The madness is spreading Superstars Nation and I’m not speaking of the “Macho” variety. I’m also not talking about this rather large basketball tournament that happens to be going on this month or even the believed madness of Matthew McConaughey’s character from True Detective. (Not to spoil anything, but after crushing the whole season in a day or two, my brain is the consistency of apple sauce!) No, the madness I speak about is the kind happening now, on the internet, as we gear up for the “Showcase of the Immortals.” You know it as WrestleMania, but we in the internet wrestling writing community call it Christmas, Halloween and Thanksgiving wrapped in a sweaty, spandex package. The main event keeps changing, matches are being added by the minute, bold predictions are being made by podcast hosts and fans are losing their collective minds. It’s beautiful! You, however, are the best and brightest fans I could ever ask for because you, like me, watch Superstars every week. That in itself makes you far from going mad in my book. So sit back, order the damn WWE Network already and let’s head down to ringside!
Your announcers tonight are Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton. (We Want Riley!)
NATALYA VS. ALICIA FOX
Without even reading further, you can suspect that Nattie wins this easily. The Total Divas Annihilation Theorem is definitely in full effect with these two. Be that as it may, this match also illustrates my point of the continued effort the company is making in bridging the quality gap between this show and the larger prime time offerings. Neidhart is clearly someone always in the title picture and even though Fox’s relevance has been almost nonexistent in recent years, she still knows how to work and put on terrific matches. Well, I’m excited anyway!
Just as I suspected, some excellent wrestling moves to start this one as these ladies matched one another move for move. It’s always a pleasure to see Foxy bust out the old northern lights suplex, though sadly it only gets a two-count. Alicia is also showing me more attitude getting snippy with the ref and jawing with the universe. Nattie scored with a discus clothesline and very quickly applied the sharpshooter. Fox has no choice but to tap in the center of the ring and this one is as dead as disco. WINNER: NATALYA
Thoughts: Here’s your hat, what’s your hurry WWE! My goodness, that was fast and a little disappointing. I see Natalya possibly competing in a multi-diva scrum for the title at Mania as she continues to rack up victories. Fox gets a Superstars payday and can’t disprove my theorem but definitely looked terrific in trying.
Jerry interviews Nattie post-match and asks about what fans can expect from Total Divas Season 2. She breathlessly cuts a promo against Summer Rae because of a slap or something but I wasn’t listening. If you love your Total Divas though, be sure to catch up on the show with our recaps by the lovely and talented Jen Engle and that Ben guy right here on Place to Be Nation!
After the break, we head back to Raw as the least interesting men on the planet, Randy Orton and Batista, get real with Triple-H about Daniel Bryan and the Yes Movement. Those two manchildren started jaw-jacking over belts and skinny jeans until their daddy finally laid down the law. My lord, I can’t believe this was almost our WrestleMania main event. That said, if Hunter is added to the title match, I may get to bed early that night!
More from Raw as that segment is followed by the back-end of the Orton/Bryan bout from Monday. I’m glad they are finally letting Batista and Orton touch each other considering they are supposed to close out Mania. Batista hasn’t proven to me that he could put on a 20 minute classic at this stage of his career so it’s probably for the best we get a triple threat. One final thought, Orton loses a ton of matches for an undisputed champion doesn’t he?
Next up, we get a rare Smackdown highlight as The Shield refuse to assist Corporate Kane in an eventual loss to Big Show two weeks ago. Fast forward to Raw when Kane accuses Lawler of conspiring with Bryan in orchestrating the Occupy Raw segment. You should know by now that Reigns and Co. turn on Kane while subsequently squashing all that Shield breakup talk. This could not have been the original plan though I wonder if the separation is just being delayed until after Mania. Whether heel or face, the Shield need to be on TV, period.
Slam City? What the hell is that? If you or someone you know is interested in writing a Slam City Recap for this upstart website, you should consider getting out more.
Mr. T will enter the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame during WrestleMania weekend. I’m not saying it’s as loaded of a class as last year (Bruno, Mick, Backlund and Trish), but is there any doubt that this year will feature the most entertaining speeches? I pity the fool who thinks anyone will be able to top the Warrior, Jake Roberts and Mr. T in the category of appointment television.
R-TRUTH & XAVIER WOODS VS. 3MB (MAHAL & MCINTYRE)
We haven’t seen very much of Truth and Woods lately so it’s great they are getting back in the swing in this spot. If they stick to tagging, you could throw them into that crowded mix of talent in the tag team division. Should they break apart, Truth mentoring Woods into the secondary title picture could also be rather enjoyable. The band is wearing their short trunks today but that doesn’t stop someone from holding up a sign that reads, “Hanson > 3MB.”
Our heroes begin by working on the arm of McIntyre, who the announce team is quick to point out is clean-shaven. Tons of quick tags and not a great deal of offense from the former “Chosen One” as Truth delivers his signature strikes mixed with dance moves. Woods then hits a tremendous cross body for two and looked in command until he absorbed that nasty jump kick by McIntyre which, I have a tendency to gush about. Clearly we’ve reached our face-in-peril segment as we head to break. Kids, just a reminder, don’t try this at home. More beatings of Xavier followed until he turned the tables and tagged in his partner. Truth clobbered Drew with a spinning heel kick and nearly ended this one with a DDT. Heath Slater attempted to run interference, but in typical 3MB fashion, McIntyre accidentally kicked his band mate into next week. The former K-Kwik hits the What’s Up and “rock-and-roller cola wars, I can’t take it anymore!” WINNERS: R-TRUTH & XAVIER WOODS
Thoughts: Fun match even if the result was quite obvious. My guess is all these guys will be in that battle royal April 6th.
I truly enjoyed the video package hyping the John Cena/Bray Wyatt match. Cena is definitely taking a step back from being in title match almost every year at this time, but I’m still pretty pumped to see him in this midcard role. Plus Wyatt has looked awesome in his other PPV outings so this one should be an absolute blast.
Geez they are packing in everything this week. Next we get a quick reminder of last Tuesday’s Main Event program when Undertaker told Paul Heyman he will, “slay the beast and once that’s done, I’m going to take his rotting corpse and I’m gonna throw it into the fiery pits of eternal hell!” I have nothing to add to this except that I always wanted to say that to my most treacherous foes which is probably why internet dating didn’t work for me.
Speaking of treachery, our program ends with Triple-H’s slaughtering of Daniel Bryan as Raw went off the air. It was borderline uncomfortable to watch particularly with Stephanie screeching into Bryan’s face. It’s an extremely effective way to build up to their Mania match while also playing up the underdog role for the babyface. On a sad note, it also proves that Daniel has no friends in the back as he got the crap kicked out of him while wearing handcuffs and not even the token ref came down to check on him. If you aren’t salivating for Bryan to gain revenge on the COO and eventually hoisting the gold at the end of Mania after watching that segment, then you either fell asleep or aren’t a fan. Is it April 6th yet?
Final Thoughts: The matches were quick and predictable but it’s all about the hype at this point. Have you ordered the Network yet? Seriously, it’s worth it!