411’s WWE Superstars Report 02.23.12
Championship’s roll call: WWE Champion: CM Punk… World Champion: Daniel Bryan… Intercontinental Champion: Cody Rhodes… United States Champion: Jack Swagger… Tag Team Champions: Primo & Epico… Diva’s Champion: Beth Phoenix
Alex Riley vs. Michael McGillicutty: Not sure if McGillicutty is a babyface here, the show is his hometown of Minneapolis. They lock up and jockey for position in the corner, clean break is made, so they do it again, again with a semi-clean break; Riley pushes McGillicutty down. A-Ry works a side headlock until McGillicutty punches his way out. Scott Stanford (who rules) does his best Jim Ross impression via recounting McGillicutty’s complete high school and collegiate amateur wrestling career. Riley reverses and clotheslines Mike in the corner. Riley pounds in the corner and segues into the leaping reverse DDT move of his, for two. Riley maintains control with a suplex. McGillicutty retreats to the floor and picks Riley’s leg and works it over against the apron. After the commercial break, Riley is entrapped in a side headlock; he fires up and head-butts his way back. McGillicutty misses a dropkick but still stays on top with a clothesline. McGillicutty hits a Hennig snap, the crowd responds to the tribute; he reapplies the chinlock. He continues to work over Riley in the corner with punches and a running elbow. Back to the chinlock… ugh. Eventually Riley comes back with clotheslines and a spinebuster. He hits Riley Elevation for two. McGillicutty surprises him with a Saito suplex for two. McGillicutty to the top so Riley crotches him and hits a top-rope double-arm superplex! Nice. It gets two, the crowd actually thought that was it, which is silly since Superstars matches generally end with finishers. Riley looks for the Final Score but McGillicutty reverses and hits the McGillicutter and gets the pinfall. The McGillicutter looked a little different, more whiplash-esque, looks better than the old running swinging neckbreaker he used to use. 2/10 This was really boring, with McGillicutty controlling most of the match; the old McGillicutty returns this week after a few more entertaining outings. It picked up a little in the end but it could not save it from becoming. The finisher looked deadly, which was called a “turning-heads neckbreaker” buy the commentators. Surprising win for McGillicutty as Riley’s decent down the card continues.
Here is your winner… Michael McGillicutty @ around 11:40 (broadcast) via McGillicutter pinfall.
Mason Ryan vs. Tyler Reks (w/Curt Hawkins): Ryan’s hair grew in like three weeks; he went from short hair to moppy hair to long. I like the fact that Hawkins and Reks have matching ring gear; I also like Hawkins’ “slow healing ankle injury” predicating his use of a cane. Reks works a side headlock but he gets tossed aside; this match was built on NXT during a locker room spat. Ryan powers Reks to the floor. Tyler reenters and pounds Mason down but Ryan comes right back powering Reks into the corner and then whipping him cross-corner and landing a shoulderblock. Hawkins looks displeased. Ryan lands a Bulldog vertical suplex, delayed, for two. Mason tries a powerslam but Tyler slips over the back and clips his leg; Reks with a DROPKICK. Reks has improved since I last saw him on Superstars. He wears Ryan down with punches, kicks and leaping vertical splashes; Mason comes back with a press-slam drop. Ryan begins to fire up with clotheslines and a running boot; a powerslam gets a one count. Reks drops him into the buckles with a reverse STO. Hawkins adds a jab with the cane allowing Reks to hit a gutwrench into a DDT for three! That was a surprise. 4.5/10 Not bad at all, actually, which surprised me; it was also kept short so it wouldn’t suck. Reks looks like he has improved. Mason looks generally the same, a totally unpolished Batista.
Here is your winner… Tyler Reks @ about 8:10 via gutwrench DDT pinfall.
The formation of WrestleMania Triple H/Undertaker III in Hell in a Cell is shown; for the rest of my Raw review click here.
Justin Gabriel vs. Jinder Mahal: I’m anticipating this to be a good match. I like the Mahal turban ceremony for Mahal because it is different and can differentiate himself from some of the other newer midcarders fighting to get over. Matt Striker makes an interesting observation about Triple H/Undertaker III; he notes that HHH wants to allow the WWE to flourish and allow “younger superstars” to move upwards but if Taker wins, he fears that may not happen. I may be reaching, but it’s almost code complaining about Undertaker’s history of not putting people over. Anyway, onto the match, Gabriel controls with a side headlock takeover. Mahal tries to wrest himself free but Gabriel maintains the hold, rolling around on the mat to counter, for a while. It’s much more fun than lying on the mat in the hold for thirty seconds, which is exactly what Michael McGillicutty did earlier; so there is one example of why I find him boring. Mahal breaks and now he applies the headlock. They run the ropes, which are to Gabriel’s advantages, and he tries a hiptoss but it’s blocked, so he returns to the headlock takeover, since it had success. Smart strategy for the smaller Gabriel, Mahal isn’t worn down enough to land a hiptoss, so wear him down a little more, and then try again. I’ve mentioned this before, how little things like that work, the crowd may not recognize it directly but subliminally it makes sense, and therefore the wrestlers (may) get over. Mahal counters again so Gabriel goes to Plan B: fly around the ring; he hits a nice leaping hurracanrana off the second rope. Mahal tries to speed up himself, which fails, and eats a spin kick tumbling to the floor. Mahal counters two possible dives to the floor from Gabriel and clotheslines him down to finally take over. Back from break, Mahal hits a knee for a nearfall and controls with a reverse half nelson; Gabriel fires back with a monkey flip and a backslide for two. Mahal kicks the knee and hits a swinging neckbreaker for two. Jinder maintains control with rope-assisted knees to the neck and a few reverse elbows. Gabriel avoids a running knee in the corner and hits a Jeff Hardy jawjacker. Gabriel with a springboard crossbody for two; he hits a running forearm in the corner and pounds on Mahal in the corner. Gabriel hits a driving sit-out powerbomb, but Mahal’s arm lands on top of Gabriel’s leg, so the referee smartly does not count it. Realism. Gabriel tries a springboard moonsault but Mahal gets the knees up and then adds a knee to the back of the head. The Camel Clutch follows for the submission. 5.5/10 Decent effort from both guys, the psychology was good early in the bout, which bodes well for Mahal’s victory, so it didn’t look like “just another squash”. It dragged a little in the middle.
Here is your winner… Jinder Mahal @ around 10:10 (broadcast) via Camel Clutch submission.
OVERALL 4/10 Two average matches and an okay main event makes for a usual Superstars output; there was no standout match, like last week, to get it out of the below average rating though. Not a complete waste of time, just the usual.
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