Tim Watches The Worst of the WWE Network: WWE Great American Bash 2004
It’s not often I get excited to review one of these shows, because logic dictates that if I am watching a show for the purpose of writing, the show is awful. But this is a show I have never seen. In 2003, I was young and it was hard to justify watching EVERY show when they cost $35-$40 apiece. And high speed internet and illegal streams weren’t as prevalent as they would be in later years, so in most cases you either paid for the show or missed it. Plus, I looked at the card for this show, which is something I usually don’t do, and it really doesn’t seem that awful.
And it wasn’t. I got about 45 minutes in and it was a perfectly fine show. So, with that said, it’s time for a Russo type SWERVE!! Welcome to Great American Bash 2004!!
The video package here is something else. JBL vs. Eddie is ok. Cena defending his title in a 4-way is ok. But the concrete crypt part is just wacky as hell.
The show starts with Torrie Wilson in her Great American Bash outfit. You’ve seen it if you’ve ever seen the poster to the show, or the DVD cover.
Tazz and Michael Cole welcome us to the show while they pan the crowd and finally settle on the concrete truck. With the concrete that will kill Paul Bearer if Undertaker doesn’t do something.
Fatal Four Way for the US title is first with John Cena defending against Booker T, Rene Dupree and Rob Van Dam. I met John Cena once before a Raw show at Arco Arena. It was 2005 and it was October, so during his first title run, and he couldn’t have been nicer. Personable, looked everyone in the eyes, firm handshake, listened to people. I’ve been a fan ever since. Cena is out first and raps about beating three guys like Kurt Angle’s hand. Says RVD will be rolling blunts, Booker T is a small time sucker like a knee high hoe, and Renee is more of a bitch than Fifi. He also says that since the navy is in the house, Renee is excited by all the seamen. That was a pretty racy little promo. Too bad they did away with all that to sell billions of rainbow colored t-shirts. RVD is out next, but fucking Renee Dupree is out in quite the outfit. Seriously, you must see it. Stop reading, pull the show up, and come back.
Booker T is out last. They start out fast with all four guys brawling. Cena’s punches have not improved in the last 13 years. RVD pairs off with Booker while Renee and Cena go at it. Is there any reason this wasn’t a one on one with Booker and Cena? Dupree is awful. His punches are almost as bad as Cena’s. Apparently this is an elimination match. Ugh. Michael Cole messes up an atomic drop, calling it an inverted atomic drop. This also shows that Michael Cole has not improved over the last 13 years. The story here is that Booker T is not entering the match, staying outside as it is an elimination match. Dupree has been in control for the last two minutes, and it’s been boring. He’s done almost nothing, so now’s a good time for a rest hold. RVD finally takes over and hits a split legged moonsault and a rolling thunder for two. RVD tosses Dupree outside, where Cena and Booker already were, and nothing happens for a moment. Time stands still. RVD hits a flip dive to the outside and wipes out Cena and Dupree. Cena and RVD have a super sloppy cradle sequence. RVD slips outside and tosses Booker T in. Cena gets some nearfalls on Booker before he tosses Dupree in and Booker and Dupree fight. Renee does the French Tickler but gets caught with a big ass spine buster from Booker T. This allows RVD to hit the Five Star frog splash on… someone. It was tough to tell who. So, he hits a clean one on Booker T who was about 2/3 across the ring. Cena sneaks in and eliminates RVD.
I wonder if Kenny Omega will start doing a Six Star Frog Splash?
Cena tosses Dupree in but gets waylaid by Booker T and finds himself in trouble at the hands of Booker T and Renee Dupree. Dupree has the bleached highlights here, which is not a good look. At all. It’s not a good look on referee Brian Hebner either.Booker T and Renee Dupree show they are idiots by arguing about who is going to pin John Cena. I hate shit like that. Why would you be fighting with each other? The stupidity of Booker and Renee allows Cena to take over. Cena hits a FU on Dupree, but Booker delivers a scissor kick before Cena could cover, and Booker T covers Renee Dupree to eliminate the French man.
Now down to Booker T vs. John Cena. Booker T takes over for a bit and they do a good job here of getting some good near falls and keeping the crowd into the match. They are really hot for Cena’s comeback, and it’s funny to hear the crowd pop for things they usually wouldn’t, like the five knuckle shuffle. Booker T cuts Cena off and hits a big spin kick, but he misses the Scissor Kick. Cena does not miss the FU and gets the win. John Cena was responsible for all three eliminations. Not a bad match. I hate four ways, but this was an ok one. The crowd cared, which is always important. This was a long match that didn’t feel long and was easy to watch.
After the replays, Cena is walking backstage. He runs into Charlie Haas and Jackie Gayda (who might be his wife still, I don’t know) and hits on Jackie. Kurt Angle is mad that Charlie is friends with Kurt Angle. So he puts Haas into a match with Luther Reigns. Well that’s not fair to me.
Sable is in a hot tub. She looks like an old milf porn star. I’m not sure if that is a complaint or a compliment.
Haas is out with boring music, boring gear and a boring titan tron. Jackie is out with Charlie in quite the USA outfit. She does not look like a milf porn star. Reigns is next to equally awful music. He is pushing Kurt Angle out in a wheel chair. There’s a lot of problems with WWE these days, but at least the music isn’t freaking awful. This has to be short, right? When you look at a guy like Reigns, and he looks like he looks, you have to know he sucked because he never made it in WWE. And boy he sucks. Easily the worst wrestler named Reigns I have seen this year. Reigns controls with typical “Roid Guy” offense. Big boots, forearms to the back, driving his back into the corner and the ring apron. Reigns is like a less impressive Sid. Imagine that. A less impressive and over Sid. Reigns puts on some awful submission holds. Is that because he’s mentored by Angle? Angle should have told him not to worry about it. This is a very boring squash. Reigns finally misses a charge and Haas delivers a suplex to slow Reigns down. Charlie gets 2 on a germansuplex, which I wasn’t expecting. Haas misses a charge and Reigns delivers something like a roll of the dice and gets the win. What a horribly boring match. It was around 7 minutes and could have been done in 4.
JBL is in the back with and goes on and on about how he always gets what he wants and always does what he says he will do. He also rings a cowbell. He claims that the bullrope match is his match. I can’t think of many more bullrope matches JBL actually had. I know he didn’t have any before this. It’s like they said “well, he’s from Texas, so he must use a bull rope!” JBL, the heel, guarantees that he will walk out as WWE champion. Well that must mean it’s not happening.
Freaking Chavo Guerrero is out. This isn’t WCW Chavo, who was still young and motivated. This is balding Chavo Guerrero who is comfortable in his position and not trying to prove anything. He is challenging Rey Mysterio for the cruiserweight title. Judging by Chavo here, there wasn’t a strict 205 pound limit at this point in history. Also nice to watch a show without everyone talking about social media and trending and all that shit. Chavo Guerrero really reminds me of Ryuske Taguchi from New Japan. Completely bland and average almost all the time, but when in there with the right opponent or under the right circumstances, they can still deliver a good performance. Chavo is good here because Rey isn’t going to let him be awful. Taguchi was really good in the Super Juniors tournament this year because he was put in a spot to deliver really good matches against Kushida and Ospreay. I really don’t have a ton to say about the match here because it’s a solid, well worked match that the crowd really isn’t in to. So it’s like most matches on WWE PPV’s these days. I think I have used that line before.
Anyways, Chavo takes over by working on Rey’s knee and he actually manages to get some decent heat doing it, waking the crowd up a bit. This is almost like a Flair vs. Steamboat match from a structure standpoint. Chavo is beating up Rey’s leg and Rey gets a hope spot here and there but Chavo remains firmly in control. Chavo even gets Rey in a stretch muffler at one point. Focus is 100% on the knee. Rey does a great job in selling his leg even while making his comeback, which is something not enough guys do. I can understand ignoring the pain for a moment or two, but going into a 5 minute hot sequence and not even wincing is the worst. Every time Rey starts a comeback, he gets some more in on Chavo but the knee always causes him to stop. They tease a superlpex to the floor, but Rey fights back and drags Chavo back into the ring with something like a face buster. Rey hits a move, grabs his knee. Goes for a cover, grabs his knee. Misses a move and the knee “gives out.” Chavo gets a tremendous near fall after a Gori Bomb. It’s going well for Chavo until he somehow finds his throat draped over the middle rope. A 619 follows, but when Rey goes for the Frankensteiner, Chavo counters with an awesome single leg crab. What a match. Chavo tries another Gori bomb, but Rey counters to a Code Red and gets the three.
Really solid match that I was not expecting at all. I think Chavo’s career post Eddie’s passing really taints his pre Eddie stuff because I have yet to see a Chavo match that I hate during these reviews. Not a MOTYC or anything, but when you are expecting a * match and get ***1/2, it’s a good time.
Torrie is in a hot tub with some cruiser weights. She stands up and is in a red white and blue bikini that is… yeah. Wow.
Oh boy, Kenzo Suzuki time! Hooray. This is Kenzo’s PPV debut. He is wrestling Billy Gunn. Amazing. Kenzo would actually go on to be really entertaining in AAA a few years from now. Main evented TripleMania and everything. Billy Gunn is still an Ass Man here. Too many assess, too little time. No truer words have ever been put to music. Kenzo is from Japan, so of course he takes a karate type stance. And he does karate type moves. Billy does the laziest fisherman’s suplex I have ever seen. This match is tremendously boring. A freaking nerve hold. Is Kenzo 500 pounds? No? Well he shouldn’t be doing a nerve hold in that case. Is it possible WWE was trying to hire Kensuke Sasaki and got Kenzo instead? Nerve hold for the second time. This is like watching a mid-card match on Prime Time Wrestling in 1988. Just boring, lethargic action. The crowd is less hot than in 88, however, so it’s even less watchable. Kenzo switches from a nerve hold to a variation of a chin lock for more boring, soft hitting, low impact wrestling. Gunn finally starts to come back and injects some energy into the match. Kenzo attempts a shining wizard and does such a poor job that Cole and Tazz have no idea how to call it. That was good comedy. Kenzo delivers a low blow and hits a neck breaker onto his knee for the win. What a terribly boring match. It was like one of those Saturday Night TBS squashes that went entirely too long. Why am I watching Jimmy Garvin sell for a Mulkey? Same principle. Just boring and all around bad.
Heyman has Paul Bearer tied to a chair with a gag in. Heyman threatens to murder Bearer with concrete.
Time for what will surely be a technical classic. Sable vs. Torrie Wilson. Sable is out first, and she was in rare form here. Torrie Wilson was in rarer form. Holy moley. The wrestling is better with the women now, sure, but none of them look like Sable or Torrie. That’s a good thing. I watch wrestling shows to see wrestling. There are hundreds of ways I can see fantastic looking women. I can look at my wife for example (brownie points!). This match set wrestling back ten years. I’ve seen indywomen have better matches. And it’s going on forever. I decided I am going to bed after this match, so of course they need to do rest holds. And a double down. That goes to 9. This whole PPV feels like a two hour show stretched to fill three hours. They botch the finish to a comedic degree. Sable is supposed to be selling and pretending to be injured. Torrie has NO IDEA how to convey this, so she just walks around the ring and watches the big screen so she knows when to do her spot, which is get rolled up for the pin by Sable. AWFUL match that I wish I had never seen.
Dawn Marie is in a bikini to interview Renee Dupree. Maybe they should put the current interview girls in bikinis. Renee tries to pick up Dawn Marie. Nunzio tries as well. He has more success. Johnny the Bull is with him and he mocks Renee for the size of his feet. It was a penis joke.
Mordecai is out with a cross wrapped in barbed wire. Ok. So now Hardcore Holly is out to try and have a match with Mordecai. They start off fast. Cole mentions that Mordecai debuted at Judgment Day and for the life of me I could not recall any Mordecai match or segment ever. The thing is that I would almost never watch Smackdown because why watch something I could read about two or three days earlier? Mordecai is awful. I can’t believe they thought this would be a good feud for Taker. Mordecai locks in a chin lock to try and put Holly and the crowd to sleep. The all white outfit of Mordecai is awful as well. There was actually a pretty original spot where Holly dropped Mordecai throat first on the top rope and when Mordecai bounced back he clonked heads with Holly for a double down. That was literally the highlight of this match. After what feels like half of my lifetime, Mordecai hits a razor’s edge for the win. Never watch this. “The wrath of the pale rider continues” per Cole, meaning that stupid verbiage isn’t something new to WWE.
The video package for the WWE title match really makes Bradshaw sound like the babyface here. JBL wants a bull rope match because Eddie got dq’d to keep the title and JBL doesn’t want him to be able to run away. Eddie also stole JBL’s limo while JBL was in it and damaged it while assaulting JBL. So babyfaces being complete dicks isn’t something new to WWE. Poor Tony Chimel has to read all these stupid rules for this match and does a terrible job. He also makes the match sound horribly boring. Eddie gets a great response coming out. Blows away EVERYONE that has been on this show thus far. The people are going nuts trying to reach out and get a piece of Eddie. Also, there’s no DQ here unless someone removes the bull rope.
2 minutes into the match and the rope has already come off of Eddie. But since he didn’t take it off, it’s not a DQ. They plod around and clobber each other and basically have a match that is about half as good as these two could have without the stupid rope. The fight, a guy goes down, the other guy tries to touch the corners, and the other guy gets up and stops him. This continues forever. I actually like JBL more than most people, but this match is insufferable. They brawl in the ring, they brawl out of the ring, they hit each other with the rope, choke each other with the rope, and just keep doing a lot of the same shit. Eddie gets a chair and hits JBL with some disgusting chair shots and JBL blades something fierce. They do some more stuff, touch some more corners. I don’t think I have ever been more bored with an Eddie Guerrero match. Michael Cole lies and calls this exciting. They try a table bump, but the Spanish table goes into business for itself and doesn’t break. 4 dudes chant holy shit. JBL decides to shoot on the table and he drives Eddie through it with a power bomb. 6 dudes chant holy shit. If I never see a “touch all four corner” type match again it will be too soon. Strap, rope, chain, whatever. I never want to see it again. Cole has said “we are back to square one” around 1,437,345 times. I don’t want to be at square one after watching this for ten years. So, of course, the finish is that both guys touch three corners, but Eddie knocks JBL into the corner as he touches the corner. They announce Eddie as the champion, but NOT SO FAST my friend. Kurt Angle is out to play the role of booker Virgil Runnels to take the title from Eddie and give it to the rightful winner, JBL. What a horrid finish to a horrid match. Nothing like using the WWE title match as a vehicle to continue the Angle vs. Guerrero feud. LAME. Never watch this either. Just never watch this show. What a terrible way to end the show.
Oh shit, that wasn’t the end of the show. Completely forgot about the freaking cement truck match.
I honestly forgot about that match and just figured that the WWE title match would be the main event. That’s enough of this. I skipped the video leading to this match. I just don’t care. This show has defeated me. Paul Bearer is sitting in a box that is next to the cement truck. The Dudley’s are the tag champs here and they are accompanied by Paul Heyman. Jeez the Dudley’s look like such back yarders. Especially Bubba Ray here. Just in black track pants and a stupid looking Dudley’s jersey. Taker is out with the most ghetto looking torches. Bearer was apparently kidnapped by the Dudley’s. Weeks ago. Did no one think to call the police? Heyman has Taker’s urn, so apparently, he is controlling the Undertaker. So why is this match taking place? To torment me. So, I guess that Heyman told Taker to “do the right thing.” Is this one of those “the guy should do the job in a fake match” kind of thing. Heyman starts dumping cement into the case that Bearer is in. This is done in case Taker doesn’t do the right thing. Now Bubba is talking. Just the kind of match we need at the end of every PPV, guys talking about laying down and doing the old walk and talk.
Bubba is still talking and demanding that Taker lay down. Taker lays down, but he does his sit up before the Bubba can pin him. Taker grabs both Dudleys by the throat, but he gets distracted by Heyman and the Dudley’s take over. For about 30 seconds before Taker starts beating up both guys. Heyman distracts Taker, again, and dumps some more concrete on to Paul Bearer. Dudley’s get control again and work Taker over in a completely average and boring manner. Taker gets control, again, and starts walking towards Heyman. The Dudley’s attack him. Heyman throws the switch again, and Cole acts like this is the most upsetting thing to ever happen in wrestling. Taker actually sells for a bit before coming back again and FINALLY winning. What an exercise in tediousness. Never watch this. That is what this show should just change it’s name to: WWE Never Watch This 2004.
After the match, Taker goes up and flips the switch on the concrete truck and apparently kills Paul Bearer. This is after he used a lightning bolt to stop Heyman from doing it. And after some awful acting. Bearer is hilarious though. So Taker killed Paul Bearer. Wonderful!
This was, probably, my least favorite show. It’s not bad enough to be funny, and it’s not wacky enough to not be boring. It’s just a long, boring wrestling show. Long squash matches, nothing that felt like any sort of end or story progression. A complete DUD of a show.
Join me next time when I watch… something? Maybe some ECW. I hate ECW with passion, so that should make for some fun. So if anyone can think of some awful ECW shows on the network, let me know on Twitter by contacting @OMGlancy or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.