WWE Superstars Debut
April 16, 2009
Atlanta, GA/Knoxville, TN
Report by: Mike Tedesco of WrestleView.com

Welcome to the debut episode of WWE Superstars! I?m Mike Tedesco, your favorite Smackdown recapper! My apologies for having this up a day or two late ? I just volunteered my efforts for Superstars. Hope you enjoy the recap!

?Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event?? The WWE video leads us into the show.

The WWE Superstars video plays with some really neat music. I really like the look of the show. We?re then treated to a great pyro display from one of the arenas and we?re welcomed to the debut episode of Superstars by Hall of Famer Jim Ross and Todd Grisham, the Smackdown announce team. Tonight’s Main Event will see Shane McMahon take on Cody Rhodes of Randy Orton’s Legacy group.

We now hear the GONG and the Undertaker, who is the epitome of what a WWE Superstar really is, is making his first appearance since his historic match at WrestleMania 25 against Shawn Michaels. His opponent will be Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy’s evil older brother! As Hardy comes out we see a quick recap of his Stretcher Match against his brother Jeff on Smackdown, which Matt won when Jeff crashed and burned with a missed Swanton Bomb on the stretcher and a chair to the skull!

Undertaker vs. Matt Hardy

The referee calls for the bell and the first match of Superstars is on! The two men get in fighting stances and slowly approach one another when all of a sudden Undertaker gets a boot in Hardy’s midsection. Undertaker punches Hardy, throws him into the turnbuckle, and whips him hard into the opposite corner. Undertaker uncharacteristically takes a split second to look out to the wild crowd before charging and he runs into Hardy’s boot! Hardy then goes into the ropes and gets taken down by a clothesline from Undertaker! Hardy uses the ropes to get up and turns to see Undertaker preparing for the Chokeslam so Hardy quickly bolts out of the ring!

Undertaker reaches over the ropes to bring Hardy back in but Hardy sweeps Undertaker’s feet and drags him to the outside, hitting him with some clubs to the back! Hardy goes to whip Taker into the barricade but Taker reverses it and Hardy hits it hard! Taker rolls into the ring to break the count-out and then goes back out just to throw Hardy back in.

In the ring Undertaker twists Hardy’s arm and wrenches it twice. He twists it again and moves towards the ropes ? it’s Old School time and Undertaker connects! The crowd is absolutely nuts now and Undertaker acknowledges them by turning. Undertaker then clotheslines Hardy over the top rope and it’s time for a commercial!

-Commercial Break-

We come back from the break to see Undertaker on the apron sending a leg into Hardy’s throat! ?Vintage? stuff right there! Undertaker covers for a two count! Undertaker puts Hardy in the corner and head-butts him. Taker stomps him and then head-butts him again. Undertaker then breaks out something from his debut at Survivor Series 1990 ? he grabs Hardy by the throat and chokes him while rolling his eyes back! I love that! The referee begins counting Undertaker down for the DQ so he menacingly turns towards him and the ref falls down trying to get away. Comedy!

Undertaker sends Hardy into the ropes but Hardy ducks his clothesline, goes back into the ropes, and Undertaker manages to catch him by the throat! Undertaker stalls before lifting him up but Hardy manages to wriggle out and hit a neckbreaker! They?re playing up Undertaker’s neck because of that scary bump from WrestleMania. Hardy grounds and pounds Undertaker in the back of the neck now! He elbows Taker in the back of the neck and sets his neck up on the second rope. Hardy now bends the back of Undertaker’s neck across the top rope and pulls back, releasing at the referee’s four count!

Hardy goes into the ropes, ducks Undertaker’s clothesline, and sets him up for the Twist of Fate but Undertaker lifts him up and puts him on the apron! Undertaker stuns him with two punches, which almost sends him crashing to the floor, and he goes for a Chokeslam to the outside but Hardy counters it into a neckbreaker across the top rope! Hardy crawls back in and gets a two count! Hardy gets Taker up, elbows him in the back of the neck, and locks on a front face-lock, a very painful move. Hardy really has it locked on but Undertaker is still able to get up and attempt to power him into the corner. Hardy surprises him with a few punches and then wraps his legs around Undertaker, who is still standing! This is almost a guillotine choke! Undertaker gets a sudden burst of energy and drives Hardy into the corner, breaking the hold! Hardy is able to sneak a few more punches and kicks in on Undertaker and goes for a whip to the opposite corner which is reversed. Undertaker charges and Hardy counters with a back elbow! Hardy then goes to the second rope and jumps right into a big boot from Undertaker and both men are down!!

Undertaker crawls over and covers for a two and a half count! Matt Hardy is still fighting! They both get up but Hardy gets up in the corner so Undertaker charges and hits his corner clothesline! Undertaker then goes all the way across the ring and charges, hitting another corner clothesline! Undertaker lifts Hardy up on his shoulder, drops him with Snake Eyes, and goes into the ropes, hitting a big boot! Undertaker hits a leg and covers for another two and a half count!

Undertaker now gets up and gets in position for the Chokeslam! Matt Hardy stands up, sees this, and leaves the ring! Hardy grabs a chair and is walking around the ring as the referee is counting him out. Hardy then thinks about it and doesn?t get back in the ring, choosing instead to get counted out!

Winner by Count-Out: Undertaker
Match Rating: ** ?

Hardy is walking backwards up the ramp and all of a sudden his brother Jeff’s music hits and he runs out, forearming his brother down! Jeff wildly punches him and sends him twice into the barricade. Matt all of a sudden stuns Jeff with a knee to the midsection and quickly gets back in the ring, not realizing Undertaker is still in there with him. Matt then turns into a Chokeslam from the Undertaker!!

Coming up next is Christian vs. Finlay in the Finals of the ECW Championship Elimination Race!

-Commercial Break-

Did you know that the day after WrestleMania, WWE.com broke its all-time record for page views with an astonishing 105,179,641 views?!

Josh Matthews and Matt Striker are now taking over this portion of WWE Superstars. Matthews, minus the nosebleed, comments on how people are still buzzing about WrestleMania 25. Striker then prepares us to watch ?the most amazing footage we?ll ever see.? This leads us into a highlight package from WrestleMania 25.

Finals of ECW Championship Elimination Race
Christian vs. Finlay

Finlay is coming out with his son, Hornswoggle, whom he was recently separated from due to the WWE Draft. Why?

My favorite referee in the whole world, Charles Robinson, is refereeing this match! The bell rings and the two competitors circle the ring before locking up. They struggle to the corner and Robinson is forced to back Finlay away. They circle the ring again and go to lock up but Christian ducks it and gets a waist-lock on! Finlay counters by throwing himself down and locking on a key-lock! Christian is able to fight up but Finlay, the veteran, wrenches the arm and pulls him down to the mat for a one count! They both get up and face off again, with Finlay smirking. They seem to have a mutual respect thing going on.

They lock up again and Finlay goes to force Christian into the corner but at the last second Christian turns him into it. Robinson tells them to get out of the corner but Finlay quickly turns Christian, hitting a forearm to the chest and a European Uppercut. Finlay hits another, sends Christian into the opposite corner and charges, running into a back elbow! Christian goes to the second rope and jumps off, twisting in the air into an amazing sunset flip for a two count! Christian turns when he hears Hornswoggle laughing at him which allows Finlay to hit a running knee to his lower back, sending Christian out of the ring!

Hornswoggle goes to approach Christian but Chuck Robinson warns him off. Finlay comes out and sends Christian chest first into the ring apron. Finlay rolls Christian in at the three count and goes to approach him but Christian stuns him with some shots to the midsection. Finlay quickly hits a punch and sets him up for a reverse DDT but turns it into a nice backbreaker! Finlay covers for a one and a half count and he quickly locks Christian in a chin-lock. Christian fights up and punches out but Finlay stuns him with a European Uppercut and hits a hard body slam to the mat! Finlay now goes to the second rope for his seated senton to the chest but Christian gets a boot in Finlay’s jaw!

Both men slowly get up and Christian gets Finlay with some right hands. Christian sends Finlay into the ropes and hits a nice back body! Christian sets Finlay up on the second rope, catapults to the outside, and punches him in the face! Christian gets on the apron and goes to the top rope, coming off with a cross-body block but Finlay rolls through and covers Christian for a two and a half count!

Finlay goes for a clothesline, which Christian ducks, and Christian goes for the Kill Switch but Finlay sends him into the ropes and goes for the Celtic Cross but Christian wriggles around on his shoulders! Finlay dumps him on the apron Christian stuns him with a right hand and goes to the top rope. Finlay cuts him off with a punch and goes for a Superplex but Christian punches him off. Finlay lands on his feet so he goes back for more only to get kicked in the face. Christian hits a picture-perfect Tornado DDT and covers for a two and a half count! Christian stands Finlay up and Finlay surprises him by sending him shoulder first into the ring post! Finlay goes for the Celtic Cross but Christian slides off and hits the Kill Switch for the win as Hornswoggle looks on sadly!!

Winner by Pinfall: Christian
Match Rating: ** ?

Christian is now the #1 Contender to the ECW Championship so it?ll be Christian vs. Jack Swagger for the title! Should be a good match ? their match from February on ECW was definitely a Match of the Year Contender! Finlay stands up and they shake hands and hug. That was nice.

Still to come tonight is Cody Rhodes vs. Shane McMahon!

-Commercial Break-

Michael Cole and WWE Hall of Famer Jerry ?The King? Lawler take over this portion of WWE Superstars. They put over Superstars and then go into more about this ‘situation? between Randy Orton and Triple H. They?ll face each other this Monday night on Raw.

Eve Torres now interviews Shane McMahon. Eve mentions that tonight he?ll be facing Cody Rhodes and he has to be disappointed that he’s not the one facing Randy Orton on Raw. Shane says that he is disappointed but it’s up to Hunter to get the job done but it gets him thinking ? without Rhodes and DiBiase, Randy Orton would never have been able to do the things he’s done to his family. Without Rhodes and DiBiase, Orton would never have been able to kick his father in the skull (not true ? they weren?t even in the ring). Without Rhodes and DiBiase, Orton would never have been able to try and separate his head from his shoulders. Without Rhodes and DiBiase, Orton would never have been able to do the cowardly, unconscionable physicality to his sister. So for Shane, tonight, retribution starts with Cody Rhodes!

Cody Rhodes? music hits and he makes his way to the ring alone. Legacy and Shane McMahon’s partners are banned from ringside. He?ll face Shane McMahon next.

-Commercial Break-

Cody Rhodes vs. Shane McMahon

Mike Chioda calls for the bell and McMahon immediately shoves Rhodes! Rhodes goes for a clothesline and Shane O?Mac ducks it, hitting him with a stinging left jab! Rhodes approaches and goes for some right hands, all of which McMahon avoids, and McMahon hits some hard right hands to the midsection, forcing Rhodes into the corner! Chioda makes him back away.

McMahon approaches Rhodes and walks right into a kick to the midsection. Rhodes clubs him in the back and goes into the ropes only to be taken down by a clothesline! McMahon hits two arm drags, holding on after the second time with a nice triangle choke hold! Rhodes tries to force Shane onto his shoulder but only gets a one count so he drags him and gets a foot on the ropes. Rhodes stares McMahon down and then leaves the ring, holding his shoulder.

Shane goes for a baseball slide but Rhodes avoids it and tries to get back in the ring but he gets caught and dragged back out! Shane hits him with some right hands and gets him into a hammerlock before sending him shoulder first into the ring post! Shane forearms the shoulder joint and throws him back in the ring, covering Rhodes for a quick one count. Shane now locks on a Fujiwara Arm Bar for a few seconds before putting him in a hammerlock and sending some knees into the shoulder joint! McMahon now locks the Fujiwara Arm Bar back on! Rhodes attempts to bring Shane over for a pin twice but each attempt just gets a one count. Rhodes now nicely gets out of it with some well placed knees in the back! Rhodes rolls out of the ring again!

McMahon follows him out, runs to the top of the stairs, and connects with a flying clothesline on the outside! Shane O?Mac sells a possible left elbow injury before throwing Rhodes back into the ring at the three count and he covers for a two count. Rhodes quickly rolls out of the ring again.

Shane follows him out again and goes to bounce his head off the apron but Rhodes blocks it and bounces Shane’s head off instead! Rhodes gets McMahon in position for a back suplex but McMahon nicely counters it by throwing him into the barricade! McMahon now shoots a half-nelson and clubs Rhodes in the back before putting him back in the ring. McMahon gets on the apron and Rhodes stuns him with a punch in the face and then knocks him off the apron into the barricade back first! That was a nice bump as we go to commercial!

-Commercial Break-

We come back from the break to see McMahon locked in an arm bar. McMahon tries to fight up but Rhodes just puts a knee in his ribs. Rhodes stomps him, stands him up, and sends him HARD into the corner. Rhodes stomps him and covers for a two count. Rhodes sits hard on McMahon’s lower back and stomps him on the wrist. Rhodes hits a solid punch to the face and puts him down with a body slam. Rhodes stomps him before going into the ropes and hitting a low dropkick to the lower back and covers for a two and a half count! McMahon tries to pick himself up on the ropes but Rhodes just sends a knee into his arm, sending him back down to the mat. Rhodes now locks Shane in a hammerlock around his leg and gets a Camel Clutch at the same time. This kid is great. McMahon fights up with Rhodes still on his back and he backs into the corner but Rhodes still hangs on. After Shane does it a second time he finally lets go.

McMahon approaches Rhodes and eats a back elbow. Rhodes goes to the second rope and comes off with a flying bulldog! Rhodes quickly covers for a two and a half count! Rhodes now angrily stomps him a few times before sending a knee into his chest! Rhodes covers for a two count! Rhodes clubs him and sends him into the corner. Rhodes sits McMahon on the top rope and goes for a Superplex. McMahon punches him off and goes for a double axe handle but Rhodes counters with a dropkick in midair! Rhodes covers for a two and a half count!

Rhodes leaves the ring and grabs a steel chair! He enters with it but Chioda grabs it and admonishes him! Rhodes now peppers Shane with some left jabs and begins mocking Shane’s Shuffle with punches but Shane finally counters and hits him with a flurry of furious punches in the corner! McMahon stomps Rhodes a few times for good measure before Chioda forces him away! McMahon approaches Rhodes and Rhodes sends him through the ropes to the outside, nearly hitting his head on the stairs on the way down!

Rhodes goes to bring McMahon back into the ring but Shane sends a steel chair into his ribs, causing the disqualification!

Winner by Disqualification: Cody Rhodes
Match Rating: ** ?

Shane O?Mac gets in the ring and cracks Rhodes in the back hard with the chair! McMahon then cracks him in the head and Rhodes is set up in the corner! McMahon goes to the outside and grabs a garbage can and this can only mean one thing!

McMahon sets the can in front of Rhodes? face and goes to the opposite corner and hits a nice Coast-to-Coast!! Great way to end the show!!


Quick Match Results

Undertaker def. Matt Hardy via Count-Out
Christian def. Finlay (Finals of ECW Championship Race)
Cody Rhodes def. Shane McMahon via DQ

Bump of the Night: Shane McMahon’s Coast-to-Coast

Match of the Night: Undertaker def. Matt Hardy ** ?

Mike’s Thoughts

Tremendous debut for the new show tonight! We had a little bit of everything ? Superstars from all three brands, we had a match with a legend, we had a great wrestling match, and we had a very decent, smartly booked brawl!

What a great way to open up the inaugural episode of WWE Superstars with Undertaker vs. Matt Hardy. I?m really happy Undertaker is staying on full time. He’s an amazing worker and that’s not to take anything away from Matt Hardy ? he’s amazing, too, and really held his own against the veteran. Matt Hardy actually looked like a Main Event heel! Anyone who steps in the ring with Undertaker always comes out the better for it ? just this past January when Shelton Benjamin had those two matches with the man he came out looking like a million bucks even though he lost. Undertaker did the same for Matt Hardy tonight, selling for him and putting on a tremendous match. Kudos to both men!

The ECW match was absolutely great ? I just wish it was given a little more time. The finish, while it was good, felt a little rushed. Still you had two tremendous veterans in the ring and they put on a clinic. It was tremendous!

The Main Event with Shane McMahon and Cody Rhodes was really well booked. Shane McMahon isn?t a wrestler so why should he kick the crap out of one? It made sense that McMahon got beat on for most of the match and only made his comeback by resorting to weapons. I was really happy with that booking and that should have been what happened in his match against Randy Orton at No Way Out.

All in all it was a great debut for the show. I was really happy with this episode and I?m looking forward to next week’s edition!

Final Rating: *** ?

As always I?d love to hear comments on the recap, from those who loved it and those who didn?t! What?d you think of the debut episode?

E-Mail ? MikeyT817@hotmail.com

Be sure to check out my Smackdown recap!

Thanks for reading!