Four matches this week instead of the usual three. I think I prefer having 4 matches. It usually results in less repeat promos from MNR and more rasslin! Also, it ensures the matches keep to a sensible duration.
All four matches this week feature talented individuals who should be on RAW but aren’t because Smackdown guys are involved. I don’t even watch Smackdown anymore because I feel like it’s a repeat of RAW. I’d be Interested to see if any of you feel the same way. I feel like Superstars is the new Smackdown as it features different Superstars who put on wrestling matches. Hopefully the WWE Network will provide WWE Superstars with a platform for access to a greater audience.
Match 1 – Ezekiel Jackson vs. Drew McIntyre
Jackson has terminated his beard. Such is a good thing, I always thought his facial hair made him look more like a middle-aged man wrestling in the 60’s than a dominating force in the modern era.
I’m sure we are similarly pleased as CM SPUNK regarding the news of possible gay marriage rights but let me warn you all now; Drew is my man, hands off bitches! I joke, that is the type of talk that will get a brother a restraining order. However, Drew does have a more feminine look this week. He has parts of his hair braided. Perhaps they are toying with the idea of finally introducing us to Dame McIntyre. I for one would be against that persona. Here is my suggestion: Drew McIntyre – World Heavyweight Champion. Drew is the rightful champion; I just wish WWE would stop f***ing with destiny. I could discuss McIntyre all day but I have a duty to report an objective and analytical review of the action on this week’s show.
There are a lot of strange camera shots in this match. Did I like it? Yes and no.
Drew takes control early on with a standing side headlock before proceeding with aggressive strike offense. Ezekiel attempts to initiate his first attack of the bout with an Irish whip manoeuvre but McIntyre returns from the adjacent ropes and delivers a nice kick to the face. Jackson flips a switch and takes Drew down with a running chest chop, he follows up with impact offense.
Ezekiel’s spell of control does not last long. With Drew in the corner Jackson attempts a running slam but McIntyre counters with an elbow to the face. As Zeke staggers directionless Drew comes off the turnbuckle with a diving punch to the back of the head; nice move. McIntyre slows down the tempo with a grounded choke hold.
Following a sustained period of control by Drew McIntyre, Ezekiel begins to fight back. The majority of his offense is simply a running scream whilst Drew makes him look powerful with his awesome selling ability. Zeke’s most impressive move is a clothesline in the corner.
Jackson goes for the Torture Rack but Drew wisely grasps the ropes before landing a big boot on his opponent. He picks up Ezekiel and lands Future Shock for the pin-fall. Winner Drew McIntyre
MoM – Drew McIntyre
The match may sound somewhat lacklustre when reading the play-by-play but the match was actually entertaining. It was a short match with Drew demonstrating his awesome offense before he sold Ezekiel’s terrible arsenal. Hopefully greater things await The Chosen One.
Match 2 – Alicia Fox vs. Natalya
When did Alicia get new theme music? I hate it. I suggest you mute your speakers or cut off your ears during her entrance. There’s nothing new with Nattie this week; she makes a lot of stupid smiles directed towards her opponent but that’s about it.
The match begins with a kind of one-upmanship theme. They attempt to outperform each other with; roll-up pins, acrobatic reversals, slaps et cetra. They go back and forth for the initial period of the bout with neither competitor successfully establishes control.
Natalya eventually puts her mark on the match with a facebuster; she follows with several pin-attempts. With Alicia looking slightly dead Natalya decides to choke her opponent on the middle rope. The referee backs Natalya away from her opponent but it isn’t long before the Canadian initiates another hold – a modified abdominal stretch. The Foxy fight back begins with an arm drag followed by a modified hurricanrana. A fazed Natalya aims to regain control but her Irish whip results in her opponent successfully executing a reverse elbow. Alicia proceeds to execute a suplex bridge-pin which warrants a 2 count. With momentum on her side Alicia Fox looks to put Nattie away with the Scissor Kick, however, Natalya catches her and locks in the Sharpshooter. Alicia submits. Winner - Natalya
WoM – Natalya
Not the most exciting Divas’ match by any stretch of the imagination. There was nothing terrible about it but it seemed to lack fluency for the most part. Both are experienced competitors and I have no doubts that they will have more impressive matches in the not so distant future.
Match 3 – Hunico w/Camacho vs. Tyson Kidd
Several week back Hunico cut a promo stating he would be the future of the WWE. I stated that I felt that such was possible but improbable. This week he cut a similar promo, however, my thoughts have changed. With each passing week Hunico has improved and, in my humble opinion, the probability of him experiencing a greater future is likewise improving.
The opening bell rings and Tyson Kidd immediately hits a Fireman’s Carry. With Hunico back on his feet the two competitors stare-off to the following chant from the audience “USA, USA, USA”. Not for the first time a WWE crowd chant USA when neither athlete is in fact, American. Who are they chanting for? Themselves? If you were part of that chant then hang your head in shame.
Tyson Kidd executes an exemplary hurricanrana from the top rope and follows with an exquisite reversal of Hunico’s attempted hip toss which culminates with sending his opponent to the outside by means of an arm drag of his own. Camacho distracts Kidd which allows Hunico to execute some acrobatic offense; swanton bomb from the mat to the inside. Sin Cara Negro continues his attack with several stomps in the corner before hitting some impact offense; suplex facebuster, hip-toss spin slam and double-underhook backbreaker. Hunico continues to punish his opponent with some basic striking offense. However, none of his offense to-date is enough for a 3 count.
Hunico performs an Irish whip and looks to land a hip-toss, however, Tyson Kidd counters with a diving arm drag which results in both athletes flat on their back. Hunico gets to his feet first and begins to execute offense; Tyson fights back and both competitors go back and forth with some interesting and exciting moves.
Tyson looks to finish the bout with a Sharpshooter but fails to lock it in successfully. With Kidd on the ropes Hunico attempts some running offense but Tyson scoops his Mexican opponent over the top rope to the outside. Not for the first time, Camacho comes to the aid of Hunico and as they grasp each other intimately Kidd performs a dive to the outside. However, Camacho heroically ensures the safety of his fiancé and pushes him to safety taking the exclusive hit from the kamikaze Canadian. Hunico takes advantage and hits a swinging neckbreaker.
As the action returns to the ring Hunico attempts a swanton bomb from the top rope but Kidd gets his knees up for the counter. With both guys down and legs entangled, Kidd somehow manages to set-up and lock in the Sharpshooter; impressive. Hunico, however, gets to the ropes. Tyson goes to the apron and attempts a springboard cross-body. Hunico does well to catch his opponent and instantly hit his Samoan drop-like finisher for the victory. Winner - Hunico
MoM – Tyson Kidd
Both of these guys are simply awesome. If you haven’t already watched this match you should definitely check it out. I like how Hunico appears to be very casual in his approach but in actuality is very aware and is always thinking ahead. Tyson Kidd’s arsenal is magnificent and his work-ethic is one of the best in the company. These two deserve better; they have great chemistry. I understand that there are rumours about the return of the Cruiserweight title on the WWE Network but these two would really benefit from its imminent return. Such would provide enthralling entertainment which, unfortunately, the frequently featured Funkasaurus et cetra cannot achieve.
Match 4 – Santino Marella and Zack Ryder vs. Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins
The former Tag Champions Hawkins & Ryder face off with their respective partners. Zack teaming with his comedy friend Santino and Curt with his fellow hard-hitting no-nonsense partner Tyler Reks. Reks and Hawkins appear to mirror the late Hart-Dynasty as they sport their new pink ring-gear.
Santino and Tyler start things off and ,as you can imagine, Reks takes control with the assistance of his superior strength. Santino is his usual hilarious self as he screams and wiggles his way to the tag after a knee to the lower back section from his opponent. Zack comes in and demands that his former partner Curt enters the ring. They go back and forth demonstrating amicable chemistry and commendable sportsmanship. Unfortunately, the sportsmanship soon ends as Curt slaps Zack’s face to trigger a physically intense battle. Zack raises the tempo with hard hitting strike offense before tagging in the U.S Champion. Santino picks up where his partner left off as he grounds Hawkins with a suplex and works over his opponent. Marella sends Curt over the top rope and as Tyler attempts to avenge his partner Santino treats him to the same fate. Zack tags in and performs a dive to the outside taking out both opponents. Santino was on the turnbuckle and supposed to join in but he claims that it was just too high.
We get a promo for Hunter and Lesnar. Bla Bla Bla.
Back from the pointless promo and Tyler Reks is in control of Santino. The crowd get behind Marella as Reks works over the Italian with punishing offense. The U.S Champion mounts a semi-comeback as he briefly counters his opponent’s offense and soon tags in his partner. Ryder enters to level the playing field and soon hits the Broski Boot. Tyler avoids the Rough Ryder and responds with a big clothesline. The strongman proceeds to enjoy a sustained period of offense. Curt tags in and initiates a chin-lock submission hold. Santino gets the crowd going and likewise Ryder’s adrenaline. Zack fights back briefly but his attempts are halted by a nice reverse enzugiri kick executed by Hawkins. Tyler tags in and continues the hard-hitting attack on Ryder. Again, Santino gets the crowd going and again this acts as a catalyst for a Zack Ryder come back. Ryder slides and crawls to his corner and in the nick of time tags in Marella. Santino comes in and picks up the tempo hitting; jabs, hip-toss and bodyslam. Santino continues with his patented offense and hits the Cobra for the victory. Winners – Santino Marella and Zack Ryder.
MoM – Tyler Reks
This was a good match which featured variation in; arsenal, style and tempo. The bout felt fresh endemically and though I was pleased with all four competitors I was particularly impressed with Reks and Hawkins. I stated in an earlier review that those two should stop trying to be relevant and just be relevant; this week I got the impression that they were doing just that. I have high hopes for Reks and Hawkins, hopefully the fans share the same patience as they Superstars themselves.
This week was well-above average. We were treated to an epic opening bout as McIntyre demonstrated his experience and talent; Drew is a wrestler who has been training since the tender age of 15. He is a truly wonderful athlete and he understands how to entertain the crowd.
The Divas match was interesting. It featured a slightly different approach from both competitors but I think it lacked some tempo and fluency. Fortunately, tempo and fluency were two aspects not missing from the following bout.
Hunico and Tyson Kidd put on the match of the night; also one of the best I have had the pleasure to review so far during my time with TJR. It featured innovative and creative offense by wrestlers who behold impressive awareness. My hat goes off to these two guys. If only the WWE would finish the Supershow era and allow guys like these to have some storyline matches instead.
Our last match was a solid wrestling match which utilised variation to engage the viewer throughout. Zack and Santino provided both comedic and solid wrestling manoeuvres. The MidCard Mafia utilised powerful moves and punishing holds as they controlled the majority of the match. It was a solid main event.
Thank you for reading my work and if you have any feedback I would be glad to hear it either via email firstname.lastname@example.org, on twitter @Graham_Galloway or in the comment section below.