WWE PPV Flashbacks: Great American Bash (07/24/05): Batista vs. JBL for the World Heavyweight Title

WWE Great American Bash 2005 Review The WWE Great American Bash 2005 pay-per-view was a Smackdown brand event that signified a new era for the blue brand. It was the Batista era because he was the World Heavyweight Champion at the time that was moved over to Smackdown in late June. It was basically a trade with John Cena, who was the WWE Champion, but it’s not like WWE was going to call it that. The Great American Bash name was first used by WWE in 2004. That show was bad, but it was nice to see them using the GAB name that originated from the NWA (before it became WCW) in 1985. I always liked the GAB name and I wish WWE didn’t stop using it in 2009. In terms of PPV buyrates, Great American Bash 2005 did a below average number with 280,000 buys. That number was 140,000 less than Vengeance one month earlier. June 2005 also had the ECW One Night Stand event (340,000 buys), so maybe viewers were fatigued a bit with so many shows and we also knew SummerSlam was coming one month after this too. I remember this being a bad show. I really don’t have high hopes for any of it other than the Mysterio/Guerrero match because those are usually good. WWE Great American Bash HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York 07/24/05 This show got a TV-14 rating with a warning for Sexual Content on WWE Network. Thank the bra and panties match that is coming up later. The opening video package focused on Batista’s feud with JBL for the World Heavyweight Title. It also focused on The Undertaker vs. the rookie Muhammad Hassan and the very personal feud between Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio. The pyro went off in the arena and the set looked cool with red, white and blue colors for America. The crowd was hot at the start of the show. The announce team of Michael Cole and Tazz were at ringside welcoming us to the show. The Spanish announce team was there likely saying something about how they hope nobody breaks their f’n table. The MNM team of Johnny Nitro and Joey Mercury with Melina made their entrance as the WWE Tag Team Champions. Melina’s entrance is the greatest of all time. Yeah, I said it. That may be the highlight of the whole show. Animal and Heidenreich were up next as the new version of Legion of Doom. Tazz put over Animal’s original partner Hawk, who passed away in October 2003 and the announcers said Animal dedicated the match to Hawk’s memory. MNM – Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro (w/Melina) vs. Animal and Heidenreich Pre-match notes: Mercury and Nitro were the heel tag team champions. Animal and Heidenreich were the face challengers that just started teaming together. Animal was 44 years old at this point and had a gut, but he was in decent enough shape. Heidenreich flopped as a singles heel big time, he was even worse as a singles face, so they put him with Animal to try to get some value out of Heidenreich. Heidenreich used his power early, so MNM kept leaving the ring. When Animal tagged in, Mercury worked him over a bit. Nitro tagged in, but the double team suplex failed and Animal suplexed both guys at the same time. Animal with a back body drop on Nitro. Heidenreich back in, the ref was occupied with Animal and Mercury clipped Heidenreich in the back of the knee. He's been selling the knee. The crowd chanted "LOD" and even "Heidenreich” as the heels worked over the knee of Heidenreich. He has friends! Nitro's attempt to slam on the knee with his butt is avoided by Heidenreich, who slowly rolls away. Mercury back in with elbow drops to the knee. Heidenreich kicked Mercury towards the turnbuckle. Animal got the hot tag with a back suplex on Mercury and he kicked Nitro off the apron. Animal missed a charge at Mercury, Nitro gets handed the title, smacks Animal in the head with it and Animal kicks out at two. MNM went for the Snapshot, Heidenreich is there and he clotheslines Nitro. Powerslam by Animal on Mercury, then Heidenreich went up top and he connected with the Doomsday Device clothesline. That gets the three count after 6:45 of action. The crowd popped big for the title change. Winners by pinfall and New WWE Tag Team Champions: Animal & Heidenreich Analysis: *1/4 The match was poor, which is expected any time Heidenreich is involved in a match. Even though it was bad to watch, the crowd was into the Animal/Heidenreich team a lot, so at least it made the crowd happy. Yes, the match sucked and Animal looked old when he was in there, but it was a cool moment that the crowd liked. Sometimes that’s all that really matters. Animal and Heidenreich celebrated with the WWE Tag Team Titles. Fans chanted “LOD” for them. Post match, Animal grabbed the microphone and said: "Hawk, this one was for you, brother." That was a cool moment. The fans cheered. Eddie Guerrero was interviewed backstage by Josh Mathews. Eddie said he’s got a new development for his match. Eddie called Rey and suggested something, but Rey didn't like it. Eddie claimed that he talked to Eddie some more and Rey saw it his way. Eddie claimed that if he didn't then he would have his secret revealed. Eddie's new addiction is manipulation, he says. Eddie says Rey’s son Dominic gets to come out to ringside to watch his uncle Eddie pound, beat and destroy his dad in the middle of the ring. Eddie: "Then, sweet little Dominic gets to come inside the ring and listen to the bedtime story that uncle Eddie promised to tell him a long, long time ago." Eddie stared ahead with a crazy look in his eyes to end it. Analysis: It was a very personal story with a lot of twists to it. I’ll cover it in more detail a bit later in the review. Christian was up next. He was moved to Smackdown in the draft lottery following Raw’s Vengeance PPV one month earlier. They showed a clip from two weeks ago when Christian beat Booker T due to an attack before the match. Booker made his entrance with his wife Sharmell, who looked angry as she walked down to the ring. Booker T (w/Sharmell) vs. Christian Pre-match notes: Booker was the face and Christian was the heel. Booker chased Christian around the ring early. Cole noted that Booker is 5-1 in the history of the Bash. Booker went after Christian on the floor. Back in the ring, back elbow by Booker. Christian went to the floor again and tried to leave. Booker chopped Christian and rolled him back in. Booker with a slingshot into the turnbuckle, then a rollup gets two. Christian used the ref to block Booker, then threw him into the ringpost and Christian came off the ropes with an inverted swinging DDT for two. Christian choked Booker over the bottom rope, then he hit a flying armbar move for two. Chinlock by Christian, Booker got out and Christian whipped him down by his hair followed by another side headlock. "Let's Go Christian" chant. Booker came back with a sidewalk slam and the crowd boos. Booker went for a sidekick, Christian ducked and Booker gets crotched on the top rope. Christian grabbed Sharmell, then goes after the ref. When Christian turned around, she slapped Christian. Christian ran at Sharmell, Booker hit the Book End for one…two…no. Great nearfall there. Another “Christian” chant. Booker gets a forearm, then a clothesline and a vertical suplex for two. Christian got a rollup attempt for two. Christian charged in and Booker hit the spinebuster. Booker was booed again as he hit a flapjack and a Spinarooni. Scissors kick is avoided by Christian, Unprettier setup is cheered and Booker shoves him to the ropes. Ten punch count in the corner by Booker, Christian with a Powerbomb and feet on the ropes gets just two. The announcers mentioned how it's a short drive from Toronto, so that’s why Christian had fan support. Booker with a hot shot across the top rope, then Booker goes to the top and he hit a missile dropkick for two as Christian got his foot on the bottom rope. Christian sent Booker out to the floor. Christian followed Booker out on the floor, Booker whipped Christian face first into the steel ring post and into the steps. Booker breaks the count, then whipped Christian into the steps again and they went back into the ring. Back in, Booker off the second rope with a scissor kick gets the one, two, three at 11:52. Winner by pinfall: Booker T Analysis: **1/4 It was an average match that was what you'd expect by these guys. Booker isn't the worker he once was and Christian is pretty good, so it was alright. The finish came out of nowhere because I thought Christian should have got some more nearfalls to build to the ending more. Instead, Booker just hit the scissors kick for the easy win. It was fine for a midcard match. Melina was interviewed by the MNM locker room. She said MNM will be the champs again. Melina said she’s not going to let anybody see her in her underwear during her match with Torrie Wilson. Melina called Torrie a “worn out has been” and said she’ll strip her to her bra and panties. Analysis: Melina was one of my favorites in this era. She was nice to look at and was a good talker. Orlando Jordan walked out with the US Title to no reaction. There was a clip from Sunday Night Heat before the show where Benoit punched Jordan during an interview segment. Chris Benoit is the challenger and he got a nice pop as a former US Champion that was also a World Champion. United States Championship: Orlando Jordan vs. Chris Benoit Pre-match notes: Jordan was the heel US Champion that was JBL’s Chief of Staff. Benoit was the face challenger. Benoit was moved to Smackdown a month prior to this. Benoit worked over Jordan with knees in the corner followed by a forearm to the face. Benoit with a snap suplex followed by a dropkick. OJ got the advantage, working on the left arm/shoulder of Benoit with a wrist lock. Whip in, OJ misses with a boot and Benoit with a dragon screw sending OJ to the floor. Baseball slide by Benoit, Jordan moved and he shoved Benoit back first into the ring post. Jordan tried to take the turnbuckle pad off, Benoit back in and he hit a German Suplex. Benoit with a Northern Lights Suplex that got two. Jordan came back by working on Benoit’s arm with punches and kicks. Clothesline by Jordan. Armbreaker by Jordan and he slapped on another armbar on Benoit on the mat. Benoit tried to fight back, but Jordan hit him with a dropkick. Jordan taunted the crowd by writing the letters "O" and "J" in the air. Nobody reacted to it. Benoit tackled him with, but Jordan turned it around and punched him. Another armbar by Jordan. Benoit got back into it as a Sharpshooter attempt woke the crowd up, but Jordan kicked him back. Benoit with chops, so Jordan hit him in the arm again and slapped on another armbar. The crowd was totally dead from all the armbars. Benoit ought out of it with punches, but Jordan came back with a swinging neckbreaker for two that got no reaction from the crowd. Jordan punched him right in the face a few times for a couple quick covers for two. High elbow for Jordan gets two. Jordan sticks the knee into the back and pulls back on the arms in another rest hold. Body slam by Jordan and he goes to the top. Benoit cut him off. Benoit with chops and a huge superplex woke up the crowd a bit. Benoit with the double chops, he went for the Sharpshooter again, but it didn't work. German suplex by Benoit, OJ reverses the next one, Benoit reversed that for a second and then a third German suplex with a release by Benoit. Headbutt time by Benoit and Jordan's out in the middle of the ring, so it was a long dive. Benoit connected with the headbutt and he covered for two with the crowd buying it as a nearfall. Benoit whipped Jordan into the turnbuckle and when that happened, Jordan's head went back first into Benoit's head. Jordan took the pad off the turnbuckle while referee Jimmy Korderas checked on Benoit. Benoit went to German Suplex on Jordan, so Jordan moved his body forward, ducked his head and Benoit went headfirst into the exposed steel on the turnbuckle. Jordan covered for the pinfall win at 14:23. Winner by pinfall: Orlando Jordan Analysis: **1/4 It was a slow match that was boring for most of it. OJ’s boring offense really hurt the match because the crowd was dead during the parts where he was on offense. Jordan's offense and his lack of being in any sort of big match really shows by how the crowd is dead during his offense. This was one of Benoit’s worst PPV matches because he was usually one of the best guys in the ring. The finish was out of nowhere. I guess they wanted this to be Jordan's breakout match to help him become a big star, but all it proved to me was that he needs a lot of work. Post match, Jordan celebrated with the title while the announcers said this was arguably the biggest match in Jordan’s career. Benoit stood up and the fans give him a standing ovation. It was not a classic match at all, but the fans respected Benoit. They had a rematch at SummerSlam one month later and Benoît got the title from Jordan there. The video package aired for The Undertaker vs. Muhammad Hassan in a #1 Contender to the World Title match. Hassan with Daivari was moved to Smackdown in the draft lottery one month earlier. Hassan was put in a 6-man match to become the top contender to the World Title, he wasn’t pinned because Undertaker attacked him with a chair, so GM Teddy Long set up Hassan vs. Undertaker. There was a scene where masked wrestlers attacked Undertaker and choked him with a wire. They even mocked a beheading although that wasn’t shown in the video package. Hassan put Taker in the Camel Clutch. This wasn’t in the video package, but after that segment, a lawyer for Hassan represented Hassan and Taker kicked his ass. It was current WWE NXT star Tommaso Ciampa back when he had hair. I just thought I’d pass along that tidbit for those that didn’t know it. Analysis: The angle drew a lot of controversy with mainstream press covering it due to what happened. The UPN Network, which aired Smackdown, got a lot of complaints from viewers and told WWE they didn’t want Hassan on their network anymore. That’s partly because of the bombings in London, England about a week earlier, so it was in bad taste. Going into this match, the stories online were that the Hassan character was going to end due to all the backlash against him, so it was obvious what was going to happen here. There was a lot more to the story and frankly, I thought the angle was tasteless. It was too cheap, in my opinion. Hassan entered first with Daivari and he was carried out to the ring by masked men. Sign in the crowd: "RIP Hassan 7-24-05." Hassan did a pre-match promo. "If I cannot defeat Undertaker tonight I will never show my face on Smackdown again. Cheer while you can because I promise you that tonight I will defeat The Undertaker. I will be back at Smackdown. I will be your number one contender. At SummerSlam, I will become the World Heavyweight Champion and fulfill my destiny as the first Arab American champion in the WWE. I left Undertaker beaten and bloody in the middle of this ring. As an Arab American, I know about sacrifice. I sacrificed Daivari, I sacrificed my lawyer, and I know I have what it takes to beat the Undertaker." Fans chanted “USA” at him even though he is an Arab American. Hassan continued his ranting. He ended with this: "After I dispose of The Undertaker I will be forth known as the great Muhammad Hassan." The crowd booed. Analysis: That was a good promo from a guy who delivered many good promos during his nearly one year on the main roster. It was time for The Undertaker, who got a huge ovation as usual. Daivari’s out on the floor along with five masked men, who are all around the ring. Number One Contender for the World Heavyweight Championship: The Undertaker vs. Muhammad Hassan (w/Daivari) Pre-match notes: The Undertaker was the face as usual at this point in his career. Hassan was the hated heel with Daivari by his side. At the time of this match, Hassan was only 23 years old with about one year of experience in pro wrestling. The Undertaker was 40 years old with 15 years of experience in WWE. Undertaker pounded on him to start with punches and a boot to the face. Taker with an armbar leading to the Old School rope walk leading to the punch off the top rope. Taker hooked the head and arm for the Flatliner type move for a two count. Charge in the corner by Taker, but Daivari pulled Hassan out leading to Undertaker going to the floor where the "sympathizers" beat on him with punches. In the ring, boot to the throat for Hassan and a sympathizer choked Undertaker. Hassan with a DDT for two and then a chinlock. Undertaker fought back, they throw punches and Undertaker punched him hard, knocking him down so his legs collapsed under him. Undertaker to the floor and he punched down a sympathizer. Another sympathizer choked Undertaker with the wire and then he gets threw Undertaker back into the ring while the referee was distracted. Hassan signaled for the Camel Clutch and sinks it in.  Undertaker fought out by getting to his feet, he put Hassan on his shoulders and Taker drops back with the Electric Chair Drop. Taker charged at Hassan in the corner with a clothesline followed by another one. A sympathizer is in the ring and he eats a boot from Taker. Snake eyes by Taker, then another sympathizer eats a kick, Undertaker knocked down Hassan, he hit another sympathizer with a punch and ANOTHER Sympathizer knocked down by punches. Hassan with a boot to the gut, Undertaker ducked him and grabbed him by the throat. Chokeslam by Taker. One, two, three. That's it at 8:04. Winner by pinfall: The Undertaker Analysis: * It was not much of a match. It was more of an angle. Hassan barely got any offense in and the only time he was made to look like he had a chance was when a sympathizer choked Taker with a wire. After that, it was dominance from Taker and a win with a Chokeslam, which usually didn’t beat people. Post match, Undertaker was attacked by all of the heels, which included five sympathizers. Taker came back by whipping one of the sympathizers into the steel steps. Taker punched another sympathizer. Taker kicked a chair into a guy’s face. Taker drove a chair into the throat of another guy. Taker gave another guy a Chokeslam on the floor and Taker tossed another guy over the Spanish announce table. Back in the ring, Hassan shoved Daivari into Undertaker, who dispatched of Daivari by throwing him to the floor. The dude with the wire was back in the ring and Taker dropped him with a Tombstone. Undertaker was out on the floor and he whipped Daivari head first through the bottom of the Smackdown announce table. Ouch. That looked nasty! Hassan was crawling up the stage, so slow walking Taker managed to catch up with him. Chokeslam by Undertaker on Hassan on the steel ramp. Undertaker took one of the steel plates off the stage and he took another piece out. Powerbomb was set up by Taker and he gave Hassan a Last Ride through the stage. Goodnight Hassan. Taker posed with his fist in the air. After a replay, they showed Hassan laying on top of a pipe that's on concrete. Whoever pulled the mats away did it quickly. Analysis: That was a dominant performance from The Undertaker, who went over seven guys if you include everything after the match. Talk about being put over strong. It was the end of the Hassan character from WWE forever. I didn’t know if he would be gone permanently at that point because all we knew was that UPN wanted him out, but it ended up being his last appearance on WWE TV forever. I actually go to meet and talk to Hassan (real name Mark Copani) a few years ago during WrestleMania weekend at a signing I was working at. I don’t think he ever had a strong passion for wrestling or else he would have kept doing it elsewhere. He ended up doing other things with his life although he recently worked an indy show, so maybe he has missed it. Anyway, this was the end of the Muhammad Hassan character. If nothing else, this show was memorable for that reason. The lovely Torrie Wilson was interviewed backstage. Wilson said she’ll give the troops something to remember. Wilson said she’ll show the women that girls kick ass too and for all the men, she’ll give them Melina stripped down in her bra and panties. Analysis: Torrie was not known for her promos, but she did fine there. There was a shot of Hassan getting helped by doctors and put on a stretcher. The replayed the Powerbomb spot again. There was some blood on the floor with the idea that the back of his head was bloody. The Mexicools trio of Juventud Guerrera, Super Crazy and Psicosis entered riding lawn mowers. They are up against the Blue World Order trio of Big Stevie Cool (Stevie Richards), Blue Meanie and Super Nova (also known as Simon Dean), who entered on big wheels. The Mexicools (Juventud Guerrera, Super Crazy and Psicosis) vs. Blue World Order (Big Stevie Cool, Blue Meanie and Super Nova) Pre-match notes: The BWO guys were the faces while the Mexicools were the heels. I have no memory of a storyline for this at all. The match broke down quickly. Nova and Richards whipped Meanie into Crazy and Psicosis in the corner, squashing them. The Mexicools were all sent out of the ring. Nova did the Hogan point toward Crazy, but Juvi hit a springboard spin kick to the back of the head of Nova. The Juice with a spinning kick and he grabbed an armbar. Tag to Crazy, who hit a seated dropkick on Hollywood Nova aka I'm Not Simon Dean. Tag to Juvi, who slapped on another armbar, but Nova fought back with the "big boot" to Juvi. The Juice tagged in Psicosis, Nova kicked him off and gets the hot tag to Richards. Richards with a high elbow to Psicosis, then a back body drop and Juvi's springboard misses Richards. Side slam to Psicosis gets two for Richards as Crazy saves his partner. Stevie works on Psicosis in the corner. Richards charged and gets crotched on the middle rope. Springboard moonsault by Crazy that the ref didn’t see and a top rope leg drop by Psicosis ended it at 4:53. Winners by pinfall: The Mexicools Analysis: * A quick match to put over The Mexicools, who were a new act on Smackdown even though they were known from their WCW and ECW runs. It was a filler match that was like a TV tag match. A video package aired about Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio meeting again. Mysterio beat Guerrero multiple times, so Guerrero turned heel and made it personal by showing a video with Rey’s son Dominic. Eddie told Dominic he’ll tell him a bedtime story. Rey begged Eddie not to tell the story. They were forced to team up, Mysterio nearly won the Tag Team Titles by himself and Guerrero stopped it. Guerrero’s wife Vickie and two kids showed up to tell Eddie to stop doing this. Guerrero said that if Mysterio beats him at Great American Bash he’ll keep the secret locked away, but if Guerrero wins then he gets to finish his bedtime story to Dominic. Eddie taunted Rey saying that he knew his secret. Analysis: It was a personal storyline with Eddie playing a creepy heel that did a great job in playing his character. I remember at the time not knowing what the secret was, so people were guessing a lot. We found out after this show, but going into it we didn’t know what direction they were going in. There was a shot of Mysterio in the locker room with his son Dominic, who was 8 years old. Mysterio gave him a hug and told him there’s nothing to be scared of and that everything is going to be okay. Mysterio told Dominic he loved him. Mysterio hugged him and they left. Eddie Guerrero made his entrance with Cole mentioning that Mysterio must bring Dominic out there to watch the mach. The announcers talked about how much of a jerk Guerrero was. Analysis: Guerrero looked huge here in terms of his muscles and veins popping out everywhere. When he did in November 2005 they found steroids in him. You could tell how much bigger he was in 2004 and 2005 compared to the other years. He was a favorite of mine, but there was always a concern about his health due to his history with drug abuse and using steroids to keep a big body. It was a bad combination. Rey Mysterio made his entrance with his eight-year-old son Dominic by his side. Guerrero had a creepy grin on his face with Cole pointing out that this is about Guerrero not being able to beat Mysterio in five straight singles matches. Mysterio sat Dominic down on a chair at ringside in front of the announce table. Analysis: Dominic is over six feet tall now and he’s 20 years old. He’s trained to be a wrestler, so we could see him in WWE in a few years. Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio Pre-match notes: Guerrero was the heel. Mysterio was the face with his son Dominic seated at ringside. Guerrero convinced Mysterio to hug before the match to make it look good for Dominic. There were “Eddie sucks” chants as the match began. Rey clotheslined him twice, through the legs, springboard crossbody missed Eddie, who moved. Rey rolled through with a cradle for two, then a backslide for two, then Mysterio hit his flipping reverse bulldog for two. Some in the crowd chanted "Let's Go Eddie" as the announcers ripped on the people and Tazz called them Canadian! Haha. Mysterio pounded on him in the corner, but Eddie countered with an inverted atomic drop as we get a close-up of Dominic at ringside. Guerrero got crotched on the top and Rey came off with a hurricanrana off the top for two. Mysterio went up top, Guerrero crotched him in the corner so Rey's face was looking out to the crowd. Splash Mountain attempt by Guerrero, but Rey countered with a headscissors takedown. The 619 connected for Mysterio and a springboard senton got him two. Camera zoomed in on Eddie who said "he almost beat me." Eddie walked over to Dominic. Eddie hugged Dominic and he put Dominic in front of himself to block Rey from hitting him. "Eddie Sucks" chant from the crowd. Rey went down on a knee to get Eddie to stop, then Eddie punched Rey and Tazz called Eddie a "friggin asshole" with asshole not getting bleeped. (That was edited out of the WWE Network version of the show with no commentary from the announcers for a few seconds. In my 2005 notes on the show, I made sure to point that out. My review of the show back then was more of a summary rather than a play by play.) Back in the ring, Eddie hit a backbreaker and he kicked Rey in the back a few times. Rey was tossed outside, Eddie walked over to Dominic and smiled at Dominic while pinching him playfully on the cheek. Back in the ring, Guerrero with a hard whip into the corner. Guerrero hit a reverse Powerbomb, which led to a few nearfalls. Mysterio was choked while Eddie punched him in the back. A backbreaker attempt by Eddie was countered into a cross body by Rey for two. Eddie with a backbreaker submission hold as he continued to work on the back. Rey tried to counter with a sunset flip, Eddie rolled through and slingshots Rey over the top to the floor. Eddie tried to be nice to Dominic, so Rey punched him from behind. Back in the ring, Rey gets a low dropkick and a kick to the face for just two. A springboard moonsault by Mysterio was caught by Guerrero and Rey countered with a spinning DDT for two. A springboard dropkick set up Eddie into the 619 position, Rey hit the 619, he went up top to drop the dime with the legdrop, but Eddie moved out of the way. Guerrero hit the Three Amigos vertical suplexes. To the top, Eddie jumped off with a Frog Splash, but Rey moved out of the way, so Eddie walked back down. Another vertical suplex by Guerrero, then another and Rey was out on the mat. Eddie looked at Dominic and he hit a sick brainbuster. I love that move. To the top, the Frog Splash hit for Guerrero. There was no cover immediately as Eddie taunted Dominic. Guerrero laid back onto Mysterio in a cocky pin, but Mysterio hooked his arms down and covered for the pinfall win at 15:39. Winner by pinfall: Rey Mysterio Analysis: ***1/2 It was a pretty good match with an upset finish as Mysterio found a way to beat Guerrero again. The story was about how Guerrero finally figured out a way to beat Mysterio thanks to all of those suplexes and then he connected on the Frog Splash, but Guerrero was too consumed with Dominic at ringside. The crowd wasn't that hot during some of the nearfalls, but the wrestling was solid. I liked some of their other matches in 2005 better than this, but this was still the usual solid effort from these two. If you want to see their best match ever, I recommend WCW Halloween Havoc 1997 because that was a five star match and my favorite WCW match ever. Mysterio celebrated with Dominic, who gave his dad a big hug. They went to the back all happy about the win. Guerrero was fuming in the ring as the replays aired of the match. Guerrero was furious in the ring with Cole noting that this means the secret will remain a secret. Guerrero went up to some fans at ringside and argued with them. Analysis: Guerrero ended up revealing the secret even though the loss meant that he was supposed to keep it a secret. Heels lie, my friends. The secret was that Eddie was Dominic’s real dad, which was just part of the storyline. I’ll have more on that story in the SummerSlam 2005 review. John Bradshaw Layfield was interviewed by Josh Mathews backstage. JBL complained about Batista and said it’s payback because he’ll be getting the World Heavyweight Championship. JBL mentioned he’s a Hall of Famer. He ripped on the Buffalo Bills for losing four straight Super Bowls. JBL said “I guarantee you I will beat Batista tonight.” He said there are legends, there are Hall of Famers, there are all-time greats and there is only one Wrestling God. He means himself. Analysis: Good promo as usual from JBL. He always delivered quality promos and was given a lot of chances to talk. The guarantee line was interesting. The lovely Candice Michelle walked out in a very revealing referee shirt and some wonderful short shorts. She’s the referee for the next match. Melina entered for the second time in the evening looking unhappy about being in this Bra and Panties match. Torrie Wilson got a nice ovation from the crowd. Bra and Panties Match: Torrie Wilson vs. Melina (Candice Michelle is the special referee) Pre-match notes: Torrie was a face, Melina was a heel and Candice was also a face. The way to win the match is to take off the top and pants of your opponent. Those are great rules. Wilson took down Melina with a headscissors. Wilson tried to take off the pants of Melina, but she couldn’t do it. Wilson ripped off Melina’s top, which left Melina in a bra. Wilson went for the pants, but Melina kicked Wilson out of the ring. Back in the ring, Melina ripped off Wilson’s top, which left Wilson in a bra. Candice warned Melina no hair pulling and choking against the ropes. Double axe to the back by Melina. Wilson with a kick to the head, two clotheslines and a dropkick. Wilson with a suplex and she went for Melina’s pants, but Melina kicked her away. Melina sent Torrie throat first into the top rope. Melina ripped Torrie’s pants off leaving Torrie in her panties and that was it to give Melina the win. It went 3:53. Winner by pinfall: Melina Analysis: 1/2* The rating doesn’t matter. The fans were the real winners. It was two really hot women ripping their clothes off. Fine with me. They looked great. That’s what matters to me. I’d rather watch this than a Heidenreich match, that’s for damn sure! After the match, Melina hit Candice in the back with a forearm. Wilson hit Melina with a clothesline. Candice ripped off Melina’s pants, so Melina was fully exposed with her panties showing. Melina left angrily. Michelle showed off my taking off her ref shirt to leave her in a bra and she took off some shorts to reveal some tiny panties as well. Candice did her Go Daddy spin to end it. This was a great moment in wrestling history. Torrie and Candice left together. Analysis: If I wrote a list of my ten favorite WWE women in history based on looks, these three would all be on that last, so I’m not going to say it was bad. It was a way to get some hot women on the show, which was something that happened a lot in this era. It never bothered me. I’m glad that women’s wrestling is taken more serious today too. The video package aired for the World Heavyweight Title match: Batista the champ vs. JBL. There was a 6-Way match for what we thought was a new Smackdown Championship, but Smackdown GM Teddy Long let us know that Batista was on Smackdown, so JBL was the number one contender to the World Title. Batista helped the Blue Meanie beat JBL in a No DQ match on Smackdown, which embarrassed JBL. A week later, JBL attacked Batista with a chair shot. Batista called JBL a liar, loudmouth, a bully and a phony. That set up the match. There was a police escort motorcade for JBL’s limo. Twenty minutes earlier he was in the arena doing an interview and now he’s back in the limo. JBL was dressed like Uncle Sam in the red, white and blue attire along with the white hat. JBL had mini white flags with him that he tossed into the crowd and he gave flags to the announcers. Batista walked out with the World Heavyweight Championship around his waist. There was a big ovation for him. It was at a time when Batista was as popular as ever. World Heavyweight Championship: Batista vs. John Bradshaw Layfield Pre-match notes: Batista was the face World Champion and JBL was the heel challenger. JBL guaranteed a victory multiple times in the build to this match. Loud “Batista” chants to start the match. Slow start as Batista overpowered JBL a few times. JBL with a knee to the gut and a forearm to the back followed by punches. Batista came back with a clothesline, so JBL bailed to the floor. Back in the ring, Batista with a side slam for two and a boot to the throat. JBL fought out of the corner with a shoulderblock. JBL whipped Batista in and eats a back body drop, then Batista hits a clothesline over the top to the floor. Batista sent JBL into the barricade. Batista rolled JBL back in and JBL hit a neckbreaker using the top rope for an assist. JBL jumped off the apron, Batista caught him and sent JBL into the apron. They went back in the ring again, JBL with an eye poke that the ref didn’t see and JBL sent Batista shoulder first into the steel post followed by a kick that knocked Batista out of the ring. JBL tackled Batista over the announce table. If the referee counted at a normal speed it would be a countout, but it was a very slow count and JBL managed to break the count. The announce table still has the hole in the bottom of it from Daivari going through it earlier. Back in the ring, JBL got a two count. JBL with a slingshot type move into the bottom rope. JBL with elbow drops and the crowd was dead quiet for this match. Sleeper by JBL. It was a long sleeper that lasted nearly two minutes. Batista countered the long sleeper with a back suplex as the ref counted them both down for a seven count. JBL used Batista's trunks to throw him out to the floor through the ropes. JBL sent Batista headfirst into the steps and he went back in the ring to break the count. JBL worked over Batista by sending him into the steps, some punches and a whip into the ring post. Batista came back with a boot to the face and a clothesline that sent both men over the barricade. Ref Nick Patrick left the ring to check on them rather than count them out. Back in the ring, there was a high back elbow by Batista. The referee was knocked over by JBL as Batista bounced off the turnbuckle into the ref and JBL ran over Patrick with a shoulder tackle like move that sent Patrick out of the ring. Batista with a spinebuster. Orlando Jordan, who was JBL’s Chief of Staff, ran out to the ring. Batista knocked him off the apron. Jordan went into the ring and hit Batista in the back with a steel chair. JBL with a boot to the face of Batista. JBL covered, no ref, Jordan rolled the ref back in and Patrick did a very slow count of one…two…and Batista got his shoulder up. JBL was shocked. JBL yelled at the ref for the slow count while Patrick was holding his ribs selling the bump. JBL bounced off the ropes and hit a running Clothesline From Hell. JBL covered again, but Patrick was still down in the corner of the ring. There was no count at all. JBL ran the ropes again, but this time Batista caught him with a spinebuster, which drew a good ovation. Jordan in the ring, so Batista gave him a back body drop that sent Jordan to the floor. The ref was still down. Batista with a corner clothesline followed by a powerslam. Jordan had a chair and Batista brought him and the chair into the ring. Batista hit Jordan in the head with the chair. Batista hit JBL in the head with the chair. The ref saw that, so he called for the disqualification. The match went 19:47. Winner by disqualification: John Bradshaw Layfield (Batista is still World Heavyweight Champion) Analysis: *3/4 It was a boring match with an ending that set up a rematch. The match dragged a lot. It just wasn’t exciting at all wit the crowd dead for most of it aside from some nice reactions for a few Batista moves. The ref bump designed to make it look like JBL could have won if the ref was able to count after JBL hit the Clothesline from Hell. The ref was able to count before that, but not after that. The crowd was dead during a lot of it and the finish was something we've seen before in JBL matches. It was nothing new or creative in terms of the booking. I don’t think anybody expected a title change since Batista was just moved to Smackdown and with JBL guaranteeing a victory, a DQ finish was obvious. Batista had this angry look on his face after he realized he was disqualified. Batista hit Jordan in the back with four chair shots. Batista also hit JBL in the back with four chair shots. Batista’s music played as he left the ring and grabbed the World Title. Replays aired of the action. Batista was at the top of the stage. JBL was announced as the winner by disqualification. Batista marched back down to the ring while JBL had a big smile on his face. Batista went into the ring and hit a Batista Bomb on Jordan. Batista also hit a Batista Bomb on JBL. The crowd cheered as Batista’s music played again. Analysis: It was a way to send the fans home happy by having the face Batista beat up the heels. It’s a typical ending when a face main eventer is on the losing end of a match by disqualification. The show ended with Batista posing with the World Title while he was on the stage. This event has a run time of 2 hours, 46 minutes on WWE Network.   FINAL THOUGHTS Show Rating (out of 10): 3 It was a bad show. Some of the finishes were bad and I didn’t like the main event at all. The only match I’d consider above average was Guerrero vs. Mysterio and that was one of the worst matches they had together. The most memorable moment of the show was probably the ending of the Muhammad Hassan character at the hands of The Undertaker. We knew Hassan got a lot of heat in WWE and that's why it ended so abruptly. It was a very decisive ending to his character. I mentioned in my last 2005 review about Vengeance that WWE had some great PPVs in WrestleMania 21, Judgment Day, ECW One Night Stand and Vengeance all getting scores of 8 out of 10 or higher. There was also Backlash in there, which was just average. The Great American Bash was awful in comparison to those, so the hot streak was over. Best Match: Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero (***1/4 out of 5) Worst Match: Melina vs. Torrie Wilson (1/2*) – The rating was the worst, but I enjoyed watching some of it. Congrats to Heidenreich for not having the worst match as usual. FIVE STARS 1. Eddie Guerrero 2. Rey Mysterio 3. The Undertaker 4. MNM 5. Batista   Next up: SummerSlam 2005. There were some memorable moments in that dream match main event…brother. Thanks for reading. John Canton – mrjohncanton@gmail.com Twitter @johnreport Rajah.com WWE PPV Flashbacks