I apologise for the late publication of this column. Currently, the WWE are making access to Superstars very difficult.
We have a great episode to look forward to with Heath Slater rocking into action with Jinder Mahal on chenda and Drew McIntyre on the flute (my Scottish readers may get that last joke).
Ted DiBiase and Mike McGillicutty produce a back and forth match which is sure to entertain before Eve and Layla demonstrate what the Divas have to offer with some excellent examples of athleticism.
After a classic encounter on RAW Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston have another opportunity to steal the show in our main event.
Match One: Heath Slater vs. Yoshi Tatsu
My regular readers will know of my love for Heath, Jinder and Drew. You can imagine my delight when I first read of their combination into a stable. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think they will be going anywhere fast but this arrangement gives them some relevance and something to do for the foreseeable future.
Heath is full of attitude from the beginning; I love it. Yoshi begins in the fashion you would expect. He successfully connects with several moves on the arrogant heel who has underestimated him. Jinder causes a distraction which allows Slater an opportunity to gain control of the bout; he does so with some aggressive striking. The former Nexus chick cements his position with a chin lock before landing a wonderful leg lariat.
Slater’s arrogant attitude begins to resurface and once again Yoshi lands some successful offense. The Japanese jobber connects with a running roundhouse kick but misses his following attempt from the turnbuckle. Heath is quick to capitalise as he lands inverted DDT for the win. Winner – Heath Slater
After the match Drew lands a Future Shock DDT on Yoshi before Jinder inflicts further pain with his Camel Clutch.
MoM – Heath Slater
This matched served a solitary purpose; an exhibition for the WWE’s newest stable. I liked the match as both guys had an opportunity to demonstrate their exciting offense.
The biggest problem guys like Jinder and Drew have encountered is building a relationship with the audience and getting a reaction. This new format allows them greater exposure around the ring and a platform to connect with the fans. Drew was particularly animated during the match. I am optimistic over the future of the wrestling rock band.
Match Two: Ted DiBiase vs. Michael McGillicutty
Mike has grown on me in recent months. Where he previously bored me he now commands my undivided attention. I like his hustle. Teddy is lost in the pack. He certainly has talent; hopefully he has patience.
McGillicutty exhibits some personality at the beginning of the match celebrating after successfully pushing Ted onto his backside. Ted being the face in this match decides it is time to teach this arrogant young man some manners. The former Legacy member connects with several fists before clotheslining Ted over the top rope; a dive to the outside follows.
Both competitors return to the ring and Mike elevates his opponent before landing him neck first on the top rope. Mike McGillicutty performs his Irish whip and dropkick routine. Ted replies as he lands his rebound clothesline and follows with a sit-out spinebuster; 2 count. DiBiase looks to end the bout with Dream Street but Mike escapes from the finishing manoeuvre. Mike performs an excellently executed saito suplex which is followed by a nearfall. Mike looks for a second saito suplex but Ted counters with Dream Street for the pin. Winner – Ted DiBiase
MoM – Michael McGillicutty
Both superstars exhibited excellent offense in addition to adequate selling. Mike warranted the MoM award as he provoked greater crowd interaction than his adversary.
Overall this bout was thoroughly entertaining featuring back and forth action. The duration wasn’t too long which allowed the tempo to remain high throughout.
Match Three: Layla vs. Eve (c)
The opening proceedings are enthralling with lots of fast paced oscillating offense.
In an attempt to mock the former Divas Champion Eve offers her rival a handshake. Layla refuses to offer a hand but she does connect with several spinning kicks. The English diva fails with an attempt from the second rope which present an opportunity for Eve to begin her ruthless striking offense. Eve utilises a great submission move choking Layla whilst taking a seat on the peak of the turnbuckle. Eve continues to demonstrate innovative submission moves but fails to make her opponent tap. Failing with submission moves Eve attempts to win the match with the assistance of a moonsault. Unfortunately the Divas Champion misses her attempt and Layla picks up the win after connecting with a powerful kick to the head. Winner – Layla
WoM – Eve
Both Divas were impressive in this short bout; there was some genuine chemistry on show. I am a fan of Eve and the Divas Champion exhibited some innovative submissions which were smart sexy and powerful. Eve’s athletic ability is something I always enjoy.
This isn’t only a rematch from this week’s RAW. This is also a rematch from a March 2012 edition of Superstars; some of you may remember the match which I am referring to. The spectacle produced by Dolph and Kofi on Superstars six months ago was worthy of main eventing a PPV. Their match on RAW was brilliant and I am hopeful that the following bout realises the success of their past encounters.
Neither Dolph nor Kofi successfully establishes themselves from the beginning. After jostling for a short period Dolph lands the first successful offense with a shoulder block. Kingston pulls himself up before they lock up for a second time. Dolph attempts several running attacks but Kingston avoids each attempt from his nemesis with acrobatic leaps before landing a back elbow. Kingston keeps his opponent grounded with an arm-bar; intelligent offense.
Following a period of convincing selling Ziggler reverses his opponent’s hold into an arm-bar of his own. Kofi sweeps the leg of Dolph before landing a standing splash on a grounded opponent. The Jamaican ambassador furthers his offense as he lands a couple of arm drags. The audience begin to chant for their hero; let’s go Ziggler.
Most fans will know that these two can pull of a sick monkey flip sequence. Sadly, this time around Ziggler does not perform his 450º spin as flawlessly as he has in the past. It wasn’t perfect but it was still thrilling.
Ziggles rolls out of the squared circle into Kingston territory. Kofi migrates to the apron and connects with a running splash. It appears as though Kofi may have twisted his knee upon landing.
Ziggler has regained control during the commercial break with his opponent grounded in a submission hold. Kingston works to a vertical base but Ziggler is quick to send him back to the mat by means of jumping clothesline. Dolph begins to work over Kingston’s knee before landing the show off neckbreaker. After watching replays it is evident that Kingston has suffered a slight knee twist; this has surely altered the direction of the bout.
Ziggler looks for a scissor kick but Kingston counters with a powerbomb. Kingston lands some chops which do not seem to have much force behind them but Dolph sells excellently. Dolph is creating spots where Kingston can land impressive moves with minimal effort. Kofi connects with the Boom Drop and follows with Trouble in Paradise; Ziggler rolls out of the ring preventing the pin.
Kofi returns his opponent to the ring but his pin attempt fails with Dolph grabbing the adjacent rope a split second before the 3 count. Kingston positions his opponent on the peak of the turnbuckle looking for a superplex but Dolph lands a strike to the midsection which allows an opportunity to land his finishing Zig Zag move for the pin. Winner – Dolph Ziggler
MoM – Dolph Ziggler
These two are phenomenal together and this was another outstanding match to add to the collection. It perhaps wasn’t on the same level as their previous matches but their commitment and creativity was inspiring.
I am almost certain that Kingston twisted his knee early on in the bout. Rather than cut the bout short they found a creative solution. Ziggler utilised his athleticism to position himself favourably for Kingston offense (e.g. the scissor kick attempt which Kingston countered into a powerbomb). I am not trying to take anything away from Kofi; I have great admiration for any wrestler who works through a bout with an injury.
We all know Ziggler will be entering the World title picture sometime soon but there is uncertainty regarding Kofi’s direction. Many believe that Kingston will never reach the main event; personally I would prefer to see him as the World Champion as opposed to Sheamus. He would require a character change but I feel he would be able produce the fresh and exciting main events which would attract viewers back to Smackdown.
It is disappointing that the majority of fans will have a great deal of difficulty gaining access to such an entertaining episode of Superstars. This show had it all; young hungry superstars to start us off, commited divas and a mesmerising main event.
I am unsure which direction the company are taking WWE Superstars. With the new Hulu plus deal I suspect that they will be ruthless with their removal of copyright infringement on YouTube; it is possibly a condition of the contract. Hopefully greater clarity arises in the coming weeks but for now I will endeavour to keep you informed of the action taking place on each and every episode.
Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend (at least of what is left of it).
Email – TJRGrahamGalloway@Yahoo.com
Twitter - @Graham_Galloway