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  April 22, 2002

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Hogan champ again at BackLash

By JOHN POWELL -- SLAM! Wrestling

Hulk-A-Mania is running wild. Well, "running" is a bit too strong a word. Limping is more like it. In one of the most sluggish matches in World Wrestling Federation history, Hollywood Hulk Hogan defeated champion Triple H to become the WWF World Heavyweight Champion at last night's BackLash pay-per-view.

In an humiliating display that brought an otherwise stellar BackLash card to a grinding halt, Triple H slammed himself into reverse for the whole 22 minute-plus snorefest resorting to rest holds and low-impact maneuvers to carry Hogan through the length of the match. Triple H played the heel role slapping Hogan in the face early on and cheating on occasion to gain the advantage. Unlike the love-in Hogan received at last month's WrestleMania show in Toronto, the crowd in the Kemper Area was pretty much dead resembling more of the crowd you'd find at your local library rather than at a live WWF event.

Triple H and Hogan had to rely on a series of run-ins to inject any kind of momentum into their sure-fire-cure-for-insomnia bout. Just as Hogan was about to put Triple H away with his scintillating Leg Drop, Chris Jericho interfered hitting him with a steel chair from outside the ring. Triple H took exception to this (even though he had been employing all sorts of underhanded tactics) and clotheslined Jericho out of the ring. Dropping Hogan with a Pedigree, Triple H had his assured pinfall broken up by The Undertaker who took out the ref and Triple H with a steel chair. Obviously, Taker would rather face Hogan than Triple H for the belt. Replaying what Triple H had done a few minutes ago, Hogan brawled with Taker clotheslining him out of the ring. Another breath-taking Leg Drop by Hogan nabbed him the three count and the WWF World Heavyweight Title.

A bloody Triple H shook hands with Hogan after huffing and puffing for minutes on end while staring into The Hulkster's face as if he was constipated or something. For the record, Hogan's World Heavyweight Title reigns in WCW and the WWF are now equal at six a piece.

In the other just as terminally boring main event of the evening, The Undertaker defeated "Stone Cold" Steve Austin to claim the coveted Number One Contender's spot in an encounter that overstayed its welcome to the point of becomming a farce. The match concluded in controversial fashion with The Undertaker pinning Austin who had his foot on the bottom rope. Austin Stunnered Taker to gain some measure of revenge as Ric Flair was shown video footage in the backstage area of the three count being slapped even though Austin had placed his leg draped over the bottom rope. "Oh, s--t!," said Flair after seeing his apparent mistake. Strange thing about this one is that the nWo came to ringside but never became involved in the slightest. Weird.

  • The next WWF pay-per-view is Judgment Day on May 19th.

    WWF BackLash 2002 Results

    Tajiri (challenger) versus Kidman (champion) (WWF Cruiserwight Championship)

  • An incredible adrenaline rush with Tajiri and Kidman bringing down the house with a high octane encounter. Upon being scooped up for a Powerbomb, Tajiri spits red mist into Kidman's peepers and rolls him up for the victory.

  • Winner: ...and new WWF Cruiserwight Champion...Tajiri at 9 minutes and 5 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 9 / 10.

  • Bradshaw and Faarooq reunite backstage. Bradshaw is concerned that the nWo will have him outnumbered. Faarooq assures Bradshaw that he has his back.

    Scott Hall versus Bradshaw

  • A lot of punching and kicking going on with Faarooq acting as the equalizer outside the ring punking out Hall and X-Pac. Hall pins Bradshaw with a haymaker to the crotch. I thought Chyna had a patent on that finishing move. Oh, well.

  • Winner: Scott Hall at 6 minutes and 2 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 3 / 10.

  • Vince McMahon pays a visit to Flair. McMahon says that now Flair knows what it is like to be an owner and to have a bunch of ungrateful employees to manage. Flair tells Vince that he will never be like him...ever.

    Trish Stratus (challenger) versus Jazz (champion) (WWF Women's World Heavyweight Title Match)

  • Molly decides to come to the ring and berate Stratus for being "trashy". Molly beats on Trish hitting her with a weak microphone shot to the head then splits the scene. Jazz, doing her impression of Xena, dominates Trish and makes her submit to a crossface maneuver.

  • Winner: ... and still WWF Women's World Heavyweight Champion...Jazz at 3 minutes and 43 seconds..
  • Match Rating: 1 / 10.

    Brock Lesnar versus Jeff Hardy

  • Not much to praise in this one. Another mugging by Lesnar who even kicked out of Jeff's Swanton Bomb. Jeff tried to even the odds with a steel chair but Lesnar delivered the Spinning Face Buster. Lesnar was going to pin Hardy but Heyman instructed him to inflict more pain. Lesnar bounced Hardy off the mat with several powerbombs before official Teddy Long called the match.

  • Winner: Brock Lesnar at 5 minutes and 10 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 3 / 10.

    Edge Versus Kurt Angle

  • I am still catching my breath after this Match Of The Year candidate. Phenomenal effort went into the execution and planning. Angle tries to label Edge with a steel chair. Angle misses. The chair bounces right off the top rope and back into his face. Edge's Spear is met with a boot to the chops. One Angle Slam later and it is lights out for Edge.

  • Winner: Kurt Angle at 13 minutes and 27 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 10 / 10.

  • Chris Jericho holds court in the middle of the ring. One month ago he was in the main event of WrestleMania. At BackLash, he isn't even wrestling on the card. It is a crime. It is an insult. It is the lowest day in Jericho's career. Still, on his worst day, Jericho thinks he is better off than anyone in the crowd.

  • Cut to Tazz in the money pit known as WWF New York. Some fans share their views on the main event.

  • The Undertaker takes a moment to check on Ric Flair in his office. Taker waves his finger in Flair's face then leaves.

    Eddie Guerrero (challenger) versus RVD (champion) (WWF Intercontinental Title Match)

  • Another Match Of The Year candidate with RVD and Guerrero pulling out all the stops in a wicked bout. Guerrero brings the title belt into the ring. RVD kicks it away from him. With the ref in Dreamland, Guerrero neckbreakers RVD on the belt and lands his Five Star Frog Splash to strip him of the title.

  • Winner: ...and new WWF Intercontinental Champion....Eddie Guerrero at 11 minutes and 47 seconds..
  • Match Rating: 8 / 10.

    The Undertaker versus Steve Austin (Number One Contender's Match)

  • Winner: The Undertaker at 27 minutes and 1 second.
  • Match Rating: 3 / 10.

    Maven, Al Snow (challengers) versus Billy, Chuck (champions) (WWF World Tag Team Title Match)

  • Rico distracts Snow. Chuck kicks Maven in the head. Billy scores the pin.
  • Winners: ...and still WWF World Tag Team Champions...Billy and Chuck at 5 minutes and 58 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 3 / 10.

    Hollywood Hulk Hogan (challenger) versus Triple H (champion) (WWF World Heavyweight Title Match)

  • Winner: ...and the new WWF World Heavyweight Champion...Hollywood Hulk Hogan at 22 minutes and 4 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 1 / 10.

  • Total Event Time: 2 hours and 45 minutes.
  • Overall Event Rating: 8 / 10.

    More Pay-Per-View reports

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