| Date: July 24, 2005
| Venue: HSBC Arena | City: Buffalo, New York
| Attendance: 8, 000 | Buys: 280, 000
| tweet me: @BastionBlogger
The Great American Bash returns for a second year and John “Bradshaw” Layfield will be hoping to replicate what he did in 2004 and win a world title. This time he vies for the World Heavyweight Championship held by Smackdown’s newest draft pick, Batista. Layfield thought he had won the “Smackdown” world title when he won a 6 pack challenge involving Booker T, Christian, Muhammad Hassan, Chris Benoit and The Undertaker. However after the match Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long announced that Batista had joined the Smackdown roster and Layfield was number one contender to his title. Bradshaw’s chief of staff Orlando Jordan has been taking most of the hits from Batista since then, losing to the World Heavyweight Champion on Smackdown a few weeks ago and then taking a beatdown as JBL prematurely celebrated beating Batista at the GAB.
The match with the biggest build going into this show is between Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio. Eddie has not managed to beat Mysterio in any of their previous matches and now the rivalry has got personal. Guerrero has revealed that he has a huge secret about Rey Mysterio involving his son Dominick. The two agreed to a match at this show where if Myserio wins then the secret stays a secret but should Guerrero win then he will tell the world Rey Mysterio’s secret. The United States Championship is set to be defended after Chris Benoit beat Booker T to become number one contender. Benoit is set to get his shot against United States Champion Orlando Jordan tonight at The Great American Bash.
The most controversial feud heading into this show is between The Undertaker and Muhammad Hassan. Hassan has attacked The Undertaker on a number of occasions using his cronies wearing balaclavas who choked The Undertaker with chicken wire. Sadly this fell on the same day as the London bombings and so this garnered a lot of media attention. The Hassan character is expected to finish up tonight. The two meet in a number one contenders match for the World Heavyweight Championship. Two other top stars to go one on one tonight are Christian and Booker T. Christian has attacked Booker on a couple of occasions and these two men, both keen to get into the main event picture, go one on one tonight.
The WWE Tag Team Championships are set to be defended as MNM put their titles on the line against Heidenreich and his tag team partner in Road Warrior Animal. Heidenreich was mocked by MNM about not having any friends when from nowhere Animal appeared to help out Heidenreich. It’s no co-incidence that WWE have just released a Legion Of Doom DVD. Slowly Animal has been turning Heidenreich into a Road Warrior and they get a shot at the WWE Tag Team titles tonight. The bWo of The Blue Meanie, Steven Richards and Nova have made a challenge (on WWE.com of all places) to the newest stable in WWE The Mexicools (Juventud Guerrera, Super Crazy & Psicosis). Also tonight, Melina makes her in-ring PPV debut following her challenge to Torrie Wilson. Candice Michelle will be the special guest referee for that bra and panties match.
On Sunday Night Heat prior to the event Paul London successfully defended his Cruiserweight Championship against Nunzio.
The show kicks off with a video package, first hyping up John “Bradshaw” Layfield and Batista’s World Heavyweight title match and then focusing on Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero. Michael Cole then welcomes us to the show, he’s joined by Tazz.
MNM (Johnny Nitro & Joey Mercury) (c) vs. Animal & Heidenreich – WWE Tag Team Championship Match
This is Animals first WWE PPV match since Capital Carnage back in 1998 when he and Droz lost to The Headbangers. He and Heidenreich team up to take on MNM who are so far undefeated as a tag team on PPV. It’s no co-incidence that Animal has returned at the same time that the WWE has released a Legion Of Doom DVD. Animal has a decent PPV record, winning 15 of his 28 matches. Heidenreich looks for his first PPV victory tonight. Joey Mercury is undefeated on PPV. Heidenreich and Joey Mercury kick off the match and Heidenreich, the bigger man, dominates Mercury, throwing him around the ring. Mercury escapes the ring but Animal throws him right back in. Heidenreich tags in Animal and the challengers hit a double shoulder charge. Mercury hits a boot to the face of animal and then tags in Johnny Nitro but Animal suplexes both men. Nitro hits a shot to the throat but Animal hits a back body drop and tags in Heidenreich.
MNM double team Heidenreich to take the advantage and Nitro tags in Mercury who works on Heidenreichs knee. Mercury tags in and continues to work the knee. Melina is on the outside looking on and has already got involved, distracting the referee to help her team. Nitro tags Mercury and the two mean hit legdrops for a one count. Plenty of quick tags in this match and it’s Nitro tagged back in, earning himself the first near fall of the match. Nitro then misses with a legdrop and tags in Mercury who goes back to work on the knee of Heidenreich. Heidenreich kicks Mercury away and tags in Animal! Animal hits a big shoulder charge on Mercury and then a back suplex, clearing the ring of Nitro as he does. Animal misses with a club in the corner and Nitro then smashes Animal with the tag team titles as Melina distracts the referee. Animal kicks out of the schoolboy but MNM are in to hit their finisher, the snapshot. Heidenreich saves his partner and Animal then sets up Mercury for the doomsday device! Heidenreich goes up top and hits the clothesline! Animal covers Mercury and it’s all over! Animal and Heidenreich are the new WWE Tag Team Champions! Not the best match to kick things off but a nice moment with Animal winning a title.
Animal gets on the mic after and says “Hawk, this one was for you brother!”.
Josh Mathews is backstage with Eddie Guerrero who has a development for his match with Rey Mysterio. Eddie says he rang Rey Mysterio this weekend and made a suggestion to him that Rey didn’t like. Eddie manipulated Rey into agreeing with him though and now Rey’s son Dominic will be ringside for their match later.
Booker T vs. Christian
I think this match is a case of having nothing else for these two guys. It’s a third PPV match between the two, Christian won the first at Insurrextion 2003, Booker T won the second by disqualification at Bad Blood 2003. That feud was over the Intercontinental Championship. Booker T is joined by his wife Sharmell, he is the first man tonight to have also wrestled at last years Great American Bash. Sharmell looks like she’s wearing a wig. Booker T chases Christian in and out of the ring as the match begins. Booker finally catches Christian and hits him with some right hands and a reverse elbow. Christian manages to escape the ring and heads for the back but Booker is right after him, hits him with a chop and then throws him back into the ring. Booker T hits a side suplex and then some chops and right hands in the corner. Booker catapults Christian into the top turnbuckle and then rolls him up for a two count. Christian hits a cheap shot and then throws Booker into the ringpost.
Christian hits an inverted DDT from the second rope for a near fall. Christian then hits a reverse flying armbar for a two count. Captain Charisma applies a chinlock but Booker T gets out of it only to be grounded as Christian grabs his hair. Christian then applies a side headlock but Booker gets to the ropes. The crowd seem to be behind Christian in this match and there are a few boos as Booker hits him with a sidewalk slam. Christian then drags Sharmell up onto the apron but she hits Christian with a big slap to the face. Christian runs at sharmell but Booker intercepts it and hits Christian with a book end! Booker hooks the leg but only for a two count. It’s all Booker T now as he hits an axe handle, clothesline and a suplex for a near fall. Both men get near falls and then Booker drops Christian with a spinebuster. A very mixed reaction for Booker T who hits a flapjack and then gives the spin-er-oonie! Booker goes for the scissors kick but Christian gets out of the way and sets up for the unprettier but Booker pushes him into the corner.
Booker hits some big right hands but Christian powerbombs him and pins Booker with his foot on the rope but Booker kicks out. Booker hotshots Christian on the top rope and then heads to the top, diving off with a missile dropkick for a near fall. Christian hits a thumb to the eye and then throws Booker out of the ring. Booker T throws Christian into the ring post and then into the steel steps twice. Booker throws Christian back into the ring and then heads to the second rope, diving off with a scissors kick! Booker hooks the leg and gets the three! The ending was a bit flat but this was a good match besides that.
Melina is backstage and says that MNM will be tag team champions again soon. She then says that she’ll be beating the worn-out has-been hag Torrie Wilson later.
Orlando Jordan (c) vs. Chris Benoit – United States Championship Match
Orlando Jordan defends his United States Championship on PPV for a second time. It’s a first time meeting between these two men on PPV. We’re shown some footage from Heat where Benoit hit Jordan with a big right hand. Benoit knocks down Orlando with a big double axe handle and then hits Jordan with some big, painful looking chops. The two men then slug it out until Benoit hits a snap suplex. Benoit hits a dropkick for a near fall. Orlando Jordan kicks away at Chris Benoit’s arm and then works away on it. Benoit ducks a big boot and then takes Jordan down with a legdrag. Jordan heads to the outside and Benoit follows where Jordan throws Benoit into the ringpost. Orlando then looks to loosen the top turnbuckle but Benoit is in and hits Jordan with a German suplex. Benoit then hits a northern lights suplex for a near fall. Jordan manages to take the advantage and hammers Benoit down to the mat with right hands and stomps. He then executes a hard Irish whip and follows it up with a clothesline.
Jordan hits a flying armbar and then hits a legdrop whilst applying an armbar. Benoit gets out of the armbar but Jordan takes him right back down with a dropkick. The two men then slug it out on the mat and surprisingly it’s Jordan that comes out on top. A win for Chris Benoit tonight would give him a 50% win record on WWE PPV’s. Same for Orlando Jordan but Jordan has only previously wrestled 3 PPV matches. Orlando applies a chicken-wing crossface type move. Benoit fights out of it but Jordan hits a swinging neckbreaker for a two count. Jordan hits a snapmare and then hammers away at Benoits injured neck for a near fall. Jordan keeps the advantage with a reverse elbow as he looks to be the first heel to pick up a victory tonight. Jordan hits a scoop slam and then heads to the top but Benoit crotches him up there and then brings Jordan back down to the mat with a superplex. Jordan looks to join John Cena and Batista as the only people to have defended their titles twice on PPV.
Benoit hits a back body drop and then sets up for the sharpshooter but Jordan kicks him off. Instead Benoit grabs Jordan around the waist and hits him with three consecutive German suplexes. Benoit heads to the top and dives off with a flying headbutt for a near fall. Benoit then hits some chops and bounces Jordans head off the turnbuckle but Jordans head bounces back and headbutts Benoit! Orlando takes off the top turnbuckle but Benoit grabs him from behind for a German suplex. Jordan manages to dive forward and smash Benoits face off the exposed steel turnbuckle. Jordan pins Benoit and it’s all over! Orlando Jordan wins the match and retains his United States Championship tonight!
There’s a video package next for The Undertaker and Muhammad Hassan.
The Undertaker vs. Muhammad Hassan
This is a first time match between these two men. It’s had a controversial build and tonight comes to a head. The Undertaker looks to be the first man to have won at both last years Great American Bash event and this years. Only John “Bradshaw” Layfield and Rey Mysterio can also have that honour. Undertaker beat The Dudley Boyz in a handicap match at last years event. Muhammad Hassan is carried to the ring by the men in balaclavas who attack The Undertaker a few weeks ago. Daivari also accompanies Hassan. Muhammad gets on the mic before the match and says that tonight he will defeat The Undertaker and go on to Summerslam to win the World Heavyweight Championship. Nobody has wrestled as many PPV matches as The Undertaker. Nobody has won as many or main evented as many PPV’s as The Undertaker. Hassan’s balaclava’d friends surround the ring. Hassan runs away from Undertaker in the early going but Undertaker catches him and lays into him with rights, lefts, knees and elbows.
Undertaker hits a big boot for a near fall and then twists the arm and heads to the top before diving off with his old school axe handle. Undertaker is slow and methodical as he takes Hassan down to the mat with big right hands. Brian Hebner referee’s a lot of Undertakers matches and is great at looking petrified and diving out of the ring when Undertaker looks at him. Undertaker attempts a running boot at Hassan but Hassan gets out of the way and Undertaker falls to the outside where Hassan’s lackey’s lay into him. Back in the ring and it’s advantage Hassan now as he plants Undertaker with a DDT for a near fall. Hassan then applies a chinlock as Daivari barks out orders. The two men then slug it out and Hassan looks like he’s bleeding from the back. Undertaker goes back out and starts throwing punches at the sympathisers on the outside but one of them chokes him with some chicken wire as Daivari distracts the referee. He throws Undertaker back in the ring where Hassan then locks on the camel clutch.
Undertaker stands up with Hassan on his shoulders and takes Muhammad down with an electric chair drop. Sympathisers come from all directions but Undertaker fights them off and then attempts a tombstone on Hassan. Hassan nips down but runs into a chokeslam! Undertaker pins Hassan and this one is over! Undertaker wins the match and is the number one contender to the World Heavyweight Championship! The sympathisers don’t give him time to celebrate though, they all attack The Undertaker who manages to fight them all off one by one. Undertaker then disposes of Daivari and tombstones the sympathiser with the chicken wire. I believe this will be the last time we see Muhammad Hassan. Undertaker hits Hassan with a last ride through the stage to clear the WWE of Muhammad Hassan once and for all.
Torrie Wilson is backstage and tonight she vows to give the military something to remember. She’ll be stripping Melina down to her bra and panties.
The Blue World Order (Steven Richards, The Blue Meanie & Nova) vs. The Mexicools (Juventud Guerrera, Psicosis & Super Crazy)
This is a PPV debut for Juventud Guerrera in the WWE. Psicosis and Super Crazy both wrestled at ECW One Night stand last month. Nova has wrestled as Simon Dean over the past few months and The Blue Meanie wrestled for the WWE back in 1998/1999. Juventud Guerrera kicks off the match against Nova. It’s not long before all 6 men get involved and The Blue Meanie crushes all of the Mexicools in the corner. Juventud hits nova with a springboard spinning heel kick to take the advantage and then hits another spinning heel kick to keep the advantage. Juventud applies an armbar to Nova but Nova “Hulks up” only to get hit with a kick. Juventud tags in Super Crazy who hits a basement dropkick for a near fall. Super Crazy tags Guerrera back in and he applies another armbar. Nova hits a big boot, Juventud tags out to Psicosis and Nova tags out to Steven Richards! Richards hits a back body drop and then a sidewalk slam for a near fall. All hell then breaks loose and The Blue Meanie disposes of Super Crazy. Richards then crotches himself in the corner. Super Crazy hits a springboard moonsault and Psicosis then hits a legdrop off the top and that’e enough for the three! The Mexicools win the match!
There’s a video package for Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio next. Mysterio is then shows backstage praying with his son Dominic.
Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero
This is the third PPV match between these two men. Mysterio won the previous 2 at Wrestlemania XXI and Judgment Day. A loss for Eddie Guerrero would make him the only man so far to have lost at both the 2004 and 2005 Great American Bash PPV’s. Mysterio doesn’t have his usual high-octane entrance, instead he walks slowly down to the ring with his son Dominic. Eddie asks for a handshake before the bell and Rey goes along with it before clotheslining Guerrero the mat. Rey misses with a springboard cross body but manages to roll Eddie up a couple of times for near falls. Rey then hits a bulldog for a near fall. Mysterio hits a reverse elbow and follows it up with some big right hands. Guerrero hits an inverted atomic drop and then heads to the top but Mysterio crotches him and then hits Eddie with a hurricanrana off the top for a near fall. Mysterio then heads to the top but Eddie crotches him! Guerrero then attempts a crucifix powerbomb but Mysterio reverses it, hurricanranaing Eddie onto the middle rope before hitting Eddie with the 619 and a seated senton! Mysterio only gets a two count and Eddie exits the ring and walks over to Dominic before giving him a hug.
Mysterio goes after Eddie who attacks Rey and throws him back into the ring. Guerrero hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and then another backbreaker for a two count. Eddie throws Mysterio out of the ring and then goes back out to Dominic who is sat ringside. Guerrero hits Mysterio with a hard Irish whip and then hits a German suplex for a near fall. Eddie applies a stretch with Mysterio on his back that doesn’t look very painful to be honest. Guerrero then slingshots Mysterio out of the ring. Back in the ring and Mysterio hits a dropkick to the knees for a near fall. Mysterio then attempts a springboard moonsault but Eddie catches him only for Rey to hit a spinning DDT for a two count. Mysterio hits a dropkick and then the 619 but misses with the west coast pop as Eddie gets out of the way. Guerrero hits his trademark three amigos and then heads to the top for the frog splash but Rey rolls out of the way before Guerrero can dive off. Guerrero then hits another two suplexes and a brainbuster. Eddie heads to the top and this time hits the frog splash! Guerrero lays back on Mysterio whilst looking at Dominic but Mysterio reverses the pin and gets the 3! Mysterio wins the match and embraces his son Dominic!
Josh Mathews is backstage with John “Bradshaw” Layfield who is dressed in a daft all-American outfit.
Torrie Wilson vs. Melina – Bra & Panties match with Candice Michelle as the special guest referee
This is a first PPV singles match between these two girls and it’s actually Melina’s in-ring debut on PPV. Torrie Wilson has a fantastic PPV record, winning 77.7% of her PPV matches. A win tonight takes her into the top 10 of win records for those that have fought 2 or more PPV matches, she’ll go joint with Ricky Steamboat. Torrie hits a head-scissors early on and then rolls up Melina which is pointless. Torrie then applies an abdominal stretch and pulls off Melina’s top! Torrie lost to Sable at last years Great American Bash. Torrie attempts to pull off Melina’s trousers but Melina kicks Torrie out of the ring. Back in the ring and Melina pulls off Torrie’s top. Melina hits some horrendous looking forearms. Melina should have worn a belt like Torrie. Melina hits a hard looking double axe handle but then receives a kick in the head. Torrie hits a couple of clotheslines, a dropkick and a suplex and then tries to take off Melina’s trousers but Melina hits a monkey flip and then hotshots Torrie onto the top rope. Melina then pulls off Torrie’s trousers and wins the match! Melina attacks Candice after the match so Candice strips Melina of her trousers. Melina wins the match though. Candice strips her own clothes off too. Terrible.
There’s a VT next for Batista and JBL.
Batista (c) vs. John “Bradshaw” Layfield – World Heavyweight Championship Match
This is a first PPV match between these two men. Bradshaw is looking to replicate the success that he had at last years event. So far tonight the new draft picks are yet to pick up a victory. Christian, Muhammad Hassan, Chris Benoit and the Blue World Order have all been on the losing end. Batista looks to become the only current champion to have defended his championship on 3 PPV’s. Layfield has dominated the Smackdown main event scene, being involved in every top Smackdown PPV match in over a year. Batista hits the first knockdown of the match and flexes at JBL. Layfield then hits a knee to take the advantage and follows it up with some right hands. Batista explodes out of the corner with a clothesline and then finds himself chasing Bradshaw around the ring. Back in the ring and Batista hits a sidewalk slam for a near fall. Batista drives his foot into the throat of JBL, kinda the same as Stacy Keibler would. Bradshaw then hits a big boot and a big shoulder charge to take Batista down. Batista hits a back body drop and then clotheslines JBL out of the ring.
Batista throws JBL into the barricade and then back into the ring. JBL then tries to suplex Batista back into the ring but Batista blocks it so Bradshaw drops Batista on the top rope. Bradshaw then dives off the apron with a double axe handle but Batista catches him and rams the challenger into the apron. Back in the ring and Batista hits some big right hands but JBL uses a distraction from the referee to throw Batista into the ringpost. The two then battle to the outside where JBL spears Batista over the announce table and then smashes him into the timekeepers table. Bradshaw then stands on the announce table and dives off with a double axe handle. Back in the ring and Bradshaw slingshots Batista into the middle rope. Layfield then hits a big boot and drops a couple of elbows for a near fall. JBL applies a sleeper which Batista eventually gets out of with a side suplex. Batista is up first but JBL throws him out of the ring and then smashes the champion into the ring steps. This match has been pretty dull. Batista clotheslines Batista into the crowd and lays into him with big right hands. Batista then takes Bradshaw back into the ring where JBL accidentally knocks down the referee.
Orlando Jordan runs out but Batista quickly disposes of him. Batista then sets up for the Batista bomb but Orlando Jordan smashes him in the back with a chair! Layfield takes Batista down with a big boot but there is no referee to make the count. Orlando Jordan throws the referee back into the ring and he counts 2 and Batista kicks out. JBL then hits Batista with the clothesline from hell! Layfield covers Batista but again the referee is out of position. JBL attempts another clothesline from hell but Batista counters it with a spinebuster! Batista hits a big powerslam on Layfield and then pulls Orlando Jordan into the ring before nailing him with his own chair. Batista then nails JBL with the chair but the referee sees it and disqualifies Batista! Bradshaw wins the match by disqualification! Batista lays into both JBL and Orlando Jordan with the chair after the match. Boring match.
And that was the Great American Bash 2005. It didn’t feel like the best pay per view in the world but there were some high points. The opening match wasn’t one of them. I do like MNM and they have the potential to put on some very good matches but this wasn’t one. Animal is having one last hurrah in the WWE and I guess he’s mentoring Heidenreich in a lot of ways. I think it’s a bit ridiculous that they won the WWE Tag Team titles, I don’t think that was necessary but who knows, maybe it’ll help sell more DVD’s. It kills MNM’s mometum for now but hopefully they still feature on Smackdown every week.
Booker T beat Christian which shows who they have higher hopes for going forward. I think both men wanted to try and steal the show in this match and turn a match with barely any build or interest into one of the more memorable matches of the show. What they didn’t know is that they wouldn’t have to try hard to achieve that. Booker T wins though and he’s having a pretty good run in 2005 without actually achieving much. I’d like to see Christian in the main event picture but don’t envision it happening anytime soon. Orlando Jordan beat Chris Benoit it what was probably one of Orlando’s best and Benoit’s worse PPV matches. It was also a bit of a surprising result to me as Benoit would really elevate the title. It wasn’t clean and maybe the feud will continue. I’d like to see Benoit win the title long term though.
Undertaker beat Muhammad Hassan and ended him for good to become number one contender to the World Heavyweight title. This was above average but could have been a lot better if the WWE’s hand wasn’t forced. I really like Muhammad Hassan, he’s play his role well and if there were no London bombings then I think he would have won this match. Undertaker becomes number one contender though and will probably battle Batista at Summerslam. The Mexicools beat the bWo in a pretty disjointed match that looked better on paper. This result was a fairly obvious one as the Mexicools have been getting a good push on TV as of late. I’m not sure where this leaves The Blue Meanie, Steven Richards and Nova though.
Rey Mysterio beat Eddie Guerrero in another great match. This storyline has been captivating and the best thing the WWE have done in years. You’re fully behind Rey Mysterio and instead of him being the underdog, he’s actually winnning every match against Guerrero but in the back of your mind you think that it must end soon. But not tonight. Mysterio wins the match, embraces his son and the secret is kept a secret for longer. But this is the WWE, you know the secret will come out sooner or later. Eddie has been phenominal as a heel. I can only see this rivalry continuing into Summerslam.
Melina beats Torrie in a poor match. Melina actually has a background in wrestling and Torrie has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years so I expected this to be a lot better. Melina wins though and whilst there is no women’s title on Smackdown, this doesn’t really do much for her career. She has potential though. John “Bradshaw” Layfield then defeated Batista by disqualification which means this feud has legs. If you ask me, Hassah was pencilled in to fight Batista at Summerslam but due to the controversy surrounding him they had to scrap that. They’d already announced his match was a number one contenders match so Undertaker goes on to Summerslam and Layfield is added to the mix to add a strong heel. Triple threat for Summerslam I reckon. Not ideal for Batista to lose on his first Smackdown pay per view and it did make him look stupid but they were a bit stuck with booking. Overall this event felt similar to last years, quite a poor showing.
Overall Rating: 45/100 (ranked joint 171st out of 182)
Match Of The Night: Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero
Worst Match Of The Night: Torrie Wilson vs. Melina
Surprise Of The Night: New Tag Team Champions
Worst Booking Of The Night: Orlando Jordan beats Chris Benoit
Superstar Of The Night: Rey Mysterio
The Great American Bash 2005 Will Be Remembered For: The pre-mature ending of Muhammad Hassan