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    Friday, July 9, 2021

    Smark Hen-XT (7/6/21): Great American Bash 2021

    I still don't understand the concept of episodes similar to Great American Bash. It's basically an NXT TakeOver that isn't called as such. Sure, this week, we didn't get the obligatory main championship feud (Johnny Gargano vs. Karrion Kross) but it sure feels like a TakeOver to me—and these events are always the best ones on the calendar.

    Not surprisingly, they gave Kyle O'Reilly and Adam Cole the main event slot. I do have to say, as much as this one was still great to watch, the novelty of it was wearing thin. I often mention how burnt out I am of seeing the Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano connection, and this one seems to be replicating that feeling. I honestly don't know what a Cole win brings to the table, but I will have to hope that this rivalry is finally over.

    One thing that I expected that didn't happen was a Roderick Strong appearance at the end. I actually believed that Roddy would play the foil to O'Reilly and start a new rivalry. Somehow, it's a slightly confusing feud-ending match that had to happen so they can all move on with their lives.

    The second biggest thing to happen this week was Zoey Stark and Io Shirai's NXT Women's Tag Team Championship victory. It wasn't really big because of the title change. It was huge because Tegan Nox just made her big return and kind of overshadowed the win a little. Obviously, she'll be feuding with Candice LeRae which might free up Indi Hartwell for some Dexter Lumis time.

    We're probably going to see these championships traded around for a bit more because I honestly don't see Stark/Shirai keeping it for long. I even believe they'll end up at each other's throats in a few week's time so I don't want to be too attached to this championship run.

    Something that we probably wouldn't have seen if this was a TakeOver was the Hit Row NXT North American Championship Cypher. In a quick review of the portion, I was surprised that B-Fab actually had the best flow (Though Top Dolla AJ Francis was a close second) overall. Isaiah "Swerve" Scott's flow was the least impressive. Honestly, he probably doesn't need to be as good as he's already the champion and good mic time may benefit his cohorts more.

    Meanwhile, LA Knight's win felt like something I'd see on the main roster. Why? I get the feeling they're going to keep burying Cameron Grimes for that eventual huge babyface pop when he wins it. This is a risky move and may end up backfiring if handled incorrectly. Truth be told, I'm already experiencing a little burnout from these two men constantly facing each other. When Grimes eventually wins, let's hope it's not too late.

    Lastly, as much as I've enjoyed MSK's matches since their debut, this one fell a little flat. I'm not sure if it's because I felt that the styles didn't fit, or maybe I just don't enjoy the Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa dynamic. Whatever it is, I'm just glad this is probably a one and done. It feels like there are better matches for MSK to have and Thatcher/Ciampa is not it. Perhaps Thatcher and Ciampa can graduate to the main roster instead and let the young boys of the brand have their showcases?

    The truth is, while this was a special episode, without the stage and the set, it would've been another regular night on the black-and-gold. That's not to say it sucked—far from it—but it wasn't exactly mindblowing. They really need to figure out how to differentiate these named events from the big TakeOvers. Somehow, I'm getting the feeling they just want to spite Cody Rhodes for holding the trademarks for these Dusty Rhodes' invented events.

    PS. You can now watch NXT live every Wednesday (in the Philippines) via TapGo. If you happen to miss that showing, Tap Sports will actually re-air it on primetime every Thursday night.

    Show Grade: B+

    Match to Watch: Adam Cole vs. Kyle O'Reilly

    Not-So-Full Sails:

    • Samoa Joe was still as important as ever—being assigned as the special referee for next week's NXT Championship match.
    • I actually thought we were getting Sarray vs. Toni Storm here. The same goes for Xia Li or Mei Ying vs. Mercedes Martinez (though I can understand why this did not take place). I guess we're back to our old problems for NXT booking where rivalries don't appear every week.
    • I'm not familiar with most of the Breakout Tournament competitors, but I have heard cool things about Joe Gacy. I'm looking forward to this new crop of talent—especially with how fun Ikemen Jiro seemed when he was on NXT a few weeks back.
    • No Bronson Reed, eh? So he lost the title and he didn't even appear for anything?
    • I am totally praying that Johnny Gargano does NOT win the NXT Championship next week. Sorry, Johnny fans.
    Did you enjoy the Great American Bash? Who's your pick for next week's NXT Championship match? Hit us up in the comments section below.

    Photos and videos from WWE


    Miguel “The Migz” Llado is your resident Young Rock reviewer here at the Smark Henry offices. A lover of music, wrestling, videogames, and food, he lives his life tweeting his mind off (@the_migz) Instagramming random food items and locations (@tha_migz), and streaming videogames on Twitch (@the_migz) while he pursues his musical career via his YouTube channel (Migz Llado) and courtesy of his band The Mox (TheMoxGarageRock). You can also add him on PSN (MigzLlado) to show your WWE 2K (or any PS4) skills.
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    Item Reviewed: Smark Hen-XT (7/6/21): Great American Bash 2021 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Migz Llado
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