WWE NXT: The Great American Bash, meetings and previews of the event

WWE NXT: The Great American Bash, meetings and previews of the event


After another spectacular TakeOver delivered to the archives (you can read the full results here), NXT is back in full swing with a special episode scheduled for Tuesday 6 July. It will be called WWE NXT: The Great American Bash, a clear reference to a historic WCW PPV later acquired by WWE. Between heart-pounding encounters and great surprises, let's analyze all the matches announced so far. The special will be broadcast in America on USA Network while in Italy it will be visible on Thursday on demand on Dplay Plus (to subscribe to the platform just follow this link). The first passage with the commentary in Italian by Luca Franchini and Michele Posa is scheduled for Saturday at 12:30 and repeated on Sunday at 9:30.

WWE NXT: The Great American Bash, the card

NXT Women's Tag Team Championships: Io Shirai & Zoey Stark vs The Way - Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell (c)

Thanks to the important victory obtained at the end of an incredible Thriple Threat Match, I Shirai and Zoey Stark have won the right to challenge the reigning champions Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell, belonging to the stable headed by Johnny Gargano, or The Way. Will the grit and determination of the Japanese fighter and her partner be enough to take home the belts?

NXT Million Dollar Championship: LA Knight (c) vs Cameron Grimes

LA Knight managed to win the historic title introduced to WWE by Hall of Famer Ted DiBiase, but his reign could be short-lived. Cameron Grimes is more determined than ever and it was he who once again took on the champion. This time, however, there will be a pledge to pay: if Grimes fails to win the match, he must become the personal butler of LA Knight.

NXT Tag Team Championships: Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher vs. MSK (c)

The strange couple made up of Tommaso Ciampa and Timoty Thatcher continues to dominate the Oronero brand far and wide and in Tuesday's episode they could add the definitive piece to their path. The two, in fact, will face the reigning champions, the MSK, in a match that promises sparks.

WWE NXT main event: The Great American Bash

Adam Cole vs Kyle O 'Reilly

A rivalry that does not seem to have an end. After the heated clashes of the last few months, the former friends and companions of the Undisputed Era will face each other once again in the main event of the special episode of NXT. The two have already come to blows in a segment that also saw the new special enforcer of the brand, or Samoa Joe, intervene. Animosity is skyrocketing: who will be able to win it?

Read also: WrestleMania, history and curiosities of the most important WWE event of the year

WWE also announced, on the day of today, two more additions to The Great American Bash card. It's not about math, but simple segments: NXT Champion Karrion Kross will go face to face with Johnny Gargano, while stable Hit Row will hold a proper celebration in honor of the new NXT North American Champion Isaiah “Swerve” Scott.

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In addition to the special episode of NXT, WWE is already working on the other two summer PPVs that will mark the return of fans in attendance: Money in The Bank, scheduled for July 18 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, and SummerSlam, scheduled for August 21 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

Quick Takes: Zelina Vega's WWE Return, McIntyre as Mr MITB, Omega vs. Page, More

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Zelina Vega's departure from WWE lasted all of eight months, but where she goes from here is the question.Credit: WWE.com

In a shocking turn of events, Zelina Vega returned to WWE on Friday's SmackDown and was announced as the latest entrant in the women's Money in the Bank ladder match. Despite getting the entire wrestling world talking with her comeback, she lost to Liv Morgan in under three minutes.

That isn't to say Vega is ruined by any means, as she can always bounce back—not to mention that it's part of a story WWE is attempting to tell with Morgan and Sonya Deville. But it was a questionable booking decision for her first night back.

In other Money in the Bank-related news, Drew McIntyre also punched his ticket to the pay-per-view on July 18 by winning a terrific Triple Threat match in the main event of Monday's Raw. Although all signs seem to point to McIntyre becoming Mr. Money in the Bank, it would do far more to hurt him long term than it would help him.

All Elite Wrestling is in the exact opposite situation with 'Hangman' Adam Page, who has been out of the world title picture long enough. The road to his long-awaited match with Kenny Omega for the AEW World Championship kicked off in emphatic fashion on Wednesday's Dynamite and it couldn't have been better executed.

This installment of Quick Takes will tackle AEW beginning the build to Page vs. Omega at All Out, how the past two editions of Dynamite put the program back on the right track, a main roster call-up for Bronson Reed being imminent and more.

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After being a recurring highlight on WWE programming early on during the company's pandemic era, Zelina Vega was unceremoniously released in November 2020 after reportedly refusing to relinquish control of her third-party platforms.

Her abrupt exit caused online outrage among fans, who felt it was unjustified. Despite speaking out about unionization for the wrestling business on the day of her departure, Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select reported months later that she was in talks to return to the promotion.

It made sense for her to resurface on Friday's SmackDown, as it tied into the story that Sonya Deville is purposefully leaving Liv Morgan out of the women's Money in the Bank ladder match until she 'proves' herself. Vega was automatically inserted into the bout before losing to Morgan within minutes immediately afterward.

In other words, it is possible that Vega could be right back to where she was on the card before her release. She didn't have many matches during her last stint with the company but thrived in a managerial role alongside Andrade and Angel Garza.

With Andrade gone and Garza on Raw, it appears Vega will have to fend for herself for the time being. Talking, more so than wrestling, is her strong suit, which may not bode well for her immediate future in the blue brand's women's division.

Sadly, her quick loss on Friday night may have been a sign of what's to come for her. But it's all about the aftermath and how she'll be booked going forward.

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AEW Dynamite being shifted out of its usual slot because of the NBA playoffs every week for a month coming out of the company's critically acclaimed Double or Nothing pay-per-view in late May was awful, unavoidable timing.

As a result of its less-than-stellar time slot on Friday nights after SmackDown, Dynamite felt like it lacked the energetic vibe that was there leading up to Double or Nothing. Going back to limited crowds didn't help matters, as well as most of the matches coming across as inconsequential.

With All Out not happening until early September, it was safe to assume the promotion wasn't going to kick off its build to the event so soon. That said, the latest two episodes of Dynamite did an excellent job of setting the stage for what we could be seeing at All Out and simply filling the two hours exceptionally well.

From a white-hot AEW World Championship main event Saturday to a barn-burner between MJF and Sammy Guevara on Wednesday, both shows were filled with entertaining action, effective storyline progression and an all-around exciting aura.

Above all else, AEW's impending return to the road will be the biggest difference-maker. The atmosphere at Dynamite pre-pandemic was what made the shows so special, so this summer season is bound to recapture that same magic.

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Rumors ran rampant among fans last week that Karrion Kross and Bronson Reed could be earmarked for main roster call-ups sooner rather than later following their appearances on WWE Main Event. With a draft tentatively scheduled for the end of the summer, Raw and SmackDown could use as many fresh faces from NXT as they can get.

Both were champions at the time of their matches on Main Event, and less than a week later, Reed lost the NXT North American Championship in an impromptu match to Isiah 'Swerve' Scott on NXT. The matchup was made official at the start of Tuesday's show, and at the end of the evening, Scott pinned Reed to win the title.

NXT seems to be building to Reed vs. Santos Escobar at some point, so it's safe to assume that they wouldn't have rushed to take the title off of him unless he was headed to the grand stage in the near future.

Given his immense amount of talent, Reed could definitely go on either Raw or SmackDown, provided they have a plan in place for him from the get-go.

Far too often do we see stars from NXT moved to the main roster without anything of note to do upon their arrival. That leads to them getting lost in the shuffle, and eventually the damage is done. That can't be the case with Reed, who has a lot to offer and may as well stay in NXT for a bit longer if WWE doesn't plan on pushing him once he debuts.

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One of the biggest takeaways for fans from AEW Double or Nothing in late May was that Adam Page was more than ready to challenge for the AEW World Championship. He's been receiving strong reactions for months, and that was especially evident during his hotly contested clash with Brian Cage at the pay-per-view.

Once Kenny Omega defeated Jungle Boy to retain his title on the June 26 edition of Dynamite, it became clear that the only person who could contend for the prize next was Page. AEW took the necessary first steps toward making that match a reality by having The Dark Order confront Omega on Page's behalf this past week on Dynamite.

Interestingly enough, Page's name wasn't mentioned once during the segment, but it didn't need to be because the audience already understood who they were referring to. Dark Order's alliance with Page has lasted throughout 2021, and now the group's role is to motivate him enough to the point he wants to step up himself.

All Out isn't taking place until September, which is the perfect length of time for AEW to tell this story the right way. The past two years with Page and Omega have been building to the moment of Page unseating his former friend to become champion, and it has the potential to be huge if they can stay the course.

Omega as the overconfident champion and Page portraying the relatable underdog makes for a fantastic story that is sure to culminate in exhilarating fashion at All Out. The strong start to the storyline brilliantly set the stage for what's to come.

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Drew McIntyre the performer has played his part to perfection over the past year and has done an exceptional job of carrying the company on his back during an unprecedented time. Drew McIntyre the character, on the other hand, feels stagnant and needs to be as far away from the world title picture as possible.

His loss to Bobby Lashley at Hell in a Cell meant he can no longer challenge for the WWE Championship as long as Lashley is champion. However, his qualification for the men's Money in the Bank ladder match Monday on Raw caused fans to worry that WWE may be trying to work its way around that stipulation by having him capture the contract.

There's nothing wrong with McIntyre being a part of the bout, but if fan feedback online has been any indication, there's a good chance he won't receive an overwhelmingly positive reaction from the crowd in attendance at Money in the Bank.

His booking is to blame for that, and thus becoming Mr. Money in the Bank would only further turn the audience against him. There are plenty of other people involved in the match who would benefit much more from holding the briefcase, such as Big E, John Morrison or Ricochet.

As for The Scottish Warrior, he should be put a prominent secondary storyline to keep him busy for the foreseeable future. Regardless of whether that's with Jinder Mahal, a SmackDown Superstar, an NXT call-up or someone else, a break from the WWE Championship scene is certainly needed.


Graham Mirmina, aka Graham 'GSM' Matthews, has specialized in sports and entertainment writing since 2010. Visit his website, WrestleRant, and subscribe to his YouTube channel for more wrestling-related content.

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