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HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
My The Bash Predictions
Our resident philosopher takes a look at the newly-renamed Pay-Per-View.

I want to begin by saying that it irritates me that the WWE has changed the name of this PPV. It’s the Great American Bash, not just The Bash. Now that I’ve vented about the name change, let’s take a look at this pre-Summerslam PPV.

Dolph Ziggler v The Great Khali
No-Disqualification Match

Backstory: When Dolph got drafted to Smackdown, he went for the biggest dog in the yard. Dolph has pulled all kinds of shenanigans, in the past few weeks. This match is a no-DQ bout.

Prediction: I can only imagine this match is to push Dolph. The question is: Why give him such a push? Khali has been demoted to the cannon fodder position, helping new kids to get over. Due to that, I think Dolph is going to pull something really sneaky to get a win over the Punjabi Giant.

Predicted Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Predicted Grade: D (for Dumb feud)

Tommy Dreamer v Jack Swagger v Finlay v Mark Henry v Christian
ECW Championship Scramble Match

Backstory: Tommy put his career on the line to go after the ECW strap. He won on his last day with the company (thanks to a one day extension). Swagger and Christian were also in that match and Tommy pinned Swagger, not the champion, Christian, to take the title. For some strange reason, Mark Henry and Finlay were tossed in the mix. Finlay does have a beef against Tommy and Christian for a minor eye injury that he received trying to break up a fight between the two. Why Mark Henry’s in there, instead of Evan Bourne or Vladimir Kozlov, is anyone’s guess.

Predictions: Since they made such a big deal out of Tommy winning the gold (make that platinum), I doubt seriously that they are going to have him drop the strap at a B-level PPV. There will be several pins during the 20-minutes of eligibility. Heck, everyone might get a shot at taking the title. At the end of the evening, I’m guessing Tommy will pin Finlay or Swagger for the final title switch of the night.

Predicted Final Winner: Tommy Dreamer
Predicted Grade: B-

Chris Jericho v Rey Mysterio
Intercontinental Title v Rey’s Mask

Backstory: Rey took the I-C strap from JBL at Wrestlemania 25. Jericho battled the Legends. Once the two were drafted to Smackdown, Jericho set his sights on winning his 9th I-C strap. Jericho took the belt from Rey at Extreme Rules. Jericho goaded Rey into putting his beloved mask, a Lucha tradition, up against the Intercontinental title. Rey agreed.

Prediction: This match should have been a Summerslam show stealer. Logically, Rey shouldn’t lose his mask. Marketing has to be cringing at the thought of losing all the mask merchandising, as well as the reasonably new Mask shirt. It wouldn’t be the first time that Rey Rey lost the mask. Back in WCW, Rey lost a tag match to Hall and Nash on February 21,1999. He worked the rest of his WCW career without the mask and managed to have a great career.

Since this is the first year for The Bash, they really need a huge shocker to put the show on the map. I think this is going to be the match where it happens. I expect Jericho to twist Rey’s mask, again, and pin the blinded Rey. I’d love to see Rey remove the mask, only to have his face painted. That would so tick off Jericho (and a lot of fans). Honestly, I think Rey will do the honorable thing and stand in the middle of the ring and remove his identity. It may damage his career, but I think he will survive the loss of the mask. He’s survived it before.

Predicted Winner: Chris Jericho
Predicted Grade: A+

John Cena v The Miz

Backstory: Miz wanted to make a huge impact when he got drafted to Raw. He chose John Cena as his target. Some say it was a dumb move, I thought it was brilliant. It catapulted the cocky former reality star to heights he should never have reached. Miz cut numerous promos where he ripped into Cena for his rap career, acting career and just about anything else the writers could come up with. Cena ignored him for awhile but finally decided to give the twerp his just desserts.

Prediction: WWE is getting ready to go into one of it’s Big Four PPVs of the year (Summerslam). It would be absolutely criminal for Cena to drop this match to a minimal talent like Miz. He’s just a half-step above Barry Horowitz, Duane Gill (Gillberg), the Brooklyn Brawler and all the other Jabronis of the 1980s and 90s. The only way that I see Cena losing this is if Big Show gets involved. I actually see an interesting twist possible for this match. I could see a backstage segment where Miz smarts off to Show and brags that he is going to do something Show couldn’t do, beat Cena. Show, who’s not scheduled in action, could saunter out to the ringside area and clobber Miz while the ref wasn’t looking. Cena gets the win and moves on to feud with someone of substance. Miz gets to feud with the Big Slow. Everybody (kinda) wins.

Predicted Winner: John Cena
Predicted Grade: B-

Melina v Michelle McCool
Women’s Championship Match

Backstory: Melina (and her Women’s title) got drafted over to Smackdown. Melina’s taken a few matches, but really hasn’t defended the strap, all that much. McCool wants to be the first Diva to have won both the Divas and Women’s title.

Prediction: McCool has basically been giving an easy road in the WWE, thanks to her relationship with The Undertaker. She was basically handed the Divas title. I just don’t think that McTaker is going to be given the honor of being the first to win both titles. I think that they are holding that for Mickie James at Summerslam. Melina needs a huge win to establish herself on Smackdown and this would be it. Melina would likely move on to feud with Gail Kim at Summerslam. Kim should have already been in contention for the title but WWE really forced her to re-pay her dues, first.

Predicted Winner: Melina
Predicted Grade: B+

Primo y Carlito v Ted DiBiase (Jr.) & Cody Rhodes aka Legacy
Unified Tag Team title match

Backstory: The Colon Brothers won both tag belts in a dark match before Wrestlemania. They have to face teams on all three brands in defense of the tag belts (as it should be). Rhodes and DiBiase have held tag gold before and want the Unified straps.

Prediction: WWE is either going to go with a Legacy Sweep of the titles or a Legacy Disaster. Since I think Orton is going to drop his title to Triple H, it would be logical that Legacy is going to lose. Since DiBiase is going to be going on a promo tour for The Marine 2 soon, I figure he’s going to get “injured” during the match. It could lead to the much-anticipated arrival of Joe Hennig as DiBiase’s replacement. That could set up a Triple Threat tag match at Summerslam, pitting the Colons against the Hart Dynasty and Legacy. That’s how I would book it.

Predicted Winners: Primo y Carlito
Predicted Grade: B+

C.M. Punk v Jeff Hardy</b
World Championship Match

Backstory: Punk won his second Money in the Bank briefcase at Wrestlemania 25. He waited patiently under Extreme Rules to cash it in. Jeff Hardy had just taken the World title from Edge in a fantastic Ladder Match. As Jeff celebrated his victory, Punk rushed out and took out Jeff, in short order, with the G-T-S. Jeff had a shot at regaining the title during the Three-For-All episode of Raw but came up short. Teddy Long made this match, right after that battle.

Prediction: Forget the fact that I just don’t like Jeff Hardy. I think that this one is going to be used to finish Punk’s heel turn. The Cali crowd is going to be solidly behind Jeff for this one. This one is going to be the show stealer of the night. Both men are accomplished high-flyers so they will likely go airborne for the majority of the match. I expect Edge and/or Matt Hardy to get involved. Edge wants his title back and Matt wants to make his brother’s life a living Hell. Jeff is going to have to face at least 2, possibly 3, in this match. The numbers game is going to be too much of a mountain to climb. Punk will wait until Edge/Matt do their worst to the Rainbow Warrior and then pick the bones to keep his title.

Predicted Winner: C.M. Punk
Predicted Grade: A-

Randy Orton v Triple H
Three Stages of Hell WWE Championship match

Backstory: Randy Orton set out, many months ago, to take out the entire McMahon family. During this mission, Orton eliminated Vince, Shane and Stephanie. That brought out the worst kept secret in wrestling history…HHH was married to Stephanie. Orton took out HHH, temporarily, and then went after Batista. Batista took the WWE title from Orton but ended up injured, yet again. That set up a Fatal Four Way for the WWE title, which Orton won. HHH then won a Battle Royal to earn a shot at Orton. Donald Trump, who owned Raw at the time, set the two against each other in a Last Man Standing battle. Neither man could answer the bell, so Orton kept his title.
When Vince bought back Raw from Trump, he confronted Orton. Vince, who wanted revenge for the atrocities Orton had done to the McMahon family, put Randy in a Three Stages of Hell match for this Sunday. The first fall is a standard wrestling match. The second fall is a Falls Count Anywhere match. The third fall, if it goes there, will be a Stretcher Match.

Prediction: Have a fresh round of popcorn and sodas ready, this one’s going to take awhile. I’d almost bet my pitbull, Molly, that this one’s going to three. Trip and Orton will split the first two. I give the first fall to Orton, by way of the R-K-O. HHH will come back to pin Orton, probably on the ramp, after hitting the Pedigree, twice. The final round is going to be bowling shoe ugly (to steal a line from Jim Ross). Expect blood, sweat and tears in this cruelty-laden third fall. Both of these men will be in the main event at Summerslam, so it comes down to which way should the WWE go.

I’m expecting them to give HHH his 13th (or is it 14th) championship on Sunday. He will likely have to beat down Rhodes and/or DiBiase (if DiBiase isn’t injured in the tag match), who will try to block the exit route in the Stretcher Match. John Cena just might get involved in this one, leading to a Triple Threat match at Summerslam with Orton, Cena and HHH. HHH really should win this one to set up the next big PPV.

Predicted Winner: Triple H
Predicted Grade: A+

Final Grade: B (appropriate for The Bash)

Final Thoughts: There is the possibility of a last minute addition of Mickie James v Maryse for the Diva title. If that were to happen, expect James and McCool to both win, setting up a minor feud of “Who was the first to win Both titles?” If that doesn’t happen, expect it at Summerslam.

This show should really go far to set up Summerslam. There will be turkey matches (see Dolph/Khali) and top-of-the-rock battles (Orton/HHH, Jericho/Mysterio). It will definitely be worth the price of admission to see this one. If I didn’t have to work, I’d hope over the hill to Sacramento for this one.

— Jay Shannon
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