Date: July 8, 2020
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Tom Phillips, Beth Phoenix
We wrap up the Great American Bash tonight with the second of two shows. This time around it’s a big one, as NXT Champion Adam Cole faces North American Champion Keith Lee in a title for title match. That could go either way and may be the biggest match NXT TV has ever seen. Let’s get to it.
Candice LeRae vs. Mia Yim
Street fight and Mia jumps her from behind during the entrances. Yim sends her into the steps and starts throwing the weapons in before the bell. Candice gets in a few kendo stick shots but Mia shrugs them off and hits her even harder. The fans want and receive a tables (well one for now that is) but the extra time lets Candice get in a dropkick through the ropes. Candice can’t suplex her through a table in the corner so they fight outside with Mia being pulled into the post.
Yim comes up favoring her shoulder but is fine enough to send Candice into a bunch of wrestlers in the chairs. Candice is back up to load up another table near a door but Mia sends her through it as we take a break. Back with Candice driving a chair into Mia’s ribs and then pulling out more chairs. Some trashcan lids to the back keep Mia down and the table is laid over the top rope.
They trade kicks to the head for the double knockdown though and it’s time for a breather. Mia sends her into the corner and puts Candice in a trashcan, setting up the running Cannonball. It’s time for brass knuckles but Mia takes too long, allowing Candice to get in a few cheap shots. The chairs are stacked up in the middle of the ring and they go onto the table on the top rope. Mrs. LeRae’s Wild Ride onto the chairs finishes Yim at 15:51.
Rating: B. Yeah that worked rather well as they beat the heck out of each other for a long time. Candice is someone who has seemed ready to break through to the next level for a long time now and hopefully this is the kind of thing that can help get her there. Yim was on here too and it was a rather good match the entire time.
Mark Henry picks Keith Lee to win tonight.
The women are both still down.
Bronson Reed vs. Tony Nese
Nese tries to slug away at the much bigger Reed to start but just knocks himself down. Reed hits a backsplash to send Nese outside but Nese ties him into the ring skirt and hammers away. Back in and reed uses straight power to knock Nese around some more, only to have Nese snap him throat first across the top rope. Reed isn’t having that and runs Nese over again, setting up a top rope splash for the pin at 5:17.
Rating: C. This was all it needed to be as Reed gets back on the winning track after the loss to Karrion Kross. The match was more competitive than I would have expected but Nese is someone who should be able to get in a little offense on someone like Reed. I could go for more of Reed and seeing him get a win like this was a nice thing to see.
Mercedes Martinez is coming.
Robert Stone can’t get Shotzi Blackheart to join his brand. Instead, here’s Killian Dain to yell at him and knock him down. Shotzi runs over Stone’s leg, sending him into screams of agony. I mean, it’s a tank. He might be onto something here.
Johnny Gargano vs. Isaiah Scott
They go technical to start and hit the mat early on with Gargano getting him down by the arm. Scott nips up and sends Gargano outside, meaning it’s a Fosbury Flop to take him down again. Back from a break with Gargano hitting a release gordbuster and a running clothesline. Scott gets back up with a kick to the face to put Gargano outside and the kick to the face from the apron makes it even worse. Gargano is right back with a slingshot spear for two and it’s time to hammer away in the corner.
That’s broken up but the House Call is blocked as well. The second House Call connects but Scott is too banged up to make the cover. Gargano’s STF is reversed into a rollup for two and a JML Driver gives Scott two more. Another kick to the face sends Gargano outside again but the double stomp only hits floor. Gargano gets in a posting and the reverse hurricanrana plants Scott again. They head back inside and One Final Beat gives Gargano the pin at 14:06.
Rating: B. This was a match where Scott got a lot in a loss. After mainly wrestling on 205 Live for the last few months, it was great to see him getting a chance on a bigger show against a top opponent. I didn’t quite buy Scott as having a serious chance to win but he had some near falls in there that made my eyebrows go up a bit. I’ve been a big Scott fan for a good while so seeing him getting this kind of a chance is rather nice to see.
Video on Tegan Nox vs. Io Shirai for the Women’s Title next week. Nox is ready to win the title after her horrible knee injury in the Mae Young Classic. She’s tired of being labeled the Comeback Kid and is ready to reach the top. Shirai is ready to put Nox in her place, and puts her face in the water again like she did to set up the Charlotte match. Is that her thing now?
We get a tale of the tape for Lee vs. Cole.
Legado del Fantasma vs. Breezango/Drake Maverick
Breezango are in Los Conquistador masks in an appropriate cameo. Fandango shoulders Wilde down to start and gets one off a suplex. Breeze comes in and avoids Mendoza’s kick to the face before grabbing a swinging neckbreaker for one of his own. It’s off to Maverick, who wants to get his hands on Escobar. Instead he gives Mendoza an enziguri and brings Breeze back in, though not before more yelling.
This time Breeze gets taken down for a double hiptoss to drop Wilde onto him for two. We hit the armbar to slow things down but Breeze is up in a hurry and hands it off to Fandango as everything breaks down. Maverick dives onto the trio and Fandango hits his own dive, but comes up favoring his leg. Back in and Wilde starts kicking at the knee and chopping in the corner to keep Fandango down. Now Escobar is willing to come in and hammers away before taking out the leg again.
A weird armbar/leglock combination goes on, followed by a shot to the neck to keep things evened out. The leg work continues until Fandango manages to kick Mendoza out to the floor and the hot tag brings in Maverick. A Rey Mysterio wheelbarrow bulldog plants Escobar as everything breaks down. Escobar scores with a superkick to catch Maverick on the top though and the Phantom Driver is good for the pin at 10:40.
Rating: C. The more I see of Maverick in these matches, the less I can buy him as a credible threat. It helps a lot to have him in a cruiserweight match but Escobar seems to be on a different level. Breezango continues to be just kind of there too, which doesn’t exactly bode well for their upward mobility. That being said, I can’t imagine they’re in any jeopardy as they’re entertaining enough while they’re out there.
The Garganos are happy with their success tonight, but Gargano blames Finn Balor for costing him the North American Title. They’re off to celebrate.
Mercedes Martinez vs. Santana Garrett
Martinez gets a big entrance and you can tell she’s going to be something important around here. Garrett gets driven into the corner to start but she fights out and grabs a quickly broken Octopus. A handspring elbow in the corner doesn’t seem to hurt Martinez as she pops out with a kick to the face. Some right hands to the face keep Garrett in trouble so she flips up for a forearm to the face. Martinez shrugs that off as well and finishes with a fisherman’s buster at 2:31. Martinez looked dominant here.
Video on Cameron Grimes vs. Damien Priest.
Mick Foley picks Adam Cole to win if the match goes longer.
Shawn Michaels picks Cole as well, but it could go either way.
NXT Title/North American Title: Adam Cole vs. Keith Lee
Winner takes all and there are no seconds. They stare each other down to start and we have a good deal of time tonight (and no commercials for a bonus). Cole’s headlock lasts longer than you might expect but Lee powers out and starts cranking on Cole’s hand. A lifting wristlock has Cole screaming and Lee throws him outside without much effort. Lee says the cameraman remembers Johnny Gargano but the Pounce goes through the Plexiglas.
Cole is smart enough to capitalize and sends Lee hard into the steps. Back in and Cole grabs a neckbreaker, which lets the cockiness start to flow. Cole slaps on the figure four necklock, followed by another neckbreaker for two. The Last Shot is loaded up but Lee grabs Cole’s knee pad to break it up. A spinning powerslam plants Cole for two but he catches Lee going up and hits a Backstabber out of the corner for his own near fall. Lee elbows him in the face though and hits the apron superplex (now dubbed the Struggleplex) for a delayed two.
Cole pops up with a jumping enziguri, only to charge into the Spirit Bomb, with Cole having to put a single finger onto the rope. Another enziguri rocks Lee but he pops up with the Pounce into a spinebuster for two more. The middle rope moonsault (which nearly looked like a falling splash as Lee took his time to flip) connects for another near fall and Cole is mostly dead on his feet. He slips out of the Big Bang Catastrophe though and hits a superkick, which just fires Lee up. Another superkick wakes Lee up so Cole superkicks the knee and hits the Last Call for two more.
Back up and Lee BLASTS HIM with a clothesline and they’re both down. Somehow Cole manages the Panama Sunrise for two more and the shocked look is great. Three straight superkicks give Cole two and his disbelief continues to grow. Another Last Shot drops Lee for no cover but a second Panama Sunrise is countered into the Spirit Bomb. The Big Bang Catastrophe connects for the pin and the title at 19:53.
Rating: B+. They had to do the title change here as Lee had been built up as way too big of a deal to lose in his big chance. Cole had held the title more than long enough too and I’m not sure what is next for him. Lee seems primed to face Karrion Kross though, and a transitional title reign wouldn’t be the biggest shock. Both guys are ready for the main roster today (and have been for a very long time) but I’m not sure what Cole is going to do whenever he gets there. Either way, it was a rather good match, though it didn’t hit that next level. Lee winning with just one finisher was a nice change of pace though.
Confetti falls and pyro goes off as Karrion Kross and Scarlett watch from the top of the arena to end the show.
Overall Rating: A-. Another great show to complete the two week head to head showdown. This had three good to awesome matches with the surprising street fight, the rather encouraging showcase from Scott and the big title change to close it out. It felt like there was a Takeover spread out over two weeks and that’s a pretty good way to do things. NXT does it again, as they have a tendency to do.
Candice LeRae b. Mia Yim – Mrs. LeRae’s Wild Ride onto a pile of chairs
Bronson Reed b. Tony Nese – Top rope splash
Johnny Gargano b. Isaiah Scott – One Final Beat
Legado del Fantasma b. Drake Maverick/Breezango – Phantom Driver to Maverick
Mercedes Martinez b. Santana Garrett – Fisherman’s buster
Keith Lee b. Adam Cole – Big Bang Catastrophe
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