Wrestling / NXT 3
On the finale of WWE NXT
season 2 it was announced that the next season would comprise entirely of rookie divas, the first season of NXT to do so. The show was broadcast on Syfy
for five weeks but when Smackdown was moved to the network, the rest of the season was broadcast on WWE.com. This season saw a new element introduced to the competition theme with winning the rookie challenges earning immunity from elimination. The season arguably veered into So Bad, It's Good
territory with incredibly outrageous challenges for the rookie divas (including musical chairs and a sumo wrestling contest) and one of the worst matches in WWE
history. However the season had its fans and the Diva Dirt
website actively supported the show for its focus on women's wrestling. Like the other seasons, it ran for 13 weeks but uniquely featured only two rookies in the finale (the previous seasons had shown three rookies surviving to the final episode).
The pros and rookies for this season were:
- AJ Lee - A combination of Hollywood Nerd and Genki Girl who was one of the better in-ring workers. Mentored by Primo.
- Naomi Night - Sassy Black Woman who lasted to the finale but came second. Mentored by Kelly Kelly.
- Jamie Keyes - The ring announcer from season 2 and the first diva to be eliminated. Mentored by the Bella Twins.
- Aksana - A Lithuanian power lifter who was remarkably similar to current diva Maryse. During her time on the show she was involved in an angle with her pro Goldust revolving around her having immigration problems. She was also featured prominently in the feud between Goldust and Ted DiBiase.
- Maxine - the only full blown heel on the show who liked to brag that she belonged on top. She had a bit of a mini-feud with Hornswoggle. Mentored by Alicia Fox.
- Aloisia - originally meant to be mentored by Vickie Guerrero and was considered one of the favourites since she was a 6 foot 9 Amazonian Beauty. However she was removed from the competition before it aired after erotic photos of her were found online.
- Kaitlyn - Aloisia's replacement, also mentored by Vickie Guerrero. She was noticeably the least experienced of the rookies, her first match even being on NXT. She started off as a heel but was involved in a Love Triangle with Vickie and Dolph Ziggler effectively turning her face. She was the eventual winner of the contest.
This show provides examples of:
- Amazonian Beauty: Jamie, Aksana and Kaitlyn, the more muscular of the rookies (all former fitness models) were still heavily featured as sexy and attractive despite not having the conventional "WWE look".
- Armour-Piercing Slap: Aksana to Goldust (see Citizenship Marriage below).
- Ascended Extra: Jamie Keyes who had served as ring announcer on season 2 was an actual contestant this time.
- Bare Your Midriff: All the divas' wrestling attires except for Kaitlyn.
- Catch Phrase: Maxine and Aksana had their own:
- Maxine: "My name is Maxine and the only place for me is on top."
- Aksana: "WWE Universe, let me entertainment you."
- Citizenship Marriage: Aksana was having (kayfabe) problems with her green card so she and Goldust got married on the show to solve the problem.
- Combat Stilettos: Aksana in one episode, wrestling in a devil costume.
- The Ditz: Aksana.
- Funny Foreigner: Aksana again.
- Halloween Episode: They had a costume contest with AJ dressing as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Kaitlyn dressing as Vickie, Aksana as a devil, Maxine as an ice queen and Naomi as...well a giant foam hand.
- Heel–Face Revolving Door: Nikki Bella was turned heel about seven weeks into the season and remained a heel for the rest of the season but was still kept as a face on Raw.
- Ironic Inversion: Kaitlyn winning instead of Naomi
- Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: How Kaitlyn turned on Vickie.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: Aksana, Kaitlyn and Jamie were all more muscular than the other three but it didn't really play a big part in how they were booked.
- Nerds Are Sexy: AJ again
- The Runner-Up Takes It All: Double Subverted as while runner up Naomi, aside from a guest appearance in NXT Season 4, hasn't appeared on WWE TV, the 2nd runner up AJ, who has recently appeared on Smackdown and seems to have had more success than the winner Kaitlyn.
- Naomi has since turned up alongside Cameron (from Tough Enough) as one of Brodus Clay's Funkasaurus hype-girls. She's subsequently debuted on the main roster as a wrestler in her own right rather than a valet or manager and found quite a bit of success, most recently winning the Smackdown Women's Championship in 2017 (although she was almost immediately forced to forfeit it due to injury).
- Running Gag: CM Punk as commentator deliberately got the girls' names wrong with Maxine as "Francine", Jamie as "Janice" and Naomi as "Nadine".
- Second Place Is for Losers: Naomi was the final rookie from the show to join the roster regularly and is still the only one who hasn't wrestled on TV yet. Later averted after she debuted on the main roster and went on to have a successful career.
- Sensual Spandex: Aksana's devil costume.
- Take That!: In Maxine's second match she applied a chinlock (read: a move that everyone does) and CM Punk referred to it as "vintage Maxine" as a Take That! to Michael Cole's catch phrase.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Three of each on the show. Tomboys were Kaitlyn, AJ and Jamie while girly girls were Naomi, Maxine and Aksana.
- Waif-Fu: AJ and Naomi, the two smallest girls relied on high flying hit and run moves against the bigger girls.
- WHAM Line: Naomi did a shoot on the penultimate episode and said "Kaitlyn can't wrestle".
- Worked Shoot: Naomi's little rant on Michael Cole came off as this.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Naomi loved to dye her bangs various different colours.