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Superstars: WWE changes formula, dilutes quality
By MATT JOHNSON - SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight’s show is the penultimate (yeah, look it up) stop before Summerslam. The hype for this year’s “biggest party of the summer” has been lacking. Perhaps WWE can stir up a little excitement tonight.

Impressive pyro to start off the show. I wonder how much that costs WWE? The first face we see is Kelly Kelly. YES!!!!!!!!!!

Match #1 – Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix

Does anyone really think Kelly would beat Beth in a fight? Watch Kelly’s face when she is wrestling. It is funny to see how hard she is concentrating. Anyway, to the match ...

Kelly starts out with some acrobatic offense. They go outside the ring early and Beth takes charge when they get back in the ring. As a professional, I ignore Kelly’s thong, which happens to be showing. It looks like Beth is going to apply a reverse DDT, but it is a submission move. Kelly nearly pulls the upset after a rollup, but Beth puts her away with the Glam Slam.

Winner via pinfall: Beth Phoenix

We got to a commercial promoting Randy Orton vs. John Cena at Summerslam 2007. I can’t believe they are promoting a DVD from two years ago. Oh wait, they are talking about Summerslam 2009. My bad.

Shelton Benjamin enters the ring after the break. Shelton kind of looks like a (more) jacked up Terrell Owens. With his athleticism, it would be great if Shelton made it to the top some day.

Match #2 – Shelton Benjmain vs. Tyler Reks

Shelton goes on the offense early and then settles in on a chin lock. T-Reks fights back with a flying clothesline and a powerslam. Reks dives off the top rope but the momentum rolls Shelton on top. Shelton hits paydirt for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Shelton Benjamin

The commercial for the new WCW DVD airs. Man this makes me want to choke the people who ruined the company. Hey, there’s Vince Russo!

Todd Grisham and Jim Ross promote the Hardy-Punk T.L.C. match at Summerslam. Cool music video. R-Truth is up next. He dances like Elaine Benes.

Match #3 – R-Truth vs. Charlie Haas

A casual observer would predict a loss for Haas based on his lack of a colorful gimmick. Shades of the Barbarian as Charlie Haas hits R-Truth with a big boot. Shades of Dino Bravo on a 1988 WWE house show as he throws on a headlock.

The pace picks up and Haas is aggressive. However, R-Truth turns the momentum around quickly with a the Lie Detector for the win. That finish came out of nowhere.

Winner via pinfall: R-Truth

Chris Masters and Mark Henry are next. Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat move over!

A John Morrison video airs. Thank goodness he is on Smackdown where he gets a chance to shine. A DX video airs, including clips from Raw.

Match #4 – Mark Henry vs. Chris Masters

Mark Henry hits the ring first and gives Lillian a high five. Michael Cole brags about “another main event provided by Monday Night Raw.” Man, is he unlikable.

Masters tries to slam Henry, but it does not work. Big suplex by Henry. The crowd cheers for Henry as Masters takes control. After an elbow, Masters applies a chinlock. Masters tries to apply the Masterlock several times, but fails. Henry gets a two count after a powerslam. Masters walks up the ramp and loses by countout.

Winner via countout: Mark Henry

Tonight they shook up the format by squeezing in four matches. It was a failure. Superstars has been a fun show to watch because it featured solid wrestling matches. I hope they go back to the three match format next week. There was also really nothing on the show that made Summerslam seem “must see.”

Matt Johnson thinks WWE needs to freshen up the product. Email Matt at mattjohnson62@yahoo.com.