Who'll get burned by rope, rules at The Bash?

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July 20, 2007

Our fans are eagerly awaiting the Texas Bull Rope Match between WWE Hall of Famer Rhodes and the young, brash Orton. Bull Rope Matches have a storied history of being bloody, vicious and brutal, and Dusty Rhodes practically put the match on the map. Mixed with the fact that Orton made the match personal by attempting to severely injure Rhodes' son Cody on Raw, this match up could spark the evening's largest fireworks.

But one change in Sunday's match may give an advantage to Orton, who prides himself on decimating legends like Rhodes. Unlike previous Bull Rope Matches Rhodes has been a part of, the only way to win this war at The Bash is by pinfall or submission. The option of touching all four turnbuckles in succession has been eliminated.

Rendering a man of Dusty's toughness and size unconscious -- and then dragging him around all four corners of the ring in succession -- may have posed a challenge to Orton. However, he has been known to stun and pin opponents with a sudden, patented RKO -- and Dusty could be no exception in the Bull Rope Match at The Bash.

Pinfall or submission stipulation aside, the rest of the rules in the match remains the same. Each opponent is shackled to one end of the Texas bull rope with a leather cuff. Every inch of the 12-foot rope linking Orton and Rhodes can be used as a weapon. The rope can be used to hogtie an opponent's legs, drag an opponent from corner-to-corner, or rake an opponent's face or eyes.

The great equalizer in the match is in the dead center of the bull rope. A 7-pound cowbell, within easy reach of both combatants, can easily split open an opponent's forehead with its sharp, open edges. It can also render an opponent unconscious if swung upside the head with a thunderous clang.

With Orton slighting the Rhodes' family pride and reputation, Dusty should be fired up to pull from past experience in Bull Rope Matches and teach the cocky "punk" a lesson he'll never forget -- a lesson that's long overdue.

But Orton, a third-generation star and student of the game, is sure to have studied videotape of Rhodes' tactics, and will be looking to take advantage of any ring rust the American Dream may have. Though an innovator, the Dream has not competed in a Bull Rope Match in several years.

Still, despite Rhodes' lack of recent in-ring competition, some believe that the legend's experience might be able to trump athletic ability.

"I'm going to tell you that there's nobody better in a Texas Bull Rope Match than the ‘American Dream' Dusty Rhodes," said Jerry "The King" Lawler to the Raw crowd Monday night. "But one thing's for sure this Sunday … someone's going to get their bell rung!"

To find out who, order The Great American Bash, live Sunday night at 8/7 CT, only on pay-per-view.

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