July 30, 2009
WWE Superstars: Athleticism and charisma
By MATT JOHNSON - SLAM! Wrestling
This episode of Superstars is loaded with talented, athletic wrestlers. It was sure thoughtful of Vince McMahon. I received a note from him congratulating me on taking over Superstars reporting duties for SLAM! Wrestling and tonight’s lineup is WWE’s housewarming gift.
We open up with Smackdown’s Todd Grisham and Jim Ross and a battle between two future main eventers.
Match #1 – John Morrison vs. Tyson Kidd
Kidd is accompanied by David Hart Smith and Natalya. Morrison and Kidd are known for their exciting aerial offense, but it starts on the mat. Morrison does a wicked neckbreaker from the apron to the mat outside the ring. Commercial time.
Morrison puts an athletic twist on the most basic moves. Smith and Natalya got tossed by the official. Twisted corskscrew plancha from Morrison. Morrison ends up winning with a split legged corkscrew moonsault. Wow!
Winner via pinfall : John Morrison
Another segment of Ask the Divas. The Divas are against stealing other girl’s boyfriends. The TNA staff is with them on that. They also like lounging on their days off.
Next up is ECW’s international contribution to Superstars.
Match #2 – William Regal vs. Yoshi Tatsu
Regal and Tatsu have dramatically different styles which make for a welcomed change of pace. It is also nice to see that hard feelings about World War II have worn off and Japanese are not automatically heels. Tatsu’s 1970s game show music is addicting.
Regal dominates the early action and almost wins by countout. Tatsu fights back with some chops, but the Englishman regains control. Regal nearly takes his face off with a knee and gets the win in this physical contest.
Winner via pinfall: William Regal
A video promoting MVP is shown. Raw rebound time as everybody runs to the refrigerator or bathroom. I do love that Ari Gold, er, Jeremy Piven, is hosting Raw next week. Entourage is a hot show in the demographic WWE wants.
Randy Orton runs down Beat the Clock and John Cena in his promo. He vows to demonstrate what he can do against Primo tonight and to defeat Cena at Summerslam. Orton has really come along on the microphone and commands attention. He didn’t try act cute and ironic, and ironically, he is taken seriously be fans.
Match #3 - Randy Orton vs. Primo Colon
Anyone want to wager on this match? Then again, La Parka once beat Scott Hall on Nitro (sort of). It is cool seeing Orton on Superstars, though. The King plugs WWE Summerslam cups at 7-Eleven stores. Wow, it seem strange seeing Orton in the ring with a Colon (or anyone not named Triple H for that matter). A member of the WWE Universe has a sign informing the world that Carlito has lice.
Primo shows some life early in the match with some drop kicks. After a commercial, Orton has Primo in a chinlock. Orton pounds on Primo. Primo fights back with a side Russian leg sweep. He gets a two count after a missile dropkick, but misses a flying cross-body. Orton hits him with the RKO for the win.
Winner via pinfall: Randy Orton
The show ends with a close shot of Randy Orton holding up the WWE championship. If Superstars has matches at this level every week, I will be a happy camper. There were no big lugs, no Divas matches (not that I am against those), and no little people beating Chavo. Instead, it was athletic competitors with enough charisma and good looks to attract channel flippers. Thumbs up on this show.
Matt Johnson is happy to take over WWE Superstars duty. Email Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org.