COOL POINTS: North American Triple Threat, Rising Ripley & Returning Demon
Welcome to the Cool Points.
It’s week 4 for the 2-hour nXt show. Things are settling into a new norm and most of the divisions have benefitted from the increased time each week. Still a month out from TakeOver: WarGames, in November, but tonight gave an indication of what we might see in Houston. Let’s get to it.
nXt North American Championship Triple Threat
Roderick Strong (c) vs. Dominik Dijakovic vs. Keith Lee
2019 Records: Strong 3-5, 2-0 as NA champion
Following the attack on Velveteen Dream by the Undisputed Era, nXt General Manager William Regal had to determine who the new #1 contender for the North American Championship would be. He decided that the winner of the fourth match between the super heavyweights Dijakovic and Lee would determine the champion’s opponent. Roderick Strong decided to interfere in that match, causing a no contest and no decisive winner. That’s pretty frustrating. GM Regal thought so too. He booked Strong to face both men in a triple threat.
Strong runs off the ropes and launches himself at Lee…and BOUNCES off Lee to the mat. “Oh! Bask in his glo-ry”.
Dijakovic suplexes Lee over Strong, but it almost looked like Lee’s head hit Strong’s chest…which would kinda be a senton?
Ridiculous moment. Lee powerbombs Dijakovic from the top rope as Strong defied gravity for a few moments, being held by Dijakovic in suplex position…face down before he was actually superplexed. If they insist on going to commercial mid-match, that’s as good a break for commercial as you can get.
Strong hits Lee with running strikes to the head, maybe 6 in a row, before connecting with the Angle Slam for a 2 count.
Dijakovic and Lee execute a helluva double team manoeuvre on Strong to toss him aside. They return to the ring, nodding their heads, to resolve this once and for all.
Choke slam from the top rope by Dijakovic on Lee and Lee still doesn’t give up!
Strong gets the win when he hits Lee with a knee strike to the head, following Lee’s top-rope powerbomb on Dijakovic.
Undisputed Era beat up on Keith Lee until Tommaso Ciampa arrives. Johnny Gargano comes down the ramp next to stand by him. Then, it’s the returning Finn Balor! He stands in the middle of Ciampa and Gargano, and then bicycle kicks the crap out of Gargano!
Cole and company beat up on Ciampa while Balor continues his assault on Gargano. Wow wow wow!
At first, I thought this might become a WarGames 4 on 4, but that’s doubtful now.
It looks like we’ll get Balor/Gargano going into WarGames. Ciampa/Cole for the nXt Championship.
Lee and Dijakovic still have beef, and especially Lee, after getting beaten up by the entire Undisputed Era. Could see Strong vs. Lee for the championship in a few weeks, maybe even at TakeOver: WarGames.
Dijakovic is maybe the odd man out, but he’s established himself as a phenomenal, athletic force. Give the man another feud, fast.
Cool Points Clincher
3 cool points for all the guys and 2 cool points for Balor’s return. That was an exciting TV match, which benefitted from tons of big spots, a sneaky but not underhanded win by Strong and a moment that will be talked about for months to come in Balor attacking Gargano. This is a must-watch match.
Other Men’s Division Results
Matt Riddle def. Cameron Grimes. Great energy from Riddle in this one with his running strikes. In the first half, this one was mostly Riddle on offense and Grimes just trying to survive. Grimes took a lot of punishment, but used it to fuel a second half that was much more competitive. After numerous near falls and counters, and a Grimes sidewinder finisher, Riddle hit the powerbomb, knee strike, and won the match.
For a mid-show match, this was spectacular. Almost on par with Crews vs. Kushida, so I’m giving 3 cool points to Riddle and 2 to Grimes. Grimes even sets up a future feud by mixing it up with Tyler Bate at ringside and getting knocked out for his efforts. Finally, there was a really stupid commercial break during this match, just after Grimes began rushing Riddle. Pro sports doesn’t do this. Go to commercial in between matches.
nXt Cruiserweight Division Results
Angel Garza def. Gentleman Jack Gallagher. Champion Lio Rush was on commentary during this match, scouting out the competition. Great bit with Gallagher ripping Garza’s pants off and then getting dropkicked in the face as Garza shot off the ropes.
Impressive test of strength as Gallagher held Garza at 60 degrees before slowly tipping him up and over for a suplex.
Garza wins with the springboard moonsault. Ranallo had a name for it but I didn’t catch it.
2 cool points for Garza. It was a short match but so many character moments that truly entertained the Full Sail and, likely, the TV audiences. 1 cool point for Gallagher’s suplex moment. These two were well-matched. I’d watch them again, but Garza has his eyes on Rush’s title. We could see a match between them in the next few weeks.
nXt Women’s Championship Scene
Bianca Belair vs. Rhea Ripley
2019 Records: Belair 6-5, 2 no contests
Ripley 6-4 in singles, including nXt UK
Two weeks ago, Rhea Ripley called out Shayna Baszler, hoping to challenge her for the Women’s Championship. Later, in the show, Bianca Belair responded, after defeating Dakota Kai. Belair said Ripley would have to go through her first to get to Baszler. So, here we are.
These two women matched up, pound for pound, trying to outmuscle the other in multiple grapples to start the match. I liked that; it fits both women’s attitude and strategy working the power game.
Belair got the rope break on that nasty modified standing cloverleap of Ripley’s. As she recovered on the outside, Ripley hit her with a somersault splash.
Out of nowhere, Io Shirai rushes down the ramp to hit Ripley in the face with a swinging kick. Still, Belair couldn’t get the pinfall.
Shortly after, LeRae takes out Shirai from the apron, allowing Ripley to proceed in defeating Belair.
That was a necessary win for Ripley because Belair is the strongest #1 contender of the division, having faced Baszler twice at TakeOvers for the title in 2019. Ripley’s new to nXt and has more to gain by beating a former #1 contender. It’ll be tough for GM Regal not to acknowledge that Ripley should get a title shot soon.
For Belair, she remains a top draw in the division. Perhaps she is given a secondary feud, and should stay relevant.
Cool Points Clincher
2 cool points for Ripley and 1 cool point for Belair. Ripley is such a force in the ring. Kicking out of all the near falls, even when Io Shirai tried to get involved. That’s the kind of fortitude that gets a crowd behind a wrestler, and, indeed, it did.
Other Women’s Division Results
Tegan Nox & Dakota Kai def. Marina Shafir & Jessamyn Duke for a Women’s Tag Team Championship match. Nox uses the Shiniest Wizard.
Big win for Nox & Kai who get the #1 Contendership in their debut tag match on nXt TV. That’s precedent setting. Anytime you want women’s tag team challengers, just chuck a team together and see what happens. They’ll face the Kabuki Warriors next Wednesday, and that will be the first title defense on nxt TV.
nXt Tag Team Championship Scene
Breezango & Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. Forgotten Sons
2019 Records: Breezango 2-1, 1-0 in multi-man tag matches.
Forgotten Sons: 5-4, Dusty Rhodes Classic 2019 Finalists
Last 2 meetings: Oct 9 Forgotten Sons def. Breezango
Aug 14 Breezango def. Forgotten Sons
July 31 Breeze def. Ryker in singles
Ryker, Blake and Cutler effectively kept Breeze away from his home corner for quite a turn. Neat to see the style choices. Blake using the side headlock and Ryker opting for mostly strikes and clotheslines, showing off his swinging power.
Later on, awkward tag between Fandango and Scott. Forgotten Sons execute their 3-person top rope offense (Hurricanrana off the top and double headbutts), but Breezango tackle Cutler & Blake to break up the pinfall.
Scott does a springboard moonsault off of Ryker’s chest, as Ryker stood on the apron. That was next level.
Beauty dropkick by Scott to get the win for his trio.
This match gives Breezango the lead in the series of tag matches against Forgotten Sons. It was partly a feature for Scott and a good spot for him to show off his skills. I think they’re ready to move on to something fresh, unless Forgotten Sons stick to their slogan of not wanting to be forgotten.
Cool Points Clincher
1 cool point for both teams. I’m happy to watch a 6-man tag match like this every show. The Tag Division needs matches like this to keep it alive, especially for those who are enjoying the competition with AEW. That brand is doing up tag team wrestling right. Form some new teams to challenge these guys. Otherwise, we’ll be at match 10 in the series in 2 months’ time.
Ranallo’s Line of the Night: “Call your mother and tell her to turn on nXt”, in response to the “Mamma Mia” chants during the North American Championship Triple Threat.
Thanks for reading tonight’s column. Certainly a momentous occasion seeing Finn Balor return and immediately take on Mr. TakeOver himself. Women’s Tag Team Division got some love and a title match booked for next week. Riddle/Grimes was a showstealing mid-card match and Rhea Ripley has positioned herself as a potential #1 contender. Exciting times a month out from WarGames!
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!
Related Columns: nXt Cool Points- October 16, 2019 (Lee vs. Dijakovic)
nXt Cool Points- October 9, 2019
Imp’s Wrestling Adventure – WWE Complicates The Draft For No Reason! (RAW, AEW, NXT & SmackDown, Oct 19th 2019)