The show opened up with the most beautiful Ultimate Warrior montage. Genuinely moving. If you haven’t seen it already, the WWE’s tribute documentary to Warrior is tremendous and his sit down interview on his DVD is equally fascinating.
Big E v Titus O’Neil
Weirdly it feels like both of these superstars are going nowhere, despite Big E being WWE Intercontinental Champion. They’re both huge, strong, charismatic, good workers but there’s nothing for them right now.
They go back and forth (Big E actually leap frogs Titus in the early going – Titus is 6’ 3”) and then Big E hits a flying shoulder barge before getting caught in a scoop slam by Titus. Titus dominates with boots and then amazingly picks Big E up and flings him to one side like a rag doll. Crazy how strong these two men are.
Leg drop from Titus leads to a two count before we go to a rear chin lock. The crowd chant for Big E who powers out of the rest hold before being slaughtered by an enormous meat hook clothesline. Another two count and Titus goes back to a chin lock. Not sure Titus quite knows how to pace a match just yet but he certainly gets heat from the crowd who are behind Big E.
Titus dominates and taunts Big E before E turns things around and hits a side suplex and his big splash. The straps go down and he hits the Big Ending for the pin.
Strange little match in some ways. Big E got beaten up for four minutes until he got angry enough to turn things around.
Winner: Big E via pinfall in 4:57
Raw Rebound this week showed The Usos against Batista and Orton plus an Adam Rose video and the Bray and Cena promos from Monday.
Los Matadores (w/ El Torito) v 3MB (w/ Heath Slater)
Deep sigh. This match again on Superstars. I’ve lost count of how many times it’s been the longer match on the show. It’s normally fun, entertaining and finishes strongly but there are so many other guys on the roster doing nothing every week.
Drew and Diego start things off. Clean shaven Drew is still weird to me. He has a good look and certainly works well but he’s stuck in lower card tag team mediocrity. Tilt-a-wirl headscissors on Drew leads to a two count; side Russian leg sweep gets Drew down again but he gets over and tags in Jinder. Quick tags between the two until Drew sweeps Diego’s leg, he goes to the floor selling it and we head to a Total Divas ad.
Jinder and Drew work over Diego after the commercial (although Tom Phillips on commentary keeps calling him Fernando). Eventually, Diego fights back with a neck breaker and an elbow blocking McIntyre. Drew finds a way out again and continues to work over Diego’s left leg. Diego sells like he has torn his ACL until the ref intervenes. Drew uses every trick in the book to hurt the leg, using the ropes and quick tags with Mahal who smacks the knee outside on the apron. A pair of near falls from Mahal leads to a double team suplex off the ropes from 3MB. The crowd start to really get behind the frustrated Diego who is kicked and stomped repeatedly. It is really quite brutal, actually.
Diego eventually blocks, plants a DDT on McIntyre whilst hopping on one leg. He crawls to make the tag and Fernando gets the heat and runs wild. He does a springboard moonsault on to Jinder, covers him but Drew makes the save. The action breaks down as Drew gets thrown outside and Jinder and Fernando ‘collide’ in the ring. Possibly the worst collision I’ve ever seen.
Nice finish here. Torito and Heath are both cheerleading until El Torito crotches Heath on the top turnbuckle. Distraction allows Fernando to reverse Mahal’s attempts and he hits a legsweep DDT for the win.
Winners: Los Matadores via pinfall in 7:50
The show ends with a montage video to hype Evolution v The Shield and Kane v Daniel Bryan and the end of the 3 on 11 match from Raw.
James Cox | @wweukblog