Previously on NXT…
The first elimination of the season took place and perhaps the most well known rookie girl, Jamie, was sent packing. Her send-off from the show was filled with dignity and class, and well wishes for the remaining five. Aksana‘s immigration woes took a turn for the worse when it was revealed that she had four weeks to clear up her issues or she would be deported. Maxine took a horrible bump in the ring that may or may not keep her sidelined with a neck issue. And finally, the Kaitlyn/Dolph/Vickie Guerrero love triangle came to a head when Kaitlyn defeated Vickie in a one-on-one match.
How will tonight’s episode play out? Keep watching and find out!
As per usual, the gorgeous Matt Striker is the first person we see when NXT begins. He announces the girls and out comes Maxine, Aksana, Kaitlyn, AJ, and Naomi. They get in the ring and for some reason all of them have air horns in their hands. Striker tells them that the next elimination is three weeks away and as far as challenges go, the slate has been wiped clean. Everyone starts from scratch tonight and the first competition of the evening is going to be Name That Tune. For the first round, thirty seconds of a WWE Superstar theme will play and the first girl to sound their horn will get a chance to answer. In the second round, the points will be doubled.
This competition isn’t really a competition to be honest. AJ basically gets every single theme song right but one. All the other girls stand there and look dumbfounded and AJ even seems a bit embarrassed that she knows every single answer. She scores 1900 out of a possible 2000, with Naomi getting 100 points for an earlier answer. Needless to say, AJ picks up her first challenge win. Striker announces that up next is a rookie versus pro match, with Naomi taking on former Diva’s Champion, Alicia Fox. The show fades to a promo for Chris Jericho’s new DVD.
Kelly Kelly is coming to the ring when NXT returns. She looks very pretty tonight. Naomi is announced during Kelly’s entrance and Kelly stands on the apron. Alicia and Maxine make their way to the ring next. Alicia looks incredibly perky tonight and Maxine just looks confident. Maxine goes to take a seat at the broadcast table and the bell rings to begin the match.
The two girls lock up and begin to jostle for position. When they break hold, Naomi aggressively shoves Alicia back and the stoic Fox tells her to just bring it on. Alicia takes a hold of Naomi’s arm and begins to work it over. She throws a few elbows to the side of the rookie’s head before Naomi is able to take her down and roll her up with a schoolgirl. Alicia gets out of it and takes Naomi down with a huge right hand. She helps her back up and throws her into the corner. When Alica charges her, Naomi leaps over top of her. Alicia is confused and goes back at Naomi, but once again the ex-dancer shows off her athleticism by jumping over her opponent and then she sends Alicia crashing to the mat via drop-kick. Alicia is reeling and is taken down twice more by the popular rookie competitor. Naomi throws Alicia into the ropes and knocks her down with a cute little booty bump. A horrified and out of sorts Alicia rolls out of the ring to collect herself.
Naomi follows her to the outside and throws Alicia back inside the ring. Naomi climbs in after her but Alicia tells her to hang on a second. She apologizes and gingerly makes her way to the ropes. She’s holding her chest and the referee tells Naomi to back up for a minute. Alicia apologizes again and she kicks Naomi in the stomach. She doubles over in pain and the crafty pro is pretty proud of herself. She hits some convincing forearms that connect to Naomi’s face and then she slams her head into the turnbuckle. Naomi is backed into the corner now and in a world of trouble. Alicia flips her to the mat and locks in a sleeper hold. Kelly gets the crowd to rally behind Naomi and she fights her way to her feet. Alicia isn’t having that and she once again gets Naomi down. Alicia goes for a cover but Naomi powers out after a two count. Alicia locks the sleeper back in and starts to jaw jack at Naomi and Kelly.
Kelly responds by getting the crowd behind Naomi once again. Naomi fights her way back up to her feet and shoves Alicia back with some elbows to the gut. She misses wildly with a big kick but she comes back to catch Alicia’s jaw. Alicia falls to the mat clearly stunned. Naomi goes for a cover but she’s unable to score the upset. Alicia just barely kicks out. Naomi backs off and Alicia has to use the ropes to try and pull herself to her feet. Naomi plays to the crowd and flies at Alicia. Her feet connect with Alicia’s face as she flips over her and lands on the apron. Alicia falls back and Naomi climbs to the top rope. Alicia stumbles to her feet and as Naomi goes for a crossbody, she just barely gets out of the way. Alicia uses the opportunity to hit an axe kick, but she misses it. Cole covers it up nicely and mentions that it may have caught Naomi on the spine and when Alicia goes for the cover, Naomi has the presence of mind to kick out. Alicia goes for the finish again, gets Naomi right in the middle of the back, and this time she makes the pin. Alicia wins a great match and celebrates with Maxine.
The celebration is cut and we are taken to the backstage area. Goldust is talking to Aksana and he tells her that she is doing a tremendously great job. Aksana is distracted and Goldust picks up on this and asks her what’s wrong. Aksana says she spoke to a lawyer and things are pretty bleak. There’s no options for her at this point and she is going to have to go home until they can fix her papers. Goldust says there’s always options but Aksana just doesn’t agree. She says going home for six months will kill all her hopes and dreams. Goldust reassures her that just won’t happen. Goldust says they will fix it but she has to focus on the task at hand right now. Aksana reiterates that she just can’t and Goldust takes her face in his hands. He tells her to listen to him. She can focus and she can do this no matter what. He peps her up and says that there is another competition and a match and she can shine. He says he believes in her and then asks Aksana if she trust him. Aksana isn’t sure. Goldust says that she better and he finally gets her to say yes. Goldust is pleased and then starts to tell Aksana what she has to do tonight. They begin to discuss strategy as NXT fades to a “Legendary” promo.
Following that, there’s something about SmackDown this week and finally our show returns to us. All the girls are in the ring and Striker runs down what is going to happen next. All the girls have one minute to talk about whatever they want to talk about. Naomi goes first. Striker asks her for her topic and she says that she just wants to vent. There is someone on NXT who is working her nerves and that person is none other than Michael Cole. She says that she’s sick of his negativity and his bad attitude, and that he is no Jim Ross so he should stop acting like he’s all that on commentary. Naomi continues on her rant by saying that all the girls are sick of looking at him to and if he doesn’t like NXT then he can just leave. She caps off her promo by saying Cole should do something with his hair because she’s tired of seeing all the gray. She asks the crowd if they agree and she gets a huge pop in response. Love it so much.
AJ goes second and she says that tonight she is going to put out a personal ad for herself. She says that she’s single and she wants to tell everyone what her dream date is. They would go back to her place and turn the lights down real low. Then they would start to turn things on, like her X-Box. If they don’t like X-Box, she has a PS3 and if they’re hungry, she’ll take care of it because she’s probably already ordered a pizza. After all that, they can pop in an action movie and call it a night around ten. That was adorable.
Up third is Kaitlyn and her topic is age before beauty. She turns to her pro, Vickie, and says that like a fine wine, Vickie just keeps getting better with age. She says that she can’t help but respect how experienced Vickie is and then she tries to compare her to a nicely aged piece of cheese. It’s pretty painful and Kaitlyn admits that she’s stumbling over her words. She says that she got together with Dolph and they bought Vickie a present. It’s her favorite perfume, Bengay. Oh boy. Epic fail.
Aksana is fourth and tonight she is going to talk about America. Before she starts, she gives a shout out to immigration and says that she hopes they’re watching because she thinks America is the most beautiful country. Aksana says that without America there wouldn’t be double double ‘E universe and without double double ‘E universe there would be no Aksana and Goldust. She blows him a kiss. Aksana says that furthermore, without double double ‘E universe there would be no beautiful people sitting in the crowd and that she loves everyone. She thanks Christopher Columbus for discovering America and takes her spot back in line. This segment is so epic.
Last up is Maxine and she says that her topic tonight is disrespect. She says that last week Hornswoggle disrespected her by shoving a pie in her face, but nonetheless she was going to end up on top. Maxine turns her attention to Kaitlyn and says that Kaitlyn is actually lucky to have Vickie as her pro but she doesn’t appreciate it because she had to go and disrespect the relationship between Dolph and Vickie. Maxine calls Kaitlyn a homewrecker and says that is not how ladies conduct their business. She’s so good at this.
Striker wraps up the segment and sends it back to Mathews and Cole. They talk about the Power Punch Challenge, which is next, and take us into the Raw Rebound.
The Raw Rebound concludes and we’re shown a video package of Kaitlyn’s match with Vickie from last week. The leads into a backstage shot of Kaitlyn who seems to be prepping for the second challenge of the night; Power of the Punch. She’s punching at the air when Vickie walks up to her. Vickie says that she really wanted Kaitlyn eliminated last week but since she wasn’t they’re stuck together for another three weeks. Vickie says that they can live in peace instead of making each others’ lives a living hell. Kaitlyn says she is cool with that but Vickie has a condition. Kaitlyn is not allowed to look at Dolph Ziggler, much less talk to him or touch him. If she catches Kaitlyn ear Dolph then getting eliminated from NXT will be the least of the rookie’s worries. Kaitlyn basically just rolls her eys.
Cue pointless promo for crappy movie no one is going to see. Womp womp. Knucklehead just looks awful. Once that pointless crap is done, we return to the set where all the girls are seen onstage. It’s time for the second competition. This one is a bit better than the first, but not by much. Naomi completely destroys the competition AFTER having to redo her punch because the first time she hit the bag with two hands. Here are the scores:
Naomi is the clear winner and to celebrate her victory she mocks Michael Cole. Beautiful! NXT cuts away for a Tribute To The Troops promo and when it returns we go into the main event match of the evening; Aksana versus AJ!
Goldust and Aksana make their way to the ring first. Aksana is forcing her smile and once she steps inside the ring she looks very hesitant to go into this match. Goldust gives her a brief pep talk and Aksana fakes that smile once again and gets set for action against AJ. And speaking of AJ, the Union City, New Jersey native names her way to the ring next accompanied by her pro, Primo. AJ and Primo make their way inside the ring and Primo has a few words for encouragement for his rookie as the bell sounds. Primo and Goldust exit the ring and Aksana and AJ get set to start their match.
AJ takes Aksana down with an arm drag and follows it up with a drop kick to Aksana’s chest. She leaps up at her opponent, slides down, and rolls her up for a crucifix. Aksana scampers out of it and climbs out of the ring. She walks over to Goldust and says she can’t do this. Aksana is pretty pissed and Goldust tells her she has to get back in the ring. Aksana fights with him but he pulls her into a hug and tries to encourage her to continue on with the match. Aksana finally gets back into the ring, albeit reluctantly, and AJ is quick to take advantage. She starts working on Aksana’s arm but the girl who is facing deportation responds with a mighty slap to AJ’s kisser. The spunky brunette hits the mat and Aksana starts to complain again. She slapped AJ so hard she hurt her hand and Goldust tells her that she has to stay on AJ. AJ slowly gets back to her feet and Aksana picks her up for a body slam. AJ wiggles out of it and wraps her arms around Aksana’s neck. She grounds with a headlock and starts working her over and trying to wear her down. Aksana’s fighting spirit doesn’t go and she fights out of the move and heads to the ropes. She drops to her knees in front of AJ and slams her in the face.
AJ flies back and a disoriented Aksana doesn’t know what to do next. Goldust tells her to finish off AJ, but it’s AJ who is able to reverse another power slam attempt and roll Aksana up in a modified small package. She steals this win but it’s Aksana who is about to steal the entire show.
Primo and AJ celebrate her victory, while Goldust tries to console his rookie. They highlight the ending of the match and Goldust has a microphone when that’s finished. Goldust tells Aksana that everything is okay and tells her to stand up. He says he knows this immigration drama is driving her crazy and that it’s starting to scare her but they do have options. Aksana starts screaming that there aren’t options. Goldust says yes there is. He suggest they get married. Aksana makes him repeat himself. Goldust does and strokes her face while adding he did say he would do anything to help her. He takes Aksana’s hand and drops down to one knee. The crowd goes berserk and Goldust asks Aksana if she will marry him. It takes Aksana a moment to digest what is going on but once it sinks it, her face brightens and she agrees. She leaps in his arms and the soon to be golden couple of the WWE celebrate to end the show. Ohmygod.
Wow. What a great night of NXT action! I’m going to have a lot of fun with these top five things so lets get it started. Coming in at number five tonight was Maxine’s promo during the speaking segment. This girl is growing on me each and every week, and after she nearly died last week, how can you not cheer for her? She picked a great topic to talk about and she delivered her lines flawlessly. Maxine just oozes sexuality and her words are filled with innuendos that make you scratch your head and wonder if it’s really PG or not. She’s a breath of fresh air in terms of a heel Diva and I truly hope that she sticks around for awhile, and beyond. I’ve said it several times that I think Maxine would make an amazing heel manager for someone and I stand by that claim. Pair her with the right Superstar and you just may have a future power couple. I love it.
Another promo takes the fourth spot tonight and that promo belonged to AJ. I thought it was so clever and charming that she put herself out there like that. I’ve been really rough on her this season, even went as far as to dub her my new Percy Watson, but she proved that she could cut the hyper chick on speed act and just be natural. I love that she’s finally embraced this uber face character they’ve given her and the difference now is that she’s made it herself. This is the first week that I haven’t felt like AJ was a fake or a poser. She’s just AJ and even though I like her better as a heel, just AJ is fine with me as long as she’s this endearing.
Plus she led Matt Striker right into the line of the season: “I’m more of a Craig’s List guy.” Seeing everyone crack up over that was just amazing.
Taking the middle spot tonight is the Power of the Punch Challenge. Finally we got a challenge that the male rookies got to participate in and it wasn’t watered down. Naomi’s score wasn’t to far off Alex Riley’s from Season 2 and the fact she mocked Michael Cole, again, was just amazing. Of course, I’ll get into that more later. Kaitlyn’s whiff was hilarious. She had a terrible night and despite the fact she’s my favorite, I’m glad that she didn’t dominate the headlines this week. It’s nice that the WWE is handling her carefully and they held her back. She doesn’t need to be overexposed. The creepiest thing and perhaps my favorite moment in the whole challenge was when Aksana got a 666. Striker commented, “…what does that have to say about you?” I laughed. It got better due to the fact the other girls moved away from Aksana. The poor thing just stood there with a confused look on her face. I don’t think she has any clue what 666 stands for.
In our runner-up spot tonight is Naomi herself. Not only did she deliver big time with her match against Alicia, but she brought it on the microphone. The WWE is reportedly very high on Naomi and they took a big step in pushing her tonight when they gave her free reign to bash Michael Cole. She said what all of us fans want to say and she stuck it right to him. Naomi said she hated his face, his hair, and if he disliked NXT so much then he should just leave. She won my heart last night. Naomi is so ready to be on the main roster. She’s already better than the majority of the girls up there right now.
As a side-note, I want to say kudos to Alicia, Naomi, and the commentators for covering up the missed ending and making it look so good. Everyone kept their cool and I love that neither Alicia nor Naomi panicked. They simply tried again and that’s really all you can do. Mistakes happen and not just to Divas. I probably loved this part most of all.
And last, but not least is our number one moment of the night. It pretty much capped off the best episode of NXT ever and it’s something I’ve been waiting for since this whole thing began. Following the conclusion of her match against AJ, Aksana basically had a breakdown. Her immigration problems have built up to the point where they’re making her lose focus and she lost it. Goldust came to her rescue and comforted her. He told her that he promised he would do whatever he could to help her, and he offered her his hand in marriage. Aksana looked surprised, and a bit baffled. But when Goldust got down on one knee and asked her to marry him right there in the middle of the ring Aksana’s eyes lit up and she gleefully accepted his proposal. My heart swelled. My eyes filled with tears. The golden duo of season three shared an embrace as the show came to an oh so premature close. Just brilliant.
What did you guys think of this week’s offering? Agree? Disagree? Sound off in comments. Until nxt week, Cryssi… out!