On April 25, 1999 WWF held the last PPV under the In Your House banner; Backlash: In Your House 28. This was the first PPV after Wrestlemania 15, which saw Stone Cold Steve Austin defeat The Rock to regain the WWF Championship.
The final match at Backlash featured a rematch of that Wrestlemania main event as well as Ministry of Darkness leader The Undertaker facing Ken Shamrock, the Corporation’s Triple H against DX’s X-Pac and Mankind facing The Big Show in a Boiler Room Match.
Champion Roll Call:
WWF Champion: Stone Cold Steve Austin
WWF Intercontinental Champion: The Godfather
WWF Tag Team Champions: Kane & X-Pac
WWF European Champion: Shane McMahon
WWF Hardcore Champion: Hardcore Holly
WWF Women’s Champion: Sable
Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry ‘the King’ Lawler at the Providence Civic Center.
The commentators tell us that Shane McMahon announced on Sunday Night Heat that the main event will now be contested under ‘No Holds Barred’ rules and if Austin places his hands on him then he will lose his title.
Match 1: The Brood (Gangrel, Edge & Christian) v The Ministry of Darkness’ Mideon & The Acolytes (Farooq & Bradshaw): This one started as a result of the Stephanie McMahon kidnapping angle. Ken Shamrock then forced Christian to reveal where she was kept. As a result The Ministry of Darkness punished Christian, who along with the other members of the Brood had been a part of the group, but Edge and Gangrel made the save, thus severing ties with The Ministry.
Mideon and Christian start with Mideon taking early control until the referee, Teddy Long, breaks things up. Christian fights back with a spinning heel kick and an arm drag to take control of proceedings and Gangrel is in. He works on the arm until Mideon fights back and tags in Bradshaw.
He is caught with his head down but catches Gangrel with a big boot and pounds away in the corner. The leader of the Brood comes off the second rope with a back elbow and tries a cross body but is caught and press slammed. Edge tags in and he and Gangrel double suplex Bradshaw. However, he no sells that and tags in Farooq. He attempts to block Edge’s crucifix attempt but Christian hits a dropkick pushing Farooq over and getting Edge a nearfall. Spinning heel kick then takes Farooq down but he’s able to then hit a spinebuster.
Farooq tags Mideon back in and he hits a hanging suplex on Edge for a 2. Mideon puts his head down and Edge hits a sunset flip but referee is distracted and Bradshaw is tagged back in and hits a flying shoulder block for a 2 that’s interrupted by Christian and all hell breaks loose. Farooq beats Edge outside the ring and tosses Edge back in but he gets his foot on the rope, breaking the pin.
Nearfall for Farooq after a running headbutt but Edge rolls him up for a 2. Mideon is in and prevents Edge making the tag. Edge eventually fights back and drops Mideon with a spear from the second turnbuckle. Christian is now in and hits a reverse DDT. Gangrel and he then double team Mideon and beat on Bradshawn bringing all six men in. Christian gets a nearfall with a swinging DDT off the second rope as the other four brawl at ringside.
Christian climbs the turnbuckle for 10 punches but Bradshaw powerbombs him off for a two that Gangrel interrupts. Viscera then makes his way to the ring and squashes Christian against the apron and throws him back in where Bradshaw is waiting and he hits the Clothesline from Hell for the win.
Your winner: Mideon & The Acolytes. An OK opener. What the Acolytes lacked in stytle they more than made up for in stiff shots and brutal looking brawling. I liked The Brood as well so an enjoyable opening match.
Backstage we see The Rock enter the arena, dragging the Smokin’ Skull Belt behind him.
Match 2: WWF Hardcore Champion Hardcore Holly v Al Snow (w/ Head): Footage is aired of the two’s feud until this point, including fighting in the Mississippi river over the Hardcore title.
Holly starts by nailing Snow with the title belt for an early 2 count. Snow then tosses Holly to the outside where the two brawl. Snow is whipped into the ringsteps before being rammed into the barrier. Holly fishes under the ring and pulls out and cartoon of water and smashes it into his opponents busted open face.
The two fight into the crowd, to the cheers of the crowd. They fight back to ringside and Snow gets a nearfall with a moonsault off the barrier. He then grabs a hockey stick from under the ring and rams it into the Champion’s abdomen. Snow goes back under the ring and pulls out a table, which gets a huge pop. Holly catches Snow trying to put the table up and hits him with the hockey stick. A cooking tray shot to the head knocks Holly down and Snow works away on the Champion. The two fight up the aisle and Snow is suplexed for a two count.
They two make their way up to the entrance and fight backstage. Holly grabs, of all things, a kitchen sink but Snow hoses him as Farooq and Sgt Slaughter look on. They take turns at ramming the other face first into a car. A broom is broken over the back of the Hardcore champion as they make their way towards the production truck. Snow is pushed into a dumpster truck and Holly splashes him for a nearfall. Snow is driven headfirst into another car as they make their way into the television truck before Holly is hip tossed onto the roof of the car and Snow dives off the production truck steps for a nearfall.
Holly gets a nearfall in the backstage area as all the backstage talent look on and the two work their way back into the ringside area. Snow grabs two pans and smacks one over Holly’s head for a two count. Snow then places his opponent on the table and makes his way to the top rope but is caught and smacked over the head with a Teflon pan. Holly then superplexes Snow through the table for yet another two count. Snow crawls over to Head and drills the Champion in the face with it for the win.
Your winner and new WWF Hardcore Champion: Al Snow A predictably hard hitting hardcore match that took in the ringside area, the crowd and the entire backstage of the arena. Not one for the wrestling purists by any stretch of the imagination, but an entertaining hardcore match nonetheless. The use of the kitchen sink was amusing.
Backstage, The Undertaker is with the rest of The Ministry of Darkness and forgives The Acolytes for their recent stumblings after their win tonight.
Match 3: WWF Intercontinental Champion The Godfather v Goldust (w/ The Blue Meanie): The Godfather had defeated Goldust two weeks previously on Raw for the Intercontinental Title and this is the rematch. Godfather gets booed initially as he doesn’t have the Hos with him. He then calls them out to huge cheers from the fans in attendance. Lawler is predictably into the Hos. As The Godfather checks on the Hos, Goldust attacks and this one is underway.
He beats on the IC champion in the corner but is back dropped and clotheslined down to the mat. He fights back with a series of jabs to the face but puts his head down and is rammed face first into the mat and sent out of the ring in front of The Blue Meanie. Goldust makes his way to the back but Meanie reminds him that he can’t win the belt if he walks away, prompting him back to the ring where Godfather stomps away, is slammed to the mat and is legdropped for a nearfall.
Meanie catches Godfather’s foot as he’s whipped into the ropes and attacks him on the outside. Back in the ring and a flying clothesline sends The Godfather down for a 2. Meanie chokes him on the second rope with the referee’s back turned. Goldust attempts to throw powder in The Godfather’s face but it’s punched into his own face and, being partially blinded as a result, Goldust hammers away on The Blue Meanie who had came in to the ring to check on the mentor but in the end is on the end of Shattered Dream in the corner. Godfather then knocks Goldust down with a spinning heel kick and in attempting to break the pin, The Blue Meanie then hits a diving headbutt accidentally to Goldust’s groin and Godfather hits a Ho Train on both in the corner and the Death Valley Driver on Goldust for the win.
Your winner and still Intercontinental Champion: The Godfather. A short comedy match with the result that the crowd wanted. Stuff with The Blue Mean was quite amusing and The Godfather was very over with the fans in 1999 but this match was pretty poor but mercifully short.
Michael Cole is backstage with new Hardcore Champion, Al Snow who is in discussion with Head. The Manikin claims to be the new champion, and not Al Snow. Michael Cole rightly see’s this as his cue to leave.
Match 4: The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg Jesse James & Bad Ass Billy Gunn) v Jeff Jarrett & Owen Hart (w/ Debra): This match is to determine the number one contender to the tag team champions of Kane and X-Pac. Lawler is waxing lyrical over Debra’s “puppies”. Road Dogg makes an early request to see the puppies as the crowd go will. Jarrett and Hart cover them up much to the annoyance of the fans in the arena.
Gunn then flashes Hart and Jarrett which kicks this one off. All four brawl until Owen and Billy Gunn start this one off for real. Owen misses a clothesline and Gunn fights back with a dropkick and a press slam. Jesse James is tagged in and works away on Owen’s arm with a restlock but misses a clothesline and is taken down with a neckbreaker. Jarrett then enters the match and hits a spinning neckbreaker before landing on James’ back with his neck over the rope. James hits his trademark punches and the Shake Rattle and Knee Drop for a two.
Blind tag for the heels but Owen and Jeff collide and Billy Gunn comes in to send Jarrett out. James is distracted and felled with an enziguri and a legdrop to the back of the head gets Owen a two count. They double team James with a clothesline then a leg split before Jarrett works away on James in the corner.
James fights back with an inverted atomic drop but is dropkicked to the outside where Owen pounces. Jarrett crotches himself on the rope but before James can capitalise, Owen clotheslines him and makes the tag. James hits a backslide but referee is distracted and by time he turns round Owen is able to kick out and connects with a spinning heel kick for a nearfall that’s interrupted by Gunn.
Jarrett is caught charging into the corner but is still able to powerslam The Road Dogg for a 2 count. The two both attempt to hurdle the other but only manage to collide and both are down. Owen is tagged in and applies a sleeper hold in the middle of the ring. James fights back and applies a sleeper off his own but that’s broken and a double clothesline sends both men down.
Billy Gunn gets the hot tag and dropkicks both Owen and Jeff before getting a nearfall with a huge powerslam. We get synchronised ten punches in the corners. Debra distracts Road Dogg allowing Owen to attack but James hits the pump handle slam but Jarrett breaks the count.
All four men are back in the ring with Hart and Jarrett both applying their finishers – the Sharpshooter and figure four leg lock, respectively – but Jarrett could not lock in the move. With Gunn free, he hits the Fameasser on Hart freeing Road Dogg of the Sharpshooter and allowing him to make the pin for the win.
Your winners and number one contenders for the WWF Tag Team Titles: The New Age Outlaws. An entertaining match but the crowd were far more interested in Debra’s puppies than what was going on in the ring.
Michael Cole catches up with Shane McMahon, the special guest referee for tonight’s main event. Shane gives his word that he will call the main event right down the line.
Match 5: Mankind v The Big Show in a Boiler Room Brawl:The winner is the first man to walk out of the room. Show enters the Boiler Room and searches for Mankind, who attacks from behind with various tools lying around. Show’s head is smacked into the door before the door is then slammed on his face.
Big Show fights back by grabbing Mankind by the throat and throwing him into a set of shelves and then over a table. Mankind ducks a punch and Show dents a refrigerator. A trash can is then kicked into Foley’s face before he’s dumped onto a wooden unit.
A pane of glass is smashed over Show’s head cutting it, and Foley’s hand, wide open. Mankind then climbs a ladder but is chokeslammed from it through two table and some glass. After being thrown into a ramp Mankind takes advantage by spraying steam into Wight’s face and unleashing suspended pipes from above onto him, burying Wight and allowing him to escape.
After leaving the room, he is attacked by The Big Boss Man and Test and driven back into the room. Wight has freed himself from the pipes and upon realising that Mankind was being attacked, he slams Test and chases Boss Man away while Mankind put on Mr. Socko and applies the Mandible Claw on Test
Your winner: Mankind by leaving the room first. A bloody and hard hitting brawl. The sort of match that is synonymous with the Attitude Era WWF.
Chyna and Triple H are interviewed backstage by Cole with X-Pac being their target. Mankind is then shown walking about the Boiler Room pointing out the various destruction that took place.
Match 6: Triple H v X-Pac: Triple H is a member of The Corporation here and makes his way to the ring to their music. X-Pac was still in DX at this point, along with The New Age Outlaws. They brawl to start this one until a back elbow sends X-Pac down although he fights back and a spinning kick sends Triple H hurtling to the outside where the two continue to fight before HHH is rammed into the steps.
Triple H pounds on his former partner in the ring until X-Pac fights back but is soon thrown over the top rope and to the outside. Although distracted by Chyna he is able to catch Triple H coming off the apron however he has his face rammed into the announce table then the ring steps. The two trade blows back in the ring until a spinning heel kick gets X-Pac a nearfall. Thumb to the eye ends his momentum but Helmsley misses a clothesline and X-Pac goes for the Bronco Buster but is distracted by Chyna and by the time he is able to hit it, Triple H has moved and a clothesline knocks him down.
With the referee distracted, Chyna nails X-Pac but Triple H can only get a two count. Spinning neckbreaker gets another nearfall for Helmsley as he works on X-Pac’s injured neck. Front face lock continues to mount the pressure on the neck as Chyna looks on. X-Pac fights back but Triple H yanks him back by the hair and drives his knee into the neck twice for a 2. JR and Lawler really talking up the damage to the neck, perfectly selling the underdog story. X-Pac fights back but puts his head down and HHH nails the facebuster for another 2 count. X-Pac is then thrown out of the ring where Chyna slams him face first onto the barriers.
An inside cradle gets X-Pac a nearfall before he’s taken down with a clothesline for a 2. HHH applies a sleeper but X-Pac fights out and applies a sleeper of his hold but Helmsley rams him into the corner before hitting a back suplex to break the hold. Spinning heel kick stuns HHH before a flying clothesline sends him down. A spinning DDT off of the second rope scores a 2 count as Chyna makes her way onto the apron and distracts the referee. X-Pac low blows HHH for a nearfall before he’s sent out of the ring. On the outside he reverses the Irish whip attempt and sends Helmsley into the steps.
A baseball slide misses Helmsley and takes out the referee. In the ring, X-Pac hits the X-Factor but Chyna low blows him and hits a reverse DDT and places Helmsley on top of him. At this point the lights go out and Kane’s music hits. He choke slams Triple H then Chyna and places them in the corners allowing X-Pac to hit a Bronco Buster on HHH then Chyna but HHH is back to his feet and nails the Pedigree for the win.
Your winner: HHH via pinfall. A very good match that told a great underdog story. Both guys came out of this one remaining strong and would continue to feud.
Match 7: The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) v Ken Shamrock: This match came about as a result of The Undertaker sacrificing Shamrock’s on-screen sister, Ryan Shamrock. The Undertaker is the “personification of evil” according to Jim Ross here. Shamrock attacks before the bell with a series of body shots. Undertaker then tosses Shamrock into the corner and slugs away on ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Man’.
Shamrock catches The Undertaker with a back elbow as he charges into the corner but a clothesline gets The Dead Man a nearfall. He hits Heat Seeking Missile before choking away using his knee. A lateral press after a flying clothesline gets a 2 before we go back to the choke. The Undertaker misses a big boot into the corner and Shamrock targets the legs before hitting body shots and working on the leg in the corner. Big boot knocks Shamrock off and Taker hits a back suplex for another nearfall before another choke.
Ken Shamrock is able to hyperextend the knee with a submission hold before kicking away on the Undertaker’s left knee. The crowd are quickly losing interest in this one and I can’t blame them… A series of leg drops breaks the hold and The Undertaker is able to land a series of his own heavy blows. A hip toss is blocked and Shamrock rolls through into another submission hold that works on The Undertaker’s leg. On the outside, Shamrock uses the steel steps to put more pressure on the ankle. Back in the ring and Shamrock continues to focus on the leg but is distracted and The Undertaker fights back with some clubbing elbows in the corner.
Shamrock fights back with a series of right hands until a drop toe hold takes Shamrock down. A Fujiwara armbar has Taker back in control as the crowd desperately try to find something to entertain themselves with as we hear “boring” chants. The Undertaker catches Shamrock off the apron and rams him back first into the ringpost before hurling him into the steps. Taker then works on Shamrock’s lower back with a backbreaker then a bow and arrow submission move.
He connects with a legdrop but Shamrock rolls through with another submission move working on the Taker’s leg until he’s able to counter into a single leg Boston crab. Taker gets a nearfall but is caught with a back elbow and a flying knee but a big boot connects and Taker gets a nearfall.
Shamrock comes off the ropes with a chopblock to the knee and hits a Hurricanrana for a 2 of his own and applies the Ankelock but Taker kicks out and a clothesline gets him a 2 count. The Undertaker attempts a Tombstone but Shamrock rolls through an applies the Anklelock. Bradshaw hits the ring, distracting Shamrock and Taker goes for the Chokeslam. Shamrock rolls through and hyper-extends the elbow but Bearer interrupts. Shamrock attempts a Tombstone but Taker counters with one of his own and that’s all she wrote.
Your winner: What an utterly boring match. It’s criminal that this got as long as it did – nearly 20 minutes – and was a submission/rest hold extravaganza.
Post match, Bradshaw attacks Shamrock with a baseball bat and hits a powerbomb before choking Shamrock with the bat.
Video footage shows Austin regaining the WWF Title at Wrestlemania 15 and The Rock having the Smokin’ Skull belt.
Match 8: WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin v The Rock: The Rock comes out with the Smokin’ Skull belt over his shoulder as Shane applauds him to the ring. A huge pop for Austin as he makes his way down to the ring. He races to the ring and we’re under way with Austin pounding on The Rock. Shane distracts and Rocky fights back. Irish whip is reversed and Austin hits with a Lou Thesz press and an elbow drop for a 2. Rocky telegraphs Austin putting his head down and hits a spinning neckbreaker before stomping on Stone Cold in the corner.
Austin fights back with a series of right hands but is tossed over the top rope to the outside and clotheslined down on the aisle. They fight up towards the entrance way and The Rock cracks Austin with a fire extinguisher and whips him into the set, bringing down part of it. A suplex attempt from The Rock is reversed and Austin starts to pound away on the challenger, who is then thrown into what was left standing of the arena set. Austin wraps a cable around The Rock’s throat before whipping him into a guard rail at the back and diving off a unit with a clothesline.
A case is pushed into The Rock’s face but he’s still able to catch Austin jumping off the top of it with a shot to the mid-section. Austin’s able to reverse an irish whip attempt and seds The Rock into the guard rail before slamming him on the concrete. They begin to make their way back to the ring. The Rock is sent over the top rope to the outside where Austin catches him with a clothesline. Austin drags him onto the Spanish announcers table but The Rock low blows Stone Cold and drives him through the table with the Rock Bottom.
Stone Cold grabs a chair but McMahon grabs it off him and gives it to The Rock but Austin attacks him before he can use the chair. Austin’s then sent into the crowd where The Rock follows and they continue to brawl. Shane encourages The Rock to take it back into the ring where the can “end this thing”. The Rock grabs a camera from one of the camera men and taunts Austin while recording it. Austin is back to his feet and nails the challenger with a Stunner on the table.
Stone Cold rolls him back into the ring but a Stunner is blocked and he’s sent hurtling into Shane. The Rock hits The Rock Bottom and Shane places The Rock’s hand on the Champion but Stone Cold kicks out. Shane drills The Rock with the belt and refuses to count to three. He makes his way up the aisle, obvlious to fact that Vince is walking to the ring with the SMokin’ Skull belt. Vince nails Shane with the belt and marches to the ring with Earl Hebner in tow.
The Rock knocks Austin down with the belt but only for a two. Austin is back up and hits a Stunner then a belt shot to the head for the 3.
Your winner: Stone Cold Steve Austin via pinfall. A great main event. This was all over the place and predictably hard hitting. The Rock and Austin were at the top of their game and the crowd were so into this one.
The show ends with Vince throwing the Smokin’ Skull belt back to Austin. The feed then shifts to a limousine in the parking lot with Stephanie McMahon seated in the back. Despite waiting for her father, the car suddenly started driving. The feed then showed the inside of the car as the divide between passenger and chauffeur drew down to show The Undertaker in the driver’s seat, turning and asking, “Where to, Stephanie?”.
Overall: A solid 8 out of 10 event which was exactly what the WWF needed after a largely lacklustre Wrestlemania. This had everything that you’d expect from a WWF event of that time: hardcore wrestling, brawling, over the top gimmicks and abundance of T&A on show.
With every event of this era, there is so much back story to every event whether it is kidnapping, a sacrifice or being thrown out of a faction. It can at time overshadow matches at times but this is a very solid and well booked event let down only by the tedious Shamrock v The Undertaker match