Happy New Year, everyone! This week’s WWE Superstars opens up with Jack Swagger coming down to the ring on his own. I’m not entirely sure that this gimmick suits him but, then, what would? He has a phony anger to his character that just irritates me immensely. When they split him and Cesaro up, he’s going to be in trouble. A-Ry congratulates Tom Philips on commentary for his work announcing Main Event this week. I guess that means that WWE don’t hate him, yet. Tyson Kidd comes out next – this is first time I’ve seen him on this show for many weeks which probably means it’s his first TV appearance in that time. Poor guy.
Jack Swagger vs. Tyson Kidd
Swagger immediately charges at Kidd and their height differential is made glaringly obvious straight away. Kidd counters ringing the wrist of Swagger until Swagger quickly elbows Kidd and reverses the move. Kidd reverses again, using the ropes and then uses a victory roll into a two count. Kidd drop kicks Swagger to little affect and is whipped into the corner where Swagger reverses an attempt at a head scissors takedown into a wheel barrow suplex. Yep, pretty creative stuff from theses two: Swagger playing the monster heel; Kidd the plucky, high-flying babyface.
Swagger postures to the crowd, plants his hand across his chest and shouts, “we the people!” and then hip tosses Kidd to the mat with fury. He drags Kidd to the middle and gets a two count and then goes to a rest hold. Swagger works over the left arm until Swagger gets kicked in the face out of an Irish whip but fiercely shuts the door on Kidd’s offence with a stiff side slam. He gets a two count and then after two stomps on Kidd’s head, picks him up and whips him into a huge clothesline. Another near fall and Swagger goes to a rear chin lock.
Kidd headscissors Swagger face first into the turnbuckle and uses a series of kicks to his legs and midsection to try to redress the balance. Tyson runs the ropes and drop kicks him to the head and then, ducking a clothesline, uses a spinning heel kick to finally take Swagger down to the mat. Kidd powers up and out of a reversed Irish whip into the corner puts Swagger into the rope hung Boston crab that Tajiri (who called it the Tarantula) used to use. Nice creative spot. Kidd then lands a slingshot guillotine leg drop onto the Swagger who is lying recovering. For all his efforts, he is only able to get Swagger to a two count.
The finish is Kidd going for a top rope springboard move but gets caught and slammed to the mat. Swagger hooks on the Patriot Lock and makes Kidd tap.
It’s nuts to think that Tyson Kidd is this good and yet is jobbing to Swagger on Superstars. His kind of in-ring performance should be seen every week on Raw or, at least, SmackDown. I’d guess that a returning Evan Bourne might be an answer for Kidd who may well need to find a partner soon in what is a swelling tag team division.
Winner: Jack Swagger via submission (5:35)
The Raw Rebound is next and we get most of the tremendous CM Punk v Seth Rollins match from the start of Monday’s show and then we’re shown that wonderful Brock Lesnar segment.
The Usos are out next on WWE Superstars, performing the Siva Tau, new t-shirts and face-paint in tow. We cut to a sign in the crowd up in the Gods that says “I came to see The Usos – next tag team champs”. I doubt that; we’ll see. The Prime Time Players are out next, presumably to play the heels in this bout.
The Usos vs. The Prime Time Players
Young and Jimmy Uso kick things off and after a back and forth, Young uses an atomic drop and a knee to the jaw to floor Jimmy and gets a one count for his efforts. Jimmy puts Young in a headlock, runs the ropes and Jey blind tags himself in. As Jimmy slides out and Jey leaps over the top rope to face Young, Darren hits a beautiful Northern Lights slam for a one count. This is lovely, smooth tag team wrestling.
Young tags in O’Neil and then whips Jey into the ropes and they double shoulder barge him to the mat. As Young leaves the ring, O’Neil scoop slams Jey: The Prime Time Players are in full heel mode here tonight and, wow, is Titus O’Neil strong. He lands a leg drop on Jey and then does a kind of dance that sees him do his signature barks hopping from leg to leg before he hits another leg drop to Jey Uso. The debut for that dance momentarily flusters O’Neil as he doesn’t know whether to put Jey into a rear chin lock or pin him; he opts for the pin but only gets two. Darren Young tags back in and O’Neil uses him to suplex onto his opponent. Young gets a two count and Jey rolls out as we go to a break.
After the break, O’Neil is dominating Jimmy through size differential. Young tags in and Jimmy forces Darren into a corner and hits him with stiff Flair chops. An angry Young, flips him round, lands two European uppercuts and then hands out some of his own chops. Jimmy reverses the whip from corner to corner and does so with such force that Young flips over the top turnbuckle to the mat below.
Jimmy follows Young outside, rolls him back into the ring and The Usos go to work on him with quick tags, using the corner to their advantage. A Stinger Splash to the corner and a stiff arm drag take down from Jimmy leads to a headlock in the centre of the ring. When Young finally breaks out of it, he runs right into a roundhouse kick and Jey tags in. Jey lands a running elbow drop onto Young and gets a near fall. Jimmy tags back in and misses a charge to the corner leaving both men on the mat for a four count until they both make tags.
O’Neil gets the hot tag and controls Jey with running forearms, clotheslines and shoulder barges. Jey misses a charge to the corner and so O’Neil is able to hit a standing fallaway slam. He goes for the cover but Jimmy slides in to break up the pin. Young comes in but is thrown over the top rope by Jimmy who is then pushed out by O’Neil. Outside, Jimmy hits a beautiful super kick on Young while inside Jey wriggles out of a power slam.
The finish sees The Usos double super kick O’Neil and land the Samoan Splash for the pin and win. This was a silky match; totally fine, nothing more, nothing less.
Winner: The Usos via pinfall (8:26)
The show finishes with a video package of the apparent Daniel Bryan turn from Monday’s Raw. Given that Cena wasn’t on the show, they made Raw look like a huge deal this week on this show.
– By James Cox