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NXT Great American Bash 30/07/2023 Review

Hello everyone, I am one half of your Irn Bruiserweights bringing you your NXT Great American Bash Review. So let's get into it.


Kickoff Show: Meta Four vs. Nathan Frazer, Dragon Lee, Yulisa Leon and Valentina Feroz


Dar and Frazer fight over wrist control to start until Frazer snaps off a dropkick, meaning Legend comes in. Leon hits a running knee before handing it off to Feroz for a quick moonsault. Jackson faceplants her down for two and it’s Jackson coming in but getting sent into the wrong corner. Leon unloads on Jackson but Mensah tags himself in, meaning Lee can hit a running kick in the corner. A quick distraction lets Mensah take Lee down though and of course, Dar is willing to come back in.


The chinlock goes on but Lee is right back up with a basement superkick for a double knockdown. Frazer comes back in to unload on Dar but Legend cuts off the big dive. Everything breaks down and Leon LAUNCHES Feroz over the top for the crash. Lee and Frazer hit dives of their own, followed by Frazer’s springboard reverse DDT.


Vic says these wrestlers embody Dusty Rhodes and….yeah not seeing it. Leon hits a missile dropkick on Lash, setting up a DDT to give Feroz two. Lee and Dar trade strikes to the head until Mensah hits a powerbomb faceplant (Big Show used to call it the Alley Oop) for two. Lee is fine enough to get back to Frazer though and it’s a springboard reverse Spanish Fly to Mensah, setting up Lee’s running Sliced Bread for the pin at 10:51.


Official Winner - Dragon Lee, Nathan Frazer, Yulisa Leon and Valentina Feroz


Official thoughts - That’s about as perfect of a way as you can have to start a show, as you had eight people doing whatever they could in the time they had. Frazer and Lee are great high fliers and they did their thing rather well. Dar can hang with just about anyone and I’m sure we’ll see more of this going forward with the double cups. Not a classic match, but a very fun opener.


The opening video focuses on Dusty Rhodes, who invented the Bash and was born here in Austin. Cody Rhodes narrates how important this is (nice touch) and we look at most of the card.


Match 1 - Tag Team Titles: Tony D’Angelo and Stacks vs. Gallus


Gallus, with Joe Coffey, is defending and gets a video before the match, where they promise to come out on top. Mark drives Stacks into D’Angelo to start and hammers away early on. Stacks is back up and brings D’Angelo in to stomp away but Joe trips Stacks up. D’Angelo goes after Joe, allowing Wolfgang to get in a hard clothesline to put him down on the floor.


Back in and Mark sends Stacks throat first into the bottom rope so Wolfgang can grab a chinlock. With that broken up, Stacks jumps over Wolfgang and hands it back to D’Angelo to clean the house. Everything breaks down and Wolfgang is punched to the floor, leaving Mark to get PowerPlexed (headbutt instead of splash) for two, with Wolfgang making the save.


Back up and Wolfgang throws Mark over the top onto D’Angelo, followed by a moonsault for two on Stacks. Joe gets on the apron and slips Wolfgang a club, which is quickly taken away. Stacks low bridges Wolfgang to the floor and D’Angelo powerbombs Mark into him. D’Angelo hiptosses Stacks onto both of them and Bada Bing finishes Wolfgang for the pin and the titles at 9:15.


Official Winner - NEW NXT Tag Team Champions - Tony D’Angelo and Stacks


Official thoughts - They didn’t have much of another choice here as Gallus was ice cold as champions and there was no reason to keep the titles on them. D’Angelo and Stacks have been chasing the belts for a bit so the win is a pretty nice moment. The match was good enough too, with Gallus’ cheating not working this time around and the titles going to the better team.


We recap Roxanne Perez vs. Blair Davenport in a Weapons Wild match. Davenport was out of action for a long time but came back as the mystery attacker who took out a bunch of the women’s division. Then she targeted Perez, who was sick and tired of being treated as an easy opponent. Perez is fired up for revenge and anything goes.


Match 2 - Blair Davenport vs. Roxanne Perez


Weapons Wild and anything goes, but first, we see a clip of the two of them getting into it at a convention yesterday. Perez’s family is in the crowd, but so is a disguised Davenport to get in a cheap shot to start fast. Davenport takes her down on the floor and then heads inside, only to get dropped with a suicide dive. Some chair shots have Perez in trouble and what looks like a cane to the ribs puts her down on the floor.


Davenport makes sure to mock the family before putting a trashcan over Perez and unloading with the cane. Perez manages a quick chair to the ribs but Davenport hits her in the ribs with a belt. Davenport yells at the family again but Perez is back with a bull rope (with cowbell of course). The belt is tied around Davenport’s wrist so Perez can whip her into the barricade a few times.


It’s table time (because of course) but that takes a bit too long, allowing Davenport to take her down again. The chairs are stacked up but Davenport has to counter Pop Rox onto the pile. A suplex through the trashcan gets two on Perez, who is back with a Russian legsweep of all things. They’re back on the floor with Perez hitting a running knee to send her head first into the steps. A top rope splash through the table crushes Davenport, followed by Pop Rox onto the chairs for the pin at 11:50.


Official Winner - Roxanne Perez


Official thoughts - Not a bad brawl here with both women laying it in until Perez won. They could have gone either way here but this is going to take Davenport out of the running to be the big bad of NXT for a while. That’s not the worst idea, but Perez winning is a good way to go after she has had a rough few weeks. Other than that, it was your run of the mill hardcore match and it went well enough.


Match 3 - Gable Steveson vs. Baron Corbin


This is Steveson’s, an Olympic gold medal winner, debut and we get a quick look at everything he has done in WWE so far. Corbin punches him into the corner to start but Steveson leapfrogs over him and gets the ankle lock (Please no. There are going to be enough Kurt Angle comparisons already.).


Corbin gets the rope and heads outside, where Steveson gets posted. Back in and Corbin posts his shoulder first, followed by a Death Valley Driver for two. Steveson sends him into the corner but gets stomped down for his efforts. Some belly to belly suplexes drop Corbin and Steveson sends him outside. Steveson whips him into the announcers’ table…and they fight to a countout at 6:33?


Official Result - Baron Corbin vs. Gable Steveson went to a double countout


Official thoughts - While this wasn’t a disaster, it’s going to leave some people saying “That’s it?” Steveson is clearly a great athlete and can do the suplexes and throws well, but this should have been a dominant start, not a match designed to set something else up for the future. Let Steveson show what he can do rather than having him sell for most of the match. Steveson is a special athlete and someone WWE is not going to get very often. This didn’t make me think he was special, but rather that he was a good athlete who wasn’t very high on the WWE totem pole. Not an awful match, but this wasn’t the right direction to take.


Post match the brawl stays on but the fans are not pleased.


We look at Lyra Valkyria coming up short against Rhea Ripley but getting a show of respect after. Ripley told her to take out Jacy Jayne.


Valkyria wants more, but Jayne attacks her and the big brawl is on.


Match 4 - North American Title: Wes Lee vs. Mustafa Ali vs. Dominik Mysterio


Mysterio, with Rhea Ripley, is defending after taking the title from Lee a few weeks back. The other two go after Dominik to start but Rhea gets in Ali’s way, as she is known to do. Dominik tries to run but gets pulled back in by the two of them (great visual) so the double chopping in the corner can ensue.


Lee and Ali slug it out but Dominik is back in for the Three Amigos. That doesn’t work for Ali and Lee, who hit double Three Amigos in a clever spot. With Ali sent outside, Lee grabs a hurricanrana for two, with Ali’s dropkick through the ropes (cool) making the save. Ali kicks Dominik down and hits the rolling neckbreaker, setting up a Boston crab/camel clutch at the same time. That’s broken up so Ali kicks them into the ropes but a 450 only hits the apron.


Dominik is knocked to the floor for a dive from Lee but Rhea blocks another. That’s fine with Lee, who dives over her to take Dominik down again (and sticks the landing). Rhea isn’t cool with that and Lee gets Riptided through the announcers’ table to give Dominik a VERY close two (Rhea freaking out on the floor is great). A belt shot gets two more but Ali breaks up the frog splash. The 450 gets two but Ripley pulls Ali out, allowing Dominik to hit the frog splash and retain at 12:05.


Official Winner - STILL NXT North American Champion - Dominik Mysterio


Official thoughts - There’s a lot here and that is a good thing. First of all, it was a rather modern triple threat style, with all three working at a fast pace and the challengers trying to get the pin where they could. At the same time though you have Dominik doing his best Honky Tonk Man impression and nailing it. While he isn’t incompetent in the ring, he’s in over his head and needs Ripley to bail him out every time. That is making him an absolute heat magnet and it’s some amazing work.


Finally, you have Ripley, who is more of a star than the women’s division has seen since Becky Lynch. She is the kind of person who leaves you wanting to see what she is going to do next while believing that there is nothing she can’t do. It’s a treat to get to watch her and she and Dominik together are about as perfect as it gets.


Video on Ilja Dragunov.


Trick Williams is ready for Carmelo Hayes to shut Dragunov up.


We recap Tiffany Stratton vs. Thea Hail for the Women’s Title. Stratton beat her once before, albeit after tapping behind the referee’s back. Tonight it’s a submission match, with Stratton promising to debut a new submission.


Match 5 - Women’s Title: Thea Hail vs. Tiffany Stratton


Stratton, with a Barbie theme, is defending in a submission match while Chase U is here with Hail. Feeling out of process to start until Stratton knocks her down for an early surfboard. That doesn’t last long as Hail knocks her outside but a suicide dive is blocked. Stratton posts her to start on the back and works away back inside.


Hail avoids a charge in the corner though and grabs a suplex, only to get pulled into a bodyscissors. Back up and Hail gets in a bulldog to send Stratton outside, meaning the dive can connect this time. Stratton pulls her out of the air back inside but Hail tries the Kimura. That’s broken up with a suplex into the corner though and a Regal Roll plants Hail again.


Hail catches her on top with an exploder superplex and the Kimura goes on. Stratton uses the ropes to escape to the floor and drives Hail’s back into the apron. Back in and the Prettiest Moonsault Ever sets up a Boston crab to keep Hail in a lot of trouble. Stratton cranks back on it….and Andre Chase throws in the towel at 11:45.


Official Winner - STILL NXT Women’s Champion - Tiffany Stratton


Official thoughts - I’m going to need to hear the explanation on this one, as it is going to be needed to boost the match up. Stratton isn’t a submission wrestler, so while her hurting the back worked, the Boston crab didn’t. Hail being mad at Chase over the ending could work, but it didn’t come close to building up the emotion you need from that kind of ending. I didn’t buy Hail being in that much danger and it brought things down a bit. Still good, but not what it could have been.


Dragon Lee is proud of his win earlier when he runs into Rhea Ripley and Dominik Mysterio. Rhea calls him the wannabe Rey Mysterio, with Lee saying he would be proud to be like Rey in any way.


Schism argues about the two masked men who interfered in their match. Next week, it’s an interrogation.


Here’s what’s coming next week.


Match 6 - NXT Title: Ilja Dragunov vs. Carmelo Hayes


Hayes, with Trick Williams, is defending. They fight over the arm to start until Dragunov grabs a headlock. Hayes goes for the arm before hitting a springboard clothesline but Dragunov gets in a shot to the back. A German suplex drops Hayes and Dragunov kicks him in the face for a bonus. They slug it out until Dragunov rolls some German suplexes until Hayes armdrags his way out of trouble. That doesn’t work for Dragunov, who kicks him in the face and snaps off a bridging German suplex for two.


A backsplash stays on the ribs for two more and we hit the chinlock. Hayes tries to fight back and gets hit in the face for another near fall. The Constantine Special gets two and Dragunov needs a breather. Dragunov is up with the heavy forearms to the back into a cobra clutch with a bodyscissors. Hayes slips out and hits a kick to the chest, only to get kicked in the head for two more.


Back up and Hayes knocks him into the corner but Dragunov comes back with the chops. Hayes elbows his way out of trouble and a springboard DDT gets two on Dragunov. Back up and Dragunov catches him on top, setting up the top rope backsplash for two. Dragunov tries the Coast To Coast but dives into a Codebreaker (for a VERY over the top bump). Hayes goes up for Nothing But Net, which is countered into a heck of a powerbomb.


Dragunov’s running forearm to the head gets two but a top rope superplex is countered into a super cutter (that was sweet) to give Hayes two of his own. Williams grabs the title to give Hayes a pep talk and the slugout on the ground begins. The slugout sends Hayes out to the floor as the fans find this awesome. Dragunov’s dive takes out Williams by mistake but his head hits the title. That’s enough for Hayes to hit Nothing But Net to retain at 24:08.


Official Winner - STILL NXT World Champion - Carmelo Hayes


Official thoughts - This one took some time to get going, but it hit its stride once it stopped being a Dragunov squash of Hayes. They didn’t have the best chemistry, though it worked out well by the end, especially with Dragunov’s intensity and willingness to go one more step being his downfall. Hayes didn’t look great here, but he looked good enough to get by and in some cases that’s all you need.

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