Archive for the ‘Superstars’ Category

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WWE Superstars is a mixed bag. I know I am starting to sound like a broken record every Thursday, but if you watch the show regularly, you know what I mean. I am going to skip the pomp and circumstance and just get to the analysis.

J.T.G. v. Cody Rhodes

I am loving Cody Rhodes right now, Since venturing out on his own, he has been nothing but impressive. Tonight on Superstars, he faced off against fellow tag team castaway J.T.G. It was a slow-paced contest for the most part with plenty of chain wrestling and mat-based techniques. Rhodes controlled most of the matchup and when J.T.G. did, the tempo increased significantly. J.T.G.’s modified swinging neckbreaker near the end looked like it was botched, but Matt Striker and Todd Grisham played it up as a significant move. But the end of the match played into Rhodes’ hands. Rhodes wins with Cross Rhodes off of a brutal side volley. Kofi Kingston winning the Intercontinental Championship at Over The Limit was the best thing for Rhodes, who, like I discussed with Adam Martin and Hunter Golden on Wrestleview Radio Sunday, is the perfect opponent for Kingston. I would definitely love to see a program between the two. Rhodes can flop around better than anyone else and Kingston loves to flop around on offense himself. Stay tuned.

Yoshi Tatsu v. Primo

The most entertaining part of this match was listening to Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole attempt to tiptoe around Carlito while discussing Primo. The crowd did not really give Primo any heat because, quite frankly, I don’t think they cared. I don’t see a future for either of these guys. Tatsu is very talented, but without promo skills or at least a mastery of English, he won’t get very far. For tonight, however, he wins with a spinning heel kick off of the top rope. There is not much else to say.

We DID get a John Morrison promo. In case you forgot, he was on Raw. He has been for a month. Yeah, I needed to jog my memory, too.

Evan Bourne v. Zack Ryder

What a drop-off in main events between this week and last week. Last week, we got Christian v. Dolph Ziggler. This week, it’s Zack Ryder v. Evan Bourne. These two got a 15-minute match with one commercial break and did a good job of utilizing all of their time. Evan Bourne teased the Shooting Star Press at least three times, but luckily (and pleasantly surprising), Ryder gets the victory via the Zack Attack. This is a “big” win for Ryder, who jobs just as much (or even more so) as Bourne. I wish Ryder would be put into a meaningful program. He had an ECW Championship match a while back and was very impressive. I think he could be a perfect foil for R-Truth on Raw.

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One can say there was a “talent upgrade” last night on WWE Superstars, if you will (pun intended since both of Dusty’s sons wrestled last night). The main event was a pay-per-view caliber match and the rest of the show featured the stronger, up-and-coming mid-carders. Let’s check it out, shall we?

Santino Marella v. Vlad Kozlov

This wasn’t even a match, but what I am going to call a “promo squash.” Santino takes the microphone before the match and continues to plead with Kozlov to join forces and become the greatest tag team “of all the times.” Santino, as always, cuts a humorous promo, including chanting “USA” in Canada and making a Chris Bosh joke in Toronto. The bell rings and Kozlov’s mind is pretty much made up when he head butts Santino and slams him with the Uranage Spinebuster for the victory. There was a promo and then a squash. Promo squash (patent pending)!  I actually hope these two someday become a team. If anything, it’ll pad the tag team ranks.

Goldust v. William Regal

I was surprised by how sloppy this match was. Both Goldust and Regal normally work very structured matches, but everything seemed out of place. The sequence where Goldust swung wildly while trying to protect his worked-over arm just came off very ugly. And don’t get me started with the whole “blood stoppage time” thing that the WWE has implemented. Watching Regal stall for time was pretty pathetic, but it is always pathetic that a little blood behind the ear is worth stopping a match. After all of this, Goldust surprisingly picks up the victory. I cannot remember the last time Goldust won on television, so good for him.

Cody Rhodes v. Chris Masters

Masters is slowly taking Carlito’s place as “Mr. Thursday Night” (UPDATE 5/21: WWE released Carlito today due to violation of the Wellness Policy. That explains things). After losing to Dolph Ziggler last week, Masters had another opportunity to gain a victory, this time over Cody Rhodes. If you read this blog regularly, you know how impressed I’ve been since Rhodes moved over to Smackdown. Tonight was no different. The arm was the key component of this match, much like the previous contest. A solid back-and-forth match with a creative ending. Masters tries locking in the Master Lock, but Rhodes makes it to the ropes. Yet, Rhodes never lets go of Masters’ arm and hits an armbar DDT to set up Cross Rhodes for the victory. I hope Rhodes is first in line for an Intercontinental Title opportunity once Drew McIntyre drops the belt.

Christian v. Dolph Ziggler

This was a fantastic match and that is saying a lot (it IS Superstars, you know). I thought Matt Striker had a funny line about how bad NXT Rookies want to end up where Christian and Ziggler were on “WWE Superstars.” Matt, I doubt ANY WWE Superstar wants to end up on Superstars. Todd Grisham bested Striker on comedic commentary when he called Bryan Danielson/Daniel Bryan “Bryan Daniels.” I didn’t know the Fallen Angel has a brother. Moving on, this was a fast-paced match featured two future main eventers. I loved the sequence where Ziggler knocked Christian on the apron which led into the hesitation drop kick to the outside. The match ends with Christian countering the Zig Zag into a back elbow and Killswitch for the win. If there was a “Player of the Week” award in the WWE, Christian earned it hands down. He is finally ready to be back in the main event scene. Throw him a bone!

Check in tomorrow for my weekly Smackdown report and Sunday for my Over The Limit predictions!


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Last night’s WWE Superstars wasn’t too bad. In between three squashes, we had a solid main event between two mid-carders and the reemergence of two developmental talents, including a former WWE Tag Team Champion. Let’s take a look at WWE Superstars.

Maryse and Jillian Hall v. The Bella Twins

The Bellas need to stick with the guest host accompaniment position because their in-ring abilities are just awful. These two were just meat to the wolves, meaning Jillian and Maryse. After that video package with Maryse beating up her judo trainer, an angle where she feels inferior for the first time might be entertaining. In the mean time, Maryse wins with the French Kiss DDT. By the way, her trademark pin is pretty damn sexy.

Vlad Kozlov v. “local competitor”

Squash, plain and simple. Kozlov is floating and the only thing that seems to be on his radar is a comedy program with Santino Marella and possibly William Regal. At least he got some exposure. No exposure is bad exposure, I guess.

Curt Hawkins and Vance Archer v. “local competitors”

This was an intriguing match on paper (Well, one side of the match at least). Archer has not been seen since ECW folded a few months ago and Hawkins has been in FCW (per his request) and off of WWE television for almost a year. As Matt Striker mentioned on commentary, I was eager to see how Hawkins has matured since the La Familia stable disbanded last year. Both he and Archer looked solid and worked a fluid five-minute tag match. After the match, Hawkins said that he and Archer received 30 day contracts and had to make an “impact.” Archer is a great worker and Hawkins proved himself in FCW, even holding the FCW Tag Team Championship as part of the Dudebusters with Caylen Croft and Trent Baretta. Could a Hawkins v. Ryder feud be in the works? Probably not. But wouldn’t that be funny? A guy can dream.

Dolph Ziggler v. Chris Masters

I was surprised by how much time this match was given. Ziggler and Masters put on a 15 minute match that actually engaged the crowd. I am sour about the way Masters has been booked since returning to the WWE last summer, but if matches like this one are any indication, the Masterpiece can work with the best of them. The story of the match was the Sleeper v. The Master Lock (P.S. Nice dig on “cute names” for moves by Striker). Each man teased his respective move several times during the match, which built up to who would be able to lock it in first. With all that said, Ziggler wins with the Zig Zag, something unexpected, but as the motto for Superstars says, “Expect Everything.” Ziggler is on a roll, much like he was last summer in his program with Rey Mysterio over the IC Title. As long as Hornswoggle doesn’t resurrect from “Leprechaun Heaven,” Ziggler will continue to heat up and maybe will earn himself a championship by the end of 2010.

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Something interesting happened on Superstars this week. It’s not common to see storyline progression on Thursdays, but this week, we saw the reunion of former Unified Tag Team Champions and an Extreme Rules rematch. Throw in a Divas match and you get a better-than-usual edition of WWE Superstars. Let’s take a closer look.

Carlito (with Michael Tarver) v. Primo

The action during this short match is not worth covering as much as the unlikely reunion of Carlito and Primo is. The first-ever WWE Unified Tag Team Champions decided to rejoin forces, probably turning Primo heel in the process. Carlito’s promo may have been the best of his career and that is saying a lot. Last week, I reported that the Colons were teaming against the Hart Dynasty for the titles at WWE house shows, so now this isn’t as peculiar. What this means is that the WWE has another tag team to challenge for the championship. Excluding the Dynasty, the WWE has the Colons, the Dudebusters, (possibly) the Miz and Chris Jericho, and R-Truth and John Morrison to utilize in a tag scene that has been on a steady decline for years. It will be interesting to see the Colons work as heels. It might also make Carlito part of a meaningful program for the first time in who knows how long (in my opinion, he hasn’t had once since he debuted and won the U.S. Title from John Cena).

Chavo Guerrero v. Chris Masters

One talented wrestler who has become known for comic relief and another promising wrestler who has also become comic fodder. Can you determine the difference between Chavo and Masters? Neither can I. I was at Master’s re-debut last July and he looked promising. Now he can jiggle his pectorals. Awesome. Same goes for Chavo. I am disappointed in the way the WWE has treated him. There were some cool spots in this match (Chavo’s jumping DDT, Masters’s backbreaker/sidewalk slam combo) and one botch (the big back body drop that left Chavo landing awkwardly on his knee). Masters wins with the Masterlock. Throw Chavo a bone, sometime? Please?

Rosa Mendes v. WWE Women’s Champion Beth Phoenix

A glorified squash. Remember when Rosa debuted as Beth’s biggest fan? Yeah, I’m surprised I did, too. Rosa gets some shots in, but Phoenix takes over. I was surprised that she won via roll-up and not a finisher,  but she did it to sell knee damage so I guess that works.

JTG v. Shad Gaspard

A solid main event and rematch from Extreme Rules. These two have obvious chemistry and it shows. There is not much else to say. Shad goes over with the STO. The question is where these two go from here.

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Sometimes, WWE programming can be exhilarating. Other times, it is downright boring. This past Thursday’s Superstars was the latter. I saw two of the matches before Monday’s Draft Special and was jetlagged, so I thought watching them again on television might be a different experience. Yet, even when I was well-rested, it didn’t do much for me. Let’s take a quick look at WWE Superstars.

Gail Kim v. Jillian Hall

Gail wins because Jillian never does. Moving on.

Zack Ryder v. Primo

Same as above, but replace Ryder with Gail and Primo with Jillian. Good.

The Hart Dynasty v. The Dudebusters

This was the match I didn’t see and it wasn’t half bad. Croft and Baretta got in quite a bit of offense, which I didn’t expect, and looked good in the process. Obviously, they weren’t going over on the new champions, but looking credible in defeat is not a bad thing. The Baretta/Kidd rope reversal sequence and Baretta’s apron DDT on Kidd were cool spots. The Dynasty wins with the Hart Attack, but other than the Dudebusters, there are not many tag teams right now to challenge for the titles. The former champs, ShoMiz, no longer exist, so they cannot and will not get a rematch. I did read on Madison Square Garden’s website, however, that the Dynasty would be defending the Unified Titles against Carlito & Primo at June’s Supershow. Is Primo turning heel or Carlito face? Stay tuned. Regardless, the WWE is once again lacking in tag teams. Let’s change that, please?

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Last night’s Superstars had some high-quality matches. We had the television debut of Shad Gaspard’s heel persona, a “grudge” match between Yoshi Tatsu and Zack Ryder, and once again, Carlito. Let’s take a look at Superstars, shall we? Here are my thoughts broken down by each segment.

Shad Gaspard v. Goldust

This was our first look at Shad in the ring since he turned heel. I noticed that his “new” ring attire is the same attire he wore in early promo pictures for Cryme Tyme. Anyways, Goldust is a great enhancement talent and he did his job very well during his match with Shad. Shad looked solid in the ring and I like his constant chirping; it definitely brings the character along. Shad wins with the big STO and is rolling into Extreme Rules for his Strap Match with JTG.

Yoshi Tatsu v. Zack Ryder (with Rosa Mendes)

Tatsu and Ryder are two great, young talents that deserve more credit for their work in the ring. Since ECW ended, neither of them have really found a way onto Raw. I hope they can; both could definitely carry a mid-card feud. Not much to say. I found it amusing that near the end, Ryder and Tatsu ended up against every corner of the ring. Anyways, Tatsu wins. Good match.

John Morrison v. Carlito (with Michael Tarver)

“Mr. Thursday Night,” Carlito, heads to the ring for his fourth consecutive match on WWE Superstars. He cuts a promo before his match saying that he deserves to be on Raw every week. Carlito should just be happy he wasn’t released yesterday (too soon?). John Morrison interrupts and our main event is underway. This match was a spotfest, but the spots were very exciting, especially (and surprisingly) on Carlito’s end. His springboard rolling senton, the reversal into the swinging neckbreaker, and the high-impact spinebuster all looked great. His reversal of Morrison’s springboard that knocked him onto the mat looked brutal. Regardless, Michael Tarver interferes and screws up once again, costing Carlito yet another match on Superstars after taking the Flying Chuck. Morrison needs something to do. For someone who was spoken in the same breath as “future World Heavyweight Champion” not too long ago, perhaps Morrison could be a challenger to Swagger after Orton has his turn.

Remember, Smackdown Saturday, Extreme Rules Sunday, and as planned, Raw Tuesday for a live report from the Draft.

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WWE Superstars is usually used to showcase lesser-known or mid-card performers. This week’s show was no exception. The WWE Universe got two alright matches and a glimpse into a possible future feud. Let’s break down the matches.

Matt Hardy (with Justin Gabriel) v. Carlito (with Michael Tarver)

I covered this match as part of my live report from London earlier this week. After watching it on Youtube, I don’t really have to much to add. Hardy’s arm looked pretty banged up (according to Wrestleview’s Steve Gerweck, it is a deep bruise with no tear). Carlito works the arm for most of the match before Hardy wills himself to victory (with an accidental assist from Tarver) with a Twist Of Fate. It’s between Carlito and MVP for the title of “Mr. Thursday Night.” Too bad Smackdown moved to Fridays years ago.

Christian (with Heath Slater) v. Chavo Guerrero

Chavo has definitely been given the short end of the stick. He becomes ECW Champion two years ago, then loses it at Wrestlemania XXIV in eight seconds. Then, he gets a slight rub with the “La Familia” angle with Edge and VIckie. After that ends, he gets beaten up by Hornswoggle for about six months. Now, he rarely shows up except for the occasional Superstars. This is one of those times. A good back-and-forth match between Chavo and Christian. Not really much to say. Christian gets the victory and further proves (based on his crowd reactions and abilities) that he should be a world champion sooner rather than later.

Ted DiBiase, Jr. v. M.V.P.

For about six months, I kept on calling the DiBiase face turn. “He has a movie out. They can’t promote a movie with a heel in it,” I’d say. Nope. Elimination Chamber came and I thought if finally began when DiBiase hit Orton with the lead pipe and pinned his mentor. “It’s happening!” Nope. While the crowd decided to side with Orton, DiBiase (and to a lesser extent, Cody Rhodes) struggled to find a way, including a predictable loss at Wrestlemania XXVI. DiBiase has been given the Million Dollar Belt and calls himself the “Fortunate Son.” Maybe his brother, Brett, and Joe Henning will bring their “Fortunate Sons” tag team to WWE and turn heel. But I digress.

MVP interrupts Ted’s promo about being a spoiled brat and counters with the “I worked hard for everything and paid my debt to society” angle. The match begins and ends with DiBiase countering into Dream Street for the victory. It’s funny how MVP’s face persona is the “working hard” guy, while his heel persona was the “King of Bling Bling” and signing the “largest contract in Smackdown history.” We could see a potential feud on the horizon here. How’s this for a stretch? Perhaps MVP can become the Virgil to DiBiase’s, well, DiBiase. Either way, MAYBE MVP will finally get the rub we expected when he first arrived on RAW.

No Smackdown report Saturday because of my live report from earlier this week. If I can make it home because of this damned Icelandic volcano, I will be at the WWE Draft Special April 26 in Richmond. Continue to check in at #1 Pretender.