A new year and as the theme song says “A new day coming” as we are about to witness the very first WWE Superstars of 2014. Yes I survived the holidays and no, I wasn’t fired and that won’t ever change unless this WWE/Hulu Plus arrangement suddenly disappears. I hope you and yours in the Superstars Nation enjoyed your New Years and it is also my ultimate wish that you make watching this program and reading these recaps one of the many resolutions you intend to keep. Now with all that pandering out of the way, let’s head down to ringside!
Your announcers tonight are the newly appointed voice of Main Event, Tom Phillips and the highly caffeinated Alex Riley.
JACK SWAGGER VS. TYSON KIDD
The former World Heavyweight Champion and current Real American is flying solo tonight as Swagger tangles with Natalya Neidhart’s husband. Like most of my wrestling takes, I’m probably alone in this but did anyone else dig it when Swagger used to come down with that eagle mascot? It made me hate his matches less when I was starting to get back into the current product. If Jack reunited with the eagle or if the bird was added to the Real Americans, I’d probably buy the t-shirt.
Kidd is in the long pants tonight and Riley gushes about his growing confidence of late. That’s good to hear since he is probably still trying to regain strength after that nearly career-ending knee injury last year. Swagger showed him where to stick that confidence after driving Kidd’s body into the mat with a textbook wheel barrel suplex. We find out that Zeb and Antonio are on assignment which explains why they are absent from ringside. Tom goes on to say that Zeb was over at the Alamo counting illegals which I suppose is something Colter would do at New Years. A belly-to-belly suplex later and Kidd looks all but done in this one.
Just when we’re counting out the comeback kid, he goes to work on Swagger using those educated feet of his. Dropkicks are coming from all angles and he even pulls out a tarantula in the corner bringing back memories of Tajiri. But those high-risk moves would backfire as Swagger wrenched Kidds leg and immediately threw on the Patriot Lock for the submission win. WINNER: JACK SWAGGER
Fun little match and as much as you wanted to see Kidd win here, it’s probably for the best that Swagger went over. If the Real Americans have any shot of being credible title contenders, they can’t be losing on secondary programs. Kidd meanwhile, looks great here and it probably won’t be long before creative feels comfortable giving him more to work with on TV.
Let’s flash back to Monday Night Raw as C.M. Punk met up with Seth Rollins in this ongoing rivalry between the Best in the World and the Hounds of Justice. Rollins might be my favorite in the Shield and since the beginning I always thought he took the sickest bumps of the trio. Not surprisingly, the chemistry between these two was off the charts. The Shield is falling apart at the seams but each of these great matches gets them closer to eventually being fixtures in the main event picture in singles competition. Again, we’re all winners when this happens!
Old School Raw this Monday! I want to see a Money Inc. reunion. If you are ever bored or snowed in as I am, find Money Inc. vs. The Beverly Brothers from 1993 prior to them losing the gold against the Steiners. It’s early-90’s cheese but the match was one of the few times I remember the Beverly’s acting like faces. It’s one of those rare Raw gems you pick up from those days much like Savage vs. Repo Man, Bret Hart vs. Fatu or anything involving Friar Ferguson!
So bold prediction time. I think both Batista AND Brock Lesnar are going to impact the Road to WrestleMania. I know shocking right? I actually wouldn’t mind seeing those two guys have at it but no rumor mills are even talking about that scenario. More likely, one will get the title shot and the other could get the Undertaker and instantly you have two top of the card matches. Getting back to the Raw segment, giving Brock a quick run with the gold might actually make up for the terrible booking decisions WWE has made since the Beast returned in 2012. Lesnar destroying Mark Henry on Monday was awesome in that sickeningly frightening sort of way.
THE USOS VS. THE PRIME TIME PLAYERS
I love when Superstars gives us two fan favorites duking it out for the sport of it. The tag division is so stacked right now and you can have great matches and rivalries without belts being up for grabs. I really think the company is about to get behind the Wyatts as far as titles go so all these guys can do is put on quality and entertaining matches.
We learn that Titus O’Neil is very generous with all his charitable work in Florida and how willing he is to participate in events such as “Tribute to the Troops.” He also was heavily involved with the Komen for the Cure events WWE put on last Fall. To me that might make up for that still disgusting puking segment from the Thanksgiving Smackdown episode that still haunts my dreams.
Even though the Usos are clearly babyfaces, it was Darren Young playing the face-in-peril in this contest. He hip tossed one of the twins into the turnbuckle and proceeded to give Titus the hot tag. O’Neil went ballistic with the power moves and got a near fall with a powerslam. The Usos countered a fall away slam with double super kicks and ended the night with a superfly splash to pick up the victory. WINNER: THE USOS
And now the Raw Rebound to close our program. I’m sorry to admit it, but it appears I was wrong when I said weeks ago that Daniel Bryan joining the Wyatts would be a waste and it should never happen. I guess with bigger guys coming back and gumming up the main event picture, the WWE is still not ready to let Bryan run with the gold as the company’s top babyface. Either that or this is all just a red herring and eventually the goat face snaps out of it. There’s been such good story telling in this angle that I still think a Bryan/Bray PPV match would draw some extremely good money. Punk will probably get involved once the Shield turns on each other and even a brainwashed Bryan vs. Punk bout would be tremendous for business.
Well I’m cold so that’s it for this week! Bundle up Nation! The ride to WrestleMania could get a little bumpy! Happy New Year!