As with FCW this week, I have to at least give an honorable mention to Regal on commentary before I get into the list. Regal continually puts over all of the talent while not sounding like he really likes any of them. Where I may not have made a special spot for him on the top four he really is one of my three favorite men on commentary (Scott Stanford at number one, Byron Saxton at number three).
4. Percy Watson vs. Darren Young
I have to ignore that Titus O’Neil was on commentary for this match or else I would have to drop this match entirely from the top four. O’Neil started off well and for a few moments he had me fooled, I thought there might be hope for him. Silly me. Watson and Young did put on an entertaining match, though that saw Watson as the victor. Young still sounds tight on the mic, as if he is not quite comfortable with his words, but in the ring he’s come a long way. Watson continues to improve on the mic and in the ring to the point he might be breaking into one of my favorites of NXT. He still has a way to go, though.
3. Maxine/Kaitlyn Derrick/Heath
No, this is not my contrived way of making sure that Bateman makes it onto the list. Maxine and Kaitlyn had an excellent match that nearly could have made it to the top two, except for a horribly botched ending that was obvious to me. As I always say, if it is obvious to me, it’s pretty darn obvious. Until that ending, though, these women put on an excellent show. Derrick Bateman and Heath Slater had a match at the beginning of the show that made me want to cry because Bateman lost, but both men looked good in the ring in the meantime. Then there were the segments. Curtis hints to Kaitlyn that Bateman might have a thing for her and Maxine once more gets in Kaitlyn’s face. Bateman also does not try to play off his loss to Slater as no big deal, admitting that after showing clips of Slater losing, losing to him this week did not go over well.
2. Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks vs. The Usos
Hawkins and Reks. That should be all I have to say. I love these two in the ring and hate when NXT does not use them. This week they face The Usos again. The Usos, who usually are pretty great in the ring, decided they were going to be a bit sloppy this time. The match was still entertaining, but this had more botches in it than I wanted to see. It made me cringe and I hid behind my computer for a bit, trying not to see it. I do not know if their head was not in it that night or what the problem was, but it was sad to see this match go the direction it went. Still, Hawkins and Reks! Oh, and Hawkins punches out Striker. That helped push this up.
1. Tyson Kidd vs. Trent Barreta
Anyone who reads my NXT blogs on a regular basis, and I know you do, knows that I’ve been complaining about these two lately. Not because they aren’t great, Kidd and Barreta could wrestle circles around most of the roster which I suspect is the reason they are “jobbers,” but because they have these two men wrestling with no storyline. I want drama with my wrestling! Okay, I’m a girl, I want drama in everything. But Kidd and Barreta were constantly fighting with nowhere to go while everyone else on NXT had a storyline. Then WWE did something unprecedented: they gave me what I wanted. After the match Kidd and Barreta shake hands and then later in the show Kidd pretty much asks Barreta to join him as a tag team. Does this fully turn Kidd back into a face? I don’t care. I just was doing my own little version of a celebratory dance when this happened.
I realize I punished Kaitlyn and Maxine for their both and still gave The Usos a higher precedent when they had more botches, but WWE still has me trained to think less of divas than I do of the men. While this is changing as I watch more and more talent on the “lesser” shows, for now I have to face up to being a bit of a product of WWE messaging.
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.
Let me start off by saying that I am not in any way anti Vickie Guerrero. In fact, I think she’s fabulous. I want Vickie Inc. to grow. If she gains Christian, if Swagger and Ziggler learn to work together, this could be one of the most interesting groups that the WWE could have, if they just tell the story correctly.
Vickie’s group is growing and so is a need for her in a storyline. Unfortunately WWE books her and her own a bit too much like they treat Miz. They do not need to win but we are still supposed to take them seriously as a threat. This is a group that needs to win, if for one reason alone: The Anti Vickie Guerrero Stable.
Enter Monday Night Raw. Nickleback finishes up and out starts an entrance we have not heard before. Ears perk up and people turn to look. When Scott Stanford walks out there will be some confusion, many cheers, and wonderment in the hearts and minds of every Zack Ryder fan. Because there is one reason for Scott Stanford to be walking out, and that’s because Zack Ryder has found his new manager.
Zack Ryder follows shortly after, joining Scott in the ring in their usual jovial fashion. These two will be all smiles when they come into the ring, even when Stanford has something serious to say. What he wants to say is that Ryder deserves a rematch. He knows that Jack Swagger and Vickie Guerrero had everything to do with Ryder losing his pay-per-view match.
Enter Vickie, Swagger, and Ziggler who will do their usual of laughing at anyone who dare to try to oppose them. Teddy Long, in perfect Teddy Long fashion, will be the one who decides to make a tag match. Stanford and Ryder have an hour before the tag match begins. If Ryder’s team wins the tag match then Ryder can have another shot at the title.
Since this is my own perfect world I’m not giving Ryder who everyone thinks he should have because he’s suddenly the face they want to push (Mason Ryan). I want someone who meshes well with the outgoing personalities of Stanford and Ryder (and I’m not taking Hawkins away from Reks right now, I’m enjoying that too much). Who would I choose then, you ask? I’m glad you asked. My answer: Trent Barreta. Trent has the personality, he has the skill, he has just been held down because, well, whatever reason WWE holds down anyone.
How are Ryder and Barreta going to win a match, you ask? Why, Stanford is going to help them cheat this time. Is it underhanded? Of course. But it’s also payback for the constant cheating of Guerrero and her minions.
I know, I’m dreaming, but this would be my own perfect little Raw.