Well, I guess I'll make the rain fall this week. It's the debut episode of WWE NXT exclusively on nxt.wwe.com in the United States, the best WWE show not on television.
First off, at 9:26pm ET, The Bella Twins posted on Twitter that Jamie was eliminated, spoiling the results for anyone reading. Including me. I was so annoyed, but amused, but really annoyed, I retweeted the info to WWE, the Bellas, Howard Finkel on the Live Chat, and others, thereby also ruining it for people, including CRZ (my bad). But in my defense, I was on a noble ten minute or so crusade to see if I could help get the Bellas fired. More valuable people than Brie and Nikki have been released from WWE for less of an infraction than giving away the results of their own TV show a half hour before the show aired. In any case, I'm very curious if any action gets taken against the Bellas.
Anyway, onto NXT, which went from the AJ and Kaitlyn Show last week to The Aksana and Kaitlyn Show this week. It's pretty clear Kaitlyn is A) a babyface now and B) The most popular Diva on the show but Aksana had the best week of her life too.
Mechanical Bull Riding was the first elimination challenge, which Aksana won with 19 seconds on the bull, about twice what everyone else managed (plus she kissed the bull, which Josh couldn't get over). Also, AJ and Kaitlyn continued their weird side jokes and that perplexed Cole (Josh: "They're friends.") AJ mounted the bull wearing a little cowboy hat just like the one Kurt Angle wore when he sang Jimmy Cracked Corn.
Aksana had a huge week in more ways than winning her first elimination challenge. In the first match of the night (hey, wrestling matches this week) Aksana defeated Maxine in a match where Aksana performed the most horrific looking snapmare ever that looked like it drilled Maxine into the mat like a DDT. Maxine recovered and maintained offense, eventually hitting Aksana with a clothesline. Then, in the now patented NXT style, Aksana, who was just hit by a vicious move, no sold it to reverse a pin attempt and cradle Maxine for the victory.
Backstage, Aksana and Goldust were visited by a dreaded INS agent regarding her status in the US. This was unbelievably awesome in the following ways: 1) The INS agent looked like a fat indy curtain jerker from 1992 and sounded like a distant cousin of Vince Russo, 2) Goldust made reference to his ridiculous hair, 3) Goldust had the Million Dollar belt with him, 4) The INS agent called Aksana "the Russian Trish Stratus" to which Aksana replied, "I'm not Russian but I do love Trish", and 5) Goldust lovingly assured Aksana he'll take care of this mess, which made me believe, thanks to the crack about the INS agent's hair, that GOLDUST IS SETTING THIS WHOLE THING UP HIMSELF TO MARRY AKSANA AND MAKE HER HIS NEW MARLENA! (This is just a theory, but come on!)
Next up is the second elimination challenge, which was a talent competition. Cole: "I'm sure these Divas have... (pause) ...some sort of talent!" (igniting snickers from Josh.) Thing was, the Divas actually are pretty talented considering.
Up first was Aksana, who said her talent was "push ups". Aksana then contorts her body inside out so that her legs are resting on her shoulders as she delivers a series of the Damnedest Push Ups I Ever Saw, King! It was legitimately amazing. Aksana has completely turned her chances around now and is a legitimate dark horse to win NXT. No one has made the complete 180 like this perhaps in the history of NXT.
Next was Nadine, who rapped (of course). Kelly Kelly seemed to love her rap but it was really no better than the rap in the opening credits of Captain Planet.
AJ said her talent is giving Michael Cole a "personality transplant", which Cole took umbrage to. AJ then said her real talent was "flexibility" and she certainly is flexible - IN THE EXACT SAME WAYS CHRISTY HEMME HAD ALREADY SHOWN US SIX YEARS AGO WHEN SHE WON THE FIRST DIVA SEARCH. Cole: "She's not gonna win!" But many of her poses were suggestive in a very non-PG way so, I heart you AJ.
Next was Jamie, who claimed her talent was "turning men on", and she then made out with Striker. It turned that one Man on but not Men.
Kaitlyn had an easel and used her talent for art to draw a picture of Vickie Guerrero, which was a stick figure with a big ass and stink lines. Cole was offended by the stick figure: "Vickie's not a stick figure! SHE'S VOLUPTUOUS!" and Vickie was even more offended, but the crowd ate it up. Kaitlyn is now a babyface to match her beautiful baby face.
Finally, Maxine was up and she somehow had the power to pull a clip of last week on the Titan Tron where she crashed Hornswoggle on the wheelbarrow race. Maxine invited Hornswoggle to the ring because she baked him a pie, which we presume is her talent. But no, it was a heel ruse, you see! She smeared frosting on Horny's face (Cole: "I saw that coming!") so Hornswoggle piefaces her literally (Cole: "I saw that coming too!").
Crowd reactions went: Cheers for Aksana, boos for Nadine's rap, cheers (but a few boos) for AJ, thunderous boos for Jamie, thunderous cheers for Kaitlyn, and boos for Maxine. Kaitlyn was clearly the winner, BUT, that means both Kaitlyn and AJ have won three eliminations each, but only one may have immunity.
SO... Kaitlyn and AJ step forward and Striker calls for the 1994 Royal Rumble Popularity Contest Between Lex Luger and Bret Hart. The audience decides by their cheers that they like Bret, I mean, KAITLYN MORE! Kaitlyn has taken away AJ's immunity! But they're friends and they hug, no hard feelings besides a little pout from AJ.
This is now the Kaitlyn Show as Vickie comes to the ring for their match, accompanied by Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler. Between Vickie's calesthentics (read: stalling) and Kaitlyn's inexperience, it takes a little bit to get going beyond some slaps. Vickie leaves the ring but suckers Kaitlyn, pulling her out of the ring to the floor and whacking her around the ringside barricade. Cole: "This is what NXT is all about!" Josh: "This is?!" Cole is actually completely out of control with his Vickie praise, to the point where Josh outright questioned his sanity. Most of Vickie's offense involves Kaitlyn choked on the bottom rope while Vickie stood on her, but Vickie goes for a body slam in the center of the ring and hurts her back in the process. Kaitlyn channels Hulk Hogan slamming Andre the Giant at WrestleMania III and body slams Vickie. Kaitlyn goes for the pin but Vickie kicks out! My hopes for a KAITLYN SPEAR are dashed as Kaitlyn merely rolls up Vickie for the pin. Ziggler enters the ring to presumably comfort Vickie, although he really just wearily keeps his distance, but Kaitlyn decides to rub salt in Vickie's wounds by repeatedly hugging Dolph as Dolph tries to push her off but not really. Vickie is madder than ever.
Finally, it's time for the elimination. "Who will be eliminated?" Striker asks. Random fan: "ALL OF THEM!" To my surprise, they completely eschew the Pros Poll and any form of showing how the Rookie Divas ranked via the voting. Nor do they speak to the Pros about their thoughts about the Rookies' chances, strengths and weaknesses, like in the prior seasons. What, WWE doesn't trust Kelly Kelly, Alicia Fox or the Bellas to give fake reasons why the Rookies are ranked the way they are? (Well, they have good reason now not to trust the Bellas, it turns out...)
Instead, the Tron showed their faces like a lottery (or like the WWE Draft lottery) and ...to no one's surprise who was on Twitter from 9:30pm to 10pm Eastern (sorry again, CRZ) JAMIE IS ELIMINATED. The news of Jamie's elimination literally knocked one of the Bellas off her chair because when the camera cuts to the stage, a Bella is sprawled out on the floor in shock. Jamie does the blah blah blah thanks to the WWE Universe the greatest fans in the world blah blah blah They're really great because they cut Jamie right out first. I think the WWE Universe got it right. Aksana is now surging and Maxine is at least a heel and attractive. Bye, Jamie. And bye bye NXT for this week.
Finally, the video quality on nxt.wwe.com was horrible. I'm talking Sega CD quality pixelization at many points, especially during entrances. The audio was off too: the crowd was amped way up. We could hear the crowd perfectly and we could hear the Pros on the aprons loud and clear but Cole and Josh were barely audible. They should really do something about that. But bad sound and bad picture aside, I'd at least like to see the gong return.
Oh, and CRZ, says AJ:
@RookieAJ NXT notes: ...Robot handshakes are ALWAYS appropriate, and yes that cowboy hat was a Stone Cold banjo skit shout out.
(edited by John Orquiola on 5.10.10 2224) @BackoftheHead
I'm tempted to actually spend the three days it would probably take me to download this. Hopefully they'll add all of the important clips to YouTube tomorrow and I can download those in a few hours instead.
The Bellas spoiling NXT probably doesn't come close to as big a fuck up as when Ryan Seacrest tweeted the American Idol elimination before the show aired on the east coast, resulting in the lowest ratings in show history.
They apparently realized they fucked up, though, because the tweet was deleted. On the other hand, is it possible that the whole thing was a publicity stunt? When Tony Schiavone gave away the results of Mick Foley winning the world title, the ratings skyrockted. Maybe management realized that everyone hopes Jamie dies in a fire and thought that leaking her elimination would boost viewership?
Apparently Kelly Kelly believes that Naomi has what it takes to win NXT. Apparently she doesn't understand that what it takes to win NXT is popularity, the one thing she's definitely lacking.
After Goldust dispatches of Dibiase, he should go ahead and collect the US and WWE titles, as well. Hell, he's still tag partners with Yoshi Tatsu, right? Give him the tag titles as well, then he can grab the Intercontinental and World titles over on Smackdown. And hell, why not? Kick Hornswoggle's ass and proclaim himself the new Cruiserweight champion to boot. Then he can lead Aksana to victory against LayCool so that Goldy can wear one of the undefined Divas belts as well.
Completely unrelated to NXT but since I saw it while looking at the Bella's tweets... Melina sure is dumb.
Jamie being eliminated might be the highlight of what has started out to be a very good week of WWE television.
Originally posted by InVerseI'm tempted to actually spend the three days it would probably take me to download this. Hopefully they'll add all of the important clips to YouTube tomorrow and I can download those in a few hours instead.
Kaitlyn is getting preferential treatment, this is an affront to the very foundation of fair competition that NXT has always been about. Aksana's talent was way better and scarier than Kaitlyn's. I am joining Vickie in her quest to destroy Kaitlyn.
We didn't do the-w Pro's Poll last week; who dropped the ball there besides not me? I would've voted for A.J. then but I'm voting for Aksana now. Her citizenship is at stake.
The announcing was a lot less giddy and amazingly over the top than they were in the dying days of SyFy so this show was a lot less fun. But at least they've maintained the spirit of pointing out that things are stupid.
Originally posted by JustinShapiroKaitlyn is getting preferential treatment, this is an affront to the very foundation of fair competition that NXT has always been about. Aksana's talent was way better and scarier than Kaitlyn's. I am joining Vickie in her quest to destroy Kaitlyn.
Everybody loves a winner, except Justin. Kaitlyn walked into NXT literally out of nowhere as a last second ringer for Future Endeavored Giantess In-Joke, and over five weeks built a cult following out of sheer intangibles. What Kaitlyn brings to the table is je ne sais quois and the innate ability to generate moments of genuine surprise and pleasure, like riding the cart to the finish line and that Spear I'll Never Forget.
Though Aksana proved this week her je ne sais quois is tres formidable. And weirdly, disturbingly alluring...
It's AJ who needs to step her game up. Her cutesy "I'm a little cross between Mickie James and Christy Hemme" schtick is in danger of making her passe.
As the crashing and burning of Nadine is proving, wrestling and the ability to wrestle has never meant less than it does in NXT3. This NXT will not be won by the best wrestler. In fact, no one likes the best wrestler. Rap yourself outta here, best wrestler.
Now, if I may get back to Bella bashing for a minute, the Bellas are idiots. Last night:
@thebellatwins Ditto!! Besos! B&N "@RealKellyKelly: I'm so proud of my rooki @Naomiwwe her rap was awesome she really has what it takes to win this......"
As InVerse said, what it takes to win NXT is POPULARITY.
Not only did the Bellas prove that two Pros are even more terrible than one Zack Ryder by having their Rookie be the first to be eliminated (kayfabe), and not only did they blow the results of the elimination (real life), but they continue to have terrible judgment and a lack of understanding about how to win this competition (little bit of both). Besos!
(edited by John Orquiola on 6.10.10 1111) @BackoftheHead
I really love your writeups of NXT, John. Seeing as how I'm not going to watch it online, I need your recaps more than ever.
That being said, it's NAOMI, not NADINE. Thank you.
"Put on your helmets, we'll be reaching speeds of 3!" "It was nice of you to give that dead woman another chance." "All right, look alive everybody...oh sorry Susan."- MST3K: Space Mutiny Click Here (myspace.com)
I forgot to watch this on The Score (9pm Wednesdays), so I found a way to download the stream from nxt.wwe.com thanks to someone showing me how to use rtmpdump.
AJ is still my favorite (and she's the Queen of Florida!), and Kaitlyn is still second. Aksana certainly elevated herself tonight with her push-ups. Maxine 4th, and Naomi or Jamie last would be my rankings, so I'm not too sad to see Jamie go.
Kaitlyn's popularity has been surging crazily, but they are giving her the most "to do" with storyline/angles. Aksana has her storyline too. None of the others have anything.
As a Canadian I can report the TV audio/video quality was still good for those of us who still have this show televised.
The show is back on track after last week, but it's really missing CM Punk and Gongy the NXT Gong.
Aksana did great (guess that core abdominal strength really paid off in the bull-riding), I think it helps her pro has about a billion times the experience as the others as he makes their skits much better than say *SPOILER ALERT* The Bella Twins would. Her match was a problem- she throws Maxine into the corner, then bounces off the ropes (almost like she was going for a pounce) even though she would be running AWAY from Maxine. And as The Orq said another person takes a power move then gets pinned.
They really need to get back to the Maxine/AJ feud so those two have something to do, and hopefully AJ can stop trying so hard and figure out a less-annoying personality. I mean, she's a hot, nerd wrestling fan who's actually using Twitter...this should be easy. Maxine needs to get full-on with her heel, she loses and does a kinda smiley thing? Sheamus would never do that, fella.
Kaitlyn continues to impress although I think this was the only week we didn't get a full-on robot, only a quickie robot handshake. She did try to sweet-talk the mechanical bull, but they need to bring back the spear.
I guess the elimination taught us if you're going to talk about sex appeal, be sure to actually HAVE sex appeal. RIP She-Hulk.
Sing this special song. It's just for you. Youtube and Hulu don't put the episodes of this show up until the weekend but they damn sure put up a clip called "Jamie is elminated" Wednesday morning. Combine that with the WWE's servers never letting me get past 9 minutes of the show and they sure are making watching NXT a chore.
That aside, it carries the same kind of vibe that Velocity or Saturday Night (even Dusty's ECW) had, in that they think no one is watching and the show is a bit freer and all the more awesome for it.
AJ is still awesome, and still kind of trying too hard.
Originally posted by J. KyleYoutube and Hulu don't put the episodes of this show up until the weekend but they damn sure put up a clip called "Jamie is elminated" Wednesday morning. Combine that with the WWE's servers never letting me get past 9 minutes of the show and they sure are making watching NXT a chore.
I guess WWE heard your complaints. Well, not yours, per se, but they must have heard complaints from the WWE Universe.
Posted Tuesday afternoon:
@JoeyStyles NXT will be streamed live on WWE.COM tonight at 10 E/7 P. Replays on demand on WWE.COM at Midnight E and on YouTube and Hulu tomorrow AM.
I saw the pilot for this show when I interviewed for a job writing it. It's almost exactly what you'd expect... think "I Love... Last Week". But between Jericho and my Modern Humorist bosses, it should be pretty entertaining.