Soon in to watching this episode of NXT, I decided that if there were to be no matches again I would have to seriously consider whether or not I wanted to keep watching this season. Luckily, there was a return to the ring, with two matches booked for this week.
There were challenges too, but there’s never too much to say about those, other than the winners. For posterity then, Aksana went on to win the bull-riding challenge.
Aksana would also go in to compete in the night’s first match, against Maxine. These two had a pretty good match that, though it only lasted five minutes or just over, was really quite physical. Aksana was probably the most impressive of the two, looking more comfortable and versed in the grappling, as well as expertly delivering a kick to the side of Maxine’s head as well as anyone could. She went on to win the match and gain even more momentum. I also noted that she was more over with the fans than usual, which is a good step for her. As i’ve said in the past, I really like her slightly sinister relationship with her slightly sinister ‘pro’, Goldust. That really works well. So, while i’ve been equally critical of her in the past, kudos to her for a good performance this week.
We then had the talent contest, which was actually pretty good. Despite what I said earlier about there not always being much to say about the contests, that doesn’t mean to say that they’re not useful, enjoyable, and an important part of making the NXT concept unique. The best ones are when the competitors can really show off their personalities, as they mostly did with this talent show. Especially pleasing were Naomi’s rap (she’s pretty good – maybe she should try and get in on that MVP/John Cena collaboration), AJ, who has a natural wit to her, quipping that she would ‘try to give Cole a personality’, and Kaitlyn who, although no great artist, used her art to get over with the crowd at Vickie Guerrero’s expense. Maxine hada pretty funny interaction with Hornswoggle too. No doubt he’ll be even more the bain of her life in the weeks to come.
The second match pitted Kaitlyn against her ‘pro’. Vickie Guerrero, who had Dolph Ziggler in her corner. This wasn’t really at the modest standard of the first match, but was better than I expected, given that Vickie is no wrestler. Vickie did a good job – for a non-wrestler – in actually dominating the match for parts. The strength of Kaitlyn came through though as she surprised her pro with a schoolgirl (I think) for the win. Obviously this upset Vickie, but what upset her even more was Kaitlyn jumping into Dolph’s arms. It was clear that Dolph wanted nothing of it, but Vickie didn’t seem to take that on board … This is definitely the dominant story of this season’s NXT, and is being played well by all.
Elimination time, and to jump to the conclusion, it was Jamie who got eliminated. On reflection, she was almost certainly the weakest prospect out of all the rookies; she had little charisma (her promos seeming forced or even as if she was simply reading them sometimes), was nothing special in the ring, and had a pretty strange ‘look’ though not necessarily in a good way. No complaints from me then.