Was Backlash 2020 Just One Wild Lockdown-Induced Dream?

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Singing is one of the bright parts of WWE Backlash, as this lighthearted review looks at a dream-like evening.

This lockdown has had some serious effects on us all, man. One of the most common has been that a lot of us are having more dreams in our sleep. Often much wilder and more vivid than usual.

It’s been all over the news, too. Turns out, being cooped up indoors for most of the day gets our imaginations racing at night. And on June 14, on what felt like day 1,863 of COVID-19 restrictions, I think mine whipped up its most chaotic concoction yet.

One of the things they say about your dreams is that they are usually a random shuffling of recent experiences and encounters, spliced with subconscious hopes and regrets. And that’s how this felt, even during the pre-show.

One contest that stood out for me when the card was announced (unless I was dreaming THAT, too?) was the US Championship match. Having always been a fan of Apollo Crews since seeing him in the UK during his Uhaa Nation days, it’s no surprise he made an early appearance in this dream.

I also used him as a barometer for how this whole thing would go: if he wasn’t smiling to me for more than two seconds at any given moment, I’d know I was actually in a full-fledged nightmare.

Kevin Owens making a big entrance as if he was going to turn Crews vs Andrade into a tag match only to sit in on commentary certainly fit the bill of other dreams I’d had, such as the one where a choir sang my arrival at the Post Office to drop off some cheques.

My past experience as a squared circle zebra had me focusing on the official more than the six participants in the Women’s Tag Title match. Right at the start he called a tag which wasn’t particularly clear, which commentary said wasn’t a tag, and then turned out to actually be a tag.

Once the eye is drawn it stays there, and that left me watching the ref rather than the match. What did I say earlier about past experiences?

When Sheamus and Jeff Hardy popped into the picture, I knew none of this was real. I mean, who would book this storyline?

Actually, scratch that. WWE did almost the exact same urine-based ‘jokes’ in 2006 with Shawn Michaels and the McMahons. Jury’s still out.

A horrible story to use, and unless they were going for “give up all hope” for Jeff then I’m not entirely sure what the point of the result was.

Dreams also often abruptly end before they reach their natural conclusion, which explains Asuka vs Nia Jax. What was that all about?

It would certainly suit the narrative that Asuka hasn’t outright won a match for the title, but I’ve flip-flopped plenty of times as to the plan given her not knowing where the belt was at the end of the match and the fact she could have won anyway without getting back in the ring. Still, I’d rather flip-flop than it just flop.

I woke up this morning with a Hey Hey Hey, Ho Ho earworm. Fortunately I’m a huge fan of schtick like this, as well as of all three men in the match, though I’m not quite sure what caused my subconscious to imagine a scenario in which the monster face-of-the-brand only avoided losing his belt to a midcard tag team member because of the stupidity of his partner.

Since I’ve long felt Drew McIntyre vs Bobby Lashley should have been a much bigger deal back when they wrestled in Impact, it was great that they showed up and had a great battle over the WWE Championship they really should have held several times each by now. I’ll take that over wandering aimlessly around my workplace wearing nothing but one grey sock.

Suddenly, I found myself in a parking lot. The Street Profits and the Name Raiders were there as well, and… well, if I told you, you wouldn’t even believe someone could dream that.

There are cinematic wrestling matches and then there are shitstorms. And THEN, there are shitstorms featuring Akira Tozawa and a fleet of ninjas. I mean, WWE wouldn’t actually book something that stereotypical… would they?

And then, as if the whole thing hadn’t already surpassed my previous personal overnight best of thinking I was going backpacking across Africa alongside Adam Sandler’s floating decapitated head, I next heard the voice of the late, great Howard Finkel as a return to the arena was littered at every turn by proclamations of The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever… featuring Randy Orton.

To be fair, it was a great match. If not for all the ridiculous hype, it’d probably be heralded much more than it has been so far. Above all else, it taught me that superlatives are a kiss of death in wrestling, unless you’re a cocky heel designed to eat their words on a nightly basis.

Well, it taught me that and to never order the four cheese pizza so close to bedtime ever again.

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