The show opens up with Superstars stalwarts, The Usos, coming out performing the Siva Tau. I don’t see them getting a title shot on Sunday somehow. This tag team division isn’t really up to much right now. Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal from 3MB are out next, making it three straight weeks on Superstars for them. Drew and Heath are quite good and can have fun matches but Jinder Mahal has not improved since 2011. Fact. Tony Dawson and Alex Riley are on commentary with Riley wearing the most horrific red shirt this week.
The Usos v 3MB (Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal)
With no Drew McIntyre at ringside, Jimmy and Heath do the same thing they do every week on Superstars: start the match by posturing to the crowd trying to get some heat. No hard cam for this match. Dawson informs us that Jimmy is “off carbs” ands so is 9lbs lighter as a result. Have to say it doesn’t show. Slater whips Jimmy and shoulder barges him to the floor. Jimmy then trips him up, gets up and Flair chops him twice to a shower of ‘woo’s from the crowd. After a weird dance he clotheslines Slater to the floor and tags in Jey so that they can double team him with a double reverse knife edge and a double elbow drop. Jey get s a 1 count and puts Slater into an arm bar. Slater pulls Jey to his corner and tags in Mahal.
Jinder works over Jey with shots the head and kicks to the midsection and then gets reversed out of an Irish whip and is hit with a cross body for a 2 count. Jey works Mahal’s left arm and tags in Jimmy who double axe handles his arm off the top rope. Jey tags in a does the same. Quick tags follow and they throw Mahal over the top rope, clap to get the crowd going so that Jimmy can run the ropes and hit a plancha onto Jinder who has just got up on the floor outside. This is a nice spot but was really staged rather than organic.
They roll Mahal back into the ring and Jimmy climbs to the top turn buckle. When he is there Slater tries to come over and crotch him but gets a kick to the head for his troubles. This interference allows Jinder to roll out of the way when Jimmy finally jumps from the top rope. Mahal goes to cover Jimmy who is and pain but only gets a 2 count. Slater tags in and rains down on Jimmy with a flurry of punches. We randomly go to a break here.
Jinder is in control of Jimmy after the commercials and is kicking and stomping on him whilst pulling his one facial expression – phony-mean. His phony-meanness is really infuriating to watch every week on this show. Remember the face he used to pull when he was feuding with the Great Khali? Well, it’s the same face. I wouldn’t mind but he literally has no other expression. Slater comes in and punches Jimmy some more. Jimmy finally catches a break when he rolls out of a German suplex, leaping over to tag in Jey. With the hot tag Jey hits Slater with chops, slaps and finally a leaping shoulder block that makes Heath roll out of the ring.
The finish sees The Usos clear Jinder out of the ring, double super kick Slater to set up for the Samoan Splash and the win, with Jimmy pinning Slater at 6:37. A fun match in the end but Slater is really a vastly superior performer for 3MB.
The Raw Rebound is next – Edge and Daniel Bryan’s segment with Orton and HHH’s interruption. Randy is a fantastic heel; he’s awesome in this role. The semi-shoot stuff where Edge calls out Hunter on his poor judgement of talent is great.
After the break, we get the Heyman/Dr Samson segment with Maddox and Axel and Punk’s beatdown with a Kendo stick. This is an unusual move from Superstars since they normally put the next match on here and leave the second Raw segment to end the show.
Out next on Superstars is Big E Langston. I always think he should wear tights that cover his thighs at least. His singlet goes into trunks and just looks weird in my eyes. I wonder if he’ll be Heyman’s next protégé. He’s a good up-and-comer who is completely without a programme right now. Speaking of people without any creative direction, Zack Ryder is already in the ring but looks in great shape.
Big E Langston v Zack Ryder
They go to lock up and Langston hits lots of monster moves early, throwing Ryder around like a rag doll. Langston is interesting because he’s quick enough to work a normal style but is so huge that working like a monster works for him too. Ryder puts up a knee to stop a charge by Langston into the corner and starts to land strikes to the head and then knocks him down with a drop kick. Needlessly, Ryder goes for a cover and gets a 1 count.
Langston double legs Ryder and punches him to the head while Ryder tries to cover up. Ryder rolls out of the ring to avoid more punishment. Langston follows him but Ryder shoots back into the ring and hits him with a cross body over the top rope. Big E catches him and then rams him into the ring post and then the dasher boards. Langston rolls him back in to the ring and gets a 2 count. As both men get up, Big E catches Ryder and puts him into an abdominal stretch. He looks huge at this point – Ryder looks completely enveloped in pure genetically freakish muscle. Langston holds him in this for a while and then seems to get bored and instead whips Ryder into the ropes for a back body drop. Ryder sells all of this really well and, with wide eyes, looks shocked and desperate at the onslaught he’s receiving.
Ryder finally blocks a charge from Langston with an elbow to the face only to then get viciously clotheslines but him for a 2 count. Yes chants break out as Langston continues to bully Ryder. Eventually, Langston misses a splash and Ryder hits a missile drop kick off the top rope. He sets up for the Broski boot but is selling his left shoulder as he fist pumps. He hits the worst Broski boot I’ve ever seen, and the director cuts to a different angle on impact to cover for it. Ryder goes for the pin but Langston kicks out at 2.
The match’s finish starts with Ryder missing the Rough Ryder and getting power bombed and ends when Langston hits the Big Ending for the pin at 5:15. This was just an elongated squash match. Ryder was literally afforded about two moves in 5 minutes but this match did nothing really to show off what Big E Langston is capable of either.
A decidedly average edition of Superstars ends with the end of the Dean Ambrose v Daniel Bryan match from Raw with Orton, Big Show, Steph and HHH.
– By James Cox