Great American Bash 2007 – Lashley’s Best Match Ever

Great American Bash 2007
Date: July 22, 2007
Location: HP Pavilion, San Jose, California
Attendance: 13,034
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Joey Styles, Tazz

Back to the WWE again and we’re back to double branded shows with this one. Therefore we have two world title matches tonight in the form of Khali defending against Kane and Batista, plus Cena vs. Lashley in a match that I’ve always hoped the company would be able to present on a bigger stage. Other than that there isn’t much huge on here, at least not from an historical perspective. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is being here for a party. This transitions into talking about the main events.

The announcers talk about the show. I’ve always felt sorry for the ECW guys who have to sit there for three hours and call an 8 minute match total.

US Title: Matt Hardy vs. MVP

This feud went on and on. To give you an idea, this is July of 07 right? Matt won the title in April of 08. Matt armdrags him and MVP bails to the floor. Back in and they go to the mat. Both guys go for arm control but MVP gets sent to the floor. Plancha to the floor gets two back inside. Back in and things slow down a bit. Test of strength goes on and Mattt grabs a suplex for two.

Matt sets for what I’d assume was a tornado DDT but MVP yanks him off. Boot to the head gets two. Off to a double arm hold but Matt bites his leg. Well that’s a counter. MVP pounds on Matt’s bad head and neck. Fireman’s carry results in him just dropping him without going off his feet. Matt gets a clothesline but when he goes up he loses his balance and might have hit his head.

MVP goes up and hooks a superplex off the top. He can’t follow up though due to slamming his head on the mat. That gets a delayed two. MVP finally juts rams Matt’s head into the mat. An attempt at a belly to back superplex is countered into a cross body (which Cole calls a bulldog because Cole is an idiot) for two. NOW a bulldog gets two. Middle rope legdrop gets two. Twist of Fate and Playmaker are countered. Side Effect gets two for Matt. A cradle gets two for the champ but the big boot misses in the corner. This is getting good. They go to the corner and MVP gets a running boot to the chest. Playmaker ends this clean.

Rating: B-. Good solid opener here which is what they needed to go with. The Cruiserweight have a match later but sometimes it’s nice to have a more serious title defense to start things off. The matches these two had usually worked but the problem was getting to these matches with all the wasted time in between.

Dusty Rhodes says he’s ready for Orton. It’s a bullrope match and I have no idea why it’s occurring. It’s way too late for the Legend Killer thing I’d think. Dusty talks about everyone that came before Orton and respect and all that jazz. He tells a story about a cow and a bull and makes noises.

Cruiserweight Title: Jimmy Wang Yang vs. Chavo Guerrero vs. Shannon Moore vs. Jamie Noble vs. Funaki

It’s a five man match but remember that this is a Cruiserweight Open, as in anyone can get in on this. Chavo is champion coming in. This is the dying days of the title as this was thrown on the card yesterday with no story. They did these kind of matches for probably a year. Hornswoggle is on the floor and hides under the ring. Chavo tries to run but gets thrown outside instead. This is one fall to a finish.

This is one of those matches where you can’t really keep up with anything so the whole thing is pretty all over the place. Chavo comes back in and Cole talks about his Latina wife. Shannon gets two on Chavo but Funaki hits a cross body onto both of them for a combined two. Powerslam gets two for Noble but Chavo breaks it up again. Chavo hooks some freaky rollup on Yang and transitions into a half crab but it gets broken up by Funaki.

Moore slams Funaki into the buckle HARD. Noble vs. Moore now. Make that Noble vs. Funaki. See what I mean about how there’s no point in trying to call this? Funaki gets an enziguri for two on Moore. Gory Bomb to Funaki gets two for the champ. Almost everyone goes to the floor so Yang sets for a dive. Chavo stops it and it’s Tower of Doom time. Noble is down and here’s Horny to come off the top with a Tadpole Splash to win the title.

Rating: C-. Like I said there’s only so much you can do in these. The ending is totally legal when you think about it: he’s certainly small enough and it was an Open so anyone can enter at any time right? This wasn’t anything great but it was very clear that the title was done. And no it wasn’t Horny that killed it. The belt was long since dead.

HHH returns at Summerslam.

Video on Lashley’s career, including his amateur stuff. They’re pushing him hard as the uncrowned champion.

Carlito vs. Sandman

This is a Singapore Cane on a Pole match. For some reason that absolutely no one is quite sure of, Sandman got a midcard push on Raw for a few weeks in 2007. Carlito spits the apple in Sandman’s face to tick him off. You win by pinfall or submission here. Sandman works on the arm to take him down. That’s not exactly what I was expecting but ok then. Both go for the cane and both fail. A dropkick puts Sandy down but Sandman stops a climb attempt. That gets repeated a few times as this needs to end quickly. Sandman gets the cane and walks into a Backstabber for the pin. Carlito never touched the cane.

Rating: F. This was on a PPV. Why in the world did this exist? Like I said I still don’t get the point of Sandman’s time on Raw and I don’t think anyone else did either. Allegedly there’s a point to this feud but they didn’t really bother telling us what it was. Boring match and no point to being here at all.

Orton says he’s glad Dusty is in a good mood. Todd Grisham is almost as tall as Orton. Randy brags about how Shawn can’t even remember that today is his birthday after he punted Shawn in the head. A Punt is promised for Dusty as well.

Women’s Title: Candace Michelle vs. Melina

Candace has the title coming in here. I’m still not sure if I liked Candace or not. She looked good but other than that, there’s nothing to her at all. Melina takes her to the mat and has furry boots. It looks pretty clear that we’re in the full on long Raw match format here. Candace hits a Hennig necksnap and they exchange some covers.

I’m not really paying attention to this on the grounds of it’s rather boring. Melina grabs the arm and this match continues to go nowhere. Candace fights back and oh my goodness I remember why I didn’t like her. She SUCKS at attacking. Top rope cross body gets two. Neckbreaker gets two for Melina as well as screams. Candace wins with a freaking standing bulldog of all things.

Rating: D-. This is pretty much the same result as the previous match: there’s no point in the match being here but this one had boobs and Melina gyrations. The match didn’t mean anything and it was just a Raw match that went about twice as long. Thankfully Beth would win the title from Candance soon, as well as three years later when Kelly played the role of Candace in basically the exact same story.

Mania is coming to Orlando.

Matt and Jeff talk in the back when Candace comes up. She has a bottle of water and porn music comes on as she pours it over herself. Well at least they admit the girls are just eye candy. Ron Simmons comes up to say the line.

Intercontinental Title: Jeff Hardy vs. Umaga

Jeff is challenging and that Candace scene was in place of a recap. Umaga immediately takes him down and they go to the floor. Jeff fights back but walks into a Samoan Drop which must be like learning to walk at the Samoan wrestling school. Umaga pounds him down and hooks a nerve hold. Jeff looks more like he’s coming down off a really bad trip. Must be a Sunday. And now it’s back to the nerve hold for a VERY long time.

Jeff gets up and tries a slam but guess how well that goes. Umaga crashes down onto Jeff’s chest and then does it again. This has been a squash so far. A middle rope headbutt misses and both of them are down. Out to the floor and there’s a plancha, thankfully by Jeff so that the plate tectonics don’t shift. A dropkick gets two for Jeff. The running hip bump in the corner misses and Jeff hooks a Twist of Fate for two.

The fans are way into this too which is always a good sign. Umaga charges and hits the ring post. There’s a Swanton but Umaga BARELY kicks out. That seems to wake Umaga up though so he throws Jeff around like a skinny man that owes him drug money. The corner hip shot and the Samoan Spike kill Jeff deader than an overdose on every drug known to man and we’re done.

Rating: C+. This was one of the opening steps in the process of Jeff’s rise to the world title a year and a half later. He would show signs of hammering away on Umaga but then he would come up short. Jeff would continue to rise up and get closer and closer to the big wins, even getting the Rumble title shot in January, before FINALLY winning the title in 18 months. Yes Virginia, there used to be world title pushes that lasted longer than two months.

Same kind of video on Cena that was shown on Lashley earlier.

ECW Title: John Morrison vs. CM Punk

Morrison is freshly….well Morrison. He was Johnny Nitro forever and this is Punk’s second shot I think. This is a rematch from last month’s show which was supposed to be Benoit’s night but some stuff came up. Like murder and suicide. Anyway, this is happening because of Morrison wondering what Punk’s name means. The old ECW Title looks like a toy. Punk takes him to the mat and they fight over the arm.

Slingshot suplex gets two for Punk. Monkey flip out of the corner sends Morrison flying and we go outside. Morrison takes over out there and shoots the half for two in the ring. GTS is countered and Morrison takes him down for two. Wheelbarrow slam gets two. Up to the corner they go but Morrison gets dropped to the floor and a cross body off the top puts both guys down.

Morrison rolls him up but grabs the rope so it doesn’t count. Punk fires off kicks for two and the knee in the corner looks to set up the bulldog but Morrison counters and tries to walk out. Punk makes the stop and tries the springboard clothesline but jumps into a kick for the pin. That was a quick ending.

Rating: C+. Another pretty good match here but not a classic. Punk wasn’t quite a master of his craft yet but he would be world champion in a year if my memory is right. Not bad but again, it was really just an extended TV match. That being said, the ECW Title might as well have just been a title defended on TV anyway. It had no business on PPV for the most part.

We recap Orton vs. Rhodes. Rhodes had gone into the Hall of Fame earlier this year and is certainly a legend. Orton is a legend killer and one day he walked up to Rhodes. Cody tried to defend him but Randy slapped Dusty. Disrespect was mentioned and clearly you can see the connection from that to a cowbell and bullrope right? Do cowboys ever win those?

Randy Orton vs. Dusty Rhodes

This is the pinfall version instead of the touching all the corners version, making it a bit better. I can’t complain about hearing Common Man or whatever that song is called again. Randy doesn’t really want to get tied up to the rope and I can’t say I blame him. I think the bell rang and that this is counting. The problem is there’s a bell on the rope so it’s hard to tell. Blast it there’s the real bell. I was hoping we were almost half done.

Comedy to start as Dusty takes him down with the rope around his feet. Dusty elbows him down and crotches him with the rope. They go to the floor and Dusty misses a bell shot to the head against the post. There’s a long beating on the floor and back inside we go. Orton gets in a shot to the knee and here comes the booing. Orton hooks a long chinlock to fill in most of the match. Dusty comes back with the elbows but a bell to the head gets the pin for Randy.

Rating: D-. What in the world were you expecting here? At the end of the day, Dusty is an old man and he’s against a young superstar. That being said, at least they didn’t make this idiotic by doing something like making him a heel. I mean, can you imagine how stupid you have to be to make an old man attempt to be a big threat? I mean, can you imagine being intimidated of a guy in his early 60s?

And for those of you that don’t get basic sarcasm, I was making fun of TNA.

Cody blocks a punt post match.

Smackdown World Title: Kane vs. Great Khali vs. Batista

Kane is a face here….I think. There was no video recap so how am I supposed to remember a story from four and a half years ago? Khali is champion and Batista kept wanting to slay the giant. The champ runs over both of them and chokes Batista down in the corner. Oh apparently Khali won the title three days earlier on Smackdown in a battle royal after Edge got hurt. I remember that. That must be why there was no backstory.

This has been ALL Khali so far. Both guys get nerve holds and chokeslams. Khali of course stops to pose. Out to the floor and Khali loads up the announce table. Kane tries a chokeslam through it and Batista tries the Bomb but both of them are easily broken up. They double team him and get a half spinebuster/half chokeslam through the table. That was kind of cool.

Kane hits a side slam for two back in the ring. Big Dave gets the same off a powerslam. He loads up a superplex but Kane knocks him off and hits the clothesline off the top. Here comes the chokeslam but Khali comes back and takes it instead. Batista and Kane go to the floor and the Big Bald goes down. Back to Khali vs. Batista with Big Dave getting two off a spinebuster. Kane charges into the post and Batista tries the Bomb on him but gets backdropped. Chokeslam to Batista gets two. The next attempt hits but Khali pulls Dave out. Punjabi Plunge to Kane keeps the title on Khali.

Rating: C-. I know a lot of people are going to bash this match but the idea here is simple: everyone is a monster so what’s the point in trying anything other than their biggest moves? They’re not going to work so just stick with the big stuff. Fun match but not exactly a technical masterpiece. Still decent, all things considered though.

HHH is still coming back at Summerslam. Nothing has changed with that.

Here’s Booker with Sharmell. He says HHH isn’t the King of Kings because he’s the only King. Speaking of which, Jerome, why are you wearing a crown? Booker demands an explanation and the surrendering of said crown. Lawler says come get it. Booker calls this treason and then leaves with Sharmell. I’m assuming this is a Raw story now?

They really try to hype up Cena vs. Lashley as a dream match.

Raw World Title: John Cena vs. Bobby Lashley

They fight over a lockup to start and Cena is shoved into a corner. Lashley takes him down with a test of strength but Cena comes back to booing. He’s been champion for ten months here so the fans aren’t that thrilled with him. Lashley takes over with the power game but Cena counters into an STFU attempt so Lashley runs. Basically this is a chess match as both guys try to get ahead but neither is being very aggressive.

Lashley grabs a release t-bone suplex for two. He might be bleeding just a bit. Cena gets whipped into the corner and a delayed suplex gets two. Cena grabs a suplex of his own out of nowhere for a very delayed two. Lashley gets a modified gutbuster to mess up Cena’s ribs and it’s down to a body vice. JR and King turn into idiots by saying they can’t remember any opponent with Lashley’s amateur credentials challenging Cena.

Cena fires off a pair of ProtoBombs and the Shuffle for two. FU is easily escaped and a powerslam gets two. Lashley hooks a torture rack and then drops him into what we would call Shock Treatment. Out of nowhere Cena hits an FU but can’t cover. Lashley’s spear attempt is countered into the STFU and the place pops. Weird crowd man. Lashley FINALLY gets a rope and this is getting good.

John complains to the referee about….something, and walks into a BIG spear for two. The fans are way into this too. They go to the corner and Lashley loads up something that appears to be a superplex, but Cena counters into a somewhat weak FU off the middle rope for the pin. That ending came out of nowhere, kind of.

Rating: B+. It’s an excellent match and they were getting close to the heavyweight slugfest format but they weren’t able to get there with it ending like that. It needed a lot more near falls. Anyway, the match was good, although Lashley never really reached this level again afterwards. He would be “injured” by Kennedy 8 days later and hasn’t set foot in a WWE ring since as far as I remember.

Overall Rating: C+. This show worked pretty well and was a fairly solid B-level PPV with a very good main event. However, the rest of the card isn’t all that great. It’s not all that bad either so I’d call this show fine overall. It’s nothing that you’re going to want to go out of your way to see again, but the main event is good and while some of the matches are bad, they’re the shortest ones. Decent show and the best overall in this series so far.

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1 comment

  1. newc868 says:

    Just have to say that the whole Candace Michelle-Matt Hardy scene is my favourite ‘DAMN’ of all time.