Steve-a-mania Reviews: The Great American Bash 2004
Posted by Steven Reynolds on 06.26.2011
JBL and Eddie Guerrero have another great match in an otherwise uneventful return of a WCW tradition.
Great American Bash 2004 is the return of a WCW tradition in a WWE setting. A Smackdown PPV that main talking points were the re-match from Judgement Day between JBL and Eddie Guerrero in a Texas Bull Rope match. As well as the Concrete Crypt match between Undertaker and The Dudley Boyz.
Venue: Norfolk Scope
Commentators: Michael Cole and Tazz
-John Cena is out to kick off the show with a rap. He name drops his 3 opponents with insults to go along with it. As well as a mention of Kurt Angle beating off two dudes.
John Cena vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Rene Dupree vs. Booker T- WWE United States Title
The faces take it to the heels early on. On the outside after disposing of RVD, Booker T shows reluctance of getting back in the ring, instead watching from ringside. Dupree and Cena in the ring unleashing their bland offence on each other, in a battle of the bland. Keeping the focus off of him, Booker throws RVD in the ring. John Cena now waits on the outside looking on, kind of a heel move from the biggest face in the match. Booker is in and is surprised with a quick roll up by Cena, but kicks out. Dupree has the momentum on his side and hits a power slam on Booker, then starts doing the French Tickler dance as Tazz sings a long “I’m a French man”. Too much dancing gave Booker recovery time and he hits a spine buster. RVD hits a frog splash on Rene Dupree. Back to the top rope, RVD leaps in the air and hits the frog splash on Booker T! first elimination feels close for RVD, closer than he thinks as John Cena rolls him up for the 3. Dupree and Booker argue amongst themselves of who gets to pin Cena after a Scissors Kick by Booker. The two arguing with each other gives Cena the time to recover and hits them both with clotheslines. John Cena hits the F-U on Rene Dupree, before he can think about a cover is met by a kick in the mid section and a scissors kick. Booker then opts to cover the least threatening of the two, Rene Dupree. And he is out of there! Booker tries to wear Cena down with a chin lock. John Cena puts up a fight escaping, he hits Booker with a powerful clothesline and a side slam. The come back is stalled when Booker super kicks Cena and sets up the scissor kick, victory is close. Cena moves out of the way though and hits an F-U! 1...2...3. 15:52 The booking of the match was questionable with having the most exciting performer out first. It came across as more of a series of singles matches than a fatal four way elimination. RVD did provide some energy, but when he was gone so was the energy.
Winner: John Cena retains the United States Championship Rating: **¼
-John Cena is walking backstage when he is congratulated on his win by unbooked Charlie Haas in wrestling gear. Cena walks over and starts to hit on Jackie Gayda, then leaves. Kurt Angle then rolls through in a wheel chair. Kurt Angle says he cannot believe how far Charlie has fallen, and that he will face off next against his new protégé Luther Reigns.
-Sable is in a hot tub and she is ready to conduct an interview with…her self. She says that people may think Torrie is an all American girl but nobody looks better in the red, white and blue than she does.
Charlie Haas vs. Luther Reigns
Charlie Haas tries to compensate in his lack of size by mat wrestling Luther Reigns, but is unsuccessful in his efforts. Luther’s size is too much, Luther reverses an Irish Whip attempt in the corner and follows it up with a Gorilla Press Slam. Charlie goes for a quick roll up but Luther kicks out and follows it up with a clothesline. Charlie finds his way into the match but is short lived as Luther moves out of Charlie charging at him in the corner, sending Charlie into the ring post. Leaving him dazed and confused, Luther hits the Reign of Terror for 3. 7:11 Dull match. The aim to have Luther Reigns come off as devastating didn’t entirely work with him being so bland and prone to mistakes in this match.
Winner: Luther Reigns Rating: ¾*
-JBL addresses the crowd saying that unlike Judgement Day there will be No Disqualifications in this match. He then says that this match is his rules and his match.
Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero- WWE Cruiserweight Title
They start off with some quick exchanges, Mysterio tries to catch Chavo off guard with a series of roll ups. Chavo launches Mysterio out onto the ring apron, followed up by a springboard drop kick knocking Mysterio to the floor. Chavo starts to work on the leg with some angry stomps and using the ring post for assistance. Mysterio tries to fend off the attack but Chavo is relentless in attacking the knee. Mysterio is put in the tree of woe in the corner. Chavo charges at him but Mysterio sits up in time to send Chavo bicep first into the ring post. Mysterio on a dodgy knee tries to fend off Chavo again with rights and lefts. Finding an opening with an enzuguri forcing Chavo into the ropes. Mysterio hits a 619 and follows up with a West Coast Pop but gets caught. Chavo locks in a single leg Boston Crab. After a great show of resilience Mysterio reaches the ropes. Chavo pulls him to his feet and picks him up for the Gory bomb. Mysterio reverses it into a roll up for the win! 19:40 A really good competitive match,. What it lacked in the high flying moves it more than made up for in the psychology and selling (despite a little hiccup mid way through). The only negative thing is they didn’t go further with the bicep injury, but it was still a great match.
Winner: Rey Mysterio retains WWE Cruiserweight Title Rating: ***¾
-Torrie is in the hot tub with Billy Kidman, Funaki and Spike Dudley. They argue amongst themselves that they would have beaten Mysterio. Torrie standing up in the hot tub averts their attention away from the argument.
Kenzo Suzuki vs. Billy Gunn
Kenzo starts off with a karate stance, Billy mockingly does a stance of his own. Back and forth in the early going with neither being able to gain a distinct advantage, Kenzo gains control of the match after an STO. He locks in the nerve hold (Wrestlemania 10 flash back) Tazz slowly pronouncing the names of Kenzo Suzuki and Hiroko has been the most interesting thing so far. Billy shows spurts of a comeback but Kenzo thwarts any attempt with a lot of rest holds. Billy gets back into the match after a power slam and signals for a Fame Asser. The referee is distracted in the corner which allows Kenzo to hit the low blow and the inverted headlock backbreaker for the win. 8:06 A nothing match. Billy Gunn didn’t really look into it and was just going through the motions.
Winner: Kenzo Suzuki Rating: *
-Paul Heyman is backstage with Paul Bearer. He says that people may think that he is bluffing but that he will have no issue in what he is prepared to do.
Sable vs. Torrie Wilson
-Michael Cole and Tazz comment that we may have had wrestlers like Arn Anderson and Dean Malenko compete at previous Great American Bash events. But that’s nothing compared to this.
Sable takes control in the early going with a series of unconvincing forearms and kicks. She locks in a seemingly ever lasting cross arm sleeper hold. After they knock heads awkwardly the referee checks up on her. She was playing possum all along and rolls up Torrie for the win. 6:06 Awful match, there are no positives that came out of this.
Winner: Sable Rating: DUD
- Dawn Marie is backstage (not in the hot tub) she is interviewing Rene Dupree. Dupree says that he was cheated in the match earlier, but he also says he is French…So he is going to protest. He then asks Dawn if she wants to see his French Tickler, he is nudged by FBI. Nunzio says to Dawn to take a look at his 15 inches. He puts up his foot and says “you know what they say about big feet” Dawn finally twigs on to what he is saying. She leaves with Nunzio, no love for Dupree.
Hardcore Holly vs. Mordecai
They go straight at it as they exchange rights and lefts with each other. Mordecai is able to gain control on the outside when he throws Hardcore Holly into his sword. Mordecai is able to maintain control with head locks. Mordecai runs at Hardcore Holly, he launches Mordecai into the ropes. He bounces back and they bang heads awkwardly. Hardcore Holly goes on the offence, looking pretty pissed. He sets up the Alabama Slam, Mordecai escapes and hits the Crucifix Bomb for 3. 6:31 Another Mid card filler match that didn’t mean anything. It did have more energy than the previous mid card filler matches though.
Winner: Mordecai Rating: *¼
Eddie Guerrero vs. JBL- Texas Bull Rope match for the WWE Championship
Eddie Guerrero is hooked on the other end of the rope, early on he goes for the knees with a drop kick. JBL shifts the momentum with a vicious big boot and shot with the cow bell. JBL throws Eddie across the announce table, he approaches Eddie and is met with a vicious chair shot. Shades of Judgement Day, JBL is busted open (Not as bad as Eddie was the month before though, brutal). In the ring Eddie manages to touch three of the corners. JBL goes down and clings to the middle rope. JBL pulls the ropes, Eddie slides under JBL’s legs. To his feet pulls the rope giving his groin some serious rope burn. Eddie hits a frog splash and touches a corner, JBL drops out of the ring. Eddie tries to pull JBL into the ring, he grabs his hair pulling him up but gets clocked with the cow bell. JBL ties the rope around his neck, from the apron throws him on the table, the table doesn’t break. JBL forces a table break when he hits the power bomb. A tug of war commences between the two, Eddie eventually winning as he knocks him on the top of the head with the cow bell. They both go along touching the two corners, one after each other. Eddie clotheslines JBL into the third corner, both lights go on. Eddie then dives for the fourth corner forcing JBL into the corner as he slams down for the fourth! Eddie thinks he has retained, but ever the party crasher. Kurt Angle comes out and we take a look at the footage and he states it was clear that JBL touched it last. Eddie drops to his knees clinging onto the title, he buries his head into it. 21:06 This match needed to be even more of a hard hitting and intense match than last month’s encounter. It certainly delivered as that. The touching of the corners stalled the momentum at times, but it was rectified by the suspenseful and swerve of a finish.
Winner: JBL becomes the new WWE Champion Rating: ****
Undertaker vs. Dudley Boyz
Paul Heyman gets on the microphone and gives a demonstration on what will happen if Undertaker doesn’t do the right thing. He pulls the lever as the cement pours into the crypt that Paul Bearer is sitting in. In the ring Bubba yells at Undertaker to go ahead and do the right thing. Undertaker does eventually lay down, Bubba stands over Undertaker and Undertaker grabs him by the throat. Heyman gets on the microphone though and says that isn’t doing the right thing. Dudleyz then unload on Undertaker with some rights and lefts. Undertaker gains momentum on the outside by throwing Bubba into the barricade. Undertaker goes for old school, Heyman begins screaming “Bad Dog” at him. Allowing Dudleyz to double team him again. He is able to battle back again, and makes his way up the ramp. Heyman though gives him a stern warning as Dudleyz attack him from behind. Dudleyz are able to use the fresh man formula now with the quick tags. Undertaker yet again is able to fight them both off, Undertaker has D-Von on his shoulders. He escapes though and hits a low blow. Undertaker sits up and stares at Paul Heyman, he then gives Bubba a choke slam and hit’s the tombstone on D-Von for 3. Paul Heyman goes to the cement truck but a lightning bolt strikes it. Probably should have done that earlier Taker. Paul Heyman backs away in fear, Undertaker does the pose to Paul Bearer. He then gets up and says he has no choice and he pulls the lever, the crypt fills up with cement. 14:42 It came across as more of an angle than an actual match. The in ring action and message of the match was pretty good though. But, an unimpressive way to end a PPV.
Winner: Undertaker Rating: *½
The 411: I appreciated the theme of freedom they were going for throughout the PPV. But it just wasn’t properly executed, with there only being 2 good matches on the card and the rest being filler or more of an angle. Rey vs. Chavo is on the Rey Mysterio collection anyway, so it's not worth going out of your way to see this. It’s not the best way to get the rejuvenation of a classic WCW PPV on the right path.