Preview: NXT – The Great American Bash, Night 1 (7/1/20)

Great American Bash
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This week, NXT goes up against “Night 1” of All Elite Wrestling‘s yearly Fyter Fest event.  To help even the odds, NXT is also going for an event theme, channeling WCW.  That’s right.  The Great American Bash is back and NXT’s version of the former WCW pay-per-view looks to be a stacked night of wrestling.  Don’t believe me? Take a look at what NXT: Great American Bash has on offer!

2-on-1 Handicap Match: Rhea Ripley vs. Aliyah & Robert Stone

Photo: WWE

Since losing the NXT Women’s title at WrestleMania XXXVI and then losing the triple threat match at NXT TakeOver: In Your House, Rhea Ripley has needed something to keep her busy.  Enter Robert Stone and Aliyah.  Robert Stone, of “Robert Stone Brand” fame, has been desperate to sign Rhea Ripley to the brand.  For those don’t know, his character is that of greedy, evil sports agent.  Why wouldn’t he be desperate to sign Ripley? She’s one of NXT’s greatest ever Women’s Champions.  Of course, Ripley has repeatedly declined.  Now, however, she takes on Stone and Aliyah in a handicap match, with the added stipulation being that – if she loses the match – she must join the brand.  It’s an interesting direction for Ripley, but one must think she’s bigger than this.  However, it is certainly an interesting storyline which certainly won’t come to an end at NXT: Great American Bash.

Strap Match: Dexter Lumis vs. Roderick Strong

Photo: WWE

At NXT TakeOver: In Your House, Dexter Lumis kidnapped both Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish.  He then went onto lose a match for Adam Cole‘s NXT Championship, but has remained a threat to the Undisputed Era ever since.  Here he gets the opportunity to defeat Strong in a one-on-one match.  Surely we can expect some outside interference? Regardless, Lumis is one of the best and most interesting characters in NXT right now and he should pick up the win here.  Oh, it’s also a Strap Match.  Good luck, Bobby.

Timothy Thatcher Returns at Great American Bash to Take On Oney Lorcan

Photo: WWE

A few months back, Timothy Thatcher – standing in for Pete Dunne – turned on Matt Riddle, costing the “Original Bro” (and Dunne) the NXT Tag Team Championships.  Thatcher then went on to defeat Riddle in one of the most memorable, most brutal matches in NXT history: the “Cage Fight”.  This is Thatcher’s first match since that crucial victory, which helped elevate him and remind viewers that he is a legitimate star.  Oney Lorcan is an impressive talent himself, known for being a hard hitter and one of the best on 205 Live.  This could potentially be a dark horse contender for match of the night, so make sure not to miss it.

Elimination #1 Contenders Match: Dakota Kai vs Mia Yim vs Tegan Nox vs Candice LeRae

Photo: WWE

This fatal four way women’s match sees Mia Yim, Tegan Nox, Candice LeRae and Dakota Kai meet in a fatal four way match to determine the number one contender for the NXT Women’s Championship.  All four women will be desperate for the opportunity as none of them have won gold in NXT… so far.  Candice might be the favorite for the win, given the recent heel turn and push (as well as Johnny Gargano‘s newfound talent for interfering in her matches).  Then again, Keith Lee could just as easily prevent Gargano from interfering, which helps Yim’s chances.  Tegan Nox and Dakota Kai have been embroiled in a blood feud for almost a year now.  Will their hatred for each other get in the way of their chance to seize the win? Regardless, this is another contender for match of the night and is one not to be missed.

Great American Bash Main Event: Io Shirai (c) vs. Sasha Banks (w/ Bayley)

Io Shirai vs Sasha Banks at Great American Bash
Photo: @WWEonFOX

The main event of the evening sees NXT Women’s Champion, Io Shirai, take on NXT’s arguable biggest star of all time, Sasha Banks.  Whether you love her or hate her, Sasha Banks did a tremendous job of elevating NXT’s women’s division all those years ago.  Having match of the year caliber matches against the likes of Becky Lynch and Bayley, to name just two, certainly laid the foundations for NXT’s women’s division to become the best in the world.  Now she has the chance to remind NXT viewers just how good she is.  Unfortunately for Sasha, she’s going against the best women’s wrestler in the game today – certainly the best within NXT.  Can Sasha reclaim the championship she lost to tag team partner, Bayley back at 2015’s NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn? Tune in to NXT: Great American Bash USA Network this Wednesday to find out.

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.  WWE fan? You can check out an almost unlimited array of WWE and NXT content on the WWE Network.