03rd Jul2020

‘WWE NXT: The Great American Bash – Part 1’ Review (July 1st 2020)

by Nathan Favel

Welcome to this week’s NXT special called The Great American Bash: Part 1. I’m Nathan Favel and this review will have five matches and no whales. I’m flat-out surprised that this is even happening. Will this show redeem the years of lame GABs from VKM, or will the WWE put the AOK in this once great PPV? Penny…Penny…Penny…Penny…Penny…it’s wrestling time.

Match #1: Tegan Nox def. Dakota Kai, Mia Yim and Candice LeRae – Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match To Become The No. 1 Contender To The NXT Women’s Title

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Mia Yim was the first to score an elimination, pinning Candice LeRae after hitting the Protect Ya Neck. The chaotic action continued with Yim teaming up with Tegan Nox temporarily for double-team offense against Dakota Kai, but The Captain of Team Kick eliminated The HBIC with a crafty Okana roll and bridge, leaving her and arch-nemesis Nox as the final two women. No love was lost between the former best friends as they exchanged hard-hitting strikes, but Nox prevailed after hitting a seated top-rope senton and the Shiniest Wizard, earning an opportunity to take on Io Shirai.

My Opinion: 3.3 out of 5 – This went long, but was mostly just slow spots that looked really good. The match wasn’t a mess, but it wasn’t clear as day either. Nox winning was interesting, because it felt like Yim was the favorite, but then LeRae is always a natural pick for being a contender. In any case, this Snoopy got the Woodstock before The Red Baron blew this Peanut right out of the sky and that’s not bad for a twenty minute match that failed to be cohesive, despite being exciting.

Match #2: Timothy Thatcher def. Oney Lorcan

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Two of NXT’s best technicians put on a mat clinic to no one’s surprise, going hold for hold. The bout turned predictably vicious with both men trading bombs until Timothy Thatcher forced Oney Lorcan to submit with a savagely applied Fujiwara armbar.

My Opinion: 4.2 out of 5 – Now this was a hell of a eleven-twelve minute match. If you aren’t into technical wrestling with some smash and smack tossed in to keep you paying attention, then this won’t be for you. There are no dirty tricks here with the transitions and every move mattered. I think a good way to sum this up is that you are getting European style with an American kick to it. If neither one of these guys gets more attention on NXT after this match, then I’ll…I’ll…smoke a whole carton of cigarettes! I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow my…health down? Hey, if you like wrestling holds and wrestling maneuvers and all that cool shit, then you’ll go coo-coo over this whole thing, from bell to bell…to bell (I had one left).

Match #3: Rhea Ripley def. Aliyah & Robert Stone – Handicap Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

The numbers advantage served The Robert Stone Brand well for much of the bout — until it didn’t. A disagreement over whether Robert Stone or Aliyah should be the one to cover Rhea Ripley proved costly. The Nightmare rallied back and made both tap out to Prism Traps in stereo, ensuring that she wouldn’t have to join The Robert Stone Brand.

My Opinion: 2.8 out of 5 – This was a very logically performed Handicap match that wasn’t packed with enough action to make this more than an exercise in storytelling. Ripley did come across as a tough son-of-a-bitch, so that part was handled at least. Stone made for a great fool and put over Ripley as the star she needed to be here. Aliyah didn’t get much here, but she didn’t look weak either. All in all, two out of three ain’t bad when the whole thing was meant to be a farce to begin with…like my prison sentence.

Match #4: Dexter Lumis def. Roderick Strong – Strap Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Roderick Strong was extremely hesitant to be bound to Dexter Lumis with a leather strap and for good reason. Lumis dished out the punishment and nearly treated Strong to a return trip to to the trunk of a car, which was parked nearby as part of the ringside set. Not even Bobby Fish interfering could save Strong, and NXT’s “Tortured Artist” unleashed a devastating Uranage and submitted Strong with Silence for the victory.

My Opinion: 3.5 out of 5 – This was the best match of Lumis’s career, at least from what I’ve seen. Strong did carry him through this visceral brawl, but Lumis also contributed a fair amount. It has finally occurred to me that Lumis can only brawl, so perhaps that means he should only be brawling in his matches from now on? Lumis does have his submission finisher, which ended the match by the way, but he is very limited in what he can do in the ring. Conversely, Strong is the maestro of the ring and has been for some twenty years. Seeing Strong lose here was very depressing, considering that so many of us know what he is capable of, but he’s been slighted by promoters before and certainly knows how to endure this sort of treatment. Lumis can only do so much with this victory, especially since most folks were hoping that Strong would get his revenge and be seen as a stronger competitor once again. In any case, we’ve got a slow yet fierce brawl that used the strap to build tension when it needed it most, which is just what was supposed to happen here…

Match #5: (Main Event) Io Shirai def. Sasha Banks

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

The veritable dream match lived up to the hype as Io Shirai and Sasha Banks gave each other all they could handle. But Bayley’s plot to distract the official backfired in a big way, as Asuka evened the odds and blinded The Boss with green mist, giving Shirai an opening to hit her breathtaking moonsault for the win.

My Opinion: 3.5 out of 5 – These guys had an excellent match to end this card. The action was even like the edge of a thong, with their eyes swimming like the Ghosts of Christmas Past…wrong review. Anyway, Io and Sasha clubbed away at each other like baby seals getting revenge against hunters for smacking them one too many times. There was some interference from Asuka at the end that I didn’t mind, so even the iffy part was really Jiffy (not chunky though…ruins the bread…RESPECT THE BREAD!). Overall, if you want a rollicking good Omar Sharif, then Doctor your Zhivago, because this is your lucky day for to watch smart, crisp action from two of the best today.

Final Verdict: 3.5/5

This was an excellent show with a great match coming in very early before the whole thing leveled out the rest of the way.

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