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ONLINE ONSLAUGHT
TEAM COVERAGE: SD! presents
WWE Great American Bash PPV Preview
July 21, 2006

Compiled by Rick Scaia
Featuring All Your Favorite OnlineOnslaught.com Semi-Stars

 

BREAKING NEWS

As of this writing (5am on Friday night/Saturday morning), it is my duty to report that:

(1) Bobby Lashley has been pulled from the Great American Bash's US Title Match for "health reasons." This is not a suspension in any way, shape, or form, it's a case of shutting him down for his own safety. Tentatively, WWE intends to go with a one-on-one Finlay vs. Regal title match in its place.

(2) The Great Khali's status for the PPV is in doubt at this point for reasons that are not clear to anybody (well, anybody I know who's leaving me voice mails late on Friday nights).

(3) WWE cancelled this weekend's ECW house shows at the last second so that Big Show can be on hand in Indianapolis, and can be prepared in the event he must replace or augment Khali.

(4) Your Humble Webmaster is exhausted and thinks he deserves a gold star for coming home and making this breaking news update when all he really wants to do is to get to bed.

There's no point denying it: since being revived by WWE in 2004, the Great American Bash has been snake-bitten.

WWE's first attempt to promote the old NWA/WCW standby featured the mind-numbing WWE Title win by John Bradshaw Layfield (six months before he actually developed into a credible on-screen persona, and made his critics eat some amount of crow) and the WrestleCrap-worthy Undertaker vs. Dudleys (with Paul Bearer Buried In Cement Match). The Spectacle of Suck inspired one of OO's Most Fondly Remembered Columns (an investigative report on the true story behind the baffling booking decisions made at the show).
 

2005's second attempt featured WWE turning what should have been a one-month nostalgia run into a six-month living hell for wrestling fans as Road Warrior Animal and Heidenreich were, for some reason, booked to win the Tag Team Titles. Also: for entirely other reasons (but ones which still elude all thinking people), Orlando Jordan was booked to retain

the US Title over Chris Benoit in a 20 minute match that would have tested the patience of the Pope himself. Oh, and let's not forget the logic-mangling nadir of the Eddie/Rey Paternity Feud, either. You think it's not possible for Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio to have a sub-par match? Well, then you didn't see Great American Bash 2005.

So what's 2006 got in store for us? Well, first you have the Great Khali vs. Undertaker in a PPV rematch of one of 2006's three worst matches to date. And the worst part is: this is all EXACTLY according to WWE's plans. This is honestly their idea of worthwhile TV. What *wasn't* part of WWE's plans was Mark Henry getting hurt when he was projected to be one half of the PPV main event (against the returning Batista). In WWE think, I'm sure this is yet another case of the "Curse" of the Bash, but speaking on behalf of most right-thinking fans, I think we'll all secretly consider this a blessing, as we'll almost assuredly end up with a better match as a result of Mark Henry not being in it. And honestly: WWE won't be losing a single dime or a single iota of fan interest with Ken Kennedy replacing Henry.... Batista was the drawing card here, not Henry.

But even with these issues facing the Bash, a very real case could be made that the Great American Bash 2006 is poised to become one of the more surprising PPVs of the year. Outside of Taker/Khali, there's no reason for any match on this show to be less than solidly entertaining. Given enough time (and provided WWE's crappy storytelling/character development hasn't robbed these matches of their crowd heat and sizzle), there's contests on the undercard that might even blow you away.

However: as regular viewers of SmackDown! (myself included) can tell you... putting together competitive 15 minute matches is NOT the end all and be all of compelling Sports Entertainment. Putting together competitive 15 minute matches that fans CARE ABOUT is... despite all the in-ring promise in the world, the Bash may end up suffering the same fate as roughly two-thirds of episodes of SD! do: leaving fans to appreciate it, without actually having been ENTERTAINED by it. It's an important distinction.

That said, there's a distinction to be made among fans, too: some folks'll devour 15 minute matches devoid of storyline context, star power, or live crowd heat, just because what they like is the wrestling.... other folks'll need those extra elements of sizzle before they decide they got their $40 worth of entertainment. I admit to being firmly in the latter group, but I know the former group is well-represented here on the interweb.

I often say that I consider OO's job to be "polishing turds" when WWE itself can't be bothered to present the best possible product. In this case, I'm feeling kinda stumped on how I can really "sell" the Bash to fans of the more broad-based product with Actual Storylines Behind Matches and Drama Related to the Outcome (cuz the Bash is woefully short on those things), but I feel VERY confident in speaking to the folks who just flat-out like their Wrestling and telling them that they'll find nothing wrong with this PPV line-up.

I don't know if that counts as polishing half-the-turd, or half-polishing the whole turd, or just spraying some Glade into the room to create a smokescreen so it LOOKS like I've taken care of the turd.... but it's something, isn't it?

Let's get the trOOps assembled (god bless the two super-late entries! I thought I was gonna have to start making up PPV picks and attributing them to other people in order to have more sets of predictions than the TNA Previews do!), and as is our custom, we'll break this show down, examine it from every angle, and deliver you the most comprehensive PPV Preview anywhere. Here's our takes on the as-announced Great American Bash line-up:
 

REY MYSTERIO vs. BOOKER T
World "Heavyweight" Title Match 

Right here's your poster child for "Being a Bit Lacking in the Storyline Department." And it's only your PPV's main event. D'oh.
 
Were I a dick, I'd summarize the background to this match thusly: World Champion Mysterio has spent the last 2 months getting his ass kicked by positively everybody (but mostly JBL and Mark Henry). Then Booker T won a Battle Royale to become the #1 Contender. So now they're fighting on PPV.

But since I'm not a dick, I'll.... ummm.... errrrr.... wait.... is there any better way to tell the story?

Let's see: Rey had been feuding with JBL, and after getting his ass kicked, he got an assist from Chavo Guerrero and not only beat JBL, but vanquished him in a "Loser Leaves SD!" Match (JBL quickly resurfaced as SD!'s surprisingly-amusing color commentator). Then Rey started getting his ass kicked by Mark Henry on a weekly basis, but when it finally came down to a Title match, Chavo Guerrero again lent a hand (this time, getting Rey disqualified so at least he held onto the title). Then, before Mark could raise too much of a stink about how unfair the whole situation was, Batista came back and wanted him a piece of Henry, which left Teddy Long to book a #1 Contender Battle Royale.

And in a battle of the "royale" kind? It was fait acompli that "King" Booker would win. In the two weeks since Booker's win, he cut a promo on Rey (predicting victory, of course), which led to Rey running out and actually getting the better of Booker in a brief brawl. And then, just later tonight (oh, these stupid verb tenses, when SD! has yet to air here in the US, but has already been "precapped" here on OO), Booker will decide (decided?) that he doesn't want to wait till Sunday so he will challenge (challenged?) Rey to a non-title match. And Rey will win (won?), but only thanks to yet another assist from Chavo Guerrero.

Two things of note: (1) the past two weeks are pretty much the first time since WrestleMania that Rey has been booked to look at all credible or competent as champion. That said, he successfully retained the title when it mattered despite being booked weakly, so what does it say when WWE reverses fields and books him strongly all of a sudden? And (2) looking over the past few months worth of developments, it sure does seem like the "retired" Chavo Guerrero is as big a part of this story as Rey and Booker are. He's been pulling the drama queen act, all broken up over his own shortcomings and disgracing of the Guerrero family name, but has always had Rey's back since his "retirement." Will Chavo continue to act as a counter balance here (off-setting the likely interference from Booker's "Royal Court" of Regal and Finlay), or is there another shoe yet to drop?

If there's one match on the card that I'm gonna be sorry that I miss (if I do decide to take a pass on the Bash), this'll be it. It's just damned near impossible for Rey to have a bad match, and Booker's been rejuvenated the past six months (both in the ring, and ESPECIALLY with his killer/obnoxious "King" gimmick). Even if the fans decide to take a pass on every other match on the show, I guarantee that the pieces are in place for them to come alive and make sure this main event has all the Big Time Atmosphere and Sizzle you could ask for, and there's no doubt Rey and Booker will bring the goods to keep them crackling for 20 minutes or more.

And plus: it's always fun when you don't know who's gonna win, and that's something WWE has a problem with these days. But here: we know Batista's gonna be the next #1 Contender, but there are very viable storylines with both Rey and Booker going forward as the champ, so you can definitely contemplate either outcome and the myriad different ways you could get to either outcome. I dig that.
  

The OOutlOOk
Booker wins: 5 votes   --|--  Rey wins: 3 votes

Canadian Bulldog Says... Booker wins.
This match could have been a classic -- okay, maybe classic is too strong a word -- but at least a memorable encounter, had they at least built it up for a while. But with the limited roster (which I have a feeling will be a recurring theme in this round of predix), I understand why they had to speed things up a little bit. Still, I have to ask: why was Randy Orton moved to Raw again? Because even though they'd already had two PPV matches this year, Mysterio-Orton would have been a more compelling main event.
 
So why put the belt on Booker? Several reasons. First, the Rey experiment just isn't working out. Obviously, WWE booked it to fail (why, I couldn't tell you), but its not as though they can really salvage it now. Secondly, Booker is doing a phenomenal job as king. Queen Sharmell plays her job perfectly, as do Regal and Finlay.  Hopefully, this is the gimmick/storyline that will prompt WWE to finally give Booker a world title. And the third reason? Given the fact that Booker and Batista are the only real "stars" on SD right now, and given their real-life history from a few months back, why would you NOT use that as the brand's marquee match at SummerSlam.
 
I'm going to make a bold prediction and suggest that Rey loses because of Chavo's interference, culminating in "Let's Re-do The Eddie Guerrero Storyline Part VII".
The Cubs Fan Says... Booker wins.
I think King Booker is going to end the old Booker here; if Booker wins the World Title once, I think it might be the last we hear of him being a Five Time WCW Champion. I'm most certain of this outcome; Rey's been winning the feud way too much, even his previous heavy losing, there's plenty of people who could get involved to help Booker, and they've
already seemed to set up Batista as the next challenger. I hope Rey's title reign goes out better than it's been.
Matt Hocking Says... Booker wins.
Ultimately, the better story here is Batista/Rey.  It's a story that has a good few months of backstory, and could play well into building the same TYPE of story that they seemed to be going with in the Eddie/Batista angle.  But here's the thing about that, if Batista is going to come back and start
mowing people down on his way back to the title (which he SHOULD do), then you can't just have him go after little Rey Misterio, reguardless of whether or not it's a good story, and ESPECIALLY since you only have a month to tell it before Summerslam rolls around.

It's not because Rey has been booked as a flop as champion, really but, because Rey is still overwhelmingly popular amongst the same fans that WWE is trying to draw with Batista.  Also, it makes Batista look like shit throwing Rey around for fifteen minutes like the heels have been doing, and might have the adverse effect of turning a good portion of the crowd against him.  So in a lot of ways, this match might become more about protecting Batista than anything to do with whether or not now's a good chance to move
the belt off Rey.

Though, I will say that now is as good a time as any.  "King Booker" is riding a hot streak right now, and it's a good time to capitalize on that.  In fact, having Batista's title chase coinciding with Rey's getting crushed at the hands of Booker and his court (including Chavo?) would give the extra zing that Smackdown needs right now to carry its half of Summerslam.  So I've pretty much got to take Booker winning his first WWE Title.
Adam Gutschmidt Says... Booker wins.
I'm really not sure on this one.  You really could go either way on this. Knowing that Batista will be getting the upcoming title shot doesn't clear anything up either.  There seems to be ready made storylines to do with either of these guys against Batista.  The fact that Rey has been a failure as champ is a mark against him.  But Booker has had a number of other title opportunities and the WWE has yet to pull the trigger on him, which goes against him winning.  Ultimately, I think they'll go with Booker because it's the easier way to go.  You get a clear-cut face-heel matchup and the writers have to do very little to make it a convincing
match.  With Rey/Batista things become trickier and I don't see them devoting the time to make it work.  You have to also figure that Booker will have a lot more on his side to help him gain the victory.  You have Sharmell, plus Regal and Finlay.  In addition, there's also the Chavo factor.  Everyone seems to think Chavo is eventually going to turn on Rey
and start a feud with him.  If they are, this seems to be about the best place to do it.
PyroFalkon Says...  Rey wins.
I hadn’t seen Booker T in years until I saw him on the last Saturday Night Main Event. I gotta say, he is really playing this “King Booker” thing all the way… although I honestly could do without William Regal screaming “All hail King Booker” 40 times before the match.

Anyway… if Booker T hasn’t won a meaningful WWE title yet, what makes me think he’ll win it now? Especially against Rey? Answer: he won’t. Rey wins this clean, despite any interference from Regal.
Jeff J. Snider Says... Rey wins.
Rick wants these picks to him by Friday afternoon, which means I have to turn them in a few hours before I get to watch Smackdown for the first time in several weeks. So my picks will be based completely on what I think should happen, not on anything that has been going on on the show, necessarily. That said, I am picking Rey over Booker in this match, because I think Batista turning on Rey to take his title back is where the money's at.
Big Danny T Says... Rey wins.
Ok, I'm making these picks based on the fact that I haven't watched Smackdown in over 2 months. My schedule simply hasn't allowed for it. But without knowing anything about the setup, I'm just going to say that Rey continues his "Win's the important matches" streak here.
Rick Scaia Says... Booker wins.
Sing along with Rick, now: when it comes time for PPVs, there's the Rick Way, and there's the WWE Way. And I always have to struggle with which way to go with my picks: I could either pick the way that is demonstrably superior, or I can actually try to determine what WWE intends to do.

And anybody who's read my columns going back to November knows that I see incredible value in doing a Rey vs. Batista feud that finally bring the Eddie/Batista "friendship" storyline full circle... it's just that in this re-telling, Rey is Batista, and Batista is Eddie. Eddie was gonna be Batista's "friend" until he saw an opening to take back his World Title, and then he was gonna snap, and reveal his true colors, setting Batista up for what would have been a damned tasty WrestleMania Chase for the Gold.... today, it's Batista who has been spouting off for months that he feels like he's the uncrowned champion and he'll just casually be taking his title back at the first available opportunity. Seems a bit dismissive towards Rey, doesn't it? So what would happen if Rey just so happened to out-fox Batista in their first title match? Batista would keep acting like Rey's friend, I'm sure, but on the inside, he'd be simmering... and that simmer could reach a full boil at some point this fall, and he'd just snap and go nuts on Rey (giving Rey the time off he needs to get his knees cleaned out), and then Rey could come back and by the ultra-sympathetic babyface that he never quite got to be on the road to WM this year (because of WWE's garbled storytelling and unnecessary insertion of Orton into the storyline).
 
I just think that's such a gorgeous and subtle way to play things, with fans not quite being as confident that they know what's coming next, and you can even play with more by delaying Batista's snap, and other stuff. It's complex, it'll reward those who pay attention, but it's completely accessible to any fan of any age or intelligence quotient. And in the end, it'll press all the right emotional buttons, too, and get Rey back to where he should have been this past winter and spring in terms of crowd reactions.

But we know that "subtle" and "complex" are not friends of the WWE Writer Monkeys. They like it simple and lazy. And plus, there's one other important consideration: I'm not entirely sure WWE has any desire to turn Batista heel. And that's not an unreasonable stance on their part. If you turn Batista (and you take Rey out of the equation for a few months to deal with his injuries), you're gonna be putting a hell of a lot of pressure on Lashley to develop, you're gonna probably have to turn Kennedy babyface, and if Benoit doesn't magically beat all expectations and return to the ring this fall, you're kinda asking the Undertaker to be your full time lead face. Without some roster reshuffling, that could get really dodgy.

So what the hell? I know it's not the best play, but I know it's the safe play.... the WWE Play. I'll take Booker to win the title here, and be the Anvilicious Transitional Champion to get the title onto Batista at SummerSlam. Stultifyingly obvious and more than a bit anticlimactic, for sure... but like I said, it's the safe and simple way for WWE to get what they want. I'll also do the expected and pencil in the Chavo Heel Turn so that Rey has somebody to feud with once Booker and Batista hook it up.

 

BATISTA vs. KEN KENNEDY
Very Special "Not That We're Happy Mark Henry Got Injured, or Anything, but.... Well... Y'know...." Match 

Well, so Batista got hurt back late last October, but after Eddie Guerrero's untimely death, he had to work through that injury. But in so doing, he was overcompensating for one injured shoulder/lat by putting too much stress on his uninjured arm. In a house show match against Mark Henry (who is quite the large man to be throwing him around the ring), that extra stress caused the tricep in Batista's uninjured arm to tear.

That spelled "Get Thee To The Surgeon," as no amount of Batista's pride was gonna help him put on believable performances with the double injury. So after contributing for-real to Batista's injury, Mark Henry was booked to do an additional angle on TV, in which he brutalized Batista and put him on the injured list.

Henry continued his (scripted) path of rage by injuring plenty of others (most notably Chris Benoit), and was in general pushed as SD!'s top heel for a while.... and just look what that did for house show attendance and TV ratings! But finally, after six months, Batista was given a clean bill of health, and returned to TV to challenge the man who injured him.

A PPV match was set. 

It was certain to be Dave Batista's finest hour, finally vanquishing his hated foe.

Until Mark Henry continued his Path of Rage by injuring himself.

Henry took a misstep while grappling with Rey Mysterio, and wound up cracking his kneecap and rupturing the patella tendon. Diagnosis: eight months on the shelf.

So WWE had to scramble. They had Batista issue an Open Challenge. And then Ken Kennedy will have just been answering it several hours from now on SD!... Kennedy, a rare shining star among WWE's newer slate of developmental call-ups, had been unpinned in nearly 10 months since debuting, which would have made him a VERY intriguing opponent for Batista. Sadly, Kennedy ended up in somebody's doghouse backstage, and due to the petty posturing that is common in wrestling frat-style/tenure-based mentality, WWE had Kennedy go on TV just a week ago and get pinned by Matt Hardy. Yep, *that* Matt Hardy, the one who hasn't been relevant in six months.

It sure would have been nice for there to be a story of SOME kind behind this match, and though it would have been a lot more dramatic and impactful to have Batista be the one to pop this particular cherry of Kennedy's, we still just gotta take a bit of solace in the fact that the end result should still be a better match than we would have gotten between Batista and Henry. That is: unless Kennedy's still in the doghouse, and they're gonna use this match to teach him another lesson. Such as the lesson "How to Job to Batista in Under 90 Seconds."

Given how thin the PPV line-up is, though, I'm not sure I see them turning this match into an all-out squash. I'd try to dust the Hardy loss under the rug as much as possible, give Kennedy every shred of gravitas you can (including the return of his Full Length Ring Introductions, and none of this watered down crap he's been doing the past month), and then turn it into a hard-fought battle which Batista manages to win cleanly. If they do that, I can see this working out pretty well: Kennedy may not be Chris Benoit, but he's got more in the bag o' tricks that you generally get to see on throw-away Friday night matches, and Batista's the kind of power opponent who could open things up for Kennedy to work as the smaller/faster man and showcase some of those other aspects of his game.
 
Put on the pile labeled "Shouldn't Suck, But Will Anybody Care?"....
  

The OOutlOOk
Batista wins: 8 votes   --|--  Kennedy wins: 0 votes

Canadian Bulldog Says... Batista wins.
Am I the only one who would have rather seen Batista-Henry? (Crickets chirping)
 
Well, really, I would have. The standard "Wrestler comes back from injury to exact revenge on fat former powerlifter" angle is always a good one. Obviously, though, they had so few options. Though, personally, I would have unretired JBL for the night instead, but that's me.
 
I don't see this as a particularly interesting matchup, merely a chance for Batista to build up to his match with King Booker at SummerSlam.
The Cubs Fan Says... Batista wins.
If Kennedy is the wrestler his fans think he is, this would seem to be
his chance to prove it. He's losing her, no doubt, but he's got a chance
to build himself by hanging with a top guy as long as possible.
Matt Hocking Says... Batista wins.
Poor Mister Kennedy.  An injury derails him just as he's really shooting himself up the Smackdown card, then WWE saddles him with a pack of jobbers to help reestablish his character, then he goes out and has a bad match, blames his opponent (ok, karma got him there) and ends up losing his big winning streak to of all people Matt Hardy.  The good news?  You've got yourself a PPV match!  The bad news?  It's against Batista.  And there's no friggin' way you're getting your heat back in this one.

Meanwhile, Dave waltzes into a much easier match.  He looked a little rusty on Saturday Night's Main event, but if anything it should be much easier to carry Kennedy than Mark Henry.  Though the "Crippler" angle has kind of come
appart at the seams, people just generally are attached to Batista, and I'd say a vast majority of the crowd is going to be ready by the time he picks up the win here for him to move back into the title picture and out of the "midcard."

I think Dave wins pretty easily.  Maybe not quickly, but probably cleanly.  They can wait until after the match if they feel like extending the Kennedy/Hardy program, because this match is pretty much just ALL about giving Batista a showcase match to get him back into the mix on Smackdown, which is all Henry would have been anyway.
Adam Gutschmidt Says... Batista wins.
Yeah, like there's any surprise as to who's going to win this one.  I just hope it isn't a complete squash.  For some reason, Kennedy has lost some favor with the higher-ups (hence the loss to Hardy last week) and I worry that feeding him to Dave could do some real damage.  I still believe
Kennedy can be a future star for the company.  If the WWE allows petty grudges to cloud their judgment it could be a costly mistake.  Let's face it, almost everyone will agree that Mark Henry being out is a good thing for business.  Given him being a last minute scratch, the WWE could go one of two routes.  They could either think "Well Batista was going to soundly defeat Mark Henry, so let's just insert another body in there and do the same thing" or they could decide "Let's make the best of the situation and come up with something that allows both men to shine, but ultimately still have Batista win".  I think we all know what the better choice here is. And I think we also know what choice the bookers are going to go with. *sigh*
PyroFalkon Says...  Batista wins.
Kennedy is my favorite SD personality right now, just because of his killer Byte This! appearance. But while Kennedy may be pushed well for his mic skills, he is no Batista. The former WWE Champion will take the win here.
Jeff J. Snider Says... Batista wins.
Let's see. Batista is gunning to get his title back. Kennedy just lost to Matt Hardy and was a last minute replacement in this match. I think Batista might pull this one off.
Big Danny T Says... Batista wins.
I love Ken Kennedy, and his insertion into this match just might be the little bit of "oomph" that will make me want to get the PPV. but as entertaining as Kennedy is, I have no doubts that Batista will walk out of this one the #1 contender.
Rick Scaia Says... Batista wins.
Duh.

Any further discussion on the matter is pointless. The only thing we can hope for is that they let this be a fairly competitive 10-minute-ish match. For two reasons: (1) we have absolutely no idea what Batista looks like because his very brief participation in the SNME tag match came after Henry's injury and when the match became a total cluster fuck of ad libs and audibles. This is his chance to show he's back to full speed, something that will NOT happen in a 90 second squash. And (2) if Kennedy is to live down to the apparent backstage expectations that some now have for him, I'd like for it to actually be HIS fault for having a bad match, and not the fault of management for throwing him out as a sacrificial lamb.

 

FIT FINLAY vs. BOBBY LASHLEY vs. WILLIAM REGAL
US Title Match 

Going back to this past winter, Finlay and Bobby Lashley have simply not seen eye-to-eye. In storylines, that's meant countless perturbations of hostilities keeping them together. In "real life," that's meant that the ultra-promising-but-inexperienced Lashley has gotten about 6 straight months of working exclusively with one of pro wrestling's most respected and effective mentors and teachers in Finlay.

The result is that this has actually never gotten too tired, and if anything, seems to be getting better with time.

It all goes back to January or February, when Chris Benoit and JBL were butting heads over the US Title... but Benoit also had cursory issues with Finlay, which led to JBL and Finlay forming a bit of an alliance. Lashley had also had his issues with JBL, and became Benoit's back-up. The four of them went around a few different ways, until JBL and Lashley had a one-on-one match at No Way Out. And in that match, Finlay showed up to help JBL score the win. It was the first time Lashley had been pinned, and it stuck in his craw.

While JBL moved on to wrest the US Title away from Benoit, Lashley got some measure of payback by facing Finlay... and then Lashley decided to move on to challenge JBL for the US Title, which he did in May. After winning the the strap, Lashley found himself in the King of the Ring tournament, where he once again crossed paths with Finlay. And again, Lashley meted out revenge by defeating Finlay in the semi-finals. But this didn't sit well with Finlay, who gained his revenge by once again spoiling things for Lashley, costing Lashley the King's crown in the final match against Booker T.

Not only did this re-open hostilities betwixt Lashley and Finlay (perhaps the most compelling hostilities yet), but it set up Finlay as an ally of King Booker's. With the addition of Sir William Regal to his court, Booker was well-guarded by two stalwart subjects. Regal and Finlay worked well together when teamed, but they're not necessarily bosom buddies. This three-way match was signed while Lashley still held the US Title, with the implication being that Regal and Finlay would work together to bring the gold back to Booker's court.

But then, in a one-on-one match with Lashley, Finlay successfully wrested the US Title away just last week (with help from no one except his midget). Now Finlay's the champ, and the dynamic changes a bit. With Regal coming up short in a match against Rey Mysterio, and in general seeming like the low man on the totem pole, it creates some interesting scenarios. Can Regal and Finlay work together? And when they can't, which one of them is treated as the babyface? My money's on the guy with the hilarious midget! [Plus, Regal's too important to the obnoxious grandeur that is King Booker.]

I'm not entirely sure how this'll click with the crowd (as I'm off the opinion that they've kinda asked a bit much of Lashley in that department), but the match itself oughta be super-crisp. There's no combination of these three that shouldn't deliver the goods, and you throw in the Little Bastard and the Finlay/Regal dynamic for entertainment value, and you just might have a sleeper here. Or you might just have a forgettable 15 minute Friday Night Special. Could go either way.
  

The OOutlOOk
Finlay wins: 5 votes   --|--  Lashley wins: 2 votes
Regal wins: 1 vote

Canadian Bulldog Says... Finlay wins.
I don't know what the long-term plans for Lashley are, and I doubt WWE does either. Which is a problem, because he could be very marketable if only they pushed him the right way. Losing to JBL and Finlay really haven't accomplished the "Goldberg" vibe I think they could have had here. I assume he feuds with new World Champion King Booker until Batista gets his shot, or something like that, after this match.
 
So does Regal turn face here, after he turned heel so callously last year on, who was it, Scotty 2 Hotty or something? Or will Finlay and Little Bastard become the fan favorites? Who cares? How about you move some guys over from Raw and then you won't BE in this situation....!
The Cubs Fan Says... Finlay wins.
It wouldn't make sense to do the title change and then go back to Lashley quick. Neither guy has even slightly teased turning face, so Regal's not winning it. They must have some plan, or some problem, with Lashley or they would have at least waited for the PPV to do the title change. This match should be good, but I don't think they really could go long with it.
Matt Hocking Says... Finlay wins.
William Regal is kind of "persona non grata" in this feud, as his only real interactions with Lashley have come as an aid either to Regal or to Booker last month.  So really this is just "Bobby Lashley v. Fit Finlay w/ William Regal," in my estimation.  Which is fine.  The interplay with Regal and
Lashley should be fairly entertaining, as alliances in these types of matches rarely hold together, and while I wouldn't suggest they split and feud at any point, a little dissention among the ranks of King Booker's court wouldn't hurt his eventual feud with Batista.

But really, the reason I'm picking Finlay to win has more to do with Lashley than anything else.  While he's kind of exploded into the U.S. Title division in the last few months, he clearly needs some more polish, and either an even more extended feud with a veteran like Finlay or Regal or a
newer feud with a guy like Kennedy will really help him establish himself with the fans better.  The guy has all the potential in the world, but he's just not at the level where they're booking him yet.

Finlay, on the other hand, is perfect for this kind of work.  Since January he's really restablished himself with the fans and is acceptable and entertaining at a "top of the midcard" level.  The U.S. title could really benefit from a few months in the hands of a guy like Finlay, which would make the eventual title loss, in a one on one match, back to Lashley mean that much more.
Adam Gutschmidt Says... Lashley wins.
I'm really stumped as to why they had Finlay win the title two weeks before this match.  Obviously it will either be Finlay or Lashley who wins it here.  I'll be rooting for Finlay, but I'm thinking that Lashley wins it back here.  I figure that Lashley will pin Regal so that Finlay can lay claim to the title and they can continue their feud one-on-one.  I'm looking forward to this match and I hope that Finlay and Regal will have an opportunity to go at one another at some point in the match.  I fully expect Little Bastard to make his presence known, but given that I'm picking Lashley to win, I figure he won't be too instrumental in the match.
PyroFalkon Says...  Finlay wins.
Too many faces so far, gotta go with a heel to win the US belt. What better way for Finlay O’Leprechaun to retain?
Jeff J. Snider Says... Finlay wins.
Finlay just got the title, and I think they will leave it on him for a while. Nothing more to my pick than that.
Big Danny T Says... Regal wins.
This will be my dark horse pick, as I think Regal will be a hoot as the champ.
Rick Scaia Says... Lashley wins.
I have not got the faintest clue. If I could puzzle out why they moved the title onto Finlay last week, I think that's the lynchpin that would help me piece everything else together, though....

So here's my guess: the Fed is going into Aggressive Resume Building Mode for Lashley... so they take the title off of him last week, and then 10 days later? All of a sudden Lashley's a Two Time, Two Time US Champion. Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

Plus: if Finlay were to win over Lashley, that'd be two straight over Lashley, which would be Bad if Bobby's getting the big push (and it wouldn't leave Finlay with a whole lot in the way of competition, unless they just send Lashley up for a third go). And if Finlay were to win over Regal or if Regal were to win over EITHER guy, then the story suddenly becomes the rift between Finlay and Regal, and Lashley left out in the cold with literally nothing to do. And also: I'm not entirely sanguine about Finlay and Regal honestly splitting up or either of them turning face.... they could certainly be like scuffling bar drunks (not unlike the Hollys were), but mostly, I see their value as being on the same team. Especially as a TAG team, given the shitty nature of the SD! tag scene.

So: let's say Lashley wins to pad that resume. There could certainly be a couple more weeks of denoument as he finishes up with Finlay and Regal (and then Finlay/Regal can explore tag team options)... and then, there should certainly be compelling challengers for Lashley after that. Kennedy is right there at the top of the list. And how about the freshly-turned Chavo?

 

UNDERTAKER vs. THE GREAT KHALI
Punjabi Prison Match 

So Daivari has been the Undertaker's bitch for about a year now. In fact, it was at the Bash last year that Taker vanquished Muhammad Hassan to the land of wind and ghosts. Daivari disappeared, regrouped, and eventually tried to lead Mark Henry against Taker to get revenge. No dice. So the next step was bringing in this Khali character in April.

And finally, Daivari got his revenge. Kind of. Khali pinned Taker in one of the shittiest matches of 2006 back at Judgment Day. The story is that Taker has never been in the ring with anybody this big and intimidating before, and he was off his game. After the (clean) pinfall loss, Taker disappeared for about 2 months. Khali continued stinking up the joint, and for some reason, Daivari couldn't let sleeping dogs lie. He issued a challenge to the Undertaker so that Khali could "finish the job."

The challenge was for a "Punjabi Prison Match" which has yet to be discussed or explained in even the vaguest of terms, which means WWE's probably still making it up as we speak. Pragmatically, any props should give Taker a bit more to work with to render this match more tolerable than the last one. But also pragmatically: the only way for this match to rise above "god awful" will be to keep it under 5 minutes.

Sadly: that's unlikely to happen. A late twist to the story also introduces the possibilities of a run-in/interference (which is important, since it's likely the gimmick of the match will include no DQs).... Taker went to ECW to challenge the Big Show for the ECW Title this week. He came up short, but only because of a run-in by Khali. And then: Taker was "brutally" double-teamed by Show and Khali to wrap up the post-match shenanigans. Does Show still want him some of Taker? Wouldn't totally surprise me....

There's no way I can polish this turd, not for any portion of the audience. So me stop talking now.
  

The OOutlOOk
Taker wins: 7 votes   --|--  Nobody wins: 1 vote

Canadian Bulldog Says... Undertaker wins.
Oddly enough, I happened to write a little biopic of The Dead Man earlier this week. Besides using the opportunity to give myself a little plug, right here, on Online Onslaught (cheap pop, thumbs up), it reminded me just how formulaic Taker's feuds are. This one won't be any different.
 
I don't know what a Perogie Prison match is, nor do I particularly care. I just know that if Taker doesn't somehow survive it, this will change the universe as we know it.
The Cubs Fan Says... Undertaker wins.
Wasn't this a body bag match for a couple weeks? I guess it may still be. If they actually had a cool stipulation to pay off the hype for it, they might be able to make something that'll be important in the future, but that seems doubtful. Anything good coming out of this is doubtful. I think Undertaker gets his win here, but if he's not going to be
wrestling any feuds except those that put him over, what's the point?
Matt Hocking Says... Undertaker wins.
It's right there in the rules of wrestling:  You may not win your "signature match" unless you are The Undertaker.

I've heard a lot of strange things about what the gimmick for this match might actually entail.  The one that's picked up steam recently is some sort of "bamboo" cage lined with barbed wire, which makes some sort of wrestling sense, I guess.  And the funny thing is, I fully expect Undertaker to bump off those.  I think that the lack of "extreme" rules in the ECW match was probably deliberate, to save such spots for this match.  Which is kind of stupid in its own way, however I will say this, when Taker decides to take a
bad gimmick match and bump the shit out of it, the results can be surprisingly good.  Hell, you may not remember anything about Taker/Henry from Wrestlemania, but you'll probably remember the Taker Dive for a long time.  A few moments like that and this one goes from horrid, to horrid but watchable.  Also remember that Daivari at "ringside" isn't afraid to take a bump or two, and will probalby come into play.

I fully expect the "forseeable" ending of Khali calling on the aid of Big Show, and Taker getting a little help from the re-masked Kane, setting up a weird kind of triple brand tag team match for SummerSlam that will probably suck, but at least the visual of four guys approaching seven feet or more
will be kind of fun for a few seconds. 
Adam Gutschmidt Says... Undertaker wins.
I'm almost afraid to think of what they might have for rules in this match.  Often when rules aren't specified for the match, it means they are going the "Duchess of Queensberry" route, i.e. "we make the rules up as we go along".  However, I haven't gotten that vibe for this match. Especially since that type of match is designed when the face is always getting the upper hand against the heel, which hasn't been the case in this feud.  They could also go the route of the "Rest in Peace" match, which sounded really cool, but ended up simply being a No DQ, No Count-out match.  Given that those stips are more commonly found today than they
were back in '93, that doesn't seem to be the likely situation here either.  I think we can all agree that, regardless of the rules, this is likely going to be a candidate for Wrestlecrap's Gooker award this year. I shudder to think if they actually try having these two fight in some fake jungle setting as there have been small references to it.  As for a winner, it really doesn't matter.  On one hand, neither man has any other pressing issue, which would mean Khali should win to extend the feud.  But I'm going with Taker because he's jobbed enough on PPV this year and usually wrestlers lose the matches that are their specialty.
PyroFalkon Says...  Nobody Wins.
I half-watched Saturday Night Main Event, and heard Cole say that Undertaker and the “Great” Khali will be facing off in a Pajama Party match. Seriously, what the fuck is a Pajama Party match? Is it like a lingerie pillow fight, without the pillows, and for the men? Khali runs around shirtless anyway, so he’s halfway to losing as it is.

Since I don’t think anyone in the crowd wants to see either man’s testicles on Sunday, I think this one will result in some sort of draw or non-finish. Hopefully, this will be the last time we ever hear of a Pajama Party match, unless I’m having one with Canadian Bulldog’s girlfriend.

Jeff J. Snider Says... Khali wins.
It will probably be some sort of disqualification due to outside interference, and the match may be a no contest, but I will stick with Taker winning by DQ. The match will suck, what with Khali in it and all, but oh well. Oh, wait. If this is a no-DQ match, as the stipulation might lead us to believe, I guess I will change my pick and go with Khali winning due to help from his big, showy friends.
Big Danny T Says... Undertaker wins.
Undertaker wins, Great Khali experiment ended. Nuff said. Please?
Rick Scaia Says... Undertaker wins.
So that supposed Wrestling Bylaw about Undertaker never losing on PPV has been exposed as false in recent years.... but I'm standing pat that we must still obey the law that Taker Never Loses On Two Straight PPVs To The Same Piece of Shit.

The gimmick might save this from being as soul-crushingly awful as their first match, but it'll still suck, and it should mark the beginning of the end for Khali's WWE run. I know I'm not being original with this, but knowing how WWE thinks, it's probably what they'll do: Taker wins, Big Show attacks, Khali joins in, and then at some point (maybe on Sunday, maybe a week or two later) Kane comes to his brother's rescue, and we get ourselves the Ultimate Match of Suck at SummerSlam... Taker and Kane will beat Show and Khali, which will leave just enough time for Khali to turn face when Big Show blames him for the loss, leading to Khali jobbing for Show just as his one-year contract roll-over is about to arrive this fall. And then: buh-bye, big fella. Cuz you stink.

 

PAUL LONDON/SPANKY KENDRICK vs. JAMIE NOBLE/KID KASH
Tag Team Title Match 

The names have changed, but the story remains the same. Although MNM is gone, the SD! Standard Operating Procedure For Tag Team Feuding is still in place. Champions finish off one feud, and the very next week lose a non-title match to a new team, kicking off a new feud. Sprinkle with singles matches, cook for 6 weeks, and voila, you have a PPV Tag Title Match.

In this case, as soon as London and Kendrick did dispose of MNM once and for all, they were beaten on SD! by the relatively new team of Noble and Kash (who are, for some reason, insisting on wearing dubious S&M gear and calling themselves "The Pitbulls," which could not be any less convincing or fitting for them).

This firmly established Noble and Kash as the #1 Contenders, and they've only solidified that status with successful singles matches in the past two weeks. Noble beat London a week ago, while Kash will already have beatened Kendrick later on tonight on SD!.

There's no denying what these four could do if the handcuffs are taken off and they get 15-plus minutes of PPV time to deliver the goods... but there's also no denying that not a one of these four has cut a promo, developed a character, or in any other way connected with the audience in a way that'll guarantee the kind of atmosphere you need for a truly blow-away match.
  

The OOutlOOk
London/Kendrick win: 4 votes
Noble/Kash win: 4 votes

Canadian Bulldog Says... Kash/Noble win.
I... uh, guess. Why'd they split up MNM again? This isn't a bad match by any stretch, in fact it will probably be the best one, workrate-wise. But it just does absolutely nothing for me. Generally speaking, I'll favor the challengers (especially heel challengers) in a situation like this, because who else will Team ROH have left to fight if they retain here? Then again, who will The Pitbulls have to face? My head hurts just thinking about it.....
The Cubs Fan Says... Kash/Noble win.
I wish they could keep this challenge going without changing the belt; it's much too soon. With no contenders on the horizon, they should be doing this match quite a few more times, and there's no need to rush things. I full expect them to rush things, which is why I'm picking the title change here. There's absolutely no good reason this match shouldn't be given 15 minutes + on this show.
Matt Hocking Says... Kash/Noble win.
It's not that this feud is particularily hot or anything but WWE has done a fairly good job of setting the sides here.  For what it's worth, everybody in the match is extremely talented and Noble and Kash are slowly catching on with this gimmick.  The thing is, with MNM and the Mexicools split, these are the only two tag teams left on the Smackdown roster.  That creates a bit of a problem for booking, as you essentially have to keep these two teams in the rotation until you can either

A) Create/debut a new team or

B) Put two middle/upper carders in a storyline that would be facilitated by their holding the tag titles.

Soooo, basically what you have is the challenge to keep this feud "fresh" until one of those two things happens.  So, you can't give London and Kendrick the first win coming out.  The Pitbulls win, take the titles, and a few weeks from now, somebody will remember that happened, and you'll get
another couple matches between these two teams.
Adam Gutschmidt Says... Kendrick/London win.
What a surprise.a meaningless tag title match.  Yes, they've tried to establish the new Pitbulls as worthy of a title shot, but we all know better.  This should be the opener and if we're lucky, they'll allow this one some time to develop.  All four guys have talent, so why not let them showcase it.  I wish I had more to say, but frankly, the writers just haven't given me a whole lot to work with.
PyroFalkon Says...  Kendrick/London win.
I really, truly, could not be less interested in this match.
Jeff J. Snider Says... Kendrick/London win.
I have no idea when Noble and Kash became a tag team, and while I respect them both as workers, I have no fondness for either of them, like I do for Spanky and Paul. So in a case of picking what I want to happen, I will go with London and Kendrick to win.
Big Danny T Says... Kash/Noble win.
No idea why I said that, just adding some more heels to the win list.
Rick Scaia Says... Kendrick/London win.
Another "I don't have a clue" match. And it's mostly because of the lack of particularly cogent/compelling storytelling and lack of big time personalities/characters. When those things are missing is when it becomes hard to care all that much one way or the other.

Yes, WWE has done everything "right" and everything we've seen between these two teams makes "sense." But it's also very by the numbers and lacking any kind of spark... it is, in short, a textbook recreation of what passes for feuds 80% of the time in TNA. And there's a reason why roughly 4 out of 5 "feuds" in TNA don't really butter my corncob, regardless of the talent level in the ring.... and why the one TNA "feud" involving no-talent stiff Kevin Nash is probably one of my favorite things they got going on.

But I digress.... 

My pick in this TNA Style Classic Contest: keep the belts on Kendrick and London. Partly because Kash/Noble look ridiculous in their new outfits, and need to regroup with a less-gay look (and I still say: with Nidia as their difference-making valet) before you reward them with gold. But mostly because on the barren SD! Tag Scene, I do feel myself getting kind of excited to see how Finlay/Regal vs. Kendrick/London would go over. Cuz my guess is "gangbusters." Nasty, brutal, stiff-ass, ugly brawlers versus our favorite high-flying, delicate, arteestic pretty boys? That's a recipe for fans being able to give a shit, if you ask me!

 

EXTRAS/CONCLUDING THOUGHTS  

Although only five matches were originally announced earlier this week when the staff of OO assembled to make their picks, WWE has since added two more matches.... some of the trOOps may see fit to talk about those added features (if they're the Spoilin' Type), or they may have accurately guessed at what WWE would add, or they might share other ideas for how WWE might pad out this somewhat-anemic-looking 7 match card.
  

The OOutlOOk

Canadian Bulldog Says... Who betta than Madlibs?
Instead of guessing which random non-feuds WWE is going to use to make an extra match or two here, I thought it would be cool if we played a type of "Mad Libs". What I'm going to do is open up the wwe.com "SmackDown superstars" page, and randomly pick matchups, excluding of course the wrestlers already involved in matches. Ready? Here we go....
 
Scotty 2 Hotty vs. Simon Dean: Best match ever!
 
Kristal vs. Tatanka: EVER!!!
 
Gregory Helms vs. Jesse: Who the fuck is "Jesse"? Tough Enough Jesse? Seriously, I have no clue.
 
Boogeyman and Hardcore Holly vs. Steve Romero and Sylvan: And here I was, saying there were no good tag teams left.
 
Jillian vs. Vito: Loser has to wear a dress.
 
Matt Hardy vs. Little Bastard: And you just KNOW Hardy's going to have to job....
 
Josh Matthews and Paul Burchill vs. Psicosis and Michelle McCool: They could call themselves the "MexicMcCools". Get it? Mexicool? McCool? Aw, never mind.
The Cubs Fan Says... Longer matches, not More Matches.
Sometime this week, I could've swore a Divas bra and panties tag was announced to the show, but they haven't posted it to the website. I'm guessing Michelle & Krystal beat Ashley & Jillian, but everyone gets slightly more naked than usual in the end (like usual.)

With as few matches as they have announced, you'd think they could've saved the Crazy/Psicosis match for PPV instead of doing it on TV - maybe they'll end up doing both - because that seems like the only ongoing feud not included here. (Maybe they had plans for Matt/Kennedy here.) With ECW and RAW sucking guys away from this brand, there really isn't the depth for a 2:40 PPV. I hope they just opt to give guys a lot longer than they usually would, rather than force a Tanaka match or a Helms title defense no one cares about.
Matt Hocking Says... Will the Curse Strike Again?
On paper at least, GAB looks like a halfway decent Smackdown PPV card.  With as much of a talent leakage that Smackdown has had, it's impressive that they were able to field such a competitive card.  I mean, you've got two
matches that should be pretty good (Booker/Rey and Pitbulls/London and Spanky), two matches that might be pretty good depending on what condition the workers show up in (Batista/Kennedy, Lashley/Finlay/Regal), plus a "sideshow attraction" that is sure to be bad, but will probably feature some blood and some action anyway.

But then again, the Bash seems to be cursed.  They could put on a Wrestlemania card and somehow somebody would fuck it up.  What's more than likely to happen is that Booker/Rey won't get enough time and will be rushed, Pitbulls/London and Spanky will play in front of a dead crowd and have dumb ending, Batista will continue to show his rust against a mopey Kennedy, Finlay/Lashley/Regal will devolve into a chinlock fest while the crowd sits on its hands waiting for the leprachaun, and Taker/Khali will be...well...Taker/Khali in a match that makes absolutley no fucking sense.

So yeah...Everything seems like it'll be ok, with some good action at the top of the card.  But I'm not holding my breath and neither should you.  This seems like the perfect kind of PPV that you wait until the reaction trickles in and then make your call for the replay.  It's not even that it isn't worth watching like you'd think a Smackdown card should be it's just...I've got a bad feeling about it.

EXTRAS:

-They'll probably add a couple of throwaway matches to kill time.  Two suggestions would be Super Crazy/Helms (for the Cruiserweight title with Psichosis getting invovled) and some kind of replacement match for Matt Hardy.  Matt v. Simon Dean or something?

-YOUR Heat match will either be one of those two or Vito.

-The Diva Search girls will do something dumb.  Miz will say "Hoorah!" and then drift off into the crowd.

-JBL will be fantastic on commentary because he is the shit.

-You know what?  Scratch that.  Helms and Crazy will work the preshow and Jillian/Ashley v. Michelle/Krystal will be added to the PPV.

-Also, we'll get a King Booker skit.

-And probably at least one between Rey and Batista to keep that "feud" in our heads going into the main event.

Ok, that's it.  I'm done.
Adam Gutschmidt Says... Buyer Beware!
Well, it appears that you can also pencil in a cruiserweight title match with Helms going against one of the Mexicools and a four-way bra and panties match with the Smackdown divas.  Just for tiebreaker points, I'll say Helms retains because the Mexicool not in the match interferes and
costs his former partner.  I'll also pick Ashley to win since this will, I believe, be her first "match" since her injury.

Please note WWE.since you are having a bra and panties match, that fills your diva quota for the night.  Do not even think about sticking the Miz and those talentless skankbags out there to chew up time.  If you do, be prepared for the live crowd, as well as the few suckers watching at home
to shit all over it.

Aside from all that, I would expect some royal fun from Booker and his court backstage before his match.  I also wouldn't be surprised if Batista had interactions with both Rey and Booker before the match to heighten the mystery behind who will the main event.

Finally, let me just add that there seems to be a trend now that the PPVs that appear to look great on paper, usually are disappointing and the PPVs that look completely thrown together at the last minute turn out decent. That would indicate good things for this show.  However, the exception to this trend in the past has been the Great American Bash, which has stunk up the joint ever since coming back in '04.  I guess what I'm trying to say is I have no clue how this one will turn out, so buyer beware!
PyroFalkon Says...  I'll Kick Bulldog's Ass on These Picks Without Even Having Seen A Single Episode of SmackDown!...
You know what the best part of the Great American Bash is? The wicked cool red-white-blue ropes. Call me a sucker or a nostalgic bastard, but I love the tri-color ropes far more than the all-red or all-blue of RAW and SmackDown!. Hell, when I get bored enough to play the old WWF Raw game on my SNES emulator, I still giggle when I see the tri-color ropes. They’re just SO cool!!!

In other news, I decided to stop being stingy, and now I’m spending the extra $6 per month for my “local” channels. This means I get UPN, so I can start watching SmackDown! Woo hoo! And though I said that I’d be an idiot to essentially pay $6/month for a single channel that doesn’t show porn, I justify it by saying that within the local channel package, I get WGN again. This means I can watch my beloved Cubs continue to break MLB records by giving up dozens of grand slams in single innings. Hey, it takes REAL TALENT to suck that bad. Just ask Bulldog.

The point is, these Extra sections have always been a little lean (like this one is) just because I didn’t know what the hell was going on with SD. Just as a secret between you and me, I never read Jeff’s recaps… He might be my friend, but SD couldn’t possibly interest me less. (Don’t tell him I said that, though.) Of course, this begs the question, if SD doesn’t interest me, why the hell am I paying to watch it? The mysteries and hypocrisies of my mind are limitless, damnit.
Jeff J. Snider Says... From the Very Very Large to the Very Very Small....
I hope that Big Show and the leprochaun both interfere in matches, just because I bet that would be the greatest size differential between two interferers in WWE history. I also hope that Khali finds some way to get injured before the match, because Taker is way too good for this. A one-time match, okay, I can see it. But this is like the third big match between one of the greatest wrestlers of all time and one of the worst "wrestlers" of all time, and I think it needs to stop. Unfortunately, I don't think this is the blowoff match. The silver lining in my UPN network cutting off my Smackdown is that I went several weeks without laying eyes on Mark Henry or the "Great" Khali; if Khali could get hurt too, I could finally be completely pissed at UPN. (By the way, always remember that I was the one to first put quotes around "Great" in Khali's name. That is my legacy.)
Big Danny T Says... It ain't a PPV till I see a man in a dress.
I got nothing, as I stated before, I haven't been watching SmackDown enough to know what should or should not be on the show. ok, maybe one thing: Gregory Helms will defend his title against Super crazy, and Vito will do a quick comedy match against.. Ohh, I dunno, Scotty 2 Hotty.
Rick Scaia Says... the Bash's One Saving Grace? Nonexistent Expectations.
OK, so the two other matches we know will happen are Gregory Helms defending the Cruiserweight Title against Psicosis and/or Super Crazy, and then a four-way Bra and Panties Match.

Ummm, just in case there's extra credit involved: I'll pick Helms (since they just made a big deal out of him being the longest reigning CW Champ in however long, and because I don't see the point of one heel dropping the title to another heel, and if WWE wanted to put the belt on Super Crazy, they could have done it a month or so ago when Crazy got his one-on-one shot; unless Psicosis and Super Crazy suddenly decide to kiss and make up, that is... which they might, if the asshats making decisions for ECW have decided Super Crazy doesn't belong there; but if I'm thinking the Mexicools would really make up, then I'd have to change my Tag Title Match pick, and frankly, I'm too lazy to bother with all that at 4pm on a Friday afternoon).... and I'll pick Michelle McCool (because if RTC Ivory taught us anything, it's that you become exponentially hotter the longer you keep your clothes on, leading up to a match in which your are finally, deliciously, spectacularly stripped down; so Librarian/Teacher McCool must retain her dignity and stay clothed... for now).

Other than that, I say that's probably enough matches to fill up the show, especially considering that some of them (tag and CW matches) really do deserve the full 10-15 minutes to unfold, no matter how much that goes against WWE Standard Practices. Pad it out with the usual backstage skits and other filler (I'm wondering how much time the set-up/tear-down of the stupid "Punjabi Prison" Match will take and how much vamping will have to be done there?), and you got yourself a show.

More than anything, my closing thought on this show is that I'm fully expecting to sit here on Monday, telling the story of how all the e-mail feedback seems "surprisingly positive." And that, my friends, is because on the wings of 2 years of Suckitude and one weak-ass announced line-up, my bet is people will go into the Great American Bash expecting next-to-nothing. And if they get even one quality match, and if everything else if Friday Night caliber? It's human nature to suddenly feel like "Hey, that wasn't so bad? What was I worried about?"...

I'd accuse WWE of purposely booking SD! like this, so that we all sit around pre-shitting on their brand-only PPVs, and then wind up "pleasantly surprised" when the show does not, in fact, suck. But frankly: I don't think they're that clever.

 

One way or the other, OO should have full Great American Bash results and recappage for you at some point Sunday night. Then you'll get any additional fall-out and analysis that is appropriate when I see you kids again on Monday, in a standard OO column. 

Till then....


  
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
 
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: 18 Seconds? NO! NO! NO!
 
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
 
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
 
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RAW RECAP: Say My Name
 
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RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
 
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
 
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RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
 
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Destiny Do-Over
 
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
 
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
 
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: In-BRO-pendence Day
 
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
 
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: #striketwo
 
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
 
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
 
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: You're Welcome
 
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Needs More Kane?
 
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Lady Power
 
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
 
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
 
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
 
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
 
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
 
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: No! No! No!
 
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
 
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
 
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28

 
 
E-MAIL RICK SCAIA

BROWSE THE OO ARCHIVES

Rick Scaia is a wrestling fan from Dayton, OH.  He's been doing this since 1995, but enjoyed it best when the suckers from SportsLine were actually PAYING him to be a fan.

 

 

 


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