WWE Great American Bash
-Follow me on Twitter @SamoaRowe.
July 24th 2005
-From Buffalo, NY. Our hosts are Michael Cole and Tazz.
-Just for the record, in the ten years since this event took place, I have never seen a single match or segment. I read
Scott Keith’s blistering review and it turned me off from ever wanting to see this. It’s a little hard to believe that such a miserable event could take place after WWE knocked the ball out of the park with it’s last three pay-per-views (Smackdown’s Judgment Day, ECW’s One Night Stand, and Raw’s Vengeance) but I suppose I should have learned by now that in this century, a string of great WWE shows is usually a setup for 6-8 months of blah to follow.
WWE Tag Team Championship:
Animal is paying tribute to his late partner, Hawk, and this match is cashing in on a recent Road Warriors DVD release. It’s also worth noting that Animal’s brother, John Laurinaitis, was in charge of hiring talent at this time. Tazz unfortunately shines a light on the fact that this is the second time that Animal and Heidenreich have teamed up, so this wasn’t exactly a long chase for the gold. The fans really get behind L.O.D. 2.0 during their hot start, especially when Animal hits a double vertical suplex on MNM. True to the formula, MNM blindside the back of Heidenreich’s knee to set him up as the face in peril. It doesn’t take too long for Animal to get the hot tag and clean house. Nitro delivers a blind belt shot, but Animal kicks out. Heidenreich breaks up the Snap Shot, and Animal scoop slams Mercury to set up the Doomsday Device for the win at 6:42. Crowd pleasing finish to cap off a cookie cutter nostalgia match. This result might have been okay if MNM had regained the titles on the next Smackdown, but L.O.D. went on to reign for THREE months. Not the worst opener ever, *½.
MNM © (Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro, with Melina) vs. Road Warrior Animal and Heidenreich
Winners and new WWE Tag Team Champions: Road Warrior Animal and Heidenreich
-Josh Mathews interviews Eddie Guerrero backstage, at Eddie’s request. He has an additional stipulation for his match with Rey Mysterio. Not only will Eddie reveal a big secret about Rey if he wins, but now Rey’s son, Dominick, will be watching from the front row as Uncle Eddie beats his daddy up.
Christian vs. Booker T (with Sharmell)
Several Raw guys got screwed in the last draft with a trade to Smackdown that killed their momentum, and Christian was one of them. He lost his problem solver, Tomko, and status as a main event threat. Christian would toil on the Smackdown midcard until voluntarily leaving for what seemed like greener pastures in TNA. Match begins with Christian stalling and Booker controlling the action. Christian uses the ref as a shield and pulls Booker into the ring post to shift the momentum. Christian targets the shoulder in between rest holds. There’s an audible “Let’s go, Christian” chant as Booker T gets a hope spot before hanging himself on the ropes. Christian goes after Sharmell, who protects herself with a slap. Booker pops up for the Bookend for a good near fall. Booker rolls through a comeback, complete with Spinaroonie. Christian counters with a power bomb out of the turnbuckles. Booker nails a missile drop-kick, but Christian thumbs the eyes to take the fight to ringside. They smash each other into the ring post and ring steps for a short bit. Booker finishes with a flying scissors kick at 11:33. This was a couple of two star specialists having a two star match on a two star pay-per-view, **.
Winner: Booker T
-Melina is upset about her team losing the tag titles, but still has to deal with Torrie Wilson in a bra and panties match. Melina scoffs at the notion that she would let the world see her in her underwear. She wraps it up by calling Torrie a washed up has-been.
United States Championship:
Speaking of Raw guys getting screwed by the draft, Benoit arrived on the Smackdown scene only to get thrust into a feud with JTTS Jordan in the midst of a baffling U.S. title reign. I’m almost surprised Benoit didn’t show up on TNA with Christian later that fall. They lock up and Benoit wins the exchange and starts tearing into Jordan with chops. Orlando gets his own shots in too, and starts targeting the arm. Benoit misses a baseball slide and Jordan drives him spine-first into the ring post. Orlando tries to undo some turnbuckle padding but Benoit interrupts with a release German suplex. Jordan no-sells a Northern Lights suplex and goes after the back and arm. The heat sequence lasts an eternity. Orlando climbs the ropes, giving Benoit a chance to cut him off with a superplex. Benoit finds his second wind and delivers some rolling German suplexes. Benoit’s flying head butt seems to hurt him more than Jordan, but still gets a 2 count. Jordan buys time with a desperate head butt and finally finishes exposing a turnbuckle. Benoit gets shoved head first into the exposed steel and Jordan gains the pinfall at 14:21. This match would. Not. End. This was little-to-no heat and just tedious to sit through. The Jordan experiment would come to an end next month at Summerslam, so huzzah, *¾.
Orlando Jordon © vs. Chris Benoit
Winner and still United States Champion: Orlando Jordan
-Benoit stumbles to his feet for a standing ovation from the Buffalo crowd. This moment just saddens me more than anything now.
#1 Contenders Match:
Oh gawd, THIS match. Little history lesson, in July 2005, there was a horrible series of terrorist attacks on the London subway system, carried out by Islamic suicide bombers. This incident was a huge news story, shocking the world, and over 50 people were killed and hundreds more were injured. The attacks happened between WWE taping a Smackdown segment where Undertaker was overwhelmed by a group of masked men, clearly intended to be Islamic extremists (like in all those lovely beheading videos). Daivari was “sacrificed” during the attack and carried out like a martyr. Rather than pull the segment from the TV airing, in light of real life events, WWE left it in the broadcast, which infuriated fans, advertisers, the TV network, and people of good taste. Network executives at UPN demanded that the Hassan and Daivari characters be taken off their network ASAP. This was the final nail in the coffin for Hassan and Daivari, who had been portrayed on Raw as more complex characters, two American citizens who weren’t happy with post-9/11 xenophobia. After getting drafted to Smackdown, they were another case of Raw guys getting screwed with the trade, as they were instantly recast as cartoonish, stereotypical terrorist characters meant to frighten the white trash in the audience. This all leads to this event, where WWE decided it was finally time to cut their losses on the gimmick. Daivari would end up back on Raw, as Kurt Angle’s manager, while Hassan would get his pink slip (he was never that good anyway).
Muhammad Hassan (with Daivari) vs. The Undertaker
Not having learned their lesson from the TV debacle, Hassan is carried into the arena on a middle Eastern thrown by his “sympathizers.” Hassan cuts one last promo saying that if he can’t beat the Undertaker, he’ll never show up on Smackdown again. Undertaker interrupts and the sympathizers surround the ring like lumberjacks. Bell rings and it’s all Undertaker, unleashing his routine move set. Daivari pulls Hassan out of the way of Taker’s running boot, allowing the sympathizers to interfere. It doesn’t take Undertaker long to punch his way back into the match, but a rather large sympathizer chokes him out on the floor. Hassan praises Allah and applies the Camel Clutch. Taker counters with an Electric Chair and fights off sympathizers while making a comeback. Taker finishes with a choke slam at 8:03. Match was complete garbage but they were cutting their losses on Hassan, so it doesn’t really matter, *.
Winner: The Undertaker
-The sympathizers flood the ring to attack Undertaker. They drag him to the floor, where the Dead Man comes back to life and fights off the faux terrorists with available furniture. Taker snap mares Daivari out and catches the big sympathizer with a Tombstone Piledriver. Hassan crawls up the ramp only to get caught on the stage. Taker choke slams Hassan onto the metal stage and then removes some grating to create a hole. Taker puts Hassan into the hole with a Last Ride. And to this day, no one has ever seen Hassan again.
-Some guy whose name escapes me interviews Torrie Wilson about her bra and panties match with Melina. Torrie is looking forward to giving all the troops watching tonight something to remember.
-Medics are checking on Muhammad Hassan, laying in a bloody heap on the concrete floor. He’s dead, Jim.
The Mexicools (Super Crazy, Psychosis, and Juventud Guerrera) vs. The b.W.o. (Blue Meanie, Nova, and Stevie Richards)
Super Crazy and Psychosis were rewarded for their performances at One Night Stand with full-time contracts and the gimmick of Juan Deere riding landscapers. Meanwhile, Blue Meanie got a short run during this time, due to JBL legit kicking his ass in the WWE vs. ECW brawl that closed One Night Stand. The b.W.o. ride out in blue big wheels to mock the Mexicools. Juventud starts against Nova, who was simultaneously playing Simon Dean on Smackdown during this time. The match quickly breaks down and the b.W.o. clears the ring. Nova gets caught with a springboard kick to the head and settles in as face in peril. Not sure why the Mexicools are heels, other than playing into the timely fear that all Mexicans are in America to steal our jobs. Richards gets what’s supposed to be a hot tag and cleans house. Blue Meanie helps clear the ring, leaving Stevie ehind to suffer Super Crazy’s moonsault and Psychosis’ flying leg drop. Richards is finished at 4:52. Harmless fluff match here, *¼.
Winners: The Mexicools
-Rey Mysterio and his son, Dominick, pray together. Dominick is scared of what Eddie Guerrero might do, but Rey puts on a brave face.
Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio (with Dominick)
Eddie is 6-0 in this current feud against Mysterio, so now he’s bringing Rey’s family into it, promising to reveal a deep, dark family secret if he wins. Eddie insists on a handshake and hug, for Dominick’s benefit, but Rey cheap shots to gain the upper hand. The cameramen spend far too much time zooming in on Dominick’s face for his non-existent reactions. To his credit, Rey is wrestling like a man with something to lose, and almost wins via top rope rana. Eddie trips Rey on the ropes to gain the advantage and then heels it up another notch by using Dominick as a shield. I wonder how many years of therapy Dominick needed after participating in this angle. Guerrero dishes out a prolonged beat down, mainly targeting the back. Eddie slingshots Rey over the ropes and takes a break to pat Dominick on the head. That motivates Mysterio to make a fiery comeback. Eddie blocks a springboard moonsault, but Rey counters into a tornado DDT for 2. 619 connects, but Guerrero dodges a springboard leg drop. Eddie delivers two rounds of the Three Amigos, and stares at Dominick before hitting a Brainbuster. Frog splash by Eddie, but Rey reverses the cover for the win at 15:37! This was the usual good action you’d expect from these two, the stipulation didn’t hurt as much as I was expecting it to, as Eddie got a chance to showcase some outstanding heel mannerisms. It’s a bit of a letdown coming out of their ****+ matches on Judgment Day and Smackdown, but they still put together a ***½ effort here.
Winner: Rey Mysterio
-Eddie pouts in defeat. He would reveal his secret on Smackdown despite this loss.
-Josh Mathews interviews JBL backstage. JBL is decked out in a red, white, and blue cowboy hat and jacket. He’s still mad that Batista cost him a match against the Blue Meanie, tarnishing his Hall of Fame career. JBL promises to take his place along Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt as one of the great Americans when he beats Batista for the World title.
Bra and Panties Match: Melina vs. Torrie Wilson
Guest Referee: Candice Michelle
There’s a backstory that Melina stripped Candice down on Smackdown. And we all think the main roster divas division in 2015 is sad. Torrie still wrestles like a barely trained rookie and Melina already has her outclassed at this stage in her game. Torrie uses an abdominal stretch to remove Melina’s shirt. Melina almost loses her pants but launches Wilson through the ropes. Torrie loses her shirt, and suddenly I become mindful that I turned 31 recently and I’m way too old to be recapping this nonsense. But I digress. Torrie loses her pants at 3:51. Calling this a DUD would be nice.
-Candice Michelle helps Torrie strip Melina down and then strips herself. This is embarrassing.
World Heavyweight Championship:
When we last saw both these men on pay-per-view, they were tearing it up in ****¼ main events with other opponents. Oh, how quickly things change. Batista had been riding high as the champion on Raw and top star in all WWE, and this draft to Smackdown definitely feels like a demotion, even if no one is saying it out loud on TV. JBL gets an extra special entrance, with a police motorcade accompanying his limo, and confetti. Bell rings and they try to play this as a “clash of the titans” between two big guys who were previously on separate brands. The early going is competitive, but Batista has the upper hand more often than not. Batista gets his neck snapped on the ropes but manages to catch JBL mid-air to slam him into the ring frame. JBL takes control and messily clotheslines Batista over the announce table. JBL controls the pace with a lot of punching to set up a sleeper hold. Batista struggles, but breaks the sleeper with a back suplex. JBL retains control by smashing Batista into the ring steps. Batista wakes up and clotheslines himself and JBL over the barricade. They return to the ring just in time for a ref bump. Batista hits the Batista Bomb but Orlando Jordan runs in for a chair shot. Jordan revives the referee but Batista kicks out. Clothesline from Hell by JBL but the ref is out again. JBL spends too much time complaining and runs into a spinebuster. Batista back drops Jordan out and slams JBL. Batista takes Jordan’s chair away and clocks both him and JBL in the head to earn a DQ at 19:43. THIS FEUD MUST CONTINUE! Pretty flat main event, even before that finish, below what is expected from pay-per-view headliners, **.
Batista © vs. John Bradshaw Layfield
Winner via DQ: John Bradshaw Layfield
-Batista makes a hilarious angry face and dishes out a series of chair shots on Jordan. JBL is announced as the winner, much to his delight. Batista returns to the ring for another pair of Batista Bombs.
Final Thoughts: There’s only one good match and that one even had a terrible stipulation. Don’t make the same mistake I did, avoid this show! Thumbs Down.
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