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Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Pro Wrestling--- WWE Great American Bash Review
Score (out of 10): 3.0
Best Match: Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio
Worst Match: Batista vs. John Bradshaw Layfield
Michael Cole and Tazz are correct that the Great American Bash has a great tradition... unfortunately, that tradition now appears to be having the worst PPV event of the year. Last year's Great American Bash with Paul Bearer being buried alive in cement was the worst PPV of 2004 in a year that had plenty of stinkers, and this year's Great American Bash was easily the worst PPV of 2005 so far.
All of the talk about Road Warrior Hawk in the tag team title match was sickening exploitation, proving that victims of terrorism aren't the only dead people that WWE will attempt to exploit for profit. Giving the tag titles to Animal and Heidenreich was incredibly stupid on so many levels, even if they do lose the belts back to M-N-M at SummerSlam. The tag team division had been showing signs of life for the first time in years thanks to M-N-M.
Seeing Road Warrior Animal back in the ring is nice nostalgia, but so is seeing Hulk Hogan back in the ring... and you don't see them booking Hulk Hogan to beat Batista clean for the World Title. Batista is to the singles division what M-N-M is to the tag team division, which is what makes the tag title change so ridiculous.
Booker T had the same basic match that he has been having for years, and even Chris Benoit couldn't get a good match out of the uninspired Orlando Jordan. It's not too hard to figure out why Jordan is uninspired to the poitn of phoning in his performances, given that he has been buried for the past five months even while being US champion.
Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero had the one and only good match on the PPV, but it wasn't a great match and it had a cop-out finish after it was hinted so strongly that Mysterio's secret would finally be revealed. It seemed excessive and wasteful to have Mysterio's son right outside the ring if this wasn't the night when the secret was going to be revealed.
Undertaker kept his streak alive of horrible PPV matches, and Vince McMahon sure did teach all of those critics a lesson by having the terrorists (excuse me, "sympathizers") back in Hassan's corner.
Does anyone else find it ironic that when WWE has angry stockholders, advertisers, viewers, and network executives to appease, they say in a ridiculously pretentious official statement that the men wearing black ski masks were not even Arabic, and that it's very stereotypical for people to falsely jump to that conclusion. Then when there's a PPV to sell and they put together a video recap of the Undertaker-Hassan feud, they not only replay the simulated terrorist attack, but they dub in the Muslim Call to Prayer as background music. It would be difficult for the management team at any company, even if they tried really hard, to have less class, taste, and human decency than WWE management.
Newsflash from the main event for anyone who didn't already realize it: Batista can't work unless he has someone to carry him, and neither can JBL. I am so sick and tired of hearing about John Cena's in-ring limitations, while no one seems to call out Batista and JBL for the same things. Even with all of his weaknesses, Cena is a better worker than Batista or JBL any day of the week. Whoever put the match together failed to do their job properly when they decided to give Batista and JBL twenty minutes to fill; and then Batista and JBL failed to do their job properly when they put on an absolute stinker of a match within those 20 minutes.
The combined age of Batista and JBL is just over 75, but they looked like a couple of fifty-year-olds in there plodding through a basic formula match with enough rest-holds to make the Ultimate Warrior proud.
The disqualification finish in the main event is the same kind of bulls--t cop-out finish that I believe helped contribue to the collapse of WWE PPV buy-rates in 2004. That is just not acceptable for a PPV main event finish anymore. What makes it worse is that it's not like WWE isn't aware of how unacceptable finishes like that are to their viewing audience for a PPV main event... they are fully aware of it, and they choose to piss on their audience anyway.
Anyone who bought the Great American Bash had to suspend their disbelief that they weren't just wasting 35 dollars to get three hours of filler, as WWE put on a PPV four weeks before SummerSlam. WWE put a giant spotlight on that fact, instead of masking it with good booking and good wrestling. A lot of people are going to feel like they wasted 35 dollars, and a lot of them (particularly those who aren't hardcore pro wrestling fans) are not going to be too keen on shelling out another 35 bucks for SummerSlam four weeks from now.
If any actual WWE investors were watching, this show would have given them plenty of fodder for Linda McMahon to hang up on during the next quarterly investors' conference call.