PPV REPORTS KELLER'S WWE GREAT AMERICAN BASH PPV REPORT 7/23: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage
Jul 23, 2006 - 9:51:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor
WWE GREAT AMERICAN BASH
JULY 23, 2006
-Michael Cole and JBL introduced the event.
1 -- BRIAN KENDRICK & PAUL LONDON vs. THE PITBULLS (Jamie Noble & Kid Kash) - World Tag Team Title match
JBL said Kash and Noble claim they've never lost a bar right, and they're not the typical cruiserweight wrestler. His heart was in the right place, but why even categorize them as cruiserweights? They're tag wrestlers. Don't draw attention to their size. Cole brought up the Rock & Roll Express as a great tag team of past Bashes. WWE could probably get some extra buys if they'd make the Great American Bash an annual tribute or acknowledgment of WCW, bringing back top WCW stars of the Bashes of the past and featuring highlight videos from past Bashes. Clips of great past Bashes could help 24/7 subscriptions and DVD sales, too. JBL said the odds of London and Kendrick making it to their 30s wrestling the way they do are very slim. At 4:00, London & Kendrick made a comeback and cleared the ring of. the Pitbulls, then dove through the ropes onto the Pitbulls on the floor. When Kendrick went to the top rope, Kash grabbed his foot, giving Noble a chance to recover and slam him to the mat. That led to a two count. "It's like being on the road away from your wife," JBL said. "It's only cheating if you get caught." Kendrick hot-tagged London at 6:00. London went on a nice flurry of offense against both Pitbulls. Kash yanked London to the floor. London skinned the cat back into the ring, but Kash dropkicked him upside down to the floor. It's bumps like that which prompted the "Please Don't Die, Paul London" t-shirts in ROH. Noble held London on the mat with a chinlock for a few seconds, but London escaped. Noble took London down with a leg lariat for a two count. Kash tagged in and stomped away at London, then chopped him hard in the chest. Kash prevented London from tagging Kendrick in. London kicked Kash into Noble, sending Noble to the floor. London almost had a tag, but Noble taunted Kendrick into chasing him on the floor. Kash and Noble were able to keep London in the ring for another few seconds, but London finally hot-tagged Kendrick. Kendrick flew around the ring and cleaned house with really good looking offense leading to a near fall on Kash. At 13:00 Kendrick hit a top rope sunset flip. As Kash wouldn't go over, London dropkicked him leading to the pin.
WINNERS: Kendrick & London in 13:00 to retain the World Tag Titles.
STAR RATING: ***1/4 -- Really good opener. WWE needs to build some depth to Kendrick & London so fans identify more with them than just their athleticism, and they can turn into a money act.
-Daivari yelled at Great Khali backstage, not understanding why Khali wanted to call out Undertaker right now. Khali got upset at Daivari yelling at him, and lifted him into the air and yelled.
-G.M. Teddy Long walked to the ring. Long said he had bad news, and that during his regular annual physical, his doctor found that he had elevated liver enzymes. Bobby Lashley came out and said with all due respect to the doctors, he doesn't think there's anything wrong with himself. Long said WWE takes the long-term health of its superstars seriously, so he'd side on caution, but once cleared medically, he could have a title shot whenever he wanted. Fit Finlay and William Regal walked out. They did some special handshakes with Long in an attempt to bond with him. Pretty funny. Finlay said Lashley has a yellow streak down his back and mocked the idea of missing a match due to elevated liver enzymes. Finlay said he's sure Regal will agree with him that he should be awarded the match by default. Long said Regal and Finlay would wrestle each other one-on-one. Regal indicated he wanted no part of it. Finally was upset. Long ordered the match to begin now.
2 -- FINLAY vs. WILLIAM REGAL
JBL called Lashley a coward and said Long is a suck-up. Cole said Long gave the fans what the deserve. Regal looked for the little green guy under the ring. Finlay rolled up Regal from behind for a near fall. Regal responded with an uppercut and a look of betrayal. They engaged in a collar and elbow hook-up that went to ringside and back in the ring. The crowd booed, but it was pretty cool. The green troll made an appearance, grabbing Regal's leg from under the ring. Regal caught Finlay with a boot as he charged in the corner. Regal then settled into a chinlock for a minute. At 11:00 the crowd chanted "boring, boring." Regal and Finlay insist on wrestling a style that, while fundamentally solid, just doesn't resonate with today's fans. Regal jumped off the ring apron and Finlay pulled out the ring apron, leading to a Regal crotch. When Regal came back into the ring, his right boot was missing, presumably taken off by the green troll. Finlay stomped on his foot. Regal moved out of Finlay's path, then grabbed his stick. The ref took it, but the green troll handed Finlay the boot, which he used to KO Regal.
WINNER: Finlay in 13:00 to retain the U.S. Title.
STAR RATING: **
-A promo aired for the Dusty Rhodes DVD.
-Chavo Guerrero gave Rey Mysterio a pep talk backstage. He said he has made him proud, and tonight he will live Eddie Guerrero's dream by defending the title. Chavo added that he will be sure Eddie's dream comes true.
3 -- GREGORY HELMS vs. MATT HARDY - Cruiserweight Title match
Cole acknowledged that they've been friends in the past, growing up near each other in North Carolina. Hardy mocked Helms with a Hurricane pose. Then he clotheslined Helms over the top rope. "His game is elevated. His enzymes may not be, but his game is," said JBL about Helms. The action wasn't anything all that memorable, but it was solid back and forth action, and they got the crowd into it by the end. The high point was a swinging neckbreaker off the top rope by Helms on Hardy. In the end, Hardy was punching Helms in the corner when Helms lifted him and snake-eyed him onto the top turnbuckle, then rolled him up and yanked on the tights for the pin.
WINNER: Helms in 11:00.
STAR RATING: **1/4
-Backstage Undertaker tossed Daivari aside and then asked Khali if he was looking for him. Big Show attacked Undertaker as Khali stood by and watched. Referees and Long backed Show off of Taker. Khali then gave Taker a boot to the head. At ringside, Cole almost burst a blood vessel as he demanded to know what Show was up to.
-They aired a recap of the Undertaker-Khali feud.
-Backstage, Long confronted Show, Daivari, and Khali. Long said he isn't going to let Show do his dirty work for him and get away with it, so he's putting Show in the match in place of Khali. Khali threw a fit as Show protested. He said he doesn't know anything about a Punjabi Prison Match. Cole got overanimated at ringside and said it's justice. The crowd booed the decision. . JBL said it wasn't fair. Cole said it doesn't matter what he thinks. The logic apparently is that Long is punishing Show for interfering and Khali for taking him out of a match that's his type.
4 -- UNDERTAKER vs. BIG SHOW
The cage looked pretty cool. There was a cage surrounding the ring and another cage around ringside, both built out of bamboo sticks. Show walked out and looked intimidated. Cole said Show is going to cry. There were no doors, so they lifted it for the entrances of the wrestlers. The ring intros were long, but Show's facial expressions helped the time pass. They showed various weapons lying around. Show jump-started the match by attacking Taker as he entered the ring. JBL kept saying that Undertaker is not the same guy he was before his hiatus. "He is not the same phenom that he was last year," said JBL. At 5:00, they climbed to the top rope and hung onto the side of the cage. The crowd was pretty dead, waiting to see if the match would live up to the hype. It seemed like neither wrestler was especially sure what they wanted to do or could do in the structure. An "Un-der-taker" chant began as Show methodically beat on him. At 7:00 Taker took Show down with a DDT. Taker asked for the inner cage door to be opened. The ref opened it, but Taker didn't crawl out before Show was able to drag him back to center-ring. After a minute, the cage door was lowered again and the ref padlocked the door shut. That door was now off limits and they'd have to leave via other options. At 10:00 Taker collided with Show, knocking both of them to the mat. Lumbering pace to the mat. Taker walked the top rope, but Show quickly yanked him to the mat. JBL said he doesn't look like the old Phenom. Show had another door opened, but Taker kept him from leaving. Taker then tried to leave, but Show grabbed his leg. After a minute, the door closed just as Show - after chokeslamming Taker - tried to escape. That door was then padlocked. Show complained to the ref, "I was right there!" At 13:00 Show exposed a corner turnbuckle. Show, who was bleeding from the forehead, headbutted Taker several times. The crowd chanted, "Big Show sucks." Taker bled from the forehead, also. Taker climbed to the top turnbuckle. Taker low-blowed him from behind. Cole said that was legal. Taker then superplexed Show to the mat. Taker had the ref raise the door and he rolled out of the ring to the floor. The third door was locked, but Show left through the fourth door. At ringside were various weapon props. Show threw Taker into a table in the corner, then threw Taker back into the ring. The door closed with Taker inside the cage. That meant that Taker had to climb over the top to get to the ringside area. Meanwhile, Show had to climb the outer cage to escape. Taker quickly climbed over the top and stepped directly to the outside cage. Show yanked Taker down. Taker held onto a rope and swung from it to knock Show down. He then dropped to the floor rather ungracefully. Taker leaped and dropped his legs onto the back of Show, knocking him through another table at ringside. Khali and Daivari made his way to ringside and climbed the cage. Taker flew off the cage onto Show, and they both tumbled through the side of the cage, which actually opened like two doors. Cole tried to sell it as "crashing through the Punjabi Prison Walls." JBL had to mortgage his credibility by hard selling the brutality of the match.
WINNER: Undertaker in 22:00.
STAR RATING: 1/4* -- The only redeeming quality was the "spectacle" of the new structure, but overall, a real slow, boring match where the wrestlers involved couldn't produce a match that lived up to the hype or took advantage of the structure. The finish was really bad and knocked a half star off my final rating which wasn't even a full start to begin with.
-Queen Sharmell gave King Booker a pep talk about becoming King of the World.
5 -- ASHLEY vs. JILLIAN vs. KRISTAL vs. MICHELLE MCCOOL
Kristal removed Ashley's top, Michelle removed Jillian's top. Killian and Ashley whipped Kristal and Michelle into each other in mid-ring, then they yanked their pants off. Ashley finally ripped off Kristal's top to win. Ashley talked Jillian into standing on the top rope so she could pull her pants down. Then Jillian did the same to Ashley.
WINNER: Ashley in 6:00.
STAR RATING: n/a
-The Miz interviewed Mr. Kennedy backstage. He vowed he would beat Batista in the center of the ring. "Mark Henry might not have been able to beat Batista, but I will," he said. "Then the announcer will cry out to the heavens - the winner of the match, Mr. Kennedy... Kennedy."
-They showed Henry being taken out in an ambulance and then getting surgery in the hospital. JBL said it would be eight to ten months before the Henry-Batista match could take place.
6 -- BATISTA vs. MR. KENNEDY
Batista had his game face on. As Kennedy waited for the mic to drop, Batista attacked him. The crowd actually booed. They wanted their Mr. Kennedy ring intro. Kennedy tried to slow Batista with an eye rake. Cole said Batista has only wrestled once since his injury on SNME, insulting everyone who paid money to see him wrestle at house shows recently. Batista beat up Kennedy at ringside briefly. Kennedy bled from the forehead early. A minute after returning to the ring, Kennedy rolled out to ringside for a breather. He was bleeding heavily. He said, "See ya' later," and teased walking to the back. When Batista turned, Kennedy charged back into the ring. Batista, though, speared him as soon as he charged back into the ring. Then he threw him to the floor. Back in the ring, Kennedy beat up Batista for a minute after using the referee as a shield. The action spilled to ringside. Kennedy whipped Batista into the ringside steps. Kennedy applied an armbar in mid-ring. The crowd chanted "Ba-ti-sta." Batista then came back with three spinebusters, a Batista Bomb, and then threw Kennedy into the corner and choked him with boot. The ref counted to five and Batista didn't break, so the ref DQ'd him.
WINNER: Kennedy via DQ in 10:00.
STAR RATING: *1/4 -- Nothing special, although Kennedy bled really heavily. It was pouring out at the end of the match. Batista didn't look dominant, but it seemed they were trying to protect Kennedy while also making Batista look strong, and they didn't pull it off.
7 -- REY MYSTERIO vs. KING BOOKER (w/King Sharmell) -- World Hvt. Title match
Booker said over and over, "Eddie can't help! Eddie can't help!" Cole said it was a big fight feel in the arena. Cole noted that the Bash began in 1985 when Ric Flair defended against Nikita Koloff. A minute into the match, after an early flurry by Rey, the crowd chanted "Eddie, Eddie." When JBL said this country wasn't built by underdogs, Cole countered by saying the highway system was built by people like Rey Mysterio. That was a strange comeback. At 5:00 Rey dove off the top rope onto Booker at ringside. Rey hit the Three Amigos, a serious of roundhouse kicks, and a 619 attempt. Booker ducked, but Rey kicked him in the face and scored a two count. At 10:00 Rey went for another 619, but Sharmell yanked Rey's leg to stop him. The ref ordered her to the back. Rey hit a head scissors takeover and then a springboard bodyblock followed by a tornado DDT for a two count at 13:00. Booker threw Rey into the ref, who got knocked to ringside. Rey caught a charging Booker with his boots, then hit the 619 and a Frog Splash. There was no ref as Rey scored a visual three count. Booker hit a low blow and then the Book End. Booker grabbed a chair from ringside and threw it into the ring. Rey ducked a chair swing and then kicked the chair into Booker. Chavo Guerrero ran to the ring with a chair. He swung it, but KO'd Rey instead of Booker. Then he left the ring. Booker looked surprised. He crawled over and covered Rey. The ref counted a groggy three count to end Rey's reign. Cole said he couldn't believe what he just saw and couldn't believe King Booker was now champion.
WINNER: Booker T in 17:00.
STAR RATING: ***1/4 -- Good match, okay main event.
FINAL THOUGHT: Those who ordered the show with realistic expectations based on the line-up are probably satisfied. The good matches on paper were good, but nothing was great or above expectations. The Chavo turn was newsworthy enough to make some feel they "saw history," and not a throwaway PPV, but all in all, it was a basic, skippable PPV event.
We welcome your 1-10 score and comments on this show for a "PPV Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on Royal Rumble, click here.
We welcome your 1-10 score and comments on this show for an "WWE Bash PPV Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on the Bash, click here.
As always after PPVs, the Torch Roundtable Reviews will be sent out via email to Torch VIP ESub members and posted exclusively at the ad-free VIP version of PWTorch.com. There will also be VIP Audio Analysis of the event featuring Torch staffer roundtable discussions.
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