– If you need something to play at a low volume in the background while you cry, you can watch this week’s episode here.
– Don’t be a Jamie. Share the column.
And now, the Best and Worst of WWE NXT season 3, episode 5. Sorry!
Worst: Welcome To WWE.com! Enjoy This Sexy Mechanical Bull-Riding Competition
Now that NXT has been banished to the wasteland of pre-“we’ve figured out the Internet” WWE.com, it’s free to be the show it wants to be … no longer shackled by the demands of a television network or the expectations of the casual viewer. This week’s opener is a stunning, under-the-radar 15-minute match between AJ and Kaitlyn. They kick out of each others’ finishers, Kaitlyn delivers a brainbuster on the apron and the crowd erupts into a huge “this is awesome” chant. After the match they hug, tears in their eyes, because they both love this business so much and understand the brotherhood — or sisterhood — that comes from this deep, lasting respect.
I’m kidding. The first 10 minutes is a sexy bull-riding competition.
The problem (okay, one of the problems) is that it’s not even a SEXY bull-riding competition. Normally with a mechanical bull like this it’ll rhythmically move up and down and the rider’ll go along with it. The guys in whatever country western club or spring break setup this is happening in imagine themSELVES as the bull, and boners occur. Here, the bull just slowly spins in a circle, then goes slightly faster until the girl falls off. It’s basically “stand up on a merry-go-round” the competition. The only boners occurring are the Bella Twins trying to look sexy as they fall two feet to the floor of a bouncy house.
Best: Aksana’s Best Day Ever
The weirdest thing about this episode is that it makes Aksana look like a SUPERSTAR.
Aksana is on her game all episode long. Long gone are the days of WHAT IS LLAMA. Everybody else gets on the bull and falls off in 10 seconds … Aksana holds on strong, clutches the bull with her legs even when she’s falling off and manages to last over 17. It’s one of those brief moments when you remember, “oh, Aksana won a bunch of fitness competitions.” If I say “Aksana,” you picture stupid shoe-onesie Aksana crawling around awkwardly in a circle, right? She should be lifting turds like Jamie over her head and throwing them halfway down the ramp.
Best/Worst: AKSANA DRIVER ’10
You can tell a match is gonna be good when the first move on the highlight video is Maxine not knowing how to take a snapmare and turning it into the Party Foul.
So. The match isn’t fantastic (or even good, if we’re being honest), but I’m giving it a half-Best both because it continues the narrative of Aksana’s Badass Performance Episode and because it has a sort of brutal charm. This might be the best ever example of two wrestlers with absolutely not enough training going out there and giving their all, falling on their heads and hitting each other in the throat until it’s time to go home. At one point Maxine breaks out a Kojima-esque lariat out of frustration, goes for a pin, gets rolled up and SELLS THE ROLLUP by lying there motionless. It’s a point-by-point illustration of how you’d probably be good at this if you relaxed, but are competing in an environment where comfort and nurtured success are impossible. Seriously, Aksana just rolls her over onto her shoulders and she’s DEAD.
Best: Aksana’s Talent
Okay, last thing about Aksana, I promise.
They rush through the match so they can get to another competition, and this one is the DIVAS TALENT SHOW. I’ll break that down in a moment, but I wanted to give a Best to Aksana for turning the unexciting promise of “push-ups” as her talent into THAT. Can we go back in time and force WWE to give up on NXT hard enough that I can be put in charge and actually build a coherent show around these girls’ talents and abilities?
Best/Worst: Divas Talent Show
And now, the actual talent show. Here’s your rundown:
– Aksana nails it with the push-ups, but she’s getting deported, so I guess should’ve made her talent “being American.”
– Naomi utilizes the musical prowess that’d make her a reality TV music video-recording superstar by rapping. In front of a wrestling crowd. In Topeka, Kansas. Hey, it worked for Kaval. She ends it with a “let me hear ya say HEYYYY” that is one fat man away from “YO BABY YO BABY YO.”
– Supplemental Worst for Matt Striker calling Naomi “Names.” Supplemental Best to Michael Cole for the proper HAHAHA F*CK YOU MATT STRIKER, JESUS response.
– AJ’s talent is flexibility.
Please direct all web traffic to WithSpandex.com.
– Jamie says her talent is “turning men on.” Mark Henry could’ve said his talent was throwing shooting star presses and I would’ve believed it more. Aksana’s porno sax entrance theme starts playing (see, I told you this was her episode) and Jamie “shows” her “talent” by SUPER AWKWARDLY kissing Matt Striker. Striker sells it with the goofiest sex face you’ve ever seen, and Jamie loses INFINITY REDEMPTION POINTS for being in the way while AJ and Kaitlyn pretend to kiss in the background.
– Kaitlyn’s talent is art. She draws a stick figure with a smelly butt and says it’s Vickie Guerrero. She wins in a landslide because The WWE Universe is 1/2 people with the IQ of a scallop, 1/2 people whose balls haven’t dropped.
– Finally, Maxine brings us home in the only way a bad comedy segment can end: with Hornswoggle. She has “baked Hornswoggle a pie” and invites him to the ring to apologize for that whole “trying to kill him in a wheelbarrow accident” thing from last week. Of course she’s actually BEING MEAN and puts a small amount of whipped cream on Swoggle’s face. He responds by hitting her with the entire rest of the pie. The next 10 minutes is Hornswoggle and Maxine just furiously f*cking the shit out of each other.
Best: Kaitlyn vs. Vickie Guerrero
This is a clinic in how good Vickie Guerrero was.
“Non-wrestling, middle-aged woman” vs. “muscular woman with no training” should’ve been a disaster, but Vickie had enough of a barebones story — jealous pro vs. well-meaning but naive rookie — to get the crowd in the palm of her hand. She stalls, she stretches, she does agility drills (!) and she cowers when she gets hit … then she takes a cheap shot, drags Kaitlyn outside of the ring by the hair and throws her into the security railing a few times. There’s absolutely ZERO WRESTLING happening but the crowd digs it, and when Kaitlyn finally gets Vickie up for a bodyslam, they go nuts.
Vickie even loses in the way she should by creating a distraction for HERSELF, paying too much attention to what Dolph Ziggler thinks and getting rolled up for three. After the match she throws a tantrum as Kaitlyn repeatedly hugs Dolph, and Dolph makes great “I’VE NEVER SEEN THIS WOMAN BEFORE IN MY LIFE” gestures.
Best: Never Having To See Jamie Again
Jamie Keyes is the first NXT rookie eliminated in season 3, and I’m gonna go ahead and blame the Bella Twins. Why not?
It was the right call. “She was awful” aside, who else do you eliminate here? You can’t eliminate Naomi because she’s your best athlete. You can’t eliminate Kaitlyn or AJ, because they’re the only sincerely likable characters on the show. Aksana just had a breakout episode, and Maxine’s the one willing to let Hornswoggle fart on her or whatever so you’ve got comedy. The only thing Jamie brought to the table was a Matt Striker halfie.
Even her speech is forgettable. “THANK EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU. THANK YOU PEOPLE. I LOVE THE WWE UNIVERSE.” Lucky Cannon should’ve shown up in a wig and played Jamie for the rest of the season.