SD Fusion: Great American Bash
The 3rd July 2012 “Great American Bash” Live Special episode of SmackDown! starts with an apparent backstage party with many of the Superstars and Divas eating, drinking, and enjoying themselves, with Teddy Long introducing Eve Torres with a name tag as the cleaner, and inviting Santino Marella to light the barbecue as he is the United States Champion.
Marella attempts to do so in a very careful manner – until his attention is directed along with the others’ towards Kane, with Kane doing his taunt and lighting the barbecue as he would usually set off his ring pyro.
After a video recapping the events involving Alberto Del Rio and Sin Cara on Monday Night Raw (click here for our Raw report), Alberto Del Rio makes his way to the ring introduced by Ricardo Rodriguez, where he says that he is not there to celebrate American, but is instead there to talk about something better than that – himself.
He says that he finally has his one-on-one title match against Sheamus, and after he destroys him he will send him crying back to Ireland. Del Rio says that he knows why the crowd like Sheamus so much – he is a common peasant and hooligan just like the crowd, always trying to take advantage of successful people like Del Rio.
Del Rio talks about making a lot of money and the crowd making him sick, so he says that this is why after the Money In The Bank Pay-Per-View, Sheamus will be sent back to the place that he belongs, just like he wants to do with the crowd.
He says that he is going to start right now, as he then goes around ringside asking the crowd for their papers and accusing them of being illegal immigrants. Del Rio says that he is going to get rid of one of them before he gets rid of Sheamus, and calls for security to take away a crowd member, but the crowd member says that they are in Texas not Arizona, and before Del Rio can say anything more, Sheamus’ music hits and he makes his way out.
Sheamus makes a bee-line for Alberto Del Rio, knocking Ricardo Rodriguez out of the way in the process. He starts to attack Del Rio, interrupted at times by attempts from Rodriguez, the last of which Del Rio takes advantage of, then slamming Sheamus’ upper body with his car bonnet repeatedly—until referees intervene.
Next, Layla and The Great Khali take on Aksana and Antonio Cesaro in a Mixed Tag Team match which sees Layla get the victory for her team, when she hits Aksana with the Layout-neckbreaker for the 3-count.
After an interaction backstage involving Teddy Long and Cody Rhodes, in which we find out that Rhodes has another chance to qualify for the World Heavyweight Championship Money In The Bank Ladder match and that the qualifying match will be against Christian, and a video recapping Mick Foley’s (as “Mankind”) WWE Championship win on the 4th January 1999 episode of Monday Night Raw and the role that the same night’s WCW Nitro episode played, to hype the upcoming 1000th episode of Raw, Cody Rhodes is pitted against Christian in the aforementioned qualifying match.
The match sees Rhodes get the victory and qualify, when he counters Christian’s Killswitch attempt and hits Christian with Cross-Rhodes for the 3-count.
After more from the party backstage, Alex Riley goes against Dolph Ziggler in another qualifying match, which sees Ziggler get the victory and qualify when Ziggler hits Riley with the Zig-Zag for the 3-count.
Now, Michael Cole is in the ring and introduces AJ as the person he is set to interview. After a video recapping the events on Raw involving AJ, Daniel Bryan, and CM Punk, he asks what the hell she was thinking, before telling her what he thinks that she was thinking – that she wasn’t, and he calls her a troubled little girl.
The interview takes a decidedly odd turn as Cole expresses confusion at her liking CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, and asks her if she has ever thought about pursuing a “real” man, quickly making it clear that he is talking about himself.
Daniel Bryan’s music hits and he makes his way to the ring to interrupt Michael Cole from continuing down this road, and he calls Cole a sexist, emotionally-abusive bully, but this story is not about Cole.
He says that he thinks he knows AJ better than just about everyone, that he knows that not only is AJ treating her job as the Special Guest Referee very seriously, and that she is going to do an excellent job.
Bryan says that he also knows that she didn’t mean for both Bryan and Punk to go through the table, and that only Punk was meant to go through it, so he forgives her for not realising that he was in the line of fire.
CM Punk’s music hits and he makes his way to the ring, where he orders Cole to get out of the ring as it has nothing to do with him, ignoring Cole’s protest that this is his interview. Addressing AJ, he says that two people were directly affected by her actions on Raw – Daniel Bryan and himself.
He says that he fell through a table so his body feels wrecked because of it, but that it is days and situations like that which you expect when you sign up to be a wrestler. However Punk says that what he is not going to do – unlike Bryan – is pretend that it didn’t happen, and he’s not going to sweep it under the rug and suck up to her just because she is the Special Guest Referee in the match.
Punk says that what he is going to do is be very honest with AJ, as he says that she is not in a good place mentally, that some of it may be his fault as he should have said something a lot sooner, and because he didn’t he is sorry, but that she needs professional help.
He says that unlike Bryan, he is not going to lie to her face, toying with her emotions and stringing her along, as he says that she is a sweet girl. Daniel Bryan calls this a load of garbage and claims that Punk is acting passive-aggressive to try to make an end-run as if he actually cares about AJ.
Daniel Bryan says that CM Punk doesn’t care about AJ, but that he himself does. He says that Punk is playing the good guy and acting like it isn’t important to him that AJ is the Special Guest Referee. He says that the only thing that Punk cares about is that she is the referee, as Punk knows that he needs AJ to beat Bryan.
Punk isn’t happy about the accusation, and AJ places herself between the two of them to separate them. Turning to Bryan, she pulls him towards her and starts kissing him, with Bryan reciprocating, and faced with that site, Punk starts to exit the ring.
Shortly after however, AJ exits the ring too and turns Punk around, where she repeats her earlier actions but with Punk instead, with Punk also reciprocating. Afterwards, Punk is left with a bewildered look on his face at what has just happened, which is also mirrored by Bryan, as AJ happily leaves by skipping away.
Next up, Santino Marella, Sgt. Slaughter, and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan take on Hunico, Camacho, and Drew McIntyre in a Six-Man Tag Team match which sees Marella get the victory for his team, when he hits Hunico with The Cobra for the 3-count.
After an interruption of the backstage party by Damien Sandow, which results into Zack Ryder throwing punch meant for Sandow at Eve Torres instead and her storming off, Curt Hawkins (accompanied by Tyler Reks) is pitted against Ryback in a match which sees Ryback get the victory, when he hits Hawkins with the muscle-buster for the 3-count.
After a video recapping the events earlier involving Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio, and a video recapping the events involving Vince McMahon and Donald Trump on the 29th January 2007 episode of Monday Night Raw, to hype the upcoming 1000th episode, Teddy Long’s music hits and he makes his way out onto the stage.
Long asks the crowd to give him a “Holla Holla Holla!” if they had a great time, to which they oblige, and he thanks the WWE Board Of Directors and WWE Universe as well as saying that he doesn’t know if he will be the permanent General Manager, but does know that he has had a blast hosting this episode.
Now, twenty Superstars go against each other in a 20-Man Battle Royal which will see the winner of the match becoming the General Manager of next week’s episode of SmackDown!, and the match sees Zack Ryder get the victory when he counters Kane’s chokeslam attempt and then pulls down the top rope when Kane runs towards him, which sends Kane tumbling out to the floor to be the last person eliminated.
Afterwards, Zack Ryder celebrates in the ring as SmackDown! goes off the air.