Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s WWE Superstars recap, the 1st one of the year 2012. If you all are ready, Adelitas Way is playing the intro, so let’s get on with the show!
We kick things off with the RAW half of the show, with announcers Josh Mathews & Scott Stanford.
WWE Tag Team Champion Evan Bourne w/Kofi Kingston vs. Epico w/Primo & Rosa Mendes
Lock-up and Epico with an armdrag. Another lock-up and Bourne with a wristlock, but Epico reverses it. Bourne then comes back with a drop toe hold into a front chancery. Epico fights out with a forearm and a snapmare takeover, followed by a dropkick to the back of the head. Epico then hits a succession of right hands and Mongolian chops, followed by another snapmare takeover. However, Bourne lands on his feet and Sunset flips Epico for a nearfall. Bourne then with a rana, followed by a dropkick that sends Epico to the outside. Bourne then with a baseball slide that nails both Epico & Primo. Back in the ring, Bourne with a kick to the leg followed by a bulldog for a nearfall. Bourne with another kick to the leg and then Irish whips Epico, however as Bourne charges, Epico crotches Bourne on the top rope for a nearfall.
Epico Irish whips Bourne and nails him with a kick, followed by connecting with a butterfly suplex for a nearfall. Epico then with a double sledge to the back, followed by unloading with a series of forearms to the kidneys. Epico with a 2nd forearm to the back as he goes for a suplex. However, Bourne counters with a knee to the head, but then Epico comes right back with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, followed by a baseball slide that sends Bourne to the outside as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, as Epico nails Bourne in the ribs with gut shots. Bourne fights back with a kick to the leg, but Epico comes back with a back suplex, but as he goes for a second one, Bourne counters with a crossbody for a nearfall. Epico then comes right back with a release German suplex, folding Bourne up like an accordion for a nearfall. Epico lifts up Bourne in the Gory Special, but Bourne counters with a Sunset flip for a nearfall. Bourne then with a kick to the leg, followed by a dropkick.
Epico charges, but Bourne gets out of the way and Bourne hits a series of kicks and goes to the corner, but Epico sends him out to the apron. Bourne then heads up top and hits the double knees for a nearfall. Rosa Mendes gets up on the apron to distract the referee and Epico rolls up Bourne for a nearfall. Bourne then rolls up Epico for a nearfall of his own. Bourne then escapes a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker attempt and hits another kick. Bourne then goes to the apron but is distracted by Primo. Kingston then comes out of nowhere and leaps onto the apron, then jumps off and hits Primo with a crossbody.
Bourne nails Epico with a roundhouse kick, then heads up top and hits Air Bourne for the victory.
Winner: Evan Bourne by pinfall (Air Bourne)
Mason Ryan vs. JTG
Lock-up and Ryan backs JTG into the corner and breaks clean. Ryan then with a shoulder tackle, followed by a forearm to the back. JTG then comes back with a sliding uppercut, then he tries for a crossbody, but Ryan catches him and hits a fallaway slam. Ryan with a running clothesline into the corner and follows it with shoulders to JTG’s ribs. JTG then comes back with a dropkick to the knee.
JTG then goes up to the middle turnbuckle and hits Ryan with a dropkick for a nearfall. JTG nails Ryan with right hands, then locks in a reverse chinlock. Ryan backs JTG into the corner to break the hold, but runs into an elbow from JTG. JTG then clips the knee and hits a running boot for another nearfall. JTG locks in a front chancery, while nailing Ryan with forearms to the back. JTG then with another clip to the knee and returns to the front chancery. JTG with another kick, but Ryan comes back by Irish whipping JTG and scoring with a back body drop. Ryan with a series of double sledges to JTG, followed by a running shoulder into the corner and finally a running boot.
Ryan then connects with the full nelson slam for the victory.
Winner: Mason Ryan by pinfall (Full Nelson Slam)
Back from commercial, we go to the Smackdown half of this week’s show, with announcers Josh Mathews & Matt Striker.
Yoshi Tatsu vs. Tyson Kidd
Lock-up and Tatsu locks in a side headlock, then hits a shoulder tackle. Tatsu with a chop to Kidd, then clotheslines Kidd over the top rope to the outside. Tatsu goes for a dive to the floor, but Kidd sees him coming and nails Tatsu with a sliding kick.
Kidd hits an elbow to the head, followed by a kick and locks in a rear chinlock. Kidd with another kick to Tatsu, then sends Tatsu to the corner. Kidd hits a series of kicks and right hands to Tatsu, followed by a running back elbow for a nearfall. Kidd then locks in a Dragon Sleeper on Tatsu, but Tatsu gets to his feet and reverses the hold to one of his own. Yoshi then tries for a reverse suplex, but Kidd lands on his feet. Kidd goes for a kick, but Tatsu catches his legs, and catapults Kidd headfirst to the top turnbuckle.
Yoshi hits a series of chops that knock Kidd down, then Tatsu with a series of kicks that send Kidd into the corner. Tatsu charges, and hits a running Yakuza kick into the corner, followed by a running kick to the chest for a nearfall. Tatsu heads up top for the top rope heel kick, but Kidd moves out of the way. Kidd then goes to the apron and looks to connects with a springboard double jump moonsault, but Tatsu then gets out of the way.
As Kidd tries to get up, Tatsu drills him with the roundhouse kick to the head for the victory.
Winner: Yoshi Tatsu by pinfall (Roundhouse Kick)
Back from commercial, we go to the “Raw Rebound” video that highlights the main event and closing angle involving John Cena, Zack Ryder & Kane before our main event.
Main Event: Ezekiel Jackson vs. Jinder Mahal
Lock-up and Jackson backs Mahal into the corner, breaking clean. Another lock-up, and Jackson drives Mahal down to the mat. Mahal then nails Jackson with a forearm to the back of the head, followed by locking in a waistlock. Jackson comes back with an elbow a couple of forearms. Jackson comes back and hits a running back elbow and then biels Mahal across the ring for a nearfall. Mahal fires back with a series of forearms and kicks, but then Jackson comes back with a clothesline and a succession of forearms to the back. Jackson then scores with a suplex for a nearfall. Mahal comes back with a kick to the knee and tries for a kick to the head, but Jackson blocks it and drives Mahal to the mat. Mahal then comes back with a succession of forearms to Jackson, followed by 2 swinging neckbreakers for a nearfall.
Mahal chokes Jackson in the ropes, then knees him in the ribs, followed by choking him some more. Mahal scores with a side Russian leg sweep, then locks in a half nelson facelock. Jackson gets to his feet, but Mahal comes back with knees to Jackson, followed by a knee lift that knocks Jackson down for a nearfall. Mahal then returns to the reverse chinlock. Jackson gets back to his feet and backs Mahal into the corner to get out of the hold.
Jackson Irish whips Mahal to the corner, and hits a succession of running clotheslines in the corner, followed by 2 slams as Jackson prepares for the Torture Rack. Jackson tries for it, but Mahal escapes and sends Jackson shoulder first into the ringpost, followed by connecting with a running knee to the shoulder.
Mahal then applies the camel clutch and Jackson tries to fight it, but then has no choice but to tap out.
Winner: Jinder Mahal by submission (Camel Clutch)
Mahal celebrates his win as we go to credits.
I thought this was a solid episode of Superstars this week.
The opening match was IMO, the best match on this week’s show as Bourne and Epico put on another very good match. Epico continues to show immense potential, and Bourne as another good performance as a FIP.
On the flip side, I thought the Ryan/JTG match was the weakest this week. Ryan’s movements were very clunky, and it also didn’t help his cause when he no-sold the leg work that JTG was doing in his short control segment. If you are a big man babyface, its good to sell sometimes for a smaller guy, but its another thing to then destroy all of their work and no-sell 2 minutes later. If people criticize the top guys for doing it, then you also have to criticize the bottom rung guys also.
Tatsu and Kidd had a much shorter match than what people like myself have been accustomed to seeing them do, but for the time they had, they did a good job at putting on an entertaining match where there was no lull in the action and they made the most out of the time allotted to them. Good effort by both.
Finally, the main event of Zeke/Mahal was solid, and I felt that while there were, and still is, a lot of flaws to Mahal’s work, there are those slight glimpses of where myself as a viewer, can see why he is on the roster and for that matter receiving what looks to be a push. He does do some things well, like getting heat from the crowd, or bumping well on the babyface’s comeback, which he did do for Zeke. Zeke, in my book, is a better suited heel. When he was a heel in ECW, he showed off IMO, his real potential. Its not to say his babyface stuff is awful, because outside of a few flaws, he is solid in the role. However, if the WWE wants to show off his true potential, then make him that monster heel he was in ECW, and then they will make good on their investment.
Overall, a solid show with one very good match, gives this week’s episode of Superstars a grade of….
My Grade: C+
Well, that will do it for me this week, I want to thank you all for reading and I hope you all enjoy your weekend. But remember….
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See ya next week!