– This week’s episode of NXT season 3 is available here. It’s actually kinda worth watching this week!
– Aksana love America. Don’t let Aksana get immigrated. Share column!
And now, the Best and Worst of WWE NXT season 3, episode 6.
Best: AJ Destroys WWE Name That Tune
This week’s show-opening competition is “WWE Name That Tune,” wherein the rookie Divas are given an airhorn and five-second snippets of WWE entrance themes and asked to honk in if they can identify the wrestler that used them. Most of them are incredibly, incredibly easy — John Cena, Randy Orton, D-Generation X — with a few curveballs like Dusty Rhodes’ “Common Man” thrown in. The only one the Divas miss is the only one I missed, the WWE-ized Legion of Doom theme. If you could recognize that, you’re lying. The Road Warriors entrance theme was “Ironman” by Black Sabbath, not Jim Johnston Played Generic Rock Guitar For Five Seconds And Looped It #35.
Oh, and when I say “the only one the Divas miss,” I mean “the only one AJ Lee misses.” In the first real example of AJ being a bigger WWE fan than the other contestants combined, she gets all but two of the themes and puts the competition out of reach before the end of round 1. Seriously, look at this:
That’s outstanding. If I ever get a magical Grantland job that allows me to interact with wrestlers as I see fit, I’m challenging AJ to a “who can discern the most generic WWE themes in history” competition. *air horn* YOUNG STALLIONS.
Best: Naomi Vs. Alicia Fox
I’m telling you, if Naomi hadn’t sounded like Stymie for the entirety of the season she would’ve won NXT 3 in a walk. Here she has a surprisingly great match with Alicia, basically wrestling the best Alicia Fox/Naomi match you could expect in 2014. It’s all here … a jumping toe-touch leapfrog, the Rear View, Naomi absolutely eating it on a missed high-crossbody. It’s short and sweet, with the only real low point (besides Cole’s insistence that even the good stuff we see is terrible) being Alicia botching the hell out of a scissor kick, blatantly repeating the spot and then more or less botching it again. Real talk: a skinny lady’s leg hitting you in the lower back should not knock you out.
Best/Worst: The DIVAS OPEN MIC CHALLENGE
They’ve done so many Talk The Talk Challenges at this point that they have to change the name. The SAY THE WORDS CHALLENGE. I hope you Divas brought your TALKING STICKS because it’s time for the WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT ONE THING YOU CAN TALK ABOUT FOR A MINUTE CHALLENGE!
Here’s what you need to know:
– Naomi starts us off by STRAIGHT SHOOTING on Michael Cole. She says he’s not as good as Jim Ross, shouldn’t keep showing up and commentating on the shows if he hates them so much and makes fun of his hair. It’s good in theory, but in practice it’s just an excuse for close-ups on Michael Cole and him interrupting over a microphone she can’t hear in the middle of her sentences. She’s like DO SOMETHIN ABOUT YOUR HURR and by the time she’s saying “your” he’s all THIS IS HORRIBLE SHUT UP EVERYTHING SUCKS AND YOU’RE ALL WORTHLESS. Michael Cole’s “raise my voice a little higher each time I talk to win an argument” thing is even worse when the person can’t respond. Points for Naomi for trying though, I guess.
– AJ plays the nerd card. Hard. She announces that she’s single and says her dream date is playing video games, ordering a pizza, watching an action movie and going to bed at 10 PM. AJ got a lot of shit from the Internet for a long time for pandering so hard, and I think I understand why. What she’s describing here isn’t being “a nerd,” it’s being boring. There’s no specificity or enthusiasm behind it. For example, Ronda Rousey doesn’t just say “I like video games.” She rambles on for a solid minute about the problems she had with the Elite Four in Pokemon. There’s a truth to it. It feels real, because it has to be.
If AJ had been like, “hey guys, I’m single. Here’s why: I can’t find any guys who want to watch me play through Red Dead Redemption for the fifth time and nobody cares why I think Best Of The Best is a better movie than Bloodsport. I’m a wrestler, so dinner will probably be boneless skinless chicken breasts and broccoli, but yo, I’m a wrestler in real life and I’m also tiny and pretty and know what Dusty Rhodes’ WWF entrance theme was. If you wanna be fat and eat pizza and play Monster Hunter Tri and watch the Nicholas Cage version of Wicker Man until we laugh so hard we throw up, I’m probably down for that,” she would’ve been every single living human man’s favorite wrestler.
Supplemental Worst: Michael Cole guffawing and not getting Striker’s ‘Stand Back’ reference.
Supplemental Best: Matt Striker saying he’s “more of a Craigslist guy” and getting the biggest, realest announcer pop ever.
– Kaitlyn trolls Vickie Guerrero with an “age before beauty” joke, because she’s a WWE babyface that won the battle and can’t let it go.
– Aksana talks about how much she loves America and thanks Christopher Columbus for “discovering this beautiful country.” Jump to the 4:00 mark of that video and watch the Chickbusters crack up at her saying she hopes someone from immigration is watching. I will probably never love a pairing of wrestlers more than AJ and Kaitlyn.
– Maxine’s topic is “I am not winning NXT season 3.”
Worst: The Punch The Punch Challenge
If you remember last season’s Power Of The Punch contest, WWE put their rookies in front of one of those punching games from Dave & Buster’s and asked them to get the best score they could with no practice and worked punches. What resulted was the wrestlers getting low scores and getting humiliated by commentary, Kaval trying to kick the bag and failing because the machine isn’t designed to be kicked, and Michael Cole getting a higher score than almost every rookie.
This season features the same vibe, with AJ getting a low score because she’s the size of a 10-year old and can’t believably hurt anyone, Kaitlyn getting a FIVE (yes, 005) because she was f*cking around too much, and Aksana pulling this:
NXT season 3 in a nutshell, everybody.
Note: I really want to bring back Aksana as a hardcore wrestler, paint her face and call her AKSANA 666.
Best: Naomi, Again
Naomi clears 800 on the game. To put that into perspective, Husky Harris got 380 and big-ass Percy Watson got 716.
Best: AJ vs. Aksana
Damn, this week’s show was pretty good. I mean, it’s not a great hour of wrestling television by any stretch of the imagination, but after the last few weeks it feels like Austin just drove into the arena in a beer truck and started spraying everybody.
The main event is Aksana vs. AJ, and I guess a little of that Aksana magic from last week stuck around. It’s kinda weird, with Aksana ostensibly working babyface against a smaller, peppier opponent who just spent an hour telling people she’s a lovable everygirl who loves XBOX. There’s also a weird moment where Aksana sorta “gives up” in the middle and has to be coerced back into the ring via Goldust hugs, but she breaks out a forearm variant of Goldie’s backdrop counter, so we’re calling it a wash. AJ counters a bodyslam into a small package to get the three, and I keep sitting here wondering when the floor’s gonna drop out on these wrestling efforts.
Spoiler alert: Kaitlyn vs. Maxine is the answer to that question.
Anyway, good show this week, unbelievably. Everyone relaxing and deciding to have fun seems to be helping it a lot. The move to WWE.com probably helped. It’s on a very small scale the same thing that happened to NXT Redemption when they forgot it existed and the wrestlers still put on like 40 shows.
Oh, and one more thing:
The Match Ends With Goldust Proposing To Aksana To Save Her From Deportation
WE GOT OURSELVES A WRESTLING WEDDING COMING UP, FOLKS.