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In Defence of The Great American Bash 2004

Ahead of NXT’s Great American Bash on July 6th 2021, I will attempt to defend a widely criticised WWE Pay-Per-View, the Great American Bash 2004. This is the first in a new series where I will re-evaluate famously disliked moments in wrestling history and bring a more positive light on to them. Some of these events and moments I have never seen before while others I lived through and invested my time in.

So without further adieu, let’s get into the Great American Bash 2004!

Negatives

Fatal Four Way Elimination Match: United States Champion John Cena vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Booker T vs. Renee Deupree

John Cena cuts a good promo but obviously, it is a little on the nose for the time period we are in now—some of the content was probably not acceptable in 2004, but here we are. The best thing about this match is Rob Van Dam and he is the first one eliminated. The rest of the match feels like it’s going through the motions of a typical WWE match. It’s a really disappointing start to The Great American Bash, and I expected so much more from the talent in the ring.

Mordecai vs. Hardcore Holly

Mordecai beat Hardcore Holly in a very uneventful and bland match despite the fact you had Holly, one of the best workers in the company, in the match.

The Dudley Boyz vs. the Undertaker

This match starts with lots of talking before any hands are thrown. This is obviously a very sports entertainment-style match, which takes a while to get going, making me personally lose interest. It feels like such a low after the high of the WWE Championship match. The twist at the end has been spoken about so much that I don’t even want to go fully into it but ending on this does bring the whole thing down. I would advise stopping at match seven; have that as your main event.

Neutral

Charlie Haas (w/ Miss Jackie) vs. Luther Reigns (w/ Kurt Angle)

This match is a little different, focusing on big power moves and submission wrestling. The problem isn’t the match content n fact, it’s that the crowd aren’t that into it and I personally, as someone who has gone into this with no context, don’t know why they would be interested.

Charlie Haas is an amazing wrestler though.

Kenzo Suzuki vs. Billy Gunn

This feels like more of a showcase for Kenzo Suzuki, but the two put on a good match: nothing outstanding but lots of fun. It is still quite a basic match but is also in that odd part of the card where people want to go for their toilet break or grab some snacks. Sometimes matches can be killed by a lack of interest by the fans in attendance and this is one of those moments.

Sable vs. Torrie Wilson

Sable is carrying this match; she has always been a great in-ring worker and rightly deserves to be called a legend and should probably be spoken about more. Torrie looks sloppy throughout the match and even though she is in the red, white and blue and is obviously the good guy, it’s hard to root for her. Overall, an average match with a sloppy ending—Torrie’s shoulders weren’t even on the mat for the full three count.

An angry Sable grabs Torrie Wilson by the head

Positives

Cruiserweight Champion Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero

This match is a masterclass in the art of wrestling, with the two ducking and diving, showing off the lucha libra style of Mexico, while also taking it down to the mat. With a Mysterio and a Guerrero in the ring together, there was no risk of a bad match.

Texas Bull Rope Match: WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. JBL

A Texas Bull Rope match is also known as a four corners match; the point of the match is to touch each corner in succession while being secured to one end of the rope. Eddie Guerrero had gone into this match as champion, but would he be after this battle? Both men are from Texas and are familiar with the match, which is an ever-moving match, poetry in motion if you will. With the two men tethered to one another, the pair barely have time to breathe, each one trying to destroy the other while also trying to touch every corner without interruption. The match is inventive, with table spots, a tree of woe and the use of the turnbuckles being highly effective while the rope almost becomes a third competitor within the match, being as much a part of the story as the two men in the ring.

Also, Kurt Angle totally screwed Eddie Guerrero out of the title at the end. I’m not going to reveal how it’s done but it was heart-breaking. This is the Match of the Night and probably should have closed out The Great American Bash 2004.

JBL looks down with a smile at the prone body of Eddie Guerrero

Highlights

  • JBL saying he will drag Eddie Guerrero’s carcass all around the arena. After that promo, I kind of wanted JBL to win, and I’m a huge Eddie fan!
  • A woman’s sign saying “Wine me, Dine me, 619 me” while Rey Mysterio makes his entrance.
  • Kurt Angle is hilarious the whole way through in his ‘disappointed dad being the GM’ routine.
  • Sable proving once again that she wasn’t just all body; that she could actually go in the ring and lead a match.

Final Verdict: The Great American Bash 2004 Was…

Surprisingly enjoyable! Yes it had its dull moments and big disappointments match-wise, but there were also a few hidden gems and the people you expected to pull out great performances did so. Obviously, everyone needs to check out Chavo Guerrero and Rey Mysterio battle over the cruiserweight championship, while Charlie Haas vs. Luther Reigns is a hidden gem. I would also recommend Sable vs. Torrie Wilson; while it’s honestly not a great match and isn’t going to blow your mind, it really highlights Sable. The match of the night is Eddie Guerrero vs. JBL for the WWE Championship. If you haven’t ever had the chance to see it, it’s about time you did; it is possibly one of the best Texas Bull Rope matches that I’ve seen in the modern age of pro-wrestling.

Why not relive Night One and Night Two of last years NXT’s The Great American Bash by reading our reviews?

Written by Amber McCrudden

Writer | Podcaster | Streamer | Photographer | Content Creator | Wrestling's Sweetheart

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