The Great American Bash 2006 was the third annual Great American Bash professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It took place on July 23, 2006 at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana and was a SmackDown! brand-exclusive event.
The main event was Rey Mysterio versus King Booker for the World Heavyweight Championship, which Booker won by pinfall after Chavo Guerrero interfered. One of the predominant matches on the card was The Undertaker versus The Big Show in the first ever Punjabi Prison match, which Undertaker won by escaping the structure. Another primary match on the undercard was Batista versus Mr. Kennedy, which Kennedy won after Batista was disqualified.
The main feud heading into The Great American Bash was between Rey Mysterio and King Booker over the World Heavyweight Championship. On the July 7 edition of SmackDown!, Booker became the number-one contender to the World Heavyweight Championship by last eliminating William Regal and Matt Hardy in a Battle Royal. Later that night, Booker and Queen Sharmell, Booker's wife, attacked Mysterio backstage, and executed a low blow.
I will beat this peasant (Mysterio), and take the World Championship at the Great American Bash. I want it all. I want my entire kingdom to rejoice in my royal splendor. King Booker will soon be King of the world.
The following week, on SmackDown!, Mysterio faced off against William Regal, a member of Booker's Court. Booker, who was providing commentary for the match, attempted to interfere and attack Mysterio. Mysterio, however, attacked Booker and pinned Regal for the win. After the match, Mysterio executed a 619 and a seated senton on Booker. On the July 21 edition of SmackDown!, Mysterio defeated Booker in a non-title match. Mysterio pinned Booker after a 619 following interference from Chavo Guerrero.
Another primary feud heading into the event was between The Great Khali and The Undertaker. At the previous SmackDown! brand pay-per-view event, Judgment Day, Khali defeated The Undertaker. One month later, on the June 30 edition of SmackDown!, Khali challenged Undertaker to a Punjabi Prison match at The Great American Bash. The following week, Undertaker accepted Khali's challenge.
Great Khali, you dare challenge me. There's an old saying that says you should quit while you're ahead. At The Great American Bash, I will face you in your Punjabi Prison match, and you will, Rest in Peace.
A promoted match on the card saw the returning Batista face Mr Kennedy. Mark Henry and Batista were both involved in a feud between the World Heavyweight Champion Batista and Rey Mysterio against MNM, (Johnny Nitro, Joey Mercury and Melina) over the WWE Tag Team Championship with Henry assisting in MNM's defense. Soon after Batista suffered an injury to his triceps. On the January 13 taping of SmackDown!, he was forced to surrender the World Heavyweight Championship. In his return six months later, the two began a feud and were booked in a match at The Great American Bash until Henry suffered an injury in a six man tag team match with Finlay and King Booker against Batista, Mysterio and Bobby Lashley. Henry's replacement was Mr Kennedy who was Henry's ally and who Henry is a strong enforcer of.
The Divas feud heading into the event involved Ashley Massaro, Kristal Marshall, Jillian Hall and Michelle McCool. The conflict began on the June 30 edition of SmackDown!, when Marshall interviewed Ashley backstage about the 2006 WWE Diva Search. Ashley reminded Marshall about how she won last year's Diva Search and becoming friends with Marshall. She also reminded the contestants to have fun and offended Kristal by reminding her that she finished in the top 10 and still has a job with WWE to which Marshall stated "I finished fourth bitch!!". Over the following weeks, Kristal (who turned heel) formed an alliance with Michelle McCool and the two began feuding with Massaro and Jillian Hall with Kristal expressing jealously of Ashley's win in last year's Diva Search. On the July 21 edition of SmackDown!, Massaro and Hall defeated McCool and Marshall in tag team action. During the match, Jillian ripped off Kristal's top and Ashley rolled her up for the pin. This led to a Fatal Four-Way Bra and Panties match at The Great American Bash between all four women.
The first match of the event was Paul London and Brian Kendrick versus The Pit Bulls (Jamie Noble and Kid Kash) for the WWE Tag Team Championship. London and Kendrick controlled most of the match, as they performed a variety of double-team maneuvers. Kendrick pinned Noble with a sunset flip to win the match and retain the WWE Tag Team Championship.
The next match saw Finlay defend the WWE United States Championship against William Regal. Prior to the match, General Manager Theodore Long announced that Bobby Lashley, who was previously scheduled to be in the match, could not compete due to elevated enzymes in his liver. Finlay had the advantage throughout the match, as The Little Bastard attacked Regal numerous times. Finlay pinned Regal after hitting him with Regal's boot, which had been taken off by the Little Bastard, to win the match.
The match that followed was The Big Show versus The Undertaker in the first-ever Punjabi Prison match. Big Show had replaced Undertaker's original opponent, The Great Khali, because Khali was unable to compete due to elevated enzymes in his liver. On-screen, General Manager Theodore Long put Big Show in the match instead of Khali for attacking Undertaker backstage. In order to win the match, one must escape both the inner and outer bamboo structures. Both Big Show and Undertaker managed to escape the inner structure. While fighting in the space between the two structures, Big Show threw Undertaker through the outer. Undertaker's feet hit the floor first, therefore being declared the winner.
The following match was a Fatal Four-Way Bra and Panties match between Ashley Massaro, Kristal Marshall, Jillian Hall, and Michelle McCool. The objective of the match was to strip each of the other competitors down to their undergarments. Massaro won the match after last stripping Kristal of her top.
The sixth match was between Batista and Mr. Kennedy. During the match, Batista slammed Kennedy's head into the steel ring steps, which cut Kennedy and exposed his cranium. Kennedy won the match after Batista was disqualified for failing to release a choke he had applied on Kennedy. After the match, Kennedy had to get twenty stitches to close the cuts he received during the match.
Next was the main event, which saw Rey Mysterio defend the World Heavyweight Championship against King Booker. Towards the end of the match, Chavo Guerrero came out to supposedly help Mysterio. As Guerrero looked to hit Booker with a steel chair, he turned on Mysterio and hit him instead. Booker pinned Mysterio afterwards to win the match and begin his first reign as World Heavyweight Champion.
Following the Great American Bash, a rematch between King Booker and Rey Mysterio for the World Heavyweight Championship took place. The match saw King Booker retain the World Heavyweight Championship, after interference from Chavo Guerrero. On the August 4 edition of SmackDown, in a scheduled match, Batista defeated Mr. Kennedy. SmackDown commentator Michael Cole congratulated Batista on his win. Batista informed Cole to save his congratulations until after he won back the World Heavyweight Championship. The following week, Batista thanked King Booker for holding onto "his" World Heavyweight title and told him he would be needing it back at SummerSlam. At SummerSlam, Batista defeated King Booker by disqualification.
Following Chavo Guerrero's interference in Rey Mysterio's World Heavyweight Championship match with King Booker, Guerrero and Mysterio began a storyline with one another, which would last for three months. The following week, Guerrero explained why he attacked Mysterio at The Great American Bash. He claimed Mysterio was a leech living of the Guerrero family name, and that he was using that to elevate his career.
Two weeks later, on the August 18 edition of SmackDown!, General Manager Theodore Long announced that Mysterio and Guerrero would face off against one another at SummerSlam. Guerrero won the match by pinfall after executing a frog splash following interference from Vickie Guerrero.
A rivalry between Matt Hardy and Gregory Helms began after facing-off at the Great American Bash. On the August 25 edition of SmackDown, Helms interfered in a match between Mr. Kennedy and Hardy, in which Kennedy won. The following week, Hardy and Helms met in a non-title match, in which Hardy won. The two continued their feud within the following months. They met, however, at No Mercy in their respective hometowns of Raleigh, North Carolina, in which the match was won by Hardy.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dark Match: Funaki defeated Simon Dean
- Paul London and Brian Kendrick (c) defeated The Pit Bulls (Jamie Noble and Kid Kash) for the WWE Tag Team Championship (13:28)
- Finlay (c) defeated William Regal for the WWE United States Championship (13:49)
- Gregory Helms defeated Matt Hardy (11:43)
- The Undertaker defeated The Big Show in a Punjabi Prison match (21:35)
- Ashley Massaro defeated Kristal Marshall, Jillian Hall, and Michelle McCool in a Fatal Four-Way Bra and Panties Match (05:17)
- Mr. Kennedy defeated Batista by disqualification (08:38)
- King Booker (w/ Queen Sharmell) defeated Rey Mysterio (c) for the World Heavyweight Championship (16:46)
Other on-screen talent
- The Great American Bash 2006 Official Website
- The Great American Bash 2006 at CAGEMATCH.net
- The Great American Bash 2006 at Online World of Wrestling
- The Great American Bash 2006 on WWE Network
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