The Great American Bash is a pay-per-view name with a lot of history. The NWA/WCW version of the event goes back to 1985 when Dusty Rhodes created it and they used the name in WCW until 2000. In 2004, WWE decided to use the name as one of their monthly PPVs. It was Smackdown only for the first three years, then in 2007 and this show in 2008 it featured Raw, Smackdown and ECW. The following year in 2009, they simply called it The Bash as a PPV name.
The PG era of WWE began officially two days after this show when WWE issued a statement on July 22, 2008 that said: “WWE’s family programming has been deemed a PG television rating by their network distributors. World Wrestling Entertainment has been engaging families across all generations with their family programming for more than two decades, and will continue to do so for years to come with all the action on Raw, SmackDown and ECW.”
That meant that this PPV was the last one before WWE officially went PG again. A lot of fans don’t like the PG Era and think WWE’s product should be edgier, but they have been locked into this PG Era for 13 years now as I write this no end in sight.
The 2008 Great American Bash did very well on pay-per-view with 273,000 buys, which was the second-best GAB number WWE ever did. It was also better than most of the non-big four PPVs of that year.
This show followed Night of Champions 2008 and led to SummerSlam 2008.
Here is the synopsis on WWE Network:
“Triple H defends the WWE Championship against Edge. CM Punk puts the World Heavyweight Championship on the line against Batista. John Cena battles JBL in a NYC Parking Lot Brawl. Shawn Michaels faces Chris Jericho. Tommy Dreamer battles Mark Henry for the ECW Championship. Michelle McCool and Natalya meet to determine the first WWE Divas Champion.” 14+ (D,L,V)
The poster and DVD looked like this:
Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Let’s get to the show.
WWE The Great American Bash
From Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale (Long Island), New York
July 20, 2008
The opening video package hyped up the big matches on the show.
There was an impressive pyro display to start the show along with a lot of red, white and blue around. Jim Ross welcomed us to the show claiming it was sold out building in Long Island.
There was a Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Match to begin the show. Jim Ross and Mick Foley were the Smackdown commentary team on hand to call the first match.
WWE Tag Team Championships: John Morrison & The Miz vs. Finlay & Hornswoggle vs. Jesse & Festus vs. Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins
Pre-match notes: The heels were Morrison/Miz and Hawkins/Ryder. Jesse & Festus were a babyface team that loved biscuits and gravy. It said so in their song. Finlay & Hornswoggle were also babyfaces. They were father & son although that’s just in the storyline. Festus would be known as Luke Gallows for most of his career.
The bell rang and Festus was going crazy because it is what makes him go crazy, so the others left the ring. Hornswoggle was in the ring with Festus. Hornswoggle chose to hit a dive onto Miz/Morrison on the floor. Festus hit a leg drop on Miz. Festus worked over Miz with punches and a corner splash. Jesse with a monkey flip across the ring on Miz and a neckbreaker for two. Festus was back in with an uppercut punch. Finlay tagged himself in, Festus knocked Miz and Finlay down and Morrison tagged in going after Finlay with punches. Morrison worked over Finlay with an uppercut forearm. Miz grabbed a chinlock on Finlay leading to Miz hitting a legsweep. Morrison back in with a leap over the top onto Finlay with an elbow to the chest. Morrison with a neckbreaker, Finlay back in and Finlay punched him. Morrison back in again and Finlay bounced off the turnbuckle for a noggin knocker. Ryder tagged in with a suplex on Finlay. Hawkins tagged in for the first time only for Finlay getting a takedown and then Hawkins punched Finlay to take control. Ryder with a knee to Finlay, then a forearm and then Finlay hit a rolling senton on Ryder. Finlay used a shillelagh for two because Miz/Morrison broke it up, Ryder tried a pin on Finlay and Hornswoggle made the save. Finlay with a kick, Hornswoggle tagged in and did a headscissors, but then Jesse tagged in with a bulldog. Jesse with a Thesz Press and punches. Jesse with a cradle suplex into a neckbreaker. Hawkins knocked Hornswoggle off the apron. Festus back in with punches, a flatliner, a boot and a shoulder tackle. Festus with a jumping splash on Hawkins. Festus tossed Miz and Morrison into eachother to take them out. Jesse was legal, he went up top, Ryder pulled Festus out of the ring and Hawkins tripped up Jesse and pinned him so Hawkins/Ryder won the titles. It went 9:05.
Winners by pinfall AND NEW WWE Tag Team Champions: Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins
Analysis: **1/4 It was okay. It was chaotic at times and I didn’t like all of it, but some stuff like Festus being on offense was fun to watch. The finish was booked well to have Hawkins/Ryder win in a smart manner that made them look clever. This title change was a bit of a surprise since Hawkins/Ryder were considered rookies, but it was a way to elevate them a bit. Sorry to the six Jesse & Festus fans out there. They lost.
Hawkins and Ryder celebrated with the titles. They are from Long Island, so they got the hometown title win although since they were heels, it’s not like the fans cheered them.
United States Championship: Matt Hardy vs. Shelton Benjamin
Pre-match notes: Matt was the babyface United States Champion while Benjamin was the heel challenger.
Benjamin with a shoulder tackle, Matt got an inside cradle for two and Benjamin grabbed a chinlock. Matt with an armdrag into an armbar. Benjamin went for Paydirt, Matt went for Twist of Fate and after that was blocked, Matt hit a forearm to the face along with a back elbow. Benjamin tossed Matt over the top and a dropkick sent Matt off the apron to the floor. Benjamin whipped Matt into the ringpost, so Matt bumped to the floor. Back in the ring, Benjamin with a belly to back suplex and a backbreaker leading into a chinlock that looked very weak. The fans were chanting for both guys as Benjamin hit a backbreaker on Matt leading to an abdominal stretch on the mat. Matt picked up Benjamin and fell back into a Samoan Drop position for two. Matt countered a slam into a pin attempt for two. Benjamin with a boot to the face and a backbreaker leading into another headlock. Hardy broke free, but Matt came back with a spin kick to the head. Benjamin with a splash against the turnbuckle and when he tried again, Matt got his feet up to block. Matt with a corner clothesline followed by a bulldog for two. Matt with a body slam. Matt went to the middle rope and hit a leg drop off the middle rope for two. Matt jumped off the ropes, Benjamin caught him and hit a Buckle Bomb into the turnbuckle. They battled over pin attempts leading to Matt hitting a Side Effect slam for two. Benjamin shoved Matt into the turnbuckle, a forearm to the lower back and Matt knocked down Benjamin with two elbows. Matt went for a moonsault off the top, Benjamin got a knee up and Benjamin hit the Paydirt slam for the pinfall win at 9:33.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW United States Champion: Shelton Benjamin
Analysis: ***1/4 This was a good match with Benjamin picking up the clean win. Matt Hardy was in control for a lot of the match, he went for the moonsault and Benjamin got the knee up. After that, it was Paydirt time for Benjamin, which led to Shelton winning the US Title. Solid pro wrestling match around ten minutes here. They did a nice job.
The Raw announce team of Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler took over.
They showed an interview with World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk with Todd Grisham from Raw. Grisham mentioned that there are people that think Punk can’t beat Batista. Punk said that he was never supposed to make it and win titles. Punk said everybody said he was never going to do it. Punk said that you don’t have to be 6’6” 300 pounds and chiseled to win titles. Punk said he’s in the business of proving everybody wrong.
They showed Edge’s problems with Vickie Guerrero from Smackdown. I’ll summarize it later when we get to that WWE Title match.
The ECW brand was still around, so their lone match on the card was up next. The ECW announce team of Mike Adamle and Tazz were on commentary for this match.
ECW Championship: Mark Henry (w/Tony Atlas) vs. Tommy Dreamer (w/Colin Delaney)
Pre-match notes: Mark Henry was the heel ECW Champion while Dreamer was the babyface challenger. Henry won the ECW Title at the previous PPV, Night of Champions.
Henry tossed Dreamer across the ring two times followed by a lefty clothesline. Henry stood on Dreamer by the ropes. Henry with a headbutt followed by a chinlock. Henry took control with wristlock and it sounded like some “boring” chants. Dreamer fought back, ran the ropes and Henry hit another clothesline. Henry remained in control with a wristlock, Dreamer tried to fight back and Henry tossed him down by the head. Henry went for a splash, Dreamer moved, so Henry hit the mat and Dreamer hit a low dropkick. Dreamer with clotheslines, Henry shoved him into the turnbuckle and Dreamer came back with a neckbreaker for two. Dreamer hit a DDT. Atlas on the apron, Dreamer chased him, but Atlas went to the floor. Dreamer was about to jump off the middle rope, but then Delaney turned on him by pulling on the arm, so Dreamer bumped into the rope. Henry grabbed Dreamer and hit the World’s Strongest Slam for the pinfall win at 5:29.
Winner by pinfall: Mark Henry
Analysis: * A short match to put over Henry in dominant fashion. Dreamer got a bit of offense, but it’s not like anybody really thought he was going to win. They wanted to establish Henry as a strong champion, so Dreamer’s job was to put him over as best he could. The turn by Delaney was a surprising finish too.
The video package aired for Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels. They showed a clip from Raw saying that Michaels lied about a knee injury and when he finally admitted it, he hit Jericho with a superkick. Jericho attacked Michaels during his talk show segment, then Jericho said the classic line “the worst is yet to come” and Jericho whipped Michaels into the monitor (sometimes known as the Jeritron 3000) that was part of the set. At Night of Champions, Michaels distracted Jericho and Kofi Kingston became the Intercontinental Champion. Michaels was selling a right eye injury. Michaels reminded Jericho that whatever Jericho achieves, he will never be Michaels. That set up this match.
Chris Jericho made his entrance first to boos. Big pop for Shawn Michaels as usual. Michaels was a lot more serious and stoic going into this match.
Analysis: This was the best feud of 2008. As Jericho has said many times in his book and interviews, the storyline was not planned to go that long, but it went from being a one month story to carrying on for about seven months when it ended at No Mercy 2008. This match was part of the journey of their storyline.
Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels
Pre-match notes: Jericho was the heel and Michaels was the face.
Michaels with a hard chop followed by a forearm to the head. Jericho charged, Michaels with a boot to the face and Michaels with a chop block to the knee. Michaels went for a submission on the match that was like a Figure Four Leglock, but not the same and Jericho got to the bottom rope to break free. Jericho got some offense going with a hard whip into the turnbuckle with Michaels doing an upside down bump onto the apron. Jericho with a springboard dropkick that Michaels sold great as he went to the floor. Back in the ring, Jericho with a kick to the ribs and a belly to back suplex. Jericho pulled back on the arms of Michaels, Shawn broke free and Jericho hit an enziguri kick for two. Michaels with a body slam. Jericho jumped off the ropes, Michaels countered with an atomic drop and a running forearm. Michaels did the kip up while selling the ribs and Jericho countered Michaels into the Walls of Jericho submission with Michaels getting to the bottom rope. Jericho blocked a kick, then a forearm and punches against the turnbuckle. Michaels came back with a clothesline on a charging Jericho for a two count. Michaels up top, but Jericho hit the top rope to trip him up. Michaels kicked Jericho off the ropes and Michaels hit the patented top rope elbow. Michaels set up for the Superkick, Jericho’s buddy Lance Cade showed up, Michaels knocked him down, Jericho went for a Codebreaker, Michaels held the ropes and got a jackknife cover for two. Jericho countered into a pin for two. Michaels gave Jericho a hip toss over the top onto Cade on the floor. Michaels went up top and hit a moonsault onto Jericho/Cade on the floor. They tried to catch him, but a lot of Shawn’s body hit the floor. Jericho with a back elbow to the face, which led to Michaels getting busted open around the right eye. Now the match took a different story.
Jericho kicked Michaels in the face followed by Jericho getting a big smile on his face as he reacted to Shawn’s bloody face. Jericho punched Michaels around the right eye repeatedly while referee Marty Elias checked on Michaels. Jericho kicked Michaels in the right eye while Cade got in a cheap kick to the right eye as well. Jericho headbutted Michaels around the right eye. Michaels got a takedown into a Crossface submission, but Jericho got out of that with Jericho sending Michaels face first into the middle rope. The referee kept Jericho back so he could check on Shawn’s condition. Jericho punched Michaels repeatedly around the right eye. Jericho worked over Michaels with more punches. Michaels was a bloody mess with the blood all over his face, it was going on his chest and it was messing up the ring too. Jericho worked over Michaels with repeated punches to the right side of the head, so the referee forcefully tackled Jericho to get him off. The referee Marty Elias called for the bell. Michaels was announced as being unable to continue, so Jericho won the match at 18:19.
Winner by technical knockout: Chris Jericho
Analysis: ***3/4 It was a different kind of match between these two guys that wrestled many times in their legendary careers. It’s not their best match by far, but it furthered their story with Jericho taking advantage of an injured Michaels, who didn’t want to quit, but he was forced to because of how much blood he was losing. This definitely had an MMA feel to it with Michaels getting cut open, the referee asking if he wanted to stop, Michaels kept fighting and Jericho kept attacking until the referee felt like he had to stop the match. It was heavy on advancing the storyline and that story would continue for another three months.
Michaels was shown getting checked on by WWE’s doctors. They were the actual doctors instead of just indy wrestlers in that role. Jericho posed on the stage with Cade. The announcers used SERIOUS VOICES~! to talk about Shawn’s eye injury while Shawn was slowly helped out of the ring. The fans cheered for Michaels as he got out of the ring, which had a lot of blood stains on it. They showed some concerned fans watching as well.
Analysis: Michaels was incredible in this storyline and the way he sold that is just another example of that.
Edge was interviewed in his locker room with Jim Ross talking to him. JR asked Edge how he feels. Edge said that Triple H crossed lines and boundaries that you just don’t do in this business. Edge wondered what kind of pervert puts a camera in another man’s hotel room. Edge claimed that Triple H took away his personal life, so he only has a professional life left. Edge said what Hunter did was make him desperate and that means that Edge is even more dangerous. Edge said that he is going to ruin Triple H’s life by taking the WWE Championship.
Analysis: A simple promo here. Edge was always a very good talker throughout his career.
Next up was the match to crown the first Divas Champion. It was another name for a Women’s Title on Smackdown since Raw had the Women’s Title at this point.
Divas Championship: Michelle McCool vs. Natalya
Pre-match notes: McCool was the face and Natalya was the heel. Natalya was with red hair at this point in her early WWE run. McCool had been in WWE for a few years at this point.
There was a new mat in the ring since there was so much blood spilled in the ring. McCool hit a low dropkick early on. McCool with forearms, then a kick to the chest. Natalya used her power to send McCool into the top rope. Natalya applied a surfboard submission on McCool, which led to a reaction from the crowd. McCool was able to get out of it and went for a heel hook submission, but Natalya got to the ropes. Natalya with a knee lift. Natalya stretched McCool’s body against the ring post. Natalya applied a Sharpshooter for about 20 seconds with McCool getting to the bottom rope to break the hold. Natalya went for a Sharpshooter again, but McCool got a hold of the left leg in a heel hook submission. Natalya tried to fight it and then she ended up tapping out to lose.
Winner by submission AND NEW Smackdown Women’s Champion: Michelle McCool
Analysis: *1/2 It would have been nice to see them get more time in what was the first-ever Divas Title match, but sadly WWE didn’t give their women’s wrestlers a lot of time in this era. McCool got the win because she had more experience in WWE and she was the babyface. I don’t think a win for Natalya would have been bad, but I understand wanting to put it on a face as the initial champion. I don’t recall McCool using that submission move very often after this. The fans weren’t into the match that much, though.
Michelle McCool celebrated with the Divas Championship with Eve Torres and Cherry joining Michelle in the ring.
Chris Jericho walked out onto the stage to tell the fans to save their ticket stubs because it was the night where Shawn Michaels wrestled his last match. Jericho said that Michaels has a “detached retina” so Shawn’s career is over. Jericho said that it shows the good guys do win and the wicked are punished. Jericho said for Shawn, “the worst has finally come.” That ended it. Jericho still had blood on him from his match.
Analysis: More heel heat for Jericho since he bragged about hurting Michaels.
There was a video package for CM Punk defending the World Heavyweight Championship against Batista. It started with CM Punk winning Money in the Bank at WrestleMania 24 earlier in the year. Three months later, Punk cashed in the MITB contract on Edge after Batista beat Edge up, so Punk was the new World Heavyweight Champion. Punk thanked Batista for the assist. Batista made it known that he wanted to be champion again. The story was about how Batista was an established champion (he was a main eventer for three years at this point) while Punk just won the title, so people didn’t really believe in Punk as a champion yet.
CM Punk made his entrance as the World Heavyweight Champion. Punk got a pretty good reaction, but not that big. Punk was still a star on the rise although he was definitely a babyface. Batista also got a pretty good reaction as a babyface that the fans liked a lot. They were both drafted to Raw on June 23 and Punk won the World Title a week later on June 30 because of Batista’s attack on Edge. Lilian Garcia did the championship introductions. I think Batista got a bigger ovation.
World Heavyweight Championship: CM Punk vs. Batista
Pre-match notes: CM Punk was the babyface World Heavyweight Champion while Batista was also a face. This was a Raw match.
Punk tried a waistlock, so Batista decked him with a back elbow. Punk with multiple kicks to the legs, then forearms to the head and Batista went for a powerslam, but Punk got out of that. Batista with another elbow smash leading to a running kick to the head for two. Batista drove Punk into the turnbuckle and then Punk came back with an enziguri that sent Batista out of the ring. Punk with a running dropkick that sent Batista into the barricade. Punk hit a suicide dive on Batista with Punk looking like he nearly jumped too far. Back in the ring, Punk got a two count and hit a dropkick to the back of the neck. Batista with a hard whip into the turnbuckle. Batista sent Punk into the turnbuckle again leading to a suplex. Batista hit Punk with a forearm to the back two times in a row. Punk came back with a forearm followed by a jumping kick that sent Batista out of the ring. Nice bump by Batista there. Punk hit a cross body block off the top for a two count. Punk charged, Batista caught him and Batista hit a powerslam. Batista went for a Batista Bomb, Punk grabbed the rope and Punk came back with two kicks to the head. Punk with a running knee, Batista shoved Punk away and Punk hit a roundhouse kick to the head for a two count. Batista with a corner clothesline two times in a row. Punk got a hold of Batista’s arm and used the ropes to pull on it. Punk with a springboard clothesline off the top for two. Batista countered a submission move into a pin attempt for two. Batista blocked a kick, Punk with strikes and Batista bounced off the ropes for a clothesline. Batista sent Punk back first into the turnbuckle, then shoulder tackles and referee Mike Chioda made him move back. Batista charged, Punk moved and Batista went shoulder first into the ring post. Punk jumped onto Batista, who delivered a spinebuster on the floor. Batista rolled Punk into the ring. Kane went after Batista, he sent Batista into the ring post and a boot to the face for the DQ at 11:10.
Match Result: Double Disqualification (CM Punk retains World Heavyweight Championship)
Analysis: *** A solid match that was given time and had a unique finish because you don’t see Double DQ endings that often in PPV title matches. Punk only won the title one month earlier, so it made sense for him to keep his title reign going. The Kane attack was based off some stuff that happened on Raw. It was way to book an out in a match without having Batista get beat and without having Punk lose the title.
Post match, Kane gave Punk a huge Chokeslam in the ring. Kane was carrying around a mysterious bag with him. Kane stood by the ring, then he turned around and kicked a camera guy in the head. The camera guy was clearly a plant.
Analysis: It’s hard to remember or keep track of all of Kane’s random attacks. They used this one to lead to a DQ finish.
It was announced as a double disqualification with CM Punk retaining the World Heavyweight Title. Punk celebrated with the title, Batista kicked Punk in the ribs and Batista hit a huge Batista Bomb to cheers from the crowd. Batista’s music played to put an end to this.
Analysis: This was a way to make Batista look strong at the end of this even though he didn’t win the World Title. By the time they got to SummerSlam, Punk was feuding with JBL and Batista faced John Cena.
The New York City Parking Lot Brawl was next with John Cena facing John Bradshaw Layfield. It was a renewal of their feud from three years earlier. The feud wasn’t that great, but there was a memorable scene when Cena and the Cryme Tyme tag team of JTG & Shad Gaspard (Rest in Peace to a great man) destroyed the limo. They also had a scene in a parking lot where it looked like JBL drove a car into Cena, but when JBL got out of the car, Cena was gone, so he wasn’t hit by the car. That led to this brawl being set up.
New York City Parking Lot Brawl: John Cena vs. John Bradshaw Layfield
Pre-match notes: John Cena was the babyface while JBL was the heel. Some of this match was pre-taped in a parking lot part of the arena.
JBL was introduced first in a limo and he had a crowbar with him. JBL was dressed in a suit for this brawl as they were in a parking lot that had about ten cars surrounding where the fight was supposed to take place. Cena drove a car into where JBL was on top of another car. Cena choked JBL with some cables. Cena slammed a car hood onto JBL’s back. Cena put the jumper cables around the groin of JBL and hit the battery with the other end. Ouch. That gave me Kane/Shane McMahon flashbacks, but the Kane/Shane version was more memorable. JBL got out of the way when Cena threw some kind of barrel at him and it broke the windshield. Cena rammed JBL’s head into the car horn repeatedly. A car door was opened up, so JBL whipped Cena back first into it. That sounded and looked painful. JBL slammed Cena into the hood of a car. JBL gave Cena a neckbreaker on the hood of a car leading to a two count on the car. JBL tossed Cena back first onto a windshield. Good thing for Cena is that he was wearing a t-shirt. They went on top of the car with JBL hitting a DDT on the top of the car. JBL covered on the cement for a two count. JBL sent Cena into a car window times and the second time broke the window. JBL tossed Cena in the back of a car so he was laying in the back seat. JBL got a gas cannister from the back of his limo and then the limo left. JBL poured the gas all over the silver car that Cena was laying in. JBL got a lighter and tossed it onto the car, so the car was on fire. The referee John Cone was screaming that there was a fire and then some guys showed up with fire extinguishers to spray the fire. Cena managed to get out of the back of the car without anything happening to him. Cena whipped JBL into a car windshield three times. It did not break. Cena tossed JBL into the front seat of a car. Cena drove a forklift so that the bottom part of it pierced into the Ford car that JBL was in. Cena picked up the car (with JBL in it) and drove it toward the arena wit the fans cheering.
Cena posed on the car for the fans as the announcers finally spoke since they were silent during the brawl. They went brawling onto the stage as they exchanged punches. Cena gave JBL a spinning sitout slam on the stage. Cena did the “you can’t see me” hand gesture and a fist drop while on the stage. Cena lifted up JBL on the stage and Cena looked over to the car that was nearby. JBL slipped out of the FU attempt and tossed Cena off the stop onto the windshield with Cena breaking the windshield. Bradshaw pinned Cena on the car windshield at 14:36.
Winner by pinfall: John Bradshaw Layfield
Analysis: **1/4 It’s a tough match to rate because there were two different parts to it with most of it in an empty parking lot and then it ended in the arena. Cena lost because he was going for the FU on the stage, but JBL was able to escape Cena’s clutches and tossed Cena over the edge of the stage onto Cena in the crowd. I think WWE’s decision makers felt like JBL needed a win since he was next up against CM Punk at SummerSlam, but it’s not like this was a clean win.
After the match, Cena was selling the attack on the windshield while JBL was selling as if he was injured on the floor. Cena had a nasty gash on his left elbow because that’s what landed first when he was tossed onto the windshield. Bradshaw was helped by referees. JBL was announced as the winner of this match, which led to boos. Cena sold the attack some more and then his music played to make the fans happy.
The fans were asked who they sympathize with more: Edge with 55% and Vickie Guerrero with 45%.
The video package aired for the WWE Championship match between Triple H and Edge. They showed a video of Edge getting married to Vickie Guerrero, so the reception/celebration was on Smackdown. Triple H showed up with a clip of Edge talking to the wedding planner (Alicia Fox), which led to Edge flirting with her and Edge was shown kissing Alicia passionately on the lips for several seconds. It was a makeout session, basically. That was shown on the screen, so Edge, Vickie and everybody watching saw it while Triple H laughed about it. Vickie freaked out on Edge, who she was married to. Edge left alone.
Analysis: Edge was already a despicable heel in a lot of ways, so it made him look even worse since he kissed the wedding planner days before his wedding to Vickie. The entire story of Edge’s relationship with Vickie is that Edge was using Vickie the whole time.
Triple H was shown walking backstage with Eve asking him if he had any regrets over what he did to Edge. Hunter asked if he looked like a guy that regrets anything and he left.
Edge made his entrance looking serious. Edge had no facial hair at this point while having the longer hair as usual. Triple H got a good ovation for his entrance as the babyface WWE Champion that was a 12-time WWE/World Champion at this point. JR noted that Edge and Triple H had won a combined total of 43 championships between them. Edge and Triple H stood in the ring for the championship introductions from Justin Roberts as the fans cheered Triple H quite a bit.
WWE Championship: Triple H vs. Edge
Pre-match notes: Triple H was the babyface WWE Champion while Edge was a heel. Hunter was the champion since April’s Backlash 2008 PPV, so it was about three months into his title reign. Hunter was part of Raw at that point and he was moved to Smackdown in the draft lottery.
Edge went after Hunter with punches. Hunter avoided a charging Edge and sent him over the top to the floor. Hunter whipped Edge into the barricade at ringside. Hunter drove Edge’s neck against the top rope and then Hunter pulled back on Edge’s neck against the rope. Hunter with knee drops to the neck. Hunter sent Edge into the turnbuckle with Edge hitting a sternum bump followed by Hunter hitting a clothesline to the back. Hunter sent Edge into the turnbuckle. Hunter charged at Edge on the floor, but Edge was ready and sent Hunter ribs first into the barricade. Edge with a running shoulder tackle against the turnbuckle. Edge with a kick to the ribs. Edge whipped Hunter into the turnbuckle followed by a forearm to the chest. They left the ring with Edge whipping Hunter into the steel steps. Edge sent Hunter into the side of the ring apron and the hood of the announce table leading to a two count. Edge with a body scissors around the ribs, so Hunter punched his way out of that. They got back up with Edge hitting a dropkick for two. Hunter was on the apron, Edge went for a running attack, but Hunter moved and Edge bumped to the floor.
They were back in the ring with Hunter connecting with punches and a clothesline. Hunter hit the facebuster into the knee leading to Edge bumping to the floor. Hunter whipped Edge into the ring post. They battled on the floor, Edge hit a kick to the gut and Edge hit an Edgecution DDT on the floor. Edge rolled Hunter into the ring for a two count. Edge jumped off the ropes, Hunter caught him and hit a catapult into the turnbuckle. Hunter hit a DDT for two. Hunter went for a Pedigree, Edge avoided it and Edge hit a sitout neckbreaker for two. Edge went for a Spear, Hunter avoided it and got a rollup for two. Edge came back with a boot to the face. Edge wanted the Spear again, Edge charged and Hunter hit a spinebuster. Hunter wanted a Pedigree, but Edge shoved him back first into the turnbuckle. Edge hit a superplex off the middle rope. That led to Alicia Fox to run out to the ring. Fox slide the WWE Title towards Edge, but then Vickie Guerrero walked out there to cheers (rare for her) and Vickie hit Fox with a clothesline. Vickie took the WWE Title. Vickie shoved the referee and then Fox went into the ring, so Vickie/Alicia got into a catfight. Edge charged, Fox moved along with the referee and Edge hit a Spear on Vickie. Hunter was back up, kick to the gut and a Pedigree for the pinfall win at 16:48.
Winner by pinfall: Triple H
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a good match, but nothing special here from two guys with a lot of main event matches that were much better than this. I think there was a lack of chemistry a bit and then when it got going, things improved. It just never reached that next level of greatness. The biggest reaction of the match was Edge hitting Vickie with a Spear by accident and it was smart to go right into the finish. I think Triple H and Edge are two of the best heels in WWE history. They just don’t have a great singles match against eachother, but at least one was their first time in a PPV main event singles match together.
Triple H celebrated with the WWE Title while Edge was down. Vickie was also down holding her ribs. They replayed the key spots at the end of the match. The announcers didn’t know who Edge wanted to Spear. Triple H capitalized on the situation to win.
Triple H continued to celebrate with the WWE Title while Chavo Guerrero checked on aunt Vickie. Edge was out of the ring. Triple H posed some more on the stage. That was the end of the show.
This event had a runtime of 2:42:16 on WWE Network.
Show rating (out of 10): 6
I think this was just an average show that I most remember for Shawn Michaels bleeding a lot against Chris Jericho in what is the last WWE PPV before the company went PG two days after this. Any time Jericho wrestled Michaels on a show, they usually had the best match and that’s what happened here. The Triple H/Edge main event was just okay for a WWE Title match with a bit of a cheap ending. Edge hitting Vickie Guerrero with a Spear (by accident) to set up Triple H’s Pedigree drew one of the loudest pops of the night.
Shelton Benjamin beating Matt Hardy was a very fun 10-minute match. The only other good match on the show was CM Punk wrestling Batista to a double DQ finish due to Kane beating up both guys. Lame finish to a solid match. JBL beating John Cena in a PPV match was very rare, but they were trying to build JBL as Punk’s next title challenger, so that’s why he got the win in the brawl that ended on a car windshield. Some of the other stuff was just boring unless you’re a Jesse & Festus superfan! They did not win the Tag Team Titles, but they did have biscuits and gravy. That’s for sure.
It’s not like anything was that bad overall, but the word average comes to mind again. There are still four matches at the three-star level and above, so it’s good enough to get a 6 out of 10 from me.
- Chris Jericho
- Shawn Michaels
- Triple H
- CM Punk/Batista
Best Match: Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels (***3/4 out of 5)
Worst Match: Mark Henry vs. Tommy Dreamer (*)
Most Memorable Moment: Edge hitting Vickie Guerrero with a Spear by accident leading to Triple H hitting a Pedigree to win.
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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