Backlash 2006 was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), which took place on April 30, 2006 at the Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. It was the eighth event under the Backlash name and featured wrestlers and other talent that performed on the Raw brand.
Seven professional wrestling matches were scheduled on the event's card, which saw three main matches. The first of these main events was a Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship, which saw John Cena defeat challengers Triple H and Edge to retain his title. The second main event was Shawn Michaels and "God" versus Vince and Shane McMahon in a No Holds Barred match, which was won by the McMahons. The third main event was a "Title versus Briefcase match" between Rob Van Dam (the Money in the Bank holder) and Shelton Benjamin (the Intercontinental Champion). In this match, Van Dam defeated Benjamin to retain his Money in the Bank briefcase and win the Intercontinental Championship.
The event received 273,000 pay-per-view buys, which was more than the previous year's event received. This contributed to WWE's pay-per-view revenue increasing by $4.3 million from the previous year. When the event was released on DVD, it peaked at second on Billboard's DVD sales chart for recreational sports.
Backlash featured professional wrestling matches that involved different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds, plots, and storylines that were played out on Raw. Wrestlers portrayed a villain or a hero as they followed a series of events that built tension, and culminated into a wrestling match or series of matches. All wrestlers were from World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)'s Raw brand—a storyline division in which WWE employees are assigned to a television program of the same name.
The main event at Backlash was a Triple Threat match, a standard wrestling match involving three wrestlers for the WWE Championship between John Cena, Triple H, and Edge. The buildup to the match began when Triple H lost the Royal Rumble match, a multi-competitor match type in which wrestlers are eliminated until one is left and declared winner but participated in the 2006 Road to WrestleMania Tournament, where the winner would become the number-one contender to the WWE Championship at WrestleMania. Triple H won the tournament. Cena defeated Triple H at WrestleMania to retain the title after forcing him to submit to the STFU, a move in which the wrestler wraps his arm around the neck of the opponent in a sleeper hold instead of pulling back on the head of the opponent. The next night on Raw, one of WWE's primary television programs, Triple H demanded another shot at the WWE Championship, but Edge and Lita (Edge's girlfriend) interrupted Triple H's segment. Edge said that he became WWE Champion at New Year's Revolution when he cashed in his Money in the Bank title shot, that he won at WrestleMania 21, and defeating Cena at the event, after Cena had defeated five other men in an Elimination Chamber, a match featuring wrestlers fighting in a ring surrounded by a steel structure of chain and girders. Cena, however, reclaimed the Championship at the 2006 Royal Rumble, when he defeated Edge. Edge claimed that it was time for a new opponent for the WWE Championship, after stating that at WrestleMania, Triple H lost his opportunity when he lost to Cena. All three men had a series of Handicap matches, a match consisting of one team of wrestlers facing off against a team of wrestlers with numerical superiority such as three against two, or two against one leading up to Backlash with Triple H pinning Cena after tucking Cena's head between his knees and jumping up to slam his head to the mat, a move that Triple H calls the Pedigree, Cena forcing Edge to submit to the STFU, and Edge executing a shoulder block takedown on Triple H and pinning him. It was then announced that Cena would defend the WWE Championship in a Triple Threat match against Triple H and Edge at Backlash.
Another rivalry heading into the event was Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon versus Shawn Michaels and God. This feud started on December 26, 2005, when Vince McMahon made note of Bret Hart's DVD, claiming that he "tricked" Hart in the hours of his match at Survivor Series 1997, where Hart lost the WWE Championship to Shawn Michaels. At the event, Michaels applied Hart's own finisher, the Sharpshooter, and McMahon called for the bell, in an event known as the "Montreal Screwjob". Michaels interrupted McMahon and told him to "let it go" and "move on" from the events of Survivor Series. In reply McMahon told Michaels that he indeed screwed Bret Hart and added, "Shawn, do not make me screw you." At the Royal Rumble, Shane McMahon made a surprising appearance when he eliminated Michaels from the Rumble match, though Shane was not a participant. McMahon informed Michaels that he would face his son Shane on the March 18, 2006 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event in a No Holds Barred match. At the event, Vince interfered throughout the match on his son's behalf, by stopping the referee's count, after Michaels performed Sweet Chin Music, a move which sees the wrestler use the sole of the foot to strike an opponent's head or chin on Shane, an enraged Michaels grabbed McMahon but before he could do anything, Shane hit Michaels with a low blow. McMahon ordered Shane to apply the Sharpshooter on Michaels, and, after he executed the submission move, McMahon called for the bell, similar to the 1997 Survivor Series match. Mr. McMahon booked himself and Michaels in a No Holds Barred match at WrestleMania 22. At WrestleMania, the Spirit Squad and Shane McMahon interfered on McMahon's behalf, but Michaels defeated Vince McMahon after he performed Sweet Chin Music and captured the pinfall victory. The next night on Raw, The McMahons confronted Michaels and informed him that his win at WrestleMania was "an act of God," therefore setting up the tag team match at Backlash that would have The McMahons facing Michaels and God.
The Divas rivalry between Mickie James and Trish Stratus over the WWE Women's Championship continued entering the event. Stratus and James first fought over the title at New Year's Revolution, with Stratus retaining. In the months that followed, James' obsession with Stratus grew to the point that she confessed to Stratus that she was in love with her; making Stratus uncomfortable. James made one final attempt to kiss Stratus at Saturday Night's Main Event on March 18, but after she was rebuffed, James turned into a villainess and attacked Stratus, while later vowing to destroy her. At WrestleMania 22, James defeated Stratus to capture the Women's Championship for the first time in her career. In the following weeks, the evil James continued her mind games by dressing like Stratus and claiming to be her. Stratus eventually confronted James by dressing like her and mocking her personality. It was later announced that James and Stratus would face each other for the Women's Championship at Backlash
Before the event aired live on pay-per-view, Goldust defeated Rob Conway in a match that aired on Heat. Goldust won the match after a powerslam, a move where the wrestler performing the slam falls face-down on top of his opponent.
The first match of the event was between Carlito and Chris Masters. In the beginning of the match, Carlito had the advantage over Masters, as he jumped from the ring to the outside and impacts his chest against Masters' chest, and performed a Springboard Back elbow. Masters, however, gained the advantage and executed a Powerbomb, a move which is executed by the attacking wrestler slamming the opponent after lifting them on their shoulders on Carlito into the turnbuckle. Carlito performed a Back Cracker, a move where the wrestlers goes behind the opponent and jumps up to place both his knees against the opponent's back, forcing the wrestler's knees to push up into the back of the opponent. Carlito then pinned Masters while using the ropes for leverage to win the match.
Next was a match between Umaga and Ric Flair. Umaga had the advantage throughout the match, as Umaga hit Flair with a knee to his head. Umaga defeated Flair after hitting Flair in the throat with his thumb. The third match was between Mickie James and Trish Stratus for the WWE Women's Championship. The match had escalated outside the ring. When Stratus delivered punches to Mickie, who was on the second turnbuckle, Mickie threw her over the top rope, causing Stratus to land on her right arm. Afterwards, Mickie choked Stratus with a wristband she was wearing that fell off during the match, therefore giving the win to Stratus by disqualification, but per WWE regulations, a title can only change hands via pinfall or submission therefore Mickie retained the Championship.
The next match was for the WWE Intercontinental Championship between Rob Van Dam and Shelton Benjamin. Both Van Dam and Benjamin started the match with high spots as Benjamin performed a Sunset Flip Powerbomb, a move in which a wrestler will roll/flip over an elevated opponent facing them in a reverse body scissors and use the momentum to pull the opponent down to the floor. The match went back and forth with action, but in the end Van Dam performed a body splash, known in wrestling as a frog splash, from the top turnbuckle on Benjamin and pinned him to win the match and retain his Money in the Bank briefcase and win the Intercontinental Championship.
The next match was The Big Show versus Kane, which ended in a no contest after a red hue covered the ring and voices from the speakers in the arena began taunting Kane with "May 19". Big Show who seemed to have enough, hit Kane with a folding chair and walked away.
The sixth match was Vince and Shane McMahon versus Shawn Michaels and God in a No Holds Barred match. As soon as The McMahons made their way to the ring, Vince informed the referee to "check" God for any hidden objects, as God was being "portrayed" by the stage spotlight. The match started with Shawn Michaels executing a crossbody on both Vince and Shane McMahon on the outside of the ring. Afterwards, Michaels crossbodied Vince down through a part of the Backlash staging area. Shane then hit Michaels with a folding chair and caused him to bleed. After Vince and Shane took turns assaulting Michaels, Vince grabbed a microphone and informed Michaels that "God" had left the building and used a Superkick, Michaels' own signature finisher, against him. Michaels battled back and grabbed two tables and put both Vince and Shane on them. Michaels then grabbed a ladder and stood on top of it. The Spirit Squad (Kenny, Johnny, Mitch, Nicky, and Mikey) interfered and attacked Michaels, which was followed by the Spirit Squad putting Michaels through a table with a Sky lift slam, a move in which the two attacking wrestlers standing either side of an opponent; the wrestlers then force the opponent upwards, throwing them up while releasing the hold to allow the opponent slam to the mat back-first. Vince then pinned Michaels for the win.
The main event was the Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship between champion John Cena, Edge, and Triple H. As the match began, Edge chose to stand outside the ring, hoping that Cena and Triple H would simply fight the match themselves. Cena and Triple H, however, teamed up and turned against Edge. One spot in the match saw Edge catapult Triple H into the steel ringpost, which made Triple H bleed as a result. Afterwards, Edge drove Triple H's head through a table and then focused on Cena. Cena, however, locked Edge in the STFU, but was broken when Triple H hit Cena in the head with a microphone. Triple H then went after Edge and hit him with a chair, sending him over the security wall and into the audience. Lita, who accompanied Edge, entered the ring with a chair to hit Triple H, but Triple H reversed it into a Spinebuster, a move where the wrestler lifts the opponent, turning 180°, and then tosses her forward onto her back. Near the end of the match, Cena had Edge on his shoulders for an FU, Triple H then delivered a low blow to Cena, which made Cena drop Edge out of the ring and attempted to execute a Pedigree. Cena, however, countered it into a jackknife roll-up, a hold that has the attacking wrestler lift the opponent's legs from behind the knees. Still gripping the opponent's legs, the attacking wrestler then flips forward, over the opponent, and plants their feet on the mat while bridging the back to add leverage. Cena won the match and successfully retained the WWE Championship. After the match, Triple H hit Cena, Edge, and the referee with a sledgehammer.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- WWE Heat: Goldust defeated Rob Conway (3:38)
- Carlito defeated Chris Masters (9:53)
- Umaga (w/ Armando Alejandro Estrada) defeated Ric Flair (3:29)
- Trish Stratus defeated Mickie James by disqualification for the Women's Championship (4:03)
- RVD defeated Shelton Benjamin in a singles match (in an Intercontinental Championship versus Money in the Bank contract) (18:42)
- The Big Show fought Kane to no contest (9:30)
- Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon defeated Shawn Michaels and "God" in a No Holds Barred match (19:57)
- John Cena (c) defeated Triple H and Edge in a triple-threat match to retain the WWE Championship (17:33)
Other on-screen talent
- Backlash 2006 official website
- Backlash 2006 at CAGEMATCH.net
- Backlash 2006 at Online World of Wrestling
- Backlash 2006 on WWE Network
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