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Please click through for the vintage Best and Worst of NXT season 3, episode 3.
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.Subscribe to UPROXX
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:
Last Night On Raw: NOPE.
Post-SummerSlam 2010, wherein John Cena no-sold a DDT onto concrete and eliminated two Nexus members in seconds by himself to overcome the odds and win, The Nexus has kinda seemed like a joke. That’s about to get KICKED INTO OVERDRIVE with the Hell in a Cell story, which says that if John Cena wins, the Nexus must disband … but if Wade Barrett wins, Cena must join the Nexus!
Someone needs to re-edit that with Cena’s triumph horns.
Anyway, to build to a match where Cena would have to defeat one guy, Cena defeated FOUR GUYS, one after the other. At Hell in a Cell Cena would lose to Barrett via interference from two additional guys (Husky Harris and Michael McGillicutty) and have to “join the Nexus,” which meant him just being John Cena for a month with a Nexus armband on. That set up a match for Bragging Rights where Barrett would challenge for the championship with Cena in his corner, and if Barrett lost that match, Cena would be fired. Barrett lost when Cena attacked him, drawing a DQ and firing himself. Cena totally no-sold the firing, showed up at every single show DURING his firing and ultimately beat Barrett again, ending the weird, brutal four month burial of the Nexus.
Worst: Let’s Instantly Ruin The Small Amount Of Wrestling On This Show
We have our first match of the night half an hour into a one-hour show, with AJ taking on Maxine. The actual match is pretty competent, save for a weird finish where Maxine suplexes AJ, AJ no-sells it and just rolls over to lateral press Maxine and pins her. It’s like, Maxine managed to hurt herself more than her opponent throwing a vertical suplex. I dunno.
All that good is erased by the instant return of Michael Cole, who declares everything he sees crap — including the ONLY WRESTLING CONTENT SO FAR ON THE SHOW — and reclaims his spot in the booth to be Second Josh and complain all night. Cool. Punk spent 30 minutes berating Josh into vocal submission, and now we’re back to square one.
Best/Worst: The Divas Talk The Talk Challenge
This is objectively horrible, but dude, watch every second of it. IT. IS. GLORIOUS.
– Jamie (who Punk thought was Kaval) gets the word “teeth.” The idea is that you’re supposed to improv a short promo incorporating whatever word they give you. Jamie does the same kindergarten teacher pandering she used in the joke-off to go “nobody wants to hear me talk about teeth. Isn’t that right FANS? Come on, isn’t that right LOCAL FANS?” She then cuts 30ish seconds of the most garbage “I’m smart, sexy and powerful” promo you’ve ever heard. Looking back, this was Jamie’s ‘exodus of McGillicutty’ moment.
– Naomi gets “toupee.” She has no f*cking idea what it means. She stands there silently while the crowd boos her for half a minute. After a while she just goes “WHY AIN’T WE RASSLIN, I WONNA RASSLE” and the crowd cheers. Striker announces that Jamie and Ny-omi have been disqualified for not staying on topic.
– AJ gets “caffeine.” The announcers try to bury it a little, but she gives a pretty decent speech about how she’s already bubbly and hops everywhere and doesn’t need caffeine, because she’s “some natural dynamite.” She also mentions that she’s been legitimately trying to get into the business for years and isn’t game-for-pay like the rest of the girls.
Prophetic CM Punk line about his future wife of the week: “I need some natural dynamite in my life.”
– Aksana’s promo is the most amazing improv scene in WWE history. I can’t even put it into words. It’s perfect. The only way it could’ve been better is if Striker had attempted to do a llama impression when prompted. AJ and Maxine cracking up in the background the entire time make it worth watching on loop, and AJ’s face when Striker says “it’s kinda like a camel, but not really” is unbelievably sincere. <3 <3 <3 <3 this forever.
– Maxine has no hope of following Aksana, but she gets “foot,” and it’s easy enough to say “I will kick people with my foot.”
– Kaitlyn gets “ignition,” and I swear to God if she’d launched into this I would’ve died. She doesn’t know what to say, so she talks about peoples’ underwear for a minute, lamely works in the word ignition and ends it with the ultimate True Dork phrase: “… and scene.”
Look at AJ’s face. This is the moment they truly became friends.
Worst: Kelly Kelly, Jamie and Naomi Ain’t Exactly The Shield
K2 starts off the main event by brutally f*cking up a wristlock (jump to 1:55 in the video), tagging out and letting the rookies finish out the match. Kelly Kelly are the intelligent legend and the real, bubba.
The finish isn’t much better, with LayCool decimating Naomi and trying to tag in Kaitlyn to get a pin, but Kaitlyn not remembering that you have to, you know, tag in to tag matches. The delay makes it even worse when Kaitlyn has her pin attempt reversed and loses the match.
I’d have more, but I’m still trying to figure out what a “llama” is.