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The Great American Bash 2022 recap & reactions: Bron gets broken

Championships on the line at NXT’s annual summer cookout. Who survives? Who doesn’t? Who brings the food?

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, Trick and Melo fans of all ages. Welcome to The Great American Bash! NXT 2.0 celebrates the 4th of July a day late but hey, better late than never these days. Give it up to Claire for her blog, then come back here for the rest of the words.

Let’s talk The Great American Bash!


Shoulder the Load

Was Bron Breakker 100 percent? That was the question on the minds of everyone going into the NXT championship match. Cameron Grimes didn’t believe Bron’s answer; he knew that shoulder was a wreck. So when the two men finally met in the squared circle, they played a game of cat and very big mouse. Grimes went for the shoulder almost immediately while Bron, still fresh, pulled away so many times. Once, he even found himself shocked at Grimes’ strategy. Don’t really know why since the man told him, and the world, what he planned and how he planned to do it.

Grimes, for the most part, wrestled a slower pace than usual as a way to grind Bron down. He knew the longer the match went, the less stamina in Bron’s tank to protect that shoulder. And Bron was clearly hurting.

He barely pulled off any power moves requiring two hands. That military press he loves? Nope. Shoulder tackles with the right shoulder? Also nope. Even right-handed punches were out of the question. Grimes, over time, shut down the entire right side of Bron’s arsenal through submission holds, kicks, bunches, and a really dope cannonball on the outside of the ring where Grimes crashed right into Bron’s right side. It was pinpoint accuracy with perfect timing. Bron got his licks in as well because, well, duh. But Grimes controlled most of the match since he, in effect, fought a one-armed man.

But that one-armed man proved Grimes wrong: He has plenty of heart. No matter what Grimes did to that shoulder, no matter how much pain he was in, he kept going and fought through every wince. Even when his own moves, like a spine buster, did more harm to him than Grimes, he kept going. But nothing hit harder than Bron kicking out of the Cave In.

After getting slammed into the ring post right shoulder first, Bron turned around to get a Cave In for his troubles. And yet, he didn’t go down. Grimes was stunned but not dismayed. The Grimey man took to the top rope for the Super Cave In—that’s what I’m calling it now—but Bron was ready. The champ speared his challenger in mid-air, and got the pin.

Great match that had everything: Good storytelling, good psychology, high drama, stakes, and an explosive finish.

Speaking of explosive...JD McDonagh lied to us. Earlier during the Bash, he told us he is making his debut next week. Yeah, well, next week is actually this week. As Bron celebrated in a lot of pain, JD jumped the champ. JD told Bron that all of his promos were meant for one man: Bron Breakker.

This should be good and a great follow-up to this little pitstop with Grimes. Grimes, at this point, might need to move on to the main roster or get into a tag team in NXT. He lost two big title matches back-to-back and is aimless at this point. Which is unfortunate because clearly the man can go and always shows up big in huge moments.

Peep the match.


The Answer

Carmelo Hayes honored Allen Iverson at The Great American Bash with his ring attire. Iverson’s gritty and flamboyant style is part of the reason he’s a basketball legend. Also, there’s the whole “shoot and don’t miss” thing. Melo’s match with Grayson Waller didn’t have much in common with any game AI played, but it was just as memorable as one of his many big games during his career.

Waller and Melo did the damn thing, which should shock no one reading this. Words won’t do it justice. In fact, the ending, while good in its own right, wasn’t even needed. But it played into the fact both men play dirty when they need to do so.

Waller went for his running Stunner. Trick stood in his way just long enough to give Melo time to get himself together. But while Trick ran his mouth in front of Waller, Wes Lee attacked Trick from the crowd. Why did Wes do that? You gotta keep reading for that but trust me, Trick had it coming.

Once Waller finally rolled into the ring, Trick countered it with a beautiful Codebreaker. Hayes went for the Nothing But Net and that was that.

Fantastic match because anything Melo is in at this point works. Waller, no slouch of his own, brought all of his A-game.


Extracurriculars

And NEW...

First off, shoutout to the ref’s hightop fade. Somewhere, Christopher Reid (Kid of Kid ‘N Play) is smiling.

The story with every Toxic Attraction match is how their opponents deal with the numbers game. The matches inevitably become semi-triple threat bouts. Roxanne Perez & Cora Jade understood that better than most, as their history with Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne is layered as hell. So, for most of their tag team championship match, they just hung around. They withstood TA’s best attacks and their cheating, while waiting for Mandy Rose to overstep that line.

She is, after all, a habitual line stepper.

Mandy’s interference came in the most blatant way: She pulled the referee out of the match while he counted Jacy’s shoulders on the mat. Mandy’s arrogance resulted in the ref spending so much time with her that it allowed Cora & Roxanne to gain the upper hand.

One Pop Rox later, we have new tag team champs.

Solid opening match with the right finish: Toxic Attraction’s usual tricks finally bit them in their asses. Cora and Roxanne earned that W, but we’ll see how Toxic Attraction deals with their first big loss in God knows how long. Especially with Roxanne issuing her challenge to Mandy Rose for the Women’s championship.

Next. Week. How solid is this friendship between the two “best friends”?

Trick Willy Style

Trick Williams is a special cat. His star shined the brightest during his match with Wes Lee. It followed the usual NXT 2.0 formula of a short match following a lengthy opening, while showcasing some solid wrestling from both men. But Trick’s character carried the whole thing. The Muhammad Ali homages not withstanding, the man did everything a heel should do. He cheated, he lied, and he even used rubbing alcohol. Yes, he rubbed alcohol in Wes’ eyes. That was the prelude to a mean Mortal Kombat-style kick—shoutout to Lash Legend—and Trick vanquishing Lee.

When he’s on, Trick makes everything better.

Stratonfaction

Wendy Choo chose violence early. While Tiffany Stratton was in the makeup chair, Wendy attacked like KRS-One. Wendy and Tiffany beat the hell out of each other on their way to the ring, starting the match earlier than scheduled.

They put on a good match too. Wendy always shows she’s more than a punchline when she gets in the ring, while Tiffany keeps getting better and is so good with character moments. Tiffany got the W after working Wendy’s hurt hand for most of the match. I want Wendy to get some Ws under her onesie belt, but Tiffany walking out victorious is the right move here.

Diamond Mine 4 Life?

Very physical tag match between “teammates,” right? The Bros. Creed defended their tag team championships against their Diamond brethren Roderick Strong and Damon Kemp. Julius and Brutus have no beef with Kemp; Strong is the thorn in their side. And, of course, Strong did his best to get under their skin. He cheated, he talked trash, and he blamed them for any underhanded move he made. Spoken like a true leader, I suppose. Well, no I don’t suppose. Strong sucks as a leader and with the Creed Boys getting the W, along with all the pressure Ivy Nile feels as she holds this thing together with rubber bands and bubblegum, one wonders how long Strong remains in the group, much less in charge.

Solid, physical tag match befitting the styles of all men.

CHASE UK

Chase U is invading the UK!

QR Madness

8:10:11.

NXT flashed a QR code during the show and I, of course, scanned it because that’s my job. No, not to scan things, but inform you of all the important things. So, yeah, that’s what the message was. Sound off in the comments with your guesses. The right guess gets absolutely nothing but the respect and admiration of everyone else.

Laid up with the Fishes

We got a Elektra Lopez sighting this week! But apparently that means Santos Escobar can’t be in the same place with her at the same time. Tony D’Angelo says he put Santos in the hospital for his disobedience. Okay, sure.

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