Backlash 2005 was the seventh annual Backlash professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), which took place on May 1, 2005 at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire. The show's six matches showcased prominent WWE wrestlers, who acted out the franchise's stories in and out of the ring. The event starred talent from the Raw brand.
In the main event, Batista defeated Triple H in a singles match to retain the World Heavyweight Championship. From the five scheduled bouts on the undercard, two received more promotion than the others. The first was a tag team match, in which Shawn Michaels and Hulk Hogan defeated Muhammad Hassan and Daivari. The other was a Last Man Standing match, a match where a wrestler is unable to respond to a ten count by the referee would lose. Edge defeated Chris Benoit after Benoit failed to get to his feet before the referee's count to ten.
Backlash helped WWE increase its pay-per-view revenue by $4.7 million, through ticket sales and pay-per-view buys.
The event featured six professional wrestling matches with different wrestlers involved in pre-existing scripted feuds, plots and storylines. Wrestlers were portrayed as either villains or fan favorites as they followed a series of tension-building events, which culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches. All wrestlers belonged to the Raw brand – a storyline division in which WWE assigned its employees to a different program, the other being SmackDown!.
The main event at Backlash was a standard wrestling match for the World Heavyweight Championship, in which Batista defended the championship against Triple H. The buildup to the match began after WrestleMania 21, WWE's previous pay-per-view event, where Batista defeated Triple H to win the championship. On the April 11 episode of Raw, one of WWE's primary television programs, it was announced that Batista would defend the championship against Triple H at Backlash, after Triple H invoked his rematch clause. The following week, Triple H had a no disqualification match, a match where neither wrestler can be disqualified, allowing for weapons and outside interference, against Raw commentator Jim Ross, in which Ross won by pinfall after Batista interfered and hit Triple H in the head with a steel chair. On the April 25 episode of Raw, Batista defeated Christian in a singles championship match, where Batista retained his title. After the match, Triple H assaulted Batista and hit the World Champion with a Pedigree.
The pay-per-view event featured the buildup of a rivalry among two tag teams, a group of at least two wrestlers. The two groups were Shawn Michaels and Hulk Hogan versus Muhammad Hassan and Daivari. The night after WrestleMania, Michaels thanked the fans for their support towards him, despite Michaels losing at the event. Michaels continued, but was interrupted by Hassan and Daivari. Michaels, however, was in no mood to listen to Hassan's comments regarding Michaels loss. As a result, Michaels slapped Hassan, which led to Hassan and Daivari to attack Michaels, leaving him unconscious in the ring. The following week, Michaels approached authority figure Eric Bischoff, a portrayed match maker and rules enforcer, in which he demanded a handicap match with Hassan and Daivari, a match consisting of one wrestler or team of wrestlers facing off against a team of wrestlers with numerical superiority such as two against one, or three against two. Bischoff refused to schedule the match, but informed Michaels to find a partner and he would grant him the match. Michaels then made a plea for Hulk Hogan to come back and team with him. On the April 18 episode of Raw, Hassan again led an attack on Michaels until Hogan appeared to save Michaels and accept his offer.
Another preliminary match was between Edge versus Chris Benoit in a Last Man Standing Match. At WrestleMania, Edge won the first ever Money in the Bank ladder match, gaining himself a contract that gave him a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship within one year. On the April 4 episode of Raw, Edge chose not to use his contract that night, deciding to wait until the right opportunity. When Edge declined to force Batista into a title defense, Eric Bischoff scheduled Edge in a match against Chris Benoit. Benoit won the match by pinfall after performing a roll-up. After the match, Edge attacked Benoit's injured arm with a steel chair. Two weeks later, Benoit and Edge faced off in another match, in which ended in a no-contest, leading to Bischoff to book the Last Man Standing match for Backlash. Other feuds that received less promotion and culminated into matches at Backlash include WWE Intercontinental Champion Shelton Benjamin versus Chris Jericho for the title in standard singles bouts. William Regal and Tajiri versus Rosey and The Hurricane versus The Heart Throbs (Antonio Thomas and Romeo Roselli) versus La Résistance (Sylvain Grenier and Robért Conway) in a tag team turmoil match for the World Tag Team Championship, and a singles match between Kane (accompanied by Lita) versus Viscera (accompanied with Trish Stratus).
The first match of the event was Shelton Benjamin versus Chris Jericho for the WWE Intercontinental Championship. The match started out with Benjamin having the upper hand. Benjamin then hit a springboard off the ropes, but Jericho countered it with a hurricanrana off the ring apron to the floor. Jericho utilized a chinlock on Benjamin. Jericho then climbed to the top rope, but was stopped by Benjamin when he leaped to the top rope hitting a superplex on Jericho. Jericho then hit a running enzuigiri, but only got a near fall. Benjamin hit the T-Bone Suplex, but Jericho put his foot under the bottom rope to stop the pin. Jericho locked in the Walls of Jericho, but Benjamin got to the rope. Jericho then locked in the Walls of Jericho again but Benjamin countered it into a roll-up to retain the Intercontinental Championship.
The next match was the Tag Team Turmoil match for the World Tag Team Championship. Tajiri and William Regal were the champions heading into the match. The teams come out at random, but it was the champions Tajiri and William Regal who come out first. The Heart Throbs come out second. Tajiri utilized a lot of kicks and then locked in the Tarantula. The Heart Throbs then kept Tajiri isolated, but Tajiri pinned Antonio with a roll-up. Simon Dean and Maven entered into the match next, trying to pick apart the weakened Tajiri. That elimination did not last very long as Regal made the tag and cleaned house, putting Dean away with a shot to the head. La Résistance came in next, but Regal and Tajiri tried to fight back. Regal was then rolled up, with a handful of tights. Rosey and The Hurricane were the last two men to enter the match. Hurricane was then smashed on the turnbuckle post. Hurricane and Rosey got the pin when Hurricane leapt off the shoulders of Rosey, who was perched on the top rope to grab the win.
The third match of the night was a Last Man Standing match between Edge and Chris Benoit. The match started out with Benoit getting the upper hand. Edge then got the upper hand by throwing Benoit sternum first into the turnbuckles. Benoit then applied the Sharpshooter on Edge. Benoit then performed multiple German suplexes on Edge, which sent Edge outside to the floor. Benoit dived through the ropes, but was met with a trash can lid to the face. Edge hit a superplex on Benoit through a trash can. Edge grabbed a ladder and dragged it into the ring, only to get a German suplex off of the ladder. Benoit missed a diving headbutt off the top of the ladder, Edge grabbed the Money in the Bank briefcase, but was caught in the Crippler Crossface. Edge got out of the Crippler Crossface and performed an Edgecution on Benoit on the briefcase. Benoit reached his feet at nine, only to get speared by Edge. After spearing Benoit again, Edge pulled a brick out of his briefcase and hit Benoit in the back of his head, leaving Benoit unable to answer the ten count.
The next match for the night was Kane, accompanied by Lita, versus Viscera, accompanied by the WWE Women's Champion Trish Stratus. Kane's early attempts to take Viscera off his feet resulted in Kane being knocked down. Viscera then was clotheslined out of the ring by Kane. Trish tried to hit Kane with a steel chair, but Lita hit her with a crutch. Viscera then executed a Chokebomb on Kane, but only got a two count. Kane then came back and hit a big boot and a chokeslam to get the pinfall. Trish then verbally slammed Viscera, who responded by performing a bear hug and a splash on Trish, who was then taken out on a stretcher.
The fifth match of the night was Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels versus Muhammad Hassan and Daivari. Hogan and Hassan started things off and Hassan was immediately sent into the turnbuckles. Hogan double clotheslined both his opponents and then he and Michaels teamed up with a big double boot to the face of Hassan. Michaels climbed to the top rope but missed an elbow drop. Daivari was tossed outside where Hogan bashed him. Michaels hit Daivari with a flying forearm smash and a kip up. Michaels was about to hit Daivari with Sweet Chin Music, but instead Hassan hit Michaels with a lead pipe. Hassan then took advantage and locked Michaels in the Camel Clutch. Michaels fought his way to his feet and dropped Hassan with an Electric Chair. Hogan then got tagged in and went for a leg drop to Daivari, but was instead hit with a lead pipe by Hassan. As the referee has his back turned at Hogan, Michaels hit Daivari with Sweet Chin Music allowing Hogan to get the pinfall and win the match for his team.
The main event was for the World Heavyweight Championship between champion Batista and Triple H. In the opening seconds Flair grabbed Batista's leg, providing the distraction necessary for Triple H to attack Batista and gain an early advantage. Both men attempted to hit their finishers early on, but both attempts failed. Triple H went for another Pedigree attempt, but was backdropped over the top rope to the floor. Batista returned to the ring and walked into a spinebuster for a two count. Batista then went for a Batista Bomb, but Triple H hit Batista in the head with the championship belt. Batista performed a spinebuster on Triple H, but there was no referee to make the pin. Jack Doan then ran put and made the pin, but only got a two count. A second Batista Bomb attempt was stopped with a low blow by Triple H. Triple H then backed Batista into a corner and punched him ten times. Batista then performed another Batista Bomb to win the match and retain the championship.
The next night on Raw, General Manager Eric Bischoff held a Gold Rush Tournament to determine who would be the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship. The matches were Kane versus Christian, Shawn Michaels versus Shelton Benjamin, Edge versus Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit versus Triple H. Kane, Michaels, Edge and Benoit all advanced to the next round. The next week, Edge faced Michaels and Kane faced Benoit. Edge and Kane advanced to the finals. One week later the finals took place between Edge and Kane. Edge won the tournament after Lita helped Edge win. One week later, Edge faced Batista for the World Heavyweight Championship. Batista won the match by pinfall after executing a Batista Bomb. Edge then started a feud with Kane, which lasted until Kane defeated him at Vengeance.
The next night on Raw, Triple H and Batista verbally taunted each other. Three weeks later, after Batista's world title match against Edge, Ric Flair attacked Batista. Triple H then came out and hit Batista with a sledgehammer. Afterward, Triple H told Batista that they were going to have a match in a Hell in a Cell and performed a Pedigree on Batista onto the title. At Vengeance, Batista retained the title against Triple H. In June, Batista was drafted to SmackDown in the 2005 WWE Draft Lottery, which, as a result, ended the rivalry.
The Verizon Wireless Arena usually can accommodate 11,000, but the capacity was reduced for the event. This event grossed over $700,000 from an approximate attendance of 14,000 which was the maximum allowed. Backlash helped WWE earn $21.6 million in revenue from pay-per-view events versus $16.9 million the previous year, which was later confirmed by Linda McMahon, the CEO of WWE, on September 7, 2005 in a quarterly result. Canadian Online Explorer's professional wrestling section rated the event six out of 10. The rating was higher than the Backlash 2006 event, which was marked as a "complete disaster". The World title match was rated a seven out of 10. Additionally, the singles match between Kane and Viscera was marked a four of 10.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Sunday Night Heat: Tyson Tomko defeated Val Venis (5:40)
- Shelton Benjamin (c) defeated Chris Jericho to retain the Interconential championship (14:30)
- Rosey & The Hurricane defeated Tajiri & William Regal (c), The Heart Throbs (Antonio & Romeo), Simon Dean & Maven, La Resistance (Rob Conway & Sylvain Grenier) in a Tag Team Turmoil match to win the World Tag Team Championship (13:43)
- Edge defeated Chris Benoit in a Last Man Standing match (18:47)
- Kane (w/ Lita) defeated Viscera (w/ Trish Stratus) (6:09)
- Hulk Hogan & Shawn Michaels defeated Muhammad Hassan & Daivari (15:05)
- Batista (c) defeated Triple H to retain the World Heavyweight championship (16:26)
Other on-screen talent
- Backlash 2005 Official site
- Backlash 2005 at CAGEMATCH.net
- Backlash 2005 at Online World of Wrestling
- Backlash 2005 on WWE Network
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