WWE NXT Great American Bash 21 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and HighlightsJuly 6, 2021
WWE NXT Great American Bash 21 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights
NXT Great American Bash is one of the true special nights of the year for the black-and-gold brand. Some of the absolute best come out to make their mark, and the WWE NXT card for this year promised nothing less.
Kyle O'Reilly and Adam Cole have been at each other's throats for months. Their brutal Unsanctioned Match was exciting, but it was time for these men to show who is truly the better man.
MSK has faced a plethora of dangerous rivals. None can do quite the damage that Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher can. These motivated veterans promised to show Nash Carter and Wes Lee their place in NXT.
The NXT Women's Tag Team Championships were also on the line as The Way faced the unlikely duo of Io Shirai and Zoey Stark. Both individually talented, The Genius of the Sky and her new partner needed to show they could coexist against the dangerous threat of Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell.
LA Knight has tormented Cameron Grimes at every turn. He got in the way of The Technical Savage becoming the new Million Dollar Man, and he injured WWE Hall of Famer Ted DiBiase because he could. Grimes got one more chance to prove himself, but if he lost, he would be Knight's butler.
These matches were the big promises of the night, but several other contests were also on the horizon for a show with major stakes and promising future clashes.
NXT Tag Team Championships: MSK (c) vs. Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher
The veterans overwhelmed MSK with their in-ring acumen. It was a dissection early, especially at the hands of Timothy Thatcher. When Tommaso Ciampa got involved, he physically embarrassed Nash Carter.
Carter and Wes Lee slowly regained some energy, getting physical and intense with the challengers. Lee kicked out of a powerbomb backbreaker from Ciampa then MSK began to build momentum. The two teamed up on The Blackheart, hitting a senton bomb and a corkscrew senton for a near-fall.
Ciampa responded with the Fairy Tale Ending then Toothless Timmy locked in an ankle lock. Ciampa tried to stop Carter from interfering but was knocked into Thatcher. This set up Lee for an inside cradle for three to survive their veteran challengers.
MSK def. Ciampa and Thatcher by pinfall to retain the NXT Tag Team Championships.
The best match on paper on this card delivered in spades to open the night. The veterans treated it like a cakewalk, but they found a pair of young motivated stars in their way. Lee and Carter played from underneath beautifully while pulling off some impressive moves.
If the goal was for the champions to prove they can hang with the best, MSK did just that. The story was set for this to be the first of many matches between these two, and the next could easily be better despite how strong this was.
The pacing could have been tighter. There could have been more drama. Ciampa and Thatcher can adjust and improve on this effort all the more.
Karrion Kross vs. Johnny Gargano Is Made Official for Next Week
William Regal and Samoa Joe stood in the middle of the ring to make sure Karrion Kross and Johnny Gargano did not get physical. Once they arrived, the NXT general manager announced Kross vs. Gargano for the NXT Championship next week with Joe as the special guest referee.
Despite warnings from Regal, Johnny Wrestling continued to taunt the NXT champion. The Samoan Submission Specialist barely stopped Kross from laying out Gargano again.
The taunts in this segment were flat despite the work of both men. They were hampered by an underwhelming script or poor improvisation by Johnny Wrestling. Either way, this was more about the atmosphere than the promos of the two performers.
Kross allowed Gargano to do most of the talking and continued to build up more anger. Hopefully, these two will be able to embrace the heat between them next week. It could be a special match, no matter who wins.
Million Dollar Championship: LA Knight (c) vs. Cameron Grimes
Cameron Grimes clotheslined LA Knight out of the ring. After a crossbody, The Technical Savage almost picked up a quick victory. The two went back and forth where Knight had to keep trying to slow Grimes down to stay in the fight.
Grimes kicked out of a fireman's carry slam and a superplex to stay in the fight, causing Knight to grow angry and grab the Million Dollar Championship. The referee stopped it, and the chaos that followed led to The Technical Savage hitting a poisonrana for a near-fall.
Knight planted Grimes outside with a DDT on the championship outside the referee's vision, nearly getting a count out win. When The Technical Savage got back in the ring, he stumbled right into the BFT, which put him away.
Knight def. Grimes by pinfall to retain the Million Dollar Championship. Grimes is now Knight's personal butler.
While the content of the match may not have lived up to NXT's high standard, the storytelling outshined many great performers. Grimes brought it throughout, showing how much this meant to him. He shocked Knight repeatedly with his resilience.
The Technical Savage is not as smart as The Million Dollar Megastar but is more tenacious.
Grimes should only gain more fan support stuck in a butler role for Knight. The two can continue to work off each other, building their chemistry. By the time they fight again, it will be must-watch.
NXT Women's Tag Team Championships: The Way (c) vs. Io Shirai and Zoey Stark
NXT revealed the lineup for the NXT Breakout Tournament: Trey Baxter, Carmelo Hayes, Andre Chase, Josh Briggs, Ikemen Jiro, Joe Gacy, Odyssey Jones, Duke Hudson. Jiro vs. Hudson was announced for next week.
Early in this match, Indi Hartwell dumped Zoey Stark to the floor. Stark had to fight through to eventually get the tag to Io Shirai, who found herself face-to-face with Candice LeRae. The Genius of the Sky caught The Poison Pixie with a tiger kick and springboard dropkick.
LeRae responded by trapping Shirai in the Gargano Escape. Hartwell stopped Stark from interfering with Dexter Lumis' Silence, but The Genius of the Sky rolled through to safety.
The lights went out as the recent battery vignette reached percent. Tegan Nox appeared on the ramp smiling. This distracted The Poison Pixie, allowing Stark to take out Hartwell with a knee for the win.
Nox sent LeRae running. Dexter Lumis picked up Hartwell and walked off with her.
Shirai and Stark def. LeRae and Hartwell by pinfall to become the new NXT women's tag team champions.
This was a good title match that was overshadowed by its ending. The Girl with the Shiniest Wizard has been out of action for over nine months after her third ACL tear. She has had terrible luck that hopefully is finally behind her.
The Way deserved a chance to run with the women's tag titles, but NXT has not treated longevity as a goal for the titles. Instead, the brand has been building the legacy of the titles with a variety of tag teams adding their names to the short history of the gold.
Shirai and Stark still have room to grow as a team. Hopefully, they can do enough to feel like a true team rather than just a makeshift pairing of talented wrestlers.
Hit Row Enjoy a Championship Cypher
Hit Row decided to have a unique championship celebration, a Championship Cypher. With Ashante Thee Adonis as the DJ, B-Fab and Top Dolla dropped some bars to prepare for the main event, Isaiah "Swerve" Scott.
The new NXT North American champion did not take a breath as he made clear he only continues to deliver on his promises. Hit Row rapped together to end this, establishing this was only the beginning.
While a segment without conflict in wrestling rarely needs to go this long, Hit Row delivered on a unique segment for WWE. It was great to see NXT take a chance and let Hit Row go. The freestyle rapping was good overall, but Swerve was great.
Hit Row has brought a unique energy to NXT that will help lead into the future of the brand. In some ways, this stable has changed the brand already. Swerve feels like a star who has now arrived.
Kyle O'Reilly vs. Adam Cole
Adam Cole nursed a left knee injury from last week that forced him to start slow, but he matches Kyle O'Reilly when his rival began to lay in shots. While KOR hit hard, Cole hit harder, planting him with a backstabber for a near-fall.
Cole taunted O'Reilly, mentioning KOR's wife. This set up O'Reilly, who got too aggressive. Cole bashed his left knee hard into the steel post. Both left hobbling, Cole and KOR found every opening to do more damage.
O'Reilly finally locked in the kneebar, forcing Cole to crawl in pain to the ropes. Outside, Cole hit an emphatic Panama Sunrise, but it was not enough. The former NXT champion dodged the diving knee and hit the Last Shot for a shocking near-fall.
O'Reilly blocked a Panama Sunrise with his bad knee. The pain to KOR was worse than it was for Cole, who managed to hit the Panama Sunrise and Last Shot to win.
Cole def. KOR by pinfall.
NXT gave Cole and KOR plenty of time to deliver, and the two did what they do best. The two kept a firm focus on their shared knee injuries. It helped that they have so much chemistry to make every signature move feel unique.
This was better than their first match, which was too long to the point of near parody. This time around, the two told a more focused story with TV time remaining. While some spots still went over the top, it was easy to invest in the story.
The result likely means that Cole vs. KOR will extend to a third match. While this is NXT's standard, it seems unnecessary if WWE wanted to truly commit to O'Reilly as a rising star.