John Bradshaw Layfield woke up this morning a bit later than usual, every part of his body is sore, all the muscles are heavy and aching. His head hurts. He feels sluggish. He struggles out of bed and opens the curtains; refreshing, stimulating sunlight pours in, recuperating him slightly. He squints, pulls on his robe and gingerly treads across the marble-floored hall of his Manhattan apartment and into the kitchen; the cold tiled floor a welcome soothing on his battered feet.
He sighs an ache-filled sigh and pours himself a juice and puts some bread in the toaster. He takes a seat at the breakfast bar and boots up the touchscreen PC to check the news headlines and stock prices. He checks his cellphone for messages. There are loads. He'll check them later, he can't be bothered right now.
He looks up at the WWE Title belt before him; resting on the breakfast bar as he had put it there when he walked in last night. He smiles to himself as he knows that after his turbulent and difficult few weeks - John Bradshaw Layfield has emerged at the top of the pile.
The John Bradshaw Layfield era - nay - the John Bradshaw Layfield dynasty has begun.
Well, until Summerslam at least, says this reporter. There was no way Bradshaw was not going to win at the Bash, was there? If he lost then Eddie would be the only enemyless champion on TV. If he won then there is a whole locker room of crowd favourites itching to get their hands on JBL: Cena, Eddie, RVD and Booker for a start. Throw in the unpredictability of the Undertaker, Mordecai and Luther Reigns and you have a strong enough talent pool to churn some decent matches out of.
The Bash also witnessed Paul Bearer actually submerged in cement; well, if they spent all that money on hiring the equipment they might as well go through with it. I'm not the biggest fan of Heyman's latest idea, but to be fair - it made for some good television.
Other than those two matches, the Bash had little more to offer. The Four-Man Elimination for the US Title failed to really spark, although I was glad to see Booker and Cena one-on-one at the finale. Sable and Torrie provided gasps and laughs as they frolicked gamely. I would love to see Jazz get her hands on those two, by the way. Then there was the undercard...
Luther Reigns vs Charlie Haas was the last match to be thrown together but it did provide possibly the most eagerly anticipated clash of the small-fries: just who would actually win this match? No surprises that Reigns did, I suppose, but before the match you could have got decent odds for Haas.
I was sorely disappointed in the predict-o-fests that were Mordecai vs Hardcore Holly and Kenzo Suzuki vs Billy Gunn. I am as eager as the next WWE mark to see how Mordecai and Kenzo get on, but I don't appreciate KNOWING the victor at a PPV just by looking at who they're fighting. Come on guys, try to make me actually WANT to part with money to watch these new superstars! It doesn't take a genius to surmise that Mordecai vs Kenzo Suzuki would have been far more enthralling than the pap we were given!
And what were Mordecai and Holly actually fighting about, too? Worst. Build up. EVER. At least Luther and Kenzo were given opposition in the spirit of wrestling.
The Bash had its moments, but this will not live long in the memory; much like the new WWE Champion, I suppose...