COOL POINTS: June 17 & 24, 2020
(Lee vs. Gargano vs. Balor)
Welcome to the Cool Points.
Switching things up for this week to allow for review of the past two nXt shows. All the major storylines are below and organized by division, just like the periodical rankings are. The next TakeOver hasn’t been announced, but nXt is ensuring fans stay tuned this summer by booking a big nXt Championship matchup in two weeks’ time. Read on for news about that and the other titles and feuds.
nXt Women’s Championship Picture
Io Shirai is the Women’s Champion.
No storyline or feud progression these past two weeks, but a #1 Contender’s Fatal Four-Way is planned for next week between Mia Yim, Tegan Nox, Candice LeRae and Dakota Kai.
nXt Women’s Division
Aliyah def. Xia Li, June 17th
1 cool point for Aliyah having compassion on Stone, in his dishevelled state, and basically dragging him to ringside to manage her match.
1 cool point for Li whose energy and powerful kicks simply couldn’t be matched by Aliyah. She ought to have won.
0 cool points for the ridiculous ending to the match, which saw Aliyah pinning Li because Stone puked on her. Even if that was a surprise to Li, she’s a good enough wrestler not to let that keep her down for a 6 count. Yes, Aliyah needed a second attempt to get the 3 count.
Rhea Ripley def. Aliyah w. Robert Stone, June 24th
Ripley getting some major height on a dropkick that sends Aliyah to the outside. Stone tries to advise Aliyah there. Aliyah defends a little but her strength is no match for Ripley, when she’s trying to initiate a whip to the ropes or to lift her off her feet.
Stone throws his shoe at Ripley when she has Aliyah all bent up in the Prism Trap. Ripley chases Stone around and then through the ring.
Riptide for the win.
1 cool point for Ripley. Aliyah did have a few moments where the commentary was impressed, but Stone’s interference doesn’t earn her the win this time. Good to see Ripley get a little time in the ring. A light diversion from the title picture for her.
Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez vs. Kayden Carter & Katy Catanzaro, June 24th
Carter took most of the reps in this one and showed off her offense, especially her running kicks. Catanzaro looked like a kid next to Gonzalez and was powerbombed for her efforts. Then, Kai tapped her out with a nameless choke submission.
1 cool point for Kai and Gonzalez. They’ve got a good team dynamic. Gonzalez is the muscle and Kai can finish with her kicks or submission. Not sure how serious they are as a tag team, but give them a few more months and maybe they could challenge for the Women’s Tag Team Championships.
How Kai does in the #1 Contender’s Fatal Four-Way match next week will provide an idea of what her focus will be for the coming weeks.
nXt Tag Team Division
Imperium (c) vs. Breezango (#1c), June 17th
Liked seeing the willingness of Breeze to launch himself over the ropes while clotheslining Aichner. Paid for it later though, getting slammed into the plexi-glass in the entranceway by Barthel.
Fandango gets the shine in this one. A one man wrecking crew with a beauty power slam on Aichner, sweet DDT, and then flying to the outside to take Imperium down to the ground.
Beauty Faux-Pas by Fandango, swinging over the top rope with a sharp elbow drop on Barthel while he was propped up by Breeze’s knees.
On both of Fandango’s signature moves, he gets his pinfall attempt broken up by the other Imperium partner. Having a helluva night.
Indus Sher seemed poised to interfere until Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch rip down the entrance way and fight them.
Aichner sneakily gets the win with a DDT after Fandango got caught up trying to roll up Barthel. Aichner was the legal man.
2 cool points for Breezango. They were all business tonight and that attitude and work ethic just about won them the nXt Tag Team Championships, multiple times in the match! Fandango, especially, looked really good in the ring.
1 cool point for Imperium. Aichner seized the moment by taking advantage of Fandango’s confusion about who was the active man. Both guys bailed each other out at key moments in the match, breaking up pinfalls, but they were on the defensive in the important moments. That won’t sustain a title reign.
Seeing the post-match chaos, we could be setting up for Indus Sher vs. Lorcan/Burch. As for Breezango, if they’re fortunate, they’ll get another chance at the titles soon.
nXt Men’s Division
Damian Priest def. Cameron Grimes, June 24th
Grimes gets 2 cool points for the win. He had the gall to attack Priest before the show and then get in the ring and mock Priest for his own misfortune. Hilarious stuff.
1 cool point for Priest. Tenaciously, he attempted to fight despite his weakened physical condition. Some credit for that.
It seems this feud is just getting started. Decent mid-card feud here. Grimes had that mini-feud with Balor, but he’s not in line for a title shot anytime soon, so this holds him over now.
Priest just had a North American title shot not long ago. He’s not had the same success he did upon his debut, but he did benefit from a strong TakeOver match against Balor. It’d be good to see these two wrestle their way to a payoff match at the next TakeOver.
Karrion Kross w. Scarlett def. Bronson Reed, June 24th
1 cool point for Kross. All power moves against the big man. Reed had nothing left in him even before Kross forced him to submit. Methodical approach in the ring was noted by Ranallo, but this guy is at another level of concentration. He didn’t even register a reaction to any of Reed’s brief offense.
The build continues for this guy.
Roderick Strong Fights His Fears, May 20th-June 24th
Over the past month, Roderick Strong has seen Dexter Lumis more times than he’d like to admit and it’s become obvious to viewers that he’s afraid of the stalker. Strong beat him on May 20th, but was choked out by Lumis post-match. Since then, he’s shown up at various Undisputed Era promos, watching the group with cold, unblinking eyes. Lumis even went to the length of kidnapping him and Bobby Fish during the backlot brawl at TakeOver: In Your House.
This week, Strong went to therapy to help him overcome his fear of Lumis. His friend, Kyle O’Reilly took off his disguise and revealed himself to be the therapist. Strong successfully got into the trunk of a car and made it out ok. One fear down, one to go.
Lumis def. Strong w. Fish by countout
1 cool point for Strong. He was leaping in and out and around the ring, being counselled by his buddy to face his fears head-on. Of course, Strong couldn’t do that and even ran himself into the plexi-glass barricade before leaving the arena entirely.
1 cool point for Lumis for creepily keeping his cool. His decision to attack Fish, after Strong left, will likely cause another Undisputed Era member to have nightmares this week. Will it all lead to a title shot against Cole? Or can the other Era members handle this on their own? This could extend through to the next TakeOver.
North American Championship Picture
Keith Lee (c) vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Finn Balor, June 24th
Lee with the size advantage begins the match alternating between beating down Gargano and Balor.
Both guys independently try to put a sleeper hold on Lee by jumping on his back. Lee is weakened enough to go to a knee as Balor works him for a second time. Eventually, he drives Balor to the turnbuckle to break the hold.
Double throw suplex by Lee! Ranallo calls him a moment maker after that one. Phoenix says “Unbelievable”.
Outside the ring, slingblade by Balor on Lee. Balor and Gargano work together to throw Lee shoulder-first into the steel steps. They leave him to fight one another in the ring.
Gargano with the slingshot spear on Balor for a 2 count.
WHOA! Lee wipes out everyone with a slingshot splash from the apron.
Gargano hits a tope on Lee, but when he goes for #2, Balor catches him. Both of them are speared by Lee.
Superkicks and running dropkicks aren’t enough to bring Lee down. He hits Balor with the Big Bang Catastrophe to WIN!
2 cool points for Lee. He retains the title against two of nXt’s best wrestlers in its short history. He endured plenty of offense, including multiple sleeper attempts from Balor and Gargano.
2 cool points for Balor who wrestled a very opportunistic match. Both inside and outside the ring, Balor made the most of his moments and even hit a Coup de Grace on Gargano, while Gargano was fighting to keep his submission manoeuvre on Lee.
1 cool point for Gargano. While he wasn’t very offensive in this match, he was there in the key moments, struggling for a victory. By choosing more of a submission approach, though, he left himself vulnerable for attack, and that’s what happened over and over again, working up to the loss.
nXt Championship Picture
Adam Cole’s Challengers, June 17th-24th
Been calling for a Champion vs. Champion match for the last few weeks, and nXt GM William Regal announces that we’ll see it on the July 8th nXt. Cole doesn’t care who wins. He doesn’t seem a difference in the outcome and he
will continue to wear the nXt Championship around his waist.
Well, bask in his glory because Keith Lee is the guy. He’s the guy I’ve been praising for weeks. He’s the next, most logical guy for the fans to support, as they yearn to see Cole finally lose his spot atop the nXt ladder.
Here’s hoping this is a gateway match into a series that will determine the top champion in nXt today.
nXt Cruiserweight Championship Picture
Santos Escobar def. Jake Atlas, June 24th
Last week, Escobar, formerly El Hija del Fantasma, shared his plan for domination in nXt. Joining him were his fellow faction members, Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde.
Drake Maverick, his opponent, interrupted the plan, which led to an in-ring brawl. Maverick was quickly outnumbered by his peers and, minutes later, he received quite the beatdown.
This is Escobar’s first match since he took off his mask, but it is not a title defense.
1 cool point for Escobar. That Phantom Driver’s a great finish. The outcome of the match was never in doubt. Atlas’ great moonsault on Mendoza and Wilde on the outside notwithstanding, Atlas just couldn’t string together enough offense to overcome the champion.
Well, how’d you like the last two weeks in nXt? Are things progressing in a suitable direction, crowd-wise and story-wise? Are all the feuds right now going to tide wrestlers over until August, or are they mini-feuds that will be wrapped up well in advance of the next TakeOver? Share your responses to these questions and more of your opinions below!
Lots of great takes and content in the Columns Forum right now, and plenty of wrestling not being covered. If you enjoy ROH, NJPW, Impact, or NWA, try your hand at a column and not only will you get good feedback from the community, you’ll get reads for taking on a unique topic.
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