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CORA JADE & ROXANNE PEREZ vs. TOXIC ATTRACTION (w/Mandy Rose) – NXT Women’s Tag Titles
After weeks of build, Jade & Perez finally got their shot at NXT gold to kick off the Great American Bash.
One odd thing to mention, Toxic Attraction was in the “face” corner while Jade & Perez were in the “heel” corner. Usually this happens if something wonky is going to go down during the match, so I was waiting for some shenanigans the entire match.
The match itself was on the better side of “Okay”. The only shenanigan was Mandy Rose pulling the ref out of the ring when Jade went to pin Jacy Jayne resulting in her getting thrown out of the arena.
Admittedly, I had a hard time paying attention to this matchup. Before the match there was an intro to the show that showed the undercard NXT roster at a pool party. That pool party intro was so poorly produced and poorly acted that it actually took any wind out of my sails in terms of excitement for the GAB.
Predictably, Jade and Perez came out victorious. I had a feeling that would be the result after how much Jade and Perez have been pushed as of late.
WES LEE vs. TRICK WILLIAMS (w/ Carmelo Hayes)
Trick Williams disrespected Wes Lee over the last couple of weeks leading to Lee challenging Williams to a match tonight. While I am invested in Wes Lee’s singles journey, this feud was built so quickly that I don’t think it should have been on a big show like GAB. If nothing else, spend more time building this feud and put it on the next PLE.
Hayes played the part of a “boxing coach” during this match, offering water and a sweat towel to Trick throughout – which was a nice touch. One of the bottles had rubbing alcohol in it, which Williams rubbed into Lee’s face, allowing him to pick up the win easily in just a handful of minutes.
Bad build. Bad finish. Not a good first quarter of GAB.
WENDY CHOO vs. TIFFANY STRATTON
This match started well before it was supposed to when Wendy Choo (the babyface) attacked Tiffany Stratton (the heel) backstage as Stratton was in makeup. Let me repeat that. The face attacked the heel backstage unprovoked. That’s certainly a face thing to do, right?
A commercial hit with split screen as the two battled to the ring in split-screen action. The backstage fighting was abysmal. They threw blankets and pads at one another, selling them like they were getting hit by bricks. It was absolutely awful.
Once they made it to the ring, the match did improve to some degree. But, when Vic Joseph tried to compare the start to this match to the start of Becky Lynch vs. Asuka in a hardcore match the night before, I mentally checked out. How dare you compare absolute trash to the start of something as good as Lynch vs. Asuka??
Wendy Choo is the least believable competitor in the entirety of the company. Wrestling in a onesie and constantly wanting to sleep, how in the hell am I supposed to believe she is a fierce competitor in the ring? Whenever she gets the upper hand in a match, all it does is weaken the credibility of her opponent. Tiffany Stratton has a huge ceiling, but I felt that ceiling move closer to the floor as this match continued.
At least Stratton got the W at the end of the day.
I can’t believe there’s still an hour and fifteen minutes left of this disaster of a PLE.
GREYSON WALLER vs. CARMELO HAYES – NXT North American Title
Greyson Waller and Carmelo Hayes have been feuding for weeks in a proper build up to this match, unlike virtually every other match on the card.
Easily the match of the night as far as I’m concerned. Both men are two of the only wrestlers on the NXT roster that are polished enough to be a finished product and move to the main roster. That showed in both their presentation and in-ring abilities tonight.
Hayes retained his title after a pretty high-octane matchup, which I think was the right choice. Hayes has been on fire as NA Champion and I don’t think its near time yet to see that reign come to an end.
DIAMOND MINE (Damon Kemp & Roderick Strong) vs. DIAMOND MINE (Julius & Brutus Creed) – NXT Tag Titles
Is this the implosion of Diamond Mine or is this a friendly skirmish to determine the best tag team? Well, according to Ivy Nile earlier on the show, its the latter while I believe it’s the former. These four Diamond Mine members have been butting heads for weeks now, leading to Roddy challenging the Creeds for the tag titles.
This felt like anything but a friendly matchup, the Creeds looked just as vicious as ever. It was a great tag match, and at the end Roddy and Damon stood tall with the Creeds as they retained their titles. Even if Roddy did seem to be a bit pissed to lose.
This is not the end of the implosion storyline, it may just be the beginning.
Verdict: Lukewarm HIT
BRON BREAKKER vs. CAMERON GRIMES – NXT Championship
Last week during their “Face to Face”, Grimes attacked Breakker, throwing him into the corner and snapping the turnbuckle in the process. Breakker hurt his shoulder, selling it throughout the entire episode tonight. He kept saying the shoulder was fine, but you could tell that it wasn’t. Kayfabe, of course.
This meant that Breakker wasn’t 100% going into the matchup tonight, making him a bit of an underdog. At least that’s what they wanted us to believe. Due to that underdog story, it was hard for me to get invested in this match knowing that Breakker would find a way to win while “wounded” and retain his championship. Grimes is one of my favorites in NXT and I feel like he’s deserving of an NXT Title run, which I would have loved to see happen tonight.
It was a decent matchup, unfortunately just tarnished by the extremely predictable finish.
Verdict: Lukewarm HIT