Wrestlemania is so jammed pack full of gimmick matches that have little to do with storylines people care about that they left out a glaring error, because they forgot they were supposed to be pushing tag matches again. Epico and Primo hold the tag team titles but who remembers that? It’s not the men’s fault but sadly misused booking. Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins have been used better and they are on NXT.
Speaking of Reks and Hawkins… Oh yes, you knew I would go there.
Solace’s Dream Missing Match
Before the start of the show Reks and Hawkins are up to their usual antics of being bullies and utterly cool while doing so. When they run into Epico and Primo they make fun of them for not having a match even though they are tag champs and for having to be managed by a woman whose only talent is dancing. This is where Regal does his thing and comes in to announce that since there was some time to fill on the card and people want to see their tag team champs he is going to make an impromptu tag match. However, if Reks and Hawkins lose they get to clean the entire arena once everyone leaves with a pro showing them how it’s done. Reks and Hawkins agree on the condition that Regal will do the sweeping instead if they win. Regal agrees because he believes there is no chance that Reks and Hawkins can win.
Epico and Primo put on a great show, and even get a little help from their former stable-buddy Hunico, but they just can’t hold up to Reks and Hawkins. Reks and Hawkins ultimately win the tag titles from Epico and Primo. No, not because I prefer Reks and Hawkins, but because Reks and Hawkins have done more to show what tag teams should be like in the last six months than anyone else has. These men should be the two going around and crushing any and all other tag teams, while helping to build groups who want to take them down.
After the show Reks and Hawkins hand Regal his broom and wish him luck on cleaning. Oh, and they found his pro, the ever handsome Scott Stanford, who is the lone man cleaning the arena corridors. As soon as Reks and Hawkins leave, and Scott starts saying how happy he is to work with Regal and how he could use the help, Regal instantly starts making excuses. His twins need him. His wife found out about Maxine. Etc. Leaving poor Scott to sweep on his own and Regal calculating a better revenge on Reks and Hawkins.
Of course I found a way to incorporate Scott into this. What were you expecting?
The match that started off this show was Justin Gabriel vs. Heath Slater. While I have been enjoying Slater more and more every week I have seen this match too many times and knew how it was going to end. As punishment for Slater winning against Bateman on NXT he had to lose, to Gabriel, via 450 Splash. Gabriel needs a new finisher. I have seen this move too many times and it is one of those contrived moves that requires too much setting up. It no longer looks natural.
Okay, rant over, onto the list!
4. Yoshi Tatsu vs. Johnny Curtis
Yoshi comes out first, sans mask, and the commentators make a note about the lack of it. Then out comes Curtis, throwing the mask down to the ground. Striker notes, “Creepy, carnal, suggestive, Johnny Curtis.” The match was decent. It was not great, it was not awful. Curtis does not get enough wrestling time to polish his style and Tatsu seemed to have to slow down his moves for Curtis to keep up with the ring-work. Still a decent match that proves these are two men who are too blatantly ignored.
3. Primo and Epico vs. JTG and Michael McGillicutty
Is JTG wearing his pants backwards? Oh yes, yes he is. I do not know why they put JTG with Michael McGillicutty. This tag team seemed random for random’s sake. JTG should have come out with Tamina, but it seems they have forgotten those two were a couple. Tamina should introduce JTG to a new tag team partner because McGillicutty just did not fit. BUT Primo and Epico came out with Rosa. Rosa in slow-mo, even as a heterosexual woman, is something wondrous to behold. Great match with excellent commentary that sees Primo with the pin on JTG. I think WWE should stop pretending that McGillicutty is the man they still want to push and letting JTG get the pin. JTG is so fly…
2. Santino vs. Jack Swagger
Santino briskly walks around the ring before entering, readying himself for a possible second take-down of the United States Champion. Jack Swagger comes out accompanied by Vickie Guerrero, who for the second week in a row flirts with Scott Stanford!!!! ………….. Okay, I am back. Swagger, finally, looks dominant in the ring. He knocks Santino down, does push ups off of his back, and wins with the ankle lock. He freaking won with the ankle lock! This is a better way to treat a champ instead of having him falling ass-backwards into a title. It is what they did to him when he was a champ on Smackdown and he is better than that.
1. Scott Stanford
Yes! I can do the return of Scott Stanford at number one. This episode of Superstars was the best one in weeks (possibly months) and it pains me when I can not do a decent list. It makes me giddy when I can plaster Scott’s name all over it. He is the one that puts over all talent in the ring, he is the one who always has a quip about every person and a humorous take. Without taking things too seriously but while not drawing your attention away from the action in the ring, Scott Stanford continues to be the shining star on Superstars because he makes you care about the matches going on. His enthusiasm sells the matches more than the superstars in the match, and let me say on this episode these men put more effort into it.
Scott Stanford’s best lines this Superstars:
“By the way Josh, does JTG have his pants on backward?” “I think it’s just his belt.” “This guy is so cool he doesn’t even have to wear his pants forward!”
“Look at that slow-mo.”
“I tried that brisk walk once before I twisted my ankle. That was the end of that.”
“Say hello to my little friend! No!”
(Josh to Scott) “Vickie just came over and did some sort of cougar claw at you.” (Scott‘s response) “It’s complicated, it’s a little complicated right now, can’t really get into it.”
I could write this blog about the top four this week on Superstars. (4. Ted Dibiase vs. Heath Slater 3. Santino vs. the So-Fly JTG 2. Primo winning cleanly over Kofi 1. Scott Stanford on commentary) I could. But this week, I’m not going to.
This week I’m going to do what I do best, which is rant. I’m going to rant about you, the fans, and rant about the WWE. This episode of Superstars was not the same matches we had seen of late and while possibly for the most part still predictable it was worth watching.
I’ve heard every excuse as to why you aren’t watching Superstars. It’s pre-taped. It’s not as convenient to watch it online. It’s jobbers wrestling jobbers. It’s dull.
Here’s why you aren’t watching Superstars: there are no storylines. All of you people who claim “We want wrestling” are a bunch of liars. Okay, not completely. You want wrestling, it’s why you are watching WWE, but you don’t want more wrestling. When they give it to you all you do is complain. When they don’t give it to you, you complain. The reason you watch WWE is because it’s a soap opera where people turn to the ring to settle their differences.
Many of you are right now going, “That’s not right. You’re wrong,” and generally hating on me for telling you the truth. You’ll deny it on twitter, you’ll deny it to yourselves, but it’s the truth. You aren’t watching Superstars because there is no storyline. It doesn’t matter that Santino and JTG are typically the “jobbers”. These two put on a better match than most of the main eventers do. (I said most, not all, calm down) JTG can sell the cobra like it’s an instant acting poison and it’s hilarious and well done. None of you care. Why? There was no build up? Why the Hell are these two fighting anyway?
Scott Stanford does his best every week on Superstars to bring a storyline to the matches. This is why he’s the best commentator there is. He will give you a reason to want to watch these two feuding. But despite his giving us a reason to watch Superstars every week WWE takes it all away by giving us no resolution to the storylines that Scott gives us.
Which is why, ultimately, it’s the WWE’s fault the fans don’t know what they want. Perhaps they try to listen to the fans, “We want wrestling” they give it to us, we complain. They try to give us what we want, we complain. They don’t give us exactly what we said we want, we complain. The entire twitter obsession lately is doing the opposite of what they want. Fans are fickle and WWE is trying too hard to either give us what we want or to take it away because we don’t know what we want.
Write the damn story. Give us an interesting ride throughout and give us resolution. RESOLUTION. No one has forgotten about the Anonymous Raw GM. Stop acting like it never existed. Superstars has low ratings because there is no story. No matter how good Primo looks as he flips, flops, and glides through the ring no one will care if you treat him like he’s just a jobber finally receiving a chance to win… on Superstars of all places. Superstars isn’t even acknowledged on Raw or Smackdown. John Morrison was said to have not won a match in months, even though he had recently won a match on Superstars. Why didn’t that count?
We want plot with our wrestling. If we just wanted to watch two men beating up on one another we’d be more dedicated fans of UFC. A few extra minutes a week dedicated to twisting a plot on Superstars wouldn’t hurt anyone either way and it would make Scott seem like the effort he’s trying in building a story was worth it. It would give us more of a reason to tune in.
Three exciting matches took up the first half of Superstars this week. Drew McIntyre, Alex Riley, Epico, Primo, The Usos, Tyson Kidd, and Trent Barreta all make their appearances and show us what matches should look like.
There is not one match I could complain about. Alex Riley was my least favorite person on Superstars, and the more I’ve seen him on Superstars the more he’s grown on me. When someone I’ve come around to liking is my least favorite person on a show it’s likely a good sign.
The first match is Drew McIntyre against Alex Riley, and wow does McIntyre make his move set look brutal. This might have been my favorite match of the night just from the way the two of them worked this match and destroyed one another. It was also the perfect set up for Riley’s finisher that I’ve ever seen. Riley applies the finisher better than he has in the past and this becomes a match I would give an A grade to if I was grading.
The second match introduces the tag team of Epico and Primo who are in a stable now with Hunico. Epico and Primo are cousins and they do admit this on the show. Of course it’s hard not to notice as the two of them look like they could be brothers, not cousins. Epico and Primo get to show off their chops against The Usos, who are always energetic and alive within the ring. They come out to their dance where Scott Stanford comments, “The first time I saw that duo perform that dance I tried it myself and gave myself a black eye.”
This match is the one that surprised me. I was sure they were going to let Epico and Primo lose since The Usos have been receiving a good show lately on NXT (if anyone has been watching!). Epico and Primo are heels in a stable with Hunico. Logically I saw them losing. Imagine my excitement, and then my torn emotions, when they won. I could have gone either way with this match but it was good to see Epico and Primo pick up the win. When was the last time Primo won?
The last match of the evening was Tyson Kidd vs. Trent Barreta. Kidd and Barreta are an excellent main event to end an excellent showing of matches. Barreta was bound to lose, it was time to let Kidd pick up a win again, but I was not disappointed with the ending. These two know how to set up moves so every action looks fluid.
Now for the commentary section of the show, because you know I can not review Superstars without talking commentary. My favorite commentator in the world is on Superstars, I must mention what a breath of fresh air this man is on any show. Scott shows enthusiasm where others sound robotic and he makes it about the superstars while others make it about themselves. This man knows what he’s doing and others should take note.
As Scott mentions a line about something Zack Ryder had told him about his tag team with Primo really being over Josh quips, “He also said something like that on twitter.” Cringe. But we leave it alone. It was one twitter reference out of two matches, that really isn’t too bad.
Then we get to the main event, Tyson Kidd vs. Trent Barreta. For whatever reason Josh Mathews has taken Jack Korpela’s place alongside Matt Striker. Anyone who follows me on twitter knows of my dislike for Josh Mathews. He is robotic and a shadow of the commentator he sits next to. He has no real personality of his own and seems to find it difficult to keep up. I avoided complaining about him sitting next to the great William Regal on NXT but tonight he and Matt Striker go too far.
As Tyson Kidd and Trent Barreta are being introduced Striker and Mathews talk about John Cena and The Rock before noticing Barreta is almost to the ring. They mention Barreta for a moment before going back to John Cena and The Rock. Fine, we know that happens.
Before the bell rings to start that match Striker brings up twitter. All right, fine, we know they have to talk about twitter. We aren’t stupid.
One minute into the match, no mention of the match, just social media.
About two minutes in they mention the match as Kidd gets a hook of the leg, no pin, back to twitter.
Three minutes in and Mathews makes the comment of, “Trent Barreta looking to trend world wide right now!” as he got for a move to finish Kidd off. It does not work. Now the match has finally taken precedent. Three minutes in. The match last about four minutes.
Someone made the comment on twitter to Mathews, “I wish Josh Mathews didn’t have to ruin good matches by constantly harping about twitter. The performances deserve better. #Superstars” Mathews’ response to this was, “Really? Does anyone else see the irony in this?”
Someone hand the man a dictionary. Is it sort of funny that the person used twitter to complain about Mathews talking about twitter? Sure. Is it ironic? No. Three minutes of commentary in a four minute match should not be used to talk constantly about social media. Kidd and Barreta deserved better than that. Sadly, this is also one of those times where Striker goes to the bottom of my list as well. I usually enjoy Striker, but social media is not more important than the match in front of you. Make your reference and move on. We are here to watch wres- er, sports entertainment. We are not here for a lesson on facebook and twitter. We “internet fans” already know how it works.
Last week I was losing faith in Superstars. This week it decided to renew it. That does not mean the show was less predictable because going in you knew who was going to win every match of the four, but the moves were more exciting, the commentary more interesting, and let’s face it, not having to see Triple H attacked again was dazzling. But, this is about the four best things of Superstars, so let us recap those:
4. The Bella Twins
Slinking their way down in the ring in sensual catsuits that make a man drool, The Bella Twins outshine their opponents in everything from appearance to style. The Bella Twins have stopped trying to be their own version of LayCool and decided to take a different approach. Sexing it up they turn it around in personality by being as childish as possible when facing Kelly Kelly and Eve. They put their finger and thumb up and out to make “L’s” at the girls, they give childish taunts of, “Nyah, nyah,” and one of the Bella’s covers her ears when Eve is screaming. It is a perfect position for these women. They seem to have found what they are comfortable with and instead of trying to come up with some over the top insults that fall flat the second or third time around they just go with the first thing that pops into their heads.
3. Air Boom vs. JTG and Primo
I asked two guys the other day when I started becoming such a JTG fan. They told me it was likely because I was watching him against Percy Watson and Titus O’Neil. After watching this match I’m convinced I’ve just become a JTG fan over time. Air Boom and JTG and Primo work fluidly together. Kofi flies high but seems to keep himself a little more in control of his moves while Evan does what he does best. But Primo and JTG both show that they can keep up with the fast-paced, high flying men in this match. Haven’t seen much of Primo lately? You know you miss him.
2. Cody Rhodes vs. Ted Dibiase
First off, stop whining that Cody Rhodes is on Superstars. Cody Rhodes is given a chance to get a win after he’s been fighting and losing recently. He does not even need it as it seems an entire regime is behind the man. Cody Rhodes is the opening match of Superstars and looks incredible. It’s not really a drop when he was featured on the pay-per-view just on Sunday. It’s an opportunity for this man to do moves that had me rewinding to watch it again. Dibiase works well with him and between the two they put on more than a decent match. We knew Cody would win, and still it was an amazing victory.
“Cody’s back might be disfigured!” – Korpela
“I’m just a loser who likes to conjugate verbs.” – Striker
1. Scott Stanford (and Josh Mathews)
I tend to put Scott Stanford at number one for good reason. He’s the best. The. Best. Don’t argue, you know it’s true. A few weeks ago though I complained that Josh Mathews did not seem to want to play along with Scott’s hilarity. In the weeks since Mathews has proven that he can keep up with Scott. His snorts of derision, his vocal hurts when a man is taken down, and his general attitude have seemed to have a facelift that is giving these two a run for best commentary team. And I could not be more glad of it. The two of them tell a story with every person who enters the ring and draw you in. I’m glad to see these two working together, and almost seemingly against Striker and Korpela. Now that could be an interesting commentary rivalry, if just because these four can do things with their barbed words without needing to embarrass themselves in the ring.
Scott has energy he was lacking in last week’s main event through their entire portion. The man can make exciting matches solid gold with his words and he sells two matches that people would not think they would want to watch as if they were main events on Raw. Yet better.
Scott Stanford’s best lines of the night:
“Welcome to the Raw portion of the program, that means the better looking duo.”
“This guy, JTG, is so fresh he sleeps in a ziplock bag.”
“JTG is so cool I understand that called him to play Fonzy in the remake of Happy Days.” Josh: “That is completely untrue.”
“I’m corny to say the least, going way back to Happy Days.”
“All I have to say is Holy catsuits, Batman!”
“How many people do you know that could come out in catsuits like that?” Josh: “Two.” Scott: “Nikki and Brie?” Josh: “Yup.” Scott: “I thought you were going to say Jack and Matt Striker but-” Josh: “They are the furthest thing from my mind as we prepare for this Diva Main Event.”
“The Bella Twins, let’s just call them the Sisters of Seduction.”
“Kelly, Rikishi style!”