Worst: This Is Probably The Best Aksana Match Ever, But That’s Not Saying Much
Before I start getting sad about the depressing-ass first 45 minutes of this week’s NXT, allow me a paragraph about Aksana’s TitanTron video. If you’ve never seen it before — and it’s Aksana, so you might not’ve — it’s billowing bedsheets. Thats it. No wrestling, no clips of her hitting a finisher, no important moments in the history of Askana, nothing. Keep in mind that she’s been on WWE TV for almost FOUR YEARS now, having debuted on the same episode of NXT as Kaitlyn, AJ Lee and the better Funkadactyl. All she has to show for it is an “I have SEX” gimmick that doesn’t work in a PG environment, because these women are all supposed to be adults, so we can assume that MOST of them have sex. I love you, Aksana’s stupid TitanTron video.
Anyway, as the boldface says, this is probably the best match Aksana’s ever had, but that’s not saying much. She teams up with Alicia Fox to take on the adorable, easy-to-love team of Bayley and Charlotte. It’s not the worst thing you’ll ever see, but man, if I could go the rest of my life never seeing Aksana crawl around a downed wrestler in a slow, slow circle before gently touching them and making them sell it like she DOESN’T have the striking power of a three-year old, I’d be happy.
Best: Lil’ Naitch, Still Favoring The Flairs
The good guys get in some cute offense, like Bayley turning a hug into a belly-to-belly suplex and Charlotte doing her dad’s “oh no, somebody caught me by my sternum and dick, time to get thrown” top rope spot, but they also get in a lot of ugly, ugly stuff, like Charlotte’s jumping knee-tuck clotheslines (who is STILL teaching women to do that?) and this roll-up that ends the match.
I think what it was supposed to be was Bayley getting shoved into the heel corner, dodging an Alicia Fox kick, Alicia accidentally hitting Aksana with it and Bayley rolling up Alicia for a clean three. What it ended UP being was LET’S RUN INTO THE CORNER TOGETHER, Alicia’s leg going up over Bayley’s shoulder for some reason and grazing Aksana, Aksana selling it like she’s jumping out of an airplane and Bayley awkwardly rolling Alicia up with her feet all tangled in the ropes. Of course, ace referee Charles Robinson still counts the three, because he is forever and always a mark for the Flairs. Lil’ Naitch reffing Charlotte’s matches should be a conflict of interests, shouldn’t it?
Worst: Alex Riley
Here are four horrible things Alex Riley did this week.
1. He used the word “irregardless.” The exact quote is, “a little confusion there, but irregardless, they pulled it off!” This is a person WWE is paying to speak on television. The Internet. Whatever.
2. He would not stop talking about The Miz. I’ve joked about this before, but holy shit, dude will not stop namedropping The Miz. One match into the show he sees Alicia Fox and Aksana making frequent tags, so he drops, “I used to tag with The Miz a lot, and that’s what we did!” And you think, okay, cool, he got it out of his system. BUT THEN IN THE SECOND MATCH, IN THE VERY NEXT MATCH, he explains why you should do something with, “I used to do that all the time with The Miz!” Were you ever with The Miz, Alex? YOU HAVEN’T MADE THAT CLEAR.
3. He got all Accidental Racist. When Alicia Fox is making her entrance, Alex notes, “She reminds me of Jackie Joyner-Kersee who is an Olympic sprinter for the United States, and she’s built JUST LIKE THAT” The black girl reminds you of Jackie Joyner-Kersee because when she wrestles she looks like a sprinter (?), or because you’re a Frat Bro from the 90s and that’s the only non-wrestling black female athlete you can name? Later in the match, he expounds, saying that if you went to any local school and looked at their track team, they’d look like Alicia Fox.
Question 1: What the hell are you doing scoping out local female track teams at schools, Alex Riley, and
Question 2: Did you learn Accidental Racism from The Miz, because he used to do that shit all the time on The Real World.
4. Oh, and he won’t stop talking about how good the wrestlers are at sports that aren’t wrestling. In addition to “Alicia Fox is probably good at track,” he wouldn’t shut up about how cool it was that Aksana has done well in bodybuilding, finishing with “best form” at the Arnold Classic. Can we talk about how they’re good at wrestling? Even if we’re lying? Furthermore, is that why her TitanTron video is bed sheets?
Worst: The Most Boring NXT Match Ever
So hey, I know I’ve typed “Corey Graves sucks” enough for people who skim the column to leave me “you hate Corey Graves for no reason” feedback, but Corey Graves sucks a lot, and if you need evidence of that, please consult this 80-f*cking-minute Rick Victor match.
I don’t think I’ve ever been so bored by a match on NXT. All they do is take turns punching each other. Victor punches a bunch, does some clubbing forearms and stands around while Graves recovers. Graves punches him back, holds out his stupid Stay Down knuckles and punches some more. One gets on their knees and gets punched, then they switch. Sometimes stomping happens. And this goes on FOR-EV-ER. I know I’m not alone. Watch the crowd during the match. They’re sitting on their hands so hard the doctors at Full Sail had to perform amputations. There’s some aimless chanting, but it usually happens when no fans are on screen. So, the match has THAT going for it.
For double the fun, compare and contrast that to the crowd during the Sami Zayn match. This is why some people will make it, and Corey Graves won’t.
Worst: Sasha Banks Didn’t Get Any Better At Acting Over The Last 7 Days
I take back all that nice stuff I said about Summer last week.
This week, she sneaks up on Sasha Banks (who is applying make-up to NOT appear on TV, in a dressing room lit like the Next Generation movie version of the Starship Enterprise) and expounds upon the more retreadable aspects of last week’s effort, telling Sasha that she’s got a SILENT RAGE inside of her, and that she’s irrelevant unless she physically murders Paige.
Sasha, who has not taken any acting classes since last week’s show, does this hilarious thing where she can’t seem to understand or react to a full, contextual sentence, so she responds to individual words. It’s like this: “Sasha, you’re AWFUL [Sasha makes a concerned face] but you’ve got a chance to beat Paige [Sasha smiles] if you get MEAN [Sasha makes a confused face] and listen to what I tell you [Sasha starts scratching the ground in front of her because she smells something bad]!” Just horrible.
I want more like this!
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