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Case Number 14466

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WWE: The Great American Bash 2008

WWE // 2008 // 170 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Franck Tabouring (Retired) // September 5th, 2008

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All Rise...

Judge Franck Tabouring is still bashing the WWE for putting on such a cheap show.

The Charge

It's the bash everyone's been waiting for.

Opening Statement

Unfortunately, everybody will soon regret the wait.

Facts of the Case

Once again, the stars of Raw, Smackdown, and ECW face each other in WWE's The Great American Bash 2008. But before we get into the individual battles, let's take a brief look at the general lineup of the show: Matt Hardy goes one on one with Shelton Benjamin; Mark Henry faces Tommy Dreamer; Shawn Michaels takes on Chris Jericho; and four teams battle each other for the tag team titles. Additionally, Michelle McCool fights Natalya; CM Punk goes head to head with Batista; and JBL seeks revenge against John Cena in a parking lot brawl. In the main event, Triple H puts his title on the line against Edge.

The Evidence

Here's the complete lineup of the event:

• John Morrison & The Miz vs. Finlay & Hornswoggle vs. Jesse & Festus vs. Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder in a Fatal 4-Way Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship
The rules for this one are simple: the first team to score a pinfall or submission will win the title. Having eight athletes fighting for one championship at the same time sounds like an exciting PPV battle, but this match is not exactly a memorable opener. Bold, fast moves are scarce in this 9-minute tag team match, and some of the eight participating wrestlers even barely get in on the action. Festus is always fun to watch and the only one offering a solid show here, but his time in the ring is too limited to captivate the fans. Let's quickly forget about this one and move on.

• Matt Hardy vs. Shelton Benjamin in a United States Championship Match
Although not spectacular but certainly better than its predecessor, this title match features at least a series of quick kicks and risky moves. Hardy is definitely someone who has got what it takes to put on an entertaining show, but his opponent is not fit enough to appear in such a major event. At 9 minutes, this is a decent but unsurprising fight that quite simply lacks the energy and suspense we're used to in this kind of match-up.

• Mark Henry vs. Tommy Dreamer in an ECW Championship Match
This may indeed be one of the year's worst matches. I really don't know what the show's writers are thinking sometimes, but they were obviously convinced people would buy a match like this one. At 5 minutes, this is a short but boring match during which neither of the two wrestlers offers us anything worth remembering. Tommy Dreamer is not exactly the ideal opponent for a guy like Mark Henry in the first place, and although he tries his best to showcase his athleticism, he doesn't quite save the day. We're three matches into this pay-per-view already, but we have yet to see any solid wrestling action.

• Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho
The feud between Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho continues, as the two wrestlers go head-to-head in this satisfying 18-minute battle. We usually don't see such long matches this early in a PPV, but, much to my surprise, this brawl is clearly the best of the night so far. Jericho and Michaels are two of WWE's toughest stars, and they both prove their skills via a bunch of risky moves. The show they put on is obviously not as interesting as a solid main event, but they keep the action moving at a fast pace and offer their viewers enough variety. It's about time!

• Michelle McCool vs. Natalya in a Divas Championship Match
The only thing I can say about this match is that it's a joke. Clocking in at only 4 minutes, this title match couldn't be less exciting. McCool and Natalya barely take any risks and don't deliver any impressive moves, opting instead for a bunch of lame, boring submissions. In short, this match is an unnecessary disaster.

• CM Punk vs. Batista in a World Heavyweight Championship Match
Most of the matches at this pay-per-view are pretty disappointing, and this battle for the World Heavyweight Championship is no exception. Both CM Punk and Batista start off well and are not afraid to use their skills to put on a tough fight. Punk, especially, manages to deliver several impressive kicks and technical moves that reaffirm his great flexibility. It's interesting to follow for about 11 minutes, until an unexpected twist pretty much ruins it all. Again, what in the world were the WWE writers thinking?

• John Cena vs. JBL in a New York City Parking Lot Brawl
Backstage matches are always a nice change of pace if you're willing to do without bold, risky moves. In this 14-minute brawl, JBL and John Cena fight their way across a backstage parking lot, using any kind of tools they can find to cause each other harm. Unfortunately, you won't get to see much exciting stuff in this match except a little bit of car action and several strong kicks. That's all there is to say about it, really.

• Triple H vs. Edge in a WWE Championship Match
Now that Triple H ruined Edge's ridiculous marriage to Vickie, the two wrestlers go head to head in the main event. At 17 minutes, this is definitely the best match of the night, even though it features less action than most main events in previous pay-per-views. Triple H and Edge deliver a fast-paced show with a variety of solid moves and several strong kicks, using their technical skills to show viewers they both got what it takes to lead a closing match. In the end, this is a decent enough battle to conclude a surprisingly disappointing night.

As usual, I have no complaints as far as the disc's technical aspects are concerned. The picture quality is solid for a television event, and the image is clean and sharp throughout. The audio transfer is just as fine.

I know I say this over and over again, but WWE DVDs are usually very weak when it comes to special features. This one, of course, is no exception. Besides the Spanish-language track for the main show, the bonus material includes two short clips from backstage. One shows Vickie flipping out over Edge, while the other one shows Kane flipping out over who knows what.

Closing Statement

Too many interventions and unnecessary twists wreak havoc on most of the event's matches, making The Great American Bash the weakest WWE PPV of the year so far.

The Verdict


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Scales of Justice

Video: 88
Audio: 89
Extras: 40
Acting: 69
Story: 55
Judgment: 59

Perp Profile

Studio: WWE
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
• None
Running Time: 170 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Sports
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Edge is Gonna Pay
• Kane Needs to Know


• IMDb
• Official Site

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