By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
NXT Great American Bash Hits
Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly: The usual terrific in-ring work from the longtime friends and storyline rivals. Cole going over was logical in terms of him getting his win back to create the need for a rubber match. O’Reilly has come up short in some high profile television matches lately, so it will be interesting to see what the creative forces do to give him his mojo back coming out this match.
Hit Row’s cypher celebration: Wow. I’m a rock guy who hasn’t been big on most rap music since the days NWA and the peak years of Public Enemy. But even my old ass can recognize talent when I see it. We’ve seen a lot of pro wrestling wannabe musician acts over the years, but we’ve never seen one of these acts show as much poise and confidence as the Hit Row members did. This performance gave the faction credibility. They came off like pros rather than wrestlers pretending to be musicians. Hit Row is off to a fantastic start.
“MSK” Nash Carter and Wes Lee vs. Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher for the NXT Tag Titles: To paraphrase the great wordsmith John “Hannibal” Smith, I love it when a styles clash comes together. This was a hot opener with good action from bell to bell. I just wish they had been given more time. Here’s hoping these teams get a full length Takeover match. While there’s a risk of fans siding with Ciampa and Thatcher if these teams work future matches, the potential reward is MSK coming out of the feud with newfound fan respect for working a grittier style with the veterans.
Karrion Kross and Johnny Gargano: I never really know who the NXT creative forces want fans to side with in Kross matches. Still, the segment was enjoyable and I like the added announcement that Samoa Joe will serve as the special referee for their NXT Championship match next week. Best of all, Kross getting main roster tryout matches and appearing in WWE Main Event television matches makes this and any future Kross title defenses feel less predictable.
LA Knight vs. Cameron Grimes for the Million Dollar Title: A good match capped off with a surprisingly clean finish. The stipulation that Grimes must become the butler of Knight should lead to some silly fun.
NXT Great American Bash Misses
Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell vs. Io Shirai and Zoey Stark for the NXT Women’s Tag Titles: The match quality was fine and I like the title change, but it felt like there was too much going on. It’s great to see Tegan Nox return following her latest knee injury, but I wasn’t a fan of her return being the reason that Shirai and Stark won the tag titles, nor that her return overshadowed the post match title change celebration.