San Jose, California
July 22, 2007
thanks to pwtorch.com for the results
They start with a video package on the World Hvt. Title match from Smackdown and WWE Title match from Raw. The only promise made by John Cena is that Lashley will get his best.
Michael Cole and JBL introduced the PPV and said over 14,000 are in the building. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler talked about Raw's top maches. Joey Styles and Tazz are there to call the only ECW match on the PPV.
Matt Hardy came out to challenge MVP for the U.S. Title. They showed a video package recapping the feud on Smackdown. MVP then came out looking less-confident than usual.
1 -- MVP vs. MATT HARDY -- U.S. Title match
They exchanged shoves in the early going, then Hardy landed an arm drag and MVP bailed to the floor. Hardy wasted no time going for the first highspot of the night with a plancha on the outside. He then made a cover back in the ring for a nearfall. Cole listed off the names of former U.S. champions while MVP and Hardy had a test of strength in center ring. Not surprisingly, no mention of Benoit. Hardy went up top at 6:00, but MVP yanked him down hard to the mat. Ouch. After running over Hardy with a knee to the head, he made a series of covers for nearfalls. Keep that in mind. Hardy bit his way out of a resthold, then he fired up with right hands, but MVP caught him in the air and flung him down to the mat. MVP set up for the running knee strike again, but Hardy suddenly popped up and landed a short-arm clothesline. At 9:00, they went up top and MVP landed a superplex, but he took too long on the pin attempt and Cole pre-sold the kick out by saying the match was over. JBL went philosophical, then MVP took Hardy up top again, but Hardy countered in mid-air with a fall down splash for a nearfall. Didn't look pretty, but it worked in the context of a real fight where the moves theoretically aren't supposed to look nice all the time. Hardy then knocked the bandage off MVP's nose before hitting a bulldog from the middle rope for a close nearfall. Hardy followed with an elbow smash at 10:00 for another nearfall. MVP blocked the Twist of Fate, but Hardy came back with the Side Effect for a close nearfall. The pace quickened as each man exchanged nearfalls at 13:00 before MVP ran over Hardy with a boot to the face. Hardy slumped down to the mat, then MVP executed an awkward Playmaker for the pin and the win.
WINNER: MVP in 14:00 to retain the U.S. Title. Nearfalls: Hardy 9, MVP 7. Very good opening match. It was sloppy at times, but in a way that played into the believability of the in-ring action since it's theoretically a real fight. Surprisingly, they opened the show with a heel retaining a belt. (***)
They cut backstage where Todd Grisham interviewed Dusty Rhodes, who walked into the shot with a bullrope wrapped around his neck. Rhodes cut a Southern-style promo about knocking off someone's head off in his match against Randy Orton. Rhodes told us a story about being down on the ranch in Texas. Don't ask me to translate. I'm from the city.
2 -- CRUISERWEIGHT OPEN -- CW Title match
Jimmy Wang Yang came out first, then Shannon Moore came out to his heel Reject music. Funaki, who is apparently from the entire country of Japan, came out next. Jamie Noble came out fourth. Cruiserweight champion Chavo Guerrero came out as the final participant, rocking the dark heel beard. Cole foreshadowed that Chavo won the CW Title as a surprise entrant at the No Way Out PPV in February. Suddenly, the bell sounded and Hornswoggle ran through the ring and slipped under the apron. Weird. Random action commenced as Cole and JBL joked about the smaller Noble having the audacity to stand up to the larger men in the battle royale on Smackdown. Apparently, this is first-pin-wins rather than the usual elimination style match. Chavo went for the Three Amigos suplexes on Yang, but Yang slipped out of the third suplex and caught Chavo with a moonsault for a close nearfall at 5:00. Noble, Chavo, and Yang then set up a Tower of Doom spot. Suddenly, Hornswoggle entered the match and covered Noble after a tadpole splash from the top rope. The ref hesitated, apparently consulted with his bookie in the front row, then counted Hornswoggle's pin for the win.
Generic Irish music hit, then Hornswoggle received the CW Title and celebrated on the Smackdown announce table. Someone must have been watching the British Open when booking this match. JBL said Hornswoggle ran through the ring when the bell sounded, so maybe that makes him legal. After the match, the "regular-sized" Cruiserweights tried to chase Hornswoggle under the ring, but he escaped to the other side.
WINNER: Hornswoggle in 6:00 to capture the CW Title. Nearfalls: Yang 2, Moore 3, Noble 1, Chavo 1, Funaki 1. Blame Caldwell. I think I half-jokingly suggested this in the C&R Audio Update previewing the Bash. This isn't new territory for Hornswoggle, who won a version of the X Division Title on the NWA circuit as Shortstack before coming to WWE. (*1/2)
They aired a video package on Triple H, linked to a Summerslam plug.
They showed footage on Bobby Lashley's brief WWE career.
3 -- THE SANDMAN vs. CARLITO -- Singapore Cane on a pole match
Before the bell sounded, Carlito threw his apple at Sandman. Sandman chased Carlito around the ring, then they returned to the ring and the bell sounded. They stared at the pole hanging above the corner turnbuckle, then commenced the wrestling exchange. Carlito met Sandman with a standing dropkick, then he tried to climb the pole, but Sandman yanked him down after grabbing a handful of trunks. Carlito then missed with a turnaround splash off the ropes, and Sandman climbed the pole to retrieve the Kendo stick. He went for a home run, but Carlito ducked and nailed Sandman with the back cracker for the win.
WINNER: Carlito in 6:00. Nearfalls: None. Basic singles match. Can't really be disappointed that they didn't use the Kendo Stick since the match wasn't even advertised on TV. (*1/4)
Backstage, Randy Orton cut a promo on his match with Dusty Rhodes. He asked Todd Grisham if he knows that it's Shawn Michaels's birthday. Grisham said he didn't know that. Orton retorted: "Neither does Shawn Michaels since I punted him in the face. He doesn't remember too many things." Great, great line. Orton said he would do the same thing to Dusty.
Melina came to the ring for the Women's Title match. No buffer spot tonight. Candice came out sporting a holey, futuristic outfit. Looked like someone cut a bunch of holes in those futuristic uniforms MLB pulled out a few years ago to show what certain teams would be wearing in 50 years. Ross said Candice is the first diva search contestant to win the Women's Title, and she's shown that hard work pays off in WWE.
4 -- CANDICE MICHELLE vs. MELINA -- Women's Title match
Candice with a fireman's carry take over into a bridge pin for a nearfall. Melina then caught her in the corner and landed a double foot stomp to the chest to send Candice crashing to the mat. Melina then stretched Candice's arms to soften her up. Candice made her comeback with clotheslines and a dropkick before catching Melina with a discus clothesline for a nearfall. Candice then caught Melina off the top rope with a cross body splash for a nearfall, but Melina came back with a hanging neckbreaker for a nearfall and screams of frustration. Candice came back with an attempted heel kick, but Melina ducked. Melina failed on a high-impact move, then Candice came up with a standing bulldog, the Candy Wrapper, for the win.
WINNER: Candice in 6:00 to retain the Women's Title. Nearfalls: Melina 2, Candice 2. Decent action. A struggle at times, as Candice is getting there, but she's not fluid for the entire length of a match. (*1/4)
They aired a video package hyping WrestleMania 24 at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida on March 30, 2008.
Backstage, Matt Hardy checked on Jeff Hardy. He said he lost his focus on MVP for one second, and it cost him. Suddenly, they cut to Candice Michelle, who seductively approached a water bottle container in a completely different camera shot. Matt and Jeff were stunned, then they did a slow motion video shot of Candice pouring water all over herself, set to some jazz porn music. Matt and Jeff watched intently as Candice turned around and poured water down her backside. Ron Simmons walked into the shot breathing heavily. His lip quivered, then he stammered out a "Damn". Well, if this replaces Tim White's suicide and William Regal's penis, then I'll take it.
5 -- UMAGA vs. JEFF HARDY -- Intercontinental Title match
They fought to the outside in the opening minute, then returned to the ring and Umaga smashed Hardy to the mat with a Samoan Drop. Umaga then settled into an offensive attack on Hardy's neck and upper back. Ross and Lawler talked about Hardy pulling big upsets in his career, including a defeat of Triple H for the IC Title. That was a WCW-like series of title switches in April 2001 when the belt went from Jericho to Hunter to Hardy to Hunter in a two-week period. Hardy tried to make a comeback, but Umaga sat down on Hardy's chest off the ropes. He then landed a rear splash to the chest. The referee reprimanded Umaga for using the ropes, but he went for a second rear splash and Hardy caught him with two feet to the crotch. Hardy went for a top rope splash, but Umaga caught him in mid-air and landed a twisting Black Hole Slam for a close nearfall. Umaga went up top at 8:00 for a diving headbutt, but Hardy moved out of the way and Umaga ate the mat. Hardy made a comeback, then he knocked Umaga to the floor and hit a plancha. Back in the ring, Hardy went for a sunset flip, but Umaga went for a rear splash, only to catch the mat again. Hardy suddenly hit a double-foot kick to the chest for his first nearfall of the match. Umaga came back with a charging rear splash attempt in the corner, but Hardy moved and caught Umaga with the Twist of Fate for another close nearfall.
At 11:00, Umaga poled himself with a corner splash attempt, then Hardy went up top and hit the Swanton Bomb. Fans popped huge. He took too long to make the cover, so Umaga kicked out just before three. The fans exploded in frustration, then came down as Hardy went for the Twist of Fate, only to have Umaga shove him off and hit a big standing side kick. He quickly followed with the big rear splash in the corner, then the Samoan Spike to the throat that nearly took Hardy's head off. He made the cover for the win.
WINNER: Umaga in 12:00 to retain the IC Title. Nearfalls: Hardy 3, Umaga 2. What a dramatic final five minutes. Easily the most exciting stretch of wrestling on the show tonight. Umaga is under-rated as a worker, while the Hardys continue to deliver solid wrestling as singles wrestlers. (***1/4)
They aired a video package on John Cena's journey to WWE champion.
The artist formerly known as Johnny Nitro came to the ring for the ECW Title match. They have to do something about Morrison's generic classic rock music. There's absolutely no kick to it. They aired a video package on Morrison's name change on last week's ECW TV, then C.M. Punk walked out for the Vengeance re-match.
6 -- JOHN MORRISON vs. C.M. PUNK -- ECW Title match
Basic feeling-out-process to start the match. Punk nearly won with a slingshot suplex in the opening two minutes, then he monkey flipped Morrison out of the corner and Morrison slipped to the outside to catch his breath. On the floor, Punk followed up with a clothesline, but Morrison tripped Punk on the stairs and Punk ate the top ring step. Back in the ring, Punk went for the Go 2 Sleep, but Nitro countered into a take down for a nearfall. Punk came back with kicks and fist strikes, then they exchanged pin attempts until the ref caught Morrison trying to use the top rope for additional leverage. Punk tried to set up his finishing sequence, but Morrison slipped out of the ring and tried to leave with the title belt, but Punk threw him back into the ring. Punk then went for a springboard dropkick, but Morrison caught him with a kick straight to the knee. That didn't look right. Morrison quickly rolled up Punk and made a cover for the win. Afterward, Morrison held up the ECW Title on the stage while Punk grasped his knee in pain. Either a heck of a sell job or Punk's knee is screwed.
WINNER: Morrison in 8:00 to retain the ECW Title. Nearfalls: Morrison 3, Punk 6. Crowd came down from the IC Title match and just watched this one. Decent action. Let's hope Punk was just selling that knee, but the pin seemed to be an audible called in the ring. (**)
They aired a video package on the Rhodes vs. Orton feud. Classic footage of Rhodes's previous bullrope matches. Randy Orton came out first, then Dusty came out dressed for a night on the town, except that he had a bullrope in hand. Orton was reluctant to get tied up to the rope, so Ross talked about the wrestlers Dusty has faced in this type of match.
7 -- RANDY ORTON vs. DUSTY RHODES -- Texas Bullrope match
Dusty had a big grin on his face when Orton finally hooked up to the rope and the bell sounded. Dusty toyed with Orton, then yanked him to the outside. Dusty debated whether to use his bionic elbow or the cowbell, then opted for an elbow smash to Orton's head. Back in the ring, Orton took control by smashing the cowbell into Dusty's taped left knee. Orton then settled for a customary chinlock, but he added the rope around Dusty's mouth to spice it up. Ross talked about Orton trying to restrict the flow of blood to the head with the sleeper hold, which is a tough description to stomach four weeks later. Dusty then fired back with big elbow smashes before Orton avoided an elbow drop. Orton came to his feet and smashed Dusty in the head with the cowbell. He made the cover for the win. Surprisingly quick finish. After the match, Orton threatened to kick Dusty in the head, but Cody slipped into the ring and grabbed the cowbell to fend off Orton.
WINNER: Orton in 6:00. Nearfalls: Dusty 0, Orton 0. Entertaining, but for being one of the most-hyped matches on the card, six minutes was too short, especially when the match was starting to build momentum. Maybe I've seen too many wrestling angles, but I can't help but think the Cody-turns-on-Dusty angle is coming at some point. (*1/2)
They aired a video package on Edge relinquishing the World Hvt. Title on Smackdown before Great Khali won the belt in a 20-man battle royale. They showed footage of Khali interfering in the #1 Contender match between Batista and Kane to set up a triple threat match on the PPV.
Kane came out first, then they paused before hitting Batista's music. Great Khali came out next to triple reinforce the idea of only big men competing for the World Title. JBL said the match would be monkey-butt ugly and not for the purists. It's a match for fans who enjoy watching big men beat each other up.
8 -- GREAT KHALI (w/The Translator) vs. BATISTA vs. KANE -- World Hvt. Title match
Batista and Kane tried to gang up on Khali to start things off, but Khali ran them over with a double-clothesline. Cole said Edge had successful surgery. Khali ran over both men with ugly clotheslines, then he applied a nerve hold to Batista's right shoulder. Kane tried to sneak attack Khali, but he fought him off and slammed him to the mat. Cole told the fans to get used to Khali dominating the brand. The match spilled to the outside and Khali cleared the ECW announce table. Batista and Kane recovered, though, and worked together on a double chokeslam sending Khali through the ECW announce table at 5:00. The fans ringside popped. Back in the ring, Batista and Kane had their singles match. Kane measured Batista for a chokeslam, but Khali re-entered the ring. Kane then surprised Khali with a chokeslam for a nearfall that Batista broke up. Batista and Kane fought to the outside and Kane ate the ringpost. Back in the ring, Khali ran over Batista with a big boot before Batista came back with a spinebuster for a nearfall when Kane broke up the pin attempt. Kane then dropped Batista with a chokeslam, made a cover, and Batista nearly didn't kick out in time. Kane tried to bring a chair into the ring, but Batista dropped him with a spinebuster. He hit the Batista bomb, but Khali yanked Batista out of the ring before he could make a cover. Khali KO'ed Batista on the floor, then Khali gave Kane the two-hand choke slam in the ring. He dropped down and covered Kane for the win to retain the belt.
WINNER: Khali in 11:00 to retain the World Hvt. Title. Nearfalls: Kane 2, Batista 1, Khali 1. Decent drama considering the lack of athleticism in the ring. They're going to have to do more gimmick matches with Khali as champion because there aren't too many John Cenas on the roster to carry him to a solid WWE-style main event match. (**1/4)
They aired a video package on the Powerful Family DVD.
They aired another video package on Triple H. Another hint, as King Booker's music hit after the video aired. Booker walked out on stage with Sharmell and posed. He cut the same promo about Triple H that he cut on Raw, then he approached "Jerome" Lawler and told him to place his crown down at Booker's feet. Lawler slowly removed his headset and stood up from his chair with crown in hand. Lawler told Booker that if he wants the crown, he needs to come get it. Booker considered this an act of treason, then he left the ring with Sharmell and returned to the back. Crowd wasn't sure what to make of the King and Queen's sudden.
Ross then talked about the Summerslam PPV and said they understand Triple H will return at the PPV. He introduced a video package on the Cena vs. Lashley feud.
Bobby Lashley came out first to a re-mix of his entrance music. They paused before hitting Cena's music and there were noticeable boos until his music hit and the kids and women started screaming. Ross said he's at day 308 in his title reign. Lillian Garcia handled the formal intros and Lashley was booed. Cena was introduced to a very loud mixed reaction.
9 -- JOHN CENA vs. BOBBY LASHLEY -- WWE Title match
They had a brief nose-to-nose confrontation before backing away and charging for a lock-up. Lashley drove Cena to a corner, then the ref asked for a break. They had another lock-up into a test of strength. Lashley took Cena down to both knees, but Cena powered to his feet and Lashley shoved him off to the corner. Lashley took advantage of Cena's over-aggressiveness and showed Cena the ropes with a round of amateur wrestling mat holds. Cena tried to surprise Lashley with the STFU, but Lashley quickly slipped to the outside and recovered. Back in the ring, Lashley missed with a corner splash giving Cena the offensive advantage. Cena dropped Lashley with a fisherman suplex as the fans chanted, "Cena sucks". Lashley recovered at 5:00 with a t-bone suplex for a nearfall. He came up bleeding with a nick on his forehead, then he dropped Cena with a sidewalk slam for another nearfall. Lashley missed with a kick, then Cena dropped Lashley with a Blockbuster. He then came off the top with a guillotine leg drop and rolled over Lashley for a nearfall. Lashley recovered and wrapped his legs around Cena's upper body and stretched him in center ring.
At 10:00, Cena powered out, then avoided a corner splash and dropped Lashley with consecutive turn-out slams. He followed with the Five Knuckle Shuffle, then Lashley stumbled into the FU, but Lashley slipped out and hit a powerslam for a nearfall. Lashley followed with a forward-falling Torture Rack Slam, then he posed for the crowd and the fans booed him rather loudly. Lashley went for the Dominator, but Cena slipped out and hit the FU at 12:00. Both men recovered on the mat, then Cena draped an arm over Lashley for only a two count since he took too long to make a cover. Lashley didn't waste any time making a big comeback with consecutive clotheslines. He measured Cena for a spear, but Cena surprised him with a drop toe hold into the STFU. Amazing counter. The fans came to their feet as Lashley tried to fight the hold. After showing a facial reaction of nearly passing out, Lashley made a desperation grab for the bottom rope to break the hold. Cena then recovered against the ropes and talked to the ref, but walked right into a spear. Lashley made a cover, but Cena got a shoulder up just in time. Nice sequence. Lashley took Cena up top for a superplex, but Cena countered into an FU from the top rope. Not the prettiest move ever, but the crowd responded well to it. Cena then jumped down and covered Lashley for the win to retain the belt.
After the match, Cena celebrated with the belt in hand. Lashley then came to his feet and approached Cena in center ring. The music stopped and they slowly approached each other. Lashley slowly extended a hand, then Cena thought it over before drawing in close to shake his hand. Ross said that's two Great Americans laying it all on the line at the Bash. Cena's music hit again, then the camera followed Lashley up the entrance ramp while Cena played to the crowd in the ring.
WINNER: Cena in 15:00 to retain the WWE Title. Nearfalls: Lashley 8, Cena 3. The fastest 15-minute title match I can remember because it just flowed so well. It seems like they were just getting started once they went to the finish at 15:00, yet there was great drama packed into that quarter-hour that it was a complete title match. Lashley losing a close match indirectly put over the other men on the card who lost close matches. A well-booked conclusion to the PPV. (***1/2)