World Heavyweight Champion Chris Benoit defeats Triple H & Shawn Michaels to retain
Chris Benoit was on top of the world. The Rabid Wolverine defeated Shawn Michaels and Triple H in a Triple Threat Match on the grandest stage of them all – WrestleMania XX – to become the World Heavyweight Champion. Benoit was defending his gold in a rematch at Backlash, and the match was right in his own backyard of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. It seemed like Benoit had all of the momentum. But still, the doubters continued to believe that Benoit couldn’t win the big one. Sure he had won the Royal Rumble and then went on to win the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania, but he couldn’t do it again, could he? But that’s just how Benoit liked things. He knew he could win the big one, and that’s all that mattered.
Benoit and Michaels paired up in the beginning of the match to try and eliminate Triple H from the equation, but that partnership didn’t last long. Early on, Shawn Michaels went for a flying clothesline, but missed and knocked out the referee. HBK managed to get Benoit in the Sharpshooter, and referee Earl Hebner came to the ring to take over. The crowd erupted in a “You screwed Bret” chant, because Hebner was the referee when Mr. McMahon screwed Bret “Hit Man” Hart out of the WWE Championship at Survivor Series, 1997 in Montreal. But Hebner stuck to the rules and called it down the middle, and Benoit managed to escape.
As the match wore on, all three Superstars were exhausted and down for the count. Triple H was the first up and hit Benoit with a Pedigree. HBK recovered just in the nick of time to break up the pin, though. Triple H got thrown to the outside, but it was there where he retrieved his trusty sledgehammer. The Game nailed the Showstopper in the back with his weapon of choice, but before he could hit him again, Benoit made the save. Triple H went for the Pedigree, but Benoit was able to slingshot him into the ring post. Benoit went back into the ring where HBK tried to hit him with Sweet Chin Music. Benoit was able to catch it, though, and turned it into a Sharpshooter. Michaels put forth a valiant effort, but in the end, just like at WrestleMania XX, Benoit was victorious.