Ruthless Aggression #5: The Great American Bash – July 23, 2006.
The Ruthless Aggression Era was a time when the WWE roster was so huge and so varied that they had no way of continuing storylines each week on their two main shows – RAW and Smackdown – and so they created the draft where wrestlers and announcers would be drafted onto either one of the two shows. Smackdown wrestlers would not (usually) be able to appear on Raw or interact with Raw wrestlers and vice versa.
Ten years ago, on July 23, 2006, the PPV The Great American Bash aired. It was a SmackDown! PPV, and the first SmackDown! PPV since Judgment Day in May. Personally, the PPV came at a time where I had grown weary with professional wrestling, confused by the sheer number of wrestlers and unwilling to spend so much time per week watching hours of footage and trawling through shows, replays, promos and matches. I simply watched the PPVs. Over the next four weeks, I will review this PPV from the perspectives of a fan looking back at it after a decade as well as my original thoughts as a younger man watching it at the time.
The Great American Bash 2006
There was no tagline this time either, though it doesn’t surprise me as SmackDown! is the B-show. The poster shows Batista roaring as an American flag surrounds him. Despite the fact that I am an Irishman living in Scotland, I chose to review this on July 4th which is Independence Day in America.
After the video to remind us that we’re watching men hit each other, the American flat waves, sparkling in the breeze. The announcer tells us that America is the land of the free where everyone is able to chase their wildest dreams. We then see images of Khali (an Indian who does not speak English), The Undertaker (a zombie from Death Valley), Booker T (a black man pretending to be a king), and Rey Mysterio (a tiny Mexican). All colours, nationalities, creeds and genders are shown here. And by “all”, I mean, “more than just white men”.
The announcer then tells us that Khali hails “from the jungles of India” and tells us that he is Undertaker’s “greatest challenge” which is an honest-to-God lie. We see Booker T heel it up with his mad wife and Rey appears as the announcer tells us that it will be the “most captivating event of the night,” which is also a lie.
Pyro hits and the smoke fails to clear as we are introduced to Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis. 9,750 people in attendance with 232,000 PPV buys, a drop from the 337,000 buys at Vengeance. Your announcers are moustache-and-soul-patch combo’d Michael Cole and Cunt JBL, a sign of things to come as the two are still inseparable ten years later, despite the best efforts of both taste and decency. We also have mad Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabrera. As usual, they are cut off because who cares about the Mexicans? Certainly not the WWE.
(Note: Before the PPV began, there was a dark match featuring Funaki and Simon Dean. Funaki, funnily enough, would later become the Japanese commentator and this would be Simon Dean’s final PPV match as he left to work with developmental shortly afterwards.)
Generic music hits and down rocks the WWE Tag Team Champions, Paul London and Brian Kendrick. They’re all garbed in purple with ninja hoods adorned with a skull motif. Very edgy, lads. I don’t think there is any part of the human anatomy that has been on more wrestling merch than skulls other than boobs or dicks.
Stereo backflips from the men. Cole calls them “strange dudes”. Cunt JBL says that they are from Pluto and then goes on a rant about the Spanish Announcers because he is a cunt. Jamie Noble and Kid Cash come out, chains around their necks, known as The Pit Bulls. Our referee here, Charles “Little Naitch” Robinson, is in Kid Kash’s face telling him to step the hell back.
WWE Tag Team Championship match: Paul London and Brian Kendrick (c) def. The Pit Bulls (Jamie Noble and Kid Kash) via pin in 13:28.
Kash goes for London’s legs and the two brawl for a bit in what looks to be a shoot scrap for a bit. Cole names all the people who have ever wrestled. Kash shouts in London’s face. Cunt JBL talks about how being in a tag team is different to being a singles wrestler. Kid Kash goes for a hip toss and London lands it, gains some momentum and gives a lovely takedown, tags in Kendrick and throws his partner at Kash. Noble gets tagged in and slaps Kendrick with a wonderful slap before getting a cross body.
London off the tag hits Noble with a dangerous double-leg boot to the back. London gets thrown into the corner and Noble takes control but London tags in his partner, clean house and hit the stereo dive between the ropes after a quick celebration. The crowd pop as bodies lie everywhere. Kendrick tries to jump off the turnbuckle onto Noble but Kash puts him off and The Pit Bulls take over. Cunt JBL likes it. Kash lifts Kendrick up by his hair and slams him down. JBL says, “It’s like being on the road, away from your wife: It’s only cheating if you get caught, pal.” Prick.
Kendrick hits Kash with a great hurricanrana and Noble goes to jump on him, but takes a ring rope to the balls. London takes both Nitro and Kash down with suplexes, London is on the apron, knocks Kash off and as he attempts to enter the ring, London gets booted to the outside by Nitro. Nitro stomps a mudhole in him and walks it dry but fails to get the pin. London gets a big clap as chinlock city lasts for an acceptable amount of time: less than ten seconds. Noble gets Kendrick in an ankle lock and Kash is in, rough as anything on London’s head and neck. Another wicked chop brings London to his knees.
Kash pulls at London’s trunks and both the Pit Bulls give London a stereo headbutt. The pace is slowing down right now and London is fighting back, aiming for the hot tag and Kash is kicked away, Noble is knocked to the ground and as Kendrick is about to get the tag, Noble pulls him off the apron. The Pit Bulls double team London and two great flips (one from Noble, one from London) get Kendrick in and he cleans house, rolling about and battering the Pit Bulls with ruthless abandon. Two count stopped by a hand on the ropes. Hurricanrana to pin attempt stopped by Noble. London comes in and breaks up an attempt at a double underhook powerbomb. Kendrick runs to the top rope and jumps out to hit Noble.
In the ring, London and Kash grapple as the latter attempts a brainbuster. Kendrick does a great sunset flip over the both of them and as Kash is Aloha Arning, trying to gain footing and not get pinned, London jumps up, dropsaults (dropkick/somersault combo) him in the chest and Kash is rolled up for the pin in 13:28.
Fantastic start. Kendrick and London are great in this match and the only downside is Kid Kash’s stiff shots.
I hope these teams fight forever.
Great start all together. It can only go downhill from here, it seems. The pair of them celebrate as Noble and Kash look on, angrily. London seems in genuine pain, especially from the chest where Kash dropkicked him.
On the Card will return on July 30 with the second part of The Great American Bash 2006.