Best: NXT Season 3 CM Punk Forever And Ever
At the end of last week’s episode, Michael Cole banged a gong and got it on out of the arena, quitting NXT forever. FOREVER. This week’s episode initially begins with Josh Mathews solo, but quickly reveals his new color commentator: CM Punk.
It’s hard to say it for sure, but this isn’t just CM Punk … this is the best CM Punk. This is Straight Edge Society Punk, post-head shaving, a little under a year away from getting fed up with the New Nexus and cutting the Pipe Bomb promo that’d make him a household name. Punk’s freed from the constraints of NXT Pro-dom and given carte blanche to sit in on commentary and do or say whatever the hell he wants.
This is before Punk’s hook was being the “voice of the voiceless,” too, so instead of speaking for The WWE Universe, he spoke for jerks like me. You’ll hear a lot of love for Punk’s NXT season 3 commentary, and the reason why is because he watched it and reacted to it like a normal person. He gave praise when it was deserved, stuck up for the Divas when Josh (or Cole) would say something asinine fed to them through an earpiece, but wasn’t blind. If they did something stupid, he laughed about it. Made fun of it. Had fun WITH it. That’s the big one. When was the last time a WWE announcer sounded like they were having fun? Punk loved women, loved shitty wrestling shows and wanted this to be great, but knew it couldn’t possibly be.
Spoiler alert: Cole comes back like halfway through this episode. Sorry.
Best: LayCool Is Here, For No Raisin!
The show opens with the Divas standing shoulder-to-shoulder for some reason, getting instructions on how if they’ve thought things were tough BEFORE, they’re not gonna believe WHAT MATT STRIKER HAS IN STORE FOR THEM. Keep in mind that we’ve had like, four matches, a joke-telling contest, two different interpretations of the Double Dare obstacle course and Michael Cole booty-dancing. So unbelievably rough. CM Punk refers to Striker as “Jefferson D’Arcy” and he’s already my favorite announcer of all time two minutes into his first show.
Before anybody can do anything, Vickie Guerrero interrupts, announces that Kaitlyn’s gonna have a match with Jamie, and brings out LAYCOOL as Kaitlyn’s coaches. As you may know from our trudge through season 2, I love and appreciate every LayCool appearance, whether they’re doing anything important or not. The rub here is that the Bella Twins aren’t on the show, so LayCool’s stepping in to be the heels in a six-woman tag that would’ve involved them. LayCool calls the girls names — to AJ: “You look like a cute little mouse, has anyone ever told you that?” — until Kelly Kelly interrupts, calls them “dumb and dumber” and uses her LICENSED GENERAL MANAGER SKILLS I’M ASSUMING SHE HAS to make the night’s main-event.
Note: Kelly Kelly’s face looks like cake icing. She’s wearing so much white and pink makeup it makes her look blurry. It’s like she’s about to die in The Ring and we’re looking at her photograph.
Best: Divas Musical Chairs
Three Bests in a row!
The first challenge of the night is a game of musical chairs, because we aren’t really “challenging” these women as much as trying to figure out how to get wrestling crowds to cheer them without wrestling happening. It’s surprisingly enjoyable, with Punk dropping lines about how musical chairs is an important part of wrestling school and AJ Lee being the smartest person in the room (and the winner) for wearing shoes instead of high heels.
Another interesting thing is AJ sitting down on the final chair first but being instantly pushed off of it by Naomi’s ass, but AJ being declared the winner anyway. Is that proper musical chairs etiquette? If you don’t have an ass big enough to stand its ground on the chair after ass-to-ass contact, shouldn’t you lose? As a reminder, all of these challenges are super meaningless.
Best/Worst: Aksana Getting To Act Like A Regular Person
The “get to know Aksana” interview might seriously be the only time poor Aksana’s ever been allowed to be a human being on WWE TV. The only thing we saw from her in four years was porno sax, kitty crawling and broken English promos about ENTERTAIN YOU while she twirled hair extensions. In this interview, she talks about how into fitness competitions she was, the thrill of winning international competitions and how proud she was to be interviewed by Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s very much like the “I used to trampoline dunk for the Orlando Magic” video from Naomi in the last episode, and makes me wonder why WWE’s never tried employing these beautiful women for eye candy purposes and not let their real-life personalities slip through to truly justify their “smart, sexy and powerful” motto. Trampoline dunker and humble, fish-out-of-water fitness model are way better characters than BLACK Y’ALL and CAN’T UNDERSTAND YOU.
Worst: Aaaaand It’s Gone
Aksana isn’t from here. She’s having problems with her green card! How could we ever handle the loss of someone we’ve known for like 10 minutes of a combined two hours of WWE programming?? If you remember this season, you’ll remember that this story goes to the worst place a WWE story can: an in-ring wedding. If you DON’T remember this season and are discovering the “Aksana needs a green card” story, it’s a lot like the “Lucky Cannon’s a police officer with amnesia” story, only we have to see ALL of it.
They hold on the segment too long and we jump to this face, which says it all: