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OO PPV RECAP
WWE SD! presents 
The Great American Bash 
July 24, 2005

by The Rick
Undisputed Lord and Master of OnlineOnslaught.com

 

Good news, bad news, people. Which one do you want first? 
  
OK, good news: due to a couple different factors, I wound up not doing my usual Hooters Thing tonight for the PPV. Instead, I just sat on my ass on my own couch and spent $35 of my own money to watch this damn show. Which means this recap will be more along the lines of the usual RAW Recap than my usual PPV Recap. Trust me, a winner is you! Even *I* am

not amused by most of my PPV recaps. But this one should be better.

But the bad news: this'll be a recap of 2005's Worst PPV To Date. Well, Worst WWE PPV. I bet I would have been more bored and annoyed by some TNA offerings, were I watching those. But I don't. Instead, SD! is the furthest down the Relevance Spectrum that I allow myself to slid. And they managed to serve up a show that peaked rather low from an in-ring perspective (Eddie/Rey was good, but not much better, as it was too worried about storyline aspects than about the action; other than that, matches tended to have at least SOME faults, be they being overlong, or sloppy, or just plain silly), and which was downright confounding from a story/booking perspective. Case in point: heels with actual upside and appeal (i.e. Christian and Hassan) were buried, but heels with no heat and no prospects (Jordan and JBL) scored wins. So frustrating.

And making it worse (for me, anyway), is that it was so frustrating on MY OWN DIME. Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue. I mean: looks like I picked the wrong month to actually buy a WWE PPV with my own money. Thirty-five bucks down the drain, and I didn't even get one of them tasty quesadillas. This sucks.

But hey, you didn't come here to hear me bitch and moan. Well not JUST to hear me bitch and moan. You also came to get some PPV results. So here are the full results of tonight's just-completed Great American Bash pay-per-view (since I'm sitting in my own house watching this show, and able to duck into the office to type up match recaps as each match concludes, I'll just put my Snarky Observations directly into the match results -- like the RAW Recap -- instead of having to fake my way through editorial thoughts that I'd normally add on in these red italics):

  • On Heat: Paul London defeated Nunzio to retain the Cruiserweight Title.... of note is the fact that the recently-fired Ivory was replaced on Heat by her fellow WWE Diva, Josh Mathews.... also of note is the fact that Muhammad Hassan may be banned from UPN, but he (AND his Terror Cell) are perfectly welcome to appear on SpikeTV (at least in Video Package form).
     
  • Opening Video Package/Pyro/Etc: and we're live in Buffalo, NY. And christ is this ever gonna get annoying if Cole keeps on pretending like tonight's PPV somehow has a legitimate claim to the 20-year-old Great American Bash legacy. No sale on that one, Potsie. This event I foolishly decided to pay for with my own money tonight? It has a legacy exactly one (1) year old. And that "legacy"? BWWWAAAAAAAHAHAHAHA.
     
  • Road Warrior Animal and Heidenreich beat MNM to win the WWE Tag Team Titles. OK, so Cole won't shut up about the 20 year GAB history (and how Animal was the only participant on this PPV who also wrestled on the first GAB in 1985), but he DOES shoot straight with us about how the "WWE Tag Team Titles" are a 3-year-old creation that came into existence after the brand split and how, therefore, they represent yet another Major Tag Title that Animal could add to his resume. First five minutes of this match are All Power by the babyfaces. They dominate MNM, and are making frequent tags until MNM manage to sneak in a double team. M or N (but not Melina, who remains the only member of this team that I can really identify without really concentrating) attacked Heidenreich from behind while he was distracted by the other of N or M. 
     
    The chopblock on Heidenreich's knee set up a lengthy (and extraordinarily boring) heel beatdown sequence on Heidenreich's knee. Heidenreich finally escapes one of the 4-5 rest holds that M and N applied to his leg, and makes the hot tag to Animal. After a big flurry, Animal briefly fell prey to a numbers game, in which Melina got involved and introduced a tag title belt to the match. But Animal still kicked out after taking a beltshot, and from there, Heidenriech had recovered enough to come to the rescue. M or N powdered out after a shitty clothesline by Heidenreich, N or M ate a powerslam from Animal. And then the same of N or M that took the powerslamm was given the Doomsday Device for the three count. New champs after a not-very-good 10 minute match. Well, I'm not sure it's the right move, but I predicted it, so I'll cope. I was one of only two (2) OO staffers to make that pick. The other seven of you trOOps could learn a thing or two!
     
  • Backstage: Josh has an interview with Eddie Guerrero. And just like Kurt Angle before him, Eddie's kind of been handed a lemon in terms of Shitty New Character Traits Materializing Out Of Nowhere, but he's trying really hard to sell them. In this case, that means more creepiness when discussing Rey Mysterio and Rey's secret... and ESPECIALLY about Rey's son. The punchline to Eddie's promo is that he's added another stipulation to tonight's match: Rey's son, Dominick" will be right there at ringside to watch it, and when the match is over, the "bedtime story" will be told right there in the middle of the ring. Whee.
     
  • Booker T beat Christian. Christian tried stalling at first, and was amusing himself by mocking ringside fans. So Booker eventually decided after a minute or 2 of that to go outside and corral Christian... so thus did begin a solid 3-4 minutes of Booker offense. But Christian is nothing if not crafty, and uses referee Brian Hebner as a prop in order to land a lowblow on Booker and take over the advantage. He eventually settles in with a chinlock, which, as we all know, is practically an invitation for Booker to start a comeback. But Christian was able to stay on top by ducking a Booker T kick, and having Booked end up straddling himself on the top rope. But instead of following up on that while Booker was experiencing Crippling Manpain, he got distracted by Booker's wife, Sharmell. She actually ended up slapping Christian, sending Christian into a bit of a rage... he decided to charge at her, but Booker was able to stop by by intercepting Christian with a Last Gasp Book End. When he finally crawls over to make the cover, he only gets a two. At this point, it becomes VERY obvious that there are a ton of Christian fans in the audience, as they begin chanting for Christian to make a comeback. 
     
    But both guys are spent now, and we're clearly building to a finish. Finally, Booker T ends up fully in control of things, with Christian only getting 2 quick "hope spots" (which is ass-backwards terminology, since that's usually what you give to a babyface, but truthfully, Christian's "hope spots" -- including an almost-Unprettier -- got huge babyface pops)... Booker was pulling out all the tricks, even a missile dropkick. There were also hearty boos for the Spin-a-Roonie. Huh. One of Christian's "hope spots" involved him tossing Booker out over the top rope after a cheapshot... but Booker immediately came back as soon as Christian followed out after him, tossing Christian into both the steel ringpost and the ringsteps. Then he tossed Christian back into the ring, where Christian suspiciously got to his feet, but remained bent over at the waist for a really long time. Booker went up to the second rope and nailed the scissors kick. And one, two, three? Yep. Booker wins, and that certainly seemed to come out of nowhere... the last few minutes, which I would have expected to be more back and forth, almost amounted to a squash for Booker over Christian, which is not how I would have handled it. I think it clocked in at about 12 minutes, and was good-but-anticlimactic. And only two (2) of us managed to pick the opener correctly, and zero (0) of us got this one. But if I'd stuck to my ORIGINAL picks, I would have gotten it right, dammit. 
     
  • Backstage: this time, it's a quick interview with Melina, who first promises that MNM will regain the Tag Titles, and then goes on to promise that us b-list fans will not be treated to seeing her a-list body stripped down to bra and panties tonight. I believe she'll make good on one of those promises. I believe she has a the snowball's proverbial chance in hades of sticking to the other one. You figure it out.
     
  • SummerSlam Hype: I paid $35 to listen to an absolutely shitty "SummerSlam Theme Song" and listen to Cole hype Hulk Hogan vs. Shawn Michaels.... I can probably get that for free tomorrow on RAW.
     
  • Orlando Jordan beat Chris Benoit to retain the US Title. Out of the gate, it's your standard back-and-forth choppy-kicky... and as you might guess, that favors Mr. Benoit, who spends the opening 2 minutes nominally in control, until OJ dodges an attempted baseball slide, and follows up by ramming Benoit, back-first, into the steel ring post. But rather than follow up, Jordan is apparently convinced of his own inferiority in this match, since he gets back in the ring, and starts trying to cheat. Hey, pussbag: YOU'RE WINNING, just keep on kicking ass! So while Orlando struggles, Ortontastically, to untie a turnbuckle pad, Benoit recovers, and recommences to showing the kid how you do things. Jordan gets a full Suplex Sampler from Benoit. A German, a Northern Lights, a Snap, at the very least... and Benoit's back in control again.
     
    But just as quickly as it came, he loses it. And I shit you not, it happened without anything resembling a transition. Benoit made a cover, OJ kicked out, and as soon as both got back to their feet, Jordan was just throwing forearms at Benoit and regained control. The hell? And from here, we enter what sure as hell felt like 10 minutes of Jordan beating Benoit's ass. There was a period where he nominally focused on the shoulder, but after that, it was more just a standard resthold-based attack, now with chinlocks added in to go with the armbars. Benoit got some very convincing hope spots in, peppered throughout this lengthy (and again, kinda boring) segment, and there were a few tepid "Let's go, Benoit" chants, but mostly, this seemed really flat. And it's not that Jordan wasn't working a competent "WWE Style Heel Beatdown" (because he actually was), it's just that that formula only clicks when fans buy into both guys in the ring. And whether it's the creative team's fault or what, nobody's buying OJ. Things finally seem like they might be picking up (or, at least, heading towards a climax), when Benoit catches Jordan on the top turnbuckle and turns it into a superplex. Both men down, ref's applying the double count...
     
    And it's Benoit who gets up first, and who starts a big flurry. Chops, stomps, suplexes, the whole nine. But the crowd's just not into it. My guess? We are now 15 minutes into what should have been a 6 minute match, and they just want it to be over. Finally a big pop when Benoit hits the Hat Trick of Germans and follows up with the Swan Dive Headbutt... but that's probably just cuz they thought it was the finish. Which is wasn't. Dammit; Jordan kicks out at 2. And it's back to apathy as Benoit decides to introduce OJ's head to all four turnbuckles. Except -- and oh christ did I ever get a sinking feeling in my stomach as soon as I saw they picked to go to this corner last -- when they get to the turnbuckle that Jordan had tried to expose earlier, they do a little spot where Jordan's head bounces off the (still-padded) turnbuckle and crashes back into Benoit's head, causing Benoit to go down. Jordan then reaches up and finishes untying the pad. Benoit recovers and moves in. Jordan ducks. Benoit eats the exposed steel turnbuckle. Jordan covers. One, two, three. And Orlando Jordan is STILL your US Champ. His taunting and showboating gets him dead silence as he leaves; meantime, WWE apparently at least KNEW it was doing something stupid, since they gave the fans a chance to give Benoit a standing O as he left the ring, and played it up on commentary that he'll live to fight another day.
     
    Oh for fuck's sake, WWE: I'm all for trying to turn Jordan into a viable US Champ, but that's what you should have been doing SIX FUCKING MONTHS AGO. You didn't do it, and NOW is the time when you let somebody competent do the job. Now is NOT the time to be starting Project Jordan, at least, not at the expense of Benoit. And this isn't some smarky jack-off opinion, it's just simple observational capacity. Because the only thing that live crowd wanted was Benoit winning and winning quickly. Instead, you gave them Jordan winning, and winning in 18 minutes. And how'd they respond? Not with boos, but with more silence. Because if you wanted to to work on Project Jordan, the time to do it was March. This is July, and you should have just given the fans what they wanted. Because trust me, Jordan may be JBL's "Minister of Defense" (or whatever), but I doubt very seriously he'll have the ability to HonkyTonk Man his way to being the same kind of chickenshit, undeserving champion that his boss was for 10 months. I just haven't seen that from him in his promos. That said: yes, this was his Best Singles Match Ever (from a Pure Workrate Perspective, at least). Too bad WWE's put him in a position where nobody gives a shit. Also of note: the staff of Online Onslaught is now a collective 2-for-27 on predictions, and the show's only one-third done. Thank god for me and Erin somehow magically both deciding to pick the Most Retarded Possibly Outcome in the opener, otherwise this could VERY easily be 0-for-27. Or maybe in OOur case, 00-for-27?
     
  • Video Package: the Video Package that's Too Hot For TV! Tremble in terror at the men in ski masks! Vomit in indignation at the vaguely-arabic background music! You know there's something REALLY wrong with society when they'll decide to get mad at WWE for presenting a character instead of just going out, like normal people, and BOOING some guy that sorta reminds them of something that makes them angry.
     
  • Undertaker beat Muhammad Hassan in a #1 Contender match. For a guy who's supposedly getting shipped back to OVW, pending a Gimmick Reassessment, they sure spared no expense on doing a new ring entrance for him (with a full futon carried out by his Terror Cell). Hassan, once to the ring, also prefaced things with a bit of promo work. Basically, he addressed his UPN situation as best he could while still "in character" promising that he'd be back on SD! after beating the Undertaker tonight, and also ranting at length about the general unfairness and discrimination he's put up with, and how it'll all be made right when he goes onto SummerSlam to win the WWE Title. You know what? Terror Cell or no Terror Cell, Muhammad Hassan is back to being RIGHT and speaking the TRUTH here in this promo. [FYI: the "Terror Cell" are being referred to as "sympathizers," which is about as generic as you can get. Can't we get something a little catchier?]
     
    Taker eventually interrupts Hassan's mic work for his long-ass entrance, and once the match starts, we waste no time establishing that Taker is Much Much Better than Hassan (hey, fuckers, why can't we do that same thing in the Benoit/Jordan match? It's the same exact thing), and Hassan can only gain an advantage by cheating. In this case, that means getting an assist from one of the five (5) Terror Cell members outside the ring. So basically, this thing is Taker beating the crap out of Hassan, then some Terror Cell chicanery gives Hassan a brief rush, but then Taker gets the edge back. The only extended Hassan offense was about 5 minutes in, when Terror Cell Val Venis pulled out the garrote, and choked out Taker. Hassan was able to lock in the Camel Clutch after that to big heat. But Taker ain't one for the tapping out. So instead, he did an admittedly VERY awesome spot where he took the Camel Clutch and just stood up with Hassan STILL ON HIS SHOULDERS, and delivered an Electric Chair. Hassan is not a small man. That's cool. If that'd been me, I'd be demanding an oxygen tank and a nap after that kind of dead lift. 
     
    From there, we're heading for home, as the Terror Cell starts trying to attack en masse, but instead is attacking in Dumb Ninja Style (i.e. One At A Time), allowing Taker to kick all kinds of ass on them. Finally, every Terror Cell member has had at least 2 Personalized Beatings from Taker, and is powdered out. With a spare moment, Taker hits Hassan with a chokeslam and quickly makes the cover. And just like that, it's all over. Hey, at least OO went a perfect 9-for-9 on this one! We're up to 11-for-36!
     
    After the match: the Terror Cell have the "Dumb Ninja" out of their system, and finally decide to attack Taker all at the same time. But they forgot that Taker is, at least in some parallel dimension, an American Bad-Ass, so he still crushes them. Then, when it's just Hassan and Daivari, Hassan shoves Daivari into Taker's clutches and tries to escape. It doesn't work. Daivari goes through the Spanish Announce Table (but not through the normal part, instead, he crashes through the FRONT panel, in a unique touch), and Taker easily catches up to Hassan on the entrance stage. Up there, he first delivers a Shitty Chokeslam on the steel stage. But then, Taker removes a stage panel, and delivers a VERY visually impressive Last Ride Powerbomb, sending Hassan crashing down through the hole and to the "concrete." We linger for a few parting shots of Taker, which gives them plenty of time to remove the padding and whatnot, so when we finally get a camera shot into the hole, we see Hassan convulsing on the concrete with nothing but a lighting rig under him. They got lots of replays of the spot, and really sell it like Hassan is mortally wounded. And you know what? UPN and all the thin-skinned douchebags still get a giant "fuck you" from me, but if WWE had to put the Hassan character on hiatus for a while, they did a nice job making it look convincing.
     
    Not a "good" match, but an "effective" one, if you catch the distinction. Taker looked awesome, Hassan got written out, and the crowd seemed to have fun seeing it all happen. That's Sports Entertainment, my friends....
     
  • Backstage: Torrie Wilson has a chance to rebut Melina from earlier, and promises that once she's done showing all the ladies in the audience that Girls Kick Butt Too (ummm, pretending like you're Trish Stratus is probably not gonna go over well with anyone, Torrie, be they guy or girl), she'll give all the men in the audience something to remember by stripping Melina naked. Because, as Torrie notes, this one is For The Troops. How patriotic.
     
  • The Mexicools beat the bWo. As the six men enter the ring (the bWo mocking the Mexicools by entering on Big Wheels), we're still talking about Hassan, and cutting back to shots of him getting tended to by EMTs. Are we seeing the Babyfacification of Muhammad Hassan? Kinda seemed like it.... match is clearly here as nothing but a palate cleanser. After some bWo hinjinx to start, we do a Time Compressed Face in Peril spot, as Hollywood Nova does the honors. And in the beatdown, he loses his bandana, revealing to pretty much anybody with awareness greater than that of your pet doggie that he's Simon Dean (d'oh; that cannot have been intentional). "Hot" tag comes to Stevie Richards, but the crowd's not really into it, and the thing pretty quickly breaks down into a Pier Six Brawl, with everybody getting involved. In the chaos, the Mexicools manage to isolate on Stevie. Super Crazy hits him with the slingshot moonsault, and Psicosis immediately follows up with the top rope legdrop for the three count. And that's that. Five minutes. Fun and fast-paced while it lasted, but ultimately pretty meaningless.
     
  • Video Package: Eddie/Rey stuff. I did a better and more intelligent job explaining this in the PPV preview. So no way am I recapping WWE's idea of a recap.
     
  • Backstage: Rey and his son Dominick are praying before the match. And then, Dominick admits he's kinda scared given how things have played out. And Rey tells him not to worry (but doesn't look convinced his own self). You know what? Rey's a shitty father for letting his kid get a Maxim Hair Color For Queer Eye Guys make-over, but Dominick could, based on this segment, probably teach Randy Orton a thing or two about acting.
     
  • Rey Mysterio beat Eddie Guerrero to protect his "secret." Before the match, they do an extended sequence in which Eddie acts offended that Rey has turned Dominick against him, and wants Rey to Be A Good Daddy by acting like he's still friends with Uncle Eddie. There's a handshake, there's even a half-hearted hug... but finally Rey has had enough of the pretending and just brings Eddie in for a short-armed clothesline. Ring the bell, and it's Go Time.
     
    Rey starts off hot, and almost immediately a "Let's go, Eddie" chant starts. D'oh. And the fucking sad thing is that Tazz tries a "Well, we're just across the river from Canada, so it's probably just some more of the Peeps" riff, and it's Michael Goddamned Cole who hits the entirely more reasonable line (as if cribbed from The Me's comments on Friday) about how there are just some people, in this day and age, who are going to cheer for the revelation of other people's private business. Damn you, Cole! Or, possibly: damn you, Tazz, for feeding Cole lines from your favorite website, instead of using them for yourself like you usually do!
     
    Rey's offense continues mostly unabated until a spot where Eddie ducks outside and goes over to Dominick, who is seated near the time-keeper. Eddie makes nice with his non-biological-nephew, and again, Rey doesn't necessarily approve of this. So he goes to confront Eddie. And Eddie again suggests that for the Good Of The Boy, they make friends. And Rey agrees. And it costs him, because as soon as Rey backs off, Eddie lets Dominick go back to his chair, and cheapshots Rey. At this point, Tazz lets loose with calling Eddie a "Freaking Asshole." How TV-14 of you, Tazz!
     
    And thus, we enter an extended sequence of Eddie beating Rey down something fierce. There are hope spots for Rey, but nothing that stuck me as particularly memorable. This was more about building Eddie up as the ultimate dickweed, since during this beatdown, he also frequently came back to Dominick to pinch him on the cheek, hug him, whatever. The most telling thing to me about this match at this point? We're a good 10-12 minutes in as Eddie continues his beat down, and NEITHER man has even a mild sweat going. In fact, *I* am probably sweating more just sitting on my couch watching this. Which is, of course, an exaggeration, but not by much. Have you SEEN the heat we're dealing with here in Dayton the past two days?  And me with no A/C. Still: my point is that even to a casual observer, it's kinda obvious that Eddie and Rey aren't bringing the usual heat here. They are still doing AWESOME flurries of moves, but this is more about the story and the drama, and it's a mere spectre of the Wrestling Match they COULD give us, if not for this retarded-ass melodrama. That kinda annoyed me.
     
    Finally, at about the 15 minute mark, Eddie got a little TOO cocky. He made another one of his visits out to Dominick (who might only have one "look," but does "Melancholy" so well it almost makes me believe this storyline), but in doing so, gave Rey enough time to recover. So we kicked off Rey's only serious offensive flurry in the match, building up to him finally hitting the (619) on Eddie. But he whiffed on the Dime Dropping, allowing Eddie back into the match.
     
    Immediately, Eddie pounced with the Three Amigos, and made the last one into a Brainbuster. Dick. With his eyes locked on Dominick's, he assured his almost-nephew that "I love you" as he went up top and delivered a Frog Splash. SURELY, this spells the end of Raymond Stereo? Nope. And stop calling me Shirley.
     
    Because, in one of those spots that I truly hate, Eddie makes That One Cover Where Even Houseplants Know He's Going To Be Reversed Into A Pinning Combo For The Upset. These two deserve a better finish than that, dammit. And sure enough, once Eddie lounges over Rey's torso in predictable fashion, Rey quickly crucifixes him into a pinning combo and gets the three count. Just like that, Rey pulls out the win. Dominick leaps into his father's arms at ringside (and in so doing, nearly tackles his old man, since at age 8, he's basically his dad's size), while Eddie is forced to bang his own head against the turnbuckles in the ring. Probably in the 15-20 minute range, and definitely the match of the night; but only because WHEN they were doing stuff, it was so good and crisp and exciting... the storyline of the match really took it down a few notches, though, and created massive lulls and a much slower pace than I would have liked. Then again: I just don't give a shit about "the secret" and am much more interested in the idea of this feud being about Eddie so badly wanting to get his win over Rey. I almost wonder if this outcome isn't the Creative Team admitting, "Hey, we had no idea for the secret, and now, it'll be lost to the ages, just like the Hummer Driver," so that the story may recommence to being about non-stupid shit? Or maybe it gets even more stupider. I dunno. 
     
  • Backstage: JBL cut a promo. In true HHH form, he said nothing new or interesting, but at least seemed to be saying it with intensity. Blah blah blah, guarantee a win, blah blah blah, wrestling god, blah blah blah. The only funny thing is that he busted out his same outfit from last Thursday. The one where, if I ever got stuck recapping SD! full time, I was fully prepared to note that said outfit looked way better on Torrie Wilson the many times she's worn it for various patriotic functions. JBL: soap rapist and Proud Wearer of Torrie's Finest Special Occasion Stripper Outfits. And unable to properly pronounce the names "Washington" or "Roosevelt." Truly, he *is* a Great American. 
     
  • Melina beat Torrie Wilson in a Bra and Panties Match. You think you're getting a recap of this? Guess again, Pedro. Various shitty wrestling moves were attempted, resulting in two things: (1) Tazz was mocked by Cole for attempting to call the wrestling moves, which pretty much underscores everything that is ass-backwards about WWE's promotional mindset these days. And (2) both women were relieved of their tops. After a few more minutes of not-very-good "wrestling," Melina managed to get Torrie's pants off. She wins. Then she makes the mistake of shoving Referee Boobies McTitsalot (hey, it turned out Erin DIDN'T use it in the Preview, so I shall abscond with that nickname here). So Boobies and Torrie doubleteam Melina and remove her pants (which were some unbelievably unflattering combination of culottes and capri pants that I hope NONE of you ladies in the audience ever think about wearing out in public, no matter how comfy they may be to sleep in). Melina leaves in indignation, trying to cover her shame (by which I mean "trying to cover her surgeon's ridiculous idea of hot bOObies"). Torrie celebrates with Boobies, and suddenly notes that Boobies has too many clothes on. Christ, it's almost like WWE picked *THIS* match to steal The Rick's Exact Fantasy Booking. Nice work, monkeys: next time, steal my shit on something that counts. And sho 'nuff, Boobies decides to take off her outfit to reveal her implausibly elaborate underthings while doing her Surprisingly Unsexy Go Daddy Dot Com Dance. Because, dammit, IT'S ALL FOR OUR TROOPS. God bless America.
     
  • Video Package: JBL and Batista have done some stuff lately. But none of it very interesting. Which is why THEY are in our Main Event. Nee haw.
     
  • JBL beat Batista by DQ (Batista retains the World Title). They start things off, and it's non-stop Slobberknockering. For the most part, Batista wins that fight, but JBL gets a few ill-gotten licks in, too. Mostly, I'm just struck by the notion that this is a complete replay of the Jordan/Benoit match: a deal where no matter WHAT JBL brings to the table, it doesn't matter because the fans only care about half of the match. JBL was compelling as champ because he was doing the Honkeytonk Man thing. But as a challenger? Christ, this is EXACTLY why the Bash last year was the shittiest PPV in ages: because you put a guy nobody gave two craps about in the title match.
     
    So it's power wrestling, and mostly done well (but with limited crowd heat, except for a few genuinely impressive spots, such as Batista catching JBL on the fly when JBL tried to double sledge him from the apron to the floor), but also quite boring and flaccid. It's also mostly in favor of Batista for the first 6-7 minutes until JBL managed to negotiate throwing Batista over the top rope to the floor, and then followed up with some sloppy-ish Announce Table Assisted Offense. Nothing really cool, but hey, they're using a table. Sort of. So that's how Batista ended up on the short end of the stick at about the 10 minute mark of the match.
     
    Standard heel beatdown commences, which (as I noted in the OJ/Benoit match) works a lot better when fans buy into the heel in question. Which they don't, here. Because, unlike WWE's Front Office, the fans seem to be more of the OO Mindset that JBL is Out Of Juice, and his one purpose here was to make Batista look good heading into his next storyline. Making matters worse: when JBL's done with the stompy-punchy, he actually locks in the Main Event Sleeper. Oh man. It's like the Summer of 2004 all over again. And he keeps it locked in for at least 3 minutes. Maybe 4. Enough to really start pissing me off. FINALLY, Batista backdrops JBL out of the sleeper, and the double-count is applied by ref Nick Patrick, while I'm wondering if those are Buffalo's crickets I'm hearing in the background, given the lack of crowd interest in this match.
     
    Both men back up, and Batista briefly teases regaining control, but JBL takes over again in pretty short order. They go outside, and JBL dominates for a (let's be charitable and call it) "methodical" beatdown on Batista. Back in the ring, and JBL's apparently looking to finish things off... except then they go for this REALLY SLOPPY spot in which I couldn't even GUESS at what they were trying to do, but it ended up being a thing where Batista just grabbed ref Nick Patrick and pulled him in the way of an on-coming JBL. Very bad if your Babyface Champion is coming off like that. I'm sure (given that they SEEMED to be trying to orchestrate something more elaborate) that this wasn't the original plan, but it's still how it came off.
     
    Obviously, with the ref bumped, Batista hit his finisher, but there was nobody there to count it. So Orlando Jordan came down to the ring to interfere. He actually got a chairshot in on Batista. But by the time OJ got Patrick back into the ring, Batista was able to kick out from that. JBL followed that up with a Clothesline From hell, but when he made the cover, Ref Patrick had apparently relapsed or something (actually, he was fidgeting with his earpiece the whole time in ANOTHER sloppy aspect of this End Game Scenario) and didn't make the count. So if the ref wasn't capable of getting up to make the 3 count, Jordan figures he'll help out with ANOTHER chairshot. Bad idea, OJ. Batista intercepts Jordan, steals the chair, and wallops Orlando with it. And then, he turns around and decides to whack JBL with it, too. Just for good measure. Except APPARENTLY, whatever Nick Patrick's technical difficulties were have cleared up, since all of a sudden, the bell is ringing. GOD MOTHER FUCKING SHIT PISS FUCKITY FUCK FUCK FUCK DAMMIT! Patrick saw the chairshot, and JBL is your winner via DQ.
     
    A decent-but-unspectacular 20-minute brawl, and it ends with this: with WWE protecting its used-up ex-champion whose only REAL value to the company was putting Batista over so that he could move on to the next phase of his reign. It's unbelievable: when it comes to heels, you want ones people CARE ABOUT. So what happens tonight at the Bash? Christian is squashed and Hassan is buried, but JBL and Jordan get wins. So retarded. Putting over the heels that make people yawn? Putting over the heels that make fans not want to watch anymore? How is this right? PUT OVER THE HEELS THAT MAKE PEOPLE WANT TO MAKE SOME NOISE. It's not that hard. But WWE sure makes it look that way. Batista goes from beating HHH cleanly thrice to not being able to beat JBL: welcome to SmackDown!, Big Man, the brand that screwed things up so badly for Eddie Guerrero last year that they actually thought JBL was The Solution. Could history be repeating itself? Stay tuned...
     
    Show ends with JBL celebrating his win, but Batista getting his belt back, as if to underscore just how pointless the entire night was. One guy wins, but the other guy keeps his title. Whee. You know, that finish would have gone over a lot better in the opener. And then you could have put Batista over clean here. I'm just saying, is all...
     

Not really a great show. Some harmlessly amusing matches along the way, but nothing so good it was PPV Worthy from a Star Rating Perspective... and also absolutely NOTHING accomplished from the "Hey, so I wonder what happens next?" perspective. If anything, WWE might have quashed some casual fan interest with their ass-hatted booking of this show. You don't always gotta give the fans what they want, but dammit, when you don't you gotta give them something that they want to cheer against. And that, my friends, is EXACTLY what didn't happen here tonight.
 
Not nearly as bad as last year, obviously, but a real black eye for WWE's PPV efforts so far in 2005. I might have my issues with PPV oversaturation and all, but this is really the first time, this calendar year, that I can remember a PPV leaving me so cataclysmically unsatisfied AFTER the show (instead of just leaving me annoyed and underwhelmed BEFORE the show).  

But enough pissiness for tonight. More thoughts and fall-out will follow in tomorrow's OO, kids. I'll see you then....

E-MAIL RICK
BROWSE THE RAW RECAP ARCHIVES


  
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RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
 
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PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
 
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RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
 
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PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
 
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RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
 
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PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
 
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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

 

 

 


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