Superstars Nation, it is a pleasure! The sniffles are gone which means you are in for a treat and in this case the word “treat” means over 1300 words talking about your late week mid-Thursday afternoon obsession we call Superstars. Not only that, but we are less than two weeks away from in my opinion, the best pay-per-view on the schedule. It is so tremendous that they hold it at the beginning of the New Year every year and I, of course, am talking about the Royal Rumble. I am absolutely beyond excited about the launching of the new WWE Network but for old times sake, I think I’ll bug my cable company one last time in hopes of catching something special this January 26th. I could spend all day talking about the network but Andrew Riche pretty much beat me to the punch. With that said, it truly is a good thing this announcement didn’t happen back in 1989 or my hopes of having functioning relationships with other human beings would cease to be. Okay, now I’m just stalling and inflating my word count so let’s get focused and head down to ringside!
Your announcers tonight are Tom Phillips and the immensely under-appreciated Alex Riley.
XAVIER WOODS (W/ R-TRUTH & THE FUNKADACTLYS) VS. BRODUS CLAY
A grudge match to start us off. Not big enough for pay-per-view and not enough juice for cable television so why not settle the score on Hulu Plus? For those that only read my recaps, Brodus Clay loaned Xavier his music a number of weeks back and got jealous because Clay’s cheerleaders, The Funkadactlys, took a liking to the NXT rookie. Clay decided to take his frustrations out on the future Ph.D and turned heel saying that he is too good for his old crew because he is a “Main Event Playa.” So naturally we find him here kicking off Superstars against Woods who does the “Brodus Clay” entrance even better than Brodus ever did!
Truth, who used to tag with Woods prior to their WWE days, is sitting at the announce table and Clay is rocking a Kama Mustafa gold chain and a brown suit jacket with gold stripes. How he was able to get that outfit from my closet I’ll never know! Despite being outnumbered at ringside, Brodus was in charge from the bell delivering power moves like his running head butt and bionic elbow drop. Woods was completely overmatched which was expected. Clay could really be a monster in a feud with Big E Langston and other large guys if he is booked properly and Woods sells quite well which is helping Clay’s cause in this match.
Woods used a series of drop kicks and clotheslines to get back into the contest. When he went up top however, he ate a fall-away slam for his troubles. Clay didn’t learn a lesson from Wood’s mishap though as he went to the middle ropes only to plunge onto empty canvas. Xavier sent Brodus into oblivion after a “Lost in the Woods” and there goes Clay’s monster heel push! WINNER: XAVIER WOODS
In the “Did You Know” segment coming back from the break it read as follows: “When you subscribe to the WWE Network, you will get every WWE Pay Per View, starting with WrestleMania for just $9.99 per month!” All I can say is, AHHHHHHHHHH! Okay, I’m good. We’re cool!
Raw highlights this week starts with more Shield and CM Punk fisticuffs. A new wrinkle was added when the New Age Outlaws were dusted off the shelf to join Punk since the Usos were tied up with the Wyatts this week. In a move of sheer brilliance, the former D-X members turned on Punk and walked out leaving our hero to get slaughtered by the Hounds of Justice. It’s going to be a pleasure seeing Punk battle The Authority which will naturally lead to more Stone Cold comparisons. I know it was pretty lame seeing Punk/HHH at Night of Champions 2011, but I have a feeling those two would put on a much better performance this time around.
One of the more shocking upsets in recent Raw history happened on Monday when the consistently buried Kofi Kingston upset WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton cleanly with the S.O.S. I know this was mainly used to put over the “unstable” side of Orton’s character with the post-match assault on John Cena’s father but let’s talk about Kofi for a second. He may never reach main event levels even if he is over and his matches are entertaining. But fresh off winning the Miz feud at TLC and then picking up consecutive victories this week on Raw and Main Event (Curtis Axel) should give him some momentum entering the Rumble. I’m sure he’ll find another crazy way of avoiding elimination again this year. With all that said, I’m stunned Orton laid down for Kingston here. The beatdown wasn’t as severe as I expected but I suppose Mr. Cena isn’t a spring chicken anymore. As we approach the PPV, this was not a terrible way to gain sympathy heat for Super Cena.
In case you missed it, because you don’t own a TV, internet, Twitter or have any friends at all, the Ultimate Warrior is the first inductee into the Hall of Fame Class of 2014! This will be his first WWE appearance in over 18 years! Now if he wasn’t such a jackass in the past, this might have happened sooner though I will not complain about another inductee from my golden era. Now make some room for Randy Savage already!
PRIME TIME PLAYERS VS. 3MB (W/ HEATH SLATER)
The Three Man “Bland” apparently has an album coming out with over 40 songs on it. As nauseating as that sounds, I still have more faith in that being more successful than internet dating but I digress. This might be the most positive thing I’ll say about the trio but they do seem to be more watchable with Slater back in the fold. The Prime Time Players are playing the role of low-card face team waiting in the wings to perfection. The fans still love them even if they aren’t ranked very high on the depth chart.
Young took a wicked shot to the ring post following a blind tag to Mahal and assumed the position as face-in-peril. McIntyre worked on the left arm and we actually see some good psycology in a 3MB match. Very Horsemen-esque. Titus got in and cleaned house delivering big boots and a powerslam to McIntyre. After Jinder broke up a pinning attempt, we get a series of finishers from Young’s “Gut Check” on Mahal to that sick drop kick by McIntyre to Young. The final salvo was fired by O’Neil who did you know called his finishing maneuver the “Clash of the Titus?” See? You learn something new everyday here in the Nation! 1,2,3 and we’re done here! WINNERS: THE PRIME TIME PLAYERS
We close our show by entering a steel cage on Raw as the aforementioned Usos settled their score with the Wyatt Family. The big news however, was that our national nightmare officially ended as Daniel Bryan came to his senses and officially turned into our hero again after two excruciating weeks. I honestly don’t know why they ended his alliance with the Wyatts so quickly. I never understood why he even joined them in the first place. This reeks of indecision in the booking but I can’t honestly say I’m really that upset about it. You heard the reaction from the fans. That was amazing! To quote my buddy, “I don’t know if I’ve EVER seen a crowd as into a wrestler as they were in the aftermath of that match.”
And he’s right! This guy should be the face of the entire company. Winning the title at Mania is just the starting point. Give the ball to your newest star and let us internet types complain about something else… Like say the burying of the Wyatt Family for instance!
Rest in Peace Johnnie Mae Young (1923-2014)