And so it begins… the Road to WrestleMania. Superstars Nation, the time is upon us. I hope you enjoyed our Royal Rumble live blog last Sunday. Rumors swirled around PTB Nation following that night that Daniel Bryan would guest write the Superstars recap this week. Unfortunately he was held back by The Authority and as a result, while approaching my throne, I was booed mercilessly by a bunch of Pittsburgh fans. Who am I Rey Mysterio? Needless to say, it’s been a rough week for your humble correspondent with the only two highlights being getting retweeted by the incomparable Ben Morse, and sitting down and writing Superstars for all of you! So sit back, save the deleting of phone numbers from another failed internet dating attempt for another time and let’s head down to ringside!
Your announcers tonight are Tom Phillips and NXT’s latest call-up, Byron Saxton.
SUMMER RAE VS. NATALYA
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! Byron Saxton is in for Alex Riley tonight? Who is going to tell me about Aksana’s lack of love life or oversell the importance of 3MB in the tag division? A-Ry? Was two shows a week too much for you? Mr. Saxton, you have some mighty big shoes to fill. I did enjoy his ring announcing skills, however, during the Summer on NXT. And speaking of Summer, she has a rather large match tonight against Natty!
Natalya went for the sharpshooter early before Summer escaped to the floor. She took control of the action from there using – you guessed it – her long legs. She really is very talented I will admit and there probably was a reason why she climbed the ranks so quickly at NXT. She also has that attitude and trash-talking ability that is just lacking in the division that seems to pride itself in whining and screeching. Summer also delivers a nasty heel kick that nearly decapitated Natty in this one. Another great thing about Summer is her old school offense. Some would slam it due to lots of rest holds and complain it’s boring but I say there is something to be said about a young sports entertainer who actually knows how to exhibit some actual mat wrestling. Very refreshing! It was great psychology too because she slowed the tempo down and prevented Natalya from using any of her power offense.
Eventually Natty broke free from an arm bar and mounted a comeback that was slightly derailed by a stiff slap to the face by her opponent. Neidhart took to that gesture like you’d come to expect from a Total Diva and clobbered Summer with a discus clothesline (from Hell). That led to a sharpshooter in the middle of the ring and you can put this one on ice. WINNER: NATALYA
Who really knows which Diva will face AJ at WrestleMania but Natty keeps piling up wins. It seems the next shot could be given to Naomi but I’m sure the Pittsburgh fans are hoping it’s Daniel Bryan.
We start our Raw highlights portion with the verbal showdown between Batista and Randy Orton. I feel like Batista is just mailing in these promos. If he is to actually be in the main event at WrestleMania, I wish we could just fast-forward to New Orleans right now. Confusing everything even further was the appearance of Brock Lesnar. I was almost expecting Taker to come out during this segment but perhaps that’s being saved for something (or someone) else. With Orton in the Elimination Chamber, would it be crazy to see Lesnar and Batista have the ultimate meat head slugfest for the No. 1 Contender position at the February PPV?
After the break, it’s the rematch of the Royal Rumble kickoff show as the NEW WWE Tag-Team Champions (Oh you didn’t know?), the New Age Outlaws, faced the Rhodes Brotherhood. Fun little match until the ending when Lesnar came out and murdered both of Dusty’s little boys. It’s too bad because the match was actually pretty good but they definitely established Brock as an unbeatable monster. This is almost like Sid entering WrestleMania VIII just without the stretchers and unintentional comedy. I still say the Usos should be the ones who get the baton passed to them by the Outlaws for the titles but the nutcases in Pittsburgh still think it should be Daniel Bryan.
And now, time for the “Nine-Year Old Dan Mark Out Moment of the Week” brought to you by WrestleMania: The Arcade Game for SNES by Acclaim. Jake “The Snake” Roberts is being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame! First Warrior, now Jake! I love this. It will be appointment television when the induction ceremony takes place. The Snake character both made me cheer like a little girl at a One Direction concert and made me cry like well, a grown man at the same One Direction concert. His promos were amazing and so outside-the-box that you had no choice but get sucked in whenever he spoke. I’m so glad he is back in good graces with the company. He genuinely looked happy and grateful to be alive at his appearance on Old School Raw. I can only hope and pray that he stays motivated and sober enough to once again be the role model he was supposed to be. He deserves a place in Professional Wrestling immortality and much like Warrior, it probably could have happened much sooner.
LOS MATADORES (W/ EL TORITO) VS. 3MB (W/ HEATH SLATER)
Oh good lord. I feel like I write in these teams in this spot every week! Torito is in attendance as always. Funny story. While watching the Rumble with my newly enthusiastic about wrestling mother, she asked, “Why do those masked guys bring a horse to the ring?” After I stopped laughing and wondered how a guy who watches wrestling shows with his mother could possibly still be single, I explained that Torito is their friendly bull sidekick who helps them in battle. And now after reading that last sentence I can easily see why Aksana doesn’t return my calls!
Standard squash match for Fernando and Diego. 3MB did have a segment of offense after the break. McIntyre seems to be the workhorse in the band. He flattened Fernando with the devastating jump kick that would probably be a pretty cool finisher if the “Chosen One” wasn’t such a jobber these days. 3MB double-teamed well in this match including an awesome sequence when Mahal threw Fernando into the ropes and connected with a punch to the bread basket. Meanwhile, McIntyre crisscrossed the ring and while the matador was keeled over, he lowered the boom with a boot to the skull. The good guys retained control after a DDT and hot tag to Diego who cleaned house. Slater attempted to run interference but he never learns as El Torito caught him with a hurricanrana. With him out of the way, Los Matadores executed their own version of the Total Elimination and easily secured the W. WINNERS: LOS MATADORES
After a series of highlights of the Wyatts interfering in the championship match at the Royal Rumble, we skip ahead to last Monday for the six-man Elimination Chamber qualifying match. One quick word on CM Punk. I wonder if he was meant to be on the face side of this match instead of Sheamus before he picked up his ball and went home. In any event, I love the ending when the Wyatts came down to attack Cena; in doing so, they screwed the Shield. They needed to fill the chamber with fan favorites who have an ax to grind with Orton. They also set up a possible Wyatts/Shield match that could spell the beginning of the end for the Hounds of Justice. Terrific booking WWE. It can happen!
Short on matches, a great deal of post-Rumble hype and a fair share of booing from Pittsburgh. And if you wish to join the conversation, please “like” Place to Be Nation on Facebook and you can boo me on Twitter @DmcG4881. Until next time Nation, Yes! Yes! Yes!