WWE SmackDown Preview: The Great American Bash Returns as a Live Special

Kyle SchadlerChief Writer IJuly 3, 2012


It's Tuesday, and that usually means nothing in the world of weekly wrestling shows. This week is special, though, as WWE presents a live episode of SmackDown!

Not only that, but they will be reviving the classic NWA/WCW show, the Great American Bash.

WWE.com has gone over five points for the show, so here is what to expect!


Teddy Long Returns as SmackDown General Manager

Despite a break in the middle, Teddy Long has been the general manager of SmackDown for six years. No other general manager in WWE history has ever been in control that long before.

He was taken out of power by John Laurinaitis after WrestleMania, but Johnny Ace himself has also been relieved of his duties. The board of directors has called upon former authority figures to take control while they come to a decision on a permanent general manager.

Mick Foley was first, then Vickie Guerrero last week and now Teddy Long takes the reins.

Does he have anything big planned for this live special?


Layla and the Great Khali vs. Aksana and Antonio Cesaro

In the final months of Teddy Long's reign of SmackDown general manager, he was involved in a relationship with Aksana. Wherever Teddy was, Aksana wasn't too far behind. Everything changed when Teddy lost his position, though.

With him no longer in charge, Aksana ditched him for Antonio Cesaro. Teddy was then forced by then-general manager John Laurinaitis to announce Cesaro's matches and watch him and Aksana make out afterwards.

Last week on SmackDown, Teddy revealed to both of them that he would be given control of Raw and SmackDown the following week. He not only gave them that news, but he booked them in this match as well.

Will the Great Khali and the Divas champion, Layla, give Teddy Long the revenge he's looking for, or will Antonio Cesaro and Aksana pull out an upset?


Money in the Bank Qualifiers: Who Will Enter into the Match Next?

Last week on SmackDown, interim general manager Vickie Guerrero revealed that the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank match would be open to anyone and that qualifying matches would determine the participants.

The show saw four matches determining five of the superstars in the match. Damien Sandow would defeat Zack Ryder, Christian and Santino Marella defeated Cody Rhodes and David Otunga, Tyson Kidd beat Jack Swagger and Tensai took out Justin Gabriel to qualify for the match.

With the Money in the Bank match featuring six to 10 superstars throughout the years, fans could see up to five more join the match.

Which superstars will get the chance to qualify and who will win?

Cody Rhodes started a protest to get another chance to qualify after Otunga lost him the match last week. Will Rhodes get another chance?


Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio is Set for Money in the Bank

Sheamus has been the world heavyweight champion for almost 100 days now. That time has been filled with absolute dominance, as Sheamus has taken down any and all challengers.

Since winning the title at WrestleMania XXVIII, he has defeated Daniel Bryan, Alberto Del Rio, Randy Orton, Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler to keep his reign intact. Nobody has been able to stop the Celtic Warrior and no one seems to be able to knock him off the top of the mountain.

At Money in the Bank, Del Rio will finally get his one-on-one chance at fulfilling his destiny on SmackDown, as Teddy Long revealed on Raw that the board of directors named him the No. 1 contender.

What will happen between the champion and his challenger just two weeks away from the event?


A Wrestling Tradition: Will Anyone from the Great American Bash's Past Appear?

The Great American Bash debuted in 1985 as a show put on by National Wrestling Alliance affiliate Jim Crocket Promotions. When JCP became WCW and left the NWA, the show continued on and became one of the promotion's biggest events each year.

The last time it was held by WCW was in 2000, a year before the company went under. The event returned in 2004, though, under the WWE banner and ran until 2009 when WWE stopped running it.

The event has seen some of the biggest names in wrestling appear and many great matches on its cards. Among those who have appeared include Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen, Dusty Rhodes, Magnum T.A., the Road Warriors, Sting, Hulk Hogan and many more.

Will anyone from the past appear as WWE pays tribute to the once-great event?


20-Man Great American Bash Battle Royal

This all-star battle royal will feature John Cena, WWE champion CM Punk, world champion Sheamus, Daniel Bryan, the Big Show, Alberto Del Rio and 14 more WWE superstars.

This battle royal will certainly be special, as the winner will become the general manager of SmackDown for one night only, presumably next week.

Other than the superstars listed here, it is not known who else will be entering this match for a shot at running the show.

Who will be the 14 other superstars to enter the match? Which wrestler will pick up the victory? What kind of general manager will they be?

With SmackDown having quite the year so far, this episode could be another good one, especially with it paying tribute to the once great NWA/WCW Great American Bash.

Will this episode be on par with the past couple of months? Tune in to find out!