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And now, the Best and Worst of WWE NXT season 3, episode 7.
Best: “Just Put The Sweatshirt On So We Can Move On With Our Lives”
A quick best before we descend into the bowels of Hell.
The show opens with the Divas lining up shoulder-to-shoulder to … I guess have another Talk The Talk competition, but Vickie Guerrero interrupts. She doesn’t like Kaitlyn’s new ring gear and orders her to put on a sweatshirt. Kaitlyn refuses, because she is a FREE-SPIRIT and her body temperature is REGULATED and BASICALLY FINE, and a bunch of arguing interrupts.
Maxine, showing the frank, deadpan style that would make her one of my favorites on NXT Redemption, tells Kaitlyn to “just put the sweatshirt on so we can move on with our lives.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted a regular person to interrupt one of these shouty, confrontational WWE arguments by saying, “hey, it’s not a big deal, stop acting stupid.” It’s like wishing someone would pause for five seconds and tell their loved ones the truth on TGIF shows.
Worst: Quite Possibly The Worst Singles Match In WWE History
This is, without hyperbole, one of the worst matches in company history. I can’t even describe it. It starts off okay enough and feels like it’s gonna cruise into Green Divas Figurin’ Stuff Out territory, and then NOPE, DADAIST NIGHTMARE. Watching Maxine and Kaitlyn try to do a sunset flip counter with a push off the ropes is like watching a dog that just got hit by a car try to drag itself to safety. Poor Kaitlyn’s in a sweatshirt trying to lift stuff, and Maxine’s just putting her arms up going OKAY NOW? OKAY NOW? NOW? YOU WANT ME TO JUMP NOW? DO IT NOW oh whoops wait we’re falling.
Even the little stuff is bad. The snapmare at 2:45 makes Aksana accidentally braining Jamie look like a Ricky Steamboat armdrag. They try to bump Vickie off the apron at around 4:30 and can’t build up enough human momentum with the combined body weight of two grown women to even KINDA move her. Vickie just has to kinda step down to the ground and act like she’s been assaulted, when all she really had to do was take a babystep to the right during any of the 6,000 seconds the spot was happening.
The biggest compliment I can give it is that it’s not the worst women’s match I’ve ever seen. That honor still goes to Jenna Morasca vs. Sharmell from TNA Victory Road 2009. Somebody compare and contrast these disasters for a college paper.
Worst Ever: Stand Up For WWE
Hey, remember when Linda McMahon was running for public office and wanted to trick people into thinking WWE was some philanthropic effort to bring the world together? Remember how WWE got mad that people thought it was lowbrow entertainment for stupid people and babies and launched an anti-smear smear campaign to crowdfund a new image? Remember how that totally worked, and how in 2014 pro wrestling is universally beloved and respected by even the most discerning intellectuals in our society?
I don’t know if you’ve ever seen my “let’s ask the WWE Universe what they think about ______” gag, but if you have, you’ll know that they are the last people you want posting on social media in support of your company. “I believe that WWE is modern theater and the best all-around value in entertainment for myself and my family. I’d also like to take a moment to say Lana is a fake bitch from Florida named CJ Perry and I want to suck her pussyhole.”
The best part is that Michael Cole is saying whatever the hell Vince tells him to, so he asks us to help their cause if we’re “fed up with the holier than thou elitists” who think WWE’s bad. The announce team pauses, and the NEXT THING MICHAEL COLE SAYS is, “I’ll tell you wish I had the power to do … cancel this show, now!” It’s like Terry Gilliam was suddenly booking NXT.
Worst: Who’s That Body?
The next competition is the WHO’S THAT BODY contest. Here’s how it’s supposed to work:
1. they put an image on the TitanTron of somebody’s stomach
2. Matt Striker reads off a list of three choices for who that stomach might belong to
3. If you know the answer, you horn in with an air horn
Instead, this is how it worked:
1. they put an image on the TitanTron of somebody’s stomach
2. HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK
3. Matt Striker passive-aggressively tells you you’re stupid
4. more honking
5. wild guesses
6. the announce team burying everyone and everything and Striker chuckling about it in real time because he can hear them through his earpiece
The best part is Naomi horning in IMMEDIATELY on the first picture and getting it right because she knows what Cody Rhodes’ midsection looks like. Given Cody’s dating preferences, that’s awfully telling. Also, everyone keeps guessing “Michelle McCool,” even when she’s not one of the multiple choice answers. I don’t know what’s happening. Naomi wins, and somewhere in the back Cody Rhodes just starts SLATHERING his mons pubis with glitter.
Worst: I Don’t Think This Is How It Works
Goldust and Aksana hang out backstage and discuss how great it’s going to be to get married, because it’ll erase all of her immigration problems. I, uh, don’t think you’re supposed to talk about how fake your marriage is gonna be in front of the TV cameras, guys.
Best: Five Minutes Of Chubby Checker And Absolutely Nothing Else
The final competition of the episode is the limbo competition, which judges the women based on their ability to lean backwards and walk forwards at the same time. They should’ve had Trish Stratus be a pro, do THAT MATRIX MOVE in the middle of the ring and just have the referees walk the bar over her.
Anyway, it’s a damn limbo contest. You can’t really analyze it. The refs decide who is and isn’t eliminated seemingly at random, with no consistency or point. Naomi wins without having to go a final time because the other women have been eliminated, which does not seem super fair, but whatever. It’s the goddamn limbo. It’s five minutes of Chubby Checker’s ‘Limbo Rock’ while Michael Cole goes GAWD, GAWD.
They should’ve ditched the NXT concept at this point and just turned the show into a rollerskating rink. Punching arcade game, dancing, the Limbo Rock. Hell, they even had “couples skate” if you include the mixed tag matches. Just put everyone in rollerskates and call it a day. Hornswoggle got pushed around in a wagon, does that count as a big rollerskate?
Best: The Bella Twins Vs. Kelly Kelly And Wait Why Did I Give This A Best
… because two enjoyable things happen during the match.
1. Kelly Kelly NEVER TAGS IN. Not once. She just stands on the apron and looks upset. I don’t know if Kelly wrestled Abdullah The Butcher at some point before this and wasn’t medically cleared to compete, but Naomi takes a match-long beating and gets pinned. K-Squared gets knocked off the ring once. Note: Naomi gets pinned when she gets tripped up running the ropes. That PINS HER. It might be the least physically painful finish ever. I think a small package hurts you more. Seriously, she just runs the ropes, Nikki trips her up and that causes her to lie there like she’s been F-5’d for two minutes.
2. FORCED TWIN MAGIC. The Bella Twins were feuding at this point, I guess, so Nikki tosses Brie out of the ring and steals the pin. It’s … kinda great. I want WWE Network to devote an hourlong special to the physics and logistics of Twin Magic. Establish it as some kind of illusion spell instead of “referee can’t tell two women apart, even if one looks completely different and has different colored hair.”