Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s WWE Superstars recap. If you all are ready, then since Adelitas Way is playing the intro, let’s get on with the show!
We kick things off with the lone Smackdown match this week, with announcers Josh Mathews & Matt Striker.
Jinder Mahal vs. Tyson Kidd
Lock-up and Mahal brings Kidd to the corner, and breaks clean, but not before talking trash in his native Punjab language. Kidd goes for a waistlock, but Mahal gets himself over to the ropes to break the hold, and then nails Kidd with a back elbow to knock him down. Mahal with a stomp to Kidd, then locks in a wristlock. Kidd comes back with a forearm, and then uses the ropes for leverage while the wristlock is still applied and delivers an armdrag to Mahal, sending him out to the outside. Kidd slingshots out to the apron, then delivers a running kick to Mahal’s sternum. Kidd then gets himself a running start on the apron, and nails Mahal with a rolling senton splash. Kidd then high-fives with the crowd as Mahal licks his wounds. Back in the ring, Kidd gains only a 1 count on Mahal. Kidd hits a series of forearms, and then goes for an Irish whip, but Mahal reverses it. Kidd tries to get the feet up on Mahal’s charge, but Mahal catches them, then spins Kidd around, and sends him crashing down to the mat.
Mahal then uses the ropes a springboard, and delivers a series of knees to Kidd’s sternum. Mahal chokes Kidd with his own knee, almost getting himself disqualified. Mahal then picks Kidd up, and connects with a neckbreaker for a nearfall. Mahal Irish whips Kidd hard to the corner, and the velocity sends Kidd careening back down to the mat. Mahal then underhooks Kidd, and scores with a butterfly suplex for another nearfall. Mahal applies the half nelson facelock, as the crowd tries to get behind Kidd. Kidd gets back to his feet, and tries to break Mahal’s grip with gut shots, but Mahal comes right back with a knee to the gut, followed by a club to the back. Mahal goes for a back suplex, but Kidd spins around in mid-air, and lands on Mahal for a nearfall.
Mahal misses a clothesline, and Kidd comes off the ropes, connecting with an armdrag takedown. Kidd hits a kick to Mahal’s leg, followed by a spin kick to the gut. Kidd goes back off the ropes, and connects with a running front dropkick to the side of Mahal’s head for a nearfall. Irish whip by Kidd, reversed by Mahal, but Kidd holds on to the ropes. Mahal comes in, but Kidd gets his feet up and in doing so, backflips himself onto the apron. Kidd hits a shoulder to Mahal’s gut, and then slingshots back in with an O’Connor Roll on Mahal for another nearfall. Mahal charges, but Kidd nails him with a dropkick to the knees, sending Mahal into the ropes. Kidd then connects with a slingshot leg drop, driving Mahal’s throat into the bottom rope. Kidd appeared to have hurt himself on the way down, but gets himself back into the ring, and heads up top. Kidd takes a little bit too much time, as Mahal rolls out of the way on Kidd’s attempted double-jump moonsault.
Mahal drills Kidd with a Flatliner, and then locks in the Camel Clutch, and Kidd has no choice but to tapout.
Winner: Jinder Mahal by submission (Camel Clutch)
Mahal celebrates his win as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, we go to highlights from RAW and the Falls Count Anywhere Match between Zack Ryder and Kane.
Back from commercial, we go to the RAW portion of this week’s show, with announcers Josh Mathews & Scott Stanford.
WWE Divas Champion “The Glamazon” Beth Phoenix vs. Brie Bella w/Nikki Bella
Brie shoves Beth, who then reciprocates, knocking Brie down. Brie tries to run away, but catches her and nails her with a short-arm clothesline, followed by a back elbow, inverted atomic drop, and finally a sidewalk slam for a nearfall. Beth Irish whips Brie hard to the corner, then charges and connects with a running avalanche. Brie crumbles down to the ropes, and Beth comes off the ropes, looking to nail her, but Nikki moves her sister out of the way and Beth proceeds to crotch herself on the ropes.
Brie drills Beth with a clothesline to the back of the head, then begins to stomp away at her. Brie then chokes Beth with her shin, then chokes Beth on the ropes with her knee as Nikki talks trash to Beth. Brie gains a nearfall, then slams Beth’s head into the mat. Brie goes for another stomp, but Beth blocks it and pushes her off, sending Brie crashing to the mat. Beth hits a gut shot and a backfist, but Brie counters Beth’s lift up with a right hand. Brie then scores with a neckbreaker for a nearfall. Brie goes for another cover, but only gets a 1 count. Beth is favoring her throat, as Brie locks in a chinlock. Crowd tries to will Beth back into this match, as Beth gets back up to her feet. Beth lifts Brie on her back, and goes backward, driving Brie backfirst into the corner to break the hold.
Beth with a kick to the gut, then connects with WWE Hall of Famer Tully Blanchard’s patented slingshot suplex. Beth is fired up, and goes for the Glam Slam, but Nikki gets up on the apron. However, Beth sends Brie into Nikki, sending Nikki off the apron and crashing to the outside.
Beth then grabs a hold of Brie, and hits the Glam Slam for the victory.
Winner: “The Glamazon” Beth Phoenix by pinfall (Glam Slam)
Beth celebrates her victory as the Bellas have words with each other as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, Scott Stanford runs down the Royal Rumble card before our main event.
Main Event: Kofi Kingston vs. Michael McGillicutty
Lock-up and McGillicutty with an armdrag as the crowd chants for Kingston. Another lock-up and Kingston with a hammerlock, but McGillicutty counters with a back elbow, followed by a right hand. McGillicutty wrenches Kingston’s arm, then delivers a club to the back. McGillicutty hits a series of clubs to the back of Kingston, before locking in an armbar. McGillicutty wrenches Kingston’s arm again, but this time Kingston spins around and sweeps out McGillicutty’s leg from under him, followed by hitting a back senton for a 1 count. Kingston wrenches McGillicutty’s arm and then also drives it across his own shoulder. Kingston then locks in an armbar of his own, but McGillicutty pulls at the hair to send Kingston to the corner to force a break. Kingston breaks, but McGillicutty nails him with a gut shot, followed by a stomp. McGillicutty places Kingston in the ropes, and hits a series of crossface shots. McGillicutty then slingshots Kingston down to the mat while talking trash to him. McGillicutty measures Kingston, then charges in and knocks him down with a running shoulder tackle. McGillicutty talks more trash, then knocks Kingston down again with another running shoulder tackle. McGillicutty taunts Kingston, then goes off the ropes, but Kingston hits his double leapfrogs over McGillicutty, followed by drilling him with a flying back elbow for a 1 count.
Kingston Irish whips McGillicutty, who reverses it, but McGillicutty charges in, Kingston nails him with the Pendulum Kick. Kingston heads up top, and connects with the Froggy Crossbody for a nearfall. Kingston takes McGillicutty down with an armbar, then drives a knee across McGillicutty’s arm for a nearfall. Kingston then locks in a keylock, followed by wrenching McGillicutty’s arm and Irish whipping him. McGillicutty reverses the whip, but Kingston holds on to the ropes. McGillicutty charges, but Kingston sidesteps him and sends McGillicutty over the ropes to the outside. Kingston gets a head of steam and prepares to dive, but McGillicutty ducks. However, Kingston stops himself, doing his head off the ropes evasion. McGillicutty tries to come back in, but Kingston nails him with a dropkick, sending back down to the outside. Kingston charges again, and this time hits McGillicutty with a tope dive. Kingston is all fired up as we go to commercial.
Back form commercial, Kingston nails McGillicutty with a kick to the leg, sending McGillicutty crashing down to the mat. Irish whip by Kingston, reversed by McGillicutty. McGillicutty charges, but as Kingston goes for the Pendulum Kick again, McGillicutty grabs on to his foot, and sends Kingston crashing down to the mat with a neckbreaker for a nearfall. McGillicutty hits a series of stomps and clubs to Kingston, then chokes him in the corner. McGillicutty hits another stomp as the referee has to move McGillicutty away from Kingston. McGillicutty gains a nearfall, then pulls at Kingston’s hair and drills him with more crossface shots. McGillicutty locks in a chinlock as the crowd chants for Kingston. Kingston gets back to his feet and breaks McGillicutty’s hold with gut shots. Kingston goes off the ropes, and sidesteps McGillicutty’s back body drop attempt with a boot. Kingston goes off the ropes again, but McGillicutty takes him down with a drop toe hold and then rakes Kingston’s face in the mat. McGillicutty drives a knee to the back of Kingston’s neck, then measures Kingston and nails with a forearm to the back. McGillicutty then hits a forearm to the throat for another nearfall. McGillicutty picks up Kingston, and scores with a backbreaker for another nearfall. McGillicutty drives an elbow to the top of Kingston’s head, then locks back in the chinlock. Kingston gets back up to his feet and tries to break the hold with gut shots, but McGillicutty knocks him back down with a club to the back. McGillicutty with another club to the back, then Irish whips Kingston. McGillicutty charges, but Kingston leaps over him and hits a back roundhouse kick, knocking McGillicutty down.
Referee begins his 10 count as both men try to get back up to their feet. Both men are up by 5 as McGillicutty tries to regain control of the match-up. McGillicutty comes in, but Kingston nails with a series of chops, followed by a dropkick. Kingston goes off the ropes, and hits his flying clothesline. Kingston is all fired up, and hits the Boom Drop, spinning in mid-air. Kingston sets up for Trouble in Paradise, but McGillicutty ducks. McGillicutty goes for a running dropkick, but Kingston shoos him away, sending McGillicutty crashing to the mat. McGillicutty goes for a clothesline, but Kingston catches him and hits the SOS, however McGillicutty is able to get his hand on the bottom rope before the referee can make the 3 count. McGillicutty rolls out to the apron as Kingston questions the count of the referee. Kingston goes back after McGillicutty, but McGillicutty hotshots him on the top rope. McGillicutty stalks Kingston, yelling at him to get up. McGillicutty goes for the McGillicutter, but Kingston blocks it and tries for a backslide. McGillicutty breaks free, but Kingston tries again for the SOS.
McGillicutty then counters that with a waistlock and pushes Kingston off, but Kingston comes in and drills McGillicutty with the Trouble in Paradise for the victory.
Winner: Kofi Kingston by pinfall (Trouble in Paradise)
Kingston celebrates his win as we go to credits.
After 2 mediocre weeks of Superstars, we finally get a pretty good one this week.
I was shocked by how solid to almost good the Mahal/Kidd match was. Kidd, while he played a good heel for all of 2011, is meant IMO to be a babyface, and with Bourne looking to be finishing up with WWE in the near future, Kidd I think can slide right in and fill that role pretty easily. Had some good babyface fire, pulled out some new, flashier moves that in time will win the crowd over, and did a good job on the FIP work. Mahal was not bad as he has been in the past, and because of the fact that he and Kidd have worked together in the past on the Canada independent scene, his performance came off a lot better in this match. Now if only Mahal can translate his work in this match to all of his other performances, I think the potential people see in him, albeit it very few, can actually come together. However, past history proves otherwise, but we’ll see going forward.
The Divas match was again, shockingly solid for the match-up we saw this week. Beth, even though it seems she is still going to be playing a heel going forward, did a decent job as a FIP to Brie this week. Brie’s control segment was believable in the fact that she didn’t do any offense that wouldn’t effect a bigger Diva like Beth, she did kicks and chokes and taunted the crowd. While it’s basic, it’s still believable and was very successful. Beth showed some good fire on her comeback, and while I think she is a much better heel, she showed in this match, at least to me, that she can also play a solid babyface. Good effort by both girls.
The main event, to me, was by far the best thing on the show. Kofi Kingston has had his working shoes ever since the formation of the Air Boom tag team and it clearly showed in this match. Great fire on his offense, did a very good job on the FIP work, and has also toned down his flippy, jumpy offense also, albeit he still does that horrid jumping clothesline. To me, this is the Kofi Kingston we all saw in 2009 during his push against Randy Orton, and I hope to see this Kingston going forward.
However, the main story here is how greatly Michael McGillicutty has improved in the ring. Believe me, I was right on that “Oh, this guy is horrible” bandwagon back during NXT Season 2, and even during the Nexus. But ever since he broke up with Otunga and went out on his own, week after week he continues to improve. Great bumper, sells like a champ for the babyface’s comebacks, and has put together a nice offense on his control segment that can get heat from the audience. A good heel can get heat from the audience with just 1 single thing he does to a babyface, and McGillicutty does just that. I am very impressed by how he has been over the course of the last few months, and right now I will go on record to say, he is my very early favorite for Most Improved Wrestler of 2012.
Overall, a much better effort this week from Superstars, and I highly recommend watching the show, most notably for the main event.
My Grade: B-
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….
If you are a non-VIP, every Thursday, myself and Nicholas “OneManX” Gray bring to you all the Wrestleview Independent Roundtable, looking at the world of Indy wrestling, whether it be from Ring of Honor, FCW, SHIMMER, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, CHIKARA, CZW, Dragon Gate USA, EVOLVE, and many more independents from around the world with weekly recaps of the ROH & FCW TV shows and DVD reviews. For more visit vip.wrestleview.com.
See ya next week!