Night two of The Great American Bash has a much weaker card than last week’s, but the main event between Keith Lee and Adam Cole was more than enough to make people tune in. Breezango and Drake Maverick were looking for some payback against Santos Escobar and his cronies, Mercedes Martinez returned, and Johnny Gargano and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott’s match had great potential. First off, the feud between Mia Yim and Candice LeRae was set to come to a head in a Street Fight.

Street Fight: Candice LeRae vs Mia Yim

What an explosive way to start the show. Mia Yim attacked Candice LeRae the moment she walked out, ramming her into the steel steps. Four chairs, a trash can, and a kendo stick were thrown into the ring by Yim, and after LeRae took a few shots at Yim with the kendo stick, Yim went nuts and started thrashing LeRae with it. The Poison Pixie showed off her mean side outside the ring by whipping her opponent into the ring post, but Yim wasn’t in the mood to be bested.

The action spilled beyond the plexiglass, with Yim and LeRae used multiple items on the catering table at ringside to do some damage. From out of nowhere, LeRae unloaded the contents of a fire extinguisher in Yim’s face, then tried to suplex her through the catering table. However, Yim dropkicked LeRae off a platform and caused her to crash through the table herself.

After the commercial break, both women fought inside the ring, with LeRae dropkicking Yim off a steel chair, then thrusted it into her ribs. LeRae grabbed a load more chairs and continued to beat Yim down. Yim connected with a big boot and floored LeRae, as both women took some time to catch their breaths. Yim put the garbage can on LeRae and kicked her, then delivered a cannonball in the corner. Some brass knuckles appeared on the fist of Yim. She went to hit LeRae but was blocked with a chair, followed by LeRae hitting her with the chair.

Yim set up a pile of chairs and climbed upon a table that rested on the top turnbuckle. Both LeRae and Yim fought atop the chair until LeRae took the brass knuckles off Yim and struck her with them. LeRae hit a swinging neckbreaker off the table and onto the chairs, getting the three count without even meaning to. This was a great match that gave LeRae a much-deserved victory. The brutality they each inflicted left them lying in the ring for long after the match continued.

Winner: Candice LeRae Rating: 7/10

Bronson Reed vs Tony Nese

Some little build-up was given to this match, and honestly, I had no idea about it until it actually happened. Regardless, it is always a pleasure to watch Tony Nese, and with Bronson Reed gathering some momentum recently, it was a decent addition to the card – in theory. Nese’s cockiness amounted to nothing early on, as Reed dropped him with a military press and standing senton. The Premier Athlete tried to work on Reed’s left knee, but Reed kept fighting back.

Nese used his agility to try and hurt Reed, but it wasn’t to be. Reed hit a huge frog splash off the top turnbuckle to deliver the pain and pin Nese. How many losses does WWE want to issue Nese? He is verging on jobber at the minute, and after a lacklustre match, you have to wonder where Nese goes from here.

Winner: Bronson Reed Rating: 5/10

Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs Johnny Gargano

This was the second match of the night to have no real history behind it other than a bit of a scrap between the two backstage on night one of The Great American Bash. Surely this wasn’t going to be another filler match. It is Gargano after all, and Swerve is always great to watch. Gargano worked the arms of Swerve from the bell, moving between each joint. There was some great transitional mat work, and outside the ring, both men tried to counter one another. Swerve managed to break out of One Final Beat and ended up hitting a Fosbury Flop on Gargano outside the ring.

Swerve hit Gargano with a boot to the face off the apron, then landed a flatliner. Gargano dropped Swerve with a slingshot spear out of nowhere, but only managed a two count. Both guys used various evasive moves and kicks in an attempt to gain the upper hand. Swerve hit a house call, but it wasn’t enough to deter Gargano. He went for a JML Driver, then climbed the ropes, but Gargano stopped him from connecting. The action spilled outside the ring. Swerve tried a double stomp, but Gargano moved out of the way and hit a reverse hurricanrana.

That was it for Swerve, as Gargano hit One Final Beat and picked up the victory. This was a superb bout between both men. Like his wife, Gargano needed a win, but Swerve was a worthy competitor.

Winner: Johnny Gargano Rating: 8/10

Legado Del Fantasma (Santos Escobar, Raul Mendoza, & Joaquin Wilde) vs Drake Maverick & Breezango)

This was the first time we got to see Mendoza and Wilde compete since revealing themselves to be Santos Escobar’s heavies, but Breezango’s entrance overshadowed them tenfold. Coming out as Luchadores in an attempt to mock Escobar and Co., they were joined by Maverick and flew to the ring ready for their match. The action was as fast as you would imagine, with Breezango getting some decent teamwork in. Maverick tagged in, and although he was up against Mendoza, he was dead set on getting in the ring with Escobar.

The newly named Legado Del Fantasma showed great chemistry, but Fandango came in and took charge. He threw Maverick over the ropes on top of Legado Del Fantasma, then launched himself on them, but seemed to tweak his knee in the process. Wilde took advantage and drained the life out of Fandango. He tagged Escobar in, and the dismantling continued. Mendoza then came in and worked on Fandango’s injured left leg. Fandango managed to tag in Maverick, and Mendoza tagged in Escobar. The two men went at it, which led to chaos as everyone took to the ring. It was Escobar, however, that seized an opportunity for victory, as he dropped Maverick with the Phantom Driver and then collected the three count.

Whilst not as exciting as I hoped, it was still enjoyable. Legado Del Fantasma asserted their dominance once again and proved just why they are a force to be reckoned with in NXT. I am sure we are going to see a singles match between Escobar and Maverick soon, but for now, the victory belonged to the former Luchadores.

Winners: Legado Del Fantasma Rating: 6/10

Santana Garrett vs Mercedes Martinez

With her return being hyped for some weeks, Mercedes Martinez finally returned. Another last-minute match, but one that allowed Martinez’s return to make an impact. Martinez is a savage who has a vast arsenal at her disposal, and although Garrett showed a lot of heart, it was Martinez who got the win. Martinez hit a big boot on Garrett, and after a small flurry of strikes from Garrett, Martinez knocked her off her feet with a clothesline. This led Martinez to hit a fishermen buster for the win. It was a pretty dull match and a deflated return for Martinez, but it had to happen sooner or later.

Winner: Mercedes Martinez Rating: 3/10

NXT Championship & North American Championship ‘Winner Takes All’ Match: Adam Cole (C) vs Keith Lee (C)

It is happening! It is finally happening! The greatest NXT Superstar finally got his chance to become a duel champion, but it was never going to be easy. There is a reason Adam Cole is the longest-reigning NXT Champion. He’s defeated the best in the business, with Finn Balor, Velveteen Dream, and Tommaso Ciampa being just a few of the Superstars he has retained the title against.

Cole tried to wear Lee down with a headlock, but Lee began toying with the NXT Champion. He blocked a kick from Cole and charged him down. Outside the ring, Lee went after Cole but was launched into the plexiglass. Cole rammed Lee’s head into the steel steps, then hit a huge boot to Lee’s face.

Cole continued to dominate, hitting a neckbreaker in the ring. He landed some forearms and another switch kick, followed by yet another neckbreaker. Wrapping his legs around the neck of Lee, Cole tried to suck the air out of Lee’s chest. Resilient as ever, Keith Lee got back to his feet and hit a huge spinning powerslam. His power overwhelmed Cole. After quoting Drago from Rocky IV, Cole caught him with a backstabber off the turnbuckle, but could only manage a two count.

Keith Lee is an absolute monster! He dead-lifted Cole on the top turnbuckle and almost killed him with a superplex, but Cole somehow managed to kick out. Although Cole got in a few kicks, Lee landed a massive powerbomb. Cole got a finger on the ropes to avoid losing, rolled out the ring, then hit a kick. Lee’s power continued to destroy Cole, as he charged at Cole and knocked him down, then dropped him with a one-arm spinebuster. Lee’s agility knew no bounds tonight, following up with a moonsault.

Lee went for the Big Bang Catastrophe, but Cole countered with a superkick. After a few more big kicks, Cole nailed the Last Shot, but Lee kicked out. HE KICKED OUT, PEOPLE! Cole went for another Last Shot, but Lee hit a massive lariat clothesline that sent Cole spinning. Somehow Cole connected with the Panama Sunrise, but again, Lee kicked out. This was awesome! Three more superkicks followed, and surprise, surprise, Lee kicked out once more. For saying we only had Performance Center recruits in attendance, the crowd was electric. Cole delivered another Last Shot then climbed up the turnbuckle to hit another Panama Sunrise, but Lee countered and hit a Spirit Bomb. Lee then finished Cole off with a Big Bang Catastrophe and became a double champion. Yes! Yes! Yes!

Keith Lee has been incredible since joining NXT, and this victory was fully deserved. Both Superstars put on an absolute classic. After 403 days, Cole has lost the NXT Champion, but Lee is 100% the right man to take it from him. As Keith Lee celebrated in the ring, Karrion Kross and Scarlett watched on from the rafters. He may not have interfered, but Kross has made his intentions known.

Winner: Keith Lee (Now the NXT Champion and still North American Champion Rating: 9/10

What Else Went Down?

– Robert Stone tried to recruit Shotzi Blackheart backstage, and after she emphatically refused, Killian Dain came out of nowhere and attacked him. If that wasn’t enough, Blackheart ran over his leg with her mini tank, leaving Stone screaming in pain.

– Io Shirai and Tegan Nox featured in a video package where they both talked about their upcoming war. Shirai was on fire, as her eerily calm voice trumped anything Nox said. They both talked about having similar journeys to NXT, but Shirai said Nox couldn’t do it alone – that she needed friends to succeed. The match was announced for next week.

– Candice LeRae and Johnny Gargano were celebrating backstage. After getting McKenzie Mitchell to repeat herself reminding everyone they both won tonight, Gargano mentioned how he couldn’t help but think where he would be if Finn Balor hadn’t got in his way. LeRae said there were “a few wrongs they need to make right,” before Gargano said they were going to “set off a few fireworks of their own.”

– Damian Priest promised Cameron Grimes a beating next week in a short video package highlighting their recent feud.

After The Bell

Night two of The Great American Bash ended with one of the best championship matches of recent memory, as Keith Lee picked up the most important victory of his life. It was one of the best matches in NXT, not solely down to the action but because of the story it told. Karrion Kross wants a piece of the champion, but for now, everyone should bask in Keith Lee’s glory.

Johnny Gargano and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott had great chemistry in their match, and it was good to see Gargano back to his familiar ways by putting on a great performance. The opening Street Fight between Candice LeRae and Mia Yim was a lot of fun, but everything else was a bit of a let-down.

Tony Nese lost again in a relatively boring match, and Mercedes Martinez didn’t make the biggest of impacts in her victory over Santana Garrett. Even though I enjoyed watching Legado Del Fantasma pick up a win, the match itself could have been a lot better.

Despite most of the card being nowhere near as strong as Night One of The Great American Bash, Lee vs Cole was one for the ages. I cannot wait to see what this means for Cole and Undisputed Era, and the fact we may very well get to see Karrion Kross face Keith Lee makes my mouth water.

Star of the Show: Keith Lee Rating: 8/10

All images and videos courtesy of WWE

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