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7/20 WWE Great American Bash Live Coverage: C.M. Punk defends the World Hvt. Championship against Batista, Triple H vs. Edge for the WWE Title, Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels
Jul 20, 2008 - 10:00 PM


By Jason Powell

Aired live on pay-per-view
Long Island, N.Y. at Nassau Coliseum


The show opened with a video that recapped the top storylines... Fireworks exploded on the stage... Jim Ross introduced the show...

1. Zach Ryder and Curt Hawkins defeated John Morrison and The Miz, Finlay and Hornswoggle, and Jesse and Festus in a four-way match to win the WWE Tag Titles in 9:06.. Festus flipped everyone else left the ring. The tag champs grabbed Hornswoggle and threw him back in. Funny. Hornswoggle rolled up his sleeves and acted like he was going to face Festus, then turned around and dove at the tag champs.

At 6:30, Finlay hit the Celtic Cross on Ryder, but Hawkins broke up the pin attempt. Later, Festus entered the ring and cleared most of the wrestlers from the ring. He tagged in Jesse, who went up top for a rocket launcher, but Hawkins (probably) swept his leg out. Jesse crashed to the mat and Hawkins (probably) made the pin to help his team capture the tag titles...

Powell's POV: One of my pay-per-viewer party attendees is devastated that Morrison and Miz lost the tag titles. Maybe this will set up a babyface run for the duo since they weren't actually pinned. Solid opener, but nothing special.

2. Shelton Benjamin pinned Matt Hardy for the U.S. Title in 9:40. Ross said no U.S. Champion in history has lost his title at the Bash. He also noted that Benjamin could become the 21st person in history to wear the U.S. and Intercontinental Titles. Cool facts. Early in the match, Hardy tried to skin the cat, but Shelton nailed him with a sliding kick to the back.

Hardy received a Cena-like reaction in that the women and kids cheered for him, while the men chanted for Shelton. Surprising. Good back and forth action and the live crowd was into it. Hardy missed a moonsault late. Shelton hit his finisher and scored the clean pin...

Powell's POV: Wow, two title changes in a row. I'm disappointed to see Hardy's title reign end so quickly, but I've always been high on Benjamin's ability. It will be interesting to see whether Hardy chases his title or moves on to other things.

Highlights aired from Monday of Todd Grisham interviewing C.M. Punk after Raw. He talked about all the things his critics said he'd never do, but pointed out his name is on the World Hvt. Title. He said he's not the biggest, strongest, fastest, and sometimes not even the smartest. He said you don't have to be 6-6 and chiseled to win titles. He said he's in the business of proving people wrong. He said his name is C.M. Punk and he's the World Hvt. Champion...

Powell's POV: This was the best promo that Punk has cut in his WWE career. Excellent work and it's a shame it only aired on WWE Mobile.

Highlights aired from Smackdown of the Edge video and Vickie Guerrero's reaction. A mobile pole asked voters to choose whether they sympathize more with Edge or Vickie...

3. Mark Henry (w/Tony Atlas) beat Tommy Dreamer (w/Colin Delaney) for the ECW Title in 5:30. Mike Adamle and Tazz were on commentary. Henry dominated Dreamer early, but missed a splash at 4:00. A short time later, Dreamer went to the second rope. Colin joined him on the ring apron and they both played to the crowd. Colin grabbed Dreamer's arm and threw him to the mat. Henry slammed Dreamer and pinned him.

Powell's POV: The joke at my PPV party is that it's a good thing they protected Dreamer. I'm guessing he's done with Henry, but at least he has a program waiting for him. A heel Colin? Why Colin, why? Strange.

A Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels video aired...

4. Chris Jericho defeated Shawn Michaels via ref stoppage in 18:20. Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler are on commentary for the first time tonight. Lance Cade did not accompany Jericho to the ring. Long staredown to start the match. I always love that. The fist eight minutes of the match were mat based and the crowd wasn't very vocal.

At 9:00, Jericho caught HBK on the ropes. However, Michaels fought him off and pushed him to the mat. HBK followed up with a top rope elbow and tried to pump up the crowd for Sweet Chin Music. Cade ran out. Michaels held onto the ropes and kicked Cade. Jericho went for the Codebreaker, but HBK held on to the ropes.

A short time later, Jericho charged Michaels, who flipped him over the top rope and onto Cade. HBK hit a moonsault off the top rope onto Jericho and Cade at ringside. They didn't do a very good job of bracing his fall, as he pretty much landed between them. At ringside, Jericho elbowed Michaels in his bad eye.

When both men returned to the ring, HBK's eye was a bloody mess. Jericho's eyes lit up when he spotted the bad eye. He punched Michaels. The ref stepped in and asked Shawn if he was okay. Later, as the ref scolded Jericho for targeting the eye, Cade caught Michaels with a boot to the head. Michaels was pleading with the ref not to stop the match.

Michaels caught Jericho out of nowhere in the crossface, but Jericho powered out of it. The ref hovered over Michaels, who was a bloody mess. He grabbed Jericho's trunks and climbed to his knees. Jericho shoved him down and hit him with repeated forearms to the eye. The ref stepped in and called for the bell. Trainers hit the ring and tended to HBK.

Powell's POV: This wasn't the typical crowd pleasing match that these two normally deliver. However, I liked the story they told a lot. They probably could have done more early in the match to get the live crowd involved, but it was still an entertaining match even if they delivered something other than what the live crowd was hoping for. Another good chapter to their lengthy feud.

A Summer Slam ad featured Chris Jericho dressed up like Indiana Jones, and other WWE performers in movie mode. The narrator hyped the event as the biggest blockbuster of the summer...

At ringside, Ross and Foley discussed HBK's injury and then transitioned into an interview with Edge. "Triple H, what kind of a man—what kind of a pervert—puts a camera in another man's hotel room?" he asked. Edge said he no longer has personal life. He said Hunter ruined his life and now he's going to ruin Hunter's by taking the WWE Title...

Powell's POV: Good, short promo. By the way, WWE still hasn't bothered to tell viewers whether John Cena is alive.

5. Michelle McCool defeated Natalya via submission for the WWE Divas Title in 4:45. Ground based match with both women going for submissions early. Natalya grabbed McCool's hand and leg and stretched her around the ring post until the ref counted four. Nice spot. McCool locked in the Brazilian heel hook. Natalya tried to roll out of it, but she eventually tapped. Afterward, Eve and Cherry ran out and celebrated with McCool. The live crowd didn't care.

While the women were in the ring celebrating, Chris Jericho walked onto the stage and interrupted. He told the crowd to keep their ticket stubs because Shawn Michaels' career was over. He said the trainer told him that HBK has a detached retina. "Shawn Michaels' career is over," he said. He said it's good to know that sometimes the wicked are punished...

Powell's POV: I enjoyed the McCool vs. Natalya match a lot more than the live crowd. Natalya's ground and pound style was cool. It just seemed like the live crowd wasn't into their characters. Jericho's promo was well done.

A Ric Flair DVD commercial aired... A video recapped C.M. Punk's Money in the Bank win, the World Title win, and his run-in with Batista from Monday night...

6. C.M. Punk fought Batista to a Double DQ in a World Hvt. Championship match at 11:10. Cole and Lawler on commentary for the Raw match. Cole said he thinks this is the first time in history that the champion enters the match as the underdog, which is funny when you think about how many times they've portrayed the babyface champion as the underdog facing the insurmountable odds.

Punk went for an early roll up, but Batista didn't budge. A short time later, Punk dove through the ropes onto Batista at ringside. Batista didn't exactly take the move well and at first it appeared like the spot was Batista catching Punk and throwing him toward the guard rail. Rather, Punk got up and celebrated. The lousy live crowd gave him a polite pop.

Later, Punk threw a kick toward Batista, who blocked it with his hand and sold it like it connected. Not a horrible spot, but another example of Batista not taking a move properly. At 7:15, Punk hit a high knee in the corner. He followed up with a kick and scored a nearfall. He went for the GTS a short time later, but Batista punched him and powered out.

At 9:30, Batista caught Punk's leg. Punk punched him twice and hit him with a spinning back fist. Batista backed into the ropes and came back with a clothesline. Nice spot by both men. A short time later, Batista hit the spinebuster at ringside. Punk was out. Batista picked him up and rolled him back into the ring.

Kane showed up out of nowhere. He rammed Batista into the ring post and then caught him with the big boot. Kane continued to rough up Batista at ringside and the referee called for the bell. Kane entered the ring and chokeslammed Punk. He grabbed his burlap sack and started to leave the ringside area. Kane stopped and asked, "Is he alive" and then turned and kicked the camera man.

Lillian Garica announced that the ref had ruled the match a double DQ. Inside the ring, Punk lifted the title over his head. Batista kicked Punk in gut and then hit the Batista Bomb. Cole said he believes Batista was on his way to becoming the World Champion before Kane interfered...

Powell's POV: Lame finish. The referee's decision of a double DQ didn't make any sense since neither man did anything to deserve being disqualified. Punk got plenty of offense in.

A John Cena and JBL video aired...

7. JBL pinned John Cena in a parking lot brawl in 17:00. As if the live crowd wasn't dead enough, now they have to watch the video monitor for this match. The match was held in the backstage area. There were several cars and trucks parked in a circle. JBL's limo pulled up and he got out wearing a suit and carrying a tire iron. JBL called out for Cena and looked around for him.

JBL stood on the hood of a car. A car engine revved and Cena drove a car into the car that JBL was standing on. JBL climbed onto the hood of the car as Cena slammed into the car. Cena slammed the hood of a car on JBL and then hooked his nuts up to a pair of jumper cables. Cena touched the other end of the cables to the car battery and it sparked, while JBL shook as if his Mamajuana-filled testicles were being fried.

JBL made his comeback. He hit Cena with punches and slammed his head onto the hood of a car. They stood on the hood of a car and JBL hit Cena with a spinning neckbreaker for a nearfall. The live crowd was chanting something in the background, but it was hard to make out. Probably boring or bullshit.

Later, JBL placed Cena in the backseat of a car and slammed the door shut. He walked over to his limo and grabbed a gas can. JBL doused Cena's car with gas and pulled out a lighter while the ref pleaded with him to stop. JBL lit the car on fire and the referee started yelling, "Fire!" With the car engulfed in flames, several workers showed up and used fire extinguishers to put the fire out.

Once the fire was out, Cena climbed out unscathed and attacked JBL. There were some faint cheers. He put JBL in the front seat of a car, and then sat down behind the wheel of a forklift. Cena made an cartoonishly intense look as the camera caught a close up of his face. He slammed the forklift into the car and lifted it into the air with JBL still inside.

Cena drove the forklift and the car into the arena. JBL stumbled out of the car and Cena attacked him on the stage. Cena dominated JBL. He stood over him and delivered the Five Knuckle Shuffle. When JBL got to his feet, Cena picked him up for the FU. He looked at the car he brought out with the forklift. He walked toward the car, but JBL fought off Cena and then threw him through the windshield. JBL covered Cena on top of the car and scored the pin.

Afterward, they aired a replay with a shot of Cena slamming the car into the other car that JBL was standing on top of. Back live, both guys sold the battle. JBL had to be helped to the back by two referees. Cena was still lying on the car and his arms were cut from the glass. The refs tried to help him, but he brushed them off and walked on his own. He looked back toward the crowd for approval and didn't get much. He nodded and headed backstage...

Powell's POV: Corny at times with the fire, battery spot, and Cena's facial expressions, but both guys tried hard and kept things interesting. The windshield bumps looked pretty cool. I'm not a fan of the backstage stuff, though.

At ringside, Ross and Foley revealed the results of the poll. 55 percent of the fans sympathized with Edge, while 45 percent of the fans sympathized with Vickie. What they didn't say is that 95 percent (probably being kind) of the voters were male...

Highlights aired of the Edge and Vickie wedding angle with Triple H crashing the party...

Eve approached Hunter as he was walking in the back and asked if he regretted spoiling the wedding reception. "Eve, do I look like I guy who regrets anything," he said...

8. Triple H pinned Edge to retain the WWE Title in 16:45. Ross and Foley questioned whether Edge could use the negative energy from the wedding reception and use it to his advantage in the match against Hunter. Edge ran at Hunter and attacked him as soon as the bell rang.

It was a back and forth brawl both in and out of the ring for the next eight minutes. Lots of punches. At 10:00, Edge DDT'd Hunter at ringside. The ref started the 10 count. Ross and Foley worked hard to put over the intensity of the match the desire both men have to hold the title.

At 13:30, Edge set up for the spear. He charged Hunter, who turned it into a spinebuster that popped the live crowd. At 15:00, both men were lying on the mat and the referee was counting. Alicia Fox (the wedding planner and Edge's make out partner) ran out and grabbed the WWE Title belt. She placed it in the ring near Edge. Vickie Guerrero ran out and attacked the woman.

Vickie got the better of the battle, climbed inside the ring, and picked up the belt. The referee tried take it from her, but she shoved him aside. The wedding planner ran in and had a cat fight with Vickie. They both stood up and Edge tried to spear Alicia and/or the referee (he was trying to pull the women apart), but they moved and Edge speared Vickie.

Edge looked distraught. Moments later, Hunter Pedigree'd Edge and scored the pin. Hunter celebrated the title win after the match and the show ended with him posing with the title on the stage.

Powell's POV: Disappointing show. The main event was a letdown considering it was two of the best workers in the business. I'll have a lot more to say about the Bash in the post-show podcast and in tomorrow's WWE Great American Bash Hitlist.

Stay tuned for a post-show audio report on the Great American Bash pay-per-view. There will be a brief "All Access" recap of the show, and then Dot Net Members will receive extended audio coverage. For signup information, check out the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
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