way back in 1985, the Great American Bash was originally held by the National
Wrestling Alliance before being presented by WCW. After a four year absence, the
WWE resumed the Bash, making it a SmackDown! presentation. Taking
place on July 24th, 2005 in Buffalo, New York, this event is significant due in
part to the "burying" of a controversial Arabic character.
Here's the card:
WWE Tag Team Championship Match
[Road Warrior Animal & Heidenreich vs. MNM] - So, MNM go from
wrestling Charlie Haas & "Hardcore" Holly to wrestling
Heidenreich and Animal. I have nothing against Animal, hell, he's one half
of the most dominant tag teams in wrestling. What he's doing wrestling with
Heidenreich, i'll never be able to figure out. MNM continue to display some
skill in the ring, but I can't help but think they they were wrestling one
person in the ring that didn't belong there, and the other that looked like
he was pregnant.
Josh Matthews Interviews Eddie
Booker T vs. Christian - I like
both wrestlers, and they put on a hell of a show, but Sharmell (former Nitro
girl and Booker's wife) is terribly annoying. It's a shame Christian didn't
get the chance to give her an "un-prettier". Actually, it's a
shame Christian and his "Peep Show" still hasn't been moved back
Steve Romero Interviews Melina -
Even though i'm not that big a fan of silicone assets, I like watching
Melina for some reason. However, the only thing I could think during this
match was "Damn, she needs to wax her upper lip".
United States Championship Match
[Chris Benoit vs. Orlando Jordan] - Benoit continues to impress. Jordan
continues to amuse. Jordan displays some slight skill during this match, but
I wouldn't consider adding it to his highlight reel.
#1 Contender's Match For the World
Heavyweight Championship [Undertaker vs. Muhammad Hassan] - From Nikolai
Volkoff to the Iron Sheik, Vince has always had one character that would go
for the cheap "USA" chants. In 2003, La Résistance was introduced
as an afterthought to America's obsession with changing anything that used
word "French" to "freedom" and the lack of support for
the USA's "liberation" of Iraq. Unfortunately, they
really didn't catch on as well as they should've. At the end of 2004,
Muhammad Hassan and his manager Daivari made their debut at Raw. They'd come
into the ring and berate Americans for being racist against Arab-Americans
since 9/11 and after Hassan's diatribes, Davari would punctuate the
appearance by shouting things in Arabic. For the
next five months, against people like Chris Jericho and Sgt. Slaughter,
Hassan was undefeated. Whether it was bad timing or bad taste, once Hassan
and Daivari were "traded" to SmackDown!, Vince took things further
than he should've. An episode of SmackDown! that aired on July 7th saw
Hassan defeat Undertaker and then kneel down to pray as five masked men ran in and beat
Undertaker into submission (again). Immediately afterward, the masked men
lifted Daivari above their heads and carried him away (similar to the way Muslims treat their
martyrs). Unfortunately for Vince, earlier during the day that SmackDown!
aired, there were four bombings in London which al-Qaeda claimed
responsibility for. UPN aired the show uncut and had an advisory warning scroll across
the screen at various times throughout the show. It didn't matter that SmackDown! was recorded three days
earlier; there was an immediate
backlash, and UPN banned Hassan's character from SmackDown! even though he
was scheduled to win here at the "Bash" and then take on Batista
for the Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam. These things didn't happen,
and this is the last time we'll see Hassan in the WWE ring. And after
watching this match (and his others on Raw), I find Vince's comments in an
interview that the character's failure was the wrestler's fault to be
Josh Mathews Interviews Torrie
Wilson - This "interview" illustrates how Torrie survived the
last mass firings.
6-Man Tag Team Match [BWO vs.
Mexicools] - Take three Mexican wrestlers from the WCW and ECW, add
three more guys from the WCW (two of whom already have existing characters
on the WWE) and you have this highly entertaining match. I enjoy watching
the high-flying Mexicools (even though I can't understand a word they say),
and it's great seeing Steven Richards do something other than job to other
wrestlers. Even though this match seemed as if it was part of an apology for
JBL busting open Blue Meanie at the EWC One Night Stand, all six guys put on
a great show (which is something Nova rarely does as "Simon
Dean"). Hopefully Vince will get these guys together again for another
If Eddie Wins, He Will Reveal Rey's
Secret [Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero] - Yes, they're STILL running
with this "storyline". During this match, you'll hear some
Oscar-caliber color commentary by Tazz & Cole that rivals DeNiro or
Brando at their finest. In this short 30 minute match, they
alternate from disgust to outrage and back to disgust again with very little
effort. But the impressive acting doesn't stop there! Rey's "son"
Dominick bats his big, brown doe eyes in an effort to secure himself a Kids'
Choice award at next year's Nickelodeon event. Wait, you mean amongst all
this drama there's some wrasslin' going on? It's true. However, you might
miss it as your eyes roll in the back of your head.
Josh Mathews Interviews JBL
Bra & Panties Match [Torrie Wilson vs. Melina] - I
find it hard to believe that this is the penultimate match to end the Great
American Bash. Yet, here were are. Do I really need to go into detail about
this? Needless to say, the girls (including "Special Guest
Referee" Candice Michelle) end up stripped down by the end of the
World Heavyweight Championship Match [Batista vs.
JBL] - The longest match of the
night, and it shows. I liked Batista on Raw, and he continues to improve
here, but this match seemed to go on forever and ever. Batista delivers some
powerful shots with a "steel chair" at the end of the match, but
taking the intensity of both wrestlers into account, I was very disappointed
(and surprised) that no one bled during the match. It was an alright ending
to the event, but nothing to write home about.
In addition to the matches above, the following extras
are also included:
- Exclusive Extra
- SmackDown! 7/28/05
- Eddie Exposes Rey's Secret - So, get this - Eddie
tells the crowd that Rey is actually a member of the Lollypop Guild. It's
true. It's damn true. Actually, it isn't. The truth is that this was an
extremely painful segment capped off with Eddie reading a ridiculous "Bedtime
Story". Ugh. The sad thing about it? I LIKE Eddie and Rey, but this is
just too painful for words.
- Great American Bash 7/7/90
- WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match [Ric
Flair vs. Sting] - Other than the fact that Ric is with the WWE and
Vince ran the WCW out of business, I have to admit I was surprised to find
this match on the disc. However, compared with the rest of the content on
this disc, it was a pleasant surprise.
Continuing the WWE's slide into disappointing picture transfers, this one
exhibited the same compression issues that plagued "Judgement Day".
Perhaps it's a SmackDown! thing? Regardless, it's presented in a full frame 1.33:1 ratio.
Audio: The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound was crystal clear and enveloped my
living room while I was watching it. Viewers are also given the option of watching
the disc in Spanish.
Conclusion: Would I pay for this when it was broadcast live? Nope.
Would I buy the DVD sight unseen? No. Even though it features wrestlers I like
watching in the ring - Christian, Batista, Eddie, Benoit and Hassan - and some
wrestlers that I was unfamiliar with (bWo and Mexicools), based on my
enjoyment of the matches they took part in, I would not feel comfortable
recommending spending your hard earned money to buy it. Not only that, but
compared to past WWE releases, it's pretty damn skimpy where the extras are
concerned. Sure, there's a pretty good Flair/Sting match, but not much else.
If you're a WWE fan (or fan of SmackDown!), i'm sure you've already made up
your mind. Rent It.