TJR: WWE NXT The Great American Bash 2023 Preview

wwe nxt great american bash preview tjrwrestling

This is NXT’s The Great American Bash with Carmelo Hayes-Ilja Dragunov for the NXT Title, Dominik Mysterio facing Wes Lee and Mustafa Ali in a triple threat match, plus two more title matches.

These NXT PLE events take place about every two months this year. I think the NXT brand has improved post-WrestleMania to the point where it’s a well-balanced show full of some very good, interesting characters and then there are parts of it where you are reminded that for many wrestlers it’s still developmental. Some of the people on this show aren’t that experienced, but it’s a chance for them to perform in front of a big crowd in Cedar Park, Texas, which is good for them to get out of the same WWE building in Orlando.

I like the card with six matches on the main show and a kickoff show match. The main event between Carmelo Hayes and Ilja Dragunov should be outstanding. I think there is the potential for some title changes in other matches too, so that makes them more interesting.

I’m a bit disappointed that Bron Breakker isn’t in an advertised match although he did have an angle with Von Wagner on TV this past Tuesday, so maybe there will be something with them. Bron has been the most featured NXT wrestler for two years. Perhaps the guys running this show felt like they would be okay without Bron there. I’m just saying Bron has been awesome as a heel, so I wanted to see him on a card like this. Anyway, I’m also intrigued by the debut match of Gable Steveson, who is obviously somebody that WWE has high hopes for in the years ahead.

You can watch NXT’s The Great American Bash this Sunday, July 30th at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on Peacock or WWE Network.

KICKOFF SHOW: Nathan Frazer, Dragon Lee, Valentina Feroz & Yulisa León vs. The Meta-Four (Noam Dar, Oro Mensah, Jakara Jackson & Lash Legend)

It’s a way to get some more people on the show. They have had a storyline over the last few weeks, so it’s not like they are going in cold without a story. Frazer and Dragon are outstanding wrestlers that should carry most of the match while Dar is talented and Mensah has a lot of people too. The women in the match aren’t as experienced or as talented as the guys, but I anticipate they have practiced the spots a lot and it should be okay. I’ll go with Frazer’s babyface team winning.

Winners: Nathan Frazer, Dragon Lee, Valentina Feroz & Yulisa León

Weapons Wild Match: Blair Davenport vs. Roxanne Perez

They have had a personal rivalry with Davenport beating Perez in a previous match between them. The story has been about how that loss to Davenport has made Perez tougher, so we’ll see if Perez can show that tough side of her and find a way to win. That brawl they had in a convenience store was okay, but it wasn’t that memorable. They should have an intense, physical match with a lot of weapons being used. I think Perez winning makes sense in terms of the story.

Winner: Roxanne Perez

Gable Steveson vs. Baron Corbin

This is Gable Steveson’s first match in his WWE career. I think going against a veteran heel like Corbin is a smart choice because the fans are never rooting for Corbin, so that should help Steveson in terms of having the fans on his side. Steveson was likely put in this spot because he has shown enough to the coaches to make them believe he is ready, so I have a lot of faith in Steveson doing a good job in this match. There will certainly be a lot of suplexes by Steveson. I can see Corbin coming close to winning a few times, but I think Steveson winning is a lock.

Winner: Gable Steveson

NXT Tag Team Titles: Gallus – Wolfgang & Mark Coffey (c) vs. Tony D’Angelo & Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo

It feels like a title change. I could be wrong on that, but again in terms of the story, it makes a lot of sense for the babyface Tony D and Stacks to get the win. Gallus has had a lengthy run as the champions although I wouldn’t say it’s been particularly memorable. A title change could freshen things up in the division. Tony D has been regularly featured in NXT for two years and I think he’ll finally get a title with his buddy Stacks by his side.

Winners AND NEW NXT Tag Team Champions: Tony D’Angelo & Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo

NXT Women’s Championship Submission Match: Tiffany Stratton (c) vs. Thea Hail

These women are both incredibly young since Stratton is 24 years old and Hail is just 19 years old. Kudos to both of them for working hard and earning their spot on a card like this. That’s not easy to do when the NXT roster has so many women in it. It’s a Submission Match with the story being that Hail has an effective Kimura Lock while Stratton really doesn’t do a lot of submission moves. That might favor Hail to some people, but I think we are still early in Stratton’s title reign and she should win to keep the title. I’m not sure what move Stratton might use to win. I just think it makes a lot of sense for Stratton to keep her title.

Winner: Tiffany Stratton

wwe nxt great american bash dominik mysterio wes lee mustafa ali

NXT North American Championship: Dominik Mysterio (c) vs. Mustafa Ali vs. Wes Lee

It should be an excellent match with “Dirty” Dom defending his newly won title against two opponents at once. Wes Lee is the former champion while Mustafa Ali earned his spot, so it makes sense as a triple threat title match. Dominik just won the title less than two weeks ago, so I don’t see why they would put the title on him and just take it off. When somebody beats Dominik, it will mean something. I just don’t see it happening here. I anticipate a fast paced, exciting match with Dominik finding a way to get the cheap win.

Winner: Dominik Mysterio

NXT Championship: Carmelo Hayes (c) vs. Ilja Dragunov

This should be the match of the night and if it’s not I’ll be surprised, but the triple threat could be that good too. They will probably get 20+ minutes with Dragunov coming close to win multiple times throughout the match. What’s so great about Dragunov is that everything looks believable whether he’s selling moves or making a big comeback. That intensity and physical style of Dragunov really makes him stand out from the pack. We know Hayes is going to be able to match Dragunov while Hayes shows off his incredible athleticism as well.

While a win for Dragunov would be fine with me, I think the NXT Title reign of Melo will continue. The NXT brand needs to work on getting some heel challengers for Melo because other than Bron Breakker, who Melo beat multiple times, they are lacking a bit in terms of top contenders. That’s why Dragunov works as an opponent here because even though he’s a face, the fans should be into it because it will be such a great match. I’ll go with Melo winning after about 18 minutes of action.

Winner: Carmelo Hayes

And Finally…

The Match I’m Looking Forward To The Most

Carmelo Hayes vs. Ilja Dragunov.

The Match I Care About The Least

The Kickoff Show tag team match for sure. For the main show, I guess I’d say Gallus vs. Tony D & Stacks but it’s still a good match.

Longest Match

Carmelo Hayes vs. Ilja Dragunov.

Shortest Match

Gable Steveson vs. Baron Corbin in what could be a short match under ten minutes.

Excitement Level on a Scale of 1-10 (1 being low, 10 being high)

It’s around a 7.25 out of 10 for me. I think the NXT Title and NXT North American Title matches will really stand out and carry the show. Some of the other matches aren’t as interesting to be, but I expect everybody to work hard to put on a good showing for the NXT brand. I like the card. I just don’t think it’s set up for having outstanding matches all night. I’ll be curious to see how some of the finishes are booked, as always. I’m also interested in seeing if there are any surprises too. I look forward to the show.


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John Canton

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