WWE Great American Bash 2005 (7/24/2005)- Buffalo, NY
WWE TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: MNM (w/Melina) vs. Road Warrior Animal & Heidenreich- 5/10
Heidenreich is in peril. Hawk gets the hot tag. The place goes nuts for the Doomsday device. Animal dedicates his win to Hawk.
EDDIE GUERRERO PROMO- Eddie is wearing his own merch, which, in this case, is a shirt that reads “Eddie stole my other shirt.” Because Eddie can’t steal his own stuff, I am left to wonder which Eddie is being referenced. I decided it was Eddie Van Halen.
Anyway, he apparently blackmailed Rey to have Rey’s son Dominick at ringside or else Eddie will reveal Rey’s secret no matter what happens (the secret is apparently about Dominic). Rey agreed.
CHRISTIAN vs. BOOKER T (w/Sharmell)- 6.75/10
The crowd was surprisingly pro-Christian. Taz theorized that this was because of the proximity to Canada. Cole later implied that Christian might have bribed the fans by offering to bus them in. This made me laugh. Despite this, though, the stuff with Sharmell worked and the crowd popped huge when she slapped Christian. The Scissors Kick from the second rope was cool enough to get the crowd to pop for it as the finish even though Christian lost.
At one point Christian locked in an Anaconda Vise, and I was mildly (and perhaps unfairly) surprised to hear Taz call the move correctly, and even more surprised to hear Michael Cole immediately identify it as a famous move in Japan.
MELINA PROMO- Great
She vows that MNM will be tag team champions again very soon. Even better, she takes the correct approach to a Bra and Panties match by vowing not to let anyone see her in her Bra and Panties (emphasizing the humiliation of defeat rather than the T&A aspect of the match).
WWE UNITED STATES TITLE MATCH: Orlando Jordan(c) vs. Chris Benoit- 6.5/10
I realize that it was a month ago, but the finish here bothered me because of how similar it was to the IC Title match last month’s PPV.
WINNER BECOMES #1 CONTENDER FOR THE US TITLE: The Undertaker vs. Mohammed Hassan (w/Daivari & a bunch of masked “sympathizers”)- - 0.5/10 (yes, a negative)
Hassan cut a pre-match promo about tyranny and wanting to be the first Arab-American champion and wanting to leave the Undertaker lying a pool of blood. It was a lot more boring than it sounds.
Hassan and his “sympathizers” who we swear DEFINITELY AREN’T SUPPOSED TO BE TERRORISTS use distractions to beat Taker up. Taker even gets choked out with piano wire, but he still makes a comeback and wins. Taker gets jumped afterwards and beats all of them up. Between the insensitivity of the character after the recent London bombings (and the fact that because of them, UPN didn’t want the Hassan character on TV), and how green Hassan was, there was no reason for this not to just be a squash in order to write off the Mohamed Hassan character.
Instead, they tried to make a full match out of it, and it sucked. The gang-beating and comeback was good for some heat, but I just kept wanting the match to end already. Then, even when Taker was beating people up, I just wanted the segment to end because it felt like it took forever. Hassan is written out by Taker ripping up the stage and powerbombing Hassan onto the concrete below. The whole segment, between video packages, the entrances, the match, and the aftermath, took almost half an hour and almost all of it was painful to sit through.
TORRIE WILSON PROMO- The exact opposite of what Melina did. This was NOT how to approach the match. She said she would give our armed forces watching around the world something special. She also said that she would show the women out there that “girls can kick ass.” Yeah. In a match where you win by stripping someone else to her underwear. All of her emphasis was on the T &A.
UPDATE ON MOHAMED HASSAN’S CONDITION- at least they gave this the proper focus.
THE MEXICOOLS vs. THE BWO- 3.5/10
Whoever suggested the whole tractors thing for the Mexicools should have been fired immediately upon suggesting it. The match was short, formulaic, and dull, but the finish was great.
IF EDDIE WINS, HE WLL REVEAL THE SECRET: Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.- 8/10
Proto-Vickie sighting in the video package. Raquel Diaz, too, now that I think about it. We also got a FANTASTIC little segment with Rey and Dominic backstage. It was one of the most “real” segments I have ever seen.
Eddie took a 619 to the gut, and it look SO MUCH BETTER than the 619 to the head that I am shocked that they didn’t start using it regularly.
Eddie was a f*cking FANTASTIC heel in this match. It was impossible to like him in any way while watching this match. He worked over Rey’s back and was just a HUGE DICK the whole time. He was a sadistic, malicious asshole, and seeing Rey roll him up for the win just gave you this feeling that everything is right in the world. Taz put it perfectly: “Guerrero got what he deserved, and so did Rey Mysterio.”
JBL PROMO- decent.
BRA AND PANTIES MATCH WITH CANDICE MICHELLE AS SPECIAL GUEST REFEREE: Torrie Wilson vs. Melina- 1.5/10
If you were surprised that Candice was the referee for this match, then join the club. She was never even mentioned ONCE in either promo. Cole explains that Melina jumped her last week… so we have a guest referee who is biased towards the babyface. That’s always a good idea in Ass-backwards Land.
Torrie got smart and wore pants WITH A BELT for this match. I actually liked the fact that Torrie used wrestling holds to set up trying to take Melina’s clothes off (for example, she put Melina in an abdominal stretch and while keeping her locked in the hold, she ripped her shirt off). It gave you the feeling that although this might be a Bra and Panties match, the babyface was still out-wrestling the heel.
All of that didn’t matter in the end because Melina, the heel, won clean. Then Torrie and Candice jumped her after the match and stripped her, too. No one likes a sore loser, so why am I supposed to like these two? Then Candice totally kills the concept behind the match (humiliate your opponent by exposing her) by stripping voluntarily.
WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: Batista(c) vs. JBL- 5.5/10
JBL got a police escort for his motorcade, which we saw drive into the building… EXCEPT HE WAS ALREADY IN THE BUILDING! Did he really get into the limo and have it driven outside the building, then call in a police escort to drive him into the building and out to ringside?
The match itself was slow and boring, but with a good spot or two sprinkled in. They brawled on the outside for too way long. Then the overbooking started and it got good, until Batista got DQed. IN a PPV main event. Batista went nuts and hit JBL and Orlando Jordan with a chair a bunch of times. This was fine. Then he seemed to calm down and walked up the ramp… and then turned around again and calmly walked down to the ring to attack the two now-defenseless men. A TERRIBLE ending to a pretty bad show.
BONUS MATCH FROM THE 1990 GREAT AMERICAN BASH:
NWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: Ric Flair(c) (w/Ole Anderson) vs. Sting (w/the Dudes with Attitudes)- 5.75/10
As part of the stips, Ole Anderson was handcuffed to El Gigante and made to stand at the top of the ramp.
Sting no-selling Flairs chops in the beginning was cool. No selling a vertical suplex... not so cool. No selling the guardrail... even less cool. Basically, if the series of offensive moves didn't start by going after Sting's knee, he didn't sell it, like his knee is the "on" button that you need to hit in order to make him sell things.
I also didn't like the finish here. Winning the belt via roll-up was fine for Steamboat, but Sting should have won it decisively by making Flair tap or putting him down. To have Sting no sell basically everything and throw Flair around all match only to win with a roll-up just felt weird. Although the match was not good enough for a main event in terms of match quality, the hot crowd and the major moment of Sting making his triumphant return by beating Flair and winning his first world title felt like enough of a special moment that I am willing to overlook the lack of quality. (That being said, I think this loses a lot of important context if you are watching the match on this DVD. If you really want to see it, try to find it on the Great American Bash 1990 DVD or WWE Network version of that show.