COOL POINTS: Brand Warfare & Picking Teams For WarGames
Welcome to the Cool Points.
We are only 3 weeks out from TakeOver: WarGames. Teams are being made, wrestlers are trying to get seen and placed on the card, and, simultaneously, the entire nXt brand is at war with Raw and Smackdown. Lots of moving parts. Let’s get to it.
nXt Men’s Division
Pete Dunne vs. Damian Priest
2019 Records: Priest 6-0
Dunne 4-2 on nXt TV & TakeOvers
Last Meeting: Oct 16 main event, Priest def. Dunne
On October 2nd, the undefeated Damian Priest attacked Pete Dunne after his win over Danny Burch. Two weeks later, they were main eventing nXt TV, Priest claiming victory over the Bruiserweight. Dunne is not willing to let that go so quickly.
Dunne gets a great run going after the commercial break, hitting Priest with palm strikes, an enziguri and a missile dropkick. Shortly thereafter, he hits Priest with a sitdown powerbomb for a 2 count. He can’t hit that Bitter End though. Priest keeps stopping it.
Priest hits the Crucifix Bomb for a 2 count. Dunne kicks out! Dunne resorts to a kick to the groin, when the referee’s turned, and then an armbar to submit Priest. Their series is tied at 1.
Post-match, Killian Dain attacks both men, leaving them dazed
TRIPLE THREAT. TRIPLE THREAT.
Cool Points Clincher
2 cool points for both men. Dunne dominates quite a bit of this match, which was a pleasant surprise, given his undefeated opponent’s track record and physical superiority. Priest had a good outing until that low blow, so there’s no shame in tapping out when you’re weakened like that.
Other Men’s Division Results
Angel Garza def. Tony Nese to become the nXt Cruiserweight #1 Contender. Garza’s flying headscissors cues an interesting exchange where he demands Nese to chop him over and over. Later, on the outside, Nese hits him with a DDT, then rolls him in for a 450 splash, but can’t get the win. Garza wins with the Wing Clipper.
1 cool point for Garza. He’s progressively gained fan support since he debuted in the Breakout Tournament. Seems to me like this opportunity was a reward for those good showings, and he made good on it.
Dominik Dijakovic def. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott. Despite Scott’s best attempts to stay on the offensive with moves like the House Call, DDT, and a double stomp to hurt Dijakovic on the apron, the big man won’t stay down. Feast Your Eyes finishes it off for him, minutes after he got nasty with Scott, talking trash and laughing in his face.
2 cool points for Dijakovic who benefits from facing a smaller opponent where he can really show off his power game. 1 cool point for Scott because he did well to keep up with Dijakovic. He poured on the offense but it just wasn’t enough.
nXt Women’s Championship Scene
Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Dakota Kai
2019 Records: Baszler 9-0 in singles
Kai 1-1 in singles
Last Meeting: Dec 5, 2018, Baszler def. Kai, non-title
Shayna Baszler already had her way with Dakota Kai, pushing her around in the nXt Women’s locker room and ultimately defeating her in December. Since Kai has returned from injury and a Women’s WarGames looms on the horizon, she wants to get a feature role in that match. She wants to take out her foe for good.
Baszler works over Kai’s braced knee in this match. Kai kicks out of a submission after the commercial break and tries to make a comeback. Kai hits a few key strikes, like a headbutt and roundhouse kick. Baszler responds with a kick to the head. She blocks the GTK. Knee to the face! Kai kicks out.
After one Kirifuda clutch attempt, Kai escapes but she can’t beat the second one.
Post-match, the Horsewomen, with Belair and Shirai attack Kai. Rhea Ripley, Nox, LeRae and Mia
Expect a moment in the WarGames match where Kai one-ups Baszler. Also, Yim could become the 4th wrestler on Ripley’s team. She’d be a logical choice.
Cool Points Clincher
1 cool point for Baszler who didn’t need to wrestle and could have waited until TakeOver: WarGames. Instead, she re-asserts herself to Kai and provides momentum for her team, a few weeks out from their historic match.
Also, in a backstage segment later, Yim is confirmed as the 4th member by captain Rhea Ripley, replacing Dakota Kai. Interesting move, and Kai is none too pleased with Ripley.
Other Women’s Division Results
Taynara Conti def. Santana Garrett
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.
That’s Conti’s first victory on nXt TV. Not sure it’ll be enough to get a WarGames spot but good on her anyways.
nXt vs. RAW vs. Smackdown
Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee & Matt Riddle vs. The O.C.
nXt wrestlers, led by Triple H, have gotten the best of both Smackdown and Raw superstars over the past week. They invaded both shows, securing matches and winning against top players in the men’s and women’s divisions. This included a giant brawl on Monday night that saw The O.C. confront the Undisputed Era amongst others. At the end of the night, another brawl ensued and, as cameras went off the air, Keith Lee had just done a somersault senton into the melee outside the ring.
Minutes before tonight’s episode began, The O.C. attacked the Undisputed Era in the Full Sail parking lot. They declared they were taking over nXt. Ciampa, Lee and Riddle took issue with this and challenged them to a 6-man tag.
Lots of big moments here and plenty of high-flying. Styles hits a dropkick on Ciampa and a Phenomenal Forearm on Riddle to start things out. Hot tag to Riddle after a commercial break. He lets loose on everybody, including a Final Flash and Bro 2 Sleep on Styles. Gallows breaks the pinfall.
Lee pounces on Styles, knocking the referee down. He clotheslines Anderson so hard they both tumble to the floor. Ciampa’s about to take out Styles when he’s interrupted by Finn Balor’s music.
Balor hits Riddle with 1916 on the floor. He and Styles raise “too sweet” hands. This match will not provide a winner though because nXt Champion Adam Cole superkicks Styles, and hits Ciampa with a Last Shot.
GM Regal announces a Men’s WarGames match between the Undisputed Era and Ciampa, Lee & Riddle, along with a mystery partner. Balor would fit that role but might be hard to trust, due to his conflict with Ciampa.
Otherwise, the war continues between nXt and Raw. Not much is resolved due to the Balor interruption. It’s good to see him acknowledging the O.C., which lines up well with Bullet Club allegiances.
Cool Points Clincher
2 cool points for both teams. Everyone has time to shine, especially Styles and Lee. If left unchecked, Styles may well have gotten the win for his team. 1 cool point for Adam Cole who ensured the show ended with people thinking about the nXt Champion.
Ranallo’s Line of the Night: “Pete Dunne just scrambled Priest’s eggs”, as a way to describe the low blow. Novel and entertaining!
Thanks for reading tonight’s column. While we’re still waiting on the card to fill up, both WarGames matches are locked in. Only a few slots on those teams have yet to be decided. The O.C. were the lone crew to invade today, but it was enough to get the crowd engaged, and made for a great main event. We’ll likely see more nXt stars on Smackdown Friday.
How’d you like this week’s show? What were your cool points? Join the conversation below or on Twitter, and we’ll see you next week!