The Real Winners and Losers from WWE NXT Great American Bash

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistJuly 7, 2021

The Real Winners and Losers from WWE NXT Great American Bash

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    Tuesday's episode of NXT saw the return of The Great American Bash title to WWE television. This is something WWE would usually save for a TakeOver special, but themed episodes of the weekly shows have become more commonplace in recent years. 

    The night was built like a TakeOver, with a few title matches, a musical performance and fewer backstage segments that serve as filler.

    Here is a look at the full lineup from Tuesday's show:

    • MSK vs. Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher (NXT Tag Team Championships)
    • Cameron Grimes vs. LA Knight (Million Dollar Championship)
    • The Way vs. Io Shirai and Zoey Stark (NXT Women's Tag Team Championships)
    • Karrion Kross and Johnny Gargano meet face to face.
    • Hit Row celebrates Isaiah "Swerve" Scott's North American Championship win.
    • Adam Cole vs. Kyle O'Reilly

    Let's take a look at the real winners and losers from The Great American Bash. 

Winners: MSK

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    The show opened with the NXT Tag Team Championship match between MSK and the challengers, Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher. 

    All four men treated this like a pay-per-view main event and pulled out all the stops to make sure they gave the WWE Universe a performance to remember.

    While MSK won the match, the real prize was the respect they earned from their opponents and the fans. Ciampa and Thatcher looked upset by the loss, but they also looked somewhat impressed by Nash Carter and Wes Lee's resolve.

    Anyone who doubted MSK's chances to be successful is probably rethinking their position after what we saw on Tuesday night. Winning the titles was an important moment for them, but retaining them in this match felt like a more important victory in the grand scheme of things.

    Ciampa and Thatcher were the ideal opponents to put them over because their old-school approach contrasted MSK's high-flying style perfectly. Hopefully, this is a combination we will see again because they brought out the best in each other. 

Winner: Samoa Joe

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    Johnny Gargano and Karrion Kross had a meeting with William Regal and Samoa Joe this week that ended with Regal booking Kross and Johnny Wrestling in a title match next week. 

    The second revelation was that Samoa Joe would serve as the special guest referee. This seemed to make Gargano happy, while Kross had his default angry expression plastered across his face.

    The few short interactions Joe has had with Kross seem to indicate they will eventually clash in the ring, and this could be the first step toward making that a reality. 

    If Joe somehow costs Kross the NXT Championship, it will set them on a collision course that can only end with one man destroying the other. They don't need the title. They just need a ring and a referee.

    Ever since Joe took on this new role as the resident enforcer of NXT, he has been portrayed as the most dangerous man on the brand. Even the NXT champion appears to have enough smarts not to cross him. 

    Whenever Joe is ready to make his return to full-time action, putting him in the ring with Kross needs to be a top priority for WWE management. He is one of the few people in NXT who can give Kross a physical challenge. 

Loser: Cameron Grimes

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    Knight and Grimes fought over the Million Dollar Championship again this week, but this time, Knight added a stipulation that said if Grimes lost, he would have to become Knight's butler.

    This feud has delivered a couple of fun matches, but making one Superstar work for another as a butler is the kind of low-rent storyline that never works out well.

    We just saw something similar with Chuck Taylor and Miro in AEW, and that ended up being a dud. These storylines are supposed to be funny, but they usually end up being corny these days.

    This is the kind of thing WWE could have gotten away with during the early '90s because everything was slightly more ridiculous back then. Superstars had gimmicks like a garbage man, an accountant and a repo man, cleverly named The Repo Man, so a butler wouldn't have been out of place.

    Grimes is over with the crowd and will probably have some funny moments during this angle, but that still won't make it good. The best we can hope for is that WWE doesn't drag this out longer than necessary. 

Winners: Hit Row

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    Championship celebrations usually provide a few fireworks, a promo from the new champion and someone coming out to challenge them for the title. Hit Row decided to do things a little differently.

    To help celebrate Swerve's North American Championship victory over Bronson Reed, he and Hit Row performed a mini concert for the NXT Universe that cemented the group as one of the most charismatic stables in pro wrestling.

    Top-Dolla Francis, B-Fab and "Thee" Adonis all added their own contributions, but Swerve was the real star as he served up a series of rhymes at incredible speed.

    All four members of Hit Row made this a memorable segment that received high praise on social media. At this point, the only person who can stop Swerve from becoming a huge star is himself. He has that "It" factor that is impossible to define but easy to identify. 

    Now, WWE needs to work on establishing the other three members of the group as more than just backup for Swerve. 

Loser: Kyle O'Reilly

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    Nobody likes 50-50 booking because you can't get somebody over effectively. The feud with Cole and O'Reilly has, unfortunately, fallen victim to this trend.

    Their first encounter at TakeOver: Stand and Deliver ended with O'Reilly having his hand raised in victory. Neither man won the NXT title in the Fatal 5-Way at TakeOver: In Your House, and now Cole has evened the score with a win at The Great American Bash.

    The former NXT champion is one of the most successful Superstars in NXT history. He didn't need this win because he has the credibility and goodwill built up to bounce back right away.

    O'Reilly getting a decisive win over his former Undisputed Era teammate would have elevated him to new heights, but WWE didn't want to take that risk for some reason.

    As a whole, Tuesday's show was a fun night of wrestling. We saw new women's tag team champions crowned, an epic musical performance from Hit Row and a few fantastic matches. Even if everything didn't work out the way it should have, it was still a strong showing for the black-and-gold brand.