The SmarK Rant for WWE Great American Bash 2004

The SmarK Rant for WWE Great American Bash 2004

– There’s just something”¦wrong”¦about GAB being a WWE show. Besides the obvious “Bradshaw in the main event” thing.

– So welcome to my tenure on Inside Pulse, which I’m sure will be a long and prosperous one. Assuming you all buy the book, of course. Which I’m sure you will, because I’ll cry if you don’t.

– Live from Norfolk, VA.

– Your hosts are Cole & Tazz.

– Opening match, US title: John Cena v. Rob Van Dam v. Booker T v. Rene Dupree. I like Dupree’s French flag robe — very cheesy 80s Randy Savage, in the good way. It’s a donnybrook to start! Cena stomps on Dupree and RVD goes with Booker, and then it’s back to four-way action again. This time, the heels triumph, and RVD brawls out with Booker T. It’s so sad when former Wacky Mismatched Tag Team Champions Who Hate Each Other fight. In the ring, Dupree gets a one-count on Cena, and they slug it out. Dupree gets a knee to the gut and a seated dropkick for two. More punching puts Cena down for two. Cena comes back with an atomic drop, but Dupree dumps him. Booker & RVD are literally just standing around outside. Yeah yeah, Rob is “injured”, whatever. If it quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. Booker tosses RVD into the ring, and Dupree hits the chinlock. Rob fights out and kicks him out of the corner, then blows his moonsault and repeats the spot, for two. Spinkick and Rolling Thunder get two. Now Cena and Booker are just standing around. So much for the four-way concept. Rob catapults Dupree out of the ring, and follows with a somersault plancha that hits both Cena and Dupree. Rob tosses Cena back in for two. Majastral gets two. Cena comes back, but gets cradled for two, then reverses for two. Rob stops to argue with Booker and tosses him in, and Cena rolls him up for two. Cena follows with an elbow on Booker for two. The BODYSLAM OF DEATH gets two. And now Cena tosses Dupree into the ring, as Booker hammers away, but runs into a powerslam. The OUTRAGEOUS FRENCH DANCE is countered with a whiplash slam by Booker, however, and RVD bounces into the ring with a frog splash on Dupree. Cena tries to go up, but Rob knocks him down and then hits Booker with a splash, and everyone’s selling, so Cena rolls up RVD at 8:19 to eliminate him. I think rollup finishes should be banned by Congress. Booker blindsides Cena on the outside, however, and the heels work him over. Dupree & Booker fight over who gets the pin, however, allowing Cena to clothesline both of them and make the comeback. He backdrops Cena out of the corner and hits Booker with the Throwback, and then Dupree with the F-U, but Booker capitalizes and eliminates Dupree at 11:18. Booker pounds away on Cena and gets a sideslam for two. And hey, it’s time to hit the chinlock again. And that goes on for a while. Cena fights out and makes the comeback”¦again”¦ with his elbows and sideslam. Five Knuckle Shuffle gets two. Booker gets the Brisco rollup out of the corner for two, however. Sidekick sets up the axe kick, but it misses and the F-U finishes at 15:52. Storyline-wise, there was no need for the match to be elimination, as the point was made when Cena pinned RVD, and in fact was a better match with just that 8 minutes than stretching it out to 15 proved to be. **1/4

– Charlie Haas v. Luther Reigns. Haas tries to take him by the leg to start, but Reigns makes the ropes. Reigns pounds away in the corner, but Haas rolls him up for two, so Reigns boots him down and stomps away. Reigns whips him into the corner and gets a backbreaker for two. Haas comes back with a dropkick that misses by 6 inches, but gets tossed. Back in, it’s chinlock time. Well, that goes without saying. God forbid every match doesn’t have a chinlock tonight. Reigns press slams him for two. The crowd is dangerously close to turning on the match, so Reigns turns up the intensity by going to”¦a half-crab. Haas comes back with a rollup for two, but gets clotheslined down again, for two. Reigns misses a charge badly, and Haas comes back with an exploder for two. Haas gets a german suplex for two. Blind charge misses by a mile, however, and Reigns finishes with the Test Drive (Roll the Dice, whatever) at 7:11. Much like Test, Reigns’ idea of selling seems to be walking around with a dazed look on his face. Of course, with Test that’s his natural expression, but I’m not sure what Reigns’ excuse is. ½*

– Cruiserweight title: Rey Mysterio v. Chavo Guerrero. Lockup battle to start and Chavo takes him down, which leads to Rey getting a rollup for two. Another one gets two. Chavo gets a sunset flip for two. They talk the trash (Sample: “You’re short and will never draw!” “So are you!” “Oh, yeah.”) and Chavo takes down for an armbar, but Rey flips out of it and gets his own. A moonsault attempt is caught by Chavo, but Rey takes him down with another rollup for two. They back off and try again, and this time Chavo pounds him down, but misses a dropkick and gets one in turn from Rey. Rey goes to work on the arm, but Chavo dropkicks him off the apron and to the floor. Now Chavo goes after the knee, wrapping the knee around the post and following with a kneecrusher into a half-crab. Rey counters with the Rube Goldberg bulldog, and fights back. The knee gives way, however, and Chavo goes back to it again. Suplex gets two. Rey staggers up and Chavo kicks the knee out, as Rey takes the Mr. Perfect bump and Chavo gets two. They do that again, which makes me wonder if it’s a tribute or something. Chavo puts him in a Brock Lock, but Rey counters out and they slug it out in the corner. Rey brings him out of there with a rana, but the knee gives way again and Chavo suplexes him into the corner and hangs him in the Tree of Woe. Rey dodges an oncoming Chavo, however, and Chavo bails, allowing Rey to follow with a buttdrop off the top to the floor. Back to the apron, Chavo hammers away and tries to bring Rey into position for a superplex onto the tables, but they both crash to the mat instead. I’d have preferred the superplex onto the table, all things considered. Chavo gets two, but Rey reverses for two. Chavo tries slingshotting Rey into the corner, but Rey blocks and fights back with a crossbody. Legsweep gets two. Rey tries a highspot in the corner, but the knee gives out again, so he gets a bombs away for two instead. They slug it out and Chavo gets the Gory Bomb for two. Chavo stomps on the arm and goes back to the leg again, but Rey comes back with an enzuigiri and the 619. West Coast Pop is blocked with a crab, however. Rey almost makes the ropes, but Chavo cranks it on tighter, until Rey fights his way over and forces the break. Chavo tries another Gory Bomb, but Rey reverses for the pin at 19:39. Pretty good, but nothing we haven’t seen a million times from them. Kudos to Rey for the selling throughout, however. ***1/4

– Kenzo Suzuki v. Billy Gunn. Holy crap, I just thought this match was an urban legend. I think it even had a listing on snopes.com, because no match could be so bad and really exist. Apparently, Suzuki’s mission is “vengeance”. You know, I’d say that Japan owning most of the US auto market and electronics market was pretty good vengeance, and if not all the people who sat through “Pearl Harbor” have been punished for World War II enough, I’d say. Besides, I want vengeance for Suzuki’s ugly tights. They exchange shots to start, but Suzuki misses a kneedrop and Gunn gets a fisherman’s suplex for two. Neckbreaker gets two. Suzuki starts his offense with an STO and goes to the VULCAN NERVE PINCH OF DEATH. Last I checked, there’s better ways to avenge your country than giving a guy a neck message. Like, say, HITTING HIM. Suzuki drops a chop and goes back to the nerve pinch. FEEL THE VENGEANCE! Gunn reverses a knee into a rollup for two, but the MARTIAL ARTS CHOP OF DOOM puts him down again. This guy is MONEY. Doesn’t matter which one I’m even talking about, they’re both great! Suzuki does a dramatic setup for a simple suplex, and gets two. It’s like Japan bitchslapping the US with every boring move! He’s right — this match IS punishment for the atrocities of World War II. They slug it out and Gunn comes back with the corner splash, but the Fameasser misses (as Suzuki uses a devious”¦uh”¦standing up) and Suzuki gets a Shining Wizard for two. Gunn comes back, sadly, with a tilt-a-whirl slam, for two. Suzuki goes low, however, and uses Christian’s backbreaker for the pin at 8:06. Uh, what a finisher? Much like Nagasaki, I too just had a bomb dropped on me. -**

– Sable v. Torrie Wilson. What’d I do to deserve this match? Besides making fun of Nagasaki in the last rant, of course. Sable kicks away in the corner to start and gets a necksnap, but Torrie comes back with a sunset flip for two. Oh, the drama. Sable resumes her shitty offense with choking and gets two. Par the course tonight, we HIT THE CHINLOCK, and it actually IMPROVES the match! Believe me, inaction is far preferable to anything actually going on in this match. Torrie fights out and apparently “Torrie chants” are starting, according to Cole. I think he’s confusing “boring” there. They collide in the corner, and you can hear the echo from the hollow space in their heads throughout the arena. Sable is out and Torrie wanders around all confused for about 15 minutes, but Sable gets the rollup for the pin at 5:42. Just another reason to hate rollup finishes. -**

– Mordecai v. Bob Holly. Can we have a record THIRD negative-star match in a row? Holly fires away in the corner to start and ties him up in the ropes, which causes Mordecai to bail. He gains the advantage with a cheapshot and pounds away in the ring, which would be really intimidating if he didn’t look like the President from Star Trek VI. Big boot gets two. And, say it with me now, we HIT THE CHINLOCK. Cole notes that Holly takes “protein” to stay in such great shape. Yeah, a lot of wrestlers are taking that “protein” stuff. Mordecai is so intense that he goes to a SECOND chinlock. EVIL! Holly fights out with a stun gun, but they collide (not sure if it was intentional or not) and both guys are out. Holly comes back with clotheslines (I thought the Billy Gunn match was over?) and goes up with his flying whatever for two. Inverted DDT gets two. Mordecai uses a SIT-OUT SPINEBUSTER (truly the most devastating move in wrestling, combining the fury of HHH with the deadly effects of sitting out) for two. Holly gets the DROPKICK OF DOOM for two, but Mordecai comes back with the Razor’s Edge for the pin at 6:31. Well, it didn’t get into negative stars, but it WAS enough to send Mordecai back to OVW. ½*

– Smackdown World title, bullrope match: Eddie Guerrero v. JBL. Standard shitty bullrope rules apply here. Guerrero chokes him with the rope to start and gets a ropetoss out of the corner, then more choking. JBL uses the cowbell (MORE COWBELL!) and slugs away in the corner to take over, then does some more choking. He gets two corners, but Eddie breaks it up. Bradshaw opts for the simple method and pounds on him with the bullrope, then uses the cowbell to knock Eddie down again. You know what this match needs? MORE COWBELL! Eddie gets hung in the Tree of Woe and choked out, and they brawl outside and onto the table, where Eddie makes the comeback and fires away on Bradshaw. Eddie too, has a fever, and the only cure is MORE COWBELL! Eddie sends Bradshaw into the post, but he’s still standing, so he uses the power of furniture and busts him open with a chair instead. Can’t argue with that strategy. Back in, Eddie hits him again and touches three corners, but Bradshaw hangs onto the ropes and prevents a fourth. Eddie dropkicks him in the face and touches three more, but Bradshaw keeps hanging on. They slug it out and Bradshaw gets a DDT, but Eddie recovers and touches two. Rolling verticals and frog splash look to finish things, as Eddie touches three easily, but Bradshaw smartly rolls out to keep Eddie from touching the fourth. That’s actually very good thinking. Eddie drags him back to the apron and slugs away, but Bradshaw (who puts on his pants one leg at a time, except when he does he makes platinum records) wants MORE COWBELL, and hiptosses Eddie onto the table. Cole notes that the table is “almost concrete-like”. Really? You’d think it’d be more like, oh, I dunno, WOOD? Bradshaw powerbombs him through it for good measure. Back in, Bradshaw touches three corners. Cole makes sure to note that Bradshaw told him that the lights in the corner that represent him were green “for money”, as though he’s so evil that even his LIGHTS are capitalistic. Talk about being desperate to make sure everyone knows he’s a heel. He touches three, but Eddie hangs on. Bradshaw uses MORE COWBELL and touches another three, but this time Eddie goes low and whips him with the bullrope and starts going to corners again, but they do the deal where the heel follows behind touching corners after him, until both are at three and they fight over the last one. Eddie launches himself at JBL and touches the fourth one at 21:06, but EVIL INSTANT REPLAY via Kurt Angle reveals that in fact he shoved Bradshaw into the corner and thus the JBL era begins, as he wins the title in a goofy gimmick match. The replay shows that Eddie never even touched the corner, so JBL won fair and square. Better match than Judgment Day, actually, with less inaction and more of a focus. Plus, of course, MORE COWBELL. ***3/4 But still, Bradshaw as WWE champion? What the f*ck?

– Undertaker v. The Dudley Boyz. Quite the main event, no? I don’t know how anyone could possibly buy a guy in peril of being buried in cement as a credible storyline in 2004, but there it is. Undertaker teases throwing the match to start, but it’s a SWERVE. So the Dudleyz start hammering away, which prompts Taker to brawl with them on the floor and send D-Von into the post. Back in, Taker quickly goes to the ROPEWALK OF DOOM, but Paul Heyman pours some cement on Paul Bearer to break it up. That is without a doubt the dumbest counter for a move I’ve ever seen. So UT stands around watching Heyman for a bit, and then gets posted by Bubba from behind to put the Dudleyz in control. They take turns dropping legs on UT and D-Von chokes away, but Taker comes back with a DDT on Bubba and a backdrop on D-Von. Sideslam and he starts to go after Heyman, but that allows Bubba to attack him from behind, and they work him over on the floor. Back in, D-Von gets the spinny elbow for two. Double-team suplex gets two and Bubba pounds UT down for two. They keep working him over in REALLY dull fashion. Bubba hits UT with the sad piece of wood from the table, which Cole valiantly tries to sell as a deadly weapon, and D-Von gets two. Cole promises headlines around the world about the show. Headline: “PROMOTION LOSES MIND, PUTS WORLD TITLE ON CAREER MIDCARDER TO SPITE CABLE NETWORK”. Headline: “PROMOTION SPENDS THOUSANDS ON GIMMICK FOR GREEN ROOKIE, THEN SENDS HIM BACK DOWN TO OVW AFTER A FEW WEEKS”. Bubba gets a backdrop suplex and everyone’s out. Including me and the crowd. D-Von tags in, as Cole notes that the cement is so hard now that Paul Bearer can hardly move. I think it’s actually just that he’s so fat. Taker comes back with Snake Eyes and a big boot, which naturally sets up the legdrop. Bubba comes in and gets slugged down, as this thing just totally falls apart and everyone staggers around. Taker finally gets the ROPEWALK OF DOOM, but D-Von goes low. Double-team neckbreaker, but Taker tombstones both Dudleyz and pins D-Von at 14:42. Sadly, Taker then turns on Paul Bearer and murders him by finishing the cement pouring job himself. However, we would later learn that he DIDN’T murder Paul, because murder is bad, whereas ATTEMPTED murder is acceptable and thus OK for kids to watch. This match, however, should have had a TV-14 rating on it, as in you must not have an IQ over 14 to enjoy it or the Undertaker’s act these days. ¾*