COOL POINTS: Return of the Victors (Team nXt and the Undisputed Era)
Welcome to the Cool Points.
Boy, oh boy, nXt had a weekend to remember. Double WarGames matches, the return of Finn Balor to TakeOver, Baszler defeating Becky Lynch & Bayley, and a convincing brand performance at Survivor Series rank amongst the highlights that we’ll look back on for years to come. So, how will nXt turn back to its regular divisional feuds? Read on for the details on tonight’s show.
nXt Men’s Division
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Finn Balor
2019 Records: Ciampa 2-0 in singles, 2-0 in multi-man tag matches
Balor 1-0 (nXt), 14-10 (RAW + SD Live) in singles matches
After the party atmosphere and song to open the show, the Undisputed Era walked out and reminded everyone that nXt wouldn’t have won without them. They’re nXt, not the fans, not the wrestlers standing in and around the ring.
As nXt Champion Adam Cole and Tommaso Ciampa bantered back and forth, ending with Ciampa saying he won the war and now Daddy was coming for “Goldie” (the title), Finn Balor arrived on stage. He said he was standing in the way of the title. GM Regal confirmed the wishes of the two to wrestle during the opening match.
Neat spot a few minutes in sees Ciampa catapult Balor from the floor into the ring post. Ciampa sits on the apron and soaks in some cheers from the crowd.
Balor builds up some momentum with a run around the ring and a dropkick on Ciampa into the ringside barrier. He goes for 1916 on the ramp, but Ciampa drops Balor head-first on the ramp instead.
Adam Cole interferes with the match, kicking Ciampa at ringside while the referee is distracted with removing his title from the ring. Balor hits 1916 for the pin and win.
Post-match, Balor dropped Cole too, so we seem set for a triple threat match. With the big matches nXt is booking each week, I think we may see this as a TV main event in December. With Christmas and New Year’s Day on a Wednesday, it could work as a holiday show main, but if they’re worried about ratings on those days, we could see it in a few weeks’ time.
Even if they wrestle before the next TakeOver, shenanigans could ensue to prolong the feud until February. Gotta make some money off this 3-way feud.
Cool Points Clincher
2 cool points for Balor. He’s a bonafide star and playing an engaging role as a favoured heel. Fans are so happy he’s in nXt, even though he is clearly opposing whomever he pleases.
1 point for Ciampa. Good to see him wrestling consistently again, getting some matches under his belt, preparing him for a proper singles feud.
nXt Cruiserweight Division
Lio Rush (c) vs. Akira Tozawa
2019 Records: Rush 8-3 in singles (Raw, 205 & nXt combined)
Tozawa 8-15 in singles (Raw and 205 combined)
Tozawa is visiting nXt from RAW tonight as the inter-brand fighting for the Cruiserweight Championship continues.
Tozawa fought Rush in a triple threat title match on the Survivor Series Kickoff show. Earlier this year, he has wrestled for the championship but was unable to win it on two separate occasions. He’s a find interim contender until Angel Garza returns to the mix.
Fine countering from Tozawa on Rush before the commercial break.
Quick counters and strikes continue until they both jump in the air and kick one another, falling to the mat. This prompts “this is awesome” chants from the crowd.
Big moment: Rush makes it back to the ring just in time, following a nasty German suplex from the apron to the ringside mat by Tozawa.
Rush recovers and equalizes things when he raises his knees during a top rope senton attempt by Tozawa. Final Hour x2. Rush wins.
Rush vs. Garza is still a thing, so we can expect to see that reprised in the coming weeks.
Tozawa was just visiting from Raw; he even had a match last night against Andrade. He’ll go back there, or on 205 Live, and continue wrestling until another title opportunity arises.
Cool Points Clincher
1 cool point for Rush’s tenacity and timeliness.
1 cool point for Tozawa’s intensity because it almost got him the win. He should have kept up with the German suplexes to get the win.
Other Men’s Division Results
Monsoor def. Shane Thorne
1 cool point for Monsoor. He gets the hype for winning the Super Showdown battle royal from the commentary crew. 3-4 minutes at the most.
nXt Women’s Division
Candice LeRae vs. Dakota Kai
2019 Records: LeRae 1-3 in singles, 2-0 in multi-woman tag matches
Kai 1-3 in singles, 1-1 in tag matches
Dakota Kai had a big return alongside her friend, Tegan Nox. They received a Women’s Tag Team title shot but lost. Kai lost again to her long-time rival, Shayna Baszler and, subsequently, did not get an invite to Team Ripley for WarGames.
When Mia Yim was attacked before TakeOver on Saturday night, Ripley turned to Kai for help. Kai responded with a yes, but when she was about to enter the match, she beat up Nox in the holding cage. She never entered WarGames.
LeRae, her teammate and Nox’s “big sister” is fighting to right the wrongs Kai committed on Saturday. GRUDGE MATCH.
Kai arrives to the match with Nox’s knee brace. That’s low.
Highlights include: LeRae’s got tons of energy for this match. She channels that, launching herself head-first to Kai on the floor. Kai responds by slamming LeRae’s face into the ring post and then the apron.
After the commercial break, impressive hurricanrana counter into a powerbomb by Kai.
Tornado DDT by LeRae for a 2 count.
Pace ramps up now with lots of big moves being attempted by both women. Kai-ropractor for a close 2 count. LeRae switches strategies and applies the GargaNo escape on Kai, but Kai doesn’t give up. Instead, she grabs the knee brace and nails LeRae with it, disqualifying herself in the process.
Post-match, Rhea Ripley comes to LeRae’s defence, so Kai’s made plenty of enemies in the last 72 hours. She has potential feuds waiting with LeRae, Ripley and Nox, all of which will keep her away from the championship scene. Baszler won’t give Kai the time of day, having beaten her many times now.
LeRae had her chance against Baszler and, aside from a feud with Kai, she would be ready for a fresh feud.
Cool Points Clincher
2 cool points for Kai. It wasn’t working out for her to keep being a nice girl. Too many other women were leaping over her in the division, beating her on the way. With this newfound aggressiveness and disregard for the rules, she may not improve in the W-L record, but she will definitely get herself some TV time.
Other Women’s Division Results
Xia Li def. Vanessa Borne
Li broke Aliyah’s nose recently, so Borne challenged her this week.
Li dominates this match, hitting a powerbomb and a kick to the head to win, while the Horsewomen watched.
Li gets her second win in two weeks. That’s good TV time in a loaded division. Unfortunately, she receives quite the beatdown from Baszler and the Horsewomen. Could lead to some feuding in the coming weeks. That’d be a big deal for Li.
Tag Team Division
Undisputed Era (c) vs. Keith Lee & Dominik Dijakovic
2019 Records: Undisputed Era 4-4, 1-1 in multi-man tag matches
Lee/Dijakovic 1-0 in multi-man tag matches
A true sign of the state of the nXt Tag Division, Lee & Dijakovic are gifted a title opportunity by GM William Regal without ever having wrestled as a proper tag team. No #1 contender’s match needed.
Mind you, Lee & Dijakovic have been feuding quite a bit with the Era over the past month, and they did just wrestle a heated battle in WarGames. So, this isn’t a feud out of nowhere. There’s a brief history and a desire from the nXt roster to see the Undisputed Era dethroned. The gold is at stake tonight.
Early in the match, Lee throws Fish to the outside and O’Reilly can’t catch him, so Fish’s knee bashes into O’Reilly’s. He can’t continue, so Roderick Strong fills in for him.
Some minutes later, Dijakovic suplexes Lee on to O’Reilly & Strong, which prompts huge cheers and “nXt” chants from the Full Sail faithful.
Lee barrels and charges with splashes and right hands in opposite corners on O’Reilly & Strong. He is fired right up!
Dijakovic goes for the powerbomb on O’Reilly, but O’Reilly barely hangs on and applies the triangle submission. Dijakovic struggles with that before being approached by Strong. He one-hand choke slams Strong while powerbombing O’Reilly! Big moment, but only a 2 count.
Despite the bad leg, Dijakovic double chokeslams them, but can’t convert on the pin. Reason is Lee sends Adam Cole flying through the air into the front row seats, when he tried to interfere. This proved to be a distraction to keep Lee out of the ring for a double-team move and pinfall.
Lee & Dijakovic would be a menacing and dangerous team. Even if they kept an alliance and teamed up against around the Dusty Classic, that’d be a great use of past history. I don’t think they’ll be a steady part of the division though.
Undisputed Era remain champions in a division with few contenders. If nXt wants to start building up the division again, they’ll need to dedicate promo and match time to other teams.
Cool Points Clincher
2 cool points for both teams. Fantastic opening match to the night. One of the better TV tag matches of the year and that’s coming off the heels of the Undisputed Era vs. The Revival last week. The Era really are the ironmen of the brand right now, delivering great matches left, right and center.
Thanks for reading tonight’s column. Pretty big post-TakeOver show and first of the live show era. The surprise Balor/Ciampa match was a bonus for people watching live, but would it have drawn more attention if they had held on for TakeOver. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had some exciting TV matches now that nXt has gone live. If they’re not careful, though, some of these feuds that used to be reserved for TakeOver will see wrestlers fight multiple times before they get to TakeOver. Then, they become like every other brand.
How’d you like this week’s show and the fallout from WarGames? What were your cool points? Join the conversation below or on Twitter, and we’ll see you next week!
Previous editions: nXt Cool Points Rankings: Pre-TakeOver WarGames