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5 WWE Backlash matches that improved on their WrestleMania counterpart

Batista defended the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Triple H in a WrestleMania 21 rematch at Backlash 2005
Batista defended the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Triple H in a WrestleMania 21 rematch at Backlash 2005
Owen Churchill
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WWE WrestleMania Backlash is rapidly approaching. In the past, the pay-per-view has traditionally been seen as the first event after WWE's biggest show of the year, WrestleMania.

This means that some of the biggest WWE WrestleMania re-matches have taken place at Backlash pay-per-views throughout the years.

Sometimes the pressure, time constraints and storylines heading into WrestleMania means that a heavily promoted match doesn't live up to the unrealistic expectations of the WWE Universe.

However, when the same competitors face off a few weeks later in a WrestleMania re-match at Backlash, the match is far improved. It often meets the expectations of what fans wanted to see during their WrestleMania encounter.

Why is this? Perhaps reduced pressure, increased time to tell the desired story or a variety of other reasons. Nevertheless, there have been several occasions where a WrestleMania re-match at Backlash has improved on the match seen at the showcase of the immortals.

Let's take a closer look at five WWE Backlash matches that improved on their WrestleMania counterpart.


#5 Kane vs Chavo Guerrero - ECW Championship (WWE Backlash 2008)

Kane defeated Chavo Guerrero to retain the WWE ECW World Heavyweight Championship at Backlash 2008
Kane defeated Chavo Guerrero to retain the WWE ECW World Heavyweight Championship at Backlash 2008

WWE WrestleMania XXIV saw Kane win the WWE ECW World Heavyweight Championship for the first time in his WWE career.

Prior to WrestleMania XXIV going on the air, Kane participated in a 24-man over-the-top rope battle royal to determine the number one contender for the WWE ECW World Heavyweight Championship.

By last eliminating Mark Henry, Kane punched his ticket to face then-ECW World Heavyweight Champion Chavo Guerrero during WrestleMania XXIV.

However, before the match officially began, Kane appeared behind Chavo Guerrero, who was already in the ring. The Big Red Machine chokeslammed the ECW Champion and pinned him in just 11 seconds to become the ECW World Heavyweight Champion.

Fast forward several weeks later, Kane and Guerrero faced off once again for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship at Backlash in a WrestleMania XXIV rematch.

The match was significantly better and longer than their WrestleMania title match, lasting close to nine minutes. Kane was able to once again defeat Chavo Guerrero at Backlash, hitting his opponent with a chokeslam to retain the ECW World Heavyweight Championship.

#4 Jeff Hardy vs Matt Hardy - "I Quit" Match (WWE Backlash 2009)

Jeff Hardy defeated his brother Matt Hardy in a WrestleMania 25 rematch at Backlash 2009
Jeff Hardy defeated his brother Matt Hardy in a WrestleMania 25 rematch at Backlash 2009

WWE WrestleMania XXV saw two brothers square off on the grandest stage of them all. Former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy was out for revenge after it was revealed his brother Matt Hardy had been attempting to sabotage his younger sibling's WWE career.

Facing off in an Extreme Rules match, Matt Hardy was able to shockingly defeat his younger brother at WrestleMania XXV and seemingly step out of Jeff Hardy's shadow.

The brothers' rivalry continued heading into Backlash 2009 where they faced off once more. However, the stakes were raised from their WrestleMania XXV encounter, with The Hardy brothers squaring off in an "I Quit" match.

In the closing moments of the match, Jeff Hardy tied his brother to a table, meaning that Matt Hardy was unable to move. As the Charismatic Enigma ascended a nearby ladder with the intention to dive onto his brother, Matt Hardy begged for forgiveness and declared "I Quit."

However, Matt's quitting was not enough to satisfy the former WWE World Heavyweight Champion, as Jeff Hardy hit a devastating legdrop off the ladder, crashing through his brother and the wooden table. The move was in-fact so devastating that it legitimately broke Matt Hardy's hand.

#3 Batista vs Triple H - World Heavyweight Championship (WWE Backlash 2005)

Batista once again defeated Triple H to retain the World Heavyweight Championship at Backlash 2005
Batista once again defeated Triple H to retain the World Heavyweight Championship at Backlash 2005

WWE WrestleMania 21 saw the crowning of a new World Heavyweight Champion as Batista defeated his former Evolution leader to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for the first time.

The Animal had won the 2005 Royal Rumble match several months prior, booking his slot in the main event of WrestleMania 21. In the months that followed, Triple H and Ric Flair did their best to manipulate Batista into moving to SmackDown, to challenge then-WWE Champion John "Bradshaw" Layfield for the WWE Championship.

However, Batista saw through the plans of Evolution, famously powerbombing Triple H through a table on Monday Night RAW and announcing that he would challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 21.

After being defeated by Batista at WrestleMania 21, Triple H insisted that The Animal "got lucky" and that he would reclaim his prized World Heavyweight Championship during their WrestleMania 21 rematch at Backlash.

However, The King of Kings was unable to once again become World Heavyweight Champion as Batista thwarted his former mentor, defeating The Game with a vicious Batista Bomb to retain his title.

#2 The Undertaker vs Edge - World Heavyweight Championship (WWE Backlash 2008)

The Undertaker once again defeated Edge for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Backlash 2008 in a WrestleMania 24 rematch
The Undertaker once again defeated Edge for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Backlash 2008 in a WrestleMania 24 rematch

WWE WrestleMania XXIV saw The Undertaker win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship as he defeated Edge in the main event, whilst also extending his mythical WrestleMania undefeated streak.

Due to the assistance of his fiancee, SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero, Edge was able to receive a WrestleMania rematch against The Phenom at Backlash.

The showdown at Backlash was a tightly contested match until interference from La Famila members, Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder, unsuccessfully attempted to cost The Undertaker the World Heavyweight Championship.

Despite interference from Hawkins and Ryder, The Undertaker surprisingly gained the victory over Edge via submission. He utilized a gogoplata submission hold to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

After the match, The Undertaker continued to apply the mystery submission hold, kayfabe injuring The Rated R Superstar. This caused Edge to be stretchered out of the arena and taken to a local medical facility.

#1 The Undertaker vs Batista - World Heavyweight Championship Last Man Standing match (WWE Backlash 2007)

The Undertaker and Batista battled to a draw in an epic World Heavyweight Championship Last Man Standing match at Backlash 2007
The Undertaker and Batista battled to a draw in an epic World Heavyweight Championship Last Man Standing match at Backlash 2007

WWE WrestleMania 23 saw The Undertaker defeat Batista to capture the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for the first time in his career and extend his legendary WrestleMania undefeated streak.

The match was critically acclaimed by fans, suggesting it was one of the best matches on the WrestleMania 23 card.

The two SmackDown WWE Superstars met several weeks later at Backlash in a WrestleMania 23 rematch. However, unlike their WrestleMania showdown, the match was a Last Man Standing match.

The match between the two SmackDown superstars saw The Undertaker hit a huge leg drop through the announce table at ringside onto Batista. This led to the two opponents brawling all over the arena and up the entrance ramp onto the Backlash stage.

Batista then dramatically speared The Undertaker off the stage onto the electrical equipment below. Both WWE Superstars were unable to get to their feet before the count of ten, resulting in the match being declared as a draw.

As a championship can not change hands via a draw, The Undertaker retained the World Heavyweight Championship against Batista in a spectacular Last Man Standing match that improved on their incredible WrestleMania title match the prior month.

Edited by James Sullivan
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