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Here Are the Most Memorable Backlash Moments in WWE History

For over 20 years, Backlash has never disappointed the WWE Universe.

By Chris Phelan
Wwe Backlash Moments Bad Bunny2

WWE is set to make history again this weekend – Backlash will be the final event before the results of the 2023 WWE Draft go into effect, setting the stage for feuds and rivalries to come to unforgettable climaxes.

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For over two decades, Backlash has proven that the momentum built up by WrestleMania can quickly transfer over to this event – in fact, the show was once officially called “WrestleMania Backlash.” This year is no different, as host Bad Bunny has all but promised the WWE Universe that this event would be one for the ages. But, of course, any show headlined by Bad Bunny competing in a San Juan Street Fight against Damien Priest will stand the test of time! 

Today, USA Insider is looking at some of the most memorable Backlash moments in history.

Big Show Swings Rey Mysterio Like a Baseball Bat – Backlash 2003

Rey Mysterio didn’t become a WWE Hall of Famer by quietly putting on some of the most impressive matches in wrestling history – he became a WWE Hall of Famer by being part of some of the most jaw-dropping moments ever! 

During a chaotic match against Big Show at the 2003 edition of Backlash, Mysterio eventually succumbed to a devastating chokeslam in a losing effort. The effects of the chokeslam on Mysterio were immediately apparent. WWE officials at ringside decided to err on the side of caution and called for Mysterio to be stretchered out of the ring. Big Show, unfortunately, took issue with this standard safety procedure, marched back down to the ring, lifted a-still-attached-to-the-stretcher Rey Mysterio, and slammed him against the ring post in a horrific fashion. It was a brutal act of aggression by one of the largest athletes in WWE history, and we’re shocked Mysterio didn’t suffer long-term, permanent damage.

Edge and Randy Orton Put on a Clinic – Backlash 2020

In a clash billed as “The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever,” Edge went one-on-one with Randy Orton in 2020 that arguably lived up to its lofty expectations. The match itself was an example of what two Superstars can accomplish at the peak of their careers as the two men meshed technical wrestling and an engaging storyline to captivate the WWE Universe.

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However, the most memorable moments of the match came in the form of both men using the finishing maneuvers of their fellow Superstars! From Angle Slams to Pedigrees to Batista Bombs to Rock Bottoms, both Edge and Randy Orton reached far down into their arsenals in attempts to pull out the victory. The fact that they paid homage to Superstars, both past and present, amid a classic match was a surprise to everyone watching.  

Shane McMahon Jumps Off the Titantron – Backlash 2001

While younger fans may only remember Shane McMahon’s daredevil acrobatics in terms of his unforgettable leaps off Hell in a Cell against The Undertaker at WrestleMania 32 or against Kevin Owens at Hell in a Cell 2017, older members of the WWE Universe know he’s been making audiences gasp for over 20 years now

At Backlash 2001, Shane took on Big Show in a Last Man Standing Match and delivered arguably the biggest elbow drop in WWE history up to that point – from a height of approximately 30 feet in the air! Forget about Shane’s recent jumps from atop Hell in a Cell; this leap onto Big Show from the top of the Titantron was far more dangerous, memorable, and jaw-dropping. Early-2000s Shane McMahon was indeed the definition of “no fear.” 

John Cena Gets Chokeslammed Into a Spotlight – Backlash 2009

This moment lives on in our hearts as one of the most visually-stunning and shocking moments of all time, Backlash-related or otherwise! In 2009, John Cena and Edge fought for the World Heavyweight Championship in a – you guessed it – Last Man Standing match. At the end of the hotly-contested battle, Big Show decided to intervene on behalf of Edge, sending John Cena directly into a huge spotlight next to the Backlash stage via an earth-shaking chokeslam.

(We have to hand it to Big Show. Although, in retrospect, he did save his best stuff for Backlash.)

The WWE Universe had never seen a spotlight used as a weapon – and upon impact, everyone knew why. John Cena exploded in a barrage of pyrotechnics and blinding light, all thanks to Big Show’s interference. Edge stood tall as champion that night, and for good reason: We’re sure Cena still feels the effects of that chokeslam nearly 15 years later.

The Rock vs. Stone Cold in a WrestleMania Rematch – Backlash 1999

In 1999, the feud between The Rock and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was so intense that their WrestleMania showdown for the WWE Championship wasn’t enough to settle things. So, much to the delight of the WWE Universe, the two Superstars clashed in a WrestleMania rematch at that year’s Backlash event – and boy, this match lived up to the hype.

From the buzz of the crowd that sustained throughout the whole match to the WrestleMania-worthy in-ring drama to witnessing two Superstars at the apex of their careers battling it out with all the emotion the audience can handle, The Rock and Steve Austin proved that you don’t need to wait for WrestleMania to have an all-time classic. In the end, Austin prevailed over The Rock to retain his title and have one of the most successful championship runs in WWE history.

Will the 2023 edition of Backlash prove to have similarly-unforgettable moments? With this year’s card as stacked as it is, anything’s possible. We can’t wait to see which WWE Superstars will blow us away this year!

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