As I sat down to write this blog, Chris started chanting, “NXT! NXT!” in a hushed sort of whisper. Why? Because it is his favorite show ever week. This combines the wrestling that should be found on Superstars with storylines that usually have me jumping up and down a bit. This week in storylines we get the explanation of why Maxine and Curtis get to switch sides their handcuffs are on, we get to see Natalya accuse Kaitlyn of being a bit of a flirt, and JTG makes his triumphant return. (Screw you guys, I love JTG)
There was so much good in the plot I assumed this time it did not need a place on the Top 4. This time, it’s all about the wrestlers, and commentary?
4. Michael McGillicutty on Commentary
William Regal was out this week, as was Josh Mathews, and instead of going with my preferred team here (which would be anything that involved Scott Stanford) NXT went with something a little clever. Matt Striker paired up during each match with someone different. The very last match of the night Striker had Michael McGillicutty and about halfway through I forgot I was listening to a wrestler on commentary. Out of all of the guests (others were Hornswoggle, Maxine, and Johnny Curtis) McGillicutty had the smoothest ability and proved he knew what he was talking about. Well, I’ll be.
3. Tamina and Kaitlyn vs. Maxine and Natalya
Are they going to make Natalya a heel again? Earlier in the show Natalya and Kaitlyn had a bit of a tiff, with Natalya accusing Kaitlyn about her “just friends” antics with the men of NXT, this time one of those men being Tyson Kidd. Cute segment, and again lovely to see Natalya doing something. NXT proves it’s love of tag matches and divas and throws these four women in the ring. Natalya and Maxine clearly don’t like one another, and even argue during the match, which leads to Tamina winning it for her team. The downside to this match is when Striker says Tamina is trying to get out of the shadow of Jimmy Snuka, and then they show clips of how much she’s like Jimmy and her moves emulate his. Um, that’s embracing it, not trying to step out of the shadow. If you want to step out of the shadow you do something a little different or you are, basically, a shadow.
2. Derrick Bateman vs. JTG
Right off the bat, Bateman starts with a dropkick. Solace rejoices! And he’s up against JTG, who says the show was falling apart without him. While that might not be true, I did miss seeing JTG. He has fun with his stereo-typing character and has great selling skills. When Bateman wins this match JTG moves in a way that almost seems impossible, and we had to rewind five or six (or ten) times. This was the first match of the night, and I was easily convinced this had to be number one. I mean, Bateman! JTG! Excellent match to open with and it was given a proper amount of time. So how did it not make number one?
1. Tyson Kidd vs. Johnny Curtis
When does Kidd not have the number one match of NXT? He’s amazing, and this week he’s against Johnny Curtis. Kidd brings out the best in anyone he’s wrestling, and Curtis was already almost there. Curtis keeps that “weird” persona while in the ring, sort of licking Kidd’s hand at one point, but it does not undermine his ability. Kidd wins it though, with the new submission that he wants twitter to name for him.
On a side note, it is worth watching to find out why it was Tyson Kidd against Johnny Curtis for this show.
While in December I was mostly out of commission I have returned during this new year with a new outlook. Even if that new outlook still means that Derrick Bateman might be my favorite wrestler and Scott Stanford my favorite commentator. What the new outlook really means is… you need a new outlook on what you’ve been missing. This brings about the return of my top 4.
4. New Opening of NXT
Why is a new opening worthy of the top 4? This opening embraces what I have been arguing NXT has been trying to do all along: become less of a competition show and more just another good place to showcase talent. It is more evident by the fact that The Usos, Tamina, Trent Barreta, and Tyson Kidd are in the opening along with the “rookies” Derrick Bateman, Darren Young, and Titus O’Neil. The new opening embraces the storylines and talent. My complaint about the opening: Darren Young should be the Superstar shown when the word “young” is sung. I mean, how hard is that to get right?
3. Superior Commentary
It is no secret that Scott Stanford is my favorite commentator. Barring this fact he tends to be put together with Josh Mathews, who is a robot and borrows all of his good lines from other commentators. NXT has William Regal and Matt Striker this week. If you have not grown to love William Regal on commentary you just have not been watching NXT and FCW. I can not say I am surprised to hear you have not been, but it is time to stop being led astray. William Regal does well as a stand-alone commentator, but paired with Matt Striker he brings back some of the old spark in Striker that Striker loses with others. Only Regal can break out lines like, “I think it is an absolute travesty I have to be anywhere near JTG,” “If I was you I’d look in the ring, Sunshine,” and “I really hate it when people interrupt me,” the last when Tony Chimel was trying to announce Johnny Curtis and Regal had been talking about Riley.
2. Every match
Yes, I said every match. In a one hour show there were four matches. Alicia Fox vs. Maxine; Trent Barreta vs. Tyler Reks; The Usos vs. JTG and Tyson Kidd; and Alex Riley vs. Johnny Curtis. NXT is the one place right now where the divas are not treated like a joke in the WWE. Fox and Maxine put on a great match where beforehand Fox had announced about her former rookie Maxine, “I tried to sell her on eBay so many times.” People like to hate on Tyler Reks because of his dreds, which seems like an asinine reason to dislike someone, but this is how fans are made or broken, sometimes it is the little things. However Reks and Barreta put on an entertaining match that is all because of a very hilarious feud. JTG is another one who gets random hate and when Superstars were being released last year 90% of the audience said next would be JTG. JTG is 27 and was saddled with a character that is not to be taken seriously. It does not undermine the talent this man actually has and working with Kidd and against the Usos you can see that very talent. Last is the biggest heat magnet lately, Alex Riley against a man most of you only know from his Smackdown promos, his bad Smackdown debut, and relative disappearance. Alex Riley of late has become less a botch master and more a slower wrestler who thinks about his moves before potentially killing his victim, er, opponent. While they might not have had the best match of the night it was still entertaining with a story witnessed in the ring.
1. Derrick Bateman
“But Solace, he didn’t even wrestle a match this week!” I know! And doesn’t that mean his being number one is that much bigger? A man who did not even wrestle still had character! Derrick Bateman right now is NXT. He has the best storyline going and is about the only man in the company who pulls off being a face without sounding repetitive, or boring. Bateman has more charisma in his little toe than most men can dream of having in their lifetime. Who else could scream, “Curtis!” and while being hilarious, not be too over the top you can not take him seriously? Or tell his ex-fiancée, “This doesn’t concern you, Toots,” and still be angry as he lets Curtis know he has a surprise waiting for next week. Oh yes, Derrick Bateman alone is reason to watch NXT, but NXT offers you so much more.
When was the last time in a little under an hour on Raw you had four matches (that were not squashes!), four promos, and great commentary? Tell me!
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.
This episode decided to not have William Regal on commentary, which was a sad, sad thing for me. William Regal is over in Japan currently fighting against Santino at house shows. Matt Striker and Josh Mathews take over commentary, and while Striker has been entertaining as host of NXT and backstage interviewer, as of late he is not the same Striker on commentary. However, Curt Hawkins joins them on commentary for one match which brings us right into number four this week.
4. Tyler Reks vs. Percy Watson with Curt Hawkins on commentary
I will admit the match itself was not as interesting as it should have been. Tyler Reks is amazing in the ring but Watson looked sloppy. Watson is the lesser of two evils when it comes to the Titus O’Neil and Percy Watson team up. Percy is usually the better of the two and he did not show off those skills in the ring this episode. Despite that, it did not keep him from winning over Reks. To distract from the match in the ring is Curt Hawkins who someone ( @drustuart ) suggested would make a good manager. Upon thinking about it, this man has the look, the attitude, and the voice of a man who would make a good manager, or a great commentator. Sure, he’s not Scott Stanford on commentary but he has this smooth, calm voice that enraptures the audience. He could make watching grass grow interesting.
3. Yoshi Tatsu and Trent Barreta vs. Tyson Kidd and Johnny Curtis
Going into this match I was not sure which way they were going to go. I was sure that Barreta was going to be the one to get pinned if the team was losing or that Tatsu would get the pin on Curtis if they won. I was wrong. Johnny Curtis got the pin on Yoshi Tatsu. Johnny Curtis with a finisher that Hell if I know the name of, I can only say I was impressed watching him do it. This man that had become a joke that no one would take seriously because they did nothing with him on Smackdown besides let him lose one match actually is good in the ring. It helps that Tatsu, Barreta, and Kidd are three of the best in-ring guys to work with when trying to show off someone’s skills, but Curtis holds up on his own. Beautiful story-telling in the ring for a match that showed off some of the best that you aren’t watching.
2. Batemax Part 1
Maxine goes out to the ring to fight Alicia Fox. Striker and Mathews spend too much time making fun of her fashion sense in the beginning. Giggling during commentary is not professional boys. When Alicia Fox comes out I sat a bit stunned at first. This isn’t the usual divas match on NXT! What is also great is NXT is the one place I continually look forward to the divas matches. These women get a regular amount of time and put on a good show, and damn do these two women work well together. I’ve thought Maxine has looked good against AJ and Kaitlyn on NXT as of late but watching Maxine against someone who might be a little more seasoned than those two women and this could have easily been my favorite match of NXT this week. Derrick Bateman comes out with his mom (yes, his real mom, not some actress, and she’s a looker!) to applaud Maxine. He stands beside his fiancée the way he always wants her to stand by his side, but it distracts her. She loses due to the distraction and it’s impressive. They are pushing Maxine enough that there was a chance she would have won if not for the distraction!
1. Batemax Part 2
Did I mention that Derrick Bateman was on this show? With his real mom? Who is quite the lovely lady, and good at making Maxine feel not quite up to what the son deserves. Bateman treats his mom like gold while being his usual smug self, whipped by the gorgeous Maxine, and a superstar in the ring. His match tonight is against Titus O’Neil and Darren Young for a match on Smackdown. I was confused, wasn’t Bateman already signed to Smackdown? According to the commentators that match was a one time deal. Fine, but Bateman is still going to win. I had no fear, and I was right. Bateman won and then called for his beautiful fiancée to come out and join him. “Baby, we’re heading to Smackdown!” But Maxine doesn’t appear. Instead, Tamina and JTG come out. Tamina tries her best to be nice, “Maxine packed her things and…” JTG interrupts, informing Tamina not to sugarcoat it for him. “Derrick, your girl, your fiancée, your booboo, yo, she left with Curtis.”
Okay, so NXT has turned into the soap opera of the WWE, but you know what? Good! It’s storylines that continue from week to week. They have cliffhangers, and even get to a point where there is resolution. I’m excited every time I see Bateman and Maxine on my screen and they know how to tell a story. For those who continually insult JTG, he knows what he’s doing. He brings a smile to my face when he comes on and I giggle because he’s working a stereotype in a comedic fashion. Plus, he’s better in the ring than you give him credit for.
But, you still aren’t watching NXT. And for that I’m going to keep trying. Every week I’m going to tell you what you are missing, and it’s more than just Maxine’s curves and Derrick’s oiled chest… Okay, wait, what was I saying again? Every time I end an NXT blog I feel I need a mop, or at the very least, a beach towel.
There were only about four things that happened this week in NXT so doing a top four almost seems pointless. Instead I’m going to point out the flaws of this week’s episode of NXT, and no it will not be that this season has gone on for 36 weeks.
This week we see a match between Kaitlyn and Tamina again. This is a solid match. These two women have a different style and Kaitlyn is likely my second favorite diva currently with the company. My first and third are Maxine and AJ. We’ll look into that phenomenon another time.
Before Kaitlyn’s match she and AJ are seen in the locker room for the second week in a row. This is the second week in a row I find myself straining to hear what the two of them are saying. There is no reason to shout in a locker room but I feel like the two of them are mumbling to one another and wonder how they even understood each other standing right there. These two have great chemistry, but they need to turn it up.
The Usos battle Tyson Kidd and Johnny Curtis. Finally Johnny Curtis gets some air time and it’s a solid match, which Curtis loses. The problem is not the match it is that you knew Curtis was going to lose to the Usos. It’s pretty much the same curse Superstars have every week, predictability in ring.
Speaking of predictable, tonight’s match is Percy Watson, Titus O’Neil, and AJ vs. Derrick Bateman, JTG, and Maxine. Bateman won last week so that must mean, yup, he’s losing to O’Neil again this week. Back and forth between these two, constantly. It feels like this has been going on the entire 36 weeks when I know it has not been that long.
But damn close.
O’Neil continues to harp that Maxine has fish lips and the crowd continues to not really react to it. While Maxine might have been my least favorite on NXT Season 3 she is now my favorite diva. Does she have fish lips? Well she does have full pouty lips, but that is sensual, not something to be harped upon. Plus, if you realize that a joke is not working, move on.
As always the highlight of the show is Maxine and Derrick with a smattering of JTG. While JTG might not be able to say how fly he is as well as Scott Stanford with his own, “JTG-6 because I’m so fly,” he is entertaining and moves well in the ring. Maxine and Derrick have chemistry between each other and just as they shine in the ring and out, separate or together. These two make NXT worth watching, even if the show is a recap of last week, and the week before that, and the… you get the picture.
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!”
“Yeehaw we’re here in Texas baby, yeah.” Derrick Bateman opening up NXT for us this evening.
This week NXT picked itself back up from last week. It decided it was not going to do the same thing, entirely. While a few matches were familiar there was enough to keep the pace going that NXT found itself more entertaining than Raw.
As always, my top 4 reasons to watch NXT:
4. Lack of the Recap
Perhaps Raw understood the complaint. After showing Triple H being attacked by Kevin Nash when it happened then two recaps during the Monday night show perhaps the writers understood we did not need to see it again. Of course there was a Raw recap but I found myself celebrating that it was John Cena saying he chooses The Rock. And the spittle incident was cut as best they could. Less recap on NXT this week than usual. That earns it points.
3. Tyson Kidd, Curt Hawkins, Matt Striker
During the show Matt Striker hands to Hawkins a notice of suspension for one week, telling him not to worry about it since he was already injured and unable to work. Tyson tells Striker not to insult someone holding a cane. I love watching Striker in a more active role on NXT than the “Let me announce a few challenges,” role. Tyson Kidd has his chance to shine on NXT and proves it when he goes out to the ring to compete against Jey Uso. The Usos have a slightly tweaked entrance this week. They still give their chant but they have drum beats behind them and after they complete their chant a rap starts. It’s better than silence following them to the ring. I love Jey Uso but I found myself rooting for Tyson Kidd. This is further pushed by the fact that he had Curt Hawkins in his corner.
2. Kaitlyn, AJ, and Tamina
This NXT was too great and giving it four reasons was hard. So the girls are all together. Why? Because each one deserved her time to shine. Kaitlyn and AJ start off their scene talking to one another and Kaitlyn brags about how she is going to win against Tamina, who ends up standing right behind her. And old joke but it works so well for these women. Kaitlyn turns to Tamina and says, “You are surprisingly stealthy for such a… tall person!” Kaitlyn and Tamina proceed to put on a solid match that makes me wish Tamina would change her ring attire. She looks like she is dressed to go to a corporate luncheon without the suit jacket while Kaitlyn sports a new outfit that is her most flattering yet. I love both of these women and watching two powerful women wrestle, and well, makes me smile.
1. Derrick Bateman and Maxine
Derrick is consistently at the top of my list, for good reason. This week he has to be paired up with Maxine because there was so much good about NXT some had to be condensed. During Bateman’s match with Titus O’Neil, where Bateman wins thank heavens, Maxine and AJ proceed to do commentary. Jack Korpela grins like a school boy as he ogles Maxine and Maxine brushes it all off, though not unkindly, as she is a bit unkind to AJ. AJ is good on commentary, Maxine is great. Maxine gives barbs with little effort and looks incredible doing it.
While Derrick had some of the best lines of the night his best moment of the night came after his match when he had Maxine join him in the ring. He told her his love for her and then got down on one knee and asked Maxine to marry him. She proceeded to slap him, kiss him, then say yes. I was not sure if she was angry or wanted to cry or a little of both but it was the best moment in NXT history, better than Aksana and Goldust’s proposal and bomb of a marriage. I’m rooting for these two, in marriage, health, and career.
I always go with four, but an honorable mention goes to the beginning of the show.
“My by default best friend, JTG.” – Bateman about JTG “Next WD star!” – Bateman making fun of O’Neil and his inability to say “WWE”.
The show starts off with Derrick, JTG, and Maxine on one side and Percy Watson and Titus O’Neil on the other. I’m either a growing fan of JTG’s or I just really dislike Titus O’Neil and Percy Watson. Or a little of both. However Bateman and JTG seem to make a fun pairing that ended up becoming trapped in matches with these opposing men. Titus O’Neil needs to work on his mic skills and has to pander to the crowd to get pops by wearing pink bottoms and saying it was for the two women in his life he’s lost to breast cancer and for the women in the audience or watching who have also suffered. It’s a nice sentiment, but the poor man stumbles constantly over his words.
JTG and Bateman however shine with better mic skills, and then better skills in the ring. Sorry guys, even if JTG lost to Percy, he was the more entertaining of those two.
I would normally go with the top 4 reasons to watch Superstars but I’m struggling. I disliked the Smackdown match this week enough that I have to keep looking up who it was because it was forgettable to me. (It was Heath Slaters against Ezekiel Jackson) I am entertained by Heath Slater though the more popular opinion is to hate him, but Ezekiel Jackson bores me. I found him more entertaining when he was out with an injury and being a trooper on twitter than I’ve ever found him as a superstar.
That means this week it will be a slightly condensed list:
3. Alex Riley vs. Drew McIntyre
Once again Alex Riley is trying to prove he’s not as botchy as we think he is. Of course it’s hard to fail when up against Drew McIntyre, who is a star in the ring. It’s just a shame that WWE does not see it the way we do. These two work well off of each other and bring us a pretty entertaining match.
2. Santino vs. JTG
Santino makes a more triumphant return on Superstars because instead of squashing JTG he gets to put on a good match for us. Yes, he has more hair than anyone is use to but he’s still just as entertaining as ever. And despite what everyone says about JTG the man does know how to wrestle. Will he ever be a main eventer? Of course not. But he is good at what he does and someone needs to be in that position to help put other men over. Not that Santino needs help getting “over”. He’s beloved and entertaining and charismatic.
1. Scott Stanford
I laughed so hard at Stanford’s commentary this week I had to rewind the first match because I missed it. Stanford works in commentary the way men wish they could. He’s vibrant and going to make sure you are entertained, whether it be by the match in the ring or him as he makes sure you know something about every person who shows up in the ring. Working alongside Josh Mathews Stanford dominates the commentary section. Of course I think Stanford could dominate any of the current commentators with possibly the exception of Cole, and for Cole it would just be pure tenacity.
Superstars may not have been my favorite of the WWE shows this week, that title so far might go to NXT, but for those who complain they want wrestling… You might be protesting too much if you aren’t watching the show that features just that.
Remember, if you are in the States, Superstars is back on wwe.com brought to us every Thursday after 4pm EST and available any time after.
The best of Scott Stanford’s commentary this week
“Well here comes Mr. Chill. Mr. Fly. Mr. Minty Fresh.” – on JTG
“This guy is so cool, so fly, fresh, the folks at Febreeze are making a JTG fragrance.”
“Say hello to my little – No!”
“JTG, so fly this guy, he’s got TSA agents patting people down when they come to his house.”
“JTG is so cool, Josh, when he stops his SUV the rims don’t spin, the whole truck spins.”
“Kim Kardashian, Snooki, these are the people we look up to nowadays, huh? Maybe he’s got a point.” – On Drew thinking Americans are shallow
“Yes, things have certainly been going awry-” Josh Mathews on A-Ry
“McIntyre just staying alive here on Superstars.”
“This Alex Riley is a veritable Pu Pu Platter of talent, Josh. To use a Chinese food example, if I may.”
“I know what you’re thinking right now, if you look under the Chinese restaurant menu you would see my picture under Sum Dum Gai.” Josh: “I have moved on from your Chinese food references.”
This week Superstars made a triumphant return to wwe.com. Here are the top four reasons you should watch it!
4. Matt Striker and his Ego
That wording might sound like I’m being harsh to Matt Striker but in fact this might have given us insight into how Striker really feels?
“I personally feel I’m a top tier announcer, a top tier manager, I can still go in the ring put a mic in my hand and again I’m top tier. But I’ve gotta eat and so I’m sitting right here and trying to be as neutral as I can.”
Matt Striker did not seem in the least vain when he was asking Jack Korpela what he was going to do about his job and then announcing how he felt. Instead Striker laid it on in the way he does all of his commentating: this is fact. Do not take what he is saying with a grain of salt. For those moments as his words come out of your speakers you will believe him.
3. AJ vs. Tamina
I have been waiting to see Tamina in the ring again. I’ve been a fan of Tamina since her explosive debut with the Usos last year. She might not be the best stylistic diva on the roster but she is learning. She may not be the most attractive diva in the ring but you can not keep your eyes off of her.
Put Tamina up against AJ, who bends like a pretzel and can take a wicked beating, and you have a solid match. AJ and Tamina look beautiful in the ring and keep your eyes entertained, even if you feel a bit dirty as you watch AJ.
2. JTG vs. Alex Riley
In a blog from just the other day I complained about being able to notice Alex Riley’s botched moves. Today he makes it into my top four list on Superstars. Why? I did not notice a single misstep in his match against JTG, who has also grown as an athlete since you stopped watching him. Alex Riley slowed down and it made the world of difference.
Now, instead of being the part where I groan during Superstars, this was the most delightful match I was able to see.
1. Scott Stanford
Scott Stanford is not just Zack Ryder’s broski. There is a reason he was picked to work as a commentator with the WWE. The man has the voice, he has the skills, he just does not get the time. He is engaging and going to make Superstars worth your while. For those who complain that Superstars has no underlying plot Scott Stanford and Josh Mathews will give you that plot. They will tell you the locker room stories that make these men and women a bit more interesting to watch.
Scott’s come a long way in his year at the commentating table (October 7th will mark his one year anniversary with Superstars). He’s taken the time to learn what is going on and bring it to you with excitement and vigor. He could make the most boring of shows worth watching, and Superstars is far from boring.
Other things of note during this episode are two other matches: Percy Watson vs. Michael McGuillicutty and Tyson Kidd vs. Ted Dibiase. Tyson Kidd’s Superstars matches would normally make my top four list, however this match felt cheated on time so they could show a recap of what happened Monday night. These two men deserved more time.
Scott Stanford’s best commentary lines from this week:
“JTG is the flyest Superstar here in the WWE.”
“JTG graduated from the mean streets with a degree in Flyology.”
“When he turns it on, BOY, he really turns it on.”
“Would you ever use that term to describe me? A pop off the screen personality?” Josh: “Nope!”
As with Superstars the most common thing I hear is, “I don’t watch NXT.” This one is a little more split. Some people stopped watching after season one, some stopped watching after the diva season, and some stopped watching this season because it has been endless.
Here’s what you’ve missed on this particular season of NXT: the end of the competitions, the waning message of rookies, Yoshi’s new look, Curt Hawkins, Tyler Reks, The Usos, Tyson Kidd, and William Regal showing you how commentating is done. It seems you might have also missed the return of Derrick Bateman. While Derrick Bateman may not be the best at putting on a submission hold he’s a highly entertaining man with moves that are slowly becoming more competent and fluid.
Did I mention Maxine? New hair, new ring gear, and a much better personality than previously. Now her sultry vixen and her power over Bateman all make sense.
This is no longer a show about rookies competing to be the next breakout star. This is a show with storylines and better wrestling you aren’t watching. The feuds might be laughable at times, Yoshi Tatsu and Tyson Kidd fighting over Kidd stealing Tatsu’s action figure’s leg, but believe it or not you’ll want to watch it happen.
When NXT decided it would no longer be on Tuesdays at 10 pm I found myself angry. I looked forward to this show more than I thought I did.
William Regal pretty much carries the commentating on this show. While Jack Korpela knows the moves and is good at announcing what is going on in the ring he seems to be a little green on trying to carry on a conversation and call a match. However, Korpela has grown in the few short weeks he’s been working with Regal, so I’m not giving up on him yet.
Why not give NXT another shot? What’s the worst that happens? You waste roughly 45 minutes of your time and you can say that Stanford Fan was wrong?
The best line of this week’s episode of NXT came from Curt Hawkins, “Well whoopity do, look who actually has a microphone in their hands.”
Best commentary of the show:
Regal: “Triple Heich”
Regal: “Something in the water down here, I’m stuttering more than normal.”
Regal: “My week is made. My week once again is complete. Jimmy the Gimmick is coming.”
Korpela: “JTG runs through Brooklyn at 2 am, the most dangerous parts of Brooklyn, to show that he’s afraid of no man.”
Korpela: “A Regal Stretch by Daniel Bryan.” Regal: “Probably the first time it’s been seen in about eight years.”