By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT TV “Great American Bash Night One”
Taped today in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
Aired July 1, 2020 on USA Network
[Hour One] The show started off with a hype video package hyping up the return of the Great American Bash as two weeks of NXT shows…
Mauro Ranallo, Tom Phillips, and Beth Phoenix were on commentary. Mauro noted that Mountain Dew was sponsoring the show with limited commercial interruptions. Full Sail had a Great American Bash setup, with some cars parked alongside the ramp…
1. Tegan Nox vs. Candice LeRae vs. Dakota Kai vs. Mia Yim in an elimination match to become number one contender to the NXT Women’s Championship. Phillips noted that Raquel Gonzallez wasn’t allowed at ringside. Yim and Nox started off the match while LeRae and Kai stood aside and stalled at ringside. LeRae quickly got involved by tossing Yim into steps when she got a chance. LeRae got a rollup on Nox for a two count. Kai ended up giving Nox and LeRae clubbing blows. Yim hit LeRae with a running dropkick. LeRae avoided Yim’s cannonball. LeRae botched a paydirt on the apron for a nasty fall to Kai. Once things got straightened out, LeRae hit Nox with a springboard crossbody to the outside.
LeRae hit Yim with a Super German Suplex for a two count. Nox kicked LeRae and Kai. Nox hit LeRae with a back tackle. Kai hit LeRae with a face wash. Yim and Nox suplexed Kai onto LeRae. Yim hit LeRae with a single legged codebreaker to eliminate LeRae at about 4:00. The show cut to picture in picture commercial.[c]
John’s Thoughts: Well, we’re back to this again. As a reviewer, this does remind me of pre COVID times, so that’s a plus. Of course, don’t count on me recapping what’s happening during the commercials (though I keep the stopwatch running during picture-in-pictures).
Nox and Yim were wombo comboing Kai with punches. Yim and Nox hit Kai with cannonballs. Kai kicked out of the pinfall from both women. Yim and Nox ran the ropes a bit and had a stalemate. Yim did the spider-man grab on the ropes to dump Nox outside. Yim ended up missing a dive. Kai recovered and hit Nox with a nice hip toss into a Michinoku Driver. Yim hit Kai with a Dragon Suplex. Yim hit both opponents with running forearms. Yim hit Nox and Kai with huracanranas. Yim hit Nox and Kai with suicide dives.
Yim hit Kai with a Code Red for a two count on Kai. Nox rolled away after getting hit with Eat Defeat. Kai rolled up Yim into a jackknife rollup to eliminate Yim at around 10:05. [c]
Kai and Nox traded forearms back from the break. Kai ended up coming out on top after the rapid fire punch exchange. Kai caught Nox with a close distance superkick. Nox recovered and hit Kai with a headbutt. Both women went back to trading chops with Nox rallying. Nox hit Kai with a series of clotheslines. Nox hit Kia with three European Uppercuts in the corner. Nox hit Kai in the face with an imploding cannonball. Kai kicked out of the pin at two. Nox hit Kai with a bridged Fallaway Slam for a two count.
Kai staggered Nox on the top rope with a Face Wash and hit Nox with the Code Red backbreaker for a two count. Kai used boots to keep Nox on the ground. Nox escaped a fireman carry. Nox hit Kai with a Falcon Arrow. Kai kicked out at two. Nox missed a Shiniest Wizard attempt. Kai had her submission finisher locked in but Nox escaped by putting Kai’s shoulders on the mat for the two count. Tegan Nox hit Kai with a Molly-Go-Round and the Shiniest Wizard for the win.
Tegan Nox defeated Dakota Kai, Mia Yim, and Candice LeRae via pinfall in 20:37 to become number one contender to the NXT Women’s Championship.
Tom Phillips recapped the individual eliminations with Beth recapping the final moments.
John’s Thoughts: A really good television opening match and time filler. There were a few rough points early on, but it did clean up after those few rough moments. While shorter intervals than usual matches, I think that they gave LeRae and Yim enough meaningful time to showcase themselves. Not quite Takeover level, but this match would have fit well as a television main event.
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Damian Priest. Priest cut off Mitchell’s question and talked into the camera about Cameron Grimes. Preist talked about how Grimes is not owning up to slashing Priest’s ties and attacking him in the parking lot. Priest challenged Grimes to a one-on-one match “no tricks, no games”
Sasha Banks and Bayley were shown complementing each other backstage…
Timothy Thatcher made his entrance to Full Sail…
2. Timothy Thatcher vs. Oney Lorcan. Both men traded ground submissions early on. Thatcher got a bow and arrow submission on Thatcher. Lorcan got up and hit Thatcher with stiff chops. Thatcher blocked a Juji Gatame and rolled up Lorcan for a two count. The commentators talked about Thatcher’s focus on catch wrestling. Beth noted that she talked to Lance Storm recently who liked Oney Lorcan’s intensity. Both men traded ground submissions. Thatcher grounded Lorcan for a double wrist lock. Lorcan hit Thatcher with a snapmare and locked Thatcher in a butterfly stretch.
Lorcan used a knee to keep Thatcher from reversing it. When it looked like Thatcher was about to escape, Lorcan hit Thatcher with a series of chops. Thatcher dumped Thatcher to ringside with a uppercut. The show cut to picture in picture commercial.[c]
John’s Thoughts: I know, woe is me right? But the return of the picture-in-picture and limited commercials means is a bit harder to get breaks to write down my thoughts. Eh, the positive is we get more good in-ring action.
Thatcher hit Lorcan with a hard Belly-to-belly suplex. Lorcan rested a bit and recovered, hitting Thatcher with a half-and-half suplex. Lorcan got a two count on Thatcher. Lorcan and Thatcher traded strong style chops and strikes. Mauro dropped another Lance Storm reference. Thatcher hit Thatcher with his signature stiff bitch slaps. Lorcan put Thatcher in a Half Boston Crab. Lorcan did a good job sitting on the move. Thatcher escaped the move and put Lorcan in a unique knee hook.
Lorcan chopped Thatcher’s forearm, which hurt Lorcan. This allowed Thatcher to hit Lorcan with a Suplex for a two count. Lorcan staggered Thatcher with a fish hook. Thatcher moved over and locked Lorcan with a Fujiwara armbar. Lorcan tapped out.
Timothy Thatcher defeated Oney Lorcan via submission in 11:32.
Thatcher held on to the submission for about five more seconds. Mauro talked about the history of the Fujiwara Armbar a bit.
John’s Thoughts: An amazing match! And yes, I know the Pseudo-MMA is not for all, but as a person who likes martial arts I really like the respect to more of the practical aspects of fighting (where you don’t have to suspend you disbelief as much). This was Lorcan’s best match since he resigned with WWE about a year ago. I’d be down for a fight pit match between these two, but I’d pretty be much down for any type of Fight Pit match because that Fight Pit was badass.
A Karrion Kross promo video package aired. Kross was in his classic black suit. Kross talked about people amongst us, entitled virmin, people who are delusional. Kross talked about how those people put time in their plans for the future. Scarlett [Bordeaux] talked about pain and suffering. Kross said it isn’t about the time you put in, it’s about the time you take away. The imagery focused on the 20th Tarot Card. The Card of Judgement…
John’s Thoughts: Kross is great! I really like the nods to nihilism and philosophy. Kross comes off as a well educated scholar and a technical fighter, a skill set I can really respect.
3. Rhea Ripley vs. Aliyah and Robert Stone in an intergender handicap match. Stone had his own brand of boxing trunks. Stone also put on goggles (Oh my god! Robbie E is back! Ugh, F’n Bro Mans… I kid). Stone wanted to face of with Ripley. Stone did his old Bro Man fighting poses in the ring. Ripley caught a running Stone with a chop. Aliyah managed to counter Ripley and hit Ripley with a huracanrana. Stone held on to Ripley’s foot so Aliyah could hit Ripley with a running knee.
Ripley rolled to ringside. Stone crash and burned on a plancha. Aliyah blindsided ripley and had the advantage heading into Picture-in-picture commercial. [c]
Stone had Ripley in a Boston Crab while Aliyah put Ripley in a crossface. Stone and Aliyah hit Ripley with a suplex. Aliyah and Stone then argued over who would pin Ripley. Ripley managed to hit Aliyah and Stone with a double suplex. Ripley caught Stone with a dropkick. Ripley threw Aliyah into Stone. Ripley hit Aliyah with a series of shortarm lariats. Ripley then tossed Aliyah into Stone again. Ripley then front face suplexed Aliyah’s face into Stone’s balls.
Ripley suplexed Aliyah again. Stone went for a rollup, but Ripley kept a wide base to block the move. Ripley locked both Aliyah and Stone in her reverse Texas Cloverleaf. Aliyah kept trying to hit Stone to prevent him, but Stone ended up tapping out.
Rhea Ripley defeated Robert Stone and Aliyah via submission in 10:03.
Tom Phillips hyped up Roderick Strong vs. Dexter Lumis…
John’s Thoughts: So I guess intergender matches are ok if the man’s a comedy figure? Anyway, it was a really fun match (despite Stone flashing some of of his old Robbie E mannerisms). Stone has kept me entertained for weeks, but this Stone and Aliyah pairing is starting to win me over. Aliyah is kinda benefiting from this. Weather or not she ends up in a better place after this is still up in the air. This sidetrack was also a good way to keep Ripley out of the title picture, which is where I think she needs to be a bit to rebuild herself after the odd feud with Charlotte.
A promo aired of Roderick Strong in a dark room. The video focused on Strong’s psychological fear of Dexter Lumis. Strong kept yelling that he’s afraid of the staring…
[Hour Two] Roderick Strong made his entrance first at Full Sail. Next, creepy ass Samuel Shaw made his entrance. He’s known as Dexter Lumis these days, as you know…
4. Roderick Strong vs. Dexter Lumis in a strap match. The developmental wrestlers chanted “Strap-on Roddy” to Roddy (that was immature, but it got a chuckle out of me. I have to admit). Roddy tried to jump Lumis early on, but Lumis no-sold Roddy and got Roddy strapped in. Roderick tried to stall at ringside, but Lumis sent Strong flying by pulling the rope toward the apron (good bump). Lumis worked his usual methodical offense on Roderick. Strong used boots and knees to fight back Lumis. Lumis no sold Strong’s chops.
Lumis tried to use the strap to get Strong back in the ring. Strong kicked Lumis in the knee. Lumis came back and tossed Strong overhead, back in the ring. Strong caught Lumis with a boot and a knee strike. Lumis trapped Strong on the top rope and used the strap to set up and nail Strong with a Cheeky Nandos Uppercut. Lumis sent Strong into a backflip by pulling him over the ring steps. Lumis tossed around Strong at ringside. Lumis then opened the Dodge Viper trunk that was parked at ringside.
Roderick ended up keeping high ground and putting boots to Lumis. Strong ended up planting Lumis with an Angle Slam at ringside. Strong hit Lumis with the strap a few times in the ring. Tom Phillips handled the USA commercial plugs during the match. Strong hit Lumis with a basement dropkick and ground and pound punches. Lumis kept a wide base to block Strong’s suplex. Strong kept Lumis grounded with a punch.
Strong and Lumis traded strikes with Strong getting the upper hand after a boot. Strong kept Lumis on the mat with chops and strap strikes. Someone in the crowd chanted “Dexter likes it”. Lumis got to his feet and turned Roderick inside out with a clothesline. Lumis hit Strong with a nice lariat and bulldog combination for a two count. Lumis hit Strong with the slingshot suplex. Lumis hit Strong in the back a few times with the strap. Strong escaped a chokehold and hit Lumis with a jumping spinning knee.
Strong hit Lumis with a Superplex. Lumis kicked out at two. Strong put Lumis in a Strap-assisted Walls of Jericho. Lumis crawled to ringside to escape the move. Beth noted that Lumis used his signature slither to crawl to ringside. While the referee was distracted with Strong, Bobby Fish ran out and tripped Lumis. This allowed Strong to hit Lumis with a flying lariat and get a two count. Fish tried to run interference, but he ran into the low bridge from the strap.
Lumis threw Strong at Fish to drop Fish from the apron. Lumis hit Strong with a sitout Uranage. Lumis tied Strong up in the strap and choked him with the Kata Gatame. Roderick Strong tapped out.
Dexter Lumis defeated Roderick Strong via submission in 16:00.
John’s Thoughts: Someone in the crowd really likes them some dirty joke chants. Moving along, the match started off a bit hokey, but it did settle down into the usual Roderick Strong pace, which is a good pace. Another interesting note. Aside from the opening match, every match tonight has ended in submission. If Sasha Banks can win in the main event with a Bank Statement then this would be the most submission-finish show, maybe in history.
Tom Phillips checked in from the commentary table and reminded viewers that next week is the 2nd part of the Great American Bash. Phillips sent it over to the Keith Lee vs. Adam Cole “Prime Target” video package…
Keith Lee talked about next week’s match is the biggest match of his career. Lee talked about connecting with the fans and learning from some legends. Lee talked about taking on all challenges against his North American Championship and still standing tall. Lee said he’s not going to let anyone down. Lee said NXT is NX-Lee. Lee said he had his eyes on Cole’s championship for a long time and has been waiting patiently. Lee said he’s not going to overlook anything. Lee said he commends Cole’s legendary championship reign.
Adam Cole talked about Lee possibly having the best year in WWE last year. Cole said the only person with a better year was Adam Cole. Cole took credit for giving Lee all the chances he got because he set up the NXT invasion on Smackdown and Raw. Cole bragged about being the greatest champion in NXT history. Lee said the man standing tall with the championship in the end will be Keith Lee. Back to Cole, Cole talked about how Lee loses big matches and chances while Cole succeeds. Lee said Cole may be undisputed, but Keith Lee is unstoppable. Adam Cole said next week’s match is the biggest match in NXT history. The graphic aired to hype up the winner take all match for next week…
Io Shirai was shown getting ready backstage. Tom Phillips advertised Io Shirai vs. Sasha Banks in a non-title match as the main event of the show with no commercials…
John’s Thoughts: A bit more of a basic Prime Target package, but a very simple and effective one. I think this Prime Target video did a good job giving the upcoming championship match a “big match” feel with both men talking about how immense the match is in the big picture.
McKenzie Mitchell tried to interview Candice LeRae and Johnny Gargano about Le’Rae’s loss. Gargano tried to blame the loss on the numbers game. LeRae ran off camera to attack Mia Yim. Isaiah Swerve Scott tried to pull LeRae away. The referees ran out to break things up..
“Legado Del Fantasma”, the faction of Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde, and Raul Mendoza made their entrance. Someone in the crowd may be trying to start a “culero” chant. Escobar talked about how the lucha libre culture once meaning something. Escobar said luchadores were movie stars, heroes, and role models. Escobar said people turned Lucha Libre into a sideshow. Escobar said the masses were led to think Luchadores are a bunch of guys in masks doing flips. The developmental students chanted “That is lucha!” (what?).
Escobar said he’s going to write Lucha Libre in his own image. He said he’s going to rewrite the wrongs of luchadores of the past. Escobar was about to top off his promo, but Drake Maverick made his entrance. Drake Maverick was wearing a neck brace. Maverick took off the brace and then stormed the ring. Escobar kept his distance while Wilde and Mendoza put the boots to Maverick. Wilde and Mendoza held Maverick while Escobar told Maverick “I told you, no one can touch me”. Fandango and Tyler Breeze ran out to clear Mendoza and Wilde from the ring. Escobar escaped from the side of the ring and backtracked with his boys. Fandango took the mic and said that next week at the Great American Bash, Escobar will have no place to hide. The regular Breezango music played to close the segment.
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Cameron Grimes on his thoughts on Damian Preist. Grimes mocked Preist’s deep voice and said it’s Grime Time. Grimes said he’s not worring about the past because his foot is on the gas. Grimes said he’s calling out the winner of Adam Cole vs. Keith Lee. Grimes dubbed himself the number one contender. Grimes yelled like a goof and walked away…
Tom Phillips reminded viewers that Io Shirai vs. Sasha Banks will not have commercial interruptions…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A really good exposition promo from Escobar, showing viewers that the guy is really eloquent and may be as good a storyteller on the mic as he is in the ring. Maverick has done a solid job on his end with minimal words. I’m really looking forward to the Escobar vs. Maverick one-on-one match and think that match might steal the show (despite not being flashy given that Maverick and Escobar are more methodical than flashy).
A Mercedes Martinez return vignette aired. It said she was returning next week…
Tom Phillips announced Legado Del Fantasma vs. Drake Maverick and Breezango. Beth Phoenix advertised Mia Yim vs. Candice LeRae in a Street Fight. Phillips hyped Adam Cole vs. Keith Lee in a title-vs-title match…
Bayley and Sasha Banks made their entrance in a Jaguar. They both wore patriotic attire. Best part! Bayley had a Corgi with her! Io Shirai made her entrance with her usual Kamen Rider Zero-One color scheme gear…
5. NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai vs. WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Sasha Banks (w/Bayley) in a non-title match. Banks dominated the first collar and elbow. Shirai dominated the next collar and elbow with a wristlock. Shirai avoided Banks’s moves and hit Banks with a missile dropkick. Shirai hit Banks at ringside with a diving crossbody tope. Shirai put the boots to Banks in the corner. Bayley distracted Shirai by honking the horn of the car. Banks slammed Shirai to the ground and got a two count. Banks hit Shirai with a draping double knee in the corner to get a two count.
Banks worked on Shirai with a bit of joint manipulation in the center of the ring. Banks got a two count after clubbing Shirai down with elbows. Banks got a two count after a running meteora. Banks slammed Shirai’s face in the second turnbuckle. Shirai came back with a rising palm. Shirai planted Banks with a Frankensteiner. Shirai draped Banks with a flapjack and then hit Banks with a 619. Shirai hit Banks with a slingshot dropkick for a two count.
Both women traded counters. Shirai hit Banks with an awkward looking suplex. Banks countered the Tiger Driver with a Banks Statement. Shirai countered the submission with a rollup. Shirai rolled up Banks and hit Banks with a double stomp. Shirai hit Banks with a running meteora in the corner. Banks recovered and tapped Shirai in the Tree of Woe. Banks yelled at the devlopmental wrestlers, saying “you wouldn’t be here without me!”. Shirai did a sit up to make Banks meteora only bottom turnbuckle. Shirai missed a moonsault and ate a big boot from Banks.
Banks hit Shirai with a diving meteora for a two count. Banks recovered and avoided another 619 attempt. Shirai punched at Banks from the apron. Both women botched the initial attempt, but it was fixed after Shirai went for a slingshot, but Banks kicked Shirai off the top rope. Banks than hit Shirai with a sick looking (But safe) Sunset Flip from ringside to the plexiglass. Banks missed a Frogsplash. Shirai locked Banks in a crossface. Bayley threw the tag belt at the referee and then gave Shirai a cheap shot while the ref was distracted.
Banks tried to hit Shirai with the belt while the ref was distracted, but Asuka showed up and held on to the tag team title belt. Asuka gave Banks a green mist. Shirai got a two count on Banks. Shirai took out Bayley with a wrecking ball kick. Shirai hit Banks with a moonsault for the win.
Io Shirai defeated Sasha Banks via pinfall in 14:01.
Asuka danced around in the ring to celebrate with Io…
The commentators advertised Maverick and Breezango vs. Legado Del Fantasma in a trios match, Mia Yim vs. Candice Lerae in a street fight, and Adam Cole vs. Keith Lee in title-vs-title for night 2 of Great American Bash. Asuka and Shirai stood tall to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: I had my doubts on this match given the impromptu nature and the fact that this wasn’t a takeover. They didn’t disappoint. Shirai and Banks really picked things up in the second half of the match which led to a very fun main event worthy of a main event. This match was hurt though, by lack of build. I think the lack of build really kept this from being really amazing given we didn’t have any storyline investment in this encounter. If possible, I wouldn’t mind these two getting a Takeover match down the road. Either that or a Takeover-like show.
Speaking of Takeovers, I know they’re counter-programming AEW, but I didn’t expect them to go full-on Takeover mode on this show. This episode wasn’t as compelling as the usual takeover. The “Workrate” wasn’t as high. That said, this reminded me of those early NXT Arrival/Takeover shows that WWE used to do before the Takeover concept blew up. This was a good show and a good setup to next week’s “part 2”. They can’t get away with minimal angles and promos all the time, but this was the right show to go PPV-style with. I’ll be by tomorrow with my NXT Audio Review for the Dot Net Member and Jason Powell will be by with his hit list.