Week 2 of Bad PPV Summer takes us to the Great American Bash. The Bash was one of WCW’s big summer events, so it made sense that WWE would bring it back. Sadly there were also a lot of really bad moments, so it made sense WWE would bring it back. It has been 11 years since WWE’s inaugural version, so we will look at the event. Right way, our personal highlight is the poster, featuring Torrie Wilson as a stripper version of Apollo Creed. Anyway, let’s start the show.
After we get WWE giving a Pledge of Allegiance mixed in with highlights of the big feuds of the night. After this, Torrie welcomes us dressed like she is on the poster. She sadly has too much gravel in her promo voice. Should’ve used commentary mute.
Michael Cole and Tazz hype The Undertaker vs. WWE Tag Team Champions The Dudleys with Paul Bearer in a cement crypt. Not even we would do that.
First match is WWE United States Champion Cena, hope we never have to type that again, defending in a fatal 4 way elimination match against Rob Van Dam, Rene Dupree, and Booker T. U.S. Cena’s wearing a Michael Vick jersey, yet he’s popular with fans. They seem to have forgotten the second half to Cena Sucks. Cena’s freestyle promo keeps his pre-U.S. Championship promo short while also mocking his opponents. We need that back. Dupree was one of those can’t miss guys that seemed to do nothing but miss. The match starts with Cena attacking Dupree, and RVD attacking Booker. Booker takes advantage outside of the ring. This leaves Cena and Dupree, both alleged to have wrestled at full salute, brawling in the ring. Cena is in control at first until Dupree sends him outside. After Booker sends RVD back in, Dupree starts to dissect him. RVD uses his agility to battle back. Cena and Booker are gawking outside of the ring like their Elimination Chamber accidentally broke open. After RVD sends Dupree outside, Cena tries to strike. Both men encounter a flying RVD. After this, Cena and RVD fight in the ring, RVD slides out and tags in Booker. After a quick encounter, Cena sends Dupree in hard. By which, we mean he whips him in. Tazz says Dupree “tickles French guys.” Insipid Tazz commentary. RVD comes in and 5-Star Frog Splashes Dupree and Booker. RVD sneaks in to roll-up RVD. After Cena sends Dupree back in, Booker attacks, leading to the double team. Cena has to overcome the odds here. Can he do it? Booker breaks Dupree’s pin attempt. We knew they’d fall apart, but not this early. Cena is battling back as Cole says that members of the Military get this event for free. Real nice in kayfabe. After Dupree starts fighting back, he is eliminated by Booker. Booker next tries to pin Cena multiple times. Surprise surprise Cena kicks out. Cena mounts offense before Booker kicks him in the face. Booker locks in a chinlock. Guessing this means a commercial. We next get a quick yay boo punch exchange before Cena uses a few moves of doom. Booker kicks out, and takes over in this match. Another kick leads to Booker getting ready for a scissor kick. Cena however reverses into an FU to retain. Cena emerges victorious in his latest U.S. Open Challenge. Backstage, Cena is congratulated by the future Mr. and Misses Charlie Haas. Cena hits on Jackie, who is dressed in another U.S. stripper suit. After SmackDown General Manager Kurt Angle, in a wheelchair after yet another Big Show face turn, sees this, he makes Haas vs. Luther Reigns.
Sable in a hot tub talks about beating Torrie later tonight. Brock Lesnar is likely listening to this after using a .22 and a paring knife to take down a charging elk.
Haas vs. Reigns is next. Reigns wheels out Angle in tow. Reigns looks really strong early on in this match. Haas is a talented wrestler, but making this match interesting is sadly a challenge not even he can handle. Reigns certainly makes Roman know no matter how bad things are, he is at least the better wrestler to use that name. Reigns uses power moves in a manner that sadly does not connect in the least. Haas regains momentum by entering suplex city. Reigns is able to use a rolling cutter to win. At least it’s over.
John Bradshaw Layfield talks about how he won at Judgement Day the night before, and that there are no DQ’s in a Texas Bullrope Match. JBL talks about how he’s been disrespected. We imagine he’s talking about his night in Deutschland. He promises he will leave WWE Champion.
WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rey Mysterio vs. “I Have Also Wrestled Against “Chavo Guerrero. By the end of the decade, guess which of these men will be World Heavyweight Champion. A woman has a “Wine me, dine me, 619 me.” When Innuendo Goes Wrong. Cole puts over the Cruiserweight division. While WWE at this time does not care that much about the division, but it’s a far cry from how the division would die. Rey’s quickness in this match makes it painful knowing how he will be in the next decade. Chavo uses some high flying mixed with a few holds. Chavo’s problem isn’t that he’s not talented, it’s that he’s a bit too average. Rey is able to regain momentum with a few agile maneuvers. Despite a few bits of offense, Chavo is attacked on his bicep. When Rey tries to go off the top, Chavo uses the opportunity to send Rey on his knee. Rey’s knee is being targeted as if Chavo knows we’ll later make updates on the #ReyMysterioKneeStatus Rey eventually uses his good leg to battle back, but it is only brief as Rey’s knee displays the signs of damage. Chavo continues his attack for quite a while until Rey is able to halt his progress. Rey’s knee again becomes a problem until Chavo ends up biceip-first into the ringpost. We’re not sure if we should make a joke about the “Holy s---“ chant, or the woman wearing an About a Boy shirt. Both wrestlers launch each other off the top rope. Chavo goes for a pin, which is reversed by Rey into an attempt of his own. Rey then uses his agility to take over. After a reversal into a Gory Bomb, Chavo attempts a pin. Only a two. When Rey hits an enziguri, he uses a 619. Chavo reverses the senton into a half- Boston Crab. Rey holds out until he gets to the rope. Chavo tries for a second Gory Bomb before Rey reverses into a sunset flip to win. Out of three matches, two deliver. We might not be able to speak for some of the rest.
Torrie is in a hot tub with Spike Dudley, Billy Kidman, and Funaki. They’re arguing about which one of them would win. We’re just staring at Mrs. Kidman.
Kenzo Suzuki vs. Billy Gunn is the next match on the show. Suzuki was supposed to be pushed as a descendant of Japanese Emperor Hirohito. That went into the same scrap pile an Unfrozen Nazi John Heidenreich. Though elements exist in his entrance with local wrestlers bringing him in while a Geisha named Hiroko walks with them. “Over Used Billy Gunn” sign says it all. Billy is basically used as a total jobber during this time. Basically, like how WWE handles Dolph Ziggler if he lost more. After brief offense by Billy, Suzuki goes on offense. Suzuki is really as green as the contents of Josh’s buckets of money. Suzuki uses Vulcan nerve holds on Billy. Billy tries a quick pin before he again has to carry Suzuki. After an assault that seems like it goes on for 5 minutes, Belly reverses with a tilt-a-whirl slam. Suzuki uses a low-blow before hitting a to finally end this match. The fact that Suzuki lasts through the rest of the year is ridiculous. Can’t wait till you arrive Kip.
Paul Heyman tells Paul Bearer he’s not bluffing. Half the ECW locker room knows when he’s bluffing. Heyman does his best to sell the main event. Something that will serve him well 11 years later.
Sable vs. Torrie. Sable walks out wearing a hood that Maria, still in the Diva Search, likely thinks is a good look. Torrie walks out in American flag gear. Right down to the letters U.S.A. in the back. At the risk of getting Lesnar to search for us, this match features two woman that ae slightly better than Jenna or Sharmell. The redeeming thing early on is a Tasmaniac reference by Cole. After Sable uses the ropes, we see an elbow. Cole seems to think Playboy models are supposed to be doing teenage shenanigans. Guess we found the target audience for the Girls Next Door. Sable uses a decent straitjacket while the commentators talk about Sable not liking being called easy. We suspect Sable is not the one angry at you if you call her easy. Torrie starts to take her turn on offense before a double knockdown sequence. Sable seems unresponsive while Torrie turns her back to await the pin. Sable uses too much leverage given that it’s all too noticeable Torrie’s shoulders, as in both, are up. Charles Robinson will have to referee a rematch on SmackDown.
We see Taker thinking about what he’s going to do later tonight before Dawn Marie gets both answers to Dupree’s loss, and a half-assed proposition. The FBI (That’s killer spelled backwards) get the girl, and call Dupree a stunad. A win all around.
Cole tells us the Pale Rider is on his way. Unless they signed Clint Eastwood, that means Mordecai vs. Hardcore Holly. We feel like this is more of a fit for ECW for some reason. Mordecai looks too much like a reverse-Ministry Taker. So you can tell they intend for that match to happen. Holly has the advantage until sent into Mordecai’s “Symbol”. Actually, they do call his faux-sword a crucifix. Mordecai starts to assault him before going for another chinlock Randy. Holly gets out and starts to turn the momentum his way. He goes for a pin before Mordecai kicks out. Mordecai gets out of an Alabama Slam before winning with a Razor’s Edge. Shortly after this match, Mordecai jobs to Rey Mysterio, and like the movie Mordecai, is NEVER SEEN AGAIN.
A Summerslam ad shows Batista bury someone. He really is a Triple-H guy.
WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. JBL is next up. We see Eddie’s shocking blade work the month before. Tony Chimel needs 15 seconds to explain the rules. Not a good sign, even though the two men in this match are quite good. Eddie starts with Eddie on the attack before JBL uses the cowbell to gain momentum. Eddie accidentally slips out of the rope before he puts it back on. JBL makes the bold move to touch the turnbuckles early. Eddie is able to stop him and make an attempt. JBL makes the block before again using the rope to his advantage. The “Eddie” chants start early for a brief period. JBL puts Eddie in a tree of woe, and chokes him outside the ring. He then sets up the Spanish announce table to be used. Eddie reverses a powerbomb off the English announce table Eddie prescribes more cowbell to JBL. Eddie then sends JBL shoulder-first into the ringpost. JBL then reverses an Irish whip before getting a chair off the skull that busts him open. Eddie gets him back in the ring and hits him with the chair again. Eddie tries to walk the buckles before JBL stops him before buckle #4. Eddie is able to use the rope to drag JBL in another attempt. After JBL blocks, we get a yay boo sequence. JBL then uses a boot and DDT combination to take over in the match. JBL needs the top rope for his attempt before Eddie slides under him to crotch JBL with the rope. JBL blocks an attempt before Eddie his the Three Amigos. Eddie then hits a frog splash before going to the buckles. JBL has no resort but to roll out of the ring to stop Eddie. The fight goes outside before Eddie forses JBL in the ring over the top. JBL uses the cowbell to knock Eddie long enough for JBL to send him off the table. We see Eddie is bleeding before JBL powerbombs him through the table. JBL gets him back into the ring to walk the buckles. Tazz inadvertently gives away the finish when he says any part of you can touch the buckle. Eddie blocks the attempt before getting the cowbell to the face. JBL tries again before Eddie pulls him away and low-blows him. Eddie then starts whipping JBL furiously. Eddie goes for the buckles while JBL touches in pursuit. Both touch on three. They both then run into it. Eddie is initially announced as the winner, but upon Angle’s further review, JBL touches with his shoulder. Again we sat to you Tazz ruins everything. Great match overall though. JBL has a lot of work to overcome the incident in Germany, but he works to make the Lesnar-less SmackDown still the WWE show to watch.
Taker vs. The Dudleys is the main event of this show. This is a case where the wrestlers, the manager, and the advocate are brilliant, but the booking is stupid. In an attempt to bring Taker under his advocacy, Heyman threatens to bury Bearer in cement. We see Bearer in the glass case shaking his head. We can’t blame him. When Taker comes out, Heyman holds up the urn as a reminder of what he expects Taker to do. Interesting fact, this is Taker’s first Great American Bash in over a decade. This is also a rare time WWE Tag Team Champions have a match above the WWE Champion om PPV. Heyman reminds Taker about the implications by pouring cement a little bit. We notice there is no live shot so far of even a dummy. All the Bearer shots are cutaways. Bubba Ray tells Taker to lay down. Cole has forgotten thatin the 13 years since Taker and Bearer started, they weren’t always friends. Taker begins to lay down before goozling both Dudleys. After Heymen says that’s not what is right to do, the Dudleys double team. Taker quickly sends both men outside. When Taker attempts old school on Bubba, Heyman yells “Bad dog” and pours cement. Bearer says Taker will save him. While the suspense of Taker showing concern is a good idea, the whole murder thing is not, right Billy? D-Von proceeds to continue the assault before tagging Bubba in. Taker reverses an Irish whip into a DDT. He then back body drops D-Von. Taker, now with his hair looking David Cassidy-like goes for Heyman. The Dudleys stop him, and Heyman buries Bearer to his shoulders. Bubba talks Heyman out of finishing Bearer by telling him they can win this match. The Dudleys then double team Taker before D-Von brings him back inside. Taker uses his fists to briefly battle back. D-Von tags in Bubba, who yells “GET UP UNDERTAKER!” D-Von then tags in and distracts the referee long enough for Bubba to attack. As we see Heyman, we see what looks to be a stunt Bearer. Bubba uses a piece of the broken table to hit Taker. D-Von then attempts a pin before Taker grabs the rope. Bubba tags in. A yay boo sequence breaks out. Bubba attempts a sleeper before Taker uses a back suplex. D-Von tags in and falls victim to a flying clothesline and snake eyes. Bubba comes in after a legdrop. After Bubba misses with a Stinger splash, Taker uses old school. Taker attempts a tombstone, but D-Von counters. Heyman then walks up to the ring. Taker’s Jason spot scares Heyman. Taker chokeslams Bubba, then tombstones D-Von to get the pin. After the match, Heyman says he will do it. Heyman is cut off by lightning. Taker pursues Heyman before telling getting on one knee in front of Bearer. Taker stares at the lever. Taker then tells Bearer he has no other choice, and rest in peace. Taker then pulls the switch. This shocked many that didn’t get the leaked practice of this part. On the next SmackDown, the answer is revealed that Taker knew that he needed to destroy his own friend to somehow scare his enemies.
So ends the first WWE version of this event. Yes, it was not brutal, but there were moments that truly missed the mark. So maybe not bad, but not especially good. Given SmackDown typically outperformed RAW during this time, it really is not becoming of what the show did during this time. So ends this review. Until next week.