This week’s episode of WWE Superstars still had CM Punk in the titles – how long before he gets taken off the RAW intro? They’d unfollowed him on Twitter by Tuesday. Mind you, that was probably for fear of what he’d say and, yet, shockingly, he’s been on radio silence for the last 5 days…
Well, A-Ry was absent this week, so NXT’s Byron Saxton was on co-commentary with Tom Philips. Saxton is kind of jack of all trades, master of none in WWE. He commentates, ring announces, wrestles and manages. He’s decidedly average at all of them. His voice has that irritating cadence of someone who is doing an impression of a sports announcer but doesn’t have the natural tone to be one. I have to say, his being here made me realise that Alex Riley is infinitely better in this role.
Summer Rae vs. Natalya
As I’ve often said on these reports, I really like Summer Rae. She’s an excellent heel and has a pretty unique move set. Obviously, she looks great but I think is almost more impressive because she has the back story of just being Fandango’s dance partner/valet and so when she starts to wrestle well, it’s kind of ‘storyline’ impressive – if that makes sense.
Summer Rae lunges at Natalya immediately on the bell and pushes her. We’re reminded by Phillips that they’re on the upcoming Total Divas (presumably where they feud) and then Rae is taken down by a shoulder block. It’s the little details of her character that I like with Summer; when she hip tosses Natalya, she stops to take some time to do a few dance steps. She knows what she’s doing and gets ‘it’ – and is getting ‘it’ way quicker than most.
The story of the match is that Natalya wants things over quickly and so keeps trying to put Rae’s long legs into the Sharpshooter. They chain wrestle on the mat and as Natalya goes for the submission manoeuvre, Rae wriggles away and slides through the ropes before Natalya can get it locked on. Natalya throws Rae back into the ring, but gets stomped in the head when she tries to follow. Rae’s legs are ridiculous.
Rae works over Natty’s left arm and uses a really cool, unique submission hold on her arms using her legs. She locks them round behind Natayla’s head and is them able to roll her over to pin her shoulders to the mat. It’s fairly rare. She knocks Natalya down with a roundhouse kick and Natalya knocks Summer down with a pair of clotheslines and a suplex. She stomps on her head, and hits a fairly clean dropkick. Rae slips out of a bodyslam and she stops to slap Natalya. Obviously, a nice ring of boos hit the ring and Natty is angry and so slaps her down to the mat with a discuss clothesline. Finally, she locks on the Sharpshooter for the win.
Summer Rae isn’t the finished product by any means but if you look at what she does in the ring it is WAY more interesting and creative then most of the other Divas on the roster.
Winner: Natalya via pinfall in 4:07.
The Raw Rebound is next. They air an Elimination Chamber advert which shows a little girl playing with her dolls house which then cuts to Stephanie locking the door on the chamber, calling it ‘my play house’. We get the opening segment between Orton, Batitsta and Lesnar followed by the DQ finish in tag title match.
Los Matadores lighten the mood next. So, yeah, El Torrito entered the Rumble at number 20 for a comedy spot and eliminated Fandango. Poor guy. It really should have been Ryback to just to put the final nail in his coffin.
3MB come out next. One of these weeks I’m going to stop moaning about this but why do they go with Jinder over Heath? I’m so sick of watching this guy. He appears not to get any better. It’s also the 3rd or 4th time that they’ve had this match on Superstars in the last few months. I think I’d better get used to it.
Los Matadores (w/El Torrito) v 3MB (w/ Heath Slater)
Mahal and Diego start things off. Diego starts out with a spell, dominating Jinder. Fernando tags in to continue the attack. Mahal is able to get to the corner and Drew tags in but makes little impresion. Jinder and McIntyre go outside and to regroup as they do every single match. Los Matadores pretend to go for a double tope but stop at the ropes, they all cower, everyone laughs and we go to a break.
This is good house show fun and the action is quick and slick, especially from Los Matadores. The commentators aren’t interested; I guess Phillips sees this, like me, every week now. We’re told about the ‘biggest story in WWE, right now” and my ears prick up. CM Punk leaving, right? Nope. Daniel Bryan not winning the Rumble? Nah. Fans hijacking the end of the Rumble and booing Rey? Wrong! Of course, the biggest story in the WWE right now is… Batista winning the Royal Rumble. Huh. I would beg to differ.
Fernando gets doubled teamed by Jinder and Drew out of the break. Los Matadores are masters of being in peril and Fernando musters some pace, coming tantalisingly close to making a tag. Finally, after tons of heel beat-downs from 3MB, Fernando gets to his corner. Diego gets the heat and takes out Mahal quickly. Mahal is down and Diego goes to the top but takes out Drew, who is outside, instead. Heath distracts Diego, so El Torito that can take him out with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. The finish sees Jinder taking the simultaneous kick to the head and leg sweep from Los Matadores which is enough to take him out for the pin.
Fun match as always but they’re practically working to a tried and tested script. There are plenty of tag teams for them to go up against. The bookers need to change it up a little. Please, no more Jinder Mahal for a few weeks.
Winners: Los Matadores via pinfall (8:12)
The show finishes with the end of the Cena, Sheamus & Bryan v The Shield match from Monday which was excellent.
James Cox | @wweukblog