|Date||June 14, 2020[Note 1]|
|Venue||WWE Performance Center|
|Attendance||0 (behind closed doors)[Note 2]|
|Tagline(s)||The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever|
|WWE Network event chronology|
Backlash was a professional wrestling pay-per-view and WWE Network event produced by WWE for their Raw and SmackDown brand divisions. It was broadcast on June 14, 2020 with all the matches taking place at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. While the majority of the event aired live, the main event match between Edge and Randy Orton was pre-recorded on June 7. It was the fifteenth event in the Backlash chronology and the first since May 2018.
The event was originally scheduled to take place in Kansas City, Missouri; however, the event had to be moved due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like WWE's other shows since mid-March, Backlash was moved to the WWE Performance Center, though unlike the previous shows, Backlash was not announced until after the start of the pandemic, which made it WWE's first PPV event to be announced during the pandemic.
Seven matches were contested at the event, including one on the Kickoff pre-show. In the main event, Randy Orton defeated Edge in what WWE billed as "The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever." In the penultimate match, Drew McIntyre defeated Bobby Lashley to retain the WWE Championship. Other prominent matches included Braun Strowman defeating The Miz and John Morrison in a Handicap match to retain the Universal Championship, and Sheamus defeating Jeff Hardy.
Backlash is a recurring pay-per-view (PPV) event that was established by WWE in 1999 (then known as the World Wrestling Federation). The event continued annually as the post-WrestleMania event until 2009, which was the final event until 2016. It was brought back that year following the reintroduction of the brand extension, where WWE again split its roster between the Raw and SmackDown brands, represented by the shows of the same name; the 2016 event also ended its previous tradition of being the post-WrestleMania pay-per-view. The event then continued annually until 2018 when it was replaced by Stomping Grounds the following year, but was brought back for 2020. The 2020 event was the fifteenth in the Backlash chronology and featured wrestlers from the Raw and SmackDown brands.
Backlash was originally booked to take place in Kansas City, Missouri on June 14, 2020. However, the event was not announced or promoted until May 10 during WWE's Money in the Bank PPV; the advertisement had no reference to a city or venue, but confirmed the event for June 14. It was WWE's first event to be announced after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which began affecting WWE's programming in mid-March. The pandemic forced the promotion to move the majority of its shows for Raw and SmackDown to a behind closed doors set at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, though in late May, WWE began using Performance Center trainees to serve as the live audience.
Fightful Select originally reported that most of the matches were filmed in advance on June 7, hours before the Performance Center recruits were moved to Full Sail University to act as spectators for NXT TakeOver: In Your House that aired live that night. However, it was revealed by wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer the day after that only the Edge vs. Randy Orton match was pre-recorded. The recruits had a call-sheet at 8:30am that had them working both events until midnight on June 8. The rest of the Backlash card aired live on June 14.
The pre-recorded nature of the Edge vs. Randy Orton match allowed WWE to create a cinematic match, utilizing "unique production techniques and camera angles ... to add to the experience." One production technique was amplified crowd noise. Some spots in the match were also refilmed to get different angles, or to perfect certain moves. WWE also used the classic Madison Square Garden microphone that was used during WrestleMania I, with previous recordings of the late Howard Finkel doing introductions for both wrestlers. Referee Charles Robinson also wore a classic light blue ref shirt with black bowtie.
The show comprised seven matches, including one on the Kickoff pre-show. The matches resulted from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portrayed heroes, villains or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches. Results were predetermined by WWE's writers on the Raw and SmackDown brands, while storylines were produced on WWE's weekly television shows, Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown.
At the Royal Rumble, WWE Hall of Famer Edge, who was forced to retire in April 2011 due to a neck injury, returned during the eponymous match and eliminated his old Rated-RKO tag team partner Randy Orton; Edge was soon after eliminated. The feud became very personal over the next several weeks and culminated in a Last Man Standing match at WrestleMania 36, where Edge defeated Orton. On the May 11 episode of Raw, both men made their first post-WrestleMania appearances. Orton said that the better man won at WrestleMania, but questioned Edge if the better wrestler had actually won. Noting that both the Royal Rumble and Last Man Standing matches were non-traditional, Orton challenged Edge to a traditional singles match at Backlash; Edge accepted the following week. WWE then billed the match as "The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever."
On the May 11 episode of Raw, Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP) approached Bobby Lashley backstage and praised him on his victory from earlier that night. However, he questioned why Lashley was facing a mid-carder while King Corbin was being invited over from SmackDown to face WWE Champion Drew McIntyre in a non-title match. MVP noted that Lashley had not had a WWE Championship opportunity since 2007's The Great American Bash and questioned when Lashley would show his true self. Lashley then aligned himself with MVP, which also enraged Lashley's storyline wife Lana. The following week, Lashley and MVP observed McIntyre's match against Corbin from the stage. After McIntyre defeated Corbin, McIntyre stated he wanted to face Lashley, who was held back by MVP. On the May 25 episode, it was confirmed that McIntyre would defend the WWE Championship against Lashley at Backlash.
At Money in the Bank, Braun Strowman defeated Bray Wyatt to retain the Universal Championship. On the May 15 episode of SmackDown, Strowman teamed with Mr. Money in the Bank Otis to defeat The Miz and John Morrison. The following week, Miz and Morrison lambasted Strowman for teaming with Otis (whom they made fun of the week prior) and then stated their loss the previous week was unfair. Miz taunted Strowman about his match with Wyatt and questioned if Wyatt was actually finished with Strowman. Morrison then seemingly issued a challenge for Miz to face Strowman, who accepted and defeated Miz. Following the match, Morrison challenged Strowman to defend the Universal Championship against himself and Miz in a handicap match at Backlash, which was made official.
At Money in the Bank, Asuka won the women's Money in the Bank ladder match. The following night on Raw, Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch revealed that she was pregnant and announced a hiatus for maternity leave and that the ladder match was actually for the title instead of a contract that granted a championship match, thus Asuka became the new Raw Women's Champion. On the May 25 episode of Raw, Nia Jax, who was also in the ladder match, defeated NXT Women's Champion Charlotte Flair and Natalya in a triple threat match to become the number one contender against Asuka for the title at Backlash.
|English commentators||Michael Cole (SmackDown)|
|Corey Graves (SmackDown)|
|Tom Phillips (Raw)|
|Samoa Joe (Raw)|
|Byron Saxton (Raw)|
|Kevin Owens (U.S. Title match)|
|Spanish commentator||Carlos Cabrera|
|Ring announcers||Greg Hamilton (SmackDown)|
|Mike Rome (Raw)|
|Howard Finkel (Main Event)|
|Pre-show panel||Scott Stanford|
|Pre-show correspondents||Renee Young|
|John "Bradshaw" Layfield|
During the Backlash Kickoff pre-show, Apollo Crews defended the United States Championship against Andrade (accompanied by Angel Garza and Zelina Vega). During the match, Kevin Owens, who was the guest commentator, prevented Garza from interfering in the match. In the end, Crews performed a Spin-Out Powerbomb on Andrade to retain the title.
The actual pay-per-view opened with Bayley and Sasha Banks defending the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship in a Triple threat tag team match against The IIconics (Billie Kay and Peyton Royce) and Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross. In the climax, as Bliss performed Twisted Bliss on Royce, Banks, who was outside the ring, re-entered and performed a roll-up on Bliss to retain the title.
Next, Jeff Hardy faced Sheamus. Sheamus began to target Hardy's knee. Sheamus performed a White Noise on Hardy for a nearfall. Hardy performed a Twist of Fate and Swanton Bomb on Sheamus, who placed his foot on the rope to void the pin. In the closing moments, as Hardy performed a drive-by off the barricade on Sheamus, Sheamus performed a Brogue Kick in mid-air on Hardy. Sheamus then performed a second Brogue Kick on Hardy in the ring to win the match.
After that, Asuka defended the Raw Women's Championship against Nia Jax. In the closing moments, Asuka and Jax applied submission maneuvers and attacked each other while outside the ring. Both were counted out, thus Asuka retained the title.
In the next match, Braun Strowman defended the Universal Championship against The Miz and John Morrison in a 2-on-1 handicap match. In the closing moments, Morrison attempted to pin Strowman, but Miz broke up the pin as it would have resulted in Morrison winning the title and not Miz. Miz then started to regret his decision and apologized to Morrison. Strowman then took advantage of the situation and performed a Chokeslam on Miz and a Running Powerslam on Morrison to retain the title.
In what became the penultimate match, Drew McIntyre defended the WWE Championship against Bobby Lashley (accompanied by MVP). Before the match began, MVP distracted McIntyre which allowed Lashley to apply the Full Nelson on McIntyre. After the match officially began, Lashley dominated McIntyre. During numerous pin attempts, McIntyre constantly kicked out at one, which frustrated Lashley. Outside the ring, Lashley threw McIntyre into the ringpost. As Lashley attempted a Spear, McIntyre countered and threw Lashley into the barricade. Lashley performed a Spinebuster on McIntyre, who kicked out at one during a pin attempt, which frustrated Lashley and MVP once more. McIntyre countered a Full Nelson attempt and performed an Alabama Slam on Lashley for a nearfall. As Lashley attempted a Spear on McIntyre, McIntyre countered into a Kimura Lock on Lashley, however, Lashley was able to overcome the submission maneuver. As McIntyre attempted a Claymore Kick, Lashley countered into a Spear for a nearfall. In the end, Lashley's (storyline) wife Lana came out and stood on the ring apron and argued with the referee over the last pin attempt. McIntyre performed a Glasgow Kiss on Lashley, who bumped into Lana, causing her to fall onto MVP at ringside. McIntyre then performed a Claymore Kick on Lashley to retain the title. Following, an irate MVP stared at Lana before departing backstage with Lashley.
Next, The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford) were originally set to defend the Raw Tag Team Championship against The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar), however, both teams ended up brawling outside in the Performance Center parking lot, where Ford threw Ivar onto Braun Strowman's car. The two teams fought in a walkway where Ivar threw a bowling ball into Ford. Both teams were interrupted by a group of ninja bikers led by Akira Tozawa. The Street Profits and The Viking Raiders then teamed up as "The Viking Profits" and proceeded to fight off the ninjas. After fighting off all the ninjas, Tozawa feigned defeat, however, he summoned a 7-foot tall ninja, who wielded a sword. The Street Profits and Viking Raiders then retreated and fought each other atop a production truck where they threw each other into a dumpster. WWE referee Jessika Carr then appeared and told them that their match was next and stated to Ivar that he was "cute," while Erik was "not so much" (a running gag throughout the rivalry). The segment ended after both teams were spooked by a tentacle creature. The announce team then confirmed that the Raw Tag Team Championship match would not be happening.
In the main event, Edge faced Randy Orton in a match WWE billed as "The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever." Referee Charles Robinson laid out the rules of the match, including no hair pulling and no low blows. This was a back-and-forth match. During the match, Orton and Edge used their own finishing moves on each other (RKO and Spear, respectively) and paid homage to other WWE Hall of Famers and legends by using their finishing moves, such as Kurt Angle's Angle Slam, Batista's Batista Bomb, Triple H's Pedigree, Eddie Guerrero's Three Amigos, The Rock's Rock Bottom, and Christian's Killswitch. In a desperate moment while the referee was not looking, Orton performed a low blow on Edge and then performed a Punt on him to win the match that lasted nearly 45 minutes. Following the match, medical personnel tended to Edge, who refused.
On the following Raw, Randy Orton declared that he was now "the greatest wrestler ever" after winning "The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever." Christian then came out and asked him what kind of friend Orton was. Orton taunted him by stating Christian's desire to have one more match and, since Christian was not medically cleared, challenged him to an unsanctioned match later on the show. Christian was convinced by Big Show and Ric Flair to accept the fight for Edge, who legitimately tore his triceps at Backlash. At the start of the match, Flair, who was in Christian's corner, performed a low blow on Christian and Orton performed a Punt on him to quickly win the match. Following the match, paramedics tended to Christian and stretchered him out of the Performance Center. After recovering from his triceps tear, Edge returned at the 2021 Royal Rumble, where he and Orton entered at number one and two, respectively. The two brawled at ringside, and Edge injured Orton's leg, taking Orton out for the majority of the match. Orton returned in the closing moments of the match where he attempted to eliminate Edge, however, Edge countered and eliminated Orton to win the men's Royal Rumble match. Unsatisfied, Orton challenged Edge to a rubber match on the following night's Raw, where thanks to a distraction by Alexa Bliss (as part of a storyline between Orton, Bliss, and "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt), Edge defeated Orton, putting an end to their rivalry.
Also on Raw, Asuka defended the Raw Women's Championship in a rematch against Nia Jax. During the match, Jax shoved referee John Cone for refusing to count the pin despite Asuka's foot clearly under the bottom rope. As Cone was about to disqualify her, Asuka rolled up Jax and Cone made a fast count for Asuka to retain once again.
After a month of competing in the "anything you can do, we can do better" tournament with both teams at a tiebreaker, Raw Tag Team Champions The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford) agreed to defend the title against The Viking Raiders (Ivar and Erik) the following week, at the behest of Big Show, where The Street Profits retained, after which Andrade and Angel Garza attacked The Street Profits.
On the following episode of SmackDown, Nikki Cross attacked WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Bayley and Sasha Banks, which led to a match between Cross and Banks that Cross lost. The following week, Cross won a fatal four-way match to earn a SmackDown Women's Championship match against Bayley at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules.
|1P||Apollo Crews (c) defeated Andrade (with Angel Garza and Zelina Vega) by pinfall||Singles match for the WWE United States Championship||7:25|
|2||Bayley and Sasha Banks (c) defeated Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross and The IIconics (Billie Kay and Peyton Royce) by pinfall||Triple threat tag team match for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship||8:50|
|3||Sheamus defeated Jeff Hardy by pinfall||Singles match||16:50|
|4||Asuka (c) vs. Nia Jax ended in a double countout||Singles match for the WWE Raw Women's Championship||8:25|
|5||Braun Strowman (c) defeated The Miz and John Morrison by pinfall||2-on-1 Handicap match for the WWE Universal Championship||7:20|
|6||Drew McIntyre (c) defeated Bobby Lashley (with MVP) by pinfall||Singles match for the WWE Championship||13:15|
|7||Randy Orton defeated Edge by pinfall||Singles match||44:45|
Presented content of the Wikipedia article was extracted in 2021-06-13 based on https://en.wikipedia.org/?curid=63551783