Brett Mix’s- WWE “Great American Bash 2008” Review:
“I’m Not Dave Batista…I’m Not Shawn Michaels…I’m Not Bret Hart…..I’m CM PUNK!….World Heavyweight Champion” -CM Punk
-WWE Great American Bash took place Sunday Night, July the 20th, 2008 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York in front of 12,454 fans.
-This was the 5th Annual GAB event in as many years by the WWE since they took it over.
-The event was met with mixed to positive reception from critics. The Sun rated the event as 8 out of 10. The reviewer praised the Michaels/Jericho match, with particular praise going to Shawn Michaels. Similar praise was given to the emphasis on storylines and good quality wrestling, such as the Edge/Vickie storyline and the Cena/JBL match. The World Heavyweight Championship match was criticized, however, as was the fact that Punk played a very minor role in both the match and the outcome.
-Jim Ross and Mick Foley, Adamle and Tazz did commentary for the event.
-The theme song was “Move to the Music” by American Bang.
-Before the pay-per-view aired, Umaga defeated Mr. Kennedy.
-Now onto the PPV……………
1) Opening Contest- Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder vs John Morrison and The Miz (c), Jesse and Festus, and Finlay and Hornswoggle
Miz and Morrison had to defend the titles against Kane and CM Punk at Judgment Day, Finlay and Hornswoggle at Night of Champions among others and they’re in here with a few teams who don’t exactly have the most credibility but lets see how the match turns out!
Festus scares off everyone in the early going as Morrison and The Miz throw in Hornswoggle and Festus just stares at the drawf while Hornswoggle rolls up his sleeves. Festus then lets everything be and Hornswoggle dives to the outside through the ropes and hits the guys on the outside.
Festus then begins to use the power game inside the ring on the Miz, lifting him up then throwing him to the buckle and tagging in Jesse. Jesse then went at the Miz for a bit before tagging back in Festus who gets the better of the Miz once more with some hard knock downs and Morrison comes back in as Finlay does as well. Morrison and Finlay both tie up and Finlay pushed Morrison off him in the corner and Morrison tags in his co-tag team champion partner the Miz who tries to control the veteran Finlay with a sleeper.
Hawkins now with a chinlock on Finlay and then cornered him with some elbow shots. Finlay came back with right hands to both guys but it didn’t last and Hawkins over powered him still until he charged to the corner and hit nothing, and Finlay hit a summersault cross to Hawkins but Ryder interupted the count. Finlay then with a weapon and the ref didn’t see it but Morrison and Miz who were the current reigning champions made sure it wasn’t seen seeing as they were the tag team champions and the rule was the team that gets the FIRST pinfall or submission WINS the match.
Hawkins irish whipped Finlay to the ropes and he caught him with a boot to the face. Finlay takes in Hornswoggle and the 4’4 gave Hawking a hurricanrauna until Horn tags in Jesse. Jesse with a suplex, then a snap fisherman suplex and gets a near fall on Hawkins who then knocks Hornswoggle off the ring apron for more heal heat. Festus comes in as Jesse tags in his partner. Festus is cooking inside as he knocks Ryder off the apron and slams Hawking down followed by a big splash. Festus then tossed Nitro and Miz over the top rope and Ryder from the outside pulled out the leg of Festus so he was then out of the equation as well.
Then with Jesse up in the air Hawkins grabs him and hits a slam from the top and Hawkins and Ryder have done it!
Miz and Morrison couldn’t believe it but they lost the WWE Tag Titles without even being involved in the decision but of course that’s the rules of the match. I always perfer watching single elimination tag matches more.
The action was certainly fast as expected here and the match was pretty good but nothing overly special.
Good opener though.
So in the end at 9:04, Hawkins and Ryder became the NEW WWE Tag Team Champions and I hate how every set of rookies get a tag team reign, it’s getting boring.
This match as an opener worked though.
2) Matt Hardy (c) vs Shelton Benjamin for the WWE United States Championship
Matt had to defend his title here against a superior athlete, but was Shelton a superior wrestler?
Matt had his aerial moves and his guts but Shelton had amateur skill and size to his advantage and he could also fly.
Should be a great contest for the US title.
Shelton a former IC Champ looking to become the 21st man to hold both the IC and US title’s at least once in their career. He went for a headlock to start the bout out on Matt but was sent to the ride by Hardy, he dodged over Matt but then on the 2nd way down Hardy hit a hip toss, then when Shelton got back up Matt hit a STEAMBOAT like arm drag takedown according to Jim Ross and it was NICE, but I don’t know if it was THAT NICE. (Steamboat LIKE, that is)
Matt cornered by the challenger and then he hopped behind him and countered a Shelton kick, went for a twist of fate couldn’t get it but he levelled Shelton with a forearm and then another blow that took him down. Matt then ran towards Shelton but he tossed Matt over who hung onto the ropes and tried to come back in the ring but Shelton spotted this and knocked him off the ring ropes from the outside to the floor.
Shelton then pulled Matt by the hair into the ring and slammed his head into the top of the ring post from the outside ring apron and Matt fell back to the outside floor after that hard head blow by Shelton!
Shelton then threw Matt back in the ring and went for a cover but only got a one count. Benjamin with a back-body suplex and then another near fall but this time got two. Shelton picked up Matt Hardy and hit a sidewalk slam into a back breaker and then applied a reverse chinlock to Matt the US Champion, who Long Island chanted “Let’s Go Hardy” for at this point in the US Title bout.
Matt Hardy in a bit of pain was being weighed down by the challenger who stomped and gave blows to Matt’s back. Shelton then scooped up Matt again and hit a second back breaker clearly focusing on the Champion’s back. Shelton then hooks back the RIGHT ARM and hooks on a sitting abdominal stretch. Shelton though gets over powered by a desperate counter this time and stands up with Shelton hooked to him and simply falls back to the canvas and pinned Shelton and got a two.
Both men to there feet and Shelton caught a right hand to the head by Matt, before he wan to Shelton and he lifted the boot up that caught him in the face, and then Shelton with a take down with a suplex and got a near fall. Shelton putting more tork on the back of Hardy and disected the spine as he puts the KNEE to the mid-back of Matt Hardy and then with Matt in this vulnerable position had Matt where he wanted him and then cornered him for a Stinger Splash but MATT HARDY got his feet up this time and hit Shelton for some payback.
Matt with some rights and lefts to Shelton Benjmain and then hits a splash to him in the corner followed by a running bulldog which also scored just a two count.
Matt with a scoop slam to Shelton and then climbs up for a high risk move and hits a Leg Drop to Shelton from the top rope and got just a nearfall.
Matt Hardy then went BACK up to the top rope but this time he was caught by Shelton in mid-air in a bear-hug fashion and spiked Matt into the corner of the buckle padding. Matt then countered twice shortly after with two back slides and near falls, then Matt hit a Side Effect and only got a two count!
Matt thought he won the belt and now with Shelton slowly rising to his feet Matt went for the twist of fate. Shelton sent Matt to the corner with a hard shot to the back with his forearm. Shelton then had Matt up high and went for a back body suplex off the top but fell to his back. Matt then went for a Moonsault on Shelton but he connected when he got his knee up to Matt’s eyes to counter the move.
Shelton then came up to Matt after that move and jumped up and hit the Shelton drove Matt’s face into the canvas!
We got a new US Champion as some of the place pops and Shelton looks pleased. He deserves it and this was a great contest.
In the end Shelton Benjamin became the NEW US Champion at 10:36 after Matt missed his moonsault and Shelton hit a high impact move sending Matt straight to the canvas floor.
In the end at 10:36 we got a NEW US Champion as Shelton Benjamin defeated Matt Hardy after
This match is a treat.
3) Mark Henry (c) (with Tony Atlas) vs Tommy Dreamer (with Colin Delaney) for the ECW Championship
Third match of the night and the first two the title belts changed, would this be the third match in a row?
Henry won the ECW Title at Night of Champions in a Triple Threat match with Kane and Big Show.
He’s taking on an ECW Original in this match for the title and Henry came out with Atlas, while Dreamer came out with Colin Delaney.
“Tommy Dreamer” chants all throughout the arena as Henry displays why he is the ECW Champion.
Henry throws the 14 time Hardcore champion to the canvas and then choked him out on the side ropes, before twisting his neck in mid-ring.
Fans chanted BORING as Henry slowly took apart the Challenger.
Henry continued to dominate throughout and the boredom ended after a big power splash.
In the end Mark Henry retained the ECW title at 5:29 when he defeated Tommy Dreamer after Colin Delaney hit the arm Henry was working on over the top ropes that let room for Henry to hit his move.
4) Y2J Chris Jericho vs HBK Shawn Michaels
Chris Jericho got The Heartbreak Kid with a spinning heel kick to Shawn’s head and he only gets a two before he scooped up Shawn and slams him down the canvas further applying pressure on the bad back of Shawn Michaels.
Jericho up high this time and flew off but HBK caught him with an atomic drop on his way down, nice counter!
Shawn with some chops to Y2J then hits him with a flying forearm before his kick up, Jericho locks in the Walls of Jericho and HBK looks to be in a ton of pain but he manages out, however Jericho keeps on Shawn and he looks to be in considerable amount of pain.
HBK gets irish whipped and Jericho attempts a running bulldog but it’s countered to a clothesline and HBK got a near fall.
Shawn Michaels slowly climbed to the top and went for perhaps an elbow but Jericho swung off ropes when HBK fell down from up top groin first on the top and the bad rips perhaps prevented Michaels from doing this move as fast as he normally would. Also could be the result of the eye injury caused by Jericho weeks earlier as stated by Cole.
Chris Jericho met Shawn Michaels up there and the two brawled for a bit before a NICE Superplex idea however HBK kicked him off and Shawn then up high on his own still selling a bit of pain flies off with a Randy Savage Elbow Drop! Or a HBK elbow drop, he had been doing them for quite some time as well. 😉
Lance Cade ran down and at the same time HBK was tuning up the band but decided to knock HIM off the ring apron instead, Jericho went for a Code Breaker trying to capitalize on Cade’s short lived interference but Michaels countered and then HBK got a near fall after a back slide attempt. Despite Lance Cade’s interference on the outside HBK remained in the match and the two back to there feet slugged it out in the middle of the ring. They remind us that Lance Cade was trained by HBK and now he has turned his back on him. It’s a shame Lance Cade passed away and at such a young age.
Jericho swung off the ropes and went charging for Shawn Michaels but he hip tossed him over the top rope onto Lance Cade. Good move. Nice move that could buy Michaels some time after that big spot.
Jericho then showed his ruthless side which is quite awesome while he attacked the bloody head of Michaels relentlessly and the ref called for the bell while the fans booed and King said he had done the right thing.
At 18:20 Chris Jericho defeated Shawn Michaels finally after the blood loss and Jericho was declared him the winner.
Yeah it helped the feud, and it did it rather well but not enough to make this THAT GREAT of a match.
It still wasn’t THAT GREAT and so many familiar spots before this match hurt it as well as the painfully slow action, and it’s not even in the same ball park as their Judgment Day Match from a work-rate stand point.
I probably rate this a good star (IF THAT) lower then most, but this was only a “GOOD” match so Ì FEEL that it’s just what it deserves, hell it was only DECENT at the very best when you consider it was from the calibre of these two.
I love how after the Woman`s match Jericho comes out and tells the audience to keep the ticket stubs because Shawn had just wrestled his last match and a lot of the fans pop. Jericho is just great at grabbing your attention though so I imagine that`s why….
For these two I`d much perfer watching the other bouts but I can appreciate what this one tried to accomplish.
Again in the end at 18:20 the ref calls for the match to end and Jericho wins.
This match helped progress the best feud of 2008 between Y2J and Shawn Michaels. They would have classic matches like the ones at Judgment Day and No Mercy but this one here was purely for storyline progression and not so much about star ratings.
5) Michelle McCool vs Natalya in a match to determine the inaugural WWE Divas Champion
It’s great it was mentioned that Natalya expertly applied her uncle’s excellent move.
Anyway the winner of this match will be that first ever Diva`s champion and here we go!
Michelle McCool will have to overcome the DNA of Natalya’s wrestling greatness….awesome.
First time in 52 years the Diva`s got awarded another title.
Michelle begins with a take down but Natalya had a waist lock that was countered by Alundra Blayze, I mean Michelle McCool. Michelle then who tries to keep this match fast paced hits some uppercuts and went for a sunset flip but botched it and JR said “Nice balance…` hilarious.
Natalya then hit Michelle by picking her up and her upper body got caught on the top rope. Natalya then wants to keep this at a more methodical pace so she could go to work and the daughter of The Anvil is using her power like her dad did but a bit more technical and she applies a nice Submission move, a surfboard hold.
McCool then counters by grabbing onto the left leg and locking on a HEEL HOOK and Natalya gets out and from the outside on the apron hits Michelle down, then drags her over and grabs onto her leg and head and stretches the middle of Michelle`s body into the ring post, nicely done.
Michelle McCool won the Diva`s title at 4:39 after she made Natalya tap. First ever Diva`s Champion is Michelle!
Not terrible but could of been longer and I liked the moves, there should of been more though. I also don`t know if I agree with who should of won.
In the end at 4:39 McCool defeated Natalya by submisson to become the inaugural Diva’s Champ.
6) CM Punk (c) vs Batista for the World Heavyweight Championship
This has a lot of potential.
Picking up the action as its going along…
CM Punk with a number of covers in the middle of the ring thinking the high risk move what of put The Animal away but just got near falls. CM Punk then with an Irish Whip that Batista counters and throws CM PUNK hard into the corner. A desperation move that worked for Dave and it clicked nicely as he decided to do it again hurting the back of the Champion, CM PUNK.
Batista then hooks up CM Punk and hits a vertical suplex followed by some blows and another near fall. Batista always uses his power game to his advantage and then with The Champion down he began to wear him down with a modified camel clutch. He then dropped his lower body to the injured back of Punk that had already been hurt by two hard irish whips to the buckle, nicely followed from the story from before.
Batista then sent Punk to the ropes and delivered a powerful forearm to the back. Punk turned the tables though and hit a desperate move of his own and used his tremendous kicks to catch Batista up high and knocked him to the outside of the ring, they had that much power. CM Punk with another kick to Batista as he re-entered the ring and it bought him some time to re-group with his bad back.
He gave him more blows and then jumped off the top connecting with a cross body but only got a near fall in his attempt to retain the Championship. CM Punk with a hard kick to Batista in the corner but Batista caught him up high, however Punk battled out of the move and then Batista still managed to catch him and hit a powerful POWER SLAM which hurts Punk`s back even further. Punk then countered a nice powerbomb attempt to the outside and then slid back in the ring.
CM Punk then with a side headlock on the canvas to The Animal but Big Dave powered over and got a near fall. CM Punk with a high kick to Tista`s head hitting his injured shoulder but the Animal caught his leg, Punk chopped him and hit him with lefts and rights, but Batista then was sick of it and hit him with a HUGE POWERFUL clothesline and the Champion might be out!
Batista then drove CM Punk`s back HARD for about the 7th time in the match hard into the buckle and and went to spear Punk but hurt his injured shoulder as he caught the ring post. Despite that Batista hit an amazing Spine Buster onto the mat on the outside and now Punks back needs to be seriously screwed.
Wow, what awesome psychology, Dave has improved SO, SO MUCH. The evidence is right here and you can really see it if Dave is in there with another elite worker like Punk here.
Batista threw Punk back in the ring and Kane came out of no where and threw Batista into the ring post and that got Tista DQ`d. Kane then got in the ring and hit the Champion CM Punk with a chokeslam!
In the end at 11:08 the ruling was that the two fough to a Double DQ after the interference.
So CM Punk retained the World Title.
This was a pleasant surprise.
Then Batista hit a Batista Bomb further injuring the back of the Champion after he held the title high a bit for Batista’s liking as Dave felt he would of been the new champion had it not been for the interference. Cole states that as well, pretty logical stuff. For 11 minutes this match rocked the show!
INFACT the ending was THE ONLY thing that kept it down a bit from nearing four star potential.
Awesome psychology, Dave Batista has improved so much, IT`S SCARY and Punk did awesome as well. I`m kind of glad it had an ending like this though because it would of been a little unrealistic to see Punk come back and win the title after all that damage to Punk`s back. Awesome effort by both men and what a tremendous pace!
THIS IS THE MATCH OF THE NIGHT! That’s impressive….
So again at 11:09 both men fought to a double DQ thus Punk retained the title.
This was the third in Batista’s last four Great American Bash events that the match ended in a DQ.
7) John Cena (c) vs JBL In a New York City Parking Lot Brawl
These guys are usually hit or miss together. Judgment Day 05 I Quit…Classic. Wrestlemania 21 and other matches…not so much, being polite.
There is no commentary for this match, just the guys there and crowd reaction similar to the Boiler Room Brawl from Summerslam 96 that I made reference to earlier which this reminds me a lot of.
JBL then sent Cena flying and his back smashed the windshiels and he looked to be in a considerable amount of pain.
JBL from the top of the car hit a hard DDT to Cena on the roof of the car and he rolled to the concrete as JBL pinned him but still only managed a near fall!
In maybe the most hilarious sequence of the match JBL yells out “Die CENA!!!! Quit….“
JBL walks over and gets a bar and smashed it against a car where Cena was but he moved, he tried to fight back but he is stil selling injuried and coughing which brought him to his knees and JBL threw Cena towards a car, then right through the window. A royal ass kicking from the now New Yorker in John Bradshaw Layfield.
With Cena in the backseat of a car, JBL went and got a gas can and sprayed it all over the car Cena was in, he then was warned not to do it but lit a match and placed the car on fire. No clear shot of Cena in the car. Cena steps out of the car or out of the corner (wherever he was) without a scratch.
Kind of like when Carlito stabbed him in a storyline and he returned with one scratch.
THAT was what made ME first hate Cena, he became so corny after that in late 2004, early 2005.
John then in retaliation placed JBL into a car and got in a fork lift and rammed the ends into the side of the car John Bradshaw Layfield was in. He then scoopeed the car up a bit but not Austin at Survivor Series 1999 length and drove the car down a long hallway as the crowd cheer.
They cheer as he was coming to the inside of the arena and now the commentary comes back on appropriately as they are there and the fans applaud that they get to see the action now, once again JUST as they did at Summerslam 96 when Mankind and Taker entered the arena when Taker gave Foley a running clothesline out of the entrance way.
Cena now got JBL out of the car and brawled with him by the entrance to Cena chants. Bradshaw hit back and this was now a brutal slug fest in font of the staging equipment. Cena then with a sidewalk slam onto the ramp as the fans cheer.
You Can`t SEE ME then Five Knuckle Suffle deducts half of 1-4* off this match for me.
Can`t stand the move and it looked extra corny in this situation. I mean it’s a Parking Lot Street Fight, letss get real. Ugh.
Cena awaits JBL to turn around and then scooped him up and goes to hit the F-U off the stage but as he stops and contemplates as an idiot it buys JBL some time to get out of the predicament and throw him off the ramp way into a windshield in the spot of the match!
JBL Finally defeated Cena in there long series in this Parking Lot Brawl in the end at 15:36 when he covered a battered Cena on the hood of the car.
Cool spots, pretty unique but other then the spots there was not much else, am happy JBL finally got to beat Cena here. Good ending, I liked it and even enjoyed it at times, despite some of it being rather ridiculous.
This match was totally OUT THERE.
I feel though like I should give it a pretty good rating for the things that WERE good or FUN in the match.
Cena got up all cut up to Cena chants. Given the heat Cena usually attracts and with this being in New York region where JBL claims to love I expected more of a mixed-reaction but that`s not really a big deal. Nice bumping by Cena here.
This match surprised me and was something different, that’s for sure.
8 ) Main Event- Triple H (c) vs Edge for the WWE Championship
The Rated “R” Superstar Challenging “The Game” for the top prize in the industry in the Main Event of the 2008 Bash.
Keeping up with the action….
The Champion was in trouble as Edge layed back and put both of his legs around the rib cage of The Game as he continued to punish the mid-section of The Game with that body scissors hold. Edge is wrestling a very good match here and has continued to impress me with all these PPV matches.
Hunter still in the Body Scissors by the Champ, but eventually got out and Edge then countered anything Hunter was going to do out of desperation and hit a high standing dropkick with great power by Edge, beautiful athleticism by the Challanger with great instincts as he pulled that move out of no where but Hunter kicked out of the near fall by Edge. Edge then dove out to spear Hunter again but Trips moved just in time and he fell to the outside through the middle ropes, hitting the mat on the outside HARD.
This bought The Game some time as Edge came back in and Hunter delivered a boot to the face of Edge and then gave him some right hands, went for a spinebuster but after Edge punched him, he countered with a Spine Buster. Amazing back and forth contest since JR, I don`t know about amazing but it`s certainly been good. Trips with hard right hands in the corner and then hits a face buster to Edge.
Triple H takes him to the outside and slams him face first into the steel steps before throwing him face first high into the ring post where he was elevated.
The Champion back in control of the match as the two men had reached the five count, Trips threw Edge back in the ring, he missed with a baseball slide to the outside, Trips kicked him, Edge then countered that and kicked Triple H back in the mid-section then hit a big time DDT on the outside mat to HHH!
Great move by the Rated “R“ Superstar!
Edge then trying to get back to his dominating ways we saw earlier in the match rolled Hunter in the middle of the ring and got a near fall and Edge is frustrated!
Both men lying down fatigued, having there bodies take a toll on both accounts.
Edge to his feet first goes to the corner up high and HHH gets to his feet, he tries for a dropkick but Hunter counters as he picks up the legs and catapolts Edge to the corner and then hits him with a DDT to return the favor, a near fall but Edge was resilient and his will to leave WWE champion was shown when kicking out there.
More good spots in this back and forth WWE title match which has been a very well wrestled match. Both men down, get up and when the Pedigree was countered, Edge went behind and slammed Trips back first as he held onto his head in a reverse X-Factor like move and got a near fall!
Edge then stalked Helmsley as he was down and he went to the corner of the ring and went for a spear but he hit the buckle, Trips with a resourceful nearfall after a quick roll up. Edge then counters with a well placed boot to the side of The Game`s head taking him down, buying the Challanger a bit more time as both men lie down.
Edge up first here and looked at HHH in disgust. HHH was then about to recieve a spear by Edge and as he went for it Hunter hit a DOUBLE A Spine Buster to Edge! HHH then in pain in the mid-section region and then kicked Edge in the mid-section but Edge battled out of it by driving Hunter to the corner turnbuckle and then set him up high.
The Rated R Superstar then gave headbutts to Triple H up high and hit a superplex to Triple H from the top rope and both men down yet again.
With both guys down the WEDDING WRECKER runs out hands the WWE title in the ring, Vickie comes out and clotheslines her. Wow….I`m impressed. Is this needed, I guess so considering that`s what the feud was about.
Vickie comes in the ring with the title but drops it as the wedding wrecker rolls on top of her and it`s a Smackdown! Cat Fight if you will according to JR. Edge went for a spear on Alicia the Wedding Wrecker but speared Vickie as she moved out of the way. Edge can`t believe what he`s done but as he stares at both missed Hunter from behind who hit a Pedigree!
In the end Hunter retained the title at 16:45 when he hit the Pedigree on a distracted Edge. Jim Ross called the match amazing, yeah it was pretty awesome throughout, nice mid-section work by Edge early, nice moves by both at a good back and forth pace with good story telling, nice although predictable ending made this a great title match. Could of been MORE given who was involved, but it was still great!
Final Rating for WWE Great American Bash 2008 = 6.5/10
This show was a very good one. I love Red, White and Blue Ropes and that always makes the show seem BETTER no matter what is on it, even though the first GAB from the WWE in 2004 was horrid spare the one or two good matches on the card. The 2008 version provided us four matches in the three star range with a unique parking lot brawl and nothing really terrible outside one or two matches. Overall an enjoyable event and this PPV was pretty good being perfectly honest, some quality stuff all around and I`d suggest it.