A reminder of the cast of Season Three of WWE NXT:
— Rookie: A.J. Lee. Pro: Primo.
— Rookie: Naomi. Pro: Kelly Kelly.
— Rookie: Maxine. Pro: Alicia Fox.
— Rookie: Aksana. Pro: Goldust.
— Rookie: Jamie Keyes. Pros: Bella Twins.
— Rookie: Kaitlyn. Pro: Vickie Guerrero.
Tonight’s episode of NXT began with a video package on last week’s elimination that sent Aksana packing. “Somebody make mistake,” Aksana claimed. “I entertainment you.” Cue up the NXT video intro to set up the next-to-last episode of NXT Season 3.
Michael Cole said it’s two weeks “until we end this.” Cole sent it to the ring where Matt Striker introduced the three remaining Rookies: Kaitlyn, Naomi, and A.J. Cole sounded somewhat inebriated. Perhaps intentionally. Cole mocked Mathews acting serious like he’s Gordon Solie. Striker went through the cliché book and set up the first Rookie Challenge. It’s WWE Trivia yet again. He said there is no immunity tonight. So, what’s the point of the challenges? That’s rhetorical.
WWE Trivia Competition
First question. Who won Season – interruption. Season 1? Naomi correctly answered Wade Barrett, which drew boos. They cut to a shot of Cole leaning back in his chair talking over Striker. Next was the first NXT Pros. A.J. correctly answered. Next was the immigration dude. A.J. said Dickapopolus. Striker said it’s a PG show, but that’s right. Next was Daniel Bryan’s Pro. Naomi correctly said The Miz, which drew a lot of heat. Cole woke up and shouted, “The era of awesomeness.” They cut to Mathews reading his iPad while Cole was turned around in his chair on his phone.
In the second round, A.J. scored Madison Square Garden as the venue for the first WrestleMania. A.J. then scored Undertaker as the person who retired Shawn Michaels. Next, which WWE Hall of Famer was WWF Women’s champ for over 20 years. Mathews whispered, “Bruno’s not in the Hall of Fame?” A.J. correctly scored Moolah. Next was a question on the Tribute to the Troops., followed by The Game being…Triple H. A.J. scored again and won 1,300 meaningless points.
Kaitlyn was in the ring for the next match. Cole plugged John Cena’s Farewell Address from Raw to be re-visited later in the show. Nikki Bella came out next along with Brie Bella for the match against Kaitlyn.
Match #1: NIKKI BELLA (w/Brie Bella) vs. KAITLYN (w/Vickie Guerrero)
Brie remained on the ring apron to encourage the more aggressive of the twins. Cole started a conversation on the Bellas randomly approaching Daniel Bryan last night on Raw and Bryan apparently rejecting their advances. Kaitlyn used her power offense early on as Cole noted the Pros are still evaluating the Rookies tonight ahead of the elimination. Nikki then came back with an emphatic move and played to the crowd, almost taunting the seemingly empty arena. She’s developed a very marketable edge to her character. Mathews plugged the WWE App on his iPhone, which can be found the iTunes market. The announcers were surprisingly no-selling Vickie ringside.
Cole then talked about Miz becoming new WWE champion. Mathews noted Miz’s title victory leading to a Trending Topic and TMZ covering it. Nikki picked up the win and Cole acknowledged Vickie telling her she needs a new Rookie. Vickie began screaming at Kaitlyn, who tried to brush Vickie aside. Mathews said Vickie is the worst Pro in the history of WWE.
Winner: Nikki in 5:00
John Cena’s Farewell Address complete with dramatic, drawn-out piano music setting up the recap. They did the Lou Gehrig “farewell at Yankee Stadium” echo gimmick. Hall of Famers (famers, famers). Fantasy (fantasy, fantasy). They showed Cena walking off into the sunset down the parking garage entrance.
Kelly Kelly’s music hit to bring out Naomi for another match. Primo’s music was next to bring out A.J. for a Rookie vs. Rookie match.
Match #2: A.J. (w/Primo) vs. NAOMI (w/Kelly Kelly)
Mathews dramatically tried to build up a talking point of the interesting relationship between A.J. and Primo lately. Cole just no-sold. Cole said he was informed by one of his producers that he talks way too much. He then started to cut a promo on his producer before plugging the King of the Ring tournament on Monday’s three-hour episode. Naomi and A.J. were even-steven through the first two minutes, so they shook hands after a handshake. Mathews wondered aloud if there will be another season of NXT. Cole muttered he hopes not.
A.J. and Naomi exchanged nearfalls while Cole pouted on commentary. They came to their feet and traded blows before a double knock down following a Tornado DDT by A.J. Primo and Kelly encouraged their Rookies to get up. “Shut up, Primo,” Kelly shouted across the ring to Primo. Cole finally came to life and said, “This is a great match-up!” A.J. built momentum, but ran into a spinning heel kick from Naomi. A.J. then slapped on her octopus submission and Cole shouted, “Octopus, octopus, octopus, octopus, octopus, tap out, tap out, tap out, tap out, go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep!” Naomi eventually tapped out, giving A.J. the win.
Winner: A.J. via submission in 7:00
Contest still to come: Sumo suit fighting.
Sumo suit fighting Competition
Striker was back in the ring to reintroduce the NXT Rookies again. They rolled to the ring in sumo fat suits. Kaitlyn fell down and rolled down the ramp, which prompted a Chimel joke from Cole. Naomi managed to make it to the ring on her feet. A.J. looked odd. Cole bit his lip on commenting to avoid getting in trouble. Striker said they all look great – like Michael Cole’s girlfriends. That drew a pop from the crowd. Cole said he doesn’t have girlfriends because he’s married. Striker noted the rules for Last Sumo Standing.
First up were Kaitlyn and Naomi. Naomi was knocked out, so Kaitlyn advances. Kelly was – I believe – disgusted. Not sure on the facial reaction. Next was a deep sigh from Cole before Kaitlyn and A.J. battled. Kaitlyn did running commentary while Mathews chuckled and Cole remained silent. They dragged this out as Striker noted it’s like King Kong Bundy vs. One Man Gang. The stalemate continued as Mathews made a Billy Kidman reference. Two Billy Kidman references in two days.
Striker reset the action, made an Abdullah the Butcher reference, and called for the bell. Cole mocked the Abdullah name-drop, saying no one remembers him. Reverse psychology on hinting Abdullah in the 2011 Hall of Fame? On the reset, Kaitlyn knocked A.J. out of the circle, making her the winner. Cole noted Kaitlyn won a competition that doesn’t matter because there is no immunity.
Cole set up a video package on the opposite side of the break going back to Raw where it’s “rare” the WWE Title is defended, plus footage of Miz becoming WWE champion.
-Commercial Break (They plugged the new WWE Title book capturing what it means to hold the most “coveted title in all of entertainment.” Sounds like a Bischoff line) –
Cole and Mathews plugged the King of the Ring tournament qualifying matches this Friday on Smackdown. Mathews then fed to the Raw Rebound on Miz becoming new WWE champion via MITB cash-in. They included the now-iconic image of the ten-year-old girl staring a hole into the ring with an evil look.
Striker was with the three remaining Rookies. A.J. said she hopes Naomi is cut so she can dance with Kaitlyn one-on-one next week. Kaitlyn said Aksana, then Naomi. She also wants A.J. one-on-one. Naomi said Kaitlyn should be gone since she can’t wrestle.
Back on stage, the Rookies pretended to huddle up to vote as Cole called it the latest elimination of Season 4. Mathews corrected him and they went to break.
Striker assembled the three remaining Rookies ringside to see which Diva Rookie is going home. Cue the drumroll and, yes, A.J. is eliminated.
The crowd booed and groaned. A.J. took the mic and thanked everyone who voted for her. She began to cry talking about the fans being ready for a Diva like her. A.J. wants to represent all of the girls watching and be a girl the guys want to hang out with. A.J. said this is not the last they have seen of her. She said she will be back and she will accomplish her dreams.
Striker gave it up for A.J., who hugged it out with Naomi and Kaitlyn. Primo just shook his head on the stage unhappy with the elimination. They replayed A.J.’s reaction as Mathews and Cole sold shock over the cut. They replayed Primo selling disbelief. Mathews said voting for next week’s final elimination begins at noon EST on WWE’s website tomorrow. They showed Kaitlyn and Naomi standing next to each other ringside as the final shot to wrap up the show.
NIKKI BELLA (w/Brie Bella) vs. KAITLYN (w/Vickie Guerrero)
Fine showcase of Nikki’s personality, which she has managed to get over on this show. (*)
A.J. (w/Primo) vs. NAOMI (w/Kelly Kelly)
Cole was acting as he sold excitement over the match, but it was a strong match. Both A.J. and Naomi could provide a boost to the women’s division and have strong matches with the top women’s wrestlers on the roster. (**)
That’s all for now, see you all next week.
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