NXT Great American Bash Night 2 Results and Grades: A top star is born

WWE, Keith Lee Credit: WWE.com
WWE, Keith Lee Credit: WWE.com /
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Keith Lee vs. Adam Cole, Unification Match

Result: Keith Lee wins with the Big Bang Catastrophe

Grade: A+, This match. Everything about this match! A quintessential performance from both Adam Cole and Keith Lee with the best man winning. The era of Lee as NXT’s top star has begun.

THIS was the big match we were waiting for on an NXT Great American Bash Night 2 card stocked with big matches and sleeper matches. Keith Lee, the North American Champion, vs. the greatest NXT Men’s Champion of all-time in Adam Cole. And it was anyone’s guess as to who would pick up the defining victory. Talk about a big fight feel!

Cole started the match by putting Lee in a chin lock, clearly taking lessons from NXT brand manager Triple H. Trash-talking all the way, Cole soon realized that tactic only works if you actually have a strength advantage, with Lee swiftly (and, for Cole, painfully) erased.

Lee’s “crush grip” on Cole was devastating, as he was absolutely having his way with the leader of the Undisputed Era, who needed to put some strikes in to get out of his situation. But respite was only brief. Asking Lee to “put him down” also wasn’t the wisest decision.

The North American Champion bragged to the fans and camera, “Remember Johnny Gargano?”, telegraphing his plan to send Adam Cole through the plexiglass. The wily Cole dove out of the way, though, allowing him to turn the tables on Lee outside the ring.

Cole was tiring Lee in a submission, yelling at the resilient North American Champion to “quit”. Like that would ever be an option for the Limitless One! Judging by the massive powerslam he hit for a 2.5-count moments later, he had plenty of fight in him. And the two-handed chop he hit might have been even more powerful! Lee smiled and said, “I must break him” before ascending the top rope, but Cole caught him with a backstabber.

A big highlight came afterward when Lee did hit a huge top rope move, nailing Cole with a superplex! But because of the impact of the fall onto the canvas to Lee as well, he could only get a 2.9 when he collected himself for the pin attempt. Lee seemed to have the match won afterward with a HUGE powerbomb in which Cole’s body bounced off the canvas, but Cole saved himself with a FINGERTIP on the bottom rope.

Lee was throwing every move in the book at Cole, using so many amazing power moves to try and put away the former Bullet Club member, but Cole was finding a way to get out of everything. Beth Phoenix and Mauro Ranallo put over how good Cole is as a champion, knowing how to retain his belt by always knowing when to roll out of the ring or where he is in relation to the ropes.

It seemed like Lee finally had Cole put away with a ridiculous moonsault, but Cole somehow managed to kick out of that, too. But he was clearly in a great deal of pain.

The heart of Lee was on display as well, though, as he took superkick after superkick, screaming in defiance. Cole was able to follow those kicks up with the Last Shot, but Lee kicked out! That’s the amazing resilience of him as well! The Last Shot is one of the top finishers in WWE!

When Cole went for a second Last Shot, Lee got up at the right time and hit a jaw-dropping clothesline to wipe out Cole and buy himself valuable time. Cole landed right on his neck on that clothesline!

Another huge kickout came when Lee got out at two when Cole hit the Panama Sunrise! And the desperation on Cole’s face was striking! He was in disbelief, which quickly yielded way to anger.

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Cole went for the final shot. He exposed the knee and hit a Last Shot. But he wanted more. He went into the corner, labored up to the middle rope, and set his sights on Lee, begging him to get up before yelling “The Title is mine!” Lee countered the Panama Sunrise, hit the Spirit Bomb, and finally hit the Big Bang Catastrophe for the win! What an incredible win to unify the titles!

The show closed with Killer Kross and Scarlett Bordeaux watching from above at Lee’s celebration. What a moment!