July 20, 2008
Countdown to the Great American Bash
By SLAM! Wrestling staff

The first true test of the WWE Draft shakeup is just a few hours away, as the Fed will present the 2008 edition of the Great American Bash.

For the first time in what feels like eons, we don't have any return top-tier title matches from the previous month's PPV, which is a godsend we should all enjoy; Lord knows it won't last into August.

For that reason alone, you should pick up the PPV tonight, but just in case you need a few others, the SLAM! Wrestling crew offers up their thoughts on what will transpire.


WWE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

Triple H vs. Edge

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

I really have to question the logic of breaking up Edge and Vickie right before a PPV, because it distracts from what is supposedly our main event match. I'm really at a loss with what happens after Triple H wins here, though I suspect that Vickie will engineer a trade with the new Raw general manager, sending Edge to Monday nights in exchange for another top-flight heel; perhaps JBL.

Greg Oliver

This feud is just getting going. Does it make more sense for HHH to chase? Probably, but not yet. Trips wins here and the fans go home happy.

Andy McNamara

I am really intrigued in how Vickie Guerrero will factor into this match. I think this feud continues and there is a DQ finish, so The Game retains.

Bob Kapur

I can’t say I like the way they’ve been changing the Edge-Vickie dynamic. Together, the two of them have an amazing ability to get the crowd to hate them, and I worry that individually Vickie will steal the negativity away from Edge – who should really be the focus, being that he’s the wrestler. In any event, look for HHH to retain, likely thanks to some Vicki-related shenanigans.

David Hillhouse

With so much focus on Edge's relationship struggles, I predict that the WWE Title is merely an afterthought here, as is Triple H's seemingly guaranteed win. The story will not be who has the belt, but whether Edge and Vickie are on again or off again.

Brian Elliott

With the wedding going somewhat awry for Edge and Vickie Guerrero, it seems unlikely that the "Rated-R Superstar" will be dethroning Triple-H amongst the chaos. Look for the feud to continue for some time.

Matt Mackinder

Finally! A new feud for each of these guys. As with all of Edge’s matches, outside interference comes into play, but HHH fights them all off and wins with the second-worst finisher in the WWE, the Pedigree.

Richard Kamchen

Triple H. Why? I don't have any great reason... although it seems like he just got it so why play musical belts? Let Edge go without for awhile... besides, don't Undertaker (where'd he go anyway?) and Batista still have to get revenge on him to close out their storylines?

Matt Bishop

I can see this going one of two ways: Either Vickie Guerrero helps Triple H retain, or she "accidentally" helps Edge win the WWE Championship. I'm very curious to see how this plays out. My gut, though, says that Triple H retains. His reign isn't going to end anytime soon, unfortunately, which also shuts Edge out of the title picture for the foreseeable future. This match would've been much better suited being built for SummerSlam, though. It's a shame it's being put together on short notice for a throwaway pay per view like the Bash. I'll be pulling for Edge, that's for certain, but come 10:45 p.m. ET Sunday, I'll probably be disappointed.

Jason Clevett

There is no way that this fresh new feud is not going to SummerSlam. Hard to say how they are going to go on this one in terms of a finish but Hunter retains, possibly due to some angry Vickieference.


 
WORLD TITLE MATCH

CM Punk vs. Batista
 

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

I like the idea of CM Punk keeping the belt going into SummerSlam, where a match versus John Cena seems inevitable. Batista could be the top dog, but something feels like it's missing. Besides, Kane looks like he's going to involve himself in the match somehow, so a DQ finish favouring young Charles Montgomery seems to be in the cards.

Greg Oliver

There are so many possibilities with Punk as the champ, it's intriguing. I sense a subtle Batista heel descent, so he'll give Punk a thrashing, but C.M. will sneak away with the duke.

Andy McNamara

They'd better not be taking the title off of Punk at this PPV as he was made to look super weak on Raw. Punk needs a clean, come-from-behind win, and then put him onto the next feud.

Bob Kapur

Maybe I’m in the minority, but I actually think the way they’ve booked CM Punk makes good storyline sense. He’s been booked as a solid upper midcarder who won a specialty MiTB match to get a title shot, won the title through a chance opportunity, and rather than becoming somehow magically-imbued with superstar ability/credibility, he’s had to struggle to keep the belt. Makes sense to me (though that’s not saying I’m a Punk-hater; actually, I’m a big fan). He somehow retains against Batista – maybe through Kane’s interference?

David Hillhouse

There's no way that Punk gets a clean win, but I see him leaving with the belt. I don't think it will be outside interference, but it would make sense to have Punk keep the belt without being underhanded about it. Batista then gets to chase the belt again for a while.

Brian Elliott

Even though WWE is putting Punk in with one of the company's big-hitters, my belief is that now they've gone to the effort of putting the title on him, that he'll retain for a few months yet. Punk wins with the GTS.

Matt Mackinder

Funny how Punk got better crowd reactions when he was with the ECW brand. Hmmm. Batista keeps getting boring by the match. He has nothing new and nothing exciting. Yet, he keeps getting put into World Title programs. I see Batista going ape and giving the win to Punk by DQ.

Richard Kamchen

Probably Batista over Punk. Punk has been the interim champ and got a few title defenses to call his own. I don't think he's a long-term champ, at least not for now. This was just a case of seeing how the fans react. Then again, Batista seems so obviously the likely winner maybe we'll be in for a swerve...

Matt Bishop

It'll be interesting to see how these two work together, but I think one thing's for certain: Punk will retain the World Heavyweight Championship. Punk's drawing solid reactions from the crowd and, as long as he's not booked like Rey Mysterio was during his title reign, he will continue to climb up the hierarchy in WWE. I really am concerned about this one being a good match, though. If this had a stip that would make it a little more brawl-happy, I'd feel better about it, but for now, Punk retains, probably via some kind of fluke and we get the standard WWE rematch at SummerSlam.

Jason Clevett

The first test - do they completely derail Punk like they did Randy Orton in 2004 or actually run with it? I am sure both the pro-Punk and anti-Punk sides have been lobbying hard. It was pointed out by Mike Johnson at PWInsider.com that the Punk vs. Kane match on Monday was the highest rated segment of the entire broadcast. They have something special with him and I am going to say (and hope) they run with it and he retains.


GRUDGE MATCH (PARKING LOT BRAWL)

John Cena vs. JBL

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman

I hate these types of matches, but what choice do we have? I'm guessing Cryme Tyme helps out their new thug ally, which propels Mr. Cena to the title match at 'Slam.

Greg Oliver

Does it seem strange to you that Cena is still the focus of Raw these days? Does it seem strange to you that JBL is still getting pushed? Me too. Cena wins.

Andy McNamara

These two can rumble when there are no rules and they can use plunder. This will be a bloody and entertaining affair with Cena connecting with the F.U. onto some sort of foreign object.

Bob Kapur

With JBL’s attempted murder of Cena at the end of RAW, one would hope this will be a brutal, intense, bloody hardcore war. My big fear is that Cryme Tyme will get involved and somehow this will be played for comedy with lame pratfalls and cutesy humour (‘JBL is Poopy’, anyone?). Cena delivers JBL his comeuppance to end this feud.

David Hillhouse

JBL is going to be in full cowardly retreat mode here. He's going to get beaten senseless. I see a one-sided victory in the making until Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase Jr. come to the rescue.

Brian Elliott

In a match where the stipulations will likely be more of a hindrance than a help, Cena wins. By the way, please let me end this paragraph by registering my disgust at the intelligence-insulting angle of this past Monday.

Matt Mackinder

Watch for Cena to feign an injury. Yawn. This revisited feud doesn’t do much for me. If it gets half as juicy as their “I Quit” match from 2005, then I’ll be happy. But Man Boobs Layfield can’t move around like he once did and Cena will have to carry this match. How do you win, though? Not that it matters, but Superman Cena wins again. Yawn.

Richard Kamchen

Cena over JBL. Simple reason: why wouldn't he go over JBL?

Matt Bishop

Yawn. These two had a nice little I Quit Match at Judgment Day in 2005, but for the most part, their work together hasn't been anything spectacular. Having a heavily gimmicked match like this will increase their chances for success, but I still can't see this one being a match we'll remember come the end of the month. Monday's Hollywood ending aside, there was quite a bit of steam between these two. Hopefully Cryme Tyme and DiBiase & Rhodes can get involved since neither team seems to have anything scheduled. That will instantly add to the match and hopefully this one doesn't end up stinking up the joint.

Jason Clevett

The terrible ending to RAW did nothing for this match. The best Cena and JBL have done against each other was their I Quit match in 2005, so hopefully they can have a fun brawl and make it watchable. Cena wins.



  GRUDGE MATCH

Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels
 

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman


I like the idea of another Y2J vs. HBK match, but at some point WWE has to make Lance Cade a more prominent figure. I think you'll see that here, but Paul London will come down to help his teacher, Michaels, gain the victory.

Greg Oliver

It's hard to believe this isn't in a cage or in some sort of strap match. These two have been having great catfights and I truly believe people want to see a decent, draw-out match between them. Jericho wins.

Andy McNamara

I don't know if this feud will end here, and it has been one of the most entertaining programs on Raw. I would love to see Y2J sneak out a victory courtesy of an assist from Lance Cade, but I'm leaning toward a straight-up Sweet Chin Music win for Michaels.

Bob Kapur

If they continue this feud for the balance of the year, I wouldn’t complain one bit. The promos, the matches, everything about this pairing simply works. They’ve really been focusing on Michaels’ bad eye, so I’m predicting his injury will come into play for the finish – HBK’s eye gets hurt to the point he can’t see, so the match is stopped at the referee’s discretion. Based on Monday night’s match, I suspect that Paul London and Lance Cade will both become involved.

David Hillhouse

This has all the makings of their Wrestlemania classic, except for the aspect of repetition. And that both are older. And that it's been done before. And that Jericho doesn't exactly need to prove anything as he once did. And that it's redundant. I'll take HBK.

Brian Elliott

In what will surely be the best match of the card, Jericho gets the pin on Michaels, which sets up at least one more bout on a proceeding PPV.

Matt Mackinder

How badly will HBK yelp like a toddler when Jericho hits him in the eye? Michaels’ time has come and sadly, Jericho gets stuck here trying to put him over. That being said, I think a Codebreaker out of nowhere does the trick as it lands flush on HBK’s eye.

Richard Kamchen

I like Jericho over Michaels. Way back when at WCW, Bischoff thought of the newcomer Jericho as possibly the next Michaels.... I forgot where I was going with that. Out with the old, in with the new? Hmmmm... if "new" means "about 37 years old." Still, Michaels tires me. Let's give ol' (just kidding!) Chris a push -- his comeback has been less than a massive success so far...

Matt Bishop

I was thinking about this match the other day and this would be much better as Shawn Michaels vs. Lance Cade. Jericho could've made Michaels face Cade before he got a shot at him and then they could've continued building for what would've been a huge match at SummerSlam. I suppose I'll withhold judgment on whether this would've been better or not until I see what actually transpires, but Jericho playing the chicken heel and not letting HBK have a shot at redemption would've suited both of them while elevating Cade in the process. Since it is Michaels and Jericho wrestling, I see Jericho coming out on top with a little help from his friend.

Jason Clevett

Everyone expects this to be the match of the night, so pressure is on. This represents to me what wrestling should be: a slow, lengthy build, great promos and making you actually care about what is going on between the two wrestlers. It can be done in WWE! Jericho lost last time, and also lost the IC title due to Michaels, so it is time for some payback, and a rubber match at SummerSlam. Jericho wins.
  ECW TITLE MATCH

Mark Henry vs. Tommy Dreamer
 


SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman


If this was Philly, signs a-plenty would say, "If Henry wins, we riot." Alas, we're not. I have a sinking feeling that this may be Tommy's last WWE match. I can't explain it, I just know it's there. Henry wins.

Greg Oliver

The over/under on Dreamer's time in the ring is five minutes. I'm taking the under, and Henry wins.

Andy McNamara

Henry wins quickly.

Bob Kapur

Though hope springs eternal for me and all the other Tommy Dreamer fans, the pragmatic in me says that Henry will win in dominating fashion.

David Hillhouse

Henry in what is hopefully the first match.

Brian Elliott

WWE are in a no-win situation here. If Henry wins, it was too obvious. If Dreamer wins, no-one will take it seriously as he's been a virtual jobber for years. Henry retains.

Matt Mackinder

Hahahahahahahahaha. This is a pay-per-view match? Hahahahahahahahahaha.

Richard Kamchen

Henry over Dreamer. This is an easy one. As if they're going to put the ECW title on a punching bag jobber, which is essentially what Tommy's become. Not that I've been following ECW, but I really don't get this match. Tommy Dreamer?! No doubt WWE would also like to recoup all the money they've spent on Henry over the years too... maybe they think putting the belt on him will do that. (It won't, but they'll try anyway).

Matt Bishop

They seem to be building Henry a little bit here, but I don't think giving the ECW Championship to Dreamer at this point would be that bad of an idea. Now, with that being said, I fully expect a Henry squash in about three minutes here. I still can't get the image of that bent frying pan from Tuesday out of my head. Good stuff.

Jason Clevett

Glad to see Dreamer on pay per view, even if he is just going to be feeding the Mark Henry monster machine. Henry destroys the ECW icon.
  DIVAS TITLE MATCH

Natalya vs. Michelle McCool
 


SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman


Michelle isn't a bad choice for champion, but she's not at the same level as Ms. Niedhart. Nattie wins.

Greg Oliver

When Nattie wins, she takes the butterfly belt, smashes it to bits, and demands a decent looking belt that she could proudly show off to the guards as she goes through airport security.

Andy McNamara

This has had a nice little build with the focus being around each Diva's submission hold. Although Neidhart should win, it will be the feel good story of the babyface winning this new title.

Bob Kapur

I like how they’ve rebranded Natalya, since before her change to Anvil-ette, she was too similar to Beth Phoenix. Look for her to take the gold. How great would it be if, during the match, Lanny Poffo comes to the ring and destroys the goofy-looking butterfly belt with a hammer like he did with Hogan’s belt back in the day. Hey, if Tony Atlas can get a gig, why not the Genius?

David Hillhouse

Natalya is the one with some semblance of a character, so I'll pick her as the winner of undoubtedly the prettiest belt ever (with apologies to the creator of the Million Dollar Belt).

Brian Elliott

I've only seen Neidhart on a handful of occasions, but I can already tell she's five times the natural worker of McCool. Neidhart for the victory.

Matt Mackinder

For once, a girls match that might have some meaning. Just answer me this, WWE. What’s the difference between the Women’s title and the Divas title? Oh. Same thing as WWE title and World Heavyweight title, eh? Bah. The Anvil’s offspring does the old man proud here.

Richard Kamchen

I nearly forgot the gals... errrr. Let's take Neidhart. Why not? She can wrestle after all. Then again, that might disqualify her as the ideal Diva title holder...

Matt Bishop

Count me as a big fan of Natalya right now. It'll be funny watching her walk around in the WWE Butterflies Championship after this match. This should be a good affair. Both of these ladies are more than capable in the ring and this will lead to an exciting match. Natalya will power out of the heel hook and lock in the Sharpshooter for the win. Hoorah!

Jason Clevett

I have no problem admitting my bias here towards Natalya. As someone who has watched her for years in Calgary, I will be jumping up and down cheering at the top of my lungs as she wins the Diva's title.

  WWE TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH

Morrrison/Miz vs. Finlay Family vs. Hawkins/Ryder vs. Jesse/Festus
 


SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman


How did this happen? How did I become a fan of Miz? Something's wrong here. M&M v.2.0 win.

Greg Oliver

The Miz & Morrison have had staying power, to say the least, and deserve to keep the titles here, unless the Hardys are thrown in at the last minute -- not an unreasonable thought. In that case, I'd hotshot the Hardys with the belts for a few weeks.

Andy McNamara

Morrison and Miz are an amazing heel team and great as champs. For some reason though I'm just getting the feeling that the WWE will make the belts a comedy prop and give the championship to the pair of Irishmen.

Bob Kapur

I like what Jesse and Festus bring to the table, but Mizison are simply the best tag team going in the company today. Wow, that’s a sad realization. The champs retain.

David Hillhouse

This is still really a match between the champs and the father/son team. Hawkins/Ryder and Jesse/Festus will cancel each other out, leaving Horsnwoggle to get yet another pinfall and bring about new champs. The reign won't last long, though.

Brian Elliott

In a match which has "Curtain Jerker" written all over it - yes, even when it is for the Tag Team Titles - Finlay and Hornswaggle triumph with the Tadpole splash.

Matt Mackinder

The obvious curtain jerker, folks. New champs? Nah. Miss and Bore-ison keep the gold.

Richard Kamchen

Tag titles go the father and son. Sort of a Gordie, Mark and Marty Howe kind of fairytale. Except not really at all... whatever. As if the WWE takes tag titles seriously. I don't imagine they'd have any qualms about putting a tag championship on a little person.

Matt Bishop

Well, this is certainly an interesting foursome of teams. The Miz and John Morrison have been the champs for a long time now and I can't see that ending here. They are, as Mike Adamle would say, "too cool for school." And they are way too cool for the other six cats in this match. The duo have a lot of good things going for them right now and frankly, having them drop the titles here would be a step in the wrong direction. Miz and Morrison retain once again, as Miz hits the Reality Check on Hawkins for the win.

Jason Clevett

Finlay and Hornswoggle pin someone who isn't one of the champs to win the belts.


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-- compiled by Jon Waldman


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