nXt Cool Points- January 22, 2020 (Lee vs. Strong)

nXt Cool Points- January 22, 2020 (Lee vs. Strong)

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COOL POINTS: Dusty Classic Ramps Up & Who Owns The Continent: Strong or Lee?



Welcome to the Cool Points. With the nXt and nXt UK brands colliding this weekend, this Wednesday’s episode touches a little on that, but mostly sets the stage towards TakeOver: Portland in February. With tag team glory and nXt gold on the line, there was plenty to dig into tonight, so let’s get to it.

nXt Men’s Division

North American Championship- Roderick Strong (c) vs. Keith Lee (#1c)

The Set-Up

Lee said that after his family, winning the North American Championship is the most important thing to him. Even though he was unsuccessful in becoming #1 contender for the nXt Championship, the part he played in helping Ciampa’s team win at WarGames put him in the spotlight. Then, his win a few weeks ago to become North American #1 Contender has propelled him further. The fans love basking in his glory and a win tonight would go a long way to marking 2020 as a Limitless year.

Roderick Strong has held the North American Championship since September 18th, the debut episode of nXt on USA. On October 23rd, Strong defeated Lee and Dijakovic in a triple threat match to retain the title. His methodical and dynamic use of the backbreaker, as well as his no-quit and persistent attitude will challenge Lee

These two fought a singles match on November 13th with Lee getting the win. Advantage: Lee.
Lee’s left ankle, however, has been targeted and is a weak point for him. Disadvantage: Lee.

The Match Result

Lee tackles Strong by the ropes, sending Strong up into the air. He catches the top rope with his knees and buckles over, falling into his friends of the Undisputed Era outside.

Interference from Strong’s pals compels Lee to try and fend them off. Strong makes the most of that opportunity, but Lee kicks out.

Lee breaks Strong’s leg submission. He then gets nailed with jumping knee strikes and dropkicks, but Strong can only get a 2 count. Off the ropes, Lee lifts Strong for the fireman’s carry jackhammer aka Big Bang Catastrophe for the victory!

Cool Points Clincher

2 cool points for Lee’s biggest win to date. The build continues for the limitless one and if his trajectory is the nXt Championship, his next few months as champion will determine how close he is to breaking that ceiling. It’s a little tougher when built-in feuds between Cole, Ciampa, Balor and Gargano exist, but fan support is high and that does influence the decisions.

Does Strong get a rematch at TakeOver: Portland or is a new #1 contender decided? I think it will be the former, pending the results of the match against Imperium this Saturday.

Other Men’s Division Results

Finn Balor def. Joaquin Wilde. A little showcase match for Balor ahead of his match at Worlds Collide vs. Dragunov. His two foot dropkick literally launches Wilde from the centre of the ring to the turnbuckle behind him. Easy victory for Balor

nXt Women’s Division

Toni Storm vs. Io Shirai

The Set-Up

This is a rematch from the 2018 Mae Young Classic when Storm & Shirai fought in the tournament finals at WWE Evolution.

Storm will face nXt Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley this Saturday, so this works as a warmup match for her. Shirai has a real chip on her shoulder and the fans have taken to her new character. She had an excellent showing in the #1 Contender’s Battle Royal, losing only to Bianca Belair.

The Match Result

The match ends in a schmoz, to quote Bret Hart. Bianca Belair comes down and attacks Storm. This prompts Ripley to confront the #1 Contender, but Shirai nails her with a dropkick and then a moonsault from the apron to the outside. Storm then takes the belt and holds it up in the ring as Ripley looks on.

Cool Points Clincher

1 cool point for Belair. She’s got the right attitude and did not hesitate to remind these ladies that she is the real champion in waiting. That was somewhat missing last January when she received her first title shot against Shayna Baszler.

1 cool point for Shirai because she’s got such a great following at Full Sail. She can literally do no wrong right now and seeing her stay in the mix at the top of the women’s division is a good sign for the year to come.
While Storm vs. Ripley is an intriguing Interbrand match, I don’t see it being anything more than a means for Storm to get some more attention. Maybe she also gets a spot at the Rumble?

Other Women’s Division Results

Shayna Baszler def. Shotzi Blackheart by submission. Blackheart’s debut TV singles match is against the former champion and that’s notable. Blackheart looked great in this one, matching up evenly with the Queen of Spades. She even had the upper hand at times, but in launching herself from the top rope, Baszler moved aside and trapped her in the Kirifuda Clutch. After a noble battle, Blackheart gives up.

This match was all about showcasing Blackheart as a big deal, but reminding fans that Baszler is still as threatening and as serious as ever.


2020 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic- Semi-Final

Undisputed Era (c) vs. the Grizzled Young Veterans (Drake/Gibson)

The Set-Up

The Undisputed Era owns all the gold in nXt. Two weeks ago, they defeated Gallus. They’re so brash that they showed up in Blackpool a few weeks ago to beat up on Imperium to close the show. Taking care of the Grizzled Young Vets, a team they have not faced on nXt TV before, would bring them back to the Dusty Classic Finals for the first time since 2018.

Grizzled Young Vets defeated Kushida and Alex Shelley last week. This is their debut performance in the tournament and they have looked impressive so far. Defeating the nXt Tag Team Champions would not only bring them to the tourney finals, but it would give them a claim on an Interbrand title shot.

Cool Points Clincher

2 cool points for Drake and Gibson for getting the big win over Undisputed Era. They took advantage of the distraction by Imperium on the Full Sail perch. Fantastic opportunity for them to get over with the North American audience by continuing in the tournament.
1 cool point for Undisputed Era. Fish & O’Reilly were taking care of business until they let Imperium get under their skin and distract them from finishing the match. They seem a little on edge. I guess Saturday’s match is a more pressing concern than being Dusty Classic champs. We’ll see how that plays out for them.

2020 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic- Semi-Final

Matt Riddle & Pete Dunne vs. Imperium (Aichner/Barthel)

The Set-Up

Riddle & Dunne defeated Andrews & Webster, from nXt UK, in last week’s first round match. The “Broserweights”, as they’ve been nicknamed, are new to teaming with one another, but both are such professionals. Teams who have paired up for the tournament have actually won 2 of 4 times (Balor/Samoa Joe, Ricochet/Aleister Black).

Imperium has an intimidating presence, no mistake about it, but they have not been successful in the big matches. Despite beating Forgotten Sons two weeks ago, they should not be seen as favourites. The booking actually favours Riddle & Dunne. Further to that point, Imperium has a big match against Undisputed Era this Saturday, so we might see some interference as a backlash to Imperium’s distraction from earlier in the night.

The Match Result

The Broserweights win, thanks to a Riddle powerbomb/knee to face combo. Dunne tags in for a double team pin.

Cool Points Clincher

Two cool points for the new team. Like I said above, history is on their side for being two of the most popular and dangerous guys on the nXt roster. Even though they’re new to tagging with one another, their skill level and competitive nature are supreme. Also, it’d be a tough sell to have two nXt UK teams in the final, since they aren’t known as well to the North American crowd.
Look out, Grizzled Young Vets! The Broserweights are coming for you.

IN CLOSING

Big win for Lee, beauty debut for Blackheart, and the Dusty Classic final is set. Let’s talk about those things and more in the conversation below or on Twitter. Share your cool points, predictions, insights and questions, and if you have lots to say, click on the LOP Forums picture to go long form.

Now’s as good a time as any to make your opinions and comments into longer form columns. A cool community of wrestling fans awaits. Join the LOP Columns Forum logo

Related Columns: nXt Cool Points- January 15, 2020 (Women’s #1 Contender’s Battle Royal)

nXt Cool Points- January 8, 2020 (2020 Dusty Tag Team Classic Begins)

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