Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s that time again, it’s time to dive headfirst into recent history as we explore May’s Backlash, the first show post-WrestleMania 34 and the most aptly titled one in recent history considering the, let’s say “less than positive” response to the show. That said, perhaps the negative response will have faded with the benefit of hindsight. Let’s find out as we venture into the DVD release…
Firstly, as always, the reminder that if you want to know about what we thought here about Backlash, we’ve covered it. Secondly, if you’re wondering, as always, no, there are no special features or extras on this DVD, if you see an extras menu, it is reserved entirely for Bayley vs Ruby Riott, a match from the Backlash KickOff show. Beyond that, you have eight matches (and some supreme silliness involving Elias, The New Day, Titus Worldwide, Breezango, Rusev Day, No Way Jose & Bob Roode) ranging from the sublime (Seth Rollins vs The Miz: Intercontinental Championship, a match so good that it ranks up there with the best IC title defences) through to the ridiculous (Charlotte vs Carmella: Smackdown Women’s Championship. Basically a Divas match) with some forgettable but not unwatchable encounters in between like Braun Strowman & Bobby Lashley vs Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens (remember how the build up to Wrestlemania was Braun’s refusal to tag with anyone?) and the first Daniel Bryan PPV singles match in over three years against a large man who doesn’t matter anymore because he’s been fired.
It’s not the best show but beyond a few matches, everything here’s fun and flows pretty well as a show. There are a lot of people who particularly laid hatred upon the Reigns-Samoa Joe encounter that tops the card and you can see why many were annoyed that what they were given was a solid TV encounter but hardly a big match main event with too much time dedicated to headlocks only for Reigns to burst out and do his best Hulk Up/Super Cena impression but I still think there’s a lot to be enjoyed from this match, especially an exceptionally well-played performance by Joe, realising the only thing that can actually get boos these days against Roman is to make the match less interesting.
As with many of the WWE PPV DVDs, the problem rests within the age of the WWE Network, this is it. I’ve mentioned it before but if you can get the Network for £9.99, why would you spend £14.99 on this one DVD? This is the one question I’ve run out of answers for but let’s phrase the question as are you the sort of person who would buy this DVD anyway? If so, yeah, go for it, there are a lot of things to like about this show. If you are the sort of person who doesn’t value physical media and is happy trusting the occasionally unreliable streams of the WWE Network then maybe skip this one. That said, if neither of those things apply to you, then frankly, why were you reading this review in the first place? You must have known this wasn’t for you.
WWE: Backlash 2018 is available on DVD from 23rd July.