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I know, i know, I didn’t end up sticking to the plan of doing a Top 5 list every day.  So I’m going to just do one today and one tomorrow and call it a success.  Today’s list also concerns the PPV Backlash, which will take place tomorrow.  I’ll do the top 5 first, followed by the picks.  They’ll intertwine a bit, as you’ll see.

Here are the Top 5 Things WWE Better Not Do At Backlash:

5. Move one of the matches to a pre-show match – When you advertise a match for a PPV, people buying the show expect to see the match.  Otherwise, they feel they got even more ripped off than they normally do when they pay the outrageous fees for a WWE PPV.  There was a lot of backlash (pun very much intended) over the MizMo/Colons match being moved to the pre-show, so WWE would be wise to not make the same mistake again.  This card is already light with six matches, so taking one away would not leave much wrestling.  We need to see every match on the card, even if they do seem rather thrown together at the last minute.

4. Santino Marella actually kissing the Great Khali – WWE has been working very diligently to get their TV rating to PG over the last few months, so an on-air man-man kiss would be very risky to a group attempting to clean up their image.  Now don’t misunderstand me.  I’m completely pro-gay all the way.  I’m not gay, but I just don’t see any reason to oppress them.  Anyway, having this actually go down would doom both Santino and Khali to the bottom of the comedy barrel.  This is almost as bad as Mae Young giving birth to a human hand (or so I’ve heard).  Let’s hope Santina runs away so Khali can make out with Beth Phoenix instead.

3. Matt Hardy losing to Jeff Hardy – If WWE is seriously going to try to push Matt Hardy as a main event heel, which it looks like they’re gearing up to do, he cannot lose this match.  He’s on a roll, winning the last three matches against his brother.  Losing now would destroy his momentum and nobody would believe that he’s a serious title contender.  I don’t like how this feud has turned into the “let’s put Matt Hardy over despite the fact that everybody hates him as a heel, and not in the way you’re supposed to hate a heel, but in that he’s not a good heel” show.  Jeff is the one who truly deserves the push.  He held the WWE title for six weeks.  Matt held the ECW title for much longer, over four months.  But if WWE is going to stick with the Matt Hardy push, they’d better not derail his momentum.

2. Ricky Steamboat beating Chris Jericho – This is very similar to #3, only I think much more is riding on the line, at least for Jericho.  He’s moving to a brand where he’s never been on since the brand extension (at least to my knowledge), and losing to Steamboat, while it would please the crowd endlessly, would probably bury Jericho more than most would imagine.  He’s riding a huge wave of momentum after his win at WM 25 over three legends.  If he wants to stay in the spotlight, he needs to win tomorrow night.  I’m expecting a hell of a battle, but Jericho needs the win a lot more.

1. Have every world champion retain his title – No less than one title needs to change hands on Sunday.  In fact, you’ll see in my picks exactly how many titles should change hands.  If HHH, Cena, and Swagger all retain, we’ve got serious problems heading into the weeks following the Draft.  I’ll outline a possible miracle booking sequence for Backlash, but it likely won’t happen.  My point here is that someone needs to lose his title tomorrow, and I’ll tell you who in my picks, which will start right now.

Kane vs. CM Punk – Talk about thrown together at the last minute.  These guys are actually having a decent mini-feud.  They have good chemistry and they manage to work around the size difference.  This will be short and sweet, probably 5-7 minutes, which is awkward seeing as how there are six matches on the card.  As far as a winner, I’ll go with CM Punk since he’s got more to gain and more to lose.  Potentially a lot more to gain if my miracle prediction goes according to plan.

Chris Jericho vs. Ricky Steamboat – You probably have figured out my pick based on the #2 entry in my Top 5 today.  Chris Jericho needs the win to maintain his status as a dangerous heel on Smackdown.  Steamboat has nothing to gain from this match.  He’s likely done after this, and what better way to end a careerthan by putting someone else over who doesn’t necessarily need the push?  Yes, that was sarcasm.  Steamboat had his moment of glory the night after WM25.  Jericho needs to win to stay noticed.  So he’s going to win.

Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy “I Quit” Match – Again, as outlined earlier, if WWE is really going to push Matt as a main eventer on Raw, he has to win against his brother.  I can’t honestly fathom Jeff saying “I Quit” into a microphone, but then again, I never envisioned Rey Mysterio saying it, and he certainly did in that great match with Chavo a couple of years back.  Seeing Jeff Hardy say “I Quit” is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, like seeing the Undertaker tap out to a submission.  Matt Hardy picks up the win and moves on the bigger and better things on Raw, while Jeff probably gets screwed out of another title run which he so very much deserves.

ECW Championship – Jack Swagger vs. Christian – I’m calling it now: if Christian does not win at Backlash, his WWE career is officially over.  He’ll drop back to Midcardlandia, where people like Jimmy Yang, William Regal, and Ron Killings live year-round.  He’s making more money to be a loser.  Personally, I’d take less money to be a champion than to take more money and be an unknown.  I recently began watching my first real ROH show, Punk: The Final Chapter, and the first segment was James Gibson (Jamie Noble to you WWE fans out there), and it was his first night as ROH World Champion.  And I thought to myself, I wonder if he enjoys being fodder for undeserving shlubs like Batista.  He seriously looked like he was on top of the world.  And I respect him even more after seeing that segment.  So, obviously, my pick for this match is for Christian to FINALLY hold some gold around his oh-so-deserved waist.  This is the one title that HAS to change at Backlash.

World Heavyweight Championship Last Man Standing Match – John Cena vs. Edge – I’m not tired of their feud.  But all good things must come to an end (as much as I don’t actually believe in that statement).  We’ve already seen that a timely Con-Chair-To will knock anyone out for a ten count.  We’ve also seen Cena in some great Last Man Standing matches, especially his match against Umaga a couple of years ago.  Cena and Edge are two of the toughest, most resilient, best conditioned wrestlers in the WWE, and they can have a spectacular match on Sunday.  Let’s hope that WWE gives them plenty of time to work their magic one last time.  If Cena wins, we have a serious problem on our hands.  We’d have two world champions on Raw and nothing on Smackdown.  So, the way I see it, two things can happen.  Either Edge wins his ninth world title, or (and here’s where the great booking comes into play) Cena retains after a brutal, hellish match that he just barely wins, and we hear Punk’s music blast out the speakers as he races to the ring, Cena stumbling around, and Punk uses his Money in the Bank briefcase to take the title away from Cena, bringing the world title back to Smackdown AND giving Punk a much-needed heel turn.  The booking is great, in my opinion.  I’d hope for the latter to happen, but probably the former will happen.  And if it doesn’t, then Smackdown is fucked.

WWE Championship Six-Man Tag Team Match – HHH, Batista, and Shane McMahon vs. Legacy – Edge says that Backlash will be the final nail in the coffin for their rivalry.  Let’s hope this match is the same for the HHH/Orton feud.  I’ve said it before on here, the way this has been booked over the past two weeks, there’s virtually no doubt in my mind that either Batista or Shane will turn on HHH and cost him the title, leading to a feud between the two.  More than likely it will be Batista, and then we can have ourselves a HHH/Batista feud (sarcastic yay).  And just now, as I was thinking about Punk running in and winning the WHC if Cena retains, I’ll say if HHH retains, the same thing will happen.  Unless Punk DOES win the World Heavyweight title.  I’ll just stick with the original prediction and say that Randy Orton wins the title.  I’m not particularly looking forward to another Orton title reign, but it’s probably going to happen.

Sidenote: I love how WWE has these double-standards when it comes to their talent.  It’s as though the people they WANT to succeed will succeed even if they screw around in real life, whereas people they’re not big on will be overly scrutinized and dropped at a moment’s notice if they do something even remotely suspicious.  Let’s take Randy Orton and Jeff Hardy.  Orton had a series of fairly well-known tirades and real life issues back a couple of years ago, even trashing an entire hotel room in Germany during one of their European tours (I think it was Germany).  WWE sends him home, then brings him back the following week and pushes him harder than ever.  Jeff Hardy, on the other hand, tries his hardest to stay on the good side of the backstage politicians, makes one mistake, and gets his main event-level push yanked out from under him.  Orton gets lengthy title reigns.  Hardy gets ONE title reign for six weeks that ends when his brother knocks him out.  It isn’t fair.  Jeff Hardy should have a long reign as champion to make up for all the shit he’s been put through, and Orton needs some time off.  He’s just so grating.

Okay, so if you’ve tabulated my picks correctly, I’m predicting THREE world title changes at Backlash.  I do believe that’s never happened in one night.  Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but to my recollection, since the ECW title was reinstated and all PPV’s became tri-branded, there has never been a night where three new world champions were crowned.  I’ll do some research, but I doubt it’s happened.

With that being said, I’ll be back tomorrow with my last Top 5 list for a while, and if I get a chance to watch it, I’ll give a Backlash recap.  Otherwise, that’ll happen on Monday.  Until then, I’ll keep writing so you keep reading!

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