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WWE The Bash! - June 28, 2009
by SamoaRowe

-Live from Sacramento, CA.

ECW Championship Scramble:
Tommy Dreamer © vs. Christian vs. Jack Swagger vs. Finlay vs. Mark Henry (with Tony Atlas)

The rules aren’t the same as the scramble matches from Unforgiven last year, as two men start the match and someone new enters every couple of minutes. Swagger and Christian are the first two and wrestle back and forth. Swagger takes control, wearing Christian down with submission holds and power moves. Missile drop-kick by Christian turns the tide as they are joined by Finlay! Finlay cleans house. Flying uppercut by Christian ends a streak of dominance by Finlay. Swagger manages to pin Finlay after attacking the eye and becomes the current ECW Champion at 4:55. Christian and Swagger battle it out as the medical team looks at Finlay’s eye at ringside. Tommy Dreamer joins the fray at the six minute mark and cleans house for a bit, picking up some near falls along the way. Awkward bit as Swagger tosses Dreamer onto Christian’s side. Swagger drags Finlay back to the ring, but he ends up eating a Celtic Cross. Finlay is the champion at 8:13! Swagger attempts to slam Christian off the top rope when Mark Henry joins the match at 9:30! Henry powerbombs Swagger and Christian off the turnbuckles! Henry cleans house and we have less than five minutes remaining in the contest. Henry nails the World’s Strongest Slam on Dreamer to become champion at 10:35. Henry and Swagger are dumped to ringside, and Finlay nails a suicide dive on Swagger. Dreamer dives onto Swagger! Christian dives onto Dreamer! Henry climbs the top rope, but Swagger cuts him off, and nails the Vader Bomb to become the champion at 12:24. Killswitch on Swagger, but Dreamer breaks the cover and DDTs Christian to become champion again at 13:28. Despite a series of near falls, Dreamer manages to beat the clock and retains the title at 15:00. Lively opener, that allowed everyone to look good, **¾.
Winner and still ECW Champion: Tommy Dreamer

-Backstage, Edge is in Theodore Long’s office, trying to get himself added to the World Heavyweight title match. He feels it’s a crime that he’s healthy but left off a pay-per-view. Edge threatens Long that he’ll be out of a job if he doesn’t change his tune.

Intercontinental Championship:
Chris Jericho © vs. Rey Mysterio

Rey’s mask is on the line in this contest as well. Jericho goes after the mask in the early going, but Rey fights him off. Jericho targets the head. Rey connects with a headscissors off the ropes, tossing Jericho to ringside. Jericho blocks a baseball slide and swings Rey into the barricade! Back to the ring, Jericho is in firm control and looks for the victory. Rey knocks Jericho off the top and nails a seated senton, before running into a tirt-a-whirl backbreaker, giving control back to Y2J. Rey outsmarts Jericho, sending him crashing to ringside. Top rope senton to the floor by Rey! Flying cross body by Rey gets 2! Rey busts out a double springboard moonsault for 2.5! Power slam by Jericho gains a near fall. Standing moonsault by Rey gets 2.5! Jericho counters into the Walls! Rey gets the ropes, attacks the legs, misses 619, and runs into a clothesline. Jericho counters Rey on the top rope with a powerbomb for 2.5! Lionsault misses, allowing Rey to gain a near fall. Rey counters a backbreaker into a DDT! Rey springboards but Jericho counters with the Code Breaker in mid-air! Cover by Jericho gets 2.999! Jericho plants Rey on the top but Rey blocks. Rey drop-kicks Jericho into the 619! Jericho counters the West Coast Pop with the Walls! Jericho removes the mask, but Rey had a second one underneath! Rey splashes Jericho for the win at 15:39! Incredible match! Great counters, great storytelling, and a triumphant finish, ****½!
Winner and new Intercontinental Champion: Rey Mysterio

-Now for the real reason you ordered this $40 pay-per-view: the Raw recap! Donald Trump ran wild.

-Triple H gets his leg bandaged up for his big title match with Randy Orton.

-Chris Jericho busts into Long’s office and demands that he do something. Long reminds Jericho of his long staying power as a GM in WWE and he didn’t survive by giving in to every obnoxious superstar with a problem. Jericho echoes Edge by threatening serious consequences if Long doesn’t do something for him.

No Disqualifications:
The Great Khali (with Ranjin Singh) vs. Dolph Ziggler

Ziggler uses his quickness but Khali quickly grabs him and knocks him off his feet. Ziggler attacks the head but gets tossed to the floor. Khali pursues Ziggler to ringside and dismantles him. Khali misses an open hand shot and hits the post. Ziggler jumps off the apron to gain some advantage, but Khali slaps the chest. Back to the ring, Khali gets his foot caught on the ropes, to which Ziggler takes advantage. Ziggler brings in a chair, but Khali fights him off. Leg drop to the head by Ziggler gets almost 2. Cue the headlock by Dolph. Khali fights out and beats him down. Suddenly Kane’s pyro explodes and the Big Red Machine is back! The distraction allows Ziggler to unload with the chair. Kane takes the chair and proceeds to beat down Khali. Kane leaves, and Ziggler gets the pin at 4:59. Great, I guess this means Kane and Khali are feuding again. Ziggler looked good in this one though, *¼.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler

-Backstage, Vince McMahon wants to apologize to Theodore Long for being so harsh on Smackdown. That was until Vince remembered that Long is the longest reigning GM in WWE history and how he’s accomplished nothing! Vince says the only thing Long has going for him is that silly dance (which he badly mocks). Long is still on probation.

-The Colons and Legacy are in the ring, ready for their Tag Team title match. Theodore Long comes out and informs them that their match will now be a triple threat! Out come Edge and Chris Jericho! Long sold out!

WWE Unified Tag Team Championship:
Carlito and Primo Colon © vs. Ted Dibiase and Cody Rhodes vs. Chris Jericho and Edge

Legacy dumps Edge and the Colons dump Jericho. Carlito and Dibiase start the match. Carlito flips over Ted and tags in Primo for a double team attack. Jericho makes a blind tag but runs into a back drop from Primo. Cody tags himself in and rams Primo into the Legacy corner and tags. Primo fights back. I hear a “We want Christian” chant. The Colons and Legacy battle it out, trying to keep Edge and Jericho out. Edge makes a blind tag but misses a spear on Primo. Dibiase tags himself in quickly, forcing Edge out. Legacy continue to duke it out. The match is so exciting that the fans chant for Christian again. Edge is apparently bored with the match too and storms in to break up Cody’s submission on Primo. Carlito gets a hot tag and sloppily cleans house on Legacy. Jericho runs in and nails Primo with the Code Breaker. Carlito attacks Edge. Carlito hits the backstabber on Cody, but he missed Edge’s blind tag! The spear finishes Carlito at 9:52. I enjoyed the story of Edge and Jericho forcing their way into this, but the body of the match was fairly dull, **¼.
Winners and new WWE Unified Tag Team Champions: Edge and Chris Jericho

-Backstage, Randy Orton tells Legacy not to worry about the loss as long as they help him keep his WWE title. Dibiase objects to being a mere henchman and tells Orton off. Dibiase wishes Orton luck with Triple H and leaves. Rhodes offers to talk to him. Ooooh, dissent!

WWE Women’s Championship:
Melina © vs. Michelle McCool (with Alicia Foxx)

Pretty basic stuff in the early going, but some psychology kicks in as Melina’s knee is injured. This setback stops Melina from hitting a lot of effective maneuvers. Michelle impressively stretches Melina’s leg to her head. The crowd doesn’t seem to care though, but who can blame them since there is never anything invested in this Smackdown women’s division. Alicia gets involved but Melina knocks her off the apron (to a good pop for a heatless match). Michelle sets up the Fate breaker (also known as the Styles Clash) and becomes the first woman to hold both the Divas and Women’s titles at 6:32. Passable filler, *.
Winner and new Women’s Champion: Michelle McCool

World Heavyweight Championship:
CM Punk © vs. Jeff Hardy

They lock up and make a clean break in the corner. They exchange holds. Punk attempts an early GTS but Hardy blocks. Punk gets dumped to ringside and Jeff dives onto him. Hardy leaps off the steel steps, but Punk dodges, causing him to crash into the barricade. Punk returns to the ring and argues that the referee isn’t counting Jeff out fast enough. Punk goes to work on Jeff’s back and head. Hardy escapes a figure four headlock by flopping into the ropes. Punk misses a leg drop off the turnbuckles. Whisper in the Wind by Jeff gets 2! Jeff punishes Punk with his legs and gains a near fall. Jeff sets Punk up for a Swanton, but Punk crawls to ringside. Clothesline off the apron by Jeff! Back to the ring, Jeff sets Punk in the corner. Punk counters and delivers a bulldog for 2. Hard kicks and strikes by Punk, but Hardy rebounds with a Twist of Fate! Jeff misses the swanton bomb! Inside cradle by Jeff gets 2, but Punk nails a big kick to the head. Second Twist of Fate by Jeff! Hardy nails the swanton bomb! Jeff pins Punk at 12:44! The referee notices that Punk had his foot in the ropes afterwards. The match is ordered to continue. Punk is up and they reverse each other’s finishers. Punk clenches his eye. Punk kicks the referee and continues to sell the injury! CM Punk is disqualified! The match was simply alright, but the increasingly sleazy character of CM Punk is lots of fun to watch, **½.
Winner by DQ: Jeff Hardy

-Jeff is not pleased with the results. He accuses Punk of kicking the referee on purpose, even though Punk would have us believe it was an accident. Jeff rushes Punk back into the ring and beats him down. A trio of referees pull Jeff off, but he manages to tackle Punk yet again. Punk claims that he can’t see, as another ref helps him to the back. He makes sure to grab his World title on the way out.

-The Colons are displeased with Theodore Long and they let him know.

-Randy Orton is unable to get Cody Rhodes on the phone. Apparently Orton doesn’t have any faith in his ability to defeat Triple H without them.

John Cena vs. The Miz
Cena gets the better of Miz in the early going, working over his arm. Miz misses a punch and gets caught in a side headlock. Miz breaks out but can’t connect with any offense and gets stuck in the headlock again. Miz escapes again and finally connects with a kick. Cena chases Miz around the ring and gets ambushed. Miz drops Cena neck-first onto the ropes. Miz unloads on Cena in the corner. Double axe handle by Miz gets 2. Suplex by Miz gets 2. Miz drop-kicks Cena off the apron and drags him back for a cover. Cena makes his triumphant superman comeback. The Attitude Adjustment and STF finishes Miz at 5:37. What the hell was that?! Luckily for Miz, a much longer and more competitive match with Cena on Raw the next night would save his push, but this was on the verge of being a burial. I think the video package leading to this match was longer, *.
Winner: John Cena

WWE Championship Three Stages of Hell:
Randy Orton © vs. Triple H

The first fall is a normal match. The second fall is Falls Count Anywhere. The final fall will be a stretcher match. A slug fest kicks off the bout. Both men get knocked off their feet. Orton gets pummeled into the corner. Orton tries to attack Hunter’s injured leg but gets fought off. Suplex gets 2 for The Game. Orton counters the Pedigree by attacking the hurt leg. The RKO is blocked and HHH connects with a Spinebuster. A backbreaker sends HHH to ringside. Triple H grabs a chair and shamelessly cracks it over Orton’s skull, earning a DQ at 4:50! Triple H continues to destroy Orton with the chair as the match turns into Falls Count Anywhere! HHH delivers a Pedigree on the floor and pins Orton at 6:18 to even the score! The referees bring out a stretcher and lay out the yellow line on the stage. Triple H starts wheeling Orton out on the stretcher, but Orton jumps up just in time to kick the stretcher into the hurt knee. They brawl around ringside, with HHH getting dropped crotch first onto the barricade. The fight leads to the production table and through the crowd. Orton gets the upper hand with a ringside brawl, driving The Game into unprotected steel. Orton brings the steps into the ring but eats a drop toe hold and falls into the steel, in a spot you could see coming from a mile away. Triple H drives the steps into Orton’s skull. HHH almost gets Orton over the line, but gets pulled onto the stretcher with him, causing it to slide down the ramp. That was funny. Orton DDTs Triple H off the stretcher onto the ramp! Orton misses the death punt, hitting the stretcher instead. Orton counters the Pedigree by back dropping HHH onto the stretcher. Triple H rolls off the stretcher in time, and the fight continues on the stage. Triple H nails a Pedigree and drags Orton onto the stretcher. HHH has it won, but Cody Rhodes runs out for the save! HHH fights him off, but Ted Dibiase returns and it’s pretty much over for Triple H now. HHH pulls out a sledgehammer and takes down Rhodes and Dibiase. Orton is back and delivers a low blow. He uses part of the stage to knock out HHH and roll him over the line on to retain the title at 21:20. They were aiming for an epic, but was a bit too sluggish at times to make it. Still, a fine brawl and some good action rounds this one out, ***.
Winner and still WWE Champion: Randy Orton

-Randy Orton poses with the WWE Championship and doesn’t realize that Triple H is standing behind him with a sledgehammer. HHH knocks Orton out!

Final Thoughts:
The Rey/Jericho match is definitely worth seeing, as they pulled out all the stops to have an exciting match. The other highlights were Jericho and Edge stealing the Tag Team belts, and the evening was capped off with a fine main event with Triple H cleverly using the Three Stages of Hell stipulations to his advantage. The rest of the show was just kind of there. One aggravating point is the Miz/Cena match, which had been building for months and resulted in a five minute extended squash. They might have somewhat redeemed it the next night on Raw, but the paying audience for The Bash expected something more.

Thumbs in the middle.

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