This was actually an incredible week for wrestling and it was hard to narrow it down. I tried very very very hard to not be biased, but let’s admit that to some extent, I am.
4. Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler – No Way Out
It was between this match or their match on Smackdown. The reason this one won out was the amount of time given to it. These are two men who do not slow down and do not give up on their need to put on a show for the audience. In the heat of the moment during this match people forgot that Dolph Ziggler was a replacement for Del Rio and were gasping and holding their breath as a few times it looked like he could win. Another thing that held the Smackdown match back was that now it’s become a match we have seen a few times. Let Ziggler win, he’s incredible in the ring and deserves that “damn” title.
3. Hunico vs. Sin Cara – No Way Out
As I said in the No Way Out blog, this was an incredible match and I wish this is what it had been like when they had feuded as Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara. Instead this was a welcome back to the man they push harder, Sin Cara, but done in a way that Hunico looked incredible, and he is. WWE just needs to use him correctly. Still worth watching for the athleticism and where Sin Cara has seemed to have found his stride.
2. Zack Ryder vs. Drew McIntyre
Zack Ryder has hit a plateau, lucky for him the plateau is still pretty far up there. However he’s constantly paired with men who can easily dominate him in the ring, ala Drew McIntyre. Drew has fun with this match even though he’s going to lose and it becomes even more entertaining. McIntyre’s ruthlessness paired with Ryder’s playfulness make for two men desperately seeking that win over the other in a way that keeps the flow going. In case you can’t tell by now, I prefer matches that are pretty much non-stop. Drew, as Ryder lays on the mats, goes to the audience and teases them with the “LI” hand gesture, keeping the crowd focused on entertainment even when a man is down.
1. Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel vs. Tyler Reks & Curt Hawkins
Okay, so this match had Reks in it, who might happen to be in my Top 5 (and not my Booker T Top 5 but a pretty solid Top 5) and it had Kidd in it (not far down the list either) oh, and the newly improved Gabriel since his return, and Hell, can’t forget Hawkins and… … … Okay, I went into a small explosion of excitement because this is four incredible wrestlers in one match and I might be biased, but the match is a testament to why Reks is awesome. The Guilty Spark (which involves dropping Kidd on the ropes, you must see it) is incredible. Hawkins does not get to wrestle much in this match, it really is more about Kidd and Reks, but Hawkins is not to be outdone and does not let the fresh Gabriel take him down easily.
The fact that the top two matches were commentated by Scott Stanford has no bearing. Mostly.
I always do Top 4s, but this week I would have loved to have added more. There are several honorable mentions, but I’m going to list them all. Instead, many of them are going to be on the poll at the bottom. For now, the Top 4 matches that had me blown away this week.
4. Tyler Reks & Curt Hawkins vs. Derrick Bateman & Percy Watson – NXT
If I was completely biased, this would have been number one! Instead, I’m only slightly biased. This match seemed to star Reks and Bateman against one another, though Hawkins shines because let’s face it, he’s incredible. Watson may not have lived up to the other three men in the ring, but considering he was hardly featured it helped this match. The best match for NXT and gets a mention during a week when there was some incredible wrestling in WWE TV.
3. Sheamus vs. Tensai – RAW
I never thought that I would be saying this, but not only was this one of the matches of the week, but it was definitely the best match on RAW, and a RAW that had good matches to begin with. Sheamus and Tensai went at one another like they were trying to mutilate one another and I’m sorry during the commercial break we had missed some of it, part of the reason being live and cutting to commercials during a match can suck. Once in a while I like out and out brutality and the two gave as good as they received and made me want to watch Raw all over again.
2. Mike Dalton & Xavier Woods vs. Jake Carter & Corey Graves – FCW
Besides my obsession with Dalton and Woods having matching pants, and Carter and Graves just having the right attitudes and looks, the four men always put on an excellent show. This also might be the last time we see these teams working as tag teams as FCW on television is coming to an end and some have moved on to NXT. These four do prove in this match why some of them will be major superstars one day.
1. Hunico vs. Justin Gabriel – Superstars
Did you see this match? If you did not you are depriving yourself. Justin Gabriel returned from injury with better form and more passion for what he’s doing. He’s found his rhythm and shows it off against Hunico, who despite being nothing more than a jobber now, is one of the ten best wrestlers within the company. And I said wrestler, honest to goodness athlete, not character. Character… they did their best to brush him aside. If you watch Superstars for any match from the past week, watch it for this.
We are reaching the end of the NXT that is being taped during Smackdown. What will happen to that extra hour? Will it be shorter shows now? How will we see Full Sail’s NXT? And what about FCW? A few of those guys seem to think it is just being completely abolished. As usual, watching NXT leaves more questions than it gives any sort of answers and Vince continues to flip us off. Which is why I have a certain number 4.
4. Maxine on Commentary
Maxine’s being on commentary during the Kaitlyn vs. Tamina match was a big flip off of our own, of the writer’s own, of the NXT superstars own right back at Vince. Kill the storylines, fine, but we’ll make sure there is some sort of interaction between these superstars other than being randomly thrown in the ring together, or at least seemingly random in the 6 Man match. Maxine’s weakest point is her commentary, probably because she’s much better being sensual or angry than she is speaking with a clear head, but she still holds her own and chats up Regal while Mathews sits there and botches line after line. It’s as close as we are getting to storylines until Full Sail and I thank whoever thought this bit of brilliance up for at least trying to give us something.
3. Kaitlyn vs. Tamina
Regal comments on how strong both of these women are and that they can deadlift over 300 lbs. Either way, these two women have come a long way and Kaitlyn’s submissions are looking impressive. The match is nothing new for either, though, and it drops it a bit.
2. 6 Man Tag Match
Justin Gabriel makes his return on NXT after his injury by teaming up with Percy Watson and Derrick Bateman against everyone’s favorite NXT heels Michael McGillicutty, JTG, and Johnny Curtis. Curtis asked they not call him creepy, then came down to the ring looking… well, creepy. For as long as the match was it started off slow and didn’t really pick up until those last couple of minutes. In those last couple of minutes it was fast paced and frenzied, but in a way that makes you laugh and enjoy the ride. Bateman jumps out and body surfs, or planks, on two of the guys and Gabriel takes the win without using a 450 Splash, which totally earned him points with me. I think wrestlers should have multiple finishers, and Gabriel still had great movement on this new one. But, poor JTG was pinned (and bleeding) and it made me a little sad.
1. Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins vs. The Usos
Someone might be mad at me later, but this match had the most cohesive movements and consistency. The Usos, who are good for being related to Rikishi and being brothers, looked up to par in this match-up and I can’t help but think it’s because of Reks and Hawkins. Have Reks and Hawkins had a bad match since their return to NXT in September? While everyone comments about their wearing “Hart” colors (because hey, there’s no way color schemes have ever been repeated in the WWE ever, it’s not like everyone doesn’t wear black and red…) they are missing the match. When Reks and Hawkins step out my attention is immediately drawn to them and I can’t help but cheer, in my living room, when I’m by myself with the cats and scaring them. A lot of back and forth in this match and it was the least predicable of the matches since Reks and Hawkins won! Yeah, in case you can’t tell, this was my favorite match of the night, and might have been my favorite match of the week so far.
Only two matches, and I still made a top four out of it. I’m good.
4. Matt Striker
This week, since there were only the two aforementioned matches, they taped them both before Raw. They allowed Matt Striker and Scott Stanford to do the commentating and all I can say is, “Thank goodness.” Matt Striker wakes up for Superstars this week and has someone he can make jokes with, or tease, that does not sit there like a log. The only downside to Striker is that he makes it obvious when it’s going to be a two-count and not the final pin, though I am almost positive he doesn’t realize that is what he is doing. Still, Striker was always a great commentator and he seems to rejuvenate some of that greatness during this episode.
3. Tyson Kidd vs. Justin Gabriel
Normally I would put Kidd higher up on the match list because he’s incredible every time, but I think this match was cut short due to injury. Gabriel busted open his lip and it was pretty bad. Poor guy. Before that happened in the five minutes that the two did wrestle in this main event the two of them looked great. Gabriel has been growing in my esteem and I’ve been pushing the Kidd Agenda on everyone for awhile now. Too bad Striker seemed to forget that Kidd went back to being a face again because he was pretty insulting. My least favorite part was when Scott let that roll right off of him! SCOTT! Protect Kidd! He’s not money-grubbing! Okay, personal feelings aside (sort of) this was still an excellent match, but I had to give the higher match grade to the one that lasted longer and had more back and forth.
2. Alex Riley vs. Heath Slater
Heath Slater wins this match, which caused a small discussion between my boyfriend and me. He thought Riley should have won. I, on the other hand, think Slater needed a win more than Riley did. Riley is a superstar, whether the internet community wants to admit it or not. Riley comes out and the crowd goes wild. Every show I’ve been to when Riley steps out everyone cheers. Slater is still hated, which is sad because even with the personality that is meant to be obnoxious he is quite good in the ring. Together the two of them put on quite a fun match that is full of back and forth and moves that the two have finally begun to perfect. These two have come a long way and I look forward to more.
1. Scott Stanford
Of course Scott is number one. Have you guys actually listened to me on why, though, or do you assume it’s just because I love Scott? I do love Scott, but he proves again why in this episode. It’s the Road to Wrestlemania. He and Striker were told to fill us with talk that is supposed to excite us for the show while Superstars becomes an afterthought. Striker and Scott do not allow it. They talk about Wrestlemania, they have to, but they transition fluidly from one to the other. Scott, though, shines with his usual one-liners, but he whines a bit brighter thanks to Striker. When Scott says something ridiculous Striker does not let it go and the two have a back and forth that is superb.
Scott’s Best Lines of the Week:
“You couldn’t go without the Tebow reference!”
“No! 2 count.”
“You look at Riley’s twitter account and you see hundreds of marriage proposals. You know who is date is going to be to the Hall of Fame? His mother!”
“I’ll tell you what, we’ll find out on Sunday.”
“Some would say it’s Tim Tebow.”
“That’s gotta do it!”
As my issue was with NXT yesterday I have with Superstars today. There were only three matches making it difficult to have a top four things. Instead I’m just going to explore the aspects of the show.
The matches feature the usual suspects, the first match of the night being Justin Gabriel and Jinder Mahal. Justin Gabriel comes out sporting a hairstyle that reminds me of a stegosaurus and seems to be equally as durable. Despite rolling around on it even when it seems to start to go flat he flicks his wrist and POOF instead stego-hawk. Cool? Jinder comes out, with a mic, and gives his entire promo in a Punjabi dialect that gets him instant boos. Unfortunately Gabriel wins with the only move he has, which is a 450 Splash. I was impressed with this 450 Splash the first time I saw it with Gabriel because it was the first time I had seen it. Now I’ve seen several other wrestlers in other companies do the same thing… and better. Bored! But Jinder has grown solidly as a wrestler and while he’s still not one of my favorites I still enjoy watching him.
The second match of the evening moves us into the Raw portion, announced by the ever handsome Scott Stanford and that other guy he sits with. (Josh Mathews) The first match is Yoshi Tatus vs. Tyson Kidd. Yoshi is again sans face paint which is disappointing but these two put on a long match that never fails to entertain. However I kind of lose interest in a match when Mathews quips, “Their best feud so far has been on twitter.” Wait, what? So their in-ring work has not been their best feud? I know they are meant to push twitter but perhaps better wording would have been more succinct in this instance.
The last match of the night is Drew McIntyre vs. John Morrison. Would you believe that Drew McIntyre wins? Me either, but it’s true! That’s all that needs to be said here. I love Morrison but McIntyre deserved the win and the two men looked good in this match and made this win a step up for McIntyre, even if Morrison has been their own “loser” of late.
The last aspect is the aspect that is always my favorite part of the show, which is Scott Stanford. It was almost like a different man sitting out there. Almost. Is he still the one who calls the best during matches, of course? And he did seem to be getting a little Not PG? (“When those two were involved years ago-” “The last time these two hooked up-” “Unbelievable back and forth action!”) Which could just be a nod to us twitter crowd who constantly listen for those little things. He was full of excitement and still is the only man I think concentrates more on the men out in the ring than anything else going on around him. He had a few of his usual good lines, “And I quote… from Yoshi Tatsu,” and, “Is he looking for Hornswoggle, what’s Drew doing under there?” Still, my darling commentator seemed to not be himself. I look forward to the goofy lines that sell the show, and while tonight’s matches held up on their own, I hope next week sees the return of that same loveable man!