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WWE BACKLASH KICKOFF REPORT
JUNE 14, 2020
AIRED ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY MIKE F. MEYERS, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Kickoff Panel: Scott Stanford, Peter Rosenberg, Renne Young, Booker T, JBL, Charly Caruso
Early on, Peter explained a crucial detail of the two-on-one handicap match for the WWE Universal Championship: Should Strowman be pinned for the loss, the wrestler pinning him (either Miz or Morrison) would be awarded the title.
While discussing Asuka resenting the fact that she was handed the women’s championship, JBL twice mispronounced asterisk. Booker compared Vader and Sid Vicious to Nia Jax because of their reputations for hurting opponents. JBL suggested that people who complain about getting hurt in this business should call a “wahmbulance.”
Christian and Ric Flair joined Charly backstage. Flair claimed that Orton is in his prime and will therefore defeat Edge, who has been out of action for nine years. Christian countered, saying Edge has worked his ass off during those nine years to get back into the ring. Christian cited Orton’s tendency to take the path of least resistance, and contrasted it with Edge’s scratch-and-claw mentality.
Miz & Morrison’s newest music video was shown for “HEY! Hey Hey.” Its lyrics were primarily concerned with kicking Braun Strowman’s ass. Electric guitars materialized in the duo’s hands – a left-handed Stratocaster for Miz, and a right-handed Les Paul for Morrison.
Regarding Edge, Booker T claimed that “being injured is a lot different than being hurt.” Booker and JBL both predicted Orton to win tonight.
Announce Team: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Samoa Joe, Kevin Owens
(1) APOLLO CREWS vs. ANDRADE (w/Zelina Vega, Angel Garza) – WWE United States Championship match
Kevin Owens made an entrance with his theme music after the two competing wrestlers, and joined the announce team behind the table.
Early on, Crews flung Andrade onto the metal-plated entrance ramp with a back body drop. Crews then leveled Andrade with a moonsault off the ring apron. Crews body slammed Andrade in the ring and covered for a one-count. Andrade fired Crews into the middle turnbuckle face-first, then hit him with a running double-knee strike. He covered Crews for two.
The wrestlers exchanged blows in the corner but Crews got the upper hand. He climbed to the top rope, but Andrade fired back with punches. Andrade missed a stomp attempt, and Crews suplexed him into the corner. Crews plowed Andrade into the corner some more, then hit a splashing clothesline in the opposite corner. Crews hit a spinebuster, then covered for two.
Andrade executed a super smooth arm drag, but Crews rolled through it and leveled Andrade with a drop kick. The men battled on the ring apron, and Andrade hit Crews with a springboard DDT over the top rope. He covered Crews for a two-count. Crews lifted Andrade from the corner with a military press and dropped him face-first to the canvas. Crews hit a standing moonsault and went for a pin, but the ref was distracted by Garza. Owens came out from behind the announce table to give Garza a stunner. Crews was then able to land a sitout powerbomb to Andrade, good for the three-count.
WINNER: Apollo Crews by pinfall in 7:25.
(Meyers’s Analysis: Not a whole lot to this match, and the outcome was predictable to maintain the US Championship on the newly-minted Crews. Some cool moves – most notably Andrade’s jumping DDT. Owens on commentary was a bit distracting during Crews’s first title defense, and naturally he had to become involved in the match what with Vega and Garza’s ringside antics.)
Sheamus spoke to a camera in a dimly-lit backstage area. He said he wants to put Friday behind them and let bygones be bygones. He said this clear-headed, sober Jeff Hardy is a flicker of false hope and that he will revert to the depraved version of himself.
We returned to the Kickoff panel. Regarding the women’s tag match, Scott claimed that the “girls” have been “bickering back and forth” on Twitter. Peter picked the Iiconics to win tonight’s triple threat, and Peter agreed.
A video package was shown for McIntyre vs. Lashley. Peter claimed that Lashley instantly became a different competitor once joining forces with MVP. Peter thusly predicted a Lashley victory tonight.
Scott asked if we would, in fact, see the greatest wrestling match tonight in Edge vs. Orton. Peter said he has a very high standard in Savage vs. Steamboat, but he hopes so.