joined Christian. On the April 5 edition of Raw, Christian announced that he would be teaming up with Stratus to take on Jericho in a Handicap match at Backlash.
Before the event went live on pay-per-view, Val Venis defeated Matt Hardy in a match taped for Sunday Night Heat. The first match that aired was between Shelton Benjamin and Ric Flair. After back and forth action between the two, Flair attempted to use brass knuckles on Benjamin, though Benjamin splashed Flair from behind. Benjamin then performed a clothesline on Flair off the top rope to get the pin on Flair. Next was a match between Jonathan Coachman and Tajiri. During the match, Garrison Cade interfered on Coachman's behalf and hit Tajiri in the face. Coachman got a roll-up on Tajiri for the win.
The third match of the event was Chris Jericho versus Christian and Trish Stratus in a Handicap match. Jericho won the match by pinning Christian after throwing him onto Stratus followed by executing an enziguiri kick. The match that followed was for the WWE Women's Championship between Victoria and Lita. The match was evenly controlled by both Victoria and Lita. The match ended when Victoria pinned Lita with an Inside Cradle. After the match, Molly Holly and Gail Kim attacked both Lita and Victoria.
Next was a Hardcore match between Randy Orton and Cactus Jack for the WWE Intercontinental Championship. One spot in the match saw Cactus lie a barbed wire baseball bat between Orton's legs and perform a leg drop. Cactus continued to use the bat, as he poured gasoline on it and tried to light it on fire. Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff, however, interrupted and informed Cactus that he would be disqualified and the event would end if he lit the bat on fire. Towards the end of the match, Orton managed to execute an RKO on Cactus onto the barbed wire baseball bat. Orton pinned Cactus afterwards to win the match and retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
The sixth match was a tag team match in which The Hurricane and Rosey defeated La Résistance (Robért Conway and Sylvain Grenier). After a back and forth match, Hurricane pinned Conway after an Eye of the Hurricane. The match that followed was between Edge and Kane. The match was controlled by Kane, as he focused on Edge's injured left hand. Edge, however, reversed attacks from Kane, whom he then attempted to spear. Kane was able to dodge the spear, which in turn caused Edge to spear the referee. Edge used his cast to knock Kane out and followed by performing a spear. Edge pinned Kane afterwards for the win.
The main event was a Triple Threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship between Chris Benoit, Shawn Michaels and Triple H. One spot in the match saw Michaels miss a flying bodypress and saw him crash into the Spanish Announcing team's table. Another included, Triple H assaulting Michaels with a sledgehammer. The last moments in the match saw Michaels submit to the sharpshooter which was applied by Benoit. As a result of the win, Benoit retained the World title.
On the April 19 edition of Raw, General Manager Eric Bischoff scheduled a World Heavyweight Championship match between Chris Benoit and Shawn Michaels for the May 3 edition of Raw. On the same night, an impromptu team of Benoit and Edge defeated Evolution (Ric Flair and Batista) for the World Tag Team Championship, making Benoit a double champion. Two weeks later on Raw, Benoit retained the World Heavyweight title in a scheduled match against Shawn Michaels, after interference by Triple H. On the May 10 edition of Raw, an encounter match between Shelton Benjamin and Triple H, resulted in Michaels attacking Triple H. Michaels actions resulted in a suspension from Eric Bischoff. Prior to Raw that night, Bischoff informed Triple H that he would face Benoit for the World title the following week on Raw. The following week, Benoit defeated Triple H to retain the World Heavyweight Championship. Also that night, a Battle Royal took place, in which the winner would go on to face Benoit at Bad Blood for the World title. During the match, Triple H, one of the participants in the match, was eliminated by Michaels, who was not a participant in the match.
On the May 24 edition of Raw, Bischoff lifted Michaels suspension, after Triple H pleaded that Michaels be reinstated. On the same night, Michaels confronted Bischoff wanting to know if he was scheduled in a match with Triple H at Bad Blood. Bischoff assured Michaels, but Triple H attacked Michaels from behind, after Michaels attacked Triple H outside the arena's parking lot. Bischoff gave orders to Raw superstars to attack Triple H and Michaels, if seen fighting. The roster tried breaking the fight up, but were unsuccessful in doing so. The result of the fight gave Bischoff the authority to schedule a Hell in a Cell match between Triple H and Michaels at Bad Blood. At Bad Blood, Triple H defeated Michaels by pinfall after executing two Pedigrees.
Following Backlash, Lita and Kane were put in angle, which involved Matt Hardy. It saw Hardy attack Kane to an attempt to prevent Kane from harming Lita. In the following weeks on Raw, Kane began repeatedly assaulting Hardy and attempting to seduce Lita. One incident saw Kane kayfabe kidnap Lita and hold her tied up backstage, where he supposedly asked her a "question." Later that night, Kane won a number one contenders Battle Royal match, in which he received a title shot at Bad Blood. At Bad Blood, Benoit was successful in defending the World Heavyweight title, after he pinned Kane with a roll-up.
During a match between Christian and Chris Jericho, Christian defeated Jericho after interference by Tyson Tomko; Tomko was revealed to be the "problem solver" for Christian and Trish Stratus. The following weeks on Raw, Tomko assaulted Jericho, until the May 10 edition of Raw, when Jericho defeated Christian in a Steel Cage match when he made Christian submit to the Walls of Jericho. As a result of the Steel Cage match, Christian suffered a legitimate back injury. After defeating Randy Orton and Batista in a tag team match, Tomko attacked Jericho, in which he powerbombed Jericho through the announcers table. On the June 7 edition of Raw, Bischoff booked a match at Bad Blood between Tomko and Jericho. At Bad Blood, Jericho pinned Tomko, after an Enzuigiri.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Sunday Night Heat: Val Venis defeated Matt Hardy (7:56)
- Shelton Benjamin defeated Ric Flair (9:29)
- Jonathan Coachman (w/ Garrison Cade) defeated Tajiri (6:25)
- Chris Jericho defeated Christian and Trish Stratus in a 2-on-1 Handicap match (11:12)
- Victoria (c) defeated Lita to retain the WWE Women's Championship (7:22)
- Randy Orton (c) defeated Cactus Jack in a hardcore match to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship (23:03)
- The Hurricane and Rosey defeated La Résistance (Robert Conway and Sylvain Grenier) (5:02)
- Edge defeated Kane (6:25)
- Chris Benoit defeated Shawn Michaels and Triple H in a Triple Threat Match to retain the World Heavyweight Championship (30:08)
Other on-screen talent
- Backlash 2004 Official site
- Backlash 2004 at CAGEMATCH.net
- Backlash 2004 at Online World of Wrestling
- Backlash 2004 on WWE Network
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