We are now less than 24 hours away from The Bash. Looking at the card on paper, it should provide some very great quality wrestling, but the build up is really another story because it has been lackluster for Raw, ECW, and to be honest, Smackdown has not had enough time even though it has been far superior to Raw. In all honesty, I love the Hardy-Punk rivalry because WWE is building what seems to be a heel turn for Punk, especially after pulling an Orton on John Morrison last night on Smackdown. We have only really seen two weeks of build up in general and I would have liked to see more.
Almost the entire card looks solid with the exception of a match or two, and some matches have interested me and made me want to watch the show. Without further ado, my full thoughts on The Bash!
Match No. 1: Women's Championship Match: Michelle McCool vs Melina (c)
What! Women being taken seriously for once! This can't be, I wanted to see Santina vs Vickie Round Two. Oh well, now I have to watch real athletes compete. Now in all seriousness, I do think that Melina will go over in this contest simply because I do not think she is ready to lose it. This is Melina's first defense on Smackdown and this feud has been booked pretty well over the past few weeks. Though I am not that much of a McCool fan, she is improving on her lackluster mic skills. I really do see Melina going over and I do not think McCool should win because I think this could be one of the best Diva feuds in recent memory.
As for the quality of the match, well both women do have so much talent in the ring that this could be a great and well fought out match, but I fear that they will limit the match time so we can enjoy The Great Khali take on Dick Ziggler. I do not think this will be a long contest, but I do not think it will be five minutes. Maybe a quality 10-minute contest and they should let Melina go over McCool to continue the feud.
Where I stand, I want Melina to win simply because she needs to defend this belt more often to be a legit champion on Smackdown. Even though she had a great feud with Phoenix on Raw, this is Melina's first pay per view defense on Smackdown. If McCool goes over, I will not be that happy because it does not really feel right to me. Let this feud be great and in eight weeks, give McCool the win at Summerslam.
Predicted Winner: Melina in a 10-minute bout.
Match No. 2: No Disqualification: Dolph Ziggler vs The Great Khali
Who is ready to see Ziggler-Khali Round 34? It hurts me enough to watch Khali for free, but now we are paying $40 to watch him wrestle? But anyways, I do think this feud has been a solid under card feud, but I think it has run it's course. I do love how WWE makes Ziggler look credible with his assaults on Khali, but I doubt he will go over in this forgettable filler.
With all these weapons now being available, Khali will be ready and Ziggler's element of surprise will be stripped away which hurts his chances and there is no chance in my mind that he will get a clean pin-fall over Khali. In reality, Ziggler has really been dominating this feud and this really needs to come to a finish on Sunday. As I stated earlier, this will be a forgettable filler match, but it is time both of these men move on because I think Ziggler should elevate his status on Smackdown while he is hot and Khali should go and elevate mid card talent.
Where I stand, this is my short break to grab a snack for the rest of the show, because you will likely see Khali have the last laugh in this feud. Hopefully Ziggler can feud with Mysterio, Edge, or someone of that status.
Predicted Winner: The Great Khali in a five-minute bout.
Match No. 3: Unified Tag Team Championship Match: Legacy vs The Colons
After being fed to Roidtista and Triple H over the past few months, it is only suitable that Legacy, formally known as Priceless, should really be in the tag team picture and still just come out with Orton and not be his henchmen.
My greatest wish is to let The Colons retain just for the sake of their status on Raw. If Legacy win, I see the possibility of The Colons being buried on Raw being very likely because...well look at what London and Kendrick turned into on Raw. They were THE most exciting tag team on Smackdown and they got buried on Raw, and the same will happen to the Colons eventually. Though I unfortunately see Legacy going over which may be the right thing for the company, I will be pissed if The Colons lose because that is it for them.
If and likely when Legacy wins, that means that the titles will likely be rarely defended because Raw's tag team division is mediocre with really two legit tag teams. The Colons will not instantly be buried because I see these two going at it again at Night of Champions next month, but hopefully the crowd enjoys the match on Sunday and if the fans enjoy the match and get a great pop, the feud will be great. Unfortunately due to the lack of build up, the fans could care less in this bout. I do see Legacy going over to make Legacy an all champion faction.
Predicted Winners: Legacy in a 10-15-minute bout.
Match No. 4: ECW Scramble Match for the ECW Championship: Jack Swagger vs Mark Henry vs Finlay vs Tommy Dreamer (c) vs Christian
In what seems to be the opening bout for The Bash, ECW will pull off a very solid wrestling match between all these great competitors...and Mark Henry. The build up has also been pretty lackluster because we learned about this Scramble early this week and all of these men have been really doing there own thing besides Dreamer, Christian, and Thwagger who have all been feuding together. Finlay is also an interesting piece to this puzzle because he has not fully turned heel yet. The tough Irishman also needs a change in music, but he will probably show what status he is on Sunday.
Let us look at the possibilities for this outcome. First of all, you can count Mark Henry out of this because he just came off a totally unrelated feud with Evan Bourne, who should be in this match, and ultimately, Henry is the platform. I also automatically count out Fit Finlay because I think he needs more time to have a match for the ECW Championship. Now why does he get a shot while Evan Bourne who beat Mark Henry twice does not get into this match. Finlay made his presence known, but I still ponder what the hell WWE is going to do with him.
That leaves the three top dogs in ECW. In all essence, I just see Tommy Dreamer retaining the strap here because he has only held it for a few weeks. Though I believe Vince does not have confidence in Dreamer as a champion, I see Dreamer holding the strap until Summerslam.
Then there is the match, which will provide some fun spots just how the Scramble stipulation match usually does. We will probably see Christian screwed in the last second maybe by Finlay thus initiating a feud between them. Leaving them out, Thwagger and Dreamer could feud and have a one on one match at Night Of Champions. With Christian being a possibility to win, I think Dreamer will go over in this contest.
Predicted Winner: Tommy Dreamer in a 20-minute match.
Match No. 5: Mask vs Intercontinental Title: Rey Mysterio (m) vs Chris Jericho (c)
I recommend reading this piece on why Mysterio should not lose the mask and what should go down at this link.
Now after reading that piece, you can easily see why removing the mask from Mysterio is a terrible thing to do. The mask is Mysterio and whether you like him or not, he needs the mask to stay on. The mask is just a sign of who Mysterio is if it were to be taken off, it would be a terrible thing. Also, hearing that Mysterio is unhappy with losing his mask—I do not blame him—I think Mysterio rather leave the company than lose the mask again.
Then I look at Chris Jericho and I doubt he will lose the title either. WWE just built actual prestige towards this belt by having two of Smackdown's elite stars fighting over it instead of Khali and Ziggler fighting over it tonight. Why hurt the prestige of the belt after this build up? This may be the hottest feud on Smackdown besides Punk vs Hardy, but this really makes me wonder what will happen in this match because it is a lose-lose situation for the WWE.
As for the match in general, it will be great as both these men are very good in the ring together. They have pulled off great matches and this will likely be the match of the night. I see the end of the match with Mysterio winning via disqualification. Maybe Jericho will low blow Mysterio as the ref just gets up or have Jericho pull an Eddie Guerrero and get caught by the ref. This match should be stellar, but the outcome will obviously have Mysterio winning via disqualification unless Vince has started taking pages out of Vince Russo's book (look at Raw and Impact. They have almost the same amount of in ring action)
Predicted Winner: Rey Mysterio (DQ) in a 15-25-minute bout.
Match No. 6: John Cena vs The Miz
Well maybe the most unpredictable match of the evening, there is a lot to consider regarding the match between the self proclaimed, "Chain Gang Commander" and the "Chick Magnet" Miz. There are two major routes that this match can take, and a small third.
Option No. 1: After having The Miz trashing John Cena for almost seven weeks now, The Miz has really stepped up to the plate and has showed WWE how great he can be. We always though Morrison would be the bigger success, but I think both these men will do equally as good. The Miz has proven himself on the mic and in the ring, and with the opening segment that these two pulled off on Raw, well this may be the only Cena match I have looked forward to in a long time.
This match could be a very solid 15-minute contest of pure wrestling. Both men go back and forth as Miz would go over in this match in a very close contest. Morrison did just beat CM Punk on Friday. Imagine what this would do for Miz. Then we could continue the feud and have these two take it out at Summerslam.
Option No. 2: After weeks on end with countless gold segments from The Miz, we would finally see SuperCena "overcome some ridiculous odds" and beat the big, bad Miz. We could have some decent back and forth action, but Cena buries him in the end, thus giving Cena a main event push and we could always have Miz team with Brian Kendrick who has been demoted to taking Tadpole Splashes.
Option No. 3: The Big Slow comes out during the match to taunt Cena on the outside and after a well-fought out match, Miz would get the pin-fall. This would do wonders to Miz for that moment, but he would be inserted in Round 543 between Super Cena and Big Slow. This feud between them has been a punishment to the fans over the age of 13 because overcoming odds on a regular basis isn't all that special. This would eventually lead Miz to being squashed by Big Slow and Cena at the same time. I really just prefer a regular wrestling contest, but I think this option is the way WWE will go. Nonetheless, I see Miz going over here in some form of luck.
Predicted Winner: The Miz—via Luck—in a 15-25-minute bout.
Match No. 7: World Heavyweight Championship: Jeff Hardy vs CM Punk (c)
Maybe the best match on the card, the "Extreme Enigma" will face "The Straight-edge Superstar." My first comment is to plead to WWE to give Punk the full fledged turn. It has been painful to see him get mixed reactions when he is a true heel at heart. Even in his past in Ring of Honor, Punk was to ROH as Jericho is to WWE. He is just that great at being heel. He has been booked very well, but I would love to see him fully turn heel tonight.
This match has been much anticipated by me because Edge is actually not in the Smackdown main event. The funny thing is that it really never got old to me, but this is just refreshing for me and a lot of other fans. Also the build up has actually been very good in only two short weeks, because unlike Raw who wasted two weeks on this Trump-McMahon BS over their WWE Championship Match. All you see on "The Raw Rebound" is that billionaire bullsh*t.
The match itself should be very well done and unlike many, I find Jeff Hardy very entertaining in the ring and put him with CM and it will be a great match. Ultimately, CM Punk will go over because if you look at Jeff Hardy's contract status with WWE, it looks likely that he may take a sabbatical from the WWE. Though I do see this feud continuing for some time, I think Punk will obviously go over.
Predicted Winner: CM Punk in a 20-30-minute bout
Main Event: WWE Championship Match Three Stages of Hell: Triple H vs Randy Orton(c)
Well after seeing this feud unfold in a very solid Last Man Standing Match on Monday, you know these two will deliver in any match you put them in. Fortunately for us, McMahon actually used a match type that hasn't been seen in quite some time. I think it is obvious that we will go all three matches, and I do see Orton retaining the title, as this boring feud will continue and possibly end at Summerslam in a Hell In a Cell match.
The wrestling will be solid and we may see an extreme spot or two, but this will be your average Triple H-Randy Orton match. I do wonder how long they will go with each match, but I think it's safe to say that the Stretcher match will be the longest. Orton should retain the belt, but since WWE loves to kill prestige of the belt with so many frequent changes, I think Triple H could go over because when he returned, he came out of the ambulance, so Orton could leave in the ambulance if they went that way.
I also see no interference from Legacy, but we may see a McMahon come out in the match, preferably Vince or Stephanie to get some payback. This will be a solid main event, and I do think Orton will somehow retain. Sadly there will be no damn blood.
Randy Orton def. Triple H in a 10-minute wrestling contest.
Triple H def. Randy Orton in a 15-25-minute Last Man Standing match.
Randy Orton def. Triple H in a 10-15-minute Stretcher Match to retain the title.
Overall this is a solid card on paper besides the Ziggler-Khali match and if given time, we could see two quality mid card championship matches in the Tag Team and Women's championship match. WWE has yet to have an epic failure Pay Per View this year and I think they will give us a decent show. I fully recommend ordering it or streaming it.