Welcome to live Bash coverage here on Pulse Wrestling. I am Mark Allen, your host for the evening. Let’s kick off the show live from Sacremnto!
Match 1: ECW Championship Scramble Match: Tommy Dreamer (c) v. Christian v. Finlay v. Mark Henry v. Jack Swagger
Christian and Swagger are the first two out of the gate as Grisham and Striker explain the rules of the match. The two men battle back and forth with neither gaining a clear advantage with neither scoring a pinfall or submission. Number three out the gate is Finlay. Finlay immediately takes control. Swagger hits Finlay in the eye and catches him with a roll-up to get the pinfall. Swagger is now the current ECW Champion, about seven minutes into the match. Current champion Tommy Dreamer is the fourth men into the match. Tommy immediately gets a chance to shine on the three opponents. Finlay is pretty much out of the match, selling his long-standing eye injury. As I write that Finlay interjects himself again, throws Swagger in the ring and hits with the Celtic Cross to become the new Champion. Mark Henry comes in fifth to complete the match. Henry immediately takes control of the match. A countdown is playing in the corner of the final five minutes. Henry drops Dreamer with a World’s Strongest Slam to get the pin and become the new Champion. All five brawl on the floor, taking turns diving onto each other. Henry teases a dive himself, but Swagger sneaks up behind with a knee block and gets the pin on Henry, with about 2 minutes to go. Christian hits a Killswich on Swagger for the pin, but is broken up by Dreamer. Dreamer then rolls up Christian to get a three count. The match picks up in the last minute with pinfall attempt after pinfall attempt. As the clock counts down to zero, the five men frantically try to pin each other but Dreamer comes out as Champion.
Winner (and still Champion) – Tommy Dreamer
Backstage, Edge tries to weasel his way into the World Title match later on but Teddy Long is having none of it.
Match 2: Rey Mysterio v. Chris Jericho (Mysterio’s mask versus Jericho’s Intercontinental Title)
Another great lengthy video package proceeds the match, highlighting their rivalry. I do love how they are completely erasing that whole period from 1999 – 2001 when Mysterio was unmasked previously. The match breaks down early and Jericho starts strong by swinging Mysterio into the guardrail on the outside when Rey tried a senton. Jericho then takes advantage in the ring and wears Mysterio down. Rey comes back with a seated senton but Jericho takes control once again with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. The match wears down as Jericho keeps control with a slow, methodical pace. Mysterio finally takes control and sends Jericho to the outside. He keeps up the momentum with a seated senton from the top rope down onto Jericho on the floor. Mysterio throws him back in the ring and picks up the pace. He wakes up the crowd with a double jump springboard moonsault that I haven’t seen Mysterio pull out in ages. Jericho stops the momentum with a backbreaker and slows things down again. Mysterio catches Jericho with a moonsault off a whip to the ropes for a two count. Mysterio tries another high-flying move but gets caught in Walls of Jericho. Mysterio fights to the ropes to break the hold. Mysterio sends Jericho to the apron and then tries for a 6-1-9 but Jericho evades it and drops Rey with a clothesline. Back in the ring, Jericho drops Mysterio with a second rope powerbomb and gets a two count with his feet on the ropes. Jericho misses a Lionsault and Mysterio catches him with a hurricanrana pin. He sets up for 6-1-9 again but Jericho was waiting. Rey spins out with a tilt-a-whirl DDT for another two count. Both men on their feet as Rey kicks Jericho in the thigh. He goes for a second rope splash but Jericho intercepts with a great looking Codebreaker for a long two count. Jericho drops Rey with Snake Eyes and sets him on the top rope. Jericho looks for a top rope Frankensteiner but Rey blocks. Jericho drops the mat and Rey sends Jericho to the ropes in order to finally hit 6-1-9. Jericho immediately regains control and locks in Walls of Jericho once again. Rey gets out and go through the indy roll up sequence. Jericho pulls of Rey’s mask, only to reveal a second mask underneath. Rey hits 6-1-9 and a hits the mid-top rope splash for the pinfall and win the Intercontinental Title once again.
Winner – Rey Mysterio (new Champion)
After the match, they replay the Donald Trump-Mr. McMahon debacle from last week RAW. They then cut to Triple H getting taped up backstage in preparation for his main event later in the show.
Chris Jericho then invades into Teddy Long’s office and demands a rematch with Mysterio tonight, but Long kicks him out.
Match 3: The Great Khali v. Dolph Ziggler (no disqualifications)
They even put together a great video package for this match that makes it look more important than it is. The match starts out with Khali just decimating Ziggler as apparently this match is also no countouts as they brawl around ringside. Ziggler gains an advantage after Khali misses a judo chop and hits the ring post. Back in the ring Ziggler gets Khali off his base. He gets him off his feet with a couple well places chair shots and a knee block. He then gets him down with a Fame-Asser. With Khali down Ziggler locks him in a front facelock, until Khali stands up and drops Ziggler from about eight feet up. Then out of nowhere the pyro hits and Kane shows up. Amidst the distraction of Kane standing menacingly Ziggler takes control once again. Kane then enters the ring and lays out Khali with a series of chair shots and Ziggler hightails it to the floor. As Kane stalks to the back Ziggler crawls back into the ring and gets the academic three count.
Winner – Dolph Ziggler
Back in Teddy Long’s office, Mr. McMahon arrives and makes fun of Long for accomplishing basically nothing in his five year tenure as a General Manager, even namedropping Adamle, Heyman and Bischoff. He basically says Long has nothing going for him but his stupid dance and keeps him on probation.
Match Four: Carlito & Primo v. Priceless for the Unified WWE Tag Championships
Holy crap, before the match starts, Teddy Long comes out to announce the match is now a triple threat match and Edge & Chris Jericho are the new third team!
Match Four: Carlito & Primo v. Priceless v. Edge & Chris Jericho for the Unified WWE Tag Championships
The match starts proper with Carlito and Ted DiBiase. Carlito starts out with some flashy moves and takes out to his brother Primo, who keeps control of the match. Soon Legacy takes control and Rhodes and DiBiase double team Primo, basically keeping Edge & Jericho out of the match completely. Primo makes the hot tag to Carlito and he takes over on Rhodes and DiBiase. Jericho then sneaks in the ring and drops Primo with a Codebreaker and throws him to the outside. As Carlito and DiBiase fight in the ring, Edge sneaks a tag from DiBiase without Carlito knowing it. Edge then sneaks in and drops Carly with a spear and gets the pinfall. Edge and Jericho barely saw any in-ring time, and I don’t know if Jericho was actually ever legal in the match.
Winners – Edge & Chris Jericho (new Tag Champions)
Backstage, Orton tells Priceless not worry about not winning their match and instead focus on help him retain the WWE Championship. Ted DiBiase wonders if they are just henchmen for Orton and storms off as Rhodes says he’ll smooth things over.
Match 5: Melina v. Michelle McCool (with Alicia Fox) for the WWE Women’s Championship
The match starts fast as they trade offense. McCool gains an advantage and starts to work on Melinaâ€™s left leg. McCool works over Melinaâ€™s leg quite well, even trapping it between the ring post and stairs. They then show Melinaâ€™s flexibility as Michelle bends her leg all the way, so that it touches Melinaâ€™s head. Melina tries to gain some offense but Michelle cuts her off with more leg work. McCool sets up for the Faith Breaker but Melina turns it into a huricanrana. The brawl and and McCool sets up Melina up on the top rope, but Melina turns it into a bulldog. Melina gets a cover but Alicia Fox saves things but putting Michelle’s foot on the bottom rope. Melina then turns her attention to Fox and kicks her down. Michelle regains control again and drops Melina with a Faith Breaker to win the Women’s Title.
Winner – Michelle McCool (new Women’s Champion)
Match 6; CM Punk v. Jeff Hardy for the World Heavyweight Championship
Hardy is out without face paint, which JR sells as Hardy being in super-serious mode. The two men get the awesome old-school in-ring inductions before the match, which I love.
The match starts slow as they work over a headlock. JR brings up their two men’s divergent pasts and the fact that they are lifelong WWE fans. The match picks up as Punk tries for a G2S only for Hardy roll him up in a crucifix. Hardy then dumps Punk to the floor and sails over with a slingshot splash onto Punk. On the outside Hardy thows Punk into the guardrail and jumps off the ring steps towards the Champion, but Punk moves and Hardy crashes. Hardy just makes it back into the ring before the ten count as Punk takes complete control of the match. He locks Hardy into a figure four headscissors as they talk up Punk’s MMA background. Punk misses a legdrop off the second rope and Hardy responds with a Whisper in the Wind for a two count. Both men are slow to rise and Hardy takes control with a series of clotheslines, an atomic drop and gets a two count off his compactor double leg drop. He hits the gourdbuster and looks for a swanton bomb but Punk rolls to the outside, so Jeff just turns direction and clotheslines Punk off the top ontot he floor. Back in the ring, Punk hits his high kick, a running knee and a GTS attempt. He then gets a two count off a bulldog. Both men up Punk lays in the kicks and judo fists only for Hardy to hit a Twist of Fate. He goes for a Swanton but misses. Punk pulls Hardy up but gets trapped in a cradle for two. Back on their feet, Hardy blocks another G2S and hits a second Twist of Fate. He then nails the Swanton and gets the clean pinfall as his music plays.
But no, the ref said Punk’s foot was under the rope and is explaining to Hardy his error and restarts the match. In the confusion Hardy fights out of another G2S and gets a thumb to Punk’s eye. The ref pushes Hardy away to give Punk time to recover, only for Punk to respond with a kick to referee Scott Amstrong’s back. The ref calls for the bell and gives Hardy the win by DQ. The announcers play up Punk’s blurred vision as the reason for the kick to Armstrong. The crowd is not buying it and chants bullshit at the finish. After the match, Hardy attacks Punk as he tries to leave. He throws Punk back in the ring and lays in the punches. Refs come in to pull Hardy off of him. Punk is really playing up the blurred vision bit as a ref helps him leave ringside area.
After the match, Carlito & Primo storm into Teddy Long’s office to complain about losing their Tag Titles. They then show a quick clip of Rev Theory and Adelita’s Way performing outside early in the afternoon before The Bash started.
Match 7: John Cena v. The Miz
A super long video package eats up plenty of time before things get started. Cena starts strong, showing his superiority over The Miz. Miz takes over with a headlock and they do the criss-cross bit. Cena ducks his head and Miz kicks him in the face. Cena no-sells it and Miz takes off running outside the ring. Miz ducks out of a Cena suplex attempt and lands up on the apron and snaps Cena’s neck off the top rope. From there the story becomes Miz working on Cena’s injured neck with a variety of moves. He drops Cena to the outside with a baseball slide kick. Miz rolls him back into the ring and continues to keep control. Cena starts the Superman comeback and hits his usual flurry of moves, does the U Can’t See Me and the Five Knuckle Shuffle. He drops Miz with the Attitude Adjustment and locks him in the STF for the anti-climactic submission victory. Pretty much just an extra long squash match.
Match 8: Triple H v. Randy Orton in Three Stages of Hell for the WWE Championship
Itâ€™s time for the main event, the Three Stages of Hell match for the WWE Championship between Triple H and Champion Randy Orton. The match is essentially a two-out-of-three falls match, with the first fall being a straight match, the second fall being held under falls count anywhere rules and the third and final deciding fall being a stretcher match.
The match starts hot with Triple H and Orton trading high impact moves and punches. HHH uses the knee virtually immediately. The brawl in and out of the ring. Orton sends HHH to the outside and gloats to the crowd. As he turns to grab HHH he gets brained with a steel chair. Triple H is disqualified and Orton wins the first fall.
Immediately it goes into the falls count anywhere fall and HHH waylays Orton with the chair repeatedly. He rolls Orton to the floor and drops him with a Pedigree for the pinfall on the ringside floor. The second fall lasted all of a minute.
They then bring out the stretcher and the yellow line to begin with the stretcher match. They brawl all through the ringside area. Orton drops HHH onto the guardrail, who falls into the crowd. The two men brawl all through the crowd up to some production equipment. They come back to ringside and Triple H sends Orton back into ringside with a clothesline. Orton takes a nasty fall on his head. They begin the psychology with the stretcher. HHH sends Orton up the ramp only for the champion to play possum and pop up and attack Trips. More brawling leads to another try up the ramp only for both men to start fighting with each other. They come sailing down the ramp and crash into the guardrail. Back in the ring, Orton tries to use the steel steps but HHH hits a drop toe hold and Orton face plants into the stairs. Back on the floor around the stretcher, Orton drops HHH with a stretcher assisted DDT onto the steel ramp. They get to the top of the ramp and brawl near the yellow finish line. HHH hits a Pedigree on the steel ramp and looks for an academic finish, only for Cody Rhodes to make the save. Triple H takes care of Rhodes and attempts to push Orton across the yellow line only for Ted DiBiase to make the save this time. Legacy take out Triple H while Orton recovers. HHH pulls out the sledgehammer and takes out Legacy. Orton sneaks up and drops HHH with a piece of staging. HHH crumples into the stretcher and Orton pushes him across for the win. After the match as Orton celebrates, HHH arises and plants Orton with a sledgehammer shot. They play Triple Hâ€™s music as he celebrates in defeat.