With mere hours to wait Nation, we have arrived at the “go home” edition of WWE Superstars. By the time our next recap is posted, the biggest night in sports entertainment will officially be part of our collective memories. New champs will be crowned, iconic moments will be witnessed and perhaps even tears of joy will be shed. Only one guarantee in all this is that the next 72 hours will be forever remembered by all wrestling fans. So if like me, your week was full of hardships, frustration and severe suffering, at least you could hang your hat on the fact that WrestleMania weekend is now upon us. And what better way to kick off this endless dinner buffet of Pro Wrestling indulgence then to plop down beside me, metaphorically speaking, and watch some Superstars! So sit back, get those vocal cords ready for a week of “Yes” chants and let’s head down to ringside!
Your announcers tonight are Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton.
KOFI KINGSTON VS. HEATH SLATER (W/3MB)
Our night commences with the Axel Rose of 3MB handling his own business against the suddenly grounded Kingston. Remember when Kofi beat Randy Orton cleanly in January and some idiot weekly reviewer of this program talked about how it could jumpstart a push for the high-flyer? If a title push was the girl Kingston was dating, being in this spot must mean he’s now in the “Friend Zone.” At least he gets Slater which should be an easy victory heading into the Andre Battle Royal. Or is it?
Fans chanting for Kofi as these two lock up. The announcers talk this up as if these guys will be focal points in the battle royal. Who knows if they will even touch but at least they are selling the match as if it’s going to be a big deal. Kingston scored with a crossbody to Slater’s back and then went to work on his opponents arm. Kofi landed a back elbow and tried to follow with Trouble in Paradise before Slater sneaked out the backdoor as we hit the break. McIntyre and Mahal watched from the outside as these two went back and forth. Slater drilled Kofi with a heel kick that nearly ended the bout. After some air guitar and jaw-jacking with the ref, Heath connected with a sick neck-breaker for another near-fall. Not like I can talk, but does Slater have a bit of a gut developing? Okay I’ll move on.
Kingston gets his groove back with some chops and a dropkick while capping off his comeback by skinning the cat and delivering a boom drop. Fans are getting excited as the bandmates hit the apron. Kingston sucker punches Mahal and McIntyre eats a Trouble in Paradise but Slater counters with his Smash Hit DDT and I don’t believe what I just saw! WINNER: HEATH SLATER
Thoughts: To quote Zack Ryder, “Are you serious bro?” Slater gets the victory and to see his face, I don’t even think he could believe it! In all these months of covering this show, I never would’ve guessed this would EVER happen to someone as established as Kofi. This is the Mercer over Duke of WWE Superstars. It’s okay Kofi, we can still be friends.
After a timeout, Raw highlights Brock Lesnar finally getting the better of the Dead Man. This match will have plenty of sizzle, but will it deliver the steak? Undertaker should win but will there be much left of him when it’s over? I expect the intros to be phenomenal, the commentary to be over-the-top and it will assuredly feature some terrific pyro and graphics creating a tremendous show. I do, however, have my doubts that this match will be an all-time classic.
A great deal of fluff this week as we are treated to back-to-back promos for Saturday’s Hall of Fame ceremony followed by another trailer for that Scooby-Doo movie. I’m sorry but I am no fan of Scooby and I don’t think I ever was. I find him to be obnoxious and grossly overrated. Did he ever really solve any mysteries or was he always just eating and running like hell because Shaggy and he were always high as kites? I’m glad they at least got Justin Rozzero to voice Mr. McMahon.
More Raw stuff as Triple-H and Stephanie talk me into a coma. It was at this point I got to thinking about what kind of sauces I want to try at Boneheads Wing Bar conveniently located at 131 Washington Street in West Warwick, Rhode Island this weekend. There’s no chance the COO is winning the title this Sunday is there? That would be like Mr. Potter burning down George Bailey’s house at the end of It’s A Wonderful Life or the Ducks losing to Iceland in the closing seconds of Mighty Ducks 2. I don’t want to live in a world where any of those tragic events can happen.
Bray Wyatt makes mince meat out of R-Truth in our next segment. What a fantastic character this guy has become. The metamorphoses from a guy known for being “Husky” to this diabolical cult leader is truly a testament to some of the good things going on with both Creative and the developmental system. Plus Bray has the amazing ability of performing this role to perfection. Watching this again, I loved when Cena appeared with the sheep mask on. The image of a fourth member of the family, even for a few seconds looked outstanding. It may have left some doubt heading into Mania that Bray was expanding his operation until Cena revealed himself. Aside from the main event, this is actually the bout I am most looking forward to seeing. I’m not one for predictions but I don’t have much faith in my champion of hustle, loyalty and respect. If you read me frequently, you know my mom will be upset with that one!
No second match as tonight’s show concludes with the closing moments from Raw when Batista battled Randy Orton to a no-contest. Daniel Bryan made his triumphant return by attacking Hunter and delivering a pair of beatings to his eventual WrestleMania opponents. It was an extremely entertaining segment and the quintessential finish for a “go home” Raw. You always want pandemonium, fans on their feet and everyone chomping at the bit to order the show. The Bryan title era could be a huge flop or a cash cow. But the journey to get there may go down as one of the greatest stories WWE has ever told and it all comes to a head this Sunday.
Final Thoughts: Seems my whole recap was a steaming pile of thoughts thanks to only one match this week. I suppose this makes sense since all these programs become clip shows right before Mania. Watch the first 12 minutes if you wish to see a rare win for Heath Slater, because much like my lone appearance on the Place to Be Podcast (#300, I was the guy who kept saying “five seconds” and “Time”), these sorts of things may never happen again.