The Great American Bash 2005 was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It was the second such annual event and took place on July 24, 2005 at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York. The event featured wrestlers and other talent that performed on the SmackDown! program.
The main event was Batista defending the World Heavyweight Championship against John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL). JBL won the match after Batista was disqualified, but did not win the title because a championship can only be won via Pinfall or submission. One of the featured matches on the undercard was Rey Mysterio versus Eddie Guerrero, which Mysterio won by pinfall. The other was Orlando Jordan versus Chris Benoit for the WWE United States Championship, which Jordan won, also by pinfall.
The event grossed over $375,000 in ticket sales from an attendance of 8,000, and received about 233,000 pay-per-view buys, the same amount as the following year's event. This enabled WWE's pay-per-view revenue to increase by $4.7 million from the previous year. When the 2005 event was released on DVD, it reached a peak position of second on Billboard's DVD Sales Chart. The event was also available free of charge for Armed Forces members and their families.
The Great American Bash event featured a card, which contained matches that involved different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds, plots and storylines. Wrestlers portrayed either a villainous or fan favorite gimmick as they followed a series of events which generally built tension, leading to a wrestling match. The name of a wrestler's character was not always the person's birth name, as wrestlers often use a stage name to portray their character.
The main event at The Great American Bash was a standard wrestling match for the World Heavyweight Championship, in which Batista defended the championship against John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL). The buildup to the match began when WWE Champion John Cena was drafted to the Raw brand, taking the title with him and leaving SmackDown! without a top-tier championship for the heavyweight division. General Manager Theodore Long, a portrayed match maker and rules enforcer, announced a match between six wrestlers for a new top-tier SmackDown! championship. On the June 30 episode of the SmackDown! television program, the match took place between JBL, Chris Benoit, Christian, Booker T, Muhammad Hassan, and The Undertaker. JBL was victorious in the match, but Long announced that he was still not the champion. Instead he had won the right to a match against the World Heavyweight Champion, Batista, who was SmackDown!'s final 2005 draft pick, making the World Heavyweight Championship exclusive to SmackDown!.
On the July 14 episode of SmackDown!, Batista defeated Orlando Jordan in a standard match after performing a Batista Bomb. After the match, JBL successfully attacked Batista by executing a clothesline. The following week on SmackDown!, JBL, who was accompanied by Jordan, threw himself a celebration party with the belief that he had already won the World Heavyweight Championship. Batista appeared, and as JBL fled the scene, performed a spinebuster on Jordan.
The event also featured a feud between Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero. At the No Way Out event, Guerrero and Mysterio won the WWE Tag Team Championships from the Basham Brothers. After Guerrero and Mysterio lost the championships, Guerrero then began to portray a villainous character, turning on Mysterio in the process. At WrestleMania, Mysterio defeated Guerrero in a standard match. On the April 21 episode of SmackDown!, MNM (Johnny Nitro and Joey Mercury) defeated Mysterio and Guerrero to win the tag team championship. On the April 28 episode of SmackDown!, Guerrero and Mysterio faced MNM in a rematch for the title, but MNM retained them after pinning Mysterio for the win. At the Judgment Day event, Mysterio defeated Guerrero by disqualification, and on the June 30 episode of SmackDown!, the rivalry between Guerrero and Mysterio continued when Guerrero threatened to reveal a secret concerning Mysterio's son Dominick. Both the Mysterio and Guerrero families continued to beg Guerrero to not reveal the secret. A match was made between Mysterio and Guerrero for The Great American Bash, where if Mysterio won, Guerrero could not reveal the secret, but if Guerrero won, he would be able to reveal the secret on live television.
The third predominant feud prior to the event was between Chris Benoit and Orlando Jordan for the WWE United States Championship. On the July 7 edition of SmackDown!, Benoit defeated Booker T in a match to become the new Number One contender for the title. As a result of his winning the match and becoming the number-one contender, Long granted Benoit a match against Jordan for The Great American Bash.
The Divas feud entering the event was between Torrie Wilson and Melina. On the July 14 edition of SmackDown!, Torrie was signing a SmackDown! Magazine (featuring her on the cover) for a fan when Melina approached her and told the fan to take a hike. Melina then confronted Torrie accusing her of taking her spotlight as the most dominant diva on SmackDown!. Torrie responded by challenging Melina to bra and panties match at The Great American Bash. Melina accepted the challenge saying nobody would want to see her in her bra and panties. The following week, it was announced that Candice Michelle would be the special guest referee for the match. While Candice was making a speech about the pay-per-view being shown on the Armed Forces Network for free. Melina interrupted saying she heard Candice would be the referee for her match and decided to put up a demonstration of how she would strip Torrie by stripping Candice. After Melina did so, Torrie made the save and kicked Melina out of the ring.
The first match on the card was between MNM (Johnny Nitro and Joey Mercury, managed by Melina) and The Legion of Doom (Heidenreich and Road Warrior Animal) for the WWE Tag Team Championship. During the match, Nitro hit Animal with one of the championship belts, but Animal retaliated by powerslamming him. Animal and Heidenreich then performed the doomsday device, on Nitro and got the pin to win the match and capture the titles. This began their reign as WWE Tag Team Champions.
The next match was between Booker T (managed by Sharmell) and Christian. Booker T won the match after using his scissor kick. The following match was between Orlando Jordan and Chris Benoit for the WWE United States Championship. During the match, Jordan removed the top turnbuckle pad before Benoit attempted to slam Jordan. Jordan avoided the attack and instead forced Benoit to run into the exposed turnbuckle. Jordan got the pin to win the match and retain the title.
The fourth match was between The Undertaker and Muhammad Hassan (managed by Daivari). During Hassan's entrance, men in masks accompanied him to the ring to represent his Arabic culture. The masked men proceeded to interfered in the match, but Undertaker retaliated and removed all of the masked men from the ring. Midway through the match, Undertaker attempted to use a Tombstone piledriver on Hassan, but Hassan escaped the move and attempted to hit Undertaker with a clothesline. The Undertaker countered by chokeslamming Hassan. Undertaker scored the pinfall on Hassan to win the match.
The next match was between The Mexicools and the Blue World Order in a six-man tag team match. At the match's end, Super Crazy executed a moonsault onto Big Stevie Cool from the top ring rope, and Psicosis performed a leg drop. Psicosis proceeded to pin Big Stevie and win the match for his team.
Main event matches
The following match was between Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero, where the stipulation was that if Guerrero won the match, he would reveal the secret he has been hiding from the public that neither Mysterio's nor Guerrero's families wanted revealed. If Mysterio won, however, Guerrero would not reveal the secret. Guerrero suplexed Mysterio three times. Afterward, Guerrero performed a frog splash. Guerrero then tried to score the pinfall, but Mysterio countered by pinning Guerrero to win the match. As a result, Guerrero was not able to reveal the secret.
The seventh match was between Melina and Torrie Wilson (managed by Candice Michelle, who was also the guest referee), in a Bra and Panties match. The only way to win a "Bra and Panties" match is for a wrestler to strip her opponent down to her underwear. At the start of the match, Melina pulled off Wilson's shirt to reveal her bra, but Wilson retaliated and pulled off Melina's shirt. Wilson then lifted Melina to her shoulders and dropped her to the mat, while she attempted to pull off her pants, but Melina countered the attack by pulling Wilson's pants off to win the match. Afterward, Michelle stripped Melina and then removed her own clothes, as well.
The main event was between JBL (managed by Orlando Jordan) and Batista for the World Heavyweight Championship. Jordan interfered by attempting to hit Batista with a folding chair, but Batista grabbed the chair from him. Batista then used the chair to hit Jordan and JBL, and JBL was declared the winner, via disqualification. In WWE, a title cannot be won by disqualification, but only by pinfall or submission (the normal scoring conditions in professional wrestling matches). As a result, Batista retained the title.
The feud between Batista and JBL continued after the Bash. On the July 28 episode of SmackDown!, JBL defeated The Undertaker after interference from Randy Orton to become the number-one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam. The following week on SmackDown!, Batista and JBL held a scripted official contract signing, where it was announced that their match at SummerSlam would be a No Holds Barred match that allowed for no disqualification. At SummerSlam, Batista defeated JBL to retain the World Heavyweight Championship. The feud between the two ended when Batista defeated JBL in a Texas Bullrope match on the September 9 edition of SmackDown!, a match where the objective is to touch all four ring corners while tied to one's opponent with a bullrope.
On the edition of SmackDown! following The Great American Bash, Eddie Guerrero revealed the secret he had been keeping; he was Dominick's real father, not Rey Mysterio (was thought to be). At SummerSlam, Mysterio defeated Guerrero in a ladder match, where the goal is to climb a ladder to retrieve an object that is suspended in the air. As per pre-match stipulations, Mysterio gained complete custody of Dominick. On the September 9 edition of SmackDown!, Guerrero defeated Mysterio in a steel cage match to end the feud. Guerrero then began a feud with Batista when Guerrero was given a title match at No Mercy. Guerrero, however, died unexpectedly of heart failure on November 13, 2005. In 2006 Guerrero was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Mysterio, his nephew Chavo Guerrero, and Chris Benoit.
The feud between Chris Benoit and Orlando Jordan continued. At SummerSlam, Benoit defeated Jordan for the WWE United States Championship in a match that lasted 25.5 seconds. On the September 1 edition of SmackDown!, Benoit once again defeated Jordan for the title, but this time the match lasted 23.4 seconds. The following week on SmackDown!, Benoit defeated Jordan in another title match, where the match lasted 22.5 seconds.
The HSBC Arena has a maximum capacity of 18,690, but it was reduced for The Great American Bash. The event grossed over $375,000 in ticket sales from an attendance of 8,000, the maximum allowed. The event resulted in 233,000 pay-per-view buys, which was the same amount as the following year's Great American Bash. The promotion's pay-per-view revenue was $21.6 million, greater than the previous year's revenue of $16.9 million. Canadian Online Explorer's professional wrestling section rated the event a five out of ten. The World Heavyweight Championship main event match was rated three out of ten, and the match between Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero received the highest match rating of eight out of ten.
The event was released on DVD on August 23, 2005, by Sony Music Entertainment. The DVD reached seventh on Billboard's DVD Sales Chart for recreational sports during the week of October 8, 2005, and it rose to the fourth spot the following week. It remained on the chart's "top ten" for four consecutive weeks, until the week of December 15, 2005, when it ranked thirteenth.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Heat: Paul London (c) defeated Nunzio to retain the Cruiserweight Championship (2:33)
- The Legion of Doom (Heidenreich and Road Warrior Animal) defeated MNM (Joey Murcery and Johnny Nitro) (c) to win the WWE Tag Team Championships (6:45)
- Booker T (with Sharmell) defeated Christian (11:37)
- Orlando Jordan (c) defeated Chris Benoit to retain the United States championship (14:32)
- The Undertaker defeated Muhammad Hassan (w/ Daivari) (8:04)
- The Mexicools (Super Crazy, Juventud & Psicosis) defeated The Blue World Order (Big Stevie Cool, The Blue Meanie & Hollywood Nova) in a six-man tag team match (4:53)
- Rey Mysterio defeated Eddie Guerrero (15:39)
- Melina defeated Torrie Wilson in a Bra and Panties match with Candice Michelle as the special guest referee (3:53)
- John "Bradshaw" Layfield (w/ Orlando Jordan) defeated Batista (c) by disqualification for the World heavyweight championship (19:47)
Other on-screen talent
- The Great American Bash 2005 Official site
- The Great American Bash 2005 at CAGEMATCH.net
- The Great American Bash 2005 at Online World of Wrestling
- The Great American Bash 2005 on WWE Network
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