TJR Retro: WWE The Bash 2009 Review

TJR Retro: WWE The Bash 2009 Review

It’s time for WWE The Bash 2009. Why was it not The Great American Bash name that WWE used in the past honoring the WCW/NWA event? Because apparently, Vince McMahon didn’t like using a WCW name anymore, so he just went with The Bash.

This show came at a time when WWE did three PPVs between mid-May’s Judgment Day 2009 show, then they did Extreme Rules on June 7 and this show took place three weeks later. That meant a lot of matches that stretched over a few PPVs and rematches from previous shows. There were some big names missing from this PPV like The Undertaker, Batista (out with a torn biceps – he was on the original poster for the show) and Shawn Michaels to name a few. In some cases, there were injuries while sometimes guys just get breaks.

The Bash did bad numbers on pay-per-view with 178,000 buys, which was the lowest PPV number in 2009. It was also down 18,000 from the previous year’s Great American Bash event. That’s probably why this was the last year WWE went with The Bash as a PPV event.

This show followed Judgment Day 2009 and Extreme Rules while leading into Night of Champions and SummerSlam 2009.

Here is the synopsis on WWE Network:

“Randy Orton defends the WWE Championship in a Three Stages of Hell Match against Triple H. CM Punk defends the World Heavyweight Championship against Jeff Hardy. John Cena takes on The Miz. Rey Mysterio looks to keep his mask and capture the Intercontinental Championship when he battles Chris Jericho. Tommy Dreamer defends his ECW Championship.” PG (V)

The DVD looks like this:

Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Let’s get to the show.

WWE The Bash  
From ARCO Arena in Sacramento, California
June 28, 2009

The opening video package was very good as usual. It promoted the big matches coming up on this show.

It looked it was a full Sacramento crowd. The Raw announce team of Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler welcomed us to the show.

The ECW Championship was up first in a Scramble match. The ECW announce team of Josh Mathews and Matt Striker were on hand to call the match. Here are the rules for the scramble match.

Christian made his entrance first followed by Jack Swagger.

ECW Championship Scramble Match: Tommy Dreamer vs. Christian vs. Jack Swagger vs. Finlay vs. Mark Henry

Pre-match notes: Christian and Dreamer were faces with Dreamer as the champion. Swagger, Henry and Finlay were heels.

Swagger worked over Christian with punches. Christian came back with punches and then Swagger lifted up Christian into a spinning slam. Christian jumped on Swagger’s back for a sleeper, then Swagger powered him into the turnbuckle and Swagger grabbed a tight headlock. Christian went up top and hit a missile headlock for two. Christian with two boots to the face.

Finlay was the third man as he attacked both guys as he slammed Christian onto Swagger. Finlay with a rolling senton on Swagger. Finlay with a jumping splash on Christian followed by a clothesline. Christian with an uppercut off the middle rope for two. Swagger pulled Christian out of the ring and whipped him into the barricade. Finlay kicked Swagger down. Swagger with a blatant eye gouge of Finlay and a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! got a pinfall. That meant that Swagger was the current champion. Christian got a sunset flip on Swagger for two. Christian wanted a Killswitch, Swagger got out of that and Christian hit a reverse DDT for two. Swagger with a belly to belly suplex on Christian.

Tommy Dreamer was fourth in the match a the champion going into the match. Dreamer with a punch to Christian’s ribs, a bulldog on Swagger and Dreamer hit a sitout spinebuster for two. Dreamer hit a neckbreaker on Swagger. Dreamer with a dropkick on Christian, who was against the turnbuckle Swagger threw Dreamer into Christian, but Christian moved, so they messed that up. Swagger tossed Dreamer into the announce table. Finlay to back into it and sent Swagger into the ring post. Finlay hit the Celtic Cross on Swagger for the pinfall, so Finlay was the current champion. Dreamer was back in with an elbow to Finlay. Christian battled Dreamer by the turnbuckle with Swagger hitting a clothesline on Dreamer.

The fifth and final man in the match was Mark Henry with manager Tony Atlas. Henry with a clothesline on Dreamer. They did a Tower of Doom spot out of the corner. The clock was at about five minutes left. Henry pressed Christian over the top to the floor. Henry with a headbutt to Finlay and Henry hit the World’s Strong Slam on Dreamer for the pinfall, so Henry was the current champion.

Henry was fending off every attacker with punches. That led to Swagger, Christian and Finlay stomping on Henry together to kick Henry out of the ring. Christian got an inside cradle on Finlay for two. Finlay whipped Christian into the turnbuckle. Finlay hit a dive onto Swagger. Dreamer hit a dive off the apron onto Swagger on the floor. Christian jumped off the ropes onto Dreamer on the floor. Henry teased a dive to the floor, but then Swagger took him out with a shot to the knee. Swagger hit a Swagger Bomb out of the corner for the pinfall, so Swagger was the current champion. There were about two minutes left. Henry hit a running splash to Swagger’s back against the ropes. Finlay sent Henry into the steel steps. Christian hit the Killswitch on Swagger for two because Dreamer grabbed Christian and Dreamer got a pinfall after a DDT, so Dreamer was the current champion. There was one minute left as wrestlers kept going for pinfalls like Finlay hitting a reverse DDT for two. Swagger covered Dreamer for two as well. Finlay with a DDT on Swagger for two with Henry breaking it up. Dreamer hit a DDT on Henry. Dreamer didn’t actually have to pin anybody, but he tried and Christian hit a dropkick. Christian got a sunset flip for two and there were more pin attempts, but the clock expired. It went 15:00 or close to that.

Winner by pinfall: Tommy Dreamer

Analysis: **1/2 It was a different kind of match, but not that interesting overall. The announcers tried to put over the chaos throughout the match, yet a lot of it was just a guy hitting a move, then a pin attempt, another guy breaks it up and so on. Dreamer went for a pin after one move even though he was already the champion, so that was a bit strange. Dreamer keeping the title allowed him to continue his reign as a babyface champion. Jack Swagger was the only other guy in the match that was booked well while others were just kind of there. It’s not like the ECW brand was that hot at this point. It was dying rather than thriving.

Tommy Dreamer retains the ECW Championship at The Bash 2009

Edge walked into Teddy Long’s office to talk to the Smackdown General Manager. Edge told Long to make a triple threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship with Edge in the match. Long said they already did that and Edge lost. Edge complained that he was not on the PPV. Long told Edge he should have thought of that before he divorced his ex-wife. Edge threatened Long and warned him that he’s going to have something in common with his ex-wife because he’ll be out of a job.

Rey Mysterio made his entrance for the first Smackdown match on the show. The Smackdown announcers Todd Grisham and Jim Ross were on commentary at ringside. The story in the feud was that Jericho beat Rey for the Intercontinental Title at Extreme Rules three weeks earlier when Chris took off Rey’s mask and won with a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! to win the title. They agreed to rematch with Jericho putting up the IC Title against Rey’s mask.

Intercontinental Championship vs. Mask Match: Chris Jericho vs. Rey Mysterio

Pre-match notes: Chris Jericho entered first as the heel Intercontinental Champion. Rey Mysterio was the babyface challenger. If Rey loses then he has to remove his mask.

Rey tried to attack with punches, but Jericho hit him with a forearm leading to a headlock. Jericho hit a running shoulder tackle. Rey got boots up to block a charge followed by a headscissors that sent Jericho out of the ring. Rey slid towards Jericho on the floor, Jericho caught him and swung Rey into the barricade. Jericho with a slingshot that sent Rey throat first into the bottom rope. Jericho hit a delayed vertical suplex for two followed by a chinlock: “Ask him.” Rey elbowed Jericho off the turnbuckle. Rey jumped off the ropes with a senton and Jericho caught a charging Rey with a backbreaker for two. Jericho whipped Rey into the turnbuckle leading to a baseball slide dropkick that sent Rey from the ring to the floor. Back in the ring, Jericho with a kick leading to a low dropkick on a seated Mysterio. Jericho grounded Rey by pulling back on the arms, Rey came back with kicks and Rey avoided a charge, kick to the knee and Jericho went tumbling to the floor. Rey went up top and hit a senton onto Jericho on the floor. That was an impressive move. Back in the ring, Rey hit a springboard cross body block for two. Rey with a headscissors that sent Jericho into the turnbuckle. Rey jumped off the top rope twice leading to a moonsault pin for two. That was so good! The fans popped huge for that nearfall. Jericho with a kick to the body, Rey went for a moonsault off the ropes and Jericho came back with a powerslam. Jericho missed a corner charge when Rey moved and Rey jumped off the top with a moonsault onto a standing Jericho for two. Jericho countered a Rey move leading to the Walls of Jericho submission with the fans going crazy for Rey to tap while others didn’t want him to tap. Rey managed to crawl to grab the bottom rope to break free.

Jericho charged, Rey sent him to the apron, Rey with a dropkick. Jericho avoided a 619 kick by the apron and Jericho hit a clothesline. Jericho went up top, Rey kicked him and Rey went for a hurricanrana off the top, but Jericho countered with a Powerbomb for two with Chris putting his feet on the ropes as well. That was another awesome counter by Jericho. A Lionsault by Jericho missed because Rey moved and Rey hit a snap hurricanrana into a pin for two. Rey kicked Jericho into the ropes, Jericho caught Rey and went for a move, but Rey hit a spinning DDT. Counter after counter wow! This action is awesome. Rey ran the ropes, he jumped off the ropes with a springboard attack and Jericho caught him with a Codebreaker double knee attack. Jericho did a slow clover with Rey getting his right shoulder up at two. Big pop from the crowd. That was Jericho’s finisher and people didn’t kick out of it that often, so it was a big real for Rey to do that. Jericho tossed Rey into the top turnbuckle. Jericho went for a move off the top, but Rey held onto the top rope and Jericho hit the mat. Rey hit a dropkick that sent Jericho into the ropes leading to the 619 kick, so Rey finally hit it after coming up short a few times. Rey went for a springboard attack, but Jericho caught him out of the air and went for the Walls of Jericho. Jericho had Rey trapped in the Walls of Jericho with the crowd popping even more than before with the submission attempt. Rey fought out of that, they exchanged pinfall attempt and Jericho pulled of a mask, but Rey had another mask on! Rey with an enziguri kick into the ropes, the 619 kick connected and Rey hit a springboard splash off the top for the pinfall win at 15:42.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW Intercontinental Champion: Rey Mysterio

Analysis: ****1/2 This match was awesome. Jericho was at his best as a heel during this era while Rey was on fire as a babyface that worked so well with Chris. The timing was great the whole way through. The fans were really into it as much as anything on this show. Something that Jericho was really known for in his career in his big matches especially are the counters to the signature moves. They did so many counters in this match. It was so cool to watch. The announcers did a great job of pointing out all of the counters that each man was doing and it made it such an even matchup. The last five minutes of this match were truly amazing with the fans getting more into it as the guys did counter after counter for nearfalls as well as near submissions. I loved the finish with Rey outsmarting Jericho with two masks on his face, so when Jericho took off the first mask, Rey still had another mask on. It’s nice to see the face outsmart the heel like that.

Rey Mysterio celebrated with the Intercontinental Title and they showed replays of all the key spots. Rey celebrated while Jericho was frustrated in the ring.

Analysis: This was one of the best matches in WWE in 2009. The Match of the Year was The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 25, but this one was definitely one of the top runners up. This match was also reviewed by TJRWrestling’s Alex Podgorski, who rated it ****3/4 and it was rated ****1/2 for the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer as well. That’s three of us giving this a lot of praise because it’s deserved.

There was a video package about the previous Monday’s episode of Raw where the new “owner” Donald Trump presented a commercial-free Raw. Trump told the fans they would get their money back. Vince McMahon wasn’t happy about what Trump did. Vince ended up buying Raw back for double the money that Trump paid for it, which was never actually disclosed. Vince fired Trump and Trump slapped Vince.

Analysis: This angle sucked just like the parade of guest hosts that Raw had in 2009. They kept trying different gimmicks to try to build the audience and a lot of these things just didn’t work that well.

Chris Jericho was backstage complaining to Theodore Long saying he wanted a rematch tonight. Long told Jericho in one more month it will be five years for him as a GM. Long told Jericho to get out of his office. Jericho told Long he won’t make it to five years or five more minutes and Jericho said when Teddy changes his mind, he knows where to find Chris.

A video package aired about Dolph Ziggler, who was an impressive young talent that liked to introduce himself to people. The Great Khali answered an open challenge from Ziggler on Smackdown and Ziggler got disqualified after multiple chair shots. Khali got some revenge the following week. They did another match with Ziggler winning by countout. Ziggler also won by DQ when the referee thought that Khali used a chair, but Ziggler faked it. Ziggler beat Khali two times in a row.

Analysis: I have no memories of this feud at all. It’s a Great Khali feud, so that’s why.

The Great Khali entered to barely any reaction. There wasn’t much of a reaction for Dolph Ziggler either. It’s tough to follow the match before this.

No Countouts and No Disqualifications Match: Dolph Ziggler vs. The Great Khali (w/Ranjin Singh)

Pre-match notes: Ziggler was the heel while Khali was the face.

Ziggler with kicks to the legs and Khali tossed Ziggler down. Khali with a hard chop that Ziggler sold well. Khali countered some Ziggler punches by tossing him over the top to the floor. Khali with a clothesline on the floor followed by a hard chop. When Khali wanted another chop, Ziggler moved and Khali hit the ring post. Ziggler hit a dropkick, but Khali chopped Ziggler to knock him back into the ring. Ziggler wrenched Khali’s leg across the top rope. Ziggler brought a chair into the ring and hit Khali in the leg. Khali punched the chair to block. Ziggler hit a Fameasser with Khali powering out as a kickout. Khali got out of a front facelock, Khali with a clothesline and a boot to the face. Kane made his entrance as his music played and Khali looked at Kane. Ziggler hit Khali with chairshots to the leg. Kane went into the ring and Ziggler left. Kane hit Khali with a chair to the back, chair to the head (Khali got a hand up to block) and Kane hit Khali with more chair shots to the body. Kane left, so Ziggler went into the ring and pinned Khali to win at 4:59.

Winner by pinfall: Dolph Ziggler

Analysis: 1/2* This sucked. It is probably Ziggler’s worst PPV singles match ever, but once again the presence of Khali is a reason for that. The booking of the match sucked too. Kane made the comeback to set up feud with Khali that led to a couple of PPV matches with Kane winning the feud.

There was a backstage scene with Vince McMahon talking to Teddy Long in the office. Vince said that he was a bit hard on Teddy last week when he said Teddy was on probation. Vince said Long was the longest-reigning GM in WWE history and he has accomplished…absolutely nothing. Vince mentioned Eric Bischoff, Paul Heyman, William Regal, even Mike Adamle and claimed they were all leaders while Teddy doesn’t bring much to the table. Vince said if he was in foxhole with Teddy, Vince would shoot for him. Vince mocked Teddy’s dance and said he doesn’t even have a sense of rhythm. Vince told Teddy he’s still on probation.

Carlito and Primo Colon were a brother tag team that were the Unified Tag Team Champions. They had the Raw and Smackdown Tag Team Titles that allowed them to defend against anybody on any brand. Ted Dibiase and Cody Rhodes entered as the opponents.

Teddy Long showed up on the stage saying this will now be a triple threat Tag Team Championship Match. That led to Edge making his entrance since Edge complained earlier about not being on the show. Chris Jericho entered as Edge’s partner in this title match.

Unified Tag Team Championships: Carlito & Primo vs. Cody Rhodes & Ted Dibiase vs. Chris Jericho & Edge

Pre-match notes: Carlito & Promo were the babyface champions, Rhodes & Dibiase were heels and Jericho & Edge were also heels.

Two wrestlers were legal in the ring while four guys were on the apron. The first fall wins the match.

Carlito with a flip off the top to avoid Dibiase and hit a clothesline. Primo tagged in with a double team move leading to a headbutt to the back. Jericho tagged himself in, Primo with a back body drop and Cody tagged himself in. Primo with a sweep kick leading to a leg drop for two. Carlito was back in with a dropkick on Dibiase for two. Dibiase and Cody worked over Primo for a bit including Cody hitting a back elbow. Primo was sent into the turnbuckle followed by Cody driving his knee into the back while pulling on the arms. Primo with a headbutt to the gut and a jawbreaker. Edge tagged himself in for a charge, Primo moved and Dibiase tagged Edge to become legal. Dibiase with a suplex on Primo followed by elbow drops. Primo got a rollup for two. Cody hit a dropkick on Primo for two leading to another chinlock. Primo was able to get a rollup for two and then Cody hit a clothesline for another two count. Cody applied a backbreaker submission on Primo across his back, so Edge saved Primo. Dibiase back in with a kick to Primo’s ribs. Primo with a back body drop on Dibiase to get free and Carlito got the tag with a somersault dive on Cody. Carlito with a running knee, a lefty clothesline and a springboard back elbow for two. Primo dropkicked Dibiase out of the ring. Jericho into the ring and he hit a Codebreaker on Primo. Cody into the steel post, Edge tagged himself in and Carlito hit a Backstabber on Cody, who was not legal. Carlito had no idea, so legal man Edge hit Carlito with a Spear to win the match at 9:37.

Winners by pinfall and NEW Unified Tag Team Champions: Chris Jericho & Edge

Analysis: ** It was just an average tag team match. It’s tough with three teams. The Jericho/Edge team was barely in the ring for the match, yet they found a way to get the win. The fans were dead for the whole match until Edge and Jericho got involved towards the end. Edge and Jericho were barely in the ring, but when Edge did that late tag it was enough to win this match.

Edge and Jericho celebrated with the titles. Edge was a 13th Tag Team Champion. They were Smackdown wrestlers.

Analysis: The team added to the match got the win because Edge and Jericho had a lot of star power as a team, so it would allow them both to be on Raw/Smackdown in theory. The plan was for Edge and Jericho to have a successful run as Tag Team Champions, but it didn’t last long because about a week after this, Edge suffered a Torn Achilles during a match. Edge had surgery and missed about seven months. It would set up Edge vs. Jericho as a feud leading to a feud at WrestleMania 26.

There was a backstage scene with Randy Orton telling Ted Dibiase and Cody Rhodes not to worry about what happened in the ring tonight. Orton said he didn’t care if they were champions because he needs them to help him. Dibiase complained about how Orton doesn’t give a damn about them. Dibiase said that Orton kicked him in the head and he let it go because he wanted to further his career. Dibiase wished Orton good luck to Triple H, Dibiase stormed off and Cody said he’d talk to him.

Analysis: There were issues building in the group although the split wasn’t happening soon. It was early 2010 when that happened. This was done to show that Orton was concerned about his match and felt like he needed help.

Melina made her entrance as the WWE Women’s Champion and got a nice ovation. Michelle McCool entered with Alicia Fox. There wasn’t much of a reaction for her.

Women’s Championship: Melina vs. Michelle McCool (w/Alicia Fox)

Pre-match notes: Melina was the babyface Women’s Champion while McCool was a heel. This was a Smackdown match. Melina was the champion for about five months.

Melina with a forearm, then McCool lifted Melina and Melina fought out of it. Melina with a clothesline. They did a spot by the ropes where Melina choked her by the ropes. McCool hit a dropkick to the left knee followed by McCool working over the left knee a bit with a knee drop. McCool kicked the back of Melina’s leg and wrenched on the leg. McCool wrenched on the leg against the ropes. McCool rammed Melina’s leg against the steel steps and then kicked the steps. McCool with a slam into a stomach breaker on the knee. McCool applied a kneebar submission taking advantage of Melina’s flexibility. McCool charged with a big boot, Melina moved and Melina went for a double knee attack, but McCool blocked it. Chop block by McCool. Melina with a kick to the head, McCool got a hold of Melina by the ropes and Melina with a headscissors. Melina with a jumping side kick for two. McCool hit a rising kick for two. McCool set up Melina on the turnbuckle, but Melina fought back with a hair pull slam into the mat for a two count with Fox putting McCool’s foot on the bottom rope. Melina dropkicked Fox to knock her down. Melina went for a move off the ropes, McCool powered out of it and hit a kick to the head for two. McCool hit the Faithbreaker (Styles Clash) for the pinfall win at 6:34.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW Women’s Champion: Michell McCool

Analysis: *1/2 They worked hard and had a decent match here, but the crowd didn’t care about it too much. They spent most of the match with McCool working over the left knee, but then McCool didn’t even go for submissions on the knee. Melina sold it well, though. Since it was five months into Melina’s reign, it felt like the right time for the title change.

Michelle McCool celebrated with the Women’s Title while the announcers mentioned she was the first woman to be a Divas Champion and a Women’s Champion.

There was a video about WWE superstars getting injured and telling us: “Please don’t try this.”

There was a video package for the World Heavyweight Championship between CM Punk and Jeff Hardy. Jeff won the World Heavyweight Title from Edge at Extreme Rules in a Ladder Match. The celebration was short-lived because Money in the Bank holder CM Punk cashed in right after the match. Punk hit Jeff with the GTS two times to become the World Heavyweight Champion, so Jeff’s title reign lasted only about one minute. Punk said he didn’t steal the World Title from Jeff. Jeff said you had the right to cash in, but you cashed in on the wrong guy. Jeff told Punk that he would take back the World Heavyweight Championship.

Analysis: I really liked this feud. Both guys were babyfaces that were popular for several years, but after Punk’s actions post Extreme Rules, he was clearly turning heel. It was just a matter of when he fully embraced it.

CM Punk entered first as the World Heavyweight Champion. The announcers pointed out that it was a bit of a mixed reaction. Jeff Hardy got a huge reaction because he was as popular as anybody in WWE at this point, even John Cena. The fans loved Hardy being pushed in a main event role and wanted to see him as the World Champion again. During the championship introductions, Jeff got huge cheers while Punk got a mixed reaction with some boos.

World Heavyweight Championship: CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy

Pre-match notes: CM Punk was the heelish World Heavyweight Champion that was a babyface prior to Money in the Bank cash-in and Jeff was the babyface challenger. This was a Smackdown match.

Loud “Hardy” chants to begin the match. Punk with a headlock, Jeff sent him into the ropes and Punk hit a shoulder tackle. Jeff came back with his own version of a side headlock for about a minute until Punk reversed it. Punk with a shoulder tackle again, Jeff countered a GTS and got a crucifix pin for two. Jeff sent a charging Punk over the top to the floor. Jeff jumped over the top onto a standing Punk on the floor. Jeff jumped off the steel steps for an attack on the floor, but Punk moved and Hardy hit the barricade. Punk was mad at referee Scott Armstrong for counting slow, but then Jeff got back in before the ten count. Punk grounded Hardy with a leg scissors around Jeff’s head. Punk let go, then applied the leg scissors again and Jeff got to the rope to force a break. Punk with a body slam. Punk jumped off the middle rope with a leg drop, Jeff moved and Punk hit the mat hard. Punk charged, Jeff moved and Jeff hit the Whisper in the Wind twisting body attack on Punk for a two count. Jeff with lefty clotheslines, a neckbreaker, atomic drop, double leg drop and a low dropkick for two. Jeff with a front suplex. Jeff went up top, so Punk rolled to the floor, but then Jeff hit a clothesline on Punk on the floor. Back in the ring, Jeff with a dropkick. Punk wanted a GTS, Jeff fought out of it, Punk hit a kick to the head, a running knee and a bulldog for two. Punk with kicks/punches, but then Jeff ducked an elbow and hit a Twist of Fate neckbreaker. Jeff went up top, he jumped off with a Swanton Bomb and Punk sat up, so that Jeff hit the mat. That was timed really well by both guys.

Punk signaled for the GTS, but Jeff got an inside cradle for a two count. Punk came back with a roundhouse kick to the head. Jeff fought out of a GTS again and hit another Twist of Fate. Jeff jumped off the top with the Swanton Bomb. Punk was near the ropes as Jeff covered for one…two…and three…but wait! Punk’s left foot was under the bottom rope, which referee Scott Armstrong noticed after the pin. They played Jeff’s music briefly, but then Scott told Jeff that it was not a pinfall.

Jeff argued with the referee while the crowd booed about it and chanted “Hardy” for Jeff. They went for big moves, Punk had Jeff up for a GTS, Jeff fought out with elbows and Punk was grabbing his left eye as if he couldn’t see anything. Referee Armstrong made Jeff stand back while the referee checked on Punk and then Punk got out of the corner and kicked the referee in the back! Punk was acting as if he didn’t know who he kicked. The referee called for the bell for the disqualification. The fans booed loudly.

Winner by disqualification: Jeff Hardy (CM Punk remains World Heavyweight Champion)

Analysis: *** Good match with a creative finish to continue the story with Punk as a guy that was slowly turning to the dark side. It was a finish that you don’t see very often, but I like what they came up with as a way to continue Punk’s slow turn on his way to being a heel and the fans were upset because they wanted Jeff to win and he came up short. I know people hated it at the time and booking a DQ finish is always going to piss people off. However, when you saw where it led in the story and how it helped Punk’s character develop, it made sense that they booked it this way.

Post match, Punk left with the World Heavyweight Title on his shoulder. Punk was holding his left eye. Jeff went after Punk in the aisle and punched Punk repeatedly. Jeff sent Punk into the ring. Jeff was punching Punk repeatedly the fans chanted for Jeff a lot and then referees showed up to hold Jeff back. Jeff took down Punk with a running clothesline. Punk was holding his left eye again. Punk escaped with the World Title while Jeff was frustrated in the ring. The fans booed Punk as he held up the World Title. Punk had a bit of a smirk on his face.

After some replays, Jeff was alone in the ring and he was visibly frustrated. The crowd cheered for Jeff. Jeff slowly left up the ramp to the back.

Analysis: The feud would continue from here with Punk embracing the heel role even more going into Night of Champions. That’s where Jeff won the World Heavyweight Title from Punk and then Punk won it back at SummerSlam in a TLC match. Both of those matches headlined those PPVs because it was the best feud in WWE at the time and probably the best feud of the year.

The Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long was in his office with Carlito and Primo showing up to complain about things. Long said that he made his decision and he’s done talking. Long told them to “get to steppin’” so they left.

Randy Orton was shown in his dressing room making a call on his phone. It looked like a Blackberry. Orton called Cody, who didn’t answer and Orton wanted him to call Randy back.

There was a block party outside the arena earlier in the day. The band Rev Theory sang Randy Orton’s theme song. Also, the band Adelitas Way was there too.

There was a video package setting up The Miz facing John Cena. Miz repeatedly challenged Cena, who really didn’t think Miz was deserving of it, but with no other feud gong on at the moment, Cena accepted the challenge.

The Miz barely got any reaction for his entrance. Miz wrestled in a shirt that said Cena with a red circle/line through it and his armband said Miz 8 – Cena 0. Heels lie. Huge reaction for John Cena making his entrance wit the usual mix of cheers and boos, but it sounded like mostly cheers.

John Cena vs. The Miz

Pre-match notes: John Cena was the face and The Miz was the heel.

Cena with a trip into an elbow drop. Cena took down Miz again followed by a stomp on the hand. Miz tried getting some offense going, but Cena got another takedown. Cena with a leapfrog followed by a hiptoss. Miz with a kick to the chest, Cena shook his head no and Cena chased Miz around the ring. Miz got some offense by pulling on the back of Cena’s neck against the top rope. Miz punched Cena a lot followed by a corner clothesline. Miz with a double axehandle off the ropes for two. Miz hit a suplex for two. Miz with a corner whip leading to a clothesline for two. Miz hit a sliding dropkick to send Cena out of the ring. Cena fought back with punches, two shoulder tackles, the spinning slam and Cena did his “you can’t see me” hand gesture to a big reaction leading to the Five Knuckle Shuffle first drop. Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment. Cena did not cover Miz. Instead, Cena applied the STF submission and Miz quickly tapped out to give Cena the win at 5:39.

Winner by submission: John Cena

Analysis: * A dominant win for Cena. It was a story about how Miz really wasn’t ready for Cena even though Miz thought he was capable of beating Cena. I’m actually a bit surprised that Miz got as much offense as he did. After Miz got that offense, Cena did his big comeback and that was it.

Cena celebrated the win with a confident look on his face and a salute for Miz in the ring.

Analysis: Cena was back in the WWE Title picture at the next PPV and he would remain in that spot for most of the rest of the year.

The video package aired for the WWE Championship between champion Randy Orton and Triple H. Orton was confident after he took out Triple H, Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon and he thought he was running the show. Triple H was out of action for about two months and then came back to kick Orton’s ass. Vince told Orton he had to defend the WWE Title against Triple H in a Three Stages of Hell Match.

Randy Orton first as the WWE Champion with the title over his shoulder. The announcers talked about how his Legacy were often with Orton, but they were not joining him at ringside. The reaction for Orton was not that loud for a heel WWE Champion. Triple H was up next as the challenger to a pretty good ovation. Hunter took his time as usual.

Three Stages of Hell for the WWE Championship: Randy Orton vs. Triple H

Pre-match notes: Randy Orton was the heel WWE Champion while Triple H was a face. They wrestled many times in their careers including WrestleMania 25 less than three months earlier than this.

The Three Stages of Hell were: Regular Match, Falls Count Anywhere and Stretcher Match, so here’s the first fall.

First Fall: Regular Match

Orton with a shoulder tackle. Hunter came back with a jumping knee strike along with a clothesline. Hunter charged to the corner with Orton hitting him with a boot to the head. Hunter came back with a move where he sent Orton into the ring post. Hunter suplexed Orton from the apron into the ring. Orton with a kick to the head, Hunter fought back and Orton hit Hunter in the left leg that was bandaged. Orton rammed Hunter’s left leg into the ring post. Orton stomped on the left leg followed by a knee drop onto the leg. Hunter shoved Orton away when Randy wanted an RKO and then Hunter hit a spinebuster. Orton with a modified backbreaker leading to Hunter bumping to the floor. Orton took his time to walk across the ring, then back towards Hunter and Hunter hit Orton in the head (or close to the head) with a steel chair. The referee Mike Chioda saw it, so it was a disqualification.

Winner of first fall: Randy Orton leading 1-0

Analysis: It was a blatant DQ by Hunter because he knew weapons were legal in the second fall, so that’s why he did it.

Second Fall: Falls Count Anywhere Match

Hunter hit Orton with another chair shot to the head and then chair shots to the body. The referee Mike Chioda tried to get Hunter to stop as Hunter hit Orton in the back of the head with the chair. Orton left the ring, Hunter followed and Hunter hit a Pedigree on the floor for the pinfall win.

Winner of second Fall: Triple H – Match was tied 1-1.

A stretcher was wheeled out to the ringside area. There was a yellow line that was taped to the top of the ramp, so to win the Stretcher Match you had to push the other guy on a stretcher and get past the yellow line.

Third Fall: Stretcher Match

Hunter tried to push Orton past the yellow line, but Orton got up and knocked him down. Orton with a chop block to the back of the left knee. Orton gave Hunter an atomic drop onto the top of the barricade. The wrestlers went brawling into the crowd with Orton in control early and then Hunter came back with punches. Hunter with a clothesline over the barricade to the floor. Orton whipped Hunter into the barricade wall. Orton with a belly to back suplex onto the steel part of the top of the barricade. They battled on the floor some more with Orton whipping Hunter into the barricade. Orton sent Hunter into the steel steps. Orton brought the steel steps into the ring, but Hunter outsmarted him and Orton hit the stairs. Hunter hit Orton wit the steel steps again. Hunter pushed Orton up the ramp towards the stretcher, but Orton kicked Hunter to stop him. They went rolling down the ramp and crash the stretcher with Orton freaking out about the fall. Orton was favoring his lower back. Orton hit a draping DDT off the stretcher on the bottom of the steel ramp. Orton tried to do The Punt, Hunter moved and Orton kicked the stretcher. Orton with a back body drop on the stretcher to counter a Pedigree attempt. Orton had Hunter on the stretcher with Orton wheeling it up the ramp, but Hunter got off the stretcher. Orton set up for an RKO, but Hunter countered it by shoving into the LED boards on the set. Hunter hit a Pedigree on the steel ramp. Hunter slowly managed to put Orton on the stretcher, but that’s when Cody Rhodes showed up to save Orton. Hunter managed to send Cody into the screens on the stage. Ted Dibiase showed up to attack Hunter as well. Dibiase and Rhodes beat up Hunter some more. They tried to put Hunter on the stretcher, then Hunter came back and those pressures will start to turn. Triple H reached under one of the grates on the stage and he grabbed a sledgehammer. Hunter took care of Cody and Ted with repeated sledgehammer shorts. Orton got back up, he kicked Hunter in the groin and hit Hunter in the head with a piece of metal grating that Hunter exposed earlier to get the sledgehammer. Hunter was laying across the stretcher, so Orton pulled Hunter over the line so that Orton retained the title. It went 21:23.

Winner of third fall: Randy Orton

Winner by pinfall: Randy Orton (2 to 1)

Analysis: **3/4 This was just an average match. The crowd didn’t care about a lot of it and I think it went too long. The cheap ending with the Legacy guys getting involved was predictable since Randy blatantly told them to do it in a backstage segment and we were used to seeing that sort of thing in this era. I think doing a stretcher match last wasn’t a big deal and just lacked excitement. Perhaps they felt like they didn’t want Hunter to take a pin since he was getting a title shot again at the next PPV, so that’s why he lost by DQ and then this cheap ending on the stretcher. Anyway, this wasn’t some epic championship match. Just an average match here.

Orton sold exhaustion after the win and he held up the WWE Title above his head. Triple H was back up Orton turned around and Hunter hit him with the sledgehammer (protected by a hand, but that’s okay). Hunter posed over a fallen Orton.

Triple H taunted Orton with a DX crotch chop while Orton was still down. They showed more replays. After several minutes of replays for some reason, Orton slowly got back up and posed with the WWE Championship.

Analysis: That would lead to yet another Orton/Triple H match this time at Night of Champions with John Cena as part of the match. As I said earlier, Cena was back in the WWE Title picture once again.

This event had a runtime of 2:54:31 on WWE Network.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Show rating (out of 10): 5.75

It wasn’t a major show and it was the last time that WWE used The Bash as a PPV name, but it was eventful with three title changes. The highlight of the show was clearly the Mysterio/Jericho match, which was one of the best matches of the year with a lot of fun moments and a hot crowd that was engaged in everything they did. The crowd was dead for some other matches, which is understandable in some cases, but they were so into the Rey/Jericho match. Other than that, CM Punk and Jeff Hardy a match with an interesting story that continued Punk’s slow heel turn while making the fans want Jeff to reclaim the World Title.

This event had one of the more disappointing Orton/Triple H matches that there has been. They should have had a better performance, but it just wasn’t a good showing by them. The Three Stages of Hell stipulation didn’t really help them at all, so having just a decent main event match was a disappointment.

Overall, I’d call it just an average PPV.

 

FIVE STARS

1. Rey Mysterio

2. Chris Jericho

3. CM Punk

4. Jeff Hardy

5. Randy Orton/Triple H

 

OPINIONS

Best Match: Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho (****1/2 out of 5)

Worst Match: Dolph Ziggler vs. The Great Khali (1/2*)

Most Memorable Moment: Chris Jericho taking Rey Mysterio’s mask off, then realizing Rey had another mask on and then Rey hit three moves to win the IC Title. Brilliant finish.

That’s all for me. Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Thanks for reading.

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John Canton

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