– For whatever reason Hulu doesn’t have this episode included in season three. They’ve got episode 10, followed by episode 12. A random episode from NXT Redemption’s tacked onto the end of the season because I guess nobody’s watched this much of it and realized the mistake. Regardless, you can still watch the episode for free on WWE’s YouTube channel.
– Be sure you’ve read the Best and Worst of NXT season 1, the Best and Worst of NXT season 2 and what we’ve done so far in the Best and Worst of season 3. We’re almost done, and then we start season 4, now known as “TNA Gutcheck season 1.”
– Shares, comments, likes and other Internet things are appreciated.
Please click through for the Best and Worst of WWE NXT season 3, episode 11.
Worst: The Newlyhired Game
This week’s first competition is the cleverly named “How Well Do You Know Your WWE Pro,” a contest that asks … well, you can figure it out. It’s the Newlywed Game, but for wrestling. Daniel Bryan and Derrick Bateman would destroy this contest forever in season 4, but for now it’s just rookie Divas standing in awkward silence and answering basic questions until Matt Striker finishes up and herds them to the back.
– The first question is, “when I first saw my rookie, I thought she was blank.” I wanted Kelly Kelly to stand up, throw up her hand and yell “ME, THAT’S ME.”
– Primo says that when he first saw his rookie (AJ), he thought she was underage. She says the same thing, and they get a point. Nobody mentions that they’ve got a romance angle happening, or that one of Los Matadores apparently trolls Motherless groups for JB. Maybe that’s how they met El Torito?
– Every time Striker talks to Aksana, he makes fun of her. Just a full-on Balki voice every time he asks her a question. Whenever she says anything, he condescendingly repeats it. When Naomi answers “athletic” and Kelly Kelly has the same answer, Striker goes AND SPELLED CORRECTLY, GOOD JOB. Damn, Striker, turn your condescending shit down a notch.
– Vickie’s answer for Kaitlyn:
“NERD strikethrough A MAN” should be the slogan for the Internet.
Worst: Kaitlyn Is Still Not Very Good, Bless Her Heart
Kaitlyn’s less than a month removed from having one of the worst matches in WWE history, and while she’s avoided anything THAT horrible over the past few episodes, she’s still not very good. Thankfully Naomi’s a lot better than Maxine (and even garbage rookie Kaitlyn’s better than 2014 Cameron), so it holds together.
One of the weird things I’ve noticed about NXT season 3’s matches is how often they Irish whip each other. There’s an Irish whip between almost every move. I don’t know if that’s just one of the first things they taught them so they go to the well a lot, but sometimes they won’t even have a move in mind. Just a kick to the stomach, Irish whip, nothing. Irish whip into the corner. Run at each other, fight for another Irish whip.
That’s fine I guess, but an Irish whip is one of those things that already doesn’t make a lot of sense, so if you don’t “get” pro wrestling and don’t have a natural physicality and presence for it, you’re doing a super fake thing as fake as possible. Hold hands, both of you squat and hold your arms out, then one of you runs. It’s terrible. If I could become Grand Master Of Wrestling or whatever and change the way people behaved, one of my first rules would be “only Irish whip somebody if you’re trying to throw them into something.” You don’t need a bounce off the ropes to set up a clothesline. If you do, you’d better be throwing a Clothesline From Hell.
Worst: Kelly Kelly Looks Like A Carpet Sample
I can’t tell if she’s wearing gloves or if that’s her hand color. She looks like the Greendale Human Being.
Best: An NXT Writer Refuses To Kill His Darling
I don’t know how this happened, but there’s an amazing moment in the middle of this episode. Aksana goes to Goldust with flowers and tries to get on his good side to avoid elimination. He doesn’t have the Million Dollar Title anymore, so Aksana busts out a reference that absolutely do not come from Aksana’s brain:
“It was like in Lord Of The Rings, when the Smeagol turns to gumbo?”
Goldie quickly says “Gollum?” and asks her if she’s seriously comparing their marriage to Lord of the Rings. WHEN THE SMEAGOL TURNS TO GUMBO. She might say “gumball.” I just picture a writer who has worked on this goddamn Goldust/Aksana story for a month being all F*CK IT, I HAD TO WRITE A BUNCH OF NONSENSE, SHE’S SAYING MY LORD OF THE RINGS LINE and coaching Aksana all day. “It was like in The Lord Of The Rings, when Smeagol becomes obsessed with the One Ring and it transforms him into Gollum. It was like in The Lord Of The Rings, when Smeagol becomes obsessed with the One Ring and it transforms him into Gollum. It was like in The Lord Of The Rings, when Smeagol becomes obsessed with the One Ring and it transforms him into Gollum.” And then an hour later they film the shot and she says THE SMEAGOL TURN TO GOMBOWL and dude just throws his hands in the air and stomps away.
Worst: These Poor People Who Camped Out To Get WrestleMania XXVII Tickets
Oh you poor people, I wish I could go back in time and pull you out of line. “Snooki wrestles. Michael Cole wins a 15-minute match against Jim Ross. The Daniel Bryan/Sheamus match ends up a pre-show battle royal won by the Great Khali and The Rock wins the main event. No, I know that last part sounds cool, but he’s not in the match. Also, it ends in a double count-out. Use your money to buy groceries.”
Best: This Amazing Little Aksana/AJ Match Nobody Remembers
The second match on the show is Aksana vs. AJ Lee. Michael Cole spends the match on the phone and talks about how he’s “bored out of his skull.” Josh barks at Cole for insulting him and saying he’s not a good color analyst, and for repeating his jokes. Meanwhile, Aksana and AJ are quietly killing it in the ring.
There’s so much awesome stuff going on. As we learned earlier in the season, Aksana could’ve been a great wrestler if they’d played up how naturally hossy she was instead of making her a “mysterious, sexy foreigner.” Instead of doing sexy crawls into pinfalls, she’s doing stuff like tossing AJ out of the ring, baiting her to get back in by opening the ropes for her, then IMMEDIATELY THROWING HER BACK OUT BY THE HAIR when she steps in. It’s awesome. Also, blatant kicks to the crotch that nobody notices or calls.
Then they start dueling submissions. Yes, this is an Aksana match. While Cole’s cackling about how he has Vince McMahon’s phone number and talks to Joey Styles, Aksana breaks out this:
In response, AJ catches Aksana in Dragon Kid’s Christo, which you may recognize as a variation of the Octopus Stretch, aka AJ’s modern finish, The Black Widow.
The Octopus Stretch is FROM JUNGLE, if we’re staying consistent with our Toryumon/Dragon Gate references. Regardless, they wrestled one of the best matches of the season for the enjoyment of NOBODY, except maybe Goldust, who makes “IS ANYBODY ELSE WATCHING THIS” faces the entire time. Great stuff, and probably the last passable Aksana match.
Best: The Best John Cena Video Package Not Narrated By DMX Ever Produced
The Survivor Series match between Randy Orton and Wade Barrett that leads to Cena getting “fired” and still showing up every week to beat up the Nexus at will is terrible, but this video package to hype it is one of the best WWE’s ever done. It’s everything good about melodramatic John Cena, without all the other stuff that happens and ruins it.
Spoiler alert: Four years later he’s still pulling the same “am I a good man” shit. If you paste Brock Lesnar’s face over Barrett’s you could use it to sell Night Of Champions.
Best/Worst: Goodbye Lithuania’s Rose
The final competition of the episode is DISS THE DIVA AGAIN. They say even less than they did the first time, so I’m skipping it. I think the meanest thing that happens is AJ saying Kaitlyn stole her boots.
Anyway, they announce that Aksana has been eliminated, and my girl FAINTS. Just straight-up faints in front of everybody. She wouldn’t be back until almost a year later, when she resurfaced as Teddy Long’s assistant on Smackdown. It was all downhill from there. RIP NXT season 3 Aksana, you entertainment me.