I’ve heard a lot of folks complain about how the NXT of today isn’t the same show it was just a few years ago. Not sure I can even argue that fact. Highly talented indy stars who were brought in have been replaced by incredibly green folks just learning their craft, changing the focus from on multiple Dave Meltzer ***** classics to being what it was originally spec’ed out to be, which is a developmental territory. Whether that’s good or bad is a matter of opinion of course, but one thing I can promise you is that it’s better than the NXT of a dozen years ago when stuff like obstacle courses, joke telling, and kissing contests took center stage.
Yes, you read that right – kissing contests were apparently the best way to judge potential wrestling talent.
What? You got a better idea?
And such is the case with our event today, which features several women you likely know. Let’s see, we have AJ Lee, who may not have been the best pure wrestler, but was wildly entertaining in all her roles, especially as Bryan Danielson’s girlfriend; Naomi, who became a pretty darn good worker and also got props from anti-Vince geeks for standing up and walking out on WWE when she wasn’t happy with how things were going; I also spy Kaitlyn, who I thought showed great personality during her time in the company. There’s also Maxine, who honest to goodness I could not pick out of a line up if I had a gun to my head. As Meatloaf
once never sang, three out of four ain’t bad.
As the girls were told to start puckering up, they were introduced to the lucky recipient of those smooches, your friend and mine…
…Hornswoggle! And boy howdy does he look happy!
Who could blame him? Here he lays it in on Kaitlyn’s smackers with unrepentant fervor, to the point of him falling back on his hornfanny and the poor girl nearly popping out of her dress. He then lays back on the ropes in euphoria. Only thing that could possibly have made that any better is if he fired up a Marlboro.
For her part, though, Maxine was not impressed, quite literally palming the little guy’s face and shoving him aside. See because she’s beautiful and he’s almost literally a troll. Her words, not mine. I mean, sure, maybe she didn’t say those words but you could tell she thought them…
…especially as she shunned poor Horny right outside the ring.
SPOILER ALERT: Maxine doesn’t win this popularity contest. But I mean, how could she? How dumb do you have to be to think you’d get cheered for shunning poor little Horny?
I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I really undersold Swoggle as a performer during his WWE run. He has really good range and was honestly too good for this stupid business. I was so happy when I got to see him achieve a dream of his by starring in Muppets: Most Wanted. That’s such a great movie and I wish I was watching it right now.
Instead, I get to document an appearance of a gimmick so horrible that the crowd watching has zero reaction to Cody Rhodes.
Yes yes – THAT Cody Rhodes, one of the biggest stars in all of wrestling right now. See, he was in WWE years ago, long before AEW was even a thought, and his entire persona was that of being a narcissist who looked at himself in the mirror. He was, in a word…
Good on Cody for escaping WWE, reinventing himself, making himself a huge star without Vince’s help, and getting a neck tattoo. As Meatloaf
once never sang, three out of four ain’t bad. Wait, I already made that incredibly unfunny joke, my apologies. Regardless, he is here to kiss all the pretty girls and judge the winner.
And did I mention the horrible music blaring in the background. This is trainwreck city, baby.
So first up is Kaitlyn. But before Cody can kiss her, he has to check the mirror and applying some lip balm. Props to Kaitlyn for doing her own checking, first a quick breath test, then sniffing her arm pits. No idea why she did the latter, but she did give Cody a big ol’ smoocharoo which seemed to impress him.
Maxine would follow, but first Cody needed some mouth wash spray.
Not for himself of course, but for her. Honestly she deserved some mace in the eyes instead after what she did to poor Hornswoggle!
Seeing this buffoonery, Naomi is completely unimpressed and grabs the mic (“What a shock,” deadpanned Michael Cole, “she’s going to talk”). She explains she wouldn’t kiss Cody if he was the last man on earth and so whatever, she’s happy to lose this round. Cody smirks, then explains that it doesn’t matter she’s dropping out as he has a lot of ladies willing to carry his luggage…
…then looks at her backside and notes she has too much baggage for him anyway. Going out on a limb and guessing that would not fly in 2023.
Finally this brings us to little AJ Lee, who at this point was still basically an unknown. Her story was a heartwarming one, though, as she had been a wrestling fan since she was a wee tot. I mean seriously, who could forget when she met Lita…
…and nearly lost her mind? That’d bring a tear to Robert Gibson’s glass eye!
Fast forward twelve years and she was now in the WWE farm system. Her lifelong dream of becoming a pro wrestler was before her. And all she had to do was prove she belonged in the squared circle…by winning a kissing contest.
A gamer, AJ looked to ramp up the romance by gently caressing Cody’s neck…only for him to realize she needed a manicure. Fortunately, the Dashing One had a nail file handy (which I suppose is appropriate, right?).
That out of the way, AJ threw every bit of caution to the wind and gave Cody the lip lock of the millennium. This was less a kiss than a molestation, one that knocked him right on his can with the biggest smile you ever did see. He better hope Brandi never gets footage of that!
Of course this would lead to the only logical conclusion – that AJ was the winner and of course a future WWE Superstar. Exactly the way she no doubt imagined it happening since she was a little girl.