“He looks like the guy next door who’s built like God.” ~McGinn’s Mom
Previously recorded then posted on the brand new WWE Network and subsequently projected on my Roku 3, it is now time for WWE Superstars. In case you were in a coma, the big event finally happened and now that most of the bugs have been worked out, I can now say without hesitation, that I am happier than a pig in slop! Now I can easily fill in my wrestling blind spots, watch weekly programs without Hulu’s annoying “limited commercial interruptions,” and pay-per-views, oooooh the pay-per-views!
If I can pick the slightest of nits, it would be that if you happen to watch that swank new Raw pregame show, you will incidentally spoil your Superstars experience since it takes place in the arena at the same time as the in-ring tapings. So Nation, enjoy your new toy. But please, I’m begging you… for my sake… skip the Raw pregame show at all cost! Okay now that that’s settled, sit back, grab a box of Cheez-It Grooves and let’s head down to ringside!
Your announcers tonight are Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton. Stupid Alex Riley had to be on the panel of that precious Raw pregame show you promised me you will never ever watch! I hate that guy!
KOFI KINGSTON VS. DAMIEN SANDOW
Already the influence of the network can be seen when one considers the quality of talent they ushered out for our first contest. Kofi is a “10-time” champion and extremely popular with the fans with his positive attitude and high-flying maneuvers. Sandow, while in a slump, is a steady contributor to the midcard and was your Money in the Bank winner last summer. Normally we get a thrown together Divas match or a glorified squash in our first block, but tonight we get a battle we easily could see on one of the primetime shows. Love it!
The announce team hypes up the historical significance of this match as we lock up while also talking about Sandow’s endless slump. This guy is about as cold as my apartment right now in the northeast. He makes Mets fans feel good about themselves. Mark Sanchez looks like the Six Million Dollar Man next to this guy. (I have plenty more but Scott and Justin may kick my ass!) Seriously though, this guy was once the “uncrowned” World Heavyweight Champion but that rings as hollow now as Miz constantly announcing that he once main evented WrestleMania. He really should go back to the Rick Martel pink trunks but that’s one man’s opinion.
Despite the big match feel, these two put on a fairly paint-by-numbers style of match. Nothing too edgy or exciting. Just the usual spots. Sandow teased an “Elbow of Disdain” but decided to just repeatedly pound Kofi in the kisser instead. Kingston recovered and connected with his flying clothesline and “Boom Drop” combo. Kofi was grounded by a boot to the face but then delivered one of those patented high cross-body’s that nearly ended this one. In the climax, Sandow avoided “Trouble in Paradise” and countered with a chop block. His attempt at a sharpshooter (interesting) was thwarted by a Kingston small package and three seconds later, the bell rang! WINNER: KOFI KINGSTON
Despite my above comments, this was a good showcase match for those of you just hopping on the Superstars bandwagon. Kingston should be built up more than he does and Sandow looks as desperate as ever. Awesome moment post-match as Jerry Lawler interviews Kingston on a stage reminiscent of the one Gene Oakerlund used on the original Superstars of Wrestling from my childhood. King asks about momentum and how big this victory was for Kofi. Kingston exclaimed, “hopefully this is the start of my road to WrestleMania!” Great stuff WWE!
Did you know? John Cena has granted over 400 wishes and is the #1 wish granter in this history of Make-A-Wish. And you still boo him? Shut up trolls! As my mom would say, “he looks like the guy next door who’s built like God.”
We jump to highlights from Raw starting with the return of my childhood hero, Hulk Hogan, who announced that he was hosting the 30th edition of WrestleMania. Good to see the Hulkster back in a WWE ring. I hope he ends the wrestling portion of his life right here alongside Vince. Somehow you couldn’t have WrestleMania XXX without this guy and the fans loved every minute of his return Monday night.
Next up is a package of still shots from the Elimination Chamber when the Wyatts destroyed John Cena in the main event. Back to Raw on Monday night when Bray and the family get called out by my mother’s guy next door. When I first heard about this possible pairing, I pretty much brushed it off to internet gibberish. They are going all in on this though and there would be no bigger way to make Bray into an unbeatable monster then to upset Cena on the grandest stage. I do look forward to the promo work by both these guys in the coming weeks, though all this work could be a waste if Cena’s leg is worse than we suspect.
CODY RHODES, GOLDUST & LOS MATADORES VS. RYBACK, CURTIS AXEL & 3MB (MCINTYRE & MAHAL)
So everyone is getting in on the Superstars party tonight in its Network debut. Nice to see the Matadores back in their usual spot after taking several beatings the past few weeks at the hands of The Shield and The Wyatts. Also McIntyre is sporting the short trunks from his “Chosen One” days so maybe more changes are on the way. Big moment early on when the Rhodes take out Rybaxel who were looking to bully El Torito on the outside. First Cody with the cross-body and Goldust with a remarkable rolling senton, which was then followed by a pair of dives by Diego and Fernando as we head to break.
McIntyre continues to look like a beast on this show. Just mauling one of the Matadors and probably wondering what he has to do to get a push around here. It’s funny seeing Ryback in tag action considering he was probably the most over star in the company a year ago at this time. Diego was our face-in-peril but would escape further danger by tagging in Cody who had a nice, albeit quick, little battle with his former running mate, McIntyre. Mahal would come in and eat a missile dropkick for his troubles. After Cody lands with a disaster kick, all hell breaks loose. Bodies go everywhere including Heath Slater who got schooled again by a Torito hurricanrana. Cody takes out McIntyre with “Cross Rhodes” and it is all over but the shouting. WINNERS: THE GOOD GUYS
No break as we go into our next Raw segment with Randy Orton dressing down his former stablemate, Batista, as these two prepare for the most frigid main event in WrestleMania history. It is fascinating how they are playing up the fact that everyone hates Batista and fans are booing him even worse than they did Orton. Randy I think even got face pops when he caused The Animal to lose Monday night. If these two go on last as presently constituted, it will be worse than 2002 when HHH/Jericho had to follow Hogan/Rock. It will be incredibly depressing to me that they would go through all this trouble of unifying the titles only to give us a main event not a single person wants to see.
Oh yeah… Undertaker came back too! What a loaded Raw this week. Whoever writes that review was pretty damn blessed and you can read all about it right here.
That concludes our “Rebirth” of Superstars. I liked how they loaded up the two matches with the meat and potatoes of the midcard and perhaps the match pairings will continue to improve now that this program is featured heavily on the Network. How can you not love being a wrestling fan at this current time? It was like having 1,000 Christmas mornings this past Monday and the scariest aspect of all is it can only get better from here.
RIP Nelson Frazier Jr. “King Mabel” (1971-2014)