nXt Cool Points: May 6-20, 2020 (The Best Of Playlist)

nXt Cool Points: May 6-20, 2020 (The Best Of Playlist)

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COOL POINTS: May 6-20, 2020



Welcome to the Cool Points. The TakeOver: Tampa feuds continue to unfold and resolve weeks after the date for which they were originally intended. As I wrote about in my TakeOver: Performance Center column, it is a worthy exercise to simply take the best and most interesting feuds and make your own nXt playlist.
Consider this column one with two purposes: to shine a light on the matches worth watching and to look ahead at what feuds should continue towards the recently announced TakeOver: In Your House, scheduled for June 7.


nXt Championship Picture

Adam Cole (c) vs. Velveteen Dream, May 6 Main Event

The Set-Up

A Video recap from Apr 8 Adam Cole’s promo singles out Velveteen Dream as not being worthy of a title match, even though Dream beat Bobby Fish the week earlier.
On April 22, with a Dream/Balor match on hold due to Balor being attacked before the show, commentators would speculate about who took Balor out. Velveteen Dream calls out Balor for standing him up.

nXt Champion Adam Cole interrupts Dream and says this Dream/Balor match is supposed to be a #1 contender’s match. With Balor absent, Cole knows what’s happening here. Dream’s trying to sneak his way into a title match with Cole.
Bobby Fish & Roderick Strong attack Dream from behind. Cole joins them in the ring. nXt North American Champion Keith Lee rushes down the ramp to help out Dream and clears the Undisputed Era from the ring.

Later that night, Dream will be joined by Dexter Lumis and they’ll get a tag win over Cole and Strong.

Match Highlights

2 sharp superkicks off the top by Cole. Nice counter with a spinebuster slam by Dream for a 2 count.
DreamDT for another near fall!
Plenty of offense from Dream, including a superkick of his own for a 2 count. Cole is just weathering the storm here until Dream goes to the top rope. Cole with a backstabber after evading Dream’s splash attempt.
Cole almost wins from the Yugishiroshi and both men take their time to catch their breath.

Strong & Fish walk down the ramp to get involved, but Lumis creeps out from under the ring and stares them down. They fight on the outside, knocking into the referee, as Dream flies from the top turnbuckle with the Purple Rainmaker. No referee to count to 3!
Dream knocks out everyone on the outside with his top rope hammer.
Last Shot from Cole on Dream in the ring to retain!

Cool Points Clincher

2 cool points for Cole who is the longest reigning nXt Champion. Again, he gets some assistance from the Undisputed Era. They force Dream to exert additional energy to fight them off, allowing Cole to capitalize on Dream’s distracted focus.

Dream ought to have gotten the proper TakeOver match and a little more promo time to build himself up in this feud, but maybe he’ll get a second chance at TakeOver: In Your House.

Roderick Strong vs. Dexter Lumis, May 20

Cool Points Clincher

1 cool point for Lumis. It’s worth a watch if you haven’t seen how creepy he is. Lumis is also working a bit of a strong style and has a nasty submission finisher, which he used to choke out Strong after losing the match via rollup. He petted Strong’s head as Strong passed out.

nXt Men’s Division

Johnny Gargano vs. Dominik Dijakovic, May 6

The Set-Up

Dijakovic called out Gargano in a promo on the April 29th show. Gargano did not back down from the challenge.

Match Highlights

Dijakovic with the 360 toss of Gargano on to the mat. Chucked him like a wet blanket
Gargano fakes an ankle injury and starts to take control.
Throw suplex for 2 count by Dijakovic.
Candice LeRae finds her way to the ring to cheer on her husband.
Cyclone kick by Dijakovic for a close 2 count. Big resilience from Gargano but not much offense.
Gargano avoids Feast Your Eyes and hits a superkick for a 2 count.
Gargano tries to untie the turnbuckle and the referee catches him. Choke slam by Dijakovic but he can’t put Gargano away.
Whoa! Dijakovic backflips off the top turnbuckle and then superkicks Gargano.
One Final Beat (slingshot DDT over the top rope) for Gargano’s victory.

Gargano & LeRae at the dinner table, May 13

A unique promo at the Gargano’s dinner table with Candice and Johnny intimidating the nXt roster with words about Dijakovic and Yim and Lee. Interesting visual effects used when each person turned to the camera to break the 4th wall. Shows their newfound embrace of anger, bitterness, and pride.

Cool Points Clincher

2 cool points for Gargano’s transition from Johnny Wrestling to embracing the heart of darkness continues to unfold. A feud with Dijakovic could garner a TakeOver match, but I’m not sure there’s enough substance behind it.

He has seemingly brought LeRae with him and, for her, it’s not a role that comes naturally to her. She was in a good position to break out as a top fan favourite, along with Tegan Nox and Rhea Ripley. Now, it’s tough to say where she’s going.

Matt Riddle vs. Timothy Thatcher, May 13

Match Highlights

Minor beef. Riddle kicks Thatcher in the face. Thatcher falls out of the ring for a quick commercial break. On the return, suddenly, Thatcher is in control and they show him hurting Riddle’s foot and suplexing him. Guess it wasn’t much of a kick then.

Thatcher carries much of the match until Riddle manages to lift Thatcher up for a one arm powerbomb, after being stuck in a submission for a few minutes.

Ill-fated top rope moonsault attempt. Why is this such a feature of the good guys in wrestling? No business going up there, Riddle.

Ankle lock by Thatcher on Riddle. But it’s Riddle getting the win for rolling Thatcher up tight for the 3 count. Thatcher won’t let go of his armbar and the show ends.

Cool Points Clincher

This was an odd way to get to this feud. Thatcher gained the most by being chosen by Riddle to wrestle on Dunne’s behalf. That’s an unusual option to be allowed by GM Regal. Dunne loses his tag title without having the chance to defend it. Expect him to follow up with Riddle later.

So, 1 cool point for Thatcher because he may not have gotten the win, but he put Riddle in his place with a nasty submission. There’s a follow-up match, to be decided by submission or TKO, on May 27.


nXt Women’s Championship

Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Io Shirai, May 6

The Set-Up

Once Rhea Ripley, nXt Women’s Champion was challenged by Charlotte Flair for a cross-brand Wrestlemania matchup, it was clear that a new #1 contender would be needed. nXt did what it does well and began the process early, holding qualifying matches in March for a #1 Contender’s Ladder Match to be held at TakeOver.

Competing in the six woman match, in order of qualification, were: nXt rookie Chelsea Green (Robert Stone Brand), Mia Yim, Tegan Nox, Io Shirai, Candice LeRae, and Dakota Kai (winner of the Second Chance Gauntlet).

Shirai won and here we are.

Match Highlights

Some impressive acrobatics shown off to open with Shirai tumbling with backflips and what not.
Flair traps Shirai between her legs and smashes her face a few times, a move she used to do often in nXt days
Beauty frankensteiner by Shirai on Flair from the top rope
Flair misses her moonsault and Shirai follows up with a Tiger Feint Kick. Double knees into the corner for a 2 count.

Shirai misses HER moonsault with Flair bringing her knees up to defend herself on the mat.
So she goes for another one…this one to the outside, but Flair’s already moved and she has a kendo stick. Flair begins beating up on Shirai until Rhea Ripley rushes down the ramp to beat up on Flair.

Post-match, those two get in a fight backstage which needs to be broken up by nXt officials and trainers.

Cool Points Clincher

1 cool point for Shirai for hanging tough against Flair. She was threatening enough to Flair that the champ felt she needed a kendo stick to beat her up.

Interesting choice by Flair to DQ herself. Then, Shirai is pissed about Ripley coming to help out. This will likely lead to a triple threat at TakeOver: In Your House. With the possibility of Flair not being pinned to lose the title, it would be an excellent opportunity for Shirai to win and set up the chase for Ripley this summer.

nXt Women’s Division

Kayden Carter vs. Aliyah, May 13


Robert Stone does some scouting during this one. Aliyah lets her attention drift to Stone, while on the top rope, and that costs her the match. She doesn’t execute her move and Carter makes her tap out. Aliyah pleads with Stone, but Stone isn’t interested.

Cool Points Clincher

Good win for Carter, but Aliyah is the one with the angle. This was somewhat a throwaway match but I appreciated the minor character development in Stone’s attempts to build the women’s roster of his brand.

Io Shirai vs. Rhea Ripley, May 20

Cool Points Clincher

2 cool points for Shirai and her relentless in-ring work ethic. She’s always got tons of energy and aggression. She executed some notable high-risk manoeuvres, including the springboard dropkick out of the ring on Ripley and a beauty head-scissor takeover, which sent Ripley into Flair, watching from ringside.

1 cool point for Ripley. Her power game was on point, stifling a crossface submission attempt and slamming Shirai into the corner. She also got a beauty superplex on Shirai and almost won.

Both women fell prey to the Queen and nXt Women’s Champ though, and that’s something they’ll want to rectify. Flair needs a real threat and both of these women ought to be able to provide that.


nXt Tag Team Championship Match

Broserweights (c) vs. Imperium, May 13

The Set-Up

It’s Broserweights, version 2, against the main tag team of the Imperium faction, Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel. They promised that 2020 would be their time to reign as champs.

They attacked Riddle & Thatcher, on April 29th, following their Bro Show promo. Along with being one of the few tag teams in the division at present, that provided GM Regal enough reason to book this title match for tonight.

Pete Dunne remains in England, unable to compete on nXt in Florida, due to travel restrictions. He and Riddle have had an impressive in-ring chemistry over the past few months. Thatcher and Riddle are not quite there yet, and that may hinder them in this match.

Match Highlights

Aichner catches Riddle across his shoulders after a rope whip, but Riddle transitions it into a sleeper. Aichner judo throws Riddle, but Riddle counters with a gutwrench. Tag to Barthel. Another gutwrench suplex to him.

Barthel & Aichner using some effective double team work, keeping Riddle crawling on the mat to escape.
Monkey flip by Riddle on Barthel, but it inadvertently knocks Thatcher off the apron. Thatcher’s pissed about that and he tells Riddle off. He walks up the ramp after that accident.

Meanwhile, Aichner & Barthel look on, stunned with their good fortune.
European bomb doesn’t go the first time, but Aichner doubles down to grab Riddle, and the second time works for the win. We have new champs!

Cool Points Clincher

2 cool points for Imperium. All business and great teamwork by Aichner & Barthel. These guys have come a long way from their early days, a few years ago, of being fodder for other teams. They have found a place to shine in this Imperium faction, and, to be fair, are benefitting from the lack of tag development in nXt.

1 cool point for Riddle. He tried to persevere, but once Thatcher walked off, it was only a matter of time before he lost.


Interim nXt Cruiserweight Championship Tournament

Jack Gallagher vs. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, May 13

Nese attacks Scott pre-match. Gallagher tries to seize the moment there but after his flying front foot kick, Scott gets his leg on the rope to break the pin.

As the match proceeds, Scott gains momentum until he runs into a Gallagher submission. Slows him but doesn’t stop him. Scott picks up Gallagher, drops him and receives a tornado punch to the jaw. Gallagher wins after all. Big win, bringing him to 1-2 and Scott to 1-2. Both are eliminated.

Cool Points Clincher

1 cool point for both men. Even though neither one will advance in the tournament, I enjoyed watching these two fight. Could see a decent feud materialize between them and Nese, who had the worst record of the tournament, not winning a single match.

IN CLOSING

Yes, yes, yes, there’s one more show in May. Why didn’t that get any attention? I didn’t watch it cause I was finishing this roundup. Also, I suspect last night’s show will set the stage for TakeOver: In Your House and I’ll be writing a preview/review for that next week.

It’s a strange season for nXt and their empty arena, but I caught a few glimpses on social media that suggest they had a bit of an audience last night. So perhaps things are starting to return to normal…a new normal.

Despite the missing audience, nXt stars still shone, feuds still advanced and some wrestlers made the most of their minutes. Join the conversation below or on Twitter and let me know what you liked and didn’t like from the past three weeks. See you next Thursday for the In Your House preview. Peace!

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Related Columns: nXt Cool Points Rankings: TakeOver Covid Edition

Cool Points: nXt TakeOver: Performance Center Review

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