Wrestling Review: NXT Great American Bash (2020) (Night 2)

The two top champions in NXT will collide on night two of NXT’s Great American Bash, with either Adam Cole or Keith Lee coming out with both the belts. Cole has led the Undisputed Era across the black and yellow brand for over 400 days as NXT Champion, whilst Keith Lee looks to make Cole back in his glory when the leader of the Limitless Legion looks to out-power his opponent. Following a backstage confrontation on night one, last week, Candice LeRae will face Mia Yim in only the second ever NXT Street Fight, while LeRae’s husband, Johnny Gargano, will do battle with the King of Swerve, Isiah Scott. The venomous trio of El Legado del Fantasma, including the NXT Cruiserweight Champion, will be in six man tag team action against Drake Maverick and Breezango, and both Bronson Reed and the returning Mercedes Martinez will be in action against Tony Nese and Santana Garrett, respectively.

+ Adam Cole (NXT Champion) vs Keith Lee (NXT North American Champion) (Winner Takes All): this was fantastic. Good, clean, uninterrupted professional wrestling, this was the first match on either night of The Great American Bash that felt like a real pay-per-view, TakeOver-style match. Keith Lee looked fantastic as the much bigger babyface, which means that as much as we may all love to hate Adam Cole, he was at his most despicable, using any and all underhanded tactics to chop the big man down. Despite both men being PWG mainstays back int he day, this was a much more grounded affair, and both guys looks really good in the match. Even in defeat, the non-winner never looked like a loser which is a problem WWE often has. This was a must-see
+ El Legado del Fantasma (Santos Escobar, Raul Mendoza & Joaquin Wilde) vs Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango) & Drake Maverick: I really liked this match. Everything about the trio are causing El Legado del Fantasma to very quickly become one of my favourite acts in all of wrestling right now, as they walks the line between ruthless New Japan-style faction and ‘thrown together’ WWE stable. I’m a big of both the Brezango boys as well, and Maverick has had the most ‘story’ of anybody on NXT lately, so this match had all the ingredients. Simply because of it’s position on the card, it was not given a huge amount of time, but I really enjoyed what I was given
+ Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs Johnny Gargano: this was really well wrestled, but lacking in reason outside of that one brief exchange last week. Really, though, these are two of the better wrestlers in NXT right now, so even this match with no reason was. Swerve was phenomenal as Killshot in Lucha Underground, and it surely must be nearly time for him to get some sort of real gimmick/character to work with

Santana Garrett vs Meredes Martinez: this was Martinez’s big return match, and it was basically nothing. Martinez is great, Garrett is good, and the match was fine, but the videos hyping a build-up, along with Martinez great new entrance made this feel like it was trying to be far more than it was
Bronson Reed vs Tony Nese: I am a long, long time fan of the former Jonah Rock, and I believe Reed deserves a bit more of a push amongst the other big bois, and between you and me, his theme is a low-key banger. The match was filler at best
Candice LeRae vs Mia Yim (Street Fight): a few good moments never really made this stand out from any other semi-hardcore fight in PG WWE. The only two other similar matches in NXT Women’s division (Tegan Nox vs Dakota Kai’s first ever street fight, and the Last Woman Standing match between Asuka/Nikki Cross from 2017) were both significantly better. Something about Candice LeRae is just not clicking for me, lately

> Much like my praise for the recent New Japan Cup shows, six matches over two hours is almost perfect, give or take a bit of timing changes form one match to another (for example, Reed/Nese could have been gotten rid of entirely for more of that main event)

Should you watch this event: Overall I can’t say this was a very good show, but the matches listed as positives above are worth seeing if you’re a fan of the guys, with the Cole/Lee main event being an absolute must see for any wrestling fan.

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