COOL POINTS: Kabuki Warriors Visit & WarGames Happens
Welcome to the Cool Points.
With less than a month until TakeOver: WarGames, the third installment since nXt restarted it, rumours have been flying as to what matches will be booked, based on recent events. Tonight’s show should begin to make a few of those matches official. Let’s get to it.
nXt Championship Scene
Balor vs. Everyone
Finn Balor’s first in-ring promo since his return to nXt. He calls out EVERYBODY for thinking they know what’s up, and he even says there are too many fans in the locker room who should be sitting out with the fans. He doesn’t watch the business; the business watches him.
He makes his intentions very clear that Johnny Wrestling could become Johnny Watches Wrestling.
Lots to like about that promo. Balor sassed everybody, including the Twitter tough guys and made it clear that his ego will not be held back by a mask. He even made fun of having to lose to The Fiend in the summer. So, a little fourth wall breaking and a lot of attitude to set up a potential match with Gargano at WarGames. I expect that match to get booked next week.
Other Men’s Division Results
Bronson Reed def. Shane Thorne. Explosive start to this match, chops for days, and plenty of fan support to help Reed get the win. 300+ lbs of force from the top-rope crashing down on to a guy’s chest. That’ll do it.
1 cool point for each guy. The chopfest was quite a sight to see, lasting almost 2 minutes. Thorne was such an aggressor that it looked like he would win, but Reed defended well. He’s quite likable.
Cameron Grimes def. Tyler Bate. Grimes impressed with his athleticism, completing a backflip straight into a German suplex on Bate for a 2 count. Bate stuns Grimes with his European uppercuts, followed by a running shooting star press. Still, no finish.
Bate almost wins following a rebound lariat, but his legs are under the ropes when he presses Grimes, so the referee doesn’t count it.
Ultimately, it’s an appearance from Killian Dain that distracts Bate and allows Grimes to win. Dain attacks Bate post-match, smashing his head against the steel steps with a somersault senton.
I like the exciting moves as much as the next guy, but some of these SHOULD end the match. Make them mean more by not letting guys kick out.
Anyways, a fine match between these two, and an unforeseen appearance from Dain sets up a future match with Bate.
nXt Women’s Championship Scene
Io Shirai vs. Candice LeRae
2019 Records: Shirai 5-5 in singles, 3-0-1 in multi-woman tag matches
LeRae 3-2 in singles, 1-0-1 in tag
Last Meeting: Aug 10 TakeOver Toronto, Shirai won.
A well-rated and well-liked match from this summer’s TakeOver will be repeated tonight. Shirai and LeRae continue to confront one another when the opportunity presents itself. Last week, Shirai hit the ring, following Ripley vs. Belair. This brought out LeRae who neutralized Shirai from proceeding with her attack.
These two remain in the upper echelon of the Women’s Division, but they don’t need a championship to motivate their desire to win tonight. This has grudge match written all over it.
Very cool intro with Poppy playing live for Shirai.
Fast start to this match with neither woman getting the advantage for long.
Shirai with a big air dropkick from the top for a 2 count during the picture-in-picture commercial break.
Following their mid-air collision in the centre of the ring, LeRae nails Shirai with a running dropkick. Tornado DDT! 1-2- kickout.
Shirai goes to use the chair. Referee prevents it. Candice schoolgirls her for a 2 count pinfall. Shortly after that, she goes for the moonsault and lands directly on that chair, which was NOT removed by the referee. Shirai pins her for the win.
Well, that’s 2 wins for Shirai, and she probably sits around #3 or #4 in the Women’s Division. If Baszler loses her title to Ripley in the near future, Shirai would be a logical first opponent.
LeRae is the ex-#1 contender and is struggling to win in singles competition. Her only major win was that fatal four-way in September.
There are rumours of a Women’s WarGames this year. LeRae likely features in that if it happens. Same for Shirai.
Cool Points Clincher
2 cool points for Shirai for her edgy attitude and an opportunistic victory. 1 cool point for LeRae who showed off some decent high-flying and tenacity for fighting through a long submission attempt by Shirai.
nXt Women’s Tag Team Championship Match
Kabuki Warriors vs. Tegan Nox & Dakota Kai
2019 Records: Kabuki Warriors 7-2, first title defense in nXt
Nox & Kai 1-0
Amazing opportunity for the recently returned Tegan Nox and Dakota Kai. These two have only officially tagged for one week and, somehow, they were gifted a tag title shot. In a federation or wrestling league that cares about stats and records, this likely would not happen. But, here we are.
Kabuki Warriors, Asuka and Kairi Sane, had fantastic careers in singles competition in nXt. As a tag team, they have dominated the competition in the last 3 months, including a notable victory over Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair. This match is as much a promotion of the Women’s Tag Division, as it is a good reason to watch tonight’s nXt TV.
Asuka tied up Kai real well with a calf and ankle submission. She evaded the enziguri and continued to punish Kai.
Sane and Asuka effectively keep Kai away from tagging in Nox. Sane tries for a submission, too and wears down Kai.
Great moment where Nox goes for the Shiniest Wizard, and Asuka grabs her leg and starts working that knee with the knee brace.
Beauty swinging knees by Kai on Sane. Sane distracts the referee so Asuka can use the green mist on Sane. InSane elbow from the top to win.
Post-match, the Horsewomen arrive and beat up on Nox & Kai. From this, we have one giant brawl as Rhea Ripley, Bianca Belair, Io Shirai, and Candice LeRae run down to attack one another. Ripley faces off with Baszler for a second with the former spearing the latter, and then the women all spill into the ring again.
nXt General Manager William Regal demands all of them to be separated, which they are, by a large number of referees, trainers and officials. He then shares his simple solution: WARGAMES.
Team haven’t been specified yet, but before the final melee, the women were separated as follows: Kai, Nox, LeRae and Ripley were inside the ring, and Baszler, Duke, Shafir, Shirai and Belair were outside the ring.
Cool Points Clincher
2 cool points for the champs in this match. Fun title defense by the Kabuki Warriors and the way they won was textbook Muta-influenced with the green mist. Also, that InSane elbow is a delight to behold.
1 cool point for Team Kick. They struggled, with Kai being exhausted with most of the in-ring time. Nox held her own but it’s hard to compete with tricks from the champs. Also, Asuka saw that Shiniest Wizard coming from a mile off.
nXt Tag Team Championship Scene
Undisputed Era vs. Matt Riddle & Keith Lee
2019 Records: Fish/O’Reilly 2-4, current nXt Tag Champions, 1-0 in multi-tag matches
Riddle 1-2 vs. Undisputed Era in singles, 0-1 in multi-tag matches
Lee 0-0 in tag matches
Last 3 meetings: Jun 19, UEra def. Riddle, Dream & Breeze
You poke the bear too many times and you can expect the bear to hurt you. The Undisputed Era decided to do that with Keith Lee, following Roderick Strong’s successful nXt North American Championship title defense last week.
Now, Lee has asked a steady foe of the Era, Matt Riddle to join him in a tag match, in which he hopes to show the golden boys they messed with the wrong super-heavyweight.
Riddle took the brunt of the punishment for his team tonight, following his sidewinder suplexes on Fish.
Fish and O’Reilly’s complementary styles were on notice by Ranallo who mentioned that they’re teaching one another strikes and grappling. It showed tonight.
Riddle’s double knees to O’Reilly & Fish were cool, but the Undisputed Era’s response with kicks to Riddle and a brainbuster was a little cooler.
When Lee finally gets the tag, he nails Fish & O’Reilly with double clotheslines and back drops. Misses the massive moonsault though and Fish hits him with a helluva Samoan drop.
Timely High/Low to pin Riddle and get the win for the Undisputed Era.
Post-match, Ciampa attacks O’Reilly and then sees Adam Cole’s championship was left in the ring. He yells, “Daddy’s going to war”, which sounds like a challenge for TakeOver: WarGames.
For Fish & O’Reilly, they are the champs so, naturally, they’re a target. Only thing is the tag division is so shallow right now.
For Riddle, losing a tag match doesn’t hurt when his primary focus is singles competition. He could shift focus towards Strong again and try for that North American Championship. Heck, Lee just fought for it. He could face Strong, too.
Cole vs. Ciampa is all but signed now, and that’s an interesting pairing. It will resolve a long-winded story arc for the year, in that Ciampa think Goldie is his sole possession.
Cool Points Clincher
2 cool points for the Undisputed Era, for always finding a way to win, and for the speed with which they executed their offense this evening.
1 cool point each for Riddle & Lee. They’re not a proper team, but they paired up decently. Lee needed to get in the ring sooner; he waited a long time for a tag.
Ranallo’s Line of the Night: “Bro-strength!”, in response to Matt Riddle hitting two beauty suplexes in a row on Bobby Fish.
Thanks for reading tonight’s column. WarGames will be hosting the women for the first time in WWE history and that segment was bananas. Despite the rumours for the match, I’ve maintained that I wanted to see how they put it together, and we’re still waiting for the final teams to be named by captains Shayna Baszler and Rhea Ripley.
Meanwhile, newly returning Balor and Ciampa made the most of their minutes and challenged Gargano and Cole respectively. Those will be DECENT matches in Chicago, in the coming weeks.
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!