Well, this weekend will WWE will hold it's Not-So Great, No-Longer American BASH! Pay-per-view. This is just one of the three or four PPVs that are getting name changes this year. It was recently announced that "No Mercy" will now go by the name "Hell in the Cell" and "Cyber Sunday" will be "WWE Annihilation"... a week or so ago, "Unforgiven" (I think it was Unforgiven) was changed to "Breaking Point". I'm not a big fan of name-changes for the sake of it... and I really hope these name changes aren't indicative that the WWE will hold an ENTIRE show full of stipulation matches... I figure Breaking Point will be all submission... Hell in the Cell will feature (at least a few) Cell matches... Annihilation, um... perhaps the matches will end with "fatalities"?
Enough of all that, this time, we've got THE (great american) BASH! Let's get started.
THREE STAGES OF HELL MATCH
Randy Orton (c) v Triple H
Randy Orton just can't seem to catch a break. He's clearly head and shoulders above any heel as a performer and character than anybody on the roster now (and probably for some time), however, he just can't seem to shake Triple H. Every time Orton does something to further establish his heel character, it doesn't take all that long for HHH to put him back in his place. For instance, this week's episode of "Trump" Raw ended with a homoerotic HHH promo on Orton... while he was literally ON (a beaten down) Orton.
Anyhoo, this is a "Three Stages of Hell" match. A stip that hasn't been used in several years. It's best out of three falls. First fall being straight wrestling match, second being a Falls-count-anywhere affair, and the third (if necessary... which we know it will) is a stretcher match. I'd have rather they end it with a cage, but with a "Hell in the Cell" PPV forthcoming, I can see why they didn't.
Despite being paired in matches for quite a while now, I've never liked the in-ring chemistry between these two. I think Randy will win this one, in the third fall. Full predictions, HHH wins 1st fall. Orton cheats to win 2nd fall. The Legacy assists Randy in winning the 3rd fall. This way it'll make it seem that the feud isn't fully "blown off", and can continue into the next 73 weeks of Raw.
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
CM Punk (c) v Jeff Hardy
This will be a fun match. They've been slow-burning a CM Punk heel turn over the past month or so, that's been a blast to watch. It isn't so often in the WWE where they use subtle nuances to move a story forward.
CM Punk "cashed in" the Money-in-the-Bank contract at the end of the last PPV on newly crowned champ, Jeff Hardy. This was met with a decidedly mixed reaction. From there Punk and Hardy have had several subtle interactions. I think they'll pull the trigger on a full blown Punk heel-turn at this show, and he will retain his title.
Chris Jericho (c) v Rey Misterio
Another fun match from the SmackDown! side. Jericho and Rey have had several great matches since they were both drafted over to the blue show. This time, after teasing it for so long, the mask is finally added as a match stip. There are rumors of Misterio putting in his notice, which seems to be a trend of late... I'm not sure if it's to "work" the Internet, or if it holds any validity. Either way, I'd like to see Rey win here. If he ever WAS to lose his mask, I'd rather it be at a MAJOR show (SummerSlam, WrestleMania) than just a one-off PPV.
CHAMPIONSHIP SCRAMBLE MATCH
Tommy Dreamer (c) v Fit Finlay v Jack Swagger v Christian v Mark Henry
Last month Tommy Dreamer was finally able to pull out an ECW title victory (besides the 15 or so minute reign he had in the original ECW). This time it's being put up in a "Scramble Match". This type of match is fun and unpredictable, for the fact that for 15 minutes these five will wrestle. If a Superstar gains a victory in that 15 minutes they become an "Interim Champion", and the match continues. Whoever is the "Interim Champion" when the time limit expires becomes the ECW Champion. This is a truly stacked match up, and I can actually see any of the five walking out with the strap. If I *had* to pick, I'd go with Swagger.
WWE WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP
Melina (c) v Michelle McCool
The deal here is, if McCool wins this match, she'll be the first lady wrestler to have won both the Women's Title, and the... urm, Diva's title. I'd like to see Melina hold on to the title, as I'd rather see Mickie James or Beth Phoenix be the first woman to get the "Both Championships" nod.
Dolph Ziggler v The Great Khali
Ziggler has been making great strides since making the move to SmackDown! I had written him off (literally and figuratively... if you'd read my Supplemental Draft Thoughts) and I'm glad to be wrong. I think Ziggler will somehow pull this one out. The loss won't hurt Khali, as I'm sure it won't be a decisive one.
UNIFIED TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
The Colons (c/c) v Priceless/Legacy/Cody and Ted
The Colons had unified the WWE and World tag team titles at WrestleMania 25... err, well... *before* WM25. Since then, they've had a few defences here and there, but, overall... haven't really done anything special. Priceless, on the other hand, spends most episodes of Raw taking beatings by people trying to get at their boss, Randy Orton. So, we've got a really un-special match here, folks. Ted and Cody will take it, just so we can get the image of all three members of [The] Legacy holding championship gold.
SPECIAL GRUDGE MATCH
John Cena v The Miz
The Miz has been "calling out" John Cena for nearly 2 months now. It's actually been the one angle on Monday Night Raw that I've enjoyed since the draft. The Miz has been claiming "victories" over Cena for just about anything. I've never been a Mizanin fan... but, this angle is a winner. Miz is oddly reminiscent of a 2003 era John Cena himself, when he spent some time calling out Brock Lesnar. The Miz could really use a victory here to further push him into the main event full-time.
Worth buying? I lean towards a No here. I'm sure the HHH/Orton affair will take up 45 mins at least... and that's not something I'd pay to see. I'll definitely be keeping up with the results tho.