This edition of WWE Superstars was dedicated to the memory of Warrior. The picture they used was of him at the HoF ceremony. He truly was a Superstar in the WWF and I guess that this show was originally conceived with people like him in mind.
My word, a lot happened in the space of a week.
Dolph Ziggler v Ryback (w/ Curtis Axel)
Ziggler comes out to kick off the show in front of the hot post-Mania crowd and he really eats it all up. Ryback with Curtis Axel come out – notably to his music, not the new mash up that they’re using as a tag team. Ryback appears to be wearing something out the Rob Van Dam tie-dye singlet collection.
The crowd love Ziggler here, unsurprisingly. Dolph looks tanned, bleached and trim. Ryback tries to get ‘Ryback’ chants going but in the style of the ‘Goldberg’ taunts that fans have largely given up on these days. Really glad that match never happened.
Ziggler works over the left arm goes for a suplex that gets blocked; Ryback tries to reverse it, Ziggler wriggles out and as Ryback tries for a gorilla press, he blocks and hits a sweet drop kick. Ryback launches Dolph into the top turnbuckle and the top rope. He hits a second rope slam, gets a two and we go to a break.
Axel gets involved after the break as Ryback stays in control. We get a small ‘Curtis Axel’ chant for the New Orleans crowd. I have to say, Ryback is getting better – he works over Ziggler with a range of big moves and holds and looks so much better than he first did. Best spot of the match is when Ryback charges at Ziggler in the corner, who dodges, and Ryback goes absolutely flying on to the ring side matted area. Looked so great.
Ziggler takes some control: cross body, punches to the corner, neck breaker but Ryback cuts him off with a spine buster. Two count. Awesome spot next where Ziggler met Ryback on the tope rope where he was planning for another splash; Dolph grabs him and hits a massive X-Factor. So clear that they raised their game this week because they were in front of the post-Mania crowd etc.
After a Ziggler sleeper, Ryback hits the meathook clothesline and gets caught by a drop kick and a big DDT for a near fall. The finish sees Axel distract Ziggler, who was setting up for the Famemasser, so that Ryback can hit the powerbomb followed by the Shellshock for the pin.
Good match. Ryback much better than of old here; Ziggler the perfect foil for him in this context.
Winner: Ryback (w/ Curtis Axel) via pinfall in 8:56
Best Raw Rebound of all time was next. THAT Heyman promo in full, followed by Wyatts v Cena, Sheamus & Big E. Tremendous.
Kofi Kingston v Titus O’Neil
My God. That Kofi spot in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale was just so fantastic.
Kofi out in bright luminous green. Titus has pretty bombastic music but he’s going nowhere. As always with Titus, I’m always acutely aware that if it doesn’t happen soon, it ain’t happening – he’s already in his late 30s. What happens to Darren Young? I’d be worried if I was him.
They had an OK match. Early back and forth leads to them trading big chops – presumably because they knew that it would get a huge Flair pop in front of this crowd. Titus hits two huge back breakers and rag dolls Kofi around. Kofi hits a drop kick off the top rope. For some reason Titus sells a big forearm from Kofi like it was a really big deal so that Kofi can hit the Boom Drop. Trouble in Paradise is cut off (as always) by Titus who merely just sticks his elbow into Kofi’s face.
Finish sees Kofi hit a top rope cross body where he injures his left knee. Unless he does something when he pushes off the ropes, I can’t see how this can be legit but he sells it like its real. Titus just puts him out of his misery for a Clash of the Titus for the pin.
Winner: Titus O’Neil via pinfall in 4:15
We get an Adam Rose promo video next. Kind of reminds me of a character from Spinal Tap, if they had been mildly antipodean or South African. We get an Oculus trailer which looks glossy but essentially another in a long line of mediocre horror flicks.
The show finishes with a Triple H and Daniel Bryan montage to explain the current Shield & Bryan v Evolution & Kane programme.
– By James Cox | @wweukblog