WWE's latest pay-per-view, Backlash, takes place this Sunday at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. Along with a handful of championship matches, the show is being billed as having "The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever," as Edge and Randy Orton meet in a rematch from their WrestleMania 36 bout minus the Last Man Standing stipulation. Both Edge and Orton have spoken out against WWE's marketing strategy since then, but it has led to some interesting debates about what should be considered the "greatest" match ever among fans and wrestlers alike.
Elsewhere on the show Drew McIntyre will defend the WWE Championship against Bobby Lashley, WWE Universal Champion Braun Strowman will take on both The Miz and John Morrison in a handicap match and Asuka will make her first defense as Raw Women's Champion against Nia Jax.
Once again we've assembled ComicBook's team of wrestling writers to break down the biggest questions heading into the show, as well as give predictions on the top matches. Check out their predictions in the list below and let us know what you think down in the comments!
Let's Get This Out of the Way — Will Edge vs. Orton Be The 'Greatest Match of All Time?'
Connor Casey: No, it will not be the greatest wrestling match of all time.
Ryan Droste: Nope. Not possible without a crowd. It's a clever marketing gimmick, used in an ironic way.
Matt Aguilar: No, I can't imagine it will, and at this point the hype will probably set expectations so high that it will be difficult not to be disappointed.prevnext
What Match is Actually The Greatest Wrestling Match of All Time?
Ryan: This is an impossible task. There's no way I could pick one singular match. My all-time favorite match is Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin at WrestleMania 13. It really comes down to how you define "great." Ring work? Drawing money? There's definitely an argument for a match like Hogan/Andre because of the money the match drew, even though it was a real clunker in the ring. I'd say that greatest should encompass both good ring work and good drawing power - which would probably lead us down the road to one of the Rock/Austin matches. But between the ropes, Bret/Austin is my favorite even if that WrestleMania wasn't a winner when it comes to PPV buys.
Matt: Wow, that is difficult. There are several matches that could be at this spot for me, but the one that immediately comes to mind is Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXV. It might not be my personal favorite, but if you're looking for every single element needed for an all-time classic, this had it in spades. The spectacle, the technical prowess, and the in-ring storytelling are all present, and the sheer talent of both performers in their primes just makes this a shining example of what professional wrestling can be.
Connor: I'll echo Matt's sentiment and say it's Michaels vs. Taker I. I'm partial to the sequel, I think the story told throughout the match has a better connection to the storyline the two were telling in the months of buildup, But the first match is just such a master class from bell to bell.prevnext
How Would You Have Promoted the Edge vs. Orton Rematch?
Connor: Minus the tagline, a lot of the build for this match has actually worked — particularly Edge's self-doubt over trying to compete in a standard match and Orton's confidence that, without all the bells and whistles from their Last Man Standing Match, he'd walk away the winner. But instead of the whole "greatest" idea, have a stipulation that if Edge loses he has to retire again. Yeah, it kind of gives away the ending but that's never stopped WWE before. Plus it would give some actual intrigue to the match rather than have an entire advertising campaign centered around a baseless claim.
Ryan: Honestly, I don't have any problem with the way it has been promoted. I wouldn't have given it the "Greatest" tag, but I think the two have done a good job building the feud given the circumstances. No match at WrestleMania was hurt more by the pandemic than their's, as they had to change the entire structure of the match with no crowd present....and that definitely was not for the better.
Matt: I would've made the big angle for this match as the last time these two will meet in the ring. Make it "for the last time ever", and build on all the history and past storylines to make it into something special. That's all you really need, but if you wanted a stipulation make it a cage match, even though I don't think you need it.prevnext
Is There Anything Else on This Card That Actually Interests You
Connor: I'm expecting The Fiend to pop up after Braun Strowman squashes The Miz and John Morrison. Besides that and what should be a solid match between Apollo Crews and Andrade, there's not a lot to talk about with this show.
Ryan: I'm interested in the Apollo/Andrade match as I have enjoyed the emphasis that has been placed on these two during the Paul Heyman era and hope it continues. Two really good workers that will have a good match.
Matt: Andrade vs. Apollo could be a possible show-stealer, especially if WWE actually continues this push for Apollo. Hopefully, some of those heel turn rumors are true, and we could see some of that play out here. Also think McIntyre could bring out the best in Lashley, and the Women's Tag Team match could be quite entertaining, though more excited to see who makes it to the match vs Nox and Blackheart on NXT next week.prevnext
The Jinder Mahal Story is Off The Table. Who Gets the Next Shot at Drew McIntyre?
Connor: Barring a surprise WWE Draft or a Brock Lesnar return, it's probably Randy Orton.
Ryan: Depending on how his feud with Edge plays out, Randy Orton would be a logical choice.
Matt: I think Ryan's pick could be what WWE goes with, though it would be a bummer for me since I'm just bored with Orton's stories and matches lately. My dream opponent for McIntyre is Samoa Joe, but as he's not cleared for action either, maybe Aleister Black would be a great choice? His more stoic demeanor could play well against McIntyre's sarcastic personality as of late.prevnext
Does Otis Cash In?
Ryan: No, not yet.
Matt: Yeah, too soon still, though like how they are playing it up as a possibility on just about every SmackDown.prevnext
How Do You Feel About This Jeff Hardy/Sheamus Storyline
Ryan: Not a fan. Wrestling absurdity at its worst. It was interesting that portions of the segment from SmackDown was pulled from the west coast feed after airing in the east. It was pre-taped, how did they not understand that it would have the reaction that it did? Mind-blowing when you think about it.0comments
Matt: Yeah, agree with Ryan. I get Hardy cleared it and everything, and it is getting people talking, but it already isn't aging well and it just started. Not a fan.
Connor: Yes to all of the above. I don't care if Hardy personally signed off on it, the whole thing still feels like bullying on WWE's part to bring up his (ongoing) personal demons.prev