Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net, starting today. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?

Backlash: In Your House #28
Date: April 25, 1999
Location: Providence Civic Center, Providence, Rhode Island
Attendance: 10,939
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s the final show and not a lot has changed. We’re getting a few Wrestlemania rematches here as Austin is defending against the Rock again while Mankind is facing Big Show in a boiler room brawl. Other than that we have the fully heel HHH facing X-Pac in a match for revenge. For once, the name of the show fits the theme perfectly. Let’s get to it.

The opening video talks about Austin and Rock being the two biggest stars in the universe but only one can burn brighter than everyone else.

Shane McMahon has made the main event no holds barred and Austin loses the title if he touches the referee. The referee for the main event: Shane McMahon.

Brood vs. Ministry of Darkness

The Brood used to be part of the Ministry but got kicked out after Christian accidentally gave up the location of Stephanie McMahon, Vince’s daughter who had been kidnapped by Undertaker. It’s Mideon and the Acolytes (Faarooq and Bradshaw) for the Ministry here. Christian and Mideon get things going with Mideon pounding Christian some heavy right hands, only to be taken down by a spinwheel kick to the jaw. Off to Gangrel to crank on the arm until Mideon tags in Bradshaw.

The big man kicks Gangrel’s head off but charges into a boot in the corner, allowing Gangrel to hit a middle rope elbow to the jaw. The Brood starts double teaming to take Bradshaw down with Gangrel and Edge double suplexing him down. Bradshaw stumbles over to the corner for a tag to Faarooq who is dropkicked into a crucifix for two. Edge spinwheel kicks Faarooq down for no cover before walking into a spinebuster to change the momentum.

Back to Mideon who gets two off a suplex before Bradshaw comes in to pound away. Gangrel tries to come in for a save but Bradshaw goes after the entire Brood, allowing Faarooq to pound away on Gangrel behind the referee’s back. Faarooq hooks the chinlock for a bit before it’s back to Faarooq for a headbutt to the ribs. Edge fights back on the legal Mideon before hitting a middle rope spear, allowing for the hot tag off to Christian.

Things speed up quite a bit with Christian and Gangrel backdropping Mideon down as everything breaks down. Christian’s Impaler DDT gets two on Bradshaw and he pounds away in the corner, only to have the tar powerbombed out of him for two. Edge’s missile dropkick puts Bradshaw down for two but Viscera sneaks in to crush Christian, setting up Bradshaw’s big clothesline for the pin.

Rating: C. This was fine though cutting out a minute or so would have helped it. The Brood would get a lot better once they dropped Gangrel and became a goofy tag team, which wound up being the solution the entire time. This was a fun match though and the ending worked well. Take out the Viscera interference and the match is even better.

Rock arrives.

We recap Hardcore (Bob) Holly vs. Al Snow. There isn’t much to say here as they’re pretty much just picking up their feud from the last In Your House and ignoring Billy Gunn as Hardcore Champion in between.

Hardcore Title: Al Snow vs. Hardcore Holly

Holly is defending. They’re on the floor almost immediately with Snow being sent into the steps. That’s close enough to actual wrestling so they head into the crowd for the real meat of the match. Back to ringside with Snow getting two off a moonsault from the apron. Snow finds a hockey stick under the ring and breaks it apart to blast Holly in the back. Snow got busted open somewhere in there.

Holly gets beaten on with the stick for a few moments until Snow brings in a table. He takes too long setting it up though and Holly gets in a shot with the hockey stick. They head to the aisle where Holly gets two off a suplex. The fight goes into the back with Snow being rammed into various metal objects. Holly finds a well placed kitchen sink which is destroyed against a wall instead of Snow’s head.

They go out to the parking lot with Holly setting off a car alarm when he’s rammed into a hood. Snow finds a broom to break over Holly’s back and walks him over to some steps back into the arena. Holly throws him over the ledge into a dumpster and follows in with a splash for two. They head back to more cars before fighting into the production truck with Snow throwing him out the door and onto the top of a car for two.

Snow accidentally kicks the window so Holly can punch him back into the arena. Holly whips him into a metal sheet and they head back into the arena where Snow hits him with a frying pan for tow. Hardcore avoids going through the table with a frying pan shot of his own before superplexing Snow through the table. The referee counts to nine until Holly drapes an arm over Snow for two. Snow crawls over to the corner and grabs Head so he can knock Holly unconscious for the pin and the title.

Rating: D+. Lawler sums up the match as soon as it’s over: “After all that, the Head did it?” That’s the problem with something like this. After all the carnage and weapon shots, including frying pans and that great table spot, it was a mannequin head that got the pin? That’s a bit of a stretch to put it mildly. Also way too long here as this was nearly sixteen minutes.

Austin has arrived.

Undertaker praises the Ministry for winning but says they have to prepare for the arrival of the greater power. The destruction and tragedy may now begin.

Intercontinental Title: Godfather vs. Goldust

No real story here and Godfather is defending. Goldust has Blue Meanie while Godfather has his ladies. Godfather won’t even offer Goldust the girls as he usually does. The champion takes over with some clotheslines to start and faceplants Goldust down onto the mat. Goldust bails to the floor for a meeting with Meanie and tries to bail up the aisle.

Back in and Godfather gets two off a slam and a legdrop but Meanie’s distraction lets Goldust take over. Another Meanie distraction lets Goldust load up some powder to throw in Godfather’s eyes but Godfather kicks it into Goldust’s eyes. The blinded Goldust beats up Meanie and gives him Shattered Dreams by mistake. Meanie accidentally hits Goldust low, allowing Godfather to hit the Death Valley Driver to retain.

Rating: D+. This was just a quick comedy match and there’s nothing wrong with that. Godfather was a very fun and laid back character which is exactly what a wrestling company needs at times. There’s no pressure, no emotional burden and nothing you have to focus on. It’s just having a good time with a wrestling character and giving the fans a breather.

Snow and Head argue over who won the title match.

New Age Outlaws vs. Jeff Jarrett/Owen Hart

The winners get a title shot against Kane and X-Pac at some point in the future. Debra is in a bikini with a jacket over it, sending Lawler through the roof. Road Dogg tries to convince Debra to show us her, ahem, puppies, but Jeff objects. Billy tries to drop his trunks but gets jumped to start the match instead. Owen and Billy get things going with Hart in control until Gunn comes back with a running dropkick to take over.

Off to Dogg who works on the arm before putting on a headlock, only to be taken down by a neckbreaker. The fans start a SHOW YOUR PUPPIES chant as the Dogg pounds away on Jeff’s jaw but Owen tries to sneak in. Road Dogg is too smart for that and sends Jeff and Owen into each other, only to have Owen come back with a quick enziguri for two. Jeff stomps on Dogg in the corner as the chant starts up again. An atomic drop has Jeff in trouble but he sends Dogg to the floor to take over.

Jarrett misses a charge and hits the ropes by mistake but brings in Owen before Dogg can follow up. Dogg’s backslide isn’t seen as Jarrett has the referee, allowing Owen to spinwheel kick Dogg down for two. Back to Jarrett who collides with Road Dogg to put both guys down but Owen gets in again before Dogg can make a tag. Hart puts on a sleeper but gets reversed into one of his own until another collision puts both guys down.

Billy finally gets the hot tag to clean house and scores with dropkicks on both heels. A powerslam gets two on Jarrett as everything breaks down. Gunn Cactus Clotheslines Jarrett to the floor but Dogg hits on Debra instead of following up. Owen tries a cheap shot but gets caught in a pumphandle slam for two. Jeff makes the save and Owen gets the Sharpshooter on Dogg, only to have Gunn hit a Fameasser out of nowhere for the pin.

Rating: C+. This is one of the best in ring performances by the Outlaws I’ve ever seen. They were working quite well together out there and the match had a nice flow to it. Dogg and Gunn never were a great in ring pairing but it’s almost impossible to have a bad match with Jarrett and Hart. Nice stuff here.

Shane doesn’t guarantee things like his dad but gives his word on his grandfather’s grave that he’ll count the pin for Austin tonight if Austin can get it. Shane insists that Vince is just a man and not his father.

Vince, sitting next to his daughter Stephanie, says he doesn’t care for what Shane said and doesn’t like Shane using his grandfather’s name to swear by.

Big Show vs. Mankind

These two fought at Wrestlemania for the right to be the referee in the main event. Big Show also cost Mankind the WWF Title back in February. This is a boiler room brawl and the only way to win is to escape the room. Mankind jumps him from behind to start and slams Big Show into an electrical closet. Big Show fights out and sends Mankind over a table before hitting him with the table itself. Mankind avoids a punch that hits a refrigerator instead before hitting Big Show with some Sheetrock.

Big Show kicks a trashcan into Mankind’s face before wheeling him into a big metal folding board. The board falls onto Mankind and Big Show goes for the door but Mankind breaks a plane of glass over his head. Mankind climbs a ladder but gets shoved down through a table. Big Show is badly cut from the glass but he sends Mankind through a bunch of boxes. Mankind’s hand is cut open as well. Big Show pounds on him a bit more but gets blasted by some steam from a pipe. Some stick shots put Big Show down and Mankind crawls away, leaving bloody hand prints along the way until he gets through the door for the wain.

Rating: C-. This is a hard one to rate because it was just a bunch of brawling but the blood helped a lot. Mankind did what he could in there but it wasn’t nearly as intense as the original version with Undertaker. Still good brawling though with Mankind getting a big win and some revenge back.

Post match Big Bossman and Test try to attack Mankind but Big Show makes the save.

Chyna says X-Pac needs to know the pecking order around here. HHH says he made X-Pac and tonight he’s going to break him.

Big Show gets medical treatment.

Mankind says he doesn’t want to fight Big Show anymore and looks at the carnage from the fight.

HHH vs. X-Pac

This is all about revenge after HHH turned heel to join the Corporation at Wrestlemania, costing X-Pac his European Title match with Shane McMahon at the same time. HHH has a new rock song as his theme music here which didn’t last long. He gets in a cheap shot to start but X-Pac takes him down with right hands and chops. A kick to the face puts HHH down again and they fight to the floor with the fans all over X-Pac, who is the good guy here.

Back in and HHH wildly throws X-Pac over the top to the floor but a Chyna distraction accidentally lets X-Pac get in a shot to HHH’s ribs. Back in and X-Pac scores with some kicks in the corner but can’t hit the Bronco Buster. Things slow down a bit until HHH realizes X-Pac’s chronically bad neck is hurting again. HHH goes on a stomping spree before getting two off a neckbreaker. We hit a front facelock for a few moments before HHH drops some knees on X-Pac’s neck for two.

HHH hooks a dragon sleeper to stay on the neck before a reverse DDT and the facebuster get two. X-Pac rolls to the floor and gets dropped face first onto the barricade by Chyna. Some elbows to the neck keep HHH in control before it’s back to the front facelock. Now it’s a sleeper hold to keep the match at a slow pace until X-Pac fights up and grabs a sleeper of his own. HHH rams him into the buckle to escape but X-Pac comes back with a belly to back suplex. A pair of spinwheel kicks put HHH down but X-Pac can’t follow up on a flipping clothesline.

X-Pac pulls off a tornado DDT for a near fall as Chyna gets up on the apron. The distraction lets X-Pac get two more off a low blow and they head outside. HHH is whipped into the steps but the referee is bumped. Back inside and the X-Factor puts HHH out but Chyna hits X-Pac low. This brings out Kane to chokeslam both HHH and Chyna and put them both in position for Bronco Busters. X-Pac busts both of them but HHH is able to get up and Pedigree him for the pin.

Rating: B. Solid match here with a nice story throughout the whole thing. The interference makes sense here and fit the story well but didn’t overshadow the match. That’s the biggest problem with this era most of the time, which is a shame given the talent the company had at this point. Solid stuff.

Ken Shamrock vs. Undertaker

Corporation vs. Ministry, but the version people might care about this time. Shamrock jumps him to start but runs into a hard clothesline for two. Old School connects as Undertaker is definitely in slow mode tonight. A big jumping clothesline gets two on Ken but he avoids a running boot in the corner. Shamrock fires off kicks to the hamstring but Undertaker grabs a choke in the corner followed by a belly to back suplex to take over. Shamrock comes right back with a knee bar as the match slows down again.

Undertaker fights out with some legs to the face and gets to his feet again. Back up and Shamrock grabs another rolling leg lock, though this time on a different leg. The Dead Man makes the rope for the break so they head outside with Shamrock pounding away at Undertaker’s head. He crushes Taker’s ankle against the steps before taking it back inside to pound away on Undertaker’s head. They actually trade drop toeholds until Shamrock takes him down into a cross armbreaker.

Another rope break saves Undertaker and he bails to the floor where he’s able to snap Shamrock’s throat across the top rope for another break. Ken dives off the apron but gets rammed into the post for his efforts as Undertaker is taking over again. Back in and Undertaker pounds on Shamrock’s back with forearms followed by a backbreaker. Shamrock’s back is bent over Undertaker’s knee for a bit, good for a two count.

Off to a bow and arrow hold by Undertaker but Shamrock makes the ropes as well. Shamrock grabs another knee bar but Undertake uses the free leg to kick Ken in the face and grab a half crab. Back up and Ken slugs away but runs into a forearm to the face for two. Shamrock comes back with some shots to the jaw of his own but runs into a big boot for two more.

Ken hooks his standing hurricanrana but the ankle lock is quickly escaped. Undertaker can’t hit the tombstone and gets caught in the ankle lock. This brings out Bradshaw with a ball bat for a distraction but Ken still counters a chokeslam into an armbar. Ropes are quickly grabbed again so Shamrock belly to bellies Undertaker down, only to stand him up again and get tombstoned to give Undertaker the pin.

Rating: D. This was WAY too long and got dull with about ten minutes to go. Shamrock wasn’t terrible but at this point undertaker was almost all character and nothing whatsoever in the ring. Shamrock needed someone to help him to a good match and this version of the Undertaker certainly wasn’t it.

Post match Bradshaw comes in to destroy Shamrock just a bit more, including choking him out with the ball bat.

We recap the main event. Again there isn’t much to this one: Austin won the title at Wrestlemania but then decided he needed a new championship belt. He introduced the Smoking Skull belt which was personalized for him, but Rock stole it and threw it (and Austin) into a river, only to reveal he still had it the next week. Austin retaliated by destroying the Titantron and running over Rock’s Lincoln Continental with a monster truck.

Vince has Stephanie wait in the limo until after the match.

WWF World Title: The Rock vs. Steve Austin

This is no holds barred with Shane McMahon as referee and Austin loses the title if he touches Shane. Rock, still in possession of the Smoking Skull belt, gets a big pop of his own but of course it pales in comparison to Austin’s. Austin pounds away in the corner to start as the fans are immediately into this. Rock comes back with right hands of his own as the Smoking Skull belt is taken to the back. Austin hits the Thesz Press and the middle finger elbow for one.

The champion gets sent to the floor and clotheslined down before they head up to the entrance. Austin tries a comeback but gets whipped through a fence, knocking part of the set over in the process. Rock’s suplex is countered into one of his own to give Austin the advantage again. Now it’s Rock being sent into the pile of the set and clotheslined down on top of it. Rock is whipped through a barricade and gets rammed in the head by a rolling anvil case for good measure.

The Corporate one comes back by sending Austin into a camera and clotheslining him down. We shift momentum again with Austin slamming rock down on the concrete and whipping him into the steps back at ringside. Back inside and Austin stomps away in the corner, only to be reprimanded by Shane. The distraction lets Rock charge at Austin and get backdropped up and over to the floor in a big crash. Austin loads up a piledriver through the Spanish announce table but gets countered into a Rock Bottom instead.

Both guys are down with Shane telling Rock how excellent that was. Rock gets on Spanish commentary and calls Austin trash (in English) as Shane throws him a chair. Austin kicks him in the ribs to block the shot and they head back into the crowd for another clothesline to the champion. A low blow keeps Austin in trouble and Rock lays him across the announce table before taking over a camera for more comedy. Rock looks out at the crowd but pans back to Austin flipping him off and hitting a Stunner through the announce table. Nice idea there.

Both guys are down at ringside as we get a replay of the Stunner, this time entirely from Rock’s perspective. Back inside and Austin tries another Stunner but Rock shoves him into Shane. There’s the Rock Bottom for a close two after Shane put Rock’s hand on Austin’s chest. Shane grabs the belt (the regular one, not the Smoking Skull) but accidentally hits Rock. Austin covers for two but Shane flips Austin off at two. Shane starts bailing up the aisle but here are Vince and another referee. Vince knocks Shane out with the Smoking Skull belt and Austin hits a Stunner and belt shot to Rock’s head to retain the title.

Rating: B+. This was a solid Attitude Era style brawl and the match that should have happened at Wrestlemania. The ending is more shades of gray than I prefer with Vince helping his mortal enemy to take out his new enemy. That’s just not something Vince would do, especially with what’s coming in the near future.

We cut to the parking lot with Stephanie in the limo. The Ministry comes towards her so security says go but the privacy screen drops and it’s Undertaker driving. Vince is in the arena watching Austin drink to end the show.

Overall Rating: B-. This is a show where the stuff that’s good is quite good but the stuff that’s bad is quite bad. In other words, it’s a perfect representation of the series as a whole. The Austin vs. Rock match was great but it would be left in the dust by what they would do a few years later. Still though, it’s a very solid match and the rest of the card isn’t terrible save for the Undertaker match. Good show overall but it’s not a masterpiece.

Things would get even more insane soon enough, with the Shane-led Corporation joining with the Ministry just four days later to feud with the new Super Best Guys Who Tolerate Each Other But Aren’t Friends Austin and Rock. Vince would be revealed as behind the entire Ministry in a grand plan to take the title off of Austin which he eventually would do again in May. That brought about even more insanity but we’ll get to that another time.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. Get the latest and greatest in professional wrestling news by signing up for our daily email newsletter. Just look below for “GET EXCLUSIVE UPDATES” to sign up. Thank you for reading!


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