Tegan Nox def. Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai, and Mia Yim in a Fatal Four-Way Elimination Match for the #1 Contendership for the NXT Women’s Championship
At 20 minutes, this match felt quite slow and sluggish at times. Dakota Kai and Candice LeRae both went to the outside and it was confusing to see Mia Yim and Tegan Nox fight each other rather than just go on to chase the heels. Everyone looked solid, with the selling of Dakota Kai and Mia Yim’s hard-hitting offense being the highlights of the match.
Timothy Thatcher def. Oney Lorcan
The catch wrestling specialist Timothy Thatcher and cruiserweight star Oney Lorcan went one-on-one in a very classic affair. The match started off quite slow, but the devil is in the detail and the match was nothing angelic. It was a struggle for both competitors and they sold it. Every hold felt like it mattered and they made an effort to make each other look like pure wrestlers. Thatcher winning with a Fujiwara armbar was an intriguing end to the match as it put him further up into the rankings of NXT
8/10 – CO-MATCH OF THE NIGHT
Rhea Ripley def. Robert Stone and Aliyah
This was not much more than a comedy match. Rhea pretty much dominated both Stone and Aliyah. The match ended up with Ripley winning by tapping them both out with the inverted cloverleaf submission.
Dexter Lumis def. Roderick Strong in a Strap Match
The rivalry build to this match has been interesting, as Lumis is seemingly taking his place as the default rival to the Undisputed Era since Velveteen Dream’s disappearance from NXT TV. Lumis and Strong did a great job with making it seem like a horror movie that unfolded in the ring as the two played their roles of hunter and prey quite well. It was neat surprise to see Strong try everything and anything to take down Lumis, but it is clear that he is outclasses athletically. While Strong did not look weak, he was defeated quite definitively as the additional help from Bobby Fish couldn’t even save Strong from tapping out.
Io Shirai def. Sasha Banks (with Bayley)
In the main event (and match of the night) we saw Io Shirai and Sasha Banks go one-on-one in a great match. It was a mixture of some strong style-type strike trading to big time top-rope spots and brutal bumps forum some impact moves throughout. If there was one match to watch on this show, this is the one that should be considered. No doubt, Io had the help of Asuka to secure the win but it really only seemed to even the odds as she fought the interference of Bayley. Great match with good pacing, this felt like a truly worthy match to the name of “The Great American Bash”.
8/10 – CO-MATCH OF THE NIGHT
Candice LeRae def. Mia Yim in a Street Fight
Starting off the show, Candice LeRae was able to showcase some of her hardcore style with this match against Mia Yim. Her pre-match ambush was just classic hardcore stuff and the two proceeded to use chairs, kendo sticks, tables, trash cans, and even brass knuckles at one point. Eventually they brawled to the outside and into a catering area where Yim would toss LeRae off of a stage onto a table. Despite this, LeRae would hit her swinging neckbreaker off of the top rope (with a table propped up for stability) onto a pile of steel chairs. Great hardcore match but a bit slow in pace, especially for an opener.
Bronson Reed def. Tony Nese
Tony Nese had an unfortunate outing against Bronson Reed in a match that was mainly one-sided. While Nese was able to get a lot of quick strikes and crafty maneuvers in throughout the short match, Reed was incredibly strong and looked great as he kept battering Nese with power moves. Reed ended the match by giving Nese a massive clothesline and top-rope splash for the decisive win.
Johnny Gargano def. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott
Swerve Scott and Johnny Gargano have had a somewhat half-baked feud up to this point but this match proved to be a benchmark for “Swerve”. He hasn’t really gotten a chance to go toe-to-toe with someone that can really match his athleticism and in-ring quickness up until this point, where Johnny Wrestling was able to let him blossom in the ring. They did not disappoint as a mini-main event worthy bout and it was great to see such a highly competitive contest. It started as a traditional submission match but quickly shifted into the next gear as they brawled and flew all over (and outside) the ring as the two were clicking on a smooth level. They kept reversing and making each other look great in the process as they each traded signature maneuvers including some unique slams and suplexes from the apron and turnbuckles. In the end, Gargano hit his leaping DDT from apron to finally get the three. These two have great chemistry and it would be great to see a feud between these two grow in the future.
9/10 – MATCH OF THE NIGHT
Legado Fantasma def. Drake Maverick& Breezango
When it comes to six-man tag matches, this was nothing short of serviceable. Breezango were uncharacteristically tame throughout the contest, which was strange. Maverick and Santos Escobar seemed to carry the brunt of the storytelling aspect as they are in the midst of their feud for the Cruiserweight Championship, which left the other competitors with little to build upon. Mendoza and Wilde seem to be a crisp addition to the tag-team division and excellent partners for Escobar and it shone throughout this match. Having said that, it really wasn’t anything special, with Maverick getting a tough loss after shenanigans inevitably occurred.
Mercedes Martinez def. Santana Garett
This was mainly an enhancement match for Martinez, who looks to be a strong up-and-comer in the women’s division. Not much else to say, but it was a solid outing in the short time.
Keith Lee def. Adam Cole for the NXT and North American Championships
In the main event and biggest match of the two nights, Keith Lee and Adam Cole went at it for both of their titles. The match itself felt like well-executed affair and both Lee and Cole looked great in it as they contrasted each other’s styles quite well. Both of them got so much of their signature offense in, and it was kept clean for the most part as Keith Lee eventually landed his Big Bang Catastrophe to win the match after Cole gave him two Last Shot knee strikes to no avail. This definitely sets up Lee to be the next dominant force in NXT despite Karrion Cross being shown taking an envious look at the new champion after the win. As for Cole, it could go either way but it would appear as though as his next phase in the WWE/NXT machine is up in the air for now.
NXT: Great American Bash is an interesting concept, and a bit risky for them to pull off. While it wasn’t filled to the brim with wrestling classics, there was still quite a bit of good wrestling to at least be entertaining throughout. Watched in back-to-back succession, it really feels like a great sampler of all of NXT’s current talents. A strong ending and competent booking saved this show from being below average, but it is a touch above and worth a watch for any NXT fan.
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