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

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

JCool's nXt Cool Points logo by TheImplications

COOL POINTS: Happy 2020! It’s the Dusty Tag Team Classic Again. Hooray!

Welcome to the Cool Points. This week’s episode is the first proper one of the new year, since last week’s was the awards show. Notably, the 2020 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic starts tonight with teams from nXt and nXt UK being featured. We also see the new nXt Women’s Champion, Rhea Ripley, returning to address the fans and a match to determine the next #1 contender for the North American Championship. Those are enough reasons for me to watch. Let’s go.

nXt Men’s Division

#1 Contender’s Match for the North American Championship: Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic vs. Cameron Grimes vs. Damian Priest

The Set-Up

Lee and Dijakovic already have an existing rivalry with Strong, stemming to November and WarGames. Lee actually defeated Strong in the lead-up to TakeOver, and both men were on the winning team with Ciampa and Kevin Owens. They also have a rivalry with one another that created a notable trilogy of matches on nXt TV.

Cameron Grimes has impressed in recent matches, defeating guys like Tyler Bate and Kushida. Damian Priest, likewise, has been almost undefeated, gaining big wins over Pete Dunne and Killian Dain. So, these four are the wrestlers with the most momentum and pedigree, not currently in the nXt Championship picture. It makes sense that they’d get a shot at Strong’s North American Championship.

Cool Points Clincher

2 cool points for Keith Lee. After being overlooked for so long, Lee’s on the cusp of showing everybody what “bask in his glory” is all about. Plenty of momentum, a Breakout A and fan support on his side, he was the clear favourite in tonight’s fatal four-way match. He and Strong will have a fantastic match. It remains to be seen if it will be a one-off or the beginning of a great feud for 2020. I could buy into a storyline where Lee and friends continue to challenge the Undisputed Era for their gold.

Possible Directions

For the others, being involved in a #1 Contender’s match raises their status in the division. With Worlds Collide coming up in a few weeks, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Damian Priest get a match against an nXt UK wrestler. Dijakovic and Grimes should continue to get TV time, but the likelihood of them getting a TakeOver match in February is no sure thing. This roster is getting bigger and, unless they add more matches to the card, there simply isn’t an open spot for them at the moment.

Other Men’s Division Results

Austin Theory def. Joaquin Wilde
1 cool point for Theory who oozed arrogance in the final moments of this match. Very self-assured for a new roster member. I suppose his prior experience and current possession of the WWN and Evolve Championships makes him a unique nXt rookie.

nXt Women’s Division

Rhea Ripley (c), Toni Storm & Candice LeRae vs. Kay Lee Ray (UKc), Bianca Belair & Io Shirai

The Set-Up

Ripley is the new nXt Women’s Champion, having defeated Shayna Baszler just before Christmas, in the main event of the December 18th show. She has a number of ladies interested in challenging her for the title, including a familiar foe from nXt UK, Toni Storm. Storm defeated Ripley for the nXt UK Women’s championship last January.

The opening segment of tonight’s show saw all of this match’s competitors come out, one by one, announcing their intentions to fight to Ripley. A brawl ensued and GM Regal announced that they would all compete in a 6-woman tag.

The Match

A portion of this match gets the double screen commercial treatment. LeRae gets a good chunk of in-ring time, taking the brunt of the attack from Ray, Belair and Shirai.

Loved the sequence where each lady enters one at a time to knock out the one in the ring. Belair speared Storm, following her disruption of the pinfall attempt. Ripley took out Belair. Then, Shirai with the European uppercut on Ripley.

Egos escalate when Belair tags Shirai before Shirai can leave the top rope. This breakdown leads directly to Ripley hitting Riptide on Belair for her team’s victory.

Possible Directions

Storm is set to wrestle Ray and Piper Niven for the UK Women’s Championship this Sunday. She voiced that she was interested in becoming the first double champion. That would be interesting.

But, honestly, all of the possible feuds would be interesting because Ripley is new to the roster and new as champion in nXt. I think we’ll see a #1 Contender’s match at Worlds Collide, which will present a proper opponent for Ripley in February. Shirai might well be the Full Sail favourite.

Cool Points Clincher

1 cool point for all the ladies in the match, all of whom made the most of their minutes in a jam-packed tag match.

Other Women’s Division Results

Io Shirai def. Santana Garrett
1 cool point for Shirai. Expected win here, but Garrett gets a bit of a shine holding that bridge submission for as long as she did. So, 1 cool point for her, too. Shirai is very over with the fans and has been such a force ever since she turned on LeRae this past summer. With a new Women’s Champion, that freshens up the title picture for everyone, including Shirai, to get another title shot.

Mia Yim def. Kayden Carter
1 cool point for Yim who continues to try and ascend the rankings, winning against lower-ranked wrestlers. It’s against the higher-ranked group that Yim gets stopped- think back to the ladder match.

Post-match, Chelsea Green makes her debut, joined by Robert Stone. She beats up on Yim and Carter. Eventful yet not over-exposed into the melee of wrestlers jockeying for that #1 spot. Gives Green a spotlight in the mid-card where she’ll wait for an opportunity to strike, and work her way upwards.

2020 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic- First Round

Forgotten Sons (Blake/Cutler) vs. Imperium (Aichner/Barthel)

The Set-Up

This is the first match up of the 5th Dusty Classic! It is Imperium’s debut match in the tournament. Last year, the Forgotten Sons were finalists in the tournament, so they have a high seed and should be a decent opponent for the European faction. Imperium mostly wrestles on nXt UK, but a Dusty Classic win would give them their first major success on nXt TV.

The Match

Nasty tandem offense by Imperium in this one. Double dropkicks in the corner, near the turnbuckle.
Then, there was Barthel’s throwing of Blake to Aichner, who then suplexed Blake for Barthel to pin. 2 count.
European boom for the win!

Cool Points Clincher

2 cool points for Imperium for their effective offense against Cutler and Blake. They are an intimidating tag team, and they have a lot of support from the Full Sail crowd. According to the brackets, they will face the winner of Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne versus Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster.

2020 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic- First Round

Undisputed Era (c) (Fish/O’Reilly) vs. Gallus (UKc) (Mark Coffey/Wolfgang)

The Set-Up

Once again, we have a tag team debuting in the Dusty Classic tournament, Gallus. They are the United Kingdom Tag Team Champions, so this is an intriguing first round match up seeing the two top tag teams in the world of nXt facing one another.

Undisputed Era won this tournament in 2018, with Cole and O’Reilly fighting for the faction. Fish was out with an arm injury at that time and could not compete.

The Match

Ranallo and McGuinness were in fine form when discussing Mark Coffey’s in-ring actions, making as many references to coffee as possible. Example: “Coffey is not percolating; he’s on full brew.”

Undisputed Era get a big assist by Adam Cole, kicking Wolfgang when he was hanging over the ropes, while the referee was attending to Bobby Fish’s distraction. A few moments later, the high/low combination by Fish and O’Reilly gave them the victory.

Cool Points Clincher

One cool point for Undisputed Era who used the numbers game to win yet again. According to the brackets, they will face the winner of Grizzled Young Veterans versus Kushida and his mystery partner.


McGuinness’ line of the night: “He’s the kind of guy who always wants to fight at last call; trouble is, he owns the bar,” when referring to Wolfgang’s fighting style.

How did you like this week’s show? Finally, tag team wrestling is back, with two Dusty Classic tag matches and a multi-woman tag match. That #1 Contender’s match for the North American title wasn’t too bad, either. What were your cool points? Join the conversation below or on Twitter.

A reminder that nXt UK TakeOver Blackpool II is this Sunday. There could be some surprises from the nXt roster there since Worlds Collide is coming up at the end of the month. Stay tuned!

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- December 18, 2019 (Ripley vs. Baszler, Cole vs. Balor)

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