WWE Superstars
December 17, 2010
Commentators: Scott Stanford & CM Punk/Matt Striker & Jack Korpela
Report by: Enzo Mendicino of Wrestleview.com

Arena: The show opened with PPV pre-game announcer Jack Korpela introducing the show and plugging the TLC PPV three nights away. Out first on the show was JTG for the opening match from the Smackdown brand. Korpela was joined by Matt Striker, who called Korpela his NXT Rookie at the announce table. Curt Hawkins was out next to face JTG. Striker made a heavy accusation against Hawkins that he’s a one-upper and he can’t live down losing to Trent Barreta last week.

Match #1: CURT HAWKINS vs. JTG

JTG attempted an early Mug Shot, but Hawkins slingshot him to the floor. On the floor, Hawkins inflicted punishment before rolling JTG back into the ring. A double knockdown moments later sent the match to an early commercial break.

-Commercial Break-

Before they returned from a break, a TLC commercial aired focusing on Miz’s mainstream publicity since becoming WWE champion. The tagline was “everyone is talking about The Miz…including The Miz.” Back from break, Korpela used the phrase “gung ho.” C’mon. Hawkins and JTG exchanged nearfalls as Striker talked about the body not being able to recover from the bumps and bruises in the ring when the “road goes on forever.” Korpela with a Norman Smiley reference following a slam by Hawkins, then Hawkins went up top and missed with the heat-seeking elbow drop. JTG followed with the Mug Shot for a nearfall before hitting the Shout-out for the win.

Winner: JTG in 8:00

NXT plug: Striker fed to a video package on NXT Week 2 this Tuesday. Byron Saxton was shown winning Karaoke as Chris Masters danced along on the stage. Cue up the Obstacle Course challenge. Nice job by Saxton selling DiBiase’s finisher even after the fact. Ratface nearly split his pants, Derrick Bateman set the pace, and Johnny Curtis won the race.

Tonight: Drew McIntyre vs. Yoshi Tatsu in the main event.

-Commercial Break-

In-ring: Zack Ryder came out for the first of two Raw brand-hosted matches tonight. C.M. Punk and Scott Stanford were shown on-camera plugging TLC on Sunday. Stanford nervously laughed at Punk’s first joke of the night before former Nexus member Darren Young came to the ring to face Ryder.

Match #2: ZACK RYDER vs. DARREN YOUNG

A little shoving match to start and Ryder ducked under the top rope. “Are you serious, bro?” Ryder shouted at Young. The camera was right on top of the action with some tighter camera shots of the action in the ring. Ryder took control of the action and landed a big corner boot to the head ala Samoa Joe. Young made a comeback with a flying shoulder tackle before landing a gutbuster from the fireman’s carry position. It was good for a two count only. Ryder then came back with the Rough Ryder leg lariat out of nowhere for the pin and the win. Ryder wins! Stanford noted Ryder came back refreshed this week after a “shellacking” last week against Ezekiel Jackson.

Winner: Ryder in 6:00

-Commercial Break-

Superstars profile: Alberto Del Rio.

Announcers: Stanford and Punk plugged “Tribute to the Troops” on Saturday before introducing the Raw Rebound focusing on the Slammy Award winners, John Cena’s “rehiring,” and Barrett ordering Cena to face him at TLC in the dreaded chairs match.

In-ring: Drew McIntyre’s elaborate ring entrance was cued up, bringing out McIntyre to a dramatic heel reaction. Punk noted the mood in the arena changes when his music hits. It’s like McIntyre has 7/10 of the parts that make up the “it” factor and he just needs time to develop the other three parts. McIntyre vs. Yoshi Tatsu in an inter-brand match is next.

-Commercial Break-

Match #3: DREW MCINTYRE (Smackdown) vs. YOSHI TATSU (Raw)

McIntyre stood back in the corner to sell the idea that Yoshi is beneath him as a competitor. McIntyre dominated early on and nailed a big shoulder tackle. Mac grinned and admired his work before taking a casual stroll around the ring. Yoshi then fired off a series of rapid-fire kicks to the thigh that upset Mac. Yoshi took a blow to the face in retaliation, which set off Yoshi for another series of kicks. Mac decided to take a powder on the floor, so Yoshi followed on the outside. They traded blows as the ref applied a ten count. Drew then dropped Yoshi shoulder-first across the ring apron and reset the count in the ring. Yoshi writhed in pain on the ground and Mac flashed a cocky smile as they cut to break.

-Commercial Break-

Back from break, Mac had control of the action working over Yoshi’s shoulder. Stanford called it a “beautiful battle.” Punk did his “intentionally incorrect first name” joke on Stanford questioning him about the “beautiful” adjective used to describe the in-ring action. Yoshi made a comeback with a crucifix pin for a nearfall before Mac blasted him in the face with a kick for a two count. Punk brought his wrestling knowledge to the table referencing Chono and Misawa inspiring Yoshi. He threw out Jumbo Tsuruta’s name for good measure. Mac went back on the offensive and confidently shouted, “All day long,” while working over Yoshi’s shoulder. Meanwhile, Stanford wanted to know what C.M. stands for. Pause. “Company man,” Punk quipped.

Yoshi yanked Mac through the ropes to the floor. Mac then slammed his fists on the announce table, re-entered the ring, and went flying to the other side when Yoshi side-stepped him. Punk noted Yoshi won the WrestleMania battle royal earlier this year as Yoshi ripped off a series of flying kicks and a double knee smash in the corner. Yoshi scored with a heel kick for a believable nearfall followed by a high kick to the head.

Yoshi wanted a top-rope roundhouse kick, but Mac ducked and Yoshi ate the mat. Both men sold before Mac collected himself and grabbed Yoshi for the Future Shock DDT, which they spliced into one camera shot (he needed to execute it twice at the TV taping). McIntyre with the pin and the win. They replayed the finish and Stanford plugged TLC in Houston on Sunday. The show signed off with McIntyre selling the effects of the match and screaming toward Stanford that he wants a real opponent.

Winner: McIntyre in 15:00


Enzo’s Thoughts

Match #1: CURT HAWKINS vs. JTG
The kids were shown getting behind JTG before, during, and after the match, so he’s connecting with the key PG demographic. Whether WWE gets behind him as a singles wrestler remains to be seen. Interesting to see Hawkins lose this match, though.

Match #2: ZACK RYDER vs. DARREN YOUNG
The production change to tighter camera shots was a very nice development to keep the focus on happenings in the ring. In a simulated competition, the camera should be tight on the in-ring action to make that the central focus of the story. Superstars is the place to experiment with production enhancements and this is a keeper. (Along with the Old School Superstars black backdrop on the ring entrance.) (*1/2)

Match #3: DREW MCINTYRE (Smackdown) vs. YOSHI TATSU (Raw)
Good, above-average TV main event. There’s so much potential to build up Yoshi as an underdog babyface, similar to Evan Bourne, to fill a void on the Raw roster. The language barrier seems to be the main thing holding him back. As for McIntyre, good presentation in a TV main event (even on the C or D-Show) against a smaller opponent; it helped him look more menacing as a heel. (**3/4)

Enzo’s Superstars Rankings:

1) Christian (-)
2) Jack Swagger (-)
3) Vladimir Kozlov (-)
4) Zack Ryder (+3)
5) Dolph Ziggler (-1)
6) Gail Kim (-1)
7) Shad Gaspard (-1)
8) Evan Bourne (-)
9) Kane (-)
10) Kofi Kingston (-)

As always, thanks for reading, never hesitate to hit me up with any comments questions or anything else and I hope to see everyone next week!

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