Friday, June 9, 2006

WWE Great American Bash '04

1. Rene Dupree vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Booker T vs. John Cena - 4
2. Luther Reigns vs. Charlie Haas - 3
3. Chavo Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio - 6
4. Kenzo Suzaki vs. Billy Gunn - 2
5. Sable vs. Torrie Wilson - 1
6. Mordeci vs. Hardcore Holly - 2
7. Eddy Guerrero vs. JBL - Texas Bullrope Match - 5
8. Undertaker vs. Dudley Boyz - Concrete Crypt Match - 2
9. DVD Bonus: Jamie Noble vs. Spike Dudley - 4

I remember when this pay-per-view originally aired I was on vacation in Miami, FL. I went down to the hotel's lobby late one evening to check my e-mail and the results of this show. I couldn't believe my eyes. I seriously thought it was a joke -- I mean, this was just surreal, and I couldn't help but wonder, who booked this shit? Green rookies that had no connection with audiences like Kenzo Suzaki and Mordeci were squashing longtime veterans and locker room leaders like Billy Gunn and Hardcore Holly in throwaway matches? It looked like the writers literally booked the show the night before, that is, after a night of filet mignon and prostitute ass.

The four-way match didn't work on a couple levels for me. First off, the concept of these types of matches doesn't fly in terms of reality. We're supposed to believe these guys are actually fighting each other, competing in an athletic contest in attempt at gaining a victory, correct? But, in these types of matches, you'll constantly see guys moving out of the way of other guys' offense, placating to each other so they can get their spots off. That's why spotty indy workers love four-ways, because you don't have to have any talent as a storyteller to pull one off that'll make the marks cream their pants in psuedo appreciation. All that being said, nobody shined in this match; even the usually solid Booker T even fumbled through a couple sloppy sequences that made me wince.

Although I scored it low for being altogether unspectacular, Reigns and Haas wasn't bad by any means, just not noteworthy whatsoever. There were a few miscommunications, but they kept a nice pace. Chavo and Rey was the match of the entire show. During the first-half, the wrestling was perfectly acceptable, but neither the crowd nor I felt involved or absorbed in what was happening. The second-half really picked up, though, and they delivered a satisfying match with a quick surprising and believable finish.

I tried to get into Kenzo when he debuted but it's hard to find anything nice to say about most of his matches. I thought this one was especially bad. Gunn got in almost no moves, and Suzaki's offense was slow and plodding, like his mother's descent into alcoholism. Sable and Torrie went longer than I anticipated, which was a bad thing, as they actually attempted to wrestle -- earlier in the show, there was a backstage skit with Torrie in a hot tub with three guys, not the first time I'd bet she was wet with three shirtless man surrounding her.

Mordeci and Holly was an absolute mess. Holly slingshoted him on the top rope at one point, Mordeci oversold it and flew back into Holly who was facing the opposite direction, leading him to flail across the ring like he'd just seen a ghost. This was your routine TV squash, not suitable for pay-per-view exposure in my opinion. Eddy and JBL was something I looked forward to watching, but it left a bad taste in my mouth, not too different than the one Vince deposited in Sable's mouth later that night in a hotel room. JBL took a brutal chairshot and did a great blade job, bleeding tons, but not much else was memorable, at least not in a positive way. They bungled their first table spot, neither the rope nor the scoring lights used in this gimmick match worked correctly, and the finish was atrocious, where Kurt Angle rolled down the aisle in a wheelchair and reversed the decision, giving JBL his first major championship, leading to a reign that lasted forever and forced many fans to consider suicide.

You may think I'm just being harsh, but seriously, the main event was easily the worst pay-per-view headliner I think I've ever seen the WWE offer. There were so many gimmicks blatantly overshadowing the wrestling, with Paul Bearer being trapped in a glass box in the aisle as Paul Heyman systematically poured wet concrete on him. The actual wrestling itself was pathetic -- this proves the Dudley Boyz were never main event material, and Undertaker should be ashamed of himself. The DVD bonus, from Heat, was surprisingly awesome. These matches usually follow a format of rushing to an uninspired finish after about four minutes. This, albeit short, showcased both Jamie and Spike's attributes well, and was fast-paced and enjoyable.

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