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Countdown to the Great American Bash





Americana will be fested tonight as WWE presents the Great American Bash.

The card for tonight's pay-per-view may just be the most intriguing of the year. Two of the top-belt matches are fresh, while the third is a return match from a throw-together at the last major WWE event. The undercard is also remarkably new, save for one other title bout that we have seen in the past. It looks like it should be an interesting night for wrestling fans. Let's get to the picks!

 
MAIN EVENT: WWE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

John Cena vs. Bobby Lashley
 


SLAM! Predictions

Brian Elliott

It is interesting to note that, after several years of shying away from all-babyface singles matches, WWE is now offering many in 2007. In this instance, it is just a shame that Bobby Lashley is a good-guy, because a heel Lashley would appear to be a better dynamic. With no one to carry this match-up, I don't expect it to be pretty, and Cena will retain the title.

Matt Mackinder

I see Lashley as WWE champ one day, but not here. Both guys nail their finishers only to have the other kick out just before three. I hope this match goes at least 20-25 minutes as Cena seems to get better the longer the match goes. Amid the chorus of boos, Lashley taps to the STFU and Cena continues his monster conquering.

Jon Waldman

Well, one of two things happens here - Lashley turns full heel and gets DQ'd, setting up a gimmick match for Summerslam; or Cena goes over relatively cleanly (with outside interference, say from Randy Orton), establishing Lashley vs. his attacker at Summerslam and allowing Cena to lose the belt to face Triple H next month. Either way, Cena wins.

John Klapp

The combined deltoid definition of this match-up is mind-blowing. The 'pure sports build' for this match would seem to demand an athletically impressive match, if nothing else. Cena wins, if only because he has a neck.

Marty Goldstein

This has the potential to suck real bad IMO. Cena has been carried to some great matches but not by the likes of Lashley. Decent booking doesn't go any other way than a Lashley heel turn and win but Cena is so over and the lack of babyface winners in the rest of my predictions means I pick Cena.


WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH (TRIPLE THREAT)

The Great Khali vs. Kane vs. Batista


SLAM! Predictions

Brian Elliott

This bout has the word "abhorrent" stamped all over it, and that would remain the case even if The Great Khali was absent from proceedings. A hideous match-up will end with Khali retaining.

Matt Mackinder

Khali is a world champion. Thanks, Vince, thanks a freaking lot. I couldn’t care any less about this match for the cursed title. Seems once you get it, you get injured. None of these three excite me in the ring and with that, I guess Khali retains by pinning Batista.

Jon Waldman

I'm probably in the minority, but I like the idea of Khali holding the title. Though he's been pinned by Cena, there's still the big man mystique to him. This match is as solid a candidate as any for worst match of the year going in. To me, the logical finish here would be Kane taking the gold, since fans have been begging for him to have a legit title run before his much rumoured pending retirement. Khali winning, to cement his spot, would also be a strong move; but this is Michael Hayes we're talking about. Batista wins.

John Klapp

This battle of the big men will walk a fine line between being hard to watch and hard to look away from. As long as Khali doesn't win, I won't riot...

Marty Goldstein

Speaking of potential to suck... booking-wise, the smart move is to have Khali go over to establish him but he's so awful the fans could easily reject it. Kane winning would be a good move here if they want to go the tweener route with one of the belts.


  ECW TITLE MATCH

John Morrison vs. CM Punk
 


SLAM! Predictions

Brian Elliott

While I am convinced about the abilities of the current ECW champion, I am yet to be convinced at his somewhat drastic gimmick change. CM Punk, on the other hand, continues to need a defining, high-quality match in WWE to prove he is worthy of his spot. Morrison retains, and hopefully these two will feud throughout the summer.

Matt Mackinder

Nitro just got this new Doors gimmick, so he can't exactly lose the title right away can he? Nope. Punk will be a champion one day, but his string of bad luck continues here as Morrison retains, hopefully cleanly.

Jon Waldman

New gimmick? Why exactly? Is it just to distance Nitro from Melina? Feh. It's too early in the run for Morisson to lose the title. I fully expect an awesome bout between the two here, leading perhaps to a Ladder Match at Summerslam. Johnny wins.

John Klapp

If given time and a good audience, this match has the potential to tear down the house. Nitro's improved by leaps and bounds and his title reign has the feel of a long-term deal thus far, but I'm looking for a surprise Punk win here.

Marty Goldstein

The new gimmick for Nitro dictates that Punk stays in the chase position, but this has the potential to surprise a lot of people who don't see these two young guys as top shelf performers.


 

UNDERCARD

 


SLAM! Predictions

Brian Elliott

Jeff Hardy vs. Umaga (Intercontinental Title) - This could well be an interesting big man vs little man match-up, especially since both participants are over with the fans. Umaga to retain.
MVP vs. Matt Hardy (US Title) -
I'm enjoying Matt Hardy's current push on Smackdown, one that he is very much deserving of. But as much as I would wish him to take the US Title, I believe MVP will retain.
Melina vs. Candice Michelle (Women's Title) - With any luck, these two will at least be given the opportunity to have a good match. In any case, Melina to regain her title.
Randy Orton vs. Dusy Rhodes (Bullrope Match) - Even at 61 years old, Rhodes has the smarts to be able to pull off a match of this type. And with a little help from son Cody, he'll take this win from Orton, too.

Matt Mackinder

Jeff Hardy vs. Umaga (Intercontinental Title) - In a perfect world, Jeff wins here; but it's not.. The Samoan Bulldozer keeps the gold.
MVP vs. Matt Hardy (US Title) -
See above. I'd book both Hardys winning titles and celebrating a la Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit at WrestleMania 20. MVP retains.
Melina vs. Candice Michelle (Women's Title) - The vastly-improved Candice takes it convincingly.
Randy Orton vs. Dusy Rhodes (Bullrope Match) - This match could either make the card or be a total bust. Rhodes juices, Orton wins.

Jon Waldman

Jeff Hardy vs. Umaga (Intercontinental Title) - Umaga keeps the belt here, no questions asked.
MVP vs. Matt Hardy (US Title) -
This will be an awesome match and should be the best of the night. MVP retains with a cheap roll-up.
Melina vs. Candice Michelle (Women's Title) - The Beth Phoenix effect is the x-factor here for Melina. She regains her belt.
Randy Orton vs. Dusy Rhodes (Bullrope Match) - It's a clubberin' Tony! Dusty looks to be at the pay winduh, but he gets distracted by his philibusterin' son, then Orton gets the duke, if you weeell.

John Klapp

Jeff Hardy vs. Umaga (Intercontinental Title) - Umaga should retain here. Should be a busy -- and maybe very good -- match, as both men excel in up-tempo encounters.
MVP vs. Matt Hardy (US Title) -
If Punk-Nitro isn't the sleeper bout, MVP-Hardy is. Matt might be the most dependable wrestler on the WWE roster and a title change here would be welcome.
Melina vs. Candice Michelle (Women's Title) - Hmmm. Melina with a rear naked choke near the 28 minute mark.
Randy Orton vs. Dusy Rhodes (Bullrope Match) - Logic dictates that Orton will drive through the pay window after some plunderin'. Or, lil' Rhodes helps the old man. Maybe a cowbell appearance? Bullrope matches are in dire need of more cowbell.

Marty Goldstein

Jeff Hardy vs. Umaga (Intercontinental Title) - You know at some point in the show a babyface has to go over but I don't think that is Hardy's destiny.
MVP vs. Matt Hardy (US Title) -
See above but if a Hardy wins a belt on this show, Matt should be the one.
Melina vs. Candice Michelle (Women's Title) - Bless her; Candice tries hard and is trying to get it in the ring. Melina deserves a better fate but the champ has to keep her title in this one.
Randy Orton vs. Dusy Rhodes (Bullrope Match) - Not hard to figure that another legend bites the dust as it were, although in this kind of gimmick match Rhodes the younger could tip the scales for an upset by the Polka Dot man.


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-- compiled by Jon Waldman