The Anderson Breakdown – The Great American Bash

Ken Anderson
KenAnderson242@aol.com

The Great American Bash 2006 –
The Anderson Breakdown

– I’ve been nursing a severely strepped throat for much of the weekend, and I actually almost skipped out on the Bash, but Smackdown usually puts on some surprisingly awesome PPV’s, so I decided to suck it up and head down to the local sports bar with my brother to check out the show.

Unfortunately, when I got to my local sports bar, the windows were boarded up, the parking lot was empty, and there was a sign on the window informing me that they would be relocating to a new area effective July 31st.

Thus set off a rapid search for another venue showing the Bash. None of the usual suspects were showing the event, and the operator on 1-800-FREE-411 was getting extremely tired of hearing my voice. Finally though, we found a Hooters way out in Orange Park that was showing the PPV.

Unless you’re in the .001% of the world population residing in the greater Jacksonville area, you probably have absolutely no idea why I just bolded the words “Orange Park.” Well friends, the aforementioned bolding was a roundabout way of saying, “Gosh that’s far!”

I had already thrown on my hoodie and baseball cap though, and I was actually in the mood to get out of the house and watch some grapplin’, so we pressed forward. I should also mention, for the benefit of those who absolutely *hate* personal discussion along with your free wrestling commentary, that my brother did not, under any circumstances, want to go to the PPV with me.

I texted him first thing in the morning with “Bash tonight, right?” He waited a full 30 minutes before texting me back with, “Yeah, I guess so.” I’ve known my brother long enough to decipher his message. This cold, unenthusiastic SMS message was his way of saying, “I’ll pretend like I’m going to avoid a fight, but at 7:00, I will cancel via text message and then turn off my cellular phone for the evening.”

I didn’t present him with this opportunity though. Not with such a fine card to look forward to later in the evening. So instead, I laid the guilt on as heavily as possible. Dozens of times throughout the day, I texted him about what a “fine, brotherly time” would be had. I also excitedly texted him the full card of the show about a dozen times throughout the day, just to let him know how badly he wanted to see this show:

Anyway, when I finally got to my apartment to pick up my brother, he had an absolute fit. He told me that he wasn’t really in the mood to go out, and that the show wasn’t even going to be that great without Lashley and Khali. I shook my head in disgust, looked him dead in the eye, and said, “Brother, we’re not going to let the wellness policy ruin our evening, are we?”

He wasn’t amused, but after I dickishly (and immaturely) took his car keys and told him I wouldn’t return them unless he came to the show, he grudgingly agreed. As an insurance policy though, he got out his flask, filled it to the brim with Bacardi, and carefully sealed it shut.

Unfortunately for me, he started drinking as soon as we got in the car. An hour later, when we finally arrived at Hooters in Orange Park, he had been spending the last thirty minutes doing drunken impressions of the Great Khali. As loud as I turned up the car stereo, I could still hear the fire-breathing dragon beside me screaming “RINNNGGGGGG OF THE KINGGGGG.”

We finally arrived, parked, and walked inside. Strangely, the place was absolutely packed for the Smackdown PPV, leading my brother to drunkenly proclaim that, “Orange Park Loves SMACKDOWN!”

And within thirty seconds of sitting down, the skanky waitress was already insulting us for liking wrestling. “You know this stuff is absolutely ridiculous, don’t you?” I wanted to go all Vader in Kuwait on her, reaching over the bar, grabbing her by the throat, and being all, “DOES THE PUNJABI PRISON LOOK LIKE A JOKE TO YOU??!?!” Unfortunately, domestic violence was never my thing, and I wasn’t about to get kicked out after driving all this way. So I just smiled, ordered a delicious Diet Coke (which would be refilled in the most shoddy nature possible throughout the evening), and refrained from conversing with her for the remainder of the night.

I guess I can understand where she’s coming from though. I imagine Rasslin’ Night isn’t exactly something waitresses look forward to. Three hours waiting on a table of 40 year women in Hardy Boyz t-shirts who order nothing but water will probably push just about anyone to the breaking point.

Anyway, I missed the entire first hour of the Bash, but I got my hands on a tape of the show, just so I can provide you fine readers a full review of the show. I’m not feeling that great, so I’m going to avoid some of the play-by-play, and just provide briefer analysis instead.

And off we go:


Brian Kendrick & Paul London vs. The Pitbulls (Jamie Noble & Kid Kash) – World Tag Team Title Match

Brian Kendrick and Paul London make their way to the ring wearing their goofy (yet awesome) Halloween masks. And as the Pitbulls make their way to the ring, JBL bashes the Spanish announce team and begs them to learn English.

As the match begins, Michael Cole notes all the legendary tag teams that have competed at the Great American Bash over the years, mentioning the Four Horsemen, the Rock N’ Roll Express, the Koloffs, the Midnight Express, The Freebirds, the Andersons, and the Road Warriors. In an awesome nod to history, JBL acknowledges that Ricky Morton actually trained Kid Kash, and at one time, they were NWA Tag Champions together. True or not, JBL also mentions that Jimmy Crockett still owes him money from the old NWA.

Anyway, London and Kendrick were just awesome here tonight. Their constant tags, incredible double-team moves, and awesome selling reminds me a lot of the Rockers back in the late 80’s. And the Pitbulls were equally great, with their hard-hitting attacks, good double-teams, and occasional aerial stunts. In fact, they actually reminded me a bit of the Brittish Bulldogs as well.

There were just too many awesome spots to list, but one in particular I just loved happened when Paul London attempted to skin the cat back into the ring, but as he was hanging upside down about to swing back up, Jamie Noble just comes out of nowhere and dickishly stiffs him right in the face with a dropkick, sending him crashing headfirst to the arena floor.

Even though fans have been given little reason to care about either team by creative thus far, the crowd was still going absolutely crazy for this match. Not only were London and Kendrick getting legitimate babyface heat, but the Pitbulls (especially Jamie Noble) were getting some rare, true heel reactions as well.

At 10:00 or so, after several minutes of getting beaten viciously by the heels, Paul London is finally able to make the hot tag to Brian Kendrick. Kendrick springoboards off the top rope with an awesome dropkick and starts going to work on both Pitbulls. Kendrick knocks both Pitbulls to the outside, gets a running start, jumps to the top turnbuckle, and hits a HUGE high-cross body to the outside.

Back in the ring, Paul London attempts a sunset flip on Jamie Noble, but he can’t quite get him over. Brian Kendrick comes out of nowhere with a drop kick to finally knock Noble over, resulting in the pinfall and victory for London & Kendrick.

The crowd goes crazy, JBL and Michael Cole put over the tag champions big time, and the show is officially off to a great start.

Awesome match by all four men, and if the WWE actually invests the time necessary to give these guys some personalities, and maybe builds another team or two, the tag division could be back in a big way on Smackdown.

***3/4


The Great Khali is in the back, and Davari is absolutely going crazy about something. Apparantly the Great Khali wants to “call out the Undertaker.” Davari says no to this idea, so Khali just casually lifts up Davari, starts screaming some of his awesome nonsensical nonsense, and shakes him like a ragdoll.


Teddy Long is out. Strangely, he announces that Bobby Lashley will not be able to compete tonight because of “elevated enzymes in his liver.” Judging strictly from the crowd’s response to this announcment, they obviously aren’t big readers of WWE.com.

Teddy Long asks Bobby Lashley if he’d like to say anything to the crowd.

They start going INSANE with “Lashley!” chants.

Lashley says, “With all due respect to the doctors, I don’t think there’s a DAMN THING wrong with me.”

The crowd, including an extremely pretty girl who bears a striking resemblence to the Pink Power Ranger, then starts going crazy with Bad News Bears like chants of “Let them fight!”

Teddy Long says that he’s got to keep Lashley’s “long term health” in mind, and that as soon as the doctors clear him to wrestle, he’ll allow him back in the ring.

Lashley walks slowly to the back amidst huge chants of “Lashley!”

Lashley has been improving by leaps and bounds over the months, but he does have a bright future ahead of him, and I’d rather see him off the card than further risk his health. I don’t know enough about livers to know if this is a steroid issue, but it should be noted that Lashley looks so enormous tonight that he literally appears to have tubing all over his body running under his skin.

And if it is a steroid issue (I’ve also heard Hepititus C), it certainly was strange to see the WWE publicly shame Bobby Lashley by making him go out there like this, get publicly removed from the card, and then walk shamefully back to the locker room.


Fit Finlay and William Regal make their way down the aisle. They walk right by Bobby Lashley without saying a word to, or even looking at, him.

Finlay jumps in the ring and immediately starts giving Teddy Long a hilarious “player’s handshake.” Per this gesture, JBL calls Fit Finlay, “North Ireland hip.”

When Finlay demands that Teddy Long raise his hand and declare him the United States champion, Teddy says he has a better idea: Finlay will fight Regal.


Fit Finlay vs. William Regal

Although I was excited to see Lashley wrestle here tonight, I’ve got to admit, I was even more excited about the prospect of Regal/Finlay II on PPV. If you haven’t seen their original PPV encounter at WCW’s Uncensored 1996 PPV, it was without a doubt one of the stiffest PPV matches you’re going to find.

Before the match gets under way, Regal meticulously searches under the ring to make sure the midget isn’t there. As the referee checks both men, JBL screams that “IT ISN’T A MIDGET, IT’S A LEPRECHAUN.” Michael Cole attempts to respond, but he can’t contain himself, and just starts laughing.

After two or three minutes of great, hard-hitting action, Regal retreats to the outside. As he stands next to the ring regaining his composure, Finlay’s dwarf suddenly pops his arm up from under the ring and grabs Regal’s leg. The crowd pops big time for the first appearance of the leprechaun.

Regal runs from the leprechaun, with the leprechaun somehow always finding a way to hide from Regal and then sneak up behind him.

As Regal and Finlay exchange stiff European uppercuts, the crowd starts chanting “We want Lashley!”

Regal goes after Finlay, but he sees something moving out of the corner of his eye. Regal suddenly dives for the ring apron in an effort to trap the leprechaun. He slips his hand down the ring skirt to grab the midget, but Regal suddenly just starts screaming. When the ring skirt is pulled down, we see that the midget has locked his teeth down on Regal’s hand.

Finlay capitalizes and continues to stiff the hell out of Regal. Michael Cole says that, “these two men are just beating the hell out of each other.” JBL notes though that, “Once the wounds are stitched up and the bones are set back in place, they’ll probably go out and have a pint of Guinness together.”

Both men viciously collide, with the smack of their heads hitting each other sickly audible.

Even though the match is pretty entertaining, the crowd suddenly bursts into a massive “boring” chant.

Michael Cole is so great, and just starts screaming, “THE FANS CHANTING BORING BECAUSE THEY WANT BOBBY LASHLEY!!!!!!!!”

JBL brings even more attention to the restless fans by saying, “Maybe they’re not really chanting ‘boring.’ Maybe they’re chanting ‘Bobby! Bobby!”

I don’t even know how it happened, but the lephrechaun somehow stole Regal’s right boot. The dwarf hands the boot to Finlay, and Finlay uses the boot to KO Regal for the pin.

Definitely an entertaining, different match. Did it live up to my personal expectations? No way. But I’ll take it.

**1/2


Rey Mysterio is in the back preparing for his title match. Chavo Guerrero walks in to wish Rey luck. Chavo says that Rey might not share his name, but Rey is “still a Guerrero.” According to Chavo, “all of Eddie’s fans are proud of” Rey, as is Chavo himself. Chavo says that it was Eddie’s dream to recapture the WWE title, and tonight, Rey will help make Eddie’s dreams come true.


Matt Hardy vs. Gregory Helms

JBL calls Gregory Helms “Smackdown’s best kept secret.” He also runs down the history between the two, and name drops Jeff Hardy a couple of times for good measure.

I don’t really have the energy to get too in depth on this match, but it was fairly entertaining stuff. Both men mocked the other’s mannerisms and signature moves. Both men played to the crowd and got their highspots in.

Even though the match was really nothing memorable, both men worked hard and did a really good job getting the crowd into it.

At the 5:00 minute mark, Gregory Helms hits an awesome swinging neck breaker off the top rope. Several minutes later, Matt Hardy attempted a Shawn Michaels-like moonsault press from the top rope. Hardy looked to come about one half inch from snapping his neck in two.

Helms recovered though, dropped Matt Hardy headfirst on the turnbuckle, and then pinned him with a handful of trunks.

Good match.

Definitely PPV worthy.

**3/4


The Great Khali and Davari are walking down the hallway towards the curtain. Davari is SCREAMING at Khali “not to do this now,” but Khali is having none of it.

Davari stops walking and tells Khali that if he is “going to do this,” he will have to do it alone.

Suddenly we see a dark shadow appear on the wall. The Undertaker jumps into view and throws Davari into a wall.

As the Undertaker turns around though, the Big Show jumps out and starts attacking him. When the Great Khali ran back and took a few shots of his own at the Undertaker, Smackdown referees jumped in and booted the Great Khali from the building.

I can’t say I have a clue what just happened.


– We now get a nearly unexplainable five minute video package hyping up the Undertaker/Khali match that isn’t happening. The only real highlight of the entire package is hearing The Undertaker say, in his dead man voice, “I… accept… your match… in the… Punjaaaabi Prisssson.” I guess I also enjoyed hearing JBL scream, “I’ve heard of the Punjabi Prison match in the past, BUT I NEVER THOUGHT IT WAS REAL.”


– Apparantly The Great Khali hasn’t been booted from the building just yet, as he’s now walking backstage with the Big Show and Davari. The Big Show says that he’s always happy “to help pick the Undertaker’s bones.”

Teddy Long pops into frame and tells Davari that “there will only be one man facing the Undertaker tonight, and that man will be… The Big Show!”

The Great Khali just starts FREAKING out, all “THUHTS MUH MATCH!”


At ringside, JBL is just going CRAZY.

“THE BIG SHOW ISN’T HERE TO BE THROWN IN A PUNJABI PRISON! IT ISN’T FAIR! IT ISN’T FAIR!”


The Undertaker vs. The Big ShowPunjabi Prison Match

As ominous music begins playing, the Punjabi Prison structure is at last revealed. Spooky lighting illuminates the massive bamboo double-cage as Michael Cole reads off the rules to the match:

Two cages, one inner and one outer, will house the wrestlers. At the beginning of the match, the wrestlers will be locked in the inner cage. If one wrestler calls for one of the inner cage’s doors to be opened, the referee will open the door for sixty seconds. If a wrestler is unable to escape the inner cage during that time, the door will again be shut and locked.

Once a wrestler, or both wrestlers, escapes the inner cage, they will then have to scale the outer wall of the Punjabi Prison. I kid you not when I say that the outer wall is at least 25 feet tall, and is covered with pointed sticks which prevent the wrestlers from escaping.

According to JBL, over one mile of material went into creating the Punjabi Prison.

All jokes aside, I’ve got to say that this structure is absolutely unbelievable. The men involved tonight are severely limited in their use of the Punjabi Prison due to their size, but it would just be awesome to see a guy like RVD, or Sabu, or Kurt Angle, or Ric Flair competing within this massive bamboo cage.

Anyway, disregarding all that, one doesn’t need to be a cynical internet fan to appreciate the complete absurdity of this entire situation. I mean seriously, why in the world would The Big Show and The Undertaker be competing in a Punjabi Prison Match? I mean, was their ECW match so heated that the rematch had to be housed in the Punjab Jungle?

The Undertaker spent approximately 45 minutes making his way to the ring, prompting my brother to drunkenly turn to the grapplin’ fan beside him and say, “Man, could the Undertaker possibly take any longer to get to the ring?” The second I heard these words leave his mouth, I clinched onto his knee with a vice-like grip. Unfortunately, it was already too late to save him. The man he had made the comment to was already looking at my brother like he wanted to murder him.

I leaned in close and sarcastically told my brother to never insult the Undertaker to a mark.

As far as the match goes, I’ve just got one question for you:

Wasn’t the world just dying for the day that the Undertaker and The Big Show would go broadway in a Punjabi Prison Match.

In an effort to preserve my sense of self-worth, I don’t time matches. But just roughly guessing from my sharp mental clock, I’d guess that this match must have gone well over 30:00 with introductions and post-match antics. Maybe even 35:00.

And for the first 25 minutes, absolutely nothing happened. Just a whole lot of punches. And kicks. And chokes. And strange spots where a timer would suddenly appear on screen for no discernable reason. And strange spots where the Punjabi Prison’s bamboo doors would suddenly drop to the ground with no rhyme or reason.

If you didn’t actually see the show, it’s interesting to note that there are no cameras inside of the inner prison. In fact, from a visual standpoint, it would be comparable to cueing up their match from ECW last week, hitting play, and watching the action with your face pushed up against your Grandmother’s wicker chair.

Also interesting to note is the fact that, several times throughout the show, Michael Cole references the “near capacity crowd” in attendance for the Bash. The WWE has never had any problem fudging attendance figures in the past, why not just go all the way and reference the crowd as “capacity?”

At about 10:00 in, the Big Show removes the padding for the top turnbuckle. I question why, if locked in a pointy-spiked covered Punjabi Prison, the Big Show would take the time to expose the tiny metal bolt beneath, but in all honesty, I’m sure the Punjabi Prison can really play some tricks on your mind.

Several minutes later, the inner prison door is opened and both the Undertaker and the Big Show attempt to escape the inner cage. Unfortunately, neither one can make it out in time. You can just see the anguish and fear in both men’s faces as the Punjabi Prison’s doors slam shut before their eyes.

In a beautiful touch, when the prison doors shut, a massive gong sounds in the arena.

Eventually, the Undertaker is able to hit a superplex on the Big Show from the second rope. The move wasn’t really anything special, but the “Holy Shit!” chant this simple superplex drew from the crowd really speaks volumes about the shortage of real action in this match.

Nevertheless, when Taker hits the move, JBL screams that “THE ENTIRE PUNJABI PRISON JUST SHOOK!”

The Undertaker calls for the door to be opened, and this time, he escapes the inner cage! Unfortunately, the Big Show also manages to escape the inner cage as well. Both men continue brawling in the outer cage at ringside.

Somehow, the Big Show manages to throw the Undertaker back in the inner cage and lock the door.

The Big Show starts laughing, and then begins scaling the massive 25 foot outer wall!

But the Undertaker is scaling the wall of the inner cage, and manages to jump out of the inner cage and onto the wall of the outer cage!

THE UNDERTAKER GRABS A VINE!

THE UNDERTAKER IS TEN FEET OFF THE GROUND, AND HE JUST SWUNG ON THE JUNGLE VINE AND DELIVERED A KICK TO THE BIG SHOW’S STOMACH!

AND KHALI IS COMING OUT!

KHALI IS OUT!

HE’S HEEDING THE CALL OF THE PUNJAB!

The Undertaker sees Khali out of the corner of his eye, but ignores him for the time being. Taker climbs up the inside cage and comes flying off with a massive crossbody on the Big Show.

When Taker hits the Big Show, both men fall right through the Punjabi Prison!

Apparantly, because the Undertaker’s entire body hit the floor, the Undertaker is declared the winner.

And meanwhile, the Great Khali has somehow managed to scale the Punjabi Prison without anyone noticing, and is just PERCHED 25 feet in the air like a f*cking canary looking down at the Undertaker.

While the Great Khali casually hangs out atop the Prison, the Big Show breaks down into tears, screaming “WHYYYYY!!!!!!!!” over and over as JBL and Michael Cole talk about the “toll the Punjabi Prison can take on a person.”


Even though this match was damn near unwatchable from a strictly technical standpoint, it was still without doubt one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. I’ve now sat through this marathon match twice, and I must say, from an entertainment standpoint, it’s one of my favorite matches of the year.

I believe the show cost $40 to order at home, but trust me when I say that you cannot under any circumstance put a price on the unintentional comedy that took place inside of this Punjab Prison.

JBL and Michael Cole were in rare form tonight, and their commentary was just so over the top that it bore a striking resemblance to Kevin Kelly and Mick Foley’s classic sarcastic commentary on the Kennel in a Cell match.

In fact, the commentary was so great that you could probably make a geeky drinking game out of it.

1. Every time Michael Cole references the desert of Punjab, take a drink.

2. Every time JBL talks in a fearful whisper about the horrors of the Punjabi Prison, take two drinks.

3. Every time the terrifying Punjab gong sounds, take three drinks.

It would be all the rage.

In fact, after careful consideration, I think I’m going to officially host a Punjabi Prison theme party here at my apartment.

Anyway, as bizarrely fascinating at this match was, it would have been even better had Khali actually been able to participate. The Big Show has never been accused of having wonderful workrate, but next to Khali, the dude looks like Kawada.

I don’t pray as often as I should, but before bed tonight, I’m going to say a silent prayer to the Big Man Upstairs that The Great Khali’s liver improves enough for the real Punjabi Prison match to take place.

***

Yeah, you read that right. The match itself wasn’t awful, and as a pure spectacle, it delivered in spades. The Big Show bled like a pig, and the crowd was pretty much into the entire match.

I know I’m probably ranking this a star and a half higher than anyone else, but it was entertaining, and it was different.

To be fair, all three stars deserve to be shared heavily with Michael Cole and JBL though.

A fun, entertaining match that will not only warrant a DVD purchase for me, but might also alter my summer vacation to include a swing by Punjab as well.


Booker T and Sharmell are in the back discussing tonight’s match. Sharmell tells Booker T that if he wins his match with Rey tonight, he will be “king of the world.” Booker, completely decked out in his king costume, gets a massive smile on his face and starts repeating “KINGGGGGGGG OF THE WORLLLLLLLLLLD!” over and over again.


Kristal vs. Michelle McCool vs. Jillian Hall vs. AshleyBra and Panties Match

JBL asks Michael Cole how many bra and panties matches he’s wrestled in, as Kristal walks down to the ring looking like she hasn’t eaten in a decade. Seriously, how does anybody find such an emaciated figure to be attractive. Jillian Hall though, now there’s an attractive girl.

Anyway, as we all know, these matches are usually placed near the end of the card to effectively kill the crowd before the main event. In theory, it gives the fans time to rest before blowing the roof off for the final match or two.

Well, succeed these women did.

All these girls are actually decently competent when it comes to wrestling, but this four-way bra and panties nonsense was such a clusterf*ck that it never really even got off the ground.

Jillian gets the crowd back into it by rubbing her breasts all over Kristal’s face. While she’s molesting Kristal though, Ashley pulls of Kristal’s top.

The bell rings, and apparantly Ashley is our winner.

Even though the match is over, Ashley still sneaks up on Jillian and removes her pants, leading Michael Cole to dejectedly state:

“… Ashley just de-panted Jillian.”

When JBL starts getting really into it, Michael Cole screams at him to “call the match.”

JBL is all, “I ain’t Gordon Solie … … THIS IS GREAT!”


The Miz is in the back with Ken Kennedy. Kennedy promises that he will defeat Batista in the center of the ring tonight. According to Kennedy, even though Mark Henry wasn’t able to take out Batista, he WILL.

And when he does, says Kennedy, “the announcer will cry out to the heavens: the winner of the match is MISTERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR KENNNEDYYYY … … … … … … KENNEDY.”

Kennedy is INCREDIBLE.


Big DAVE Batista vs. Ken Kennedy

Batista comes out in his killer white ring gear to an absolutely monstrous pop. This is the first time I’ve gotten a chance to see Batista since he’s returned from injury, and he’s looking absolutely phenomenal. It’s definitely an interesting decision to bring out Dave first though.

After Kennedy came out, the lights dimmed and his microphone started to drop from the ceiling. Before he could do his introduction though, Batista attacked him. The crowd actually booed Batista’s pre-emptive attack pretty heavily.

Both men brawl wildly in and out of the ring, and when Big Dave throws Kennedy head first onto the corner of the ring steps, Kennedy’s head just explodes. Thus, less than two minutes into the match, Kennedy has already got blood pouring down his body.

Kennedy bails to the outside, assesses the damage to his head, and decides to bail on the match.

He starts walking to the back, before suddenly changing his mind, charging the ring, and trying to blindside DAVE.

Batista sees him coming though and just spears the hell out of Kennedy as he gets back in the ring.

Both men continue brawling all over the ringside area, with Kennedy bleeding more and more by the second.

Kennedy places Batista’s head on the bottom turnbuckle and nearly kicks Dave’s jaw off.

On second viewing, these guys definitely got pretty stiff with each other.

More brawling on the outside, and then Kennedy locks some form of submission onto the tricep that Dave had previously injured.

The crowd tries to help Dave with huge “Ba-tist-a!” chants, but Kennedy just keeps coming at Dave with punches and kicks.

Dave reverses and throws some HEAVY shoulders into Kennedy’s midsection. He picks up a bloody Kennedy and just hurls him shoulder first into the ring post about five times in a row. During one of these attacks, Kennedy hits the ringpost headfirst and comes up bleeding from another spot.

Batista gets a crazy look in his face, kicks Kennedy into the bottom turnbuckle, and sticks his foot right on Kennedy’s throat.

Dave is choking the shit out of Kennedy with his foot, and he refused to break the hold.

The referee calls for the bell and Batista just SNAPS.

Dave chases the ref off and hits three consecutive spine busters on Kennedy, following by a HARD Batista bomb.

Ken Kennedy is left in a bloody pile as Big Dave stares off into the crowd.

While it only lasted 10:00, this match was just absolutely incredible. Both men had the intensity cranked up to 11, and accident or not, Kennedy’s heavy blood loss REALLY added to the match.

The ending was particularly awesome, with Batista just snapping on Ken Kennedy. In fact, it really seems like they might be trying to work an eventual double-turn with Dave and Kennedy.

I’d be game.

***


Booker T vs. Rey Mysterio – World Title Match

As King Booker elaborately makes his way to the ring, JBL is in rare form. He is standing and applauding, in near tears, and delivers a five minute soliliquy about how blessed we are to be visited by royalty. He references Alexendar the Great, Louis XIV, David, and King Solomon.

“What a gracious, HUMBLE King. Look, he’s blowing kisses to the public. Why don’t you try to catch one Michael. It’s something that can make you eloquent. Catching the King’s kiss. Catch one Michael. Just catch one.”

When Rey Mysterio’s music hits, JBL’s tone changes dramatically. He screams “DAMNIT!” and promises that just like the clock struck midnight on Cinderella, it’s about to strike midnight on Rey Mysterio as well.

After both men are in the ring, we get awesome, boxing-style ring introductions for both.

King Booker gets right in Rey’s face and promises that “Eddie can’t help you.”

We get a funny exchange where JBL says that America wasn’t build by underdogs. Michael Cole replies that, “our highway system was built by people just like Rey Mysterio, who busted their asses to make America better.” JBL paused for about five seconds, and then angrily screams, “SOCIALIST!”

After several minutes of feeling out and back and forth action, Rey Mysterio dives off the top rope onto King Booker outside. He then attempts a moonsault press on Booker T, but Booker T ducks and nearly takes off Rey’s head with a superkick.

King Booker takes over, beating Rey down and hitting the three amigos for good measure. The crowd is not pleased, and they break into a thunderous “619!” chant.

Rey manages to fight back with some stiff MMA-style leg kicks. Booker charges him, but he hits the drop-toe hold and winds up for the 619. Booker ducks at the absolute last second, but Rey goes for it again. When he hits the ropes though, Sharmell grabs his legs to prevent him from hitting the 619.

Referee Nick Patrick is not happy with this, so he ejects Sharmell from the ringside area.

In an awesome spot, Rey Mysterio goes for his spinning bulldog, but Booker casually stands his ground and backdrops Rey right into the canvas.

For the next several minutes, we get multiple near falls from both guys. If you watch the crowd, they are just way more into this than you’ll typically see on the other brands. Cena and DX might get bigger pops, but when they flash to the Smackdown crowd, the fans are actually responding as if the match was real.

The ref gets bumped, and Rey Mysterio hits the 619 and an Eddie Guerrero frogsplash. The ref isn’t there to make the count though.

Booker regains the advantage with a Book-End, and then brings a chair into the ring to knock out Mysterio. Rey kicks it right back in Booker T’s face though.

While the ref is still out cold, Chavo Guerrero runs down the aisle, slides into the ring, and grabs the chair.

Chavo acts like he is going to hit Booker T with the chair, and then he suddenly turns and just flattens Rey Mysterio. The chair shot was so sickening that I’m surprised Rey Mysterio is still alive.

Chavo stands over Rey Mysterio, looks down at him in disgust, and slowly exits the ring.

People all over the arena are in shock, with their hands on their head and a disgusted look on their faces.

The referee regains consciousness, Booker T covers Rey Mysterio, and we have a brand new World Champion on Smackdown.

Sharmell returns, grabs a microphone, and does the “ALL HAIL KING BOOKER” at least 50 times as Booker T’s music plays and Booker celebrates with the Big Gold Belt.

As the show fades to black, Booker T kneels in the ring, tears in his eyes, and looks down at the World Title.

***


Closing Thoughts:

As horrificly tired as I am of RAW, I honestly cannot remember the last Smackdown PPV that I walked away from upset about ordering or watching. Whether I have lower expectations for the brand, or whether overexposure hasn’t set in that much for me (I don’t watch a whole lot of Friday Night Smackdown), for whatever reason, I always look forward to these shows.

Even though there were no true blowaway matches on the Great American Bash, it was still a charming little PPV. I hate to use such a word to describe a wrestling PPV, but it just seems the most appropriate.

I’ve always felt like the WWF may have made a bit of a mistake when they mortgaged their entire young fanbase in favor of older teenagers during the “Attitude” era, but to me, Smackdown can almost feel like a throwback to the Superstars days at times.

In fact, with young children packing the arenas to see guys like Rey Mysterio and John Cena, I wouldn’t mind seeing the WWE attempt to turn Smackdown into a tame, 80’s style children’s brand.

They’re already close to it.

They’ve got wholesome, larger-than-life superheroes like Rey Mysterio, Bobby Lashley, The Undertaker, and Batista. They have colorful characters like King Booker, The Boogeyman, and Fit Finlay with his Leprechaun. They’ve got a couple of fun tag teams. And they’ve got a great timeslot (Friday night 8:00-10:00) to appeal to those younger viewers who aren’t old enough to be out on a Friday night.

All they really need to do is tone down the sexuality and extreme violence a bit, and the WWE would have a show on their hands that parents would actually feel good about their children watching.

Even better, Smackdown has the potential to be a show that the whole family could actually watch together.

Anyway, after two viewings, I loved this PPV. It was a fun show to watch, and absolutely nothing insulted my intelligence in the same way that the typical RAW show does. Even though I’ve seen most of these guys before, the Bash just felt a million times fresher than anything happening on the RAW brand.

Even though the workrate might not have been up to geeky net fan expectations, I actually had fun watching this show. The Punjabi Prison match made me feel like a kid again. So does King Booker and Batista. I love that.

It’s also worth mentioning that the MVP of the Great American Bash didn’t even wrestle on the show. JBL totally stole the show here. I haven’t had much of a chance to hear him on commentary yet, but he might already have my vote for the best color commentator in the business.

JBL obviously came here to work tonight, and he sold absolutely everything like a million bucks. His constant historic references brought a smile to my face, and his complete over-the-top selling of the Punjabi Prison and King Booker was some of the best heel commentary I’ve heard in years.

There wasn’t a dull minute on commentary, and JBL was so good that sometimes I actually found myself paying more attention to JBL than what was actually going on in the ring. JBL had a million fun facts about the history of the Great American Bash, and it was so great hearing him discuss the old NWA that I’m hoping the WWE will finally heed my desperate calls and bring back Halloween Havoc and Starrcade.

Anyway, as much as I love JBL in the ring, I think he’s found his calling.

If we’re going by the thumb system, the Bash gets an easy thumbs up from me.

I’m out, but as always, check out The Wrestling Blog for more wrestling news, commentary, and special features from myself and others. It’s Off the Record week at the Wrestling Blog, and we’ve already got about a dozen Ipod ready Mp3 interviews from Off the Record up with everyone from Ric Flair, to Paul Heyman, to Chris Jericho.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll catch ya round.

Ken Anderson
KenAnderson242@aol.com