7/30 NXT THE GREAT AMERICAN BASH PLE LIVE REPORT: Four title matches including a submission and triple threat, Steveson’s debut, Perez vs. Davenport, more



JULY 30, 2023

NXT Commentators: Vic Joseph, Booker T

Ring Announcer: Alicia Taylor

Backstage Correspondent(s): McKenzie Mitchell

After the show, a VIP-exclusive mailbag will be recorded. Send in your questions and comments to pwtorchnxt@gmail.com.


(Hazelwood’s Take: I caught a bit of the pre-show mixed eight-person tag team match and let me just say that the person who impressed me the most from what I saw was Lash Legend. Her work and improvement was obvious to me during the brief  moments I saw of her in the match.)

-The show began with a video with the late Dusty Rhodes and then shifting to Cody Rhodes as they showed highlights of previous Bashes from both WCW and WWE. He said the influence of his father is palpable. He said the will and ambition of the wrestlers is Texas-sized. He said championships are on the line as they showed the buildup scenes from different title feuds. Rhodes then welcomed viewers to “NXT’s midsummer classic.” Being able to use Rhodes here with his father’s connection to the event was just a well done move by WWE.

-Vic Joseph said TGAB has been a staple for nearly four decades. The arena went dark as rat noises and effects were on the Tron. Tony D’Angelo and Stacks made their entrance in orange, only missing some orange soda to really put over the fits. Gallus entered next with a custom video. Joe Coffey was narrating a pep talk as a montage showed of them getting ready and dressed in I think futbol or rugby jerseys (maybe cricket?) and then their awesome music. Ring intros were done during the entrances.

(1) GALLUS (Mark Coffey & Wolfgang w/Joe Coffey) (c) vs. TONY D’ANGELO & CHANNING “STACKS” LORENZO – Men’s NXT Tag Team Championship match

Wolfgang began by ramming Stacks into the latter’s corner so hard it knocked off D’Angelo. Coffey quickly tagged in and they cut off the ring, hitting a big back elbow. He sent Stack on another rope run, but Stacks ducked and landed a rotating uppercut. He tagged in “The Don” and he went to work, slowing it down a bit as he taunted Wolfgang, who came in and took a punch. D’Angelo stomped away at Coffey’s gut, then tagged in his underboss. D’Angelo hip tossed Stacks into a seated Coffey in their corner for a two-count. Joe Coffey grabbed Stacks’ foot (the ref saw), but Stacks was able to hit a side headlock takeover. Joe then distracted D’Angelo, who was then laid out by Wolfgang with a lariat outside. Wolfgang then tagged in and hit a stun gun on Stacks across the top rope.

Wolfgang beat on Stacks in their corner, then tagged in Coffey. He hit a drop toehold to Stacks into the bottom rope. Joe hit a big left to Stacks with the ref’s back turned. Wolfgang tagged in and wore Stacks down with a seated chin lock, then tagged in Coffey for a leaping shoulder tackle for a two-count. He put Stacks in a front face lock to grind him down, but the crowd started clapping for Stacks. Stacks looked to make the tag, but Coffey hit a big knee and stiff forearm to send him back to their corner. Coffey taunted and slapped Stacks and tagged in Wolfgang. Wolfgang had on a standing cobra clutch and tagged in Coffey, but Stacks escaped and made the tag.

D’Angelo took it to both men, sending Wolfgang over the top and hitting a release belly-to-belly, make that two, to Coffey, then a big spinebuster. He dodged Wolfgang trying to breakup the pin, landing on his partner instead. The two faces then put their foes in front face locks and beat away with body shots. Stacks tagged in as D’Angelo hit a superplex to Coffey, Stacks leaping with a big diving headbutt immediately after, but Wolfgang broke up the pin. D’Angelo and Wolfgang then took each other out with simultaneous lariats. Wolfgang tagged in, but Stacks didn’t realize. Wolfgang came in and then hit a running lift into a spinebuster. He sent Coffey outside to land on D’Angelo, then landed a moonsault, but Stacks kicked out. Coffey distracted the ref to hand a weapon to Wolfgang, but the ref saw. He took the weapon, but this allowed Gallus to hit their finisher. D’Angelo just broke up the pin.

D’Angelo took Wolfgang outside, then kicked Coffey out of the air. He powerbombed Coffey into Wolfgang into the steel steps. Coffey went in the ring to drill Stacks with the ref’s back turned, but D’Angelo hit him with a crowbar. He sent Stacks outside to land on Gallus, then he rolled in Wolfgang. They hit the Bada Bing, Bada Boom.

WINNER: Tony D’Angelo & Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo at 8:46 (Bada Bing, Bada Boom) to become NEW Men’s NXT Tag Team Champion

-They showed Ilja Dragunov and Carmelo Hayes (with Trick Williams) entering earlier today. Weapons Wild is next. They played a recap video of this roiling feud. Roxanne Perez entered first to a big pop from her home state crowd. They showed her being interviewed yesterday at Dream Con, then being confronted by Blair Davenport. They were separated by Wes Lee and others. She hugged her younger sister and her mom at ringside.

(2) ROXANNE PEREZ vs. BLAIR DAVENPORT – Weapons Wild match

As she was greeting more fans, Davenport attacked from the crowd in a black hoodie. The bell rung right after. Perez dodged an attack and went at Davenport. She hit a big back elbow, climbed the barricade in front of her sister, and hit a crossbody. Davenport got it back in the ring and grabbed a chair, but Perez knocked her off of the apron, then hit a tope through the middle rope instead of a lope as usual. Perez then rolled Davenport into the ring only to clothesline her over toward the announcers. She went for a lope, but Davenport struck her with a trash can. She threw the can into the ring, hit Perez with a chair, then slid the chair in the ring. She repeated the process with another chair, yelled at Booker T, then slid in another chair before ramming Perez into the steps (a sign said “Rok-C is the best!”).

She just threw chairs at Perez, hitting her in the back, before sliding more into the ring. She taunted Perez’s family and her mom yelled “Shut up Blair!” Go mom! Davenport put the trash can on Perez, then grabbed the fire poker I think and bashed the can with Perez still inside. She rammed the gut with a chair and went outside to empty another trash can and launch it into the ring, almost hitting the ref. She wedged a chair in a corner and then beat on Perez a bit. A huge “Let’s go Roxy/Rok-C” chant started as Davenport wedged a second and third chair into different corners. She threw Perez into one, Perez tried to send her into another, but Davenport blocked. Instead, Perez hit her with a chair and a basement dropkick with Davenport holding a chair.

On the outside, Davenport struck Perez with a studded belt multiple times and then choked her with the belt in front of the family. She strapped the belt to Perez’s wrist and then used it to whip her into the barricade. Mom grabbed daughter and took her a few steps back. Davenport yelled at her and the sister may have begun crying. Davenport turned around to see Perez beat her with a cowbell over and over, and then the belt. I mean, she beat the hell out of Davenport with that belt. She strapped the belt to Davenport’s wrist and whipped her into the barricade twice. That brought a smile to her sister’s face. Perez then grabbed a table, which got the biggest pop of the night.

Perez set up the table and then rammed Davenport into the ring apron, then rolled her inside the ring. Perez climbed to the top, but Davenport tripped her up. She stacked a few chairs in the ring and went for a German, but Perez blocked and sent Davenport into one of the wedged chairs from earlier. She then went for Pop Rocks on the chairs, but Davenport’s strength stopped that. She then hit a modified falcon arrow onto a trash can for a two-count. As they fought, Perez went for Pop Rocks by the ropes again only to be sent into the ropes. Davenport went for and I guess missed a leaping double stomp, so Perez hit a side Russian leg sweep. They fought on the apron and Perez went for the leg sweep onto the table, but Davenport blocked. She kicked Perez off the apron and onto the steps. Perez tripped up Davenport and hit the running knee to Davenport against the steps. She then set Davenport up on the table outside. She climbed to the top and hit a top rope splash through the table; her mom just shook her head. Back in the ring, Perez eyed Davenport and hit a spin kick and then hit Pop Rocks into the chairs for the win. Her sister almost looked shocked that a babyface won in their hometown!

WINNER: Roxanne Perez at 11:48 (Pop Rocks onto chairs)

-They returned with a Hayes-Dragunov hype video for tonight’s main event. They then showed Thea Hail, in a boxer’s robe, practicing with Andre Chase and Duke Hudson lookin on with his trophy. They then showed Tiffany Stratton stretching and looking confident with a pink cowboy hat next to her title.

-Baron Corbin entered with new music and a new look, looking slimmer than I’ve ever seen him. I’m already liking this. A hype video touting Gable Steveson’s accomplishments played before his entrance proper. He entered in a red singlet with the U.S. flag on the right chest. He was introduced as “Olympic Gold Medalist Gable Steveson.” His music is much less “I’M A GOLD MEDALIST” than Kurt Angle’s. He did have his Gold Medal though.

(3) BARON CORBIN vs. GABLE STEVESON – Singles match

They circled before Steveson quickly picked the ankle. A huge “Let’s go Corbin” chant started. Corbin hit an elbow, but then Steveson responded with his own. He feigned arguing with the ref to get the jump on Steveson, then kicked him in the knee. Steveson leaped out of the corner and hit some sloppy corner strikes before Corbin shoved him away and took some time outside. He reentered and Steveson hit a big leap frog, then picked the ankle for the sub, but Corbin reached the ropes. He went outside only to be hit with a German on the floor. Steveson went for another, but Corbin rammed him into the post instead before sending him face-first into the post and broke the count. He then rolled Steveson inside.

He then tossed Steveson into the post, using the positioning to then beat on Steveson. He then grabbed his head and rammed it into the post from the outside. He reentered and punched at Steveson as the crowd was 99 percent behind Corbin. He choked Steveson against the ropes, but Steveson fought back with strikes to boos. Corbin lifted Steveson and then hit a Roode Bomb for a two-count. Corbin – with BURN down the right side of his tights – slowed the pace considerably. Any time Steveson got off an attack he was booed; any time Corbin landed an attack, the crowd cheered. He began mushing Steveson, which just made him irate. He fought back with strikes, which isn’t his strong suit, and then hit an overhead, another, and a third belly-to-belly before sending Corbin outside.

He rolled Corbin back inside the ring and like with Perez and Davenport, just sent him back over by the announcers. Corbin lured in Steveson and rammed him into the apron, but Steveson tossed him over the desk. Corbin leaped off the desk to attack and the ref counted them both out to loud boos. They kept fighting as the crowd chanted “bulls**t” with the refs finally separating them…until they got back in the ring and kept fighting. Security came down and Steveson just tossed them around before leaping at Corbin and then fighting back to the outside. Corbin then tossed Steveson into the post, then beat security, before charging at Steveson only for him to hit an overhead to Corbin through the barricade. Steveson reentered the ring to audible boos.

WINNER: Double count out at 6:29

Vignettes for both Tyler Bate and Bron Breakker played during the break, as well as for Cody Rhodes’ new documentary, “American Nightmare: Becoming Cody Rhodes.”

-They returned with a video recap of Tuesday’s Rhea Ripley-Lyra Valkyria match, Valkyria’s best match in NXT, and then Ripley telling Valkyria to prove her right by beating Jacy Jayne. McKenzie Mitchell was in the back with Valkyria and asked how she was feeling. Valkyria said she’s thirsty for more because she knows she can go toe-to-toe with the best. Jayne attacked her suddenly, but Valkyria was doing OK, until Jayne rammed her into one of those sliding grate doors. Ripley walked by, smiling, and said that’s what she was waiting for.

-A video played recapping Lee’s North American Championship reign before his entrance, and he received a great pop. He was in long tights tonight. Mustafa Ali entered next to a more muted response, wearing white tights with red, gold, and blue accents. “Dirty” Dominik Mysterio was next, with “Mami” Ripley, to a a thunderous response. Lee and Ali spent the entire time glaring at Mysterio. Formal ring introductions were given for the second of four championship matches tonight, the only one presumably not to get one being the opener. There was a “Dom is my hero” sign.

(4) “DIRTY” DOMINIK MYSTERIO (w/Rhea Ripley) (c) vs. WES LEE vs. MUSTAFA ALI – North American Championship triple threat match

Things started slowly as Mysterio realized it could be two-on-one. Outside, Ali went after Mysterio, but Ripley blocked. Lee came from the other side. Mysterio ran inside, but they caught him and then stomped away like it was a two-on-one match in AEW Fight Forever. Lee started beating on Mysterio in the corner. Ali shoved him aside. They fought over beating on Mysterio, dodging each other’s attacks so they landed on Mysterio. Finally, it turned to the two challengers, trading arm drags and pin combinations, then dodging big, looping strikes. They then slapped at the chest, traded forearms, then Ali took the advantage. He sent Lee to the apron, but was met as he climbed. They fought on the second rope only for Mysterio to run and knock both off to the outside. He flexed, then focused on Ali, hitting a flipping senton from the apron for a two-count. He then went for Three Amigos, but shoved Ali into Lee on the third one, then hit one, two, kicked Ali, but had his Three Amigos blocked by the two, who then hit a double Three Amigos to Mysterio; talk about adding insult to injury.

Ali went at Lee, but Lee dodged and kicked Mysterio, then sent Ali into Mysterio, who was hit with a kick to DDT Ali. Lee and Ali were left in the ring, with Lee hitting a running meteora for a pin, but Ali broke up the pin with a kick from the outside. He threw Mysterio outside to focus on Lee. Lee whipped Ali across, who kicked Mysterio off of the apron, then hit a tornado DDT to Lee. He dodge an elbow from Mysterio, who landed on Lee, then kicked Mysterio in the face and hit his rolling neckbreaker. He turned to Lee and then put him in a crab on top of Mysterio, also locking in a clutch to Mysterio. Mysterio broke it by biting the hand. He then took out Ali and set Lee for the 619, but ran into a thrust kick from Ali, then he hit one to Lee. The two other foes were both splayed along the apron, leaning over the bottom rope. Ali climbed to the top and went for a 450, but both moved and he hit the apron.

Mysterio suddenly hit Lee with a schoolboy, but Lee kicked out and sent Mysterio outside. He hit a quick lope with really no running start. Ripley then rushed him, but he evaded. Lee then went to hit a tope of some sort, but Ripley hit the apron to tell him off. She turned to bend and check on Mysterio, so he just hit a tope con hilo over her and landed on his feet after hitting Mysterio. She chased him around, then finally caught him. She hit Riptide on him through the announce table to a HUGE pop. She rolled him back inside for Mysterio to pin, but Lee kicked out and Ripley screamed in anger.She called for the North American title and slid it to Mysterio, but the ref took it so Ripley slid in her title, which Lee was struck with only to kick out the visible anger of Ripley. Mysterio set Lee for the frog splash, but Ali came in and kicked him, hanging him up on the top rope leaning outside. Ali climbed and hit the 450, but Ripley dragged him out. Mysterio quickly climbed for the frog splash and hit.

WINNER: “Dirty” Dominik Mysterio at 12:06 (frog splash) to retain the North American Championship

-They returned with a vignette for Dragunov this time to hype the main event title match. Every video played tonight has just been excellent, as you’d expect.

-Mitchell was in the back with Williams and asked about Dragunov. Williams called cap on Dragunov respecting the friendship between Hayes and Williams, saying they go way back like Kevin Durant turning that Longhorn program upside down. He said tonight, Hayes is going to show the world, the “Mad Dragon,” why he is Him. He put on a cowboy hat and strutted away.

-They shifted to a video recapping Stratton’s rise to the Women’s NXT Championship and Hail’s rise to #1 contender, including her first failed opportunity at Stratton (with the visible tap) and what led to tonight’s match. Hail entered first and ran through a Chase U tapestry like a football game. She was HYPED as a slew of Chase U signs were displayed camera side. Stratton entered in her Barbie getup with that pink cowboy, well, cowgirl hat. Formal ring introductions were given.

(5) TIFFANY STRATTON (c) vs. THEA HAIL (w/Andre Chase & Duke Hudson) – Women’s NXT Championship submission match

Joseph said this is the youngest women’s championship match in PLE history. “You tapped out” started and ended early. They locked up with Hail immediately going after the left arm while Stratton targeted the left leg. Hail locked in a cravate and held on as Stratton tried to throw her off. Stratton did throw her off eventually and hit a shoulder tackle. She then caught Hail out of the air with the ankle pick and locked in the Romero Special or the surfboard stretch, but Hail broke out and went for a Fujiwara armbar on the right side. Actually, it was more of a modified Kimura. Stratton broke out, it a snapmare, missed a double kick, but went for a crab. She cartwheeled out of the counter, but Hail hit a Japanese arm drag, a more traditional one, and then a dropkick. She went for a lope, but Stratton kind of tossed her aside (I think she was supposed to catch her). She then lifted and tossed Hail into the post.

Stratton rammed Hail into the apron and then locked in a bow and arrow using the ring post as the leverage. Stratton hit a snap suplex and then locked in a more traditional bow and arrow in the middle of the ring. Hail flipped over onto Stratton and then fought back, but Stratton hit a big tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and then rammed Hail into the corner, seating her on the middle rope for a cartwheel back elbow in the back of the head. Stratton then used a gut wrench to lock in basically a Canadian backbreaker while also butterflying the arms. Hail clipped out and countered with a back body drop that almost had Stratton land on her neck. Hail responded with some arm drags and then an exploder out of the corner, a flipping senton, and then a springboard trust fall from the bottom rope, but Stratton caught her in a body scissors.

Hail fought and fought and finally rose to her feet with Stratton on her back. Stratton went to seat Hail in the corner again, but Hail kicked off the corner for a bulldog. This time, she hit the lope to the outside. Stratton dodged an attack, but was sent into the post shoulder-first. Hail climbed to the top and hit a crossbody, but Stratton rolled through. Stratton sat up and locked in the standing Kimura, but Stratton basically hit a fall away slam into the corner to break the hold. Stratton then lifted and hit the rolling senton on Hail. As she went for the PME, Hail grabbed her leg and blocked her on the ropes. Hail climbed, Stratton tried fighting, but eventually, Hail hit basically an avalanche exploder and then quickly went into a Kimura, not locked in tight. Stratton looked like she tapped, but it was more of a “FIGHT” tap. She used the rope to pull herself out. Hail leaped with another Kimura, but Stratton rammed her into the corner of the barricade and threw her into the steps. Back in the ring, she set for the PME on the back of Hail and hit, just majestic. She locked in the crab and after about two minutes where Stratton had to readjust a few times, Chase threw in the towel. Hail was audibly screaming “OW” in pain during the sub.

WINNER: Tiffany Stratton at 11:46 (towel thrown in) to retain the Women’s NXT Championship

-They returned by hyping SummerSlam, which is Saturday. Joseph then shifted to some highlights to the kickoff match between Meta-Four vs. Nathan Frazer, Dragon Lee, Valentina Feroz, and Yulisa Leon, which the latter four won. They showed the four victors in the back celebrating as Lee thanked the other three, who walked away. Lee, in a snazzy blue blazer, was confronted by Ripley and Mysterio. She called him a “wannabe Rey Mysterio” and Lee said it’d be great to be anything like Mysterio, but he has his own story. Mysterio said he made the name relevant, not his dad. He called himself an original and then left, so it looks like we’re getting Mysterio-Lee and maybe some appearances by Papa Mysterio.

-Joseph hyped No Mercy on Saturday, September 30 in Bakersfield, CA as the next NXT PLE. There will probably be a PLE-lite on a Tuesday episode.

-They showed Schism arguing about “wolf in sheep’s clothing” that attacked them in the back, or instigated the backstage scuffle. Ava said it wasn’t “them” (The Creed Brothers) and they said they’re going to have an “interrogation” by lining up each member and removing each member’s mask on Tuesday. Also, Valkyria faces Jayne to see if the former can prove Ripley right, and Dijak faces Eddy Thorpe after their confrontation last week.

-Joseph shifted the to main event. They did the foreboding music as they showed all three men (including Williams) making their way from the back. Dragunov entered first to a respectable pop. Hayes and Williams were next as banners saying “Get a Dream,” “Hold on to It,” and “Shoot for the sky” with Dusty Rhodes’ voice overlaid the Tron, followed by “HIM.” Formal ring introductions were given.

(6) CARMELO HAYES (w/Trick Williams) (c) vs. ILJA DRAGUNOV – Men’s NXT Championship match

They stared at each and then circled to begin the match. They locked up with Hayes taking the left. He flipped Dragunov onto his back, still holding the left wrist. Dragunov reached his feet only to be slammed back down. Dragunov finally reversed position and worked the left himself. After a break, Hayes hit an arm drag and went right back to the left. Dragunov worked out and then cinched in a rear chin lock. Back on the feet, Dragunov held the side head lock, but Hayes worked out only to be sent into a rope run. They evaded a few attacks each before Hayes hit another arm drag. Hayes drove his elbow into the chin as well. Dragunov used the ropes to try and throw off Hayes, but Hayes held on and rolled through to maintain the hold, then rubbed his forearm across the face a few times.

Dragunov sent him off the ropes, but Hayes, hit a shoulder tackle and then an arm drag counter. He hit a kick and then a huge chop, but it just looked like it awoke Dragunov. He charged Hayes into a corner, hit a big chop, then into another corner for a chop. Hayes fought back with forearms and his patented springboard lariat. Dragunov rolled to the apron, but ate a pump kick to send him by the announcers. Dragunov sat against the desk as Hayes taunted and Williams jawed at him. Dragunov reentered, hit a gut kick, but ran into a clothesline that barely budged him. Dragunov caught a kick, and leaned into forearms from Hayes before landing his pop-up enziguri that flipped Hayes to the mat.

With back control, Dragunov went for a German, but Hayes blocked. Dragunov hit a forearm to the back, caught Hayes on a springboard, hit a German, then a forceful lariat. He then checked on his teeth. A stiff kick to the face of Hayes followed, then a forearm to the back of the neck. They traded forearms in the middle of the ring, but Dragunov ended it with a huge windup counter right that dropped both men. Dragunov then went and hit some connected Germans to Hayes, each successive one more of a struggle for both men. Hayes blocked one with an arm drag, but Dragunov hit a pump kick and snap German for a two-count.

Dragunov went back to attacking the back of the neck with stiff forearms. He landed a big chop and leaping senton as well for a two-count. He then locked in a modified cobra clutch on the mat. Back on the feet, Dragunov hit a ripcord forearm that sent Hayes into the second rope. Still leaned against the ropes, Dragunov hit a big forearm to the back of the neck of Hayes. Dragunov hit another huge chop, then another, then a third in the corner that rang throughout the arena, make that a fourth. Hayes responded with a slap to the face, which just widened Dragunov’s eyes and then he hit his rapid fire chops for a two-count. Hayes’ chest had visible redness as he yelled and rubbed his chest.

They went back to trading forearms until Dragunov hit a trio of discus chops. Hayes popped up with a thrust kick, but that just sent Dragunov into a Constantin Special for a two-count. Dragunov went back to working the back of the neck of Hayes. He went back to that grounded cobra clutch, even using a body scissors, to block the breathing. Hayes worked to his feet, but Dragunov dropped back down. Hayes rolled back into a cover that Dragunov kicked out of, then landed an attack on Hayes for a two-count. Dragunov lifted Hayes and hit a short-arm lariat, still holding onto the arm. He lifted Hayes again for another and hit, still holding onto the right wrist. This time, Hayes responded with kicks to the face and then a few to the body before some rapid kicks to the face, modified Kawada style. Dragunov hit his enziguri, but Hayes bounced off the ropes to hit the damndest spinning arm breaker thing he does.

The crowd was fully into it at this point. Hayes rushed Dragunov in the corner and hit a flurry of strikes. Dragunov responded, but Hayes still maintained the advantage. Dragunov responded with neck shots and chops, but Hayes regained control only to lose it right back with some more chops. Hayes then hit a cravate face breaker to his knee and a lariat to floor Dragunov. Hayes went for his First 48 (codebreaker), but Dragunov caught him and rained down elbows to Hayes. Hayes responded with his own elbows to the back of the neck of his opponent. He leaped off the ropes with a tornado DDT for a two-count.

“This is awesome” rang out through the H-E-B Center. Dragunov grabbed the leg in a futile attempt, so Hayes just beat the hell out of him. Hayes went to the top, but Dragunov hit an enziguri and tossed Hayes off. Dragunov climbed himself to the top for the senton and hit! Hayes kicked out at two after that. Dragunov went to climb a different corner and tried to go Coast 2 Coast, but Hayes caught him midair with First 48. He climbed to the top, hard camera side, but had Nothing but Net countered into a powerbomb. Hayes, motionless, ate the leaping superman forearm, but Hayes just kicked out.

Dragunov put Hayes in a corner and then seated at the top. Both men were showing the attrition of the match with slower movements. Dragunov climbed and beat on Hayes some more for a superplex. Hayes countered in midair to a cutter! Dragunov kicked out at two! Williams grabbed the title and asked Hayes if he’s a champion or a fraud and that this is what he’s fighting for. The two competitors began kicking each other while still laying on the mat. They just kept striking from the mat, on their knees, on their feet, chops ringing out through the arena. The forearms were traded and then simultaneous thrust kicks floored both.

The crowd applauded the effort as we hit 23 and a half minutes. On the outside, Dragunov leaped off of the steps with Torpedo Moskau, but Williams shoved aside Hayes to take the blow. Hayes rolled Dragunov back in and climbed to the top. This time, he hit the most impactful Nothing but Net I’ve seen to a basically fully standing Dragunov. He rolled over into the pin and held the title up while laying on his back. What a fantastic damn match. On replay, Hayes may have just dodged for Williams to be hit by Dragunov on the outside.

WINNER: Carmelo Hayes at 24:07 (Nothing but Net) to retain the Men’s NXT Championship

FINAL THOUGHTS: A stacked card that delivered – a few endings aside – is how The Great American Bask 2023 will be remembered. We have new Men’s Tag Team Champion and I have two questions. First, is this a case of the dog catching the car? Second, are we still going to see Stacks turn? I was surprised Davenport lost not just because it was Perez’s home state, but because I feel like she needs to be built for an eventual run to the title. True, Stratton – who retained tonight – is a heel, but she can EASILY turn face with the right opponent, maybe even a double turn; Hail is just not some for that. Steveson showed promise, but also a lot of being green, particularly with his strikes. Just have him focus on being a mean and nasty wrestler in the mold of Perc Angle: throw fools around (his heel heat from the crowd probably has more to do with his rape allegations than they do him being an Olympian). I do like this new Corbin. That triple threat match was second best of the night after the main event and they truly used Ripley well not only to add star power and moments to the match, but to continue the massive heat directed at Mysterio. Hail will be Women’s Champion, but there’s no reason to crown her when she’s only a year into this basically and still has so much room to grow. Her time will come, but Stratton is, as she says in her vignettes, the epitome of what a women’s champion should be with her skills and talents. It was probably the longest match for both and while there were still some iffy spots, these two are going to be staples in WWE for years. Finally, I can’t say enough about main event. From how it started to how it ended, I don’t know if I would have booked a single thing differently.

Send in your thoughts and questions to pwtorchnxt@gmail.com if you’re VIP as we will record a VIP-exclusive roundtable.

1 Comment on 7/30 NXT THE GREAT AMERICAN BASH PLE LIVE REPORT: Four title matches including a submission and triple threat, Steveson’s debut, Perez vs. Davenport, more

  1. I hope Lana Star doesn’t sue Tiffany for gimmick infringement!
    Good show. I was sure Ilja would go over; and am I the only one who sees a Trick turn?

Leave a Reply