TEN YEARS AFTER: WWE The Great American Bash 2006
WWE: The Great American Bash
July 23, 2006
The current Smackdown champions are as follows:
World Heavyweight Champion: Rey Mysterio (4/2/2006)
WWE United States Champion: Finlay (7/14/2006)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Paul London & Brian Kendrick (5/21/2006)
WWE Cruiserweight Champion: Gregory Helms (1/29/2006)
WEIRD NIGHT FOR WRESTLING: So FOUR matches on this PPV have been forced to be changed by no fault in WWE’s booking. First, we’ll talk about the US title rematch between the new champ Finlay and the man he beat for the title Bobby Lashley who happens to be the up and coming guy that Vince has gotten behind and wants to push all the way over the moon. At least that’s how it appeared in 2006. It was announced the day before the PPV that Bobby Lashley was being taken off the PPV because a test revealed he had “elevated liver enzymes” showing up in his blood. This can be caused by a variety of different things namely medications like antibiotics, it can come about through drinking too much alcohol, scary things like hepatitis, even by just taking something innocuous like herbal supplements. Oh, I almost forgot, you can have elevated liver enzymes from STEROID USE as well. Now of course since he’s being pushed over the moon and well into outer space, Lashley has never failed a test for steroids in WWE. Too bad I can’t find any images of how Bobby Lashley looked before he signed a WWE contract.
If that wasn’t bad for the Smackdown brand, Mark Henry was injured with a torn patella tendon on Saturday Night’s Main Event just a week before the Bash. He was scheduled to wrestle a returning Batista tonight in a big revenge match since Henry was the man who put Batista out of action in the first place six months earlier.
The Great Khali was set to debut his own gimmick match on this show – the Punjabi Prison match – with the Undertaker after pinning him WITH ONE FOOT ON HIS CHEST two months ago at Judgment Day when it was announced that Khali was being pulled from the show for having a liver problem.
And to top it all off, Super Crazy was originally planned to face Gregory Helms over the Cruiserweight title in a rematch from Judgment Day and gets pulled from the show for also having “elevated liver enzymes”. I didn’t know elevated liver enzymes was contagious.
Let’s see how this puppy turns out though with all these last minute changes.
Your hosts are Michael Cole & JBL. They still talk like the Great Khali is going to wrestle tonight. They stress that the Undertaker has no idea what the Punjabi Prison match is all about and neither do we at this point.
- WWE Tag Team Championship: Paul London & Brian Kendrick (c) vs. The Pitbulls
This is the one and only time we’ll see of the Pitbulls on the “Ten Years After” series. I know with the recent return of ECW, I must make it clear this isn’t those guys – especially since Pitbull #2 died in 2003. This version of the Pitbulls are KID KASH and JAMIE NOBLE of all teams. In the final days of WWE Velocity when it was only available on WWE.com here in the states, they were apparently tearing it up facing the likes of Funaki and Scotty 2 Hotty pretty consistently. When that show ended and they came to Smackdown, they were really the only serious team that the tag champs had to challenge for their titles.
Champs enter first for some reason. It doesn’t seem that Indianapolis cares about these two teams, but now they must *make* them care. By the way, I never thought I would see Kid Kash in WWE. Something about his white trash look makes me think he’s a guy WWE would never go for in my opinion. But hey, he’s a former cruiserweight champ there. Kash and London share a pretty strong tie-up to start. Kash is INTENSE~! Cole and JBL start listing off tag teams of old who exceled at NWA Great American Bash shows. Headlocks and shoulderblocks controlled by Kash lead to London on the move with dropkicks and headscissors. Tag to Kendrick, the tag champs do a rocket launcher spot on Kash. Kendrick takes a headbutt to the face to allow Kash to tag out. Noble abuses Kendrick in the corner, but Kendrick counters a tilt-a-whirl move and lands on top of Noble for two. The tag champs tag in and out working on Noble’s left arm. Noble yanks London into the corner, but London blind tags Kendrick and they clean house on the Pitbulls with STEREO DROPKICKS. When the Pitbulls try and regroup, London and Kendrick jump up in the air and click their heels together before wiping them out with STEREO TOPE SUICIDAS. Back inside, Kendrick gets flipped off the top rope for the Pitbulls to get some heat. It doesn’t last long though as Kendrick avoids charges from Kash and Noble to tag London. He kicks off the hot tag by drilling Noble with AIR PILLMAN~! He takes on both Pitbulls, but eventually the numbers game works against him and Noble dropkicks London to the floor when he tries skinning-the-cat for a nasty thump. We see the Benoit-ish rough style on display from the Pitbulls as they cut the ring in half on London. Kendrick gets the hot tag. Flying forearms and kicks galore, says Cole. Silly but accurate. London kicks away Noble when he tries to give Kendrick the Gibson Driver. When the Pitbulls retreat to the floor, Kendrick pops up and dives on top of Noble. Kash just walks away and gets back in the ring to give London the Brainbuster. When he can’t pull it off, they end up in the corner as Kendrick delivers a flying sunset flip to Kash. He won’t go down though unless London hits him with the Dropsault as Kendrick gets the three-count. (13:29) They didn’t do anything wrong per se, but the crowd just wasn’t digging these four for whatever reason, making the match feel a little flat. Maybe they didn’t know who the Pitbulls were and therefore didn’t understand why the tag champs were having so much trouble with them. Who knows. This is the only time we see the Pitbulls on PPV as they make way for the next tag team project on Smackdown that’s bound for years and years of success: KC James and Idol Stevens. And hey, I LIKED ‘EM. ***
In the back, the Great Khali wants to call out the Undertaker right now. Daivari wants him to wait because they will have him in the match they made up themselves – for crying out loud. Unfortunately for Daivari, Khali is too impatient and picks him up off the floor. Scary!
“Bad News” Teddy Long comes out to announce Bobby Lashley won’t be wrestling tonight against the US champ Finlay because of “elevated liver enzymes”. Out comes Lashley to say that doctors are dumb dumbs who don’t know anything and he wants to fight anyways. Teddy says Lashley’s long-term health is a concern of WWE and it’s important that he stays healthy. When he’s medically cleared, Long will give him the rematch he has coming. Sorry, pal. As Lashley walks out, Finlay and William Regal walk down the aisle together. Finlay calls Lashley a coward and tells Long to raise Finlay’s arm up in victory via forfeit. Now hold on a minute, playa! Long decides there will be a US title match tonight after all and says William Regal will go 1-on-1 with da Undertaker? Wait no, sorry. Force of habit. Regal will go 1-on-1 with Finlay for the US title – right now! HOLLA HOLLA!
- WWE United States Championship: Finlay (c) vs. William Regal
Regal checks to make sure the Little Bastard isn’t under the ring tonight. Ya know, because he and Finlay are pals right now. Regal decides to just leave and Finlay sneaks a rollup on Regal for 1-2-NO! Regal then jacks his jaw for trying such a thing on him. They do the bit from Judgment Day as Finlay and Regal tie-up and take it to the floor and back in the ring. Crowd is booing! Are you kidding me? Regal again slaps Finlay across the chops. They do the headlock and shoulderblock routine, but then Regal sidesteps a shoulderblock and heaves Finlay over the top to the floor. After Regal forearms Finlay on the apron, the Little Bastard appears from under the ring to bite Regal’s ankle. He then chases Regal around the ring with the shillelagh and ducks under the ring to sneak up behind Regal to scare him. Regal ends up back inside and takes a short-arm clothesline for two. Time to trade European uppercuts. Trust me — no one will win this battle. JBL is still complaining about Teddy Long forcing these friends to fight and the diplomatic ramifications between Ireland and England. Regal finally gets a move in with a butterfly suplex for two. The Little Bastard draws Regal in under the ring apron and bites his fingers. A real “Charlie bit my finger” moment. I thought that reference would work, but that video came out in 2007. Anyways, you get the idea. Finlay starts working over the fingers of Regal for some real HAND PSYCHOLOGY~! I probably used that same joke ten years ago as well. Regal forces Finlay down and grabs a chinlock. This is a weird crowd. No interest in this match whatsoever. Finlay kicks away Regal and hits him with a seated senton. He starts bouncing Regal’s sternum off the apron in violent ways. Back inside, Finlay grabs a chinlock. Regal forces his way out only to for a double-KO to ensue. Regal chokes Finlay with his shin bone while he’s conversing with the referee. Awesome. Regal can’t get the pin and dropkicks Finlay down for another two. T-bone suplex and a running knee drop gets two as well. The crowd is loudly chanting boring. Wow. Cole says it’s because they want Bobby Lashley and with this crowd, I believe it. Regal leaps off the apron and gets caught in the skirt thanks to Finlay. He beats on Regal while the Little Bastard steals Regal’s boot. Back in the ring, Finlay starts stomping the bootless foot. Finlay misses a corner charge though and Regal rolls him up for two. The crowd BOOS. While Regal gets desperate and grabs the shillelagh lying on the apron, the Little Bastard appears and hands Finlay the stolen boot. Regal gets whacked. Finlay pins Regal with his feet on the second rope and gets the win. (13:50) Another match where the crowd sucked the life out of it. What kind of person comes to a wrestling show and boos Regal and Finlay? I think I know who the real bastards are here and it’s not Finlay’s little friend. Anyways, this was just a last minute change since the show must go on without Lashley and the grand scheme of the booking prevented them from going too far in any direction to make this one truly interesting. Still, these are three (counting the Little Bastard) super entertaining wrestlers. ***
Chavo Guerrero meets with the world champ Rey Mysterio backstage to let him know how proud the Guerrero familia is of Rey Mysterio for achieving his dream. Chavo makes it weird by telling Rey that by being the world champ, he’s living out Eddie’s dream of regaining the world title. Chavo tells Rey that he’s here tonight to make sure that dreams do come true. They hug and that’s that. Okay then.
- Matt Hardy vs. Gregory Helms
The cruiserweight title held by Helms is not on the line here since Hardy is a last minute replacement for Super Crazy and his super crazy liver problems. The crowd seems solidly behind Hardy. As Helms shoves off Hardy after a headlock, Hardy psyches him out with the WASSUPWIDAT? pose. He atomic drops Helms and clotheslines him to the floor for a pescado. Back in, Helms has to snap Hardy’s neck off the top rope so he can take control with a swinging neckbreaker. He chokes Hardy in the ropes and then delivers another neckbreaker. Time for a chinlock. JBL takes credit for creating the Great American Bash all because he beat Eddie Guerrero at this show in 2004. Now here comes Hardy. He hits a Russian legsweep, but Helms tosses Hardy down to avoid the Side Effect for two. As they fight up in the corner, Helms brings Hardy down with a SUPER SWINGING NECKBREAKER~! Slow cover gets two as Hardy puts his foot on the bottom rope. Helms drags Hardy away from the ropes for another nearfall. Back to the mat we go. Helms pulls back on the arms, but Hardy stands up and forces Helms into the corner. Hardy wins a slugfest and hits the Side Effect for 1-2-NO! Running bulldog gets two as well. The Twist of Fate gets countered to a strait jacket Edge-O-Matic for two. He misses the Shining Wizard once, but hits the SHINING WIZARD on the second shot for 1-2-NO! Hardy elbows away a back superplex and lands a moonsault press for 1-2-NO! Flying elbow smash only gets two on Helms as well. Hardy mounts Helms in the corner for the ten-count corner punch, but Helms hotshots him and rolls up Hardy with a handful of camo JNCOs for the win. (11:46) I guess they just wanted the CW champ going over here. Hardy appears to be the Tito Santana of 2006. He comes within an eyelash of winning and then falls to something silly. Kind of odd this is the first match this crowd was into though, right? **½
In the back, the Great Khali is going down the halls looking for the Undertaker when the man just magically appears. Well, that was a freebie. Taker grabs Daivari who won’t shut up and tosses him away. He goes after Khali and then gets blindsided by the Big Show. Refs and Teddy Long appear to tell the ECW champ to leave the area.
After the Taker-Khali video package airs, Daivari is seen walking backstage with the Great Khali and the Big Show when Smackdown GM Teddy Long confronts them. Long says he won’t let Daivari get away with this ambush stuff. Khali is now out, Big Show is now in the Punjabi Prison match. Well, now NOBODY is happy. The live crowd is already booing this decision.
- Punjabi Prison Match: The Undertaker vs. Big Show
The Punjabi Prison match is like a cage match made out of bamboo. There’s a bamboo cage surrounding the ring and a bamboo cage around ringside. The only way to win is to escape both cages. Who thought this would have been a believable way to win for a guy like Khali? There are doors on all four sides of the bamboo cage surrounding the ring. Cole tells us a door can only be opened once by a ref for sixty seconds (SIXTY SECONDS?!) at the request of either Show or Taker. Oh boy.
Show jumps Taker at the bell and does Big Show things for a few minutes. Taker manages to take Show off his feet and tries climbing out the first cage (THE DOOR IS RIGHT THERE THOUGH) and gets choked down by Show. There seems to be straps hanging off the bamboo. Show hits a clothesline and an elbow drop punishes Taker. Taker fires back and abuses Show in between the ropes and the cage. He charges Show one time too many and gets goozled, but Taker counters the chokeslam into a DDT. The door gets opened, but nobody gets out for the sixty second period. Show grabs one of the straps off the bamboo wall and chokes Taker down. Show exposes a turnbuckle, but gets hit with the Jumping Lariat. Taker looks for Old School, but Show flings him down to the mat. Show wants the door opened, but nobody gets through. Show drills Taker with a CHOKESLAM and tries to slide out the door at the last second before it shuts on him. This feels like an episode of Legends of the Hidden Temple now with the goofy sound effects. Show bounces Taker’s head off the exposed buckle and headbutts the cut a bunch. Show tries climbing out, but Taker is there for a low blow and superplexes Show down. Taker falls out of one of the doors and starts to climb out the second bamboo cage, but Show is there to bring him down. There’s a table of sorts inside the second cage for some reason. Show puts Taker through that burlap-covered table and puts Taker back inside the ring at the end of the sixty second period. Apparently that was the FINAL DOOR. I must have missed one then. Oh well. Anywho, now Taker has to climb over the first cage and onto the second cage to get ahead of Show, which he does. Like Sting at the THUNDERDOME CAGE MATCH at Halloween Havoc 1989, Taker holds onto a rope that’s hanging from the rim of the cage and kicks Show down to the floor. However, Taker falls from the rope and collapses on the floor as well. Taker then runs at Show and gives him a Famouser through another burlap-covered table. Show is bleeding. Taker continues to beat on Show until he starts climbing onto the first cage. Hey look, here comes the Great Khali led by Daivari. Taker then leaps from the cage and onto Show as they both fall through the second cage together. The ref calls for the bell and we’re going to need to hear a decision on this one. (21:29) We see Daivari and Khali have climbed up the cage surrounding ringside coming after Taker, I suppose. It’s a sad day when subbing Big Show into a twenty minute-long match IMPROVED the situation. I can’t imagine what this match would have been like with Khali. There wouldn’t have been a superplex spot. Right? ½*
Backstage, Queen Sharmell gets her man King Booker feeling like a king. Tonight, she tells him he will become KING OF THE WORLD. He’ll be much better at it than that chump Leonardo DiCaprio. Amirite?
- Bra & Panties Match: Ashley vs. Kristal vs. Jillian Hall vs. Michelle McCool
It’s ten years later, the brand split is back in place, and once again the WWE women’s champ is on RAW. What do the Smackdown ladies to fight for now? Will they bring back bra and panties matches for Smackdown? Yeah, right. Based strictly on appearance, I don’t think I could decide between Alicia Fox and Kristal. Holy crap. She is easily the hottest one in this match and so I hope she loses this one. McCool is doing the naughty school teacher gimmick, which is inappropriate on many levels when Cole tells us she was a seventh grade school teacher. Lots of catfights here. Since Kristal is pissed that Ashley won the RAW Diva Search, she rips Ashley’s top off. McCool pulls off Jillian’s top. Since they are the babyfaces in this one, together they STEREO PANTS Kristal and McCool. Alright alright alright. Michelle turns on Kristal and they catfight. No tops are removed though. As McCool ends up on the floor, Jillian grabs Kristal by the legs while Ashley yanks off Kristal’s top for the win. (5:18) JBL says he’s the real winner of this matchup. Afterwards, Jillian and Ashley take each other’s bottoms off. Okay then. Cole – “This is what Smackdown is all about.” WHERE IS KRISTAL? ½*
Back when the Miz was only a young douchebag, here he is backstage interviewing Mr. Kennedy. He challenged Batista back on Smackdown and feels it took a lot of balls accepting that challenge. When he beats Batista tonight, we will hear the ring announcer cry out the winner of the match MR. KENNEDY…Kennedy.
- Batista vs. Mr. Kennedy
Originally supposed to be a revenge match between Batista and Mark Henry, Kennedy subs here for the WSM. Bats absolutely destroys Kennedy beating him in and out of the ring to start. Kennedy gets busted open after Batista smashes his head off the steps. It was definitely hard way. Kennedy continues to get beaten up until he suckers Batista to the floor and kicks him on his way back inside the ring. After Kennedy beats up Batista, now Bats is busted open. He takes an Ole Kick from Kennedy. Batista escapes an arm lock and forces Kennedy back into the corner for the shoulder butts. He then runs Kennedy’s shoulder into the post not once, twice, but THREE TIMES. When Bats won’t ease up on Kennedy in the corner, ref Charles Robinson calls for the bell. (8:39) Kennedy wins via DQ and would need twenty stitches to mend that cut on his forehead. Afterwards, Bats gives Kennedy THREE Spinebusters and the BATISTA BOMB. He then runs his hand over Kennedy’s bloody face and wipes the blood on his chest – like an ANIMAL. Other than putting him in the ring with a main event guy, this really did nothing good for Kennedy. Batista looked pretty awesome though and I assume that was the objective since Bats will be coming after the world title at SummerSlam no matter who is champion. **
- World Championship: Rey Mysterio (c) vs. King Booker (w/Queen Sharmell)
Well, this is awesome. King Booker and Queen Sharmell’s throne is built onto a Lincoln Continental. A man dressed up as a medieval times swordsman drives the car. Just hilarious stuff. JBL is absolutely smitten by royalty despite being a blatant American jingoist. Okay let’s get moving, guys. This is taking a while. Booker gets in Rey’s face and yells that Eddie can’t help him tonight. Cole thinks this is a “big fight feel” tonight, which may or may not be a crack at Rey’s size. Probably not though. He’s never been *that* clever.
Booker makes the first move and corners Rey for a chop. Rey fights back and snapmares Booker for a running legdrop. Booker decides to slow it down a bit. He gives Rey a big slam and a back elbow connects. Rey snapmares out of a hammerlock and hits the low dropkick for two. He tilt-a-whirl headscissors Booker and we’re on the floor as Rey busts out a Seated Senton from the top rope. Back inside, a springboard splash to the back gets two. Booker ducks a springboard moonsault though and superkicks Mysterio down. Cover, 1-2-NO! Booker drapes Rey on the ropes so Sharmell can dig her fingernails into his eyeholes. Hook Kick gets another two-count. Rey tries to snapmare away from another hammerlock, but Booker sees it coming and slams him down. To get some easy heat, Booker delivers the Three Amigos. Instead of the Spinaroonie, Booker does the shimmy shake to further mock Eddie. Mysterio avoids the SCISSORS KICK and trips up Booker into the 619 position. Booker ducks the 619 though, but takes a Buzzsaw Kick for two. He goes for the 619 again, but Sharmell trips up Rey. Ref Nick Patrick sees what Sharmell did and sends her to the back. DAS RACIST. Booker blocks the wheelbarrow bulldog and delivers a back suplex for a nice counter. He covers for 1-2-NO! Rey stuns Booker as he comes off the top with a boot and dropkicks the knee. He hits a headscissors and a springboard body block for 1-2-NO! Spinning DDT gets two as well. Man, I hate Nick Patrick’s cadence. Mysterio tries a headscissors out of the corner, but Booker throws him off into Patrick. Whoops. With no ref, Rey hits the Springboard Seated Senton, the 619, and the FROG SPLASH. Since there’s no ref, Booker low blows Rey and gives him the BOOK END. He finds a chair, but it backfires. HERE COMES CHAVO GUERRERO. I’m sure he’s just here to help Rey, right?! He goes to whack Booker with the chair, but absolutely drills Rey instead. I mean, that was a nasty chair shot. Patrick gets back in the ring as Booker covers the champ and counts the pinfall. (16:49) And the crowd cheers! Ladies and gents, we have a *new* World Heavyweight Champion. King Booker is the best thing to happen to Smackdown in some time, I must say. I’m pumped to revisit his heel run on top. Of course Stevie Wonder could have seen the Chavo heel turn coming from a million miles away, but whatevs. ALL HAIL KING BOOKER! LONG LIVE THE KING! ***
Final Thoughts: Considering all the problems with the Smackdown roster at the time, this could have been a lot worse. Rey’s title reign finally ends. To paraphrase T.S. Eliot, it ended not with a bang but instead with a whimper. Not that it ever had much of a chance to begin with since they constantly were telling us to think about how much we miss Eddie Guerrero and how awesome it would be if he were the world champion right now instead of us (or them) being invested in Rey Mysterio as champion. However, King Booker is a fun character and I’ve said all I need to say about him right now. Bats looked awesome. Taker and Show did the best they probably could in a really bad situation. Weird crowd though for everything else and I’m one of those people where atmosphere is at least 50% of the enjoyment I get out of watching wrestling. Only a slight thumbs in the middle from me for the Great American Bash 2006.
Posted on July 23, 2016, in WWE and tagged Ashley Massaro, Batista, Big Show, Bobby Lashley, Booker T, Brian Kendrick, Chavo Guerrero, DelAvar Daivari, Finlay, Great American Bash, Great Khali, Gregory Helms, Hornswoggle, Jamie Noble, Jillian Hall, Kid Kash, Kristal Marshall, Matt Hardy, Michelle McCool, Mr. Kennedy, Paul London, Queen Sharmell, Rey Mysterio, Teddy Long, The Miz, The Pitbulls, Undertaker, William Regal. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.