I was always a big Great American Bash fan growing up (although to be fair I preferred Bash at the Beach since it always took place in July the month of my birthday) and to this day believe Great American Bash '90 is arguably the best PPV event of all-time. So, when I heard they were bringing GAB back, albeit as a special edition of SmackDown! I figured I'd give this latest incarnation an analysis.
WWE SmackDown! 7/3/12
1. Great Khali and Layla vs. Aksana and Antonio Cesaro - 2
2. Money in the Bank Qualifier: Cody Rhodes vs. Christian - 4
3. Money in the Bank Qualifier: Alex Riley vs. Dolph Ziggler - 3
4. Santino Marella, Sgt. Slaughter, and Jim Duggan vs. Hunico, Camacho, and Drew McIntyre - 2
5. Curt Hawkins vs. Ryback - 1
6. Battle Royal: Alberto Del Rio, Kane, Jack Swagger, John Cena, Heath Slater, Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Big Show, Great Khali, Brodus Clay, Damien Sandow, Tensai, Ezekiel Jackson, Justin Gabriel, Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston, Zach Ryder, Santino Marella, Cody Rhodes, and Christian - 5
The Alberto Del Rio/Shaemus opening segment/brawl was quite stiff with some good action out on the ramp and floor. Opener was shot but fun while it lasted. Cesaro isn't used to being outsized but did a good job of taking out Khali's base. Layla's offensive burst looked surprisingly good -- I especially dug the little double-hop springboard crossbody spot. Good that Aksana, essentially a non-wrestler, took the fall. Rhodes and Christian came off slightly better then their PPV bout with Cody focusing on the arm with some nasty stuff. I'm in the minority but prefer Christian as a heel (although won't argue his face fun in ECW was perhaps his best). Cody took a move out of the Ray Traylor playbook (Guardian Angel fans represent!). I dig Rhodes still doing an homage to former short-lived partner Bob Holly. Sort of mystifying booking, Christian already had a spot in MitB, and is Intercontinental champion, and put Rhodes over clean via the Cross Rhodes further diminishing that championship. No problem with Rhodes getting the spot but would have put him over Yoshi Tatsu or somebody.
Killer dropkick by Riley to start. Ziggler is really one of the hottest acts in the business even though their booking hasn't done him any favors. They got a decent nearfall out of a roll-up out of the corner by Alex I bit on but Ziggler won in short order with the Zig Zag. Short, fast-paced and MitB is shaping up! More AJ/Daniel Bryan/CM Punk story progression which while eating up a lot of TV time lately has been a fun ride and destroys TNA's big AJ Styles/Dixie prolonged soap opera dead in the water. AJ having an uncomfortably extended make out session with both Punk and Bryan in one segment was more worthy of a "Holy shit!" chant than the life-shortening bumps I saw Ron Mathis take at the last HWA show I attended in hopes of redefining himself as "hardcore". WWE is really squandering Drew's talent. I dig me some Camacho too. I want to read Duggan's book. Match didn't even break 3 minutes but Duggan had a nice clothesline and Camacho did some moderately good selling of his arm after Slaughter manipulated it.
The show had goofy "party" bits throughout with everyone backstage holding plastic cups, dancing, etc. only noteworthy for some of the divas like Kaitlyn and Alicia Fox looking stunning in bikinis and Eve getting doused by the fruit punch while in the background Derrick Batemen did a dance like one of the kids from A Charlie Brown Christmas. Nice to see Reks and Hawkins' got matching wardrobes (the lime green really pops in HD). Feed Ryback? I know what I'd like to feed him. A foot-long -- and I'm not talking about a chili dog. It's a personal pet peeve but that tic Ryback has where he nods his head to his shitty ring music post-match irks the hell out of me. Battle royal will be truncated as they show a ton of entrances and the TV time remaining keeps dwindling. Brodus takes a laughably slow motion bump out. My eyes immediately gravitate toward Sandow -- guy's got the goods! Winner gets to be GM next week: would you tune into an Ezekiel ran Raw? Nice to see Santino unceremoniously tossed. Big Show's double elimination of Kingston and Rhodes was pretty great stuff. Punk and Daniel are pasting each other in the face. Cena takes a big bump for a Kane chokeslam. What an odd case Tensai has been, coming into the company beating both Cena and Punk, then earlier this week losing to Tyson Kidd in twenty seconds. Christian took a nutty bump as Big Show dropped him from up high and he landed shins-first on the floor. Broski Boot won't make you forget Ohtani. Ryder wins! You know it!