July 26, 2006
Matt Peddycord

WWE The Great American Bash 2006
July 23, 2006
Indianapolis, IN
Conseco Fieldhouse

This card has taken a huge wallop in the last week with Lashley and Khali both having liver problems. Batista/Henry was redeemed quite nicely thanks to Mr. Kennedy. Can WWE still pull out a great show out of what was been widely considered as the worst PPV since its return in 2004? Let’s find out!

Your hosts are Michael Cole & JBL!

WWE Tag Team Champions Paul London & Brian Kendrick vs. The Pitbulls

This should be good. I can only imagine what this would be like in a ROH crowd. Kash and London start off rolling around in a tie-up with Kash gaining an advantage by hitting a shoulderblock off the ropes. JBL puts tag-team wrestling over by calling it a “special art’, but then brings up the fact that he completely understands that by teaming with Faarooq. Kash gets shoved off into the ropes off a headlock and puts London down again with a shoulderblock. London lands on his feet off a hiptoss and dropkicks Kash to the corner. London flips out of the corner and lands on the apron and then headscissors his way back in the ring. Kendrick tags in for a Rocket Launcher to Kash for 1, 2, NO! Kendrick hits a pair of armdrags and works the arm. Kash fights back with headbutts and tags in Noble. Noble takes Kendrick to the corner and chops him real good one time, but then Kendrick falls back off a tilt-a-whirl for a near-fall. London and Kendrick make frequent tags in-and-out working on Noble’s arm. Noble counters by pulling London face-first into the middle turnbuckle. London gets a blind tag into Kendrick and they clean house on the Pitbulls. STEREO SUICIDE DIVES! Nice. Back in, Kendrick goes up top but gets slammed off by the Pitbulls. Noble delivers a series of stiff kicks to the back of Kendrick before tagging out to Kash. After a double-shoulderblock, Kash covers for 1, 2, NO! Kash works on Kendrick’s spine with a knee driven into his back. Kendrick fights out with elbows and then a headscissors out of the corner. Noble tags in and misses a charge at Kendrick, allowing him to make the tag to London. He takes over on the Pitbulls for a bit. As he attempts to “skin-the-cat”, Noble dropkicks him in the gut sending crashing down HARD on the floor! If this were ROH, you would be hearing a “Please don’t die!” chant. It was that sick of a bump. Kendrick goes over to help and tosses London back in the ring, which keeps them from getting counted out. Noble is right there to put the boots to him and then a chinlock. The crowd tries to get London back in this thing, but as London fights up, Noble cuts him off with a nice leg lariat. Cover 1, 2, NO! Noble grapevines London up in the corner as he tags in Kash to keep London isolated. Kash comes in and steps on London’s face in the ropes. Kash taunts Kendrick by letting London crawl to his corner but then pulls him away as he gets within reach. Noble tags in for a double-team headbutt/chop combo and covers for 1, 2, NO! Noble takes London over to his corner but then London fights out and tries to crawl to his corner to make the tag, but then Noble runs by and pulls Kendrick off the apron to prevent the tag! Did Arn Anderson SCRIPT this match?! Geez Louise, this is wonderful ‘80s NWA-style tag wrestling. London flips out of a back suplex and falls back to make the hot tag to Kendrick! Springboard dropkick for Kash and a flurry of elbows to the Pitbulls! Kendrick delivers a series of kicks to both men and covers Kash for a near-fall, but he grabs the bottom rope. Kendrick and the crowd thought this was over. A hurracanrana for Kash gets another near-fall as Noble saves. Noble tries the TIGER BOMB but Kendrick won’t budge. Even after a series of knees to the face Kendrick won’t budge. London prevents any further attempts with a leg lariat that sends Noble crashing out to the floor. Kendrick leaps up to the top and flies out onto Noble! In the ring, Kash tries for his DEAD LEVEL finishing move but London blocks it. That allows Kendrick to come off the top rope and sunset-flip Kash (with some help from London’s dropsault) to get the three-count! (13:29) This crowd did exactly what a normal WWE crowd is almost trained to do. They cheer the highspots and the hot tags, but tend to take a nap for the rest of the match. Great match, but it just lacked major heat that it could and should have had. ***½

In the back, Khali wants Undertaker NOW, but Daivari wants him to wait! Khali lifts him up in the air to show he’s FRUSTRATED!

Here comes SD GM Teddy Long to announce that due to elevated enzymes, Lashley is not medically cleared to wrestle tonight. This brings Lashley for a rebuttal. He says he feels fine, but it doesn’t matter because he AIN’T wrestling tonight. As Lashley leaves, the US Champ Finlay and his pal William Regal come down and shake their heads at Lashley. Finlay asks Long to raise his hand as the winner of the match by forfeit. Long says Finlay will be defending the title tonight against his good friend William Regal.

WWE U.S. Champion Finlay vs. William Regal

Before this really gets under way, Regal checks to see if the leprechaun is underneath the ring. Regal doesn’t see anything so he gets in the ring with Finlay. Regal wants to blow this match off and tries to leave, but Finlay comes up behind him with a rollup for a near-fall. Regal is of course offended by this and pops Finlay in the mouth for it. Funny spot as they lock up, fall out of the ring, come back up the steps, and climb back in the ring all without breaking the tie up. This turns into a comedy match, which is the best way to go here especially since you aren’t going to do any turns and they’re just making the best of a bad situation. Regal tosses Finlay out to the floor but then once he puts Finlay back in the ring, the leprechaun pops out and chases him around the ring with a mini shillelagh! As Regal stands on the steps like an old lady avoiding a mouse, the leprechaun reappears from underneath the ring. They scream at each other as Regal jumps back in the ring. Finlay hits a short-arm clothesline for two. They trade a crazy amount of European forearms as JBL puts both guys over as European wrestling legends. Finlay stops all that with a poke to the eye and a rollup for two. Finlay whips Regal hard into the corner as the crowd chants “We want Lashley!” Regal comes back with a butterfly suplex for 1, 2, NO! Regal goes after the leprechaun again and nearly gets his fingers bitten off. After Finlay works on Regal’s hand, Regal tries to wear Finlay down with a chinlock. Finlay fights up to a double-KO spot. Regal gets in a couple near-falls and follows up with a dropkick. Yeah, he shouldn’t do those anymore. Regal hits a knee drop out of the corner for 1, 2, NO! The crowd who began to chant “boring” stopped once they went to the floor and Regal gets crotched on by the apron skirt. Back in, we see that Regal has his right wrestling boot taken off by the leprechaun. Finlay misses a charge in the corner and runs shoulder-first into the ringpost to set up a Regal rollup for two. Regal grabs the shillelagh which distracts the ref long enough for the leprechaun to hand Finlay Regal’s boot. Finlay smashes Regal in the face with it and pins him with his feet on the ropes. (13:49) The crowd REALLY had no idea how to respond to this match with no one really to root for. The match itself though was pretty good for what it was. **½

Chavo Guerrero is here to let Rey know he’s got his back in tonight’s World Title match.

WWE Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms vs. Matt Hardy – non-title match

Cole announces Helms as the longest reigning Cruiserweight Champion ever and the longest reigning champion currently in the WWE. Matt is too heavy to be considered a cruiserweight which is why this is non-title. JBL recalls that Helms defeated Matt for the European title but of course couldn’t go without mentioning that he beat Helms for the title. Hardy mocks the Hurri-pose early on to wake up the crowd. Helms runs into an inverted atomic drop and takes a clothesline out to the floor. PESCADO! Back in, Hardy covers Helms for one. Helms gets a neck snap on the ropes on Hardy to gain control. Helms runs back in and delivers a swinging neckbreaker for 1, 2, NO! Helms delivers another neckbreaker and hooks on a front facelock. Hardy fights out with a jawbreaker but then goes down to a clothesline. Back to the front facelock. Hardy fights out with an armdrag this time and then nails Helms as he comes off the ropes. Russian legsweep by Hardy for two. Helms counters the Side Effect with an armdrag for two. Hardy catches Helms up top but Helms fights back with a top-rope swinging neckbreaker. It looks like it hurts him just as much as it hurts his opponent. After Helms applied a type of butterfly-lock submission, they come up trading blows. Hardy wins that and hits the Side Effect. He covers for 1, 2, NO! Hardy hits the corner-clothesline/bulldog for another two. Helms counters a slam and delivers the Crossface Halo! He covers for 1, 2, NO! Helms goes for the SHINING WIZARD but misses then connects on the second try. Helms covers for 1, 2, NO! Helms sets Hardy up on the top but then gets knocked back down to the mat. Hardy fights back with a moonsault press for 1, 2, NO! Hardy comes off the middle rope with an elbow for another two. Hardy takes Helms over to the corner for a 10-count punch, but Helms counters with a hot-shot and schoolboys Hardy up with a handful of tights to get the victory. (11:44) Not bad but I’m just not quite sure this benefited anybody though. **

In the back, Taker gets jumped from behind by Big Show with Khali as the bait. After the buildup video for Taker/Khali, Long reprimands Show/Khali/Daivari for what they did and changes the match to Taker/Show.

The Undertaker vs. The Big Show – non-title Punjabi Prison Match

The Punjabi Prison is basically a cage within a cage made to look like it was made from bamboo sticks instead of steel. In order to win, you must escape both cages. The cage that surrounds the ring has doors on all four sides of the ring which once one door is open; it can only stay open for sixty seconds and then it is shut until the end of the match. It doesn’t even seem like a big deal considering you have four chances to escape since they are four doors. Between the ring and the second cage, you have weapons you can use on your opponent. This is the best way I can possibly describe this to you. The “Kennel from Hell” match from Unforgiven ’99 comes to mind. Just trade the dogs for weapons and you’ve got that match all over again. After a couple minutes of brawling, Taker tries to escape by climbing the cage instead of using the doors. Show uses a strap that is attached to the cage to choke Taker back down into the ring. This leads to more brawling with Show in control. Taker comes back and uses the cage as his friend by splashing Taker into it several times. On the third time, Show GOOZLES Taker and goes for the CHOKESLAM, but Taker counters it into a DDT. Taker calls for one of the doors to open, but Show is there to pull him away. After a few failed attempts, Taker remains in the cage and dominated by Show as he whips and chokes him with one of the straps off of the cage. Show pulls off one of the turnbuckle pads and turns around into soupbones from the Undertaker. Show blows a flying lariat by standing in the way to make it look like a crappy Thesz press. Show pulls Taker down to the mat as he goes for Old Skool. Show calls for another one of the doors to open. Both men tease escapes before Show delivers the CHOKESLAM, but time just runs out as he tries one last escape. Show continues to control Taker by smashing his head into the exposed turnbuckle to bust him open. Show tries to escape by going over the cage, but Taker goes low as Show is up on the turnbuckle. Taker takes advantage and SUPERPLEXES Show back down to the ring! It’s a shame the ring didn’t collapse! Taker calls for the third door to open and falls out. Show can’t get out in time which leaves Taker all himself. All Show has to do is call for the final door to open to get out there with Taker. Show goes over and brings Taker back down off the second cage. He sets up a table and tosses Taker through it. Show wisely tosses Taker back in the first cage through the final door that is still open because of the sixty-second rule! Smart man. Taker is stuck in the first cage and now the only way to escape is by climbing out. As Show begins to climb the cage, so does Taker. Taker climbs over the top and steps over to the other cage and they fight back down to the floor. Show rests against the weapons table which Taker takes advantage of by delivering a running legdrop through the table. Now Show is busted open as Great Khali and Daivari come down. Taker hammers Show all around the ring. To wrap things up, Taker climbs the smaller cage and delivers a crossbody to Show that sends them both falling out of the cage. Apparently since Taker fell all the way out past the mat, he’s considered the first to actually escape to win the match. (21:35) Wow, 20+ for this? At least it was Show and not Khali. It began to get interesting once they got out of the first cage. Let’s hope they don’t still let Taker/Khali happen at SummerSlam, but I’m not holding my breath. Post-match, Show gets on his knees and does his best “Revenge of the Sith” imitation. NOOOOOOO! *

In the back, King Booker & Queen Sharmell wonder what it will be like to be “King of the World”.

Kristal Marshall vs. Michelle McCool vs. Jillian Hall vs. Ashley Massaro – Four-Way Bra & Panties Match

Are you serious? I’m not doing PBP for this. Ashley wins. After the match, the faces (Jillian and Ashley) celebrate by taking off each other’s skirts. (5:18) [N/R]

The Miz is standing by with Mr. Kennedy! He WILL beat Batista tonight!

Batista vs. Mr. Kennedy

Surprisingly, Batista comes out first. Cole lets us know that Henry will be out for at least eight months. How ironic. Batista interrupts Kennedy’s pre-match shenanigans with a forearm to the face! Kennedy takes a hard whip into the corner and rolls out to the floor. Batista is right there to meet him by backing him into the security wall. After hitting the steel steps face-first, Kennedy is busted open! Back in, Batista remains in control by punching and choking Kennedy in the corner. Kennedy rolls out again and acts as though he’s going to leave. He then tries to ambush Batista, but then runs into a spear. They go out and fight on the floor again for a bit. Back in, Kennedy kicks Batista in the head as he tries to get back in the ring. Kennedy pounds on Batista for a good while, including delivering a running facewash down in the corner! That was cool! Kennedy now begins to work on Batista’s injured arm by posting it one good time. Then he pulls Batista out to the floor with him and throws him into the steps. Back in, Kennedy covers for 1, 2, NO! Kennedy works the arm a bit more with an overhead wristlock on the mat. Batista fights back and powers Kennedy into the corner and delivers some shoulderblocks to Kennedy’s gut. Batista follows up by throwing Kennedy shoulder-first into the ringpost three times! Batista foot-chokes Kennedy down in the corner but won’t stop at the referee’s five-count, so Charles Robinson DQ’s Batista! Hahaha, Kennedy wins! (8:37) Batista doesn’t care though because he’s got RAGE~! He gives Kennedy three spinebusters and then gives him a DEMON BOMB! These two have great chemistry together. I really would not mind seeing them go twenty minutes. As far as the finish goes, I can definitely this working in long-term booking for post-SummerSlam action. **½

World Heavyweight Champion Rey Mysterio vs. King Booker (w/Queen Sharmell)

Before the bell, Booker gets all up in Rey’s grill by telling him that “Eddie can’t help you!” Booker controls the pace to start but Rey is still able to use his “hit-and-run” strategy to let Booker know he’s in for a fight. They tie-up once again with Booker delivering knees to the gut. Booker shoots Rey into the ropes and connects with a back elbow and follows up with a hammerlock on the mat. Rey battles back with a snapmare and follows that up with a basement dropkick. Rey snaps off a headscissors but Booker goes to the eyes. Booker pounds on Rey in the corner, but then misses a charge and runs shoulder-first into the ringpost. Booker goes out to the floor for a breather, but Rey won’t let him rest by connecting with La Silla! Back in, Rey hits a springboard splash to the back for a near-fall. Booker ducks a quebrada and delivers a thrust kick to take back over. Booker covers for 1, 2, NO! Booker delivers the hook kick for two. Rey tries to counter out of a hammerlock the same way as before with the snapmare, but this time Booker throws him off. Now it’s time for the heel cliché of delivering the disrespectful triple vertical suplexes. Cole calls it sacrilege. Are you serious, dude? Booker covers for 1, 2, NO! Rey avoids the SCISSOR KICK and tries the 619, but Booker ducks out of the way. Rey gets in a kick to the back of the head anyway and covers for 1, 2, NO! Another 619 attempt is foiled by Sharmell who trips Rey up in the ropes. Referee Nick Patrick saw the interference and ejects Sharmell to the back. Booker counters a wheelbarrow into a nice back suplex for 1, 2, NO! Booker comes off the middle turnbuckle at Rey, but eats a boot. Rey dropkicks the knee and follows up with a rana. Rey ducks a clothesline and connects with a springboard crossbody for 1, 2, NO! Rey counters a spinebuster into a DDT for 1, 2, NO! Rey tries a headscissors out of the corner, but Booker tosses him into Nick Patrick for the unnecessary mandatory ref bump. Rey hits another La Silla this time in the ring. That leads to the 619 and the FROG SPLASH, but Nick Patrick is still down. Booker goes low and delivers a BOOK END! Then he brings a chair into the ring, but gets it kicked back in his face. Here comes CHAVO! As he looks to swing at Booker, he swings around and (not literally, but figuratively) KILLS Rey with an awesome chairshot! Booker covers as the ref is revived enough to count the 1-2-3! We’ve got a NEWWWWWW World Champion! (16:48) Chavo stands in the entryway and seethes like he’s Samoa Joe or something as Booker and Sharmell celebrates. Booker is now the first-ever African-American WWE World Champion. I had my fingers crossed for Boogeyman to do it, but somehow, Booker did it! The Chavo turn was evident. At least I had a feeling back at No Way Out this would happen. ***

Final Thoughts: They did the best they could with what they had going against it and I was fairly entertained the whole way through. I’m looking forward to a continuation of Batista/Kennedy which looks to be interesting. As far as match quality goes, there was nothing necessarily MOTYC, but it doesn’t always have to be just to be entertaining. I’ll go with thumbs in the middle for the awesome opener and the great main event. Everything else isn’t must-see.

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