Superstars Nation, it has been far too long. Please forgive my tardiness this week in delivering your weekly wrestling gold as much like the great Dennis Stamp, “I already had other arrangements.” For those of you who do not know, The Place to Be Podcast will be celebrating its 300th episode this month and I have the fortunate task of being part of the creative team for this monumental event. What skills they are asking me to use I won’t ever mention in this space but perhaps when the PTBN DVD comes out someday, I’ll be able to spill it all to you, the most wonderful fans in the world. Plus, you know what show has not had 300 episodes yet? You guessed it, WWE Superstars. Someday we’ll make it there but until then, you can painstakingly read about that journey as long as I’m still around to serve it. Two matches and some highlights await you, even if the weekend is nearly over. So sit back, hit that download button for the PTB Podcast, tell two friends about us and let’s head down to ringside!
Your announcers tonight are Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton. Do these guys not sound identical when they talk or is it just me? Try listening with your eyes closed and the results may shock you!
TITUS O’NEIL VS. ZACK RYDER
Donned in a WrestleMania 30 basketball jersey and rocking his swank new intro theme, Titus O’Neil hits the ring. I wish Titus could fill out that uniform half as well as I can but that’s besides the point. This guy would definitely have been considered for main events if this were 1987 so we’ll see what comes of his heel turn and singles career. He is excellent with the PR portion of the job so I don’t see him going anywhere so long as his in-ring abilities continue to improve. I was quite surprised at his recent loss to former tag partner Darren Young but I suppose WWE still has that issue with putting young guys over strong so we’ll just live with it. Ryder per usual gets a great reaction from this crowd though I fear all of us who are cheering still can’t put his 2011 run in the rear view mirror.
So why the change in Titus? Much like Brodus Clay and other meatheads before him, he felt his tag partner was preventing him from winning championships and being in the main events. While that philosophy helped Shawn Michaels flourish, results have varied over time. For O’Neil’s sake, I hope it goes better for him than it did Clay. He starts the match out with a bevy of power moves and throws around Ryder like a rag doll before sarcastically barking to the crowd. He continues to swat away the crowd reactions like summertime flies at a cookout as Long Island Iced Z takes a tremendous beating in the process.
Titus keeps on barking but also misses and elbow drop which gives our hero room to work with. After a missile drop kick, O’Neil avoided a Broski Boot attempt. Just as quickly as Ryder found daylight, however, it was quickly extinguished as O’Neil came back with a Clash of the Titus and this glorified squash is over. How do you spell winner? T-I-T-U-S! WINNER: TITUS O’NEIL
Good win for the big guy and perhaps his climb begins here. As for the Ultimate Broski, it’s another night of looking up at the lights.
Besides the interview podium WWE busted out last week, another outstanding improvement to this show on the Network is their use of teaser match cards to let us know what’s coming up next. In the old Hulu days, they would just plop a match on us after the third or fourth Raw segment. It just adds to the overall package and makes this show look in the same class as WWE’s other weekly programs. So what will you be seeing later on you may ask? Well, keep reading silly!
Awesome, a Raw Rebound! A brilliant highlight reel of Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar making their case to end The Undertaker’s streak at WrestleMania. I have two feelings about this match. The first is I really hope it’s a show stealer in the event the WWE title match gets crapped on because the 30th Mania should be remembered fondly for having a match for the ages. Secondly, I hope Brock doesn’t literally kill the Dead Man in the middle of the ring because Taker is old and Lesnar is flippin’ crazy!
Out comes Mark Henry and God only knows why. I mean seriously, does this have an end game besides Henry taking a beating and going through an announce table? I mean, he is like me trying to stump Justin Rozzero in wrestling trivia. Try as I might, I always wind up going through an announce table! Mark, I’m begging you, just stop trying!
Meanwhile, we get another fantastic video package of the growing Wyatts vs. Shield dilemma that took an interesting turn this week when Bray caught on to the notion that the Shield guys were still taking orders from The Authority. Reigns, Ambrose and Rollins gave Triple-H the big F-U and attacked the Wyatts anyway. A match occurred later in the evening that Scotty C. told you about already but with Rollins walking out, the inevitable Shield breakup appears to be upon us. What an awesome feud this has been and if Cena’s injury gives us another classic brawl between these six studs at WrestleMania, then I will make that trade without hesitation (Sorry Mom).
In case you missed it, Paul Bearer is the newest inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame. The more I read about this man, the more I love about him. It seems no one had more love and passion for the Professional Wrestling business than William Moody. Some criticized WWE for using his death as a plot device setting up a WrestleMania match last April. I choose to stay in the camp that said he not only approved of his involvement but also marked out to it from the heavens. If only he were still here to accept his well-deserved induction.
LOS MATADORES (W/EL TORITO) VS. RYBAXEL
Phillips mentioned during the Matadores intro that we have been seeing a great deal of this tag team lately on Superstars. That’s an understatement! I always think I can just leave them in the second match slot in my word document every week. Do you think when they repackage guys WWE tells them, “when we bring you back, you will consistently be in the second match slot on WWE Superstars.”? Speaking of guys spinning their wheels in the same spot, out comes Rybaxel. Ryback is doing his best Dan McGinn impersonation by typing on an imaginary keyboard so I in return will do my best Ryback impersonation and be a complete jackass.
Tons of double team maneuvers before we go to break as Axel can’t get out of the blocks. An ad for the remarkably overrated Scooby-Doo breaks up the action but when we return, one of the Matadors is in trouble in the corner. Ryback connects with a big splash on Diego and then plants the luchador with a power slam. Both villains sequentially go to the middle ropes and plop down onto Diego’s chest and it does not look good for our face in peril. I’m not saying Paul Heyman, but Rybaxel could be devastating if they had a mouthpiece to attract some heat.
Ryback missed a splash in the corner allowing Diego to make the hot tag to Fernando. Awesome spot in the match happened when Fernando delivered his version of the “3 Amigos” by using a trifecta of belly-to-back suplexes on Axel (We miss you Eddie). Springboard senton connects afterward and out comes Torito to distract Ryback. More aerial moves follow but a classic roll-up does in Axel and this one is history. WINNER: LOS MATADORES
Another exciting interview segment on the podium as King comes out to talk to the victors. Fernando speaks and says that Lawler and Torito are very much alike. Jerry looks confused and Fernando explains that both athletes are, get ready for this, “horny.” Lawler was definitely not expecting that one and I am loving this old school interview podium more and more each week. Diego says Los Matadores love being the underdogs and they aspire to be the next WWE Tag Team Champions. Lawler caps off this magic by saying he is an animal lover including bulls and puppies of course. I cannot think about this segment without smiling but we have to move on.
We close with clips of the ending to Raw with Daniel Bryan battling The Authority and Batista on Monday night. One way or another, Bryan is getting his WrestleMania moment but it certainly looked like Batista was doing the bidding for Trips after Bryan kicked the COO in the head. I think The Animal still wants Orton’s title but he also seems aligned with the Authority doesn’t he? So when two heels with the same allegiances do battle on the biggest stage, doesn’t it make sense to have someone in the picture to rise against that machine and achieve the ultimate victory? Does that not tell a better story? I will continue to remain cautiously optimistic the right thing will happen next month.
Fun show to catch you up and the Los Matadores match and interview segment are definitely worth the watch. The Network influences are definitely improving the product so don’t be afraid to click it. Better late than never I always say and I hope this was worth the wait!