Noteworthy: Big Show appears on WWE Superstars for the first time in years. Cody Rhodes loses again but appears to be getting on fine again with his brother. Even a show like Superstars is way better when in front of a hot UK crowd.
Big Show beat Titus O’Neil with the choke slam in 4:15
Big Show comes out to start off the show to a huge babyface reaction. He makes Titus O’Neil look ‘normal’ sized. Show is rumoured to be getting movie work as part of the new WWE deal with Lionsgate that was announced this week. O’Neil has been on this show consistently for the last few months – remember when he faced Darren Young on ppv?
They lock up; a huge roar from Big Show sees him sling O’Neil to the floor. A huge clothesline follows and then the entire O2 Arena hushes and makes ‘shh’ noises as Big Show chops the bejesus out of Titus O’Neil, twice. He goes for a third but O’Neil ducks out of the way and runs the ropes hitting a shoulder barge that floors Show without any trouble.
Stomps and side suplex from O’Neil give him brief offense as does a fairly loose clothesline. Then they collide in a mess of miscommunication in the middle – literally, O’Neil just ran into Big Show. Things get worse when Titus hits him with an awful DDT where Show’s head doesn’t even come close to hitting the mat, for a near fall. In an attempt to get things back on a an even keel, O’Neil slaps on a sleeper, as the crowd come to life with “let’s go Big Show” chants.
Big Show seems to just get bored with pretending to fall asleep and all of a sudden stands up and flings O’Neil off him. He then no-sells the sleeper, hits a choke slam and pins him for the win. A nothing match but the London crowd were entertained.
The Raw Rebound was a Cena and Wyatt Payback music video, Steph’s great promo and Shield and Evolution build.
Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Colter) beat Cody Rhodes (w/ Goldust) with the Patriot Lock in 8:12.
Swagger comes out to “we the people!” chants. Like so many on the WWE roster, he gets a reaction from the crowd that would suggest that he’s a babyface. It’s a level of disconnect and disengagement that fans in the UK will see as ironic but also as part of their ‘right’ to chant what they like. Pavlovian or not, it always raises a smile when these hot crowds start to get behind the mid-card nobodies.
Cody and Goldust seem to be on the same page again and as he kicks things off with a flying forearm, a big cheer erupts from the crowd. He gets the early going with a face buster and a one count. He locks on an arm bar which is reversed until Rhodes uses a hip toss out of the corner and goes for two quick covers.
It’s interesting watching these two work. Here’s Jack Swagger, just turned 32, who turned up at the WWE with so much promise and potential and was given the world early on. He can’t talk, works too stiff and, after ruining his chances of a second title run, now looks out of shape and, to be frank, bloated. Cody, on the other hand, is lithe and athletic and came with so much promise too. He would seem to be a good bet, at 28, to go on to greater things. However, his size and his boyish good looks will probably limit his chances at ever really making it as a true heel in the 2010s.
This match takes a bit of a nose dive and in the middle gets really tedious. Swagger looks blown up and starts going back to rest holds more often. Cody breaks the boredom with 10 punches on top rope, followed by a running knee. They both go down for a count until they get up and collide. Goldust and Zeb have a confrontation outside while Cody drop kicks Swagger outside through the ropes. He climbs up and hits a top rope flying forearm to the outside as we crash to the break.
Swagger’s in control after the break and the crowd are losing interest. We go to another rest hold until the match is resuscitated by a Disaster Kick from Cody. He then hits a springboard missile drop kick for a near fall. Swagger goes for the Patriot Lock but is countered. Rhodes hits his Moonsault for a near fall and then stomps his foot a la Shawn Michaels, as if ‘tuning up the band’ before his Disaster Kick. Swagger ducks and slaps on the Patriot Lock again and this time Rhodes taps.
As we end the show, there’s no dissension between Goldust and Cody.
Raw Rebound showed Cena v Luke Harper from Monday.
– By James Cox | @wweukblog