COOL POINTS: Ladders, Blood & Interference
(10 Days Until WarGames)
Welcome to the Cool Points.
A week from Saturday, TakeOver WarGames in Chicago will be here. The card is beginning to form, although I wish it was a little clearer so close to the show. Even after tonight, there are only 3 matches on the card, which will likely have at least one more added by next week’s show. So, read on and see what happened on a night where no tag teams competed.
nXt Men’s Division
Keith Lee vs. Roderick Strong (NAc)
2019 Records: Lee 3-4-2
Strong 4-5, 3-0 as NA champion
Last Meeting: Oct 23 Strong def. Lee, Dijakovic in triple threat match
Finn Balor promo rips at nXt. Trashes Gargano and Riddle.
Riddle attacks him and they brawl in and out of the ring. He gets on the mic, calling out Balor.
Undisputed Era arrive to isolate Riddle. He gets help from Ciampa and Lee.
Standoff at the ring. UEra won’t get in. Nobody’s biting.
Lee challenges Cole. Strong says he’s had the best 2 week stretch out of anyone in WWE and he deserves a night off. So, Strong will fight instead.
This is a non-title match.
Strong connects with a monster superplex on Lee, which brings on the “Mamma Mia” chants from the crowd. Only a 2 count.
Lee can endure a lot of punches from Strong without falling down.
After a giant lariat from Lee, the Undisputed Era walks down to the ring. They’re immediately attacked by Riddle and Ciampa. Balor returns to beat up Riddle at ringside.
Dominik Dijakovic descends upon the ring to minimal fanfare, but he proceeds to destroy the entire Undisputed Era. That brings up the “Feast Your Eyes” chant. He stares down Ciampa and points at himself. He wants in.
Ciampa shakes his hand. After a staredown, Lee does, too.
This is all fueling the hype for the WarGames match. It also provided the platform for Ciampa to find a 3rd to replace Matt Riddle, who will step out to fight against Finn Balor in Balor’s return match.
Cool Points Clincher
2 cool points for this grudge match and non-finish. Strong brought everything he could against Lee, but it was continuously entertaining to see Lee, from time to time, simply shake his head at what Strong was trying to do to hurt him. As though Lee was just playing, he’d smirk or smile and then blast Strong. That’s how it should be in such a size differential like that. I enjoyed the schmozz at the end, too. Great way to build the hype for WarGames.
nXt Cruiserweight Division
Lio Rush (c) vs. Angel Garza (#1c)
2019 Records: Rush 7-3 in singles (Raw, 205 & nXt combined)
Garza: 3-4 (205 & nXt combined)
On October 9th, Lio Rush defeated Drew Gulak after a hiatus of 5 months to become the nXt Cruiserweight Champion. Almost a month later, Angel Garza won a #1 contendership match over Tony Nese. GM Regal booked Rush’s title defense to take place tonight on nXt TV. It’s as straightforward as that.
Garza was a good match for Rush and has amassed plenty of fan support. Even so, he’ll have to get back in line for a title shot. Rush wins and he’ll get a few weeks to prepare for his next opponent. Likely, he won’t have to defend at WarGames, but it’s possible he gets a Survivor Series pre-show match. That’s a natural spot for the title to be defended.
Cool Points Clincher
2 cool points for both men. One of Garza’s is for the ripping off of his pants right in front of Rush’s family at ringside. Cheeky move. His attempt to do a top-rope Wing Clipper was quite a sight to watch, as he fought hard for each step. Couldn’t do it though and Rush’s two frog splashes are enough to retain the championship. Rush showed guts and courage, standing up to Garza’s arrogance, slapping his face a number of times.
Other Men’s Division Results
Isaiah “Swerve” Scott def. Bronson Reed
Highlights: Reed goes for a tombstone piledriver from the top rope, but Scott flips out of it and leaps up for a nasty DDT. He brings Reed’s head down quite a distance there, but Scott can’t take advantage of it.
Reed’s Hangman Driver looks nasty, but Scott kicks out of that pin too. He eventually gets the win, thanks to his persistent kicks to the head of Reed.
1 cool point for Scott who gets his first win on nXt TV. These two Breakout Tournament competitors have probably benefitted the most from a 2 hour nXt show. They have been consistently featured in matches with more established nXt stars and then, tonight, against one another. Good stuff.
nXt Women’s WarGames Scene
Ladder Match- Io Shirai vs. Mia Yim
2019 Records: Shirai 6-5 in singles
Yim 5-5 in singles
Last 2 Meetings: Oct 2 Shirai def. Yim
Sept 18 Both lost in a Fatal-Four Way #1 Contender’s Match
Io Shirai and Mia Yim are certainly rivals, having mixed it up in competition for the #1 contendership to the nXt Women’s Championship over the past year. A month ago, they fought on the proper USA debut, where Shirai took the win. Now, they’re fighting with implications for the first Women’s WarGames match on the line.
Shirai aligned herself with Baszler after Rhea Ripley confronted Shirai on October 16th. Yim helped out Ripley and company last week, bringing a kendo stick to the brawl after the Baszler/Kai match. Shortly thereafter, she was added as the 4th member of Ripley’s team, alongside LeRae and Nox.
Tonight, they fight for their teams to get the WarGames advantage, which will be in a briefcase, suspended over the wrestling ring.
These two were not holding back anything tonight, putting their bodies in harm’s way on multiple occasions as they were thrown or hit into the ladder.
The biggest spot was nXt UK Women’s Champion Kay Lee Ray interfering by pushing Yim, from the top of the ladder into another ladder on the ground. The second was Shirai springboarding into a missile dropkick that pushed the ladder Mia Yim was holding into her own face. That busted her open and added some edge and drama to the match, even though Shirai was forced to stall as referees looked after Yim.
Well, Team Baszler gets the WarGames advantage and its fourth member in the same night. So they’re looking pretty good. With Baszler also fighting at Survivor Series, my question is whether she gets a win this weekend. Bayley attacked Baszler from behind to close out tonight’s show, but no sign of Becky Lynch yet. Does Baszler beat both those champs? If not, a WarGames match would be a safe spot for her team to lose where it wouldn’t be solely her fault.
Yim’s injury shouldn’t prevent her from competing at WarGames. She should be ready to rock in Chicago, helping her team to victory.
Cool Points Clincher
2 cool points for both women and what a great honour to wrestle in one of the few ladder matches nXt has ever had.
Other Women’s Division Results
Xia Li def. Aliyah w. Vanessa Borne
Both wrestlers are vying for a spot on the Women’s WarGames teams. Conti hits a huge overhead belly-to-belly throw, followed by a running knee to Garrett’s face. 2 count. After Garrett builds momentum with a cartwheel handspring back elbow and more strikes, Conti kicks her in the face for the victory.
Aliyah’s injury showed some blood tonight, which looks good on Li for establishing validity to her strike game. Li is on the outside of the top 8 right now and won’t be involved in WarGames. This victory keeps her in the spotlight and could lead to a post-WarGames push.
Tag Team Division
No Matches This Week
Ranallo’s Line of the Night: “Holy Bleep!” after Mia Yim was pushed from the in-ring ladder to a ladder at ringside by Kay Lee Ray.
Thanks for reading tonight’s column. You can expect a proper rankings column for the 3 main divisions of nXt to drop next week, instead of the usual show recap. The cool points for the pre WarGames show will be tweeted out live from 8-1015PM. So, please join me there to watch along and discuss.
As for this week’s show, what were your cool points? Join the conversation below or on Twitter, and we’ll see you next week!