November 19, 2010
Superstars: Superstars goes old school (at least partially)
By MATT JOHNSON - SLAM! Wrestling
WWE Raw going old school gave a glimpse of WWE needs. Fans need a different backdrop to the action. The Raw set has had gradual adaptations since 1997, but in general it feels the same. Just by having different lighting, ring ropes, referee uniforms, and inset interviews all of a sudden made wrestlers feel like major stars. It seemed like the announcers were not as anal about wrestling language as usual. Something about the traditional backdrop made it easier to focus attention on the stars.
It is time for Raw to become more raw. In the last few years it has been the antithesis of raw. It has been so squeaky clean and manufactured that it is almost impossible for fans to get emotionally involved and want to drop money on a pay-per-view. Sometimes wrestling is about trial and error. I would say WWE stumbled on to something. Now on to Superstars
Match #1 - JTG vs. Chavo Guerrero
This isnít professional, but I am not in the mood for a JTG match. The act has just gotten old. JTG is heavy on the offense in this one and gets a near fall after a Mug Shot. Chavo tries the three amigos, but only hits two. Chavo wins this baby with a Frog Splash and a pin.
Winner via pinfall: Chavo Guerrero
Video airs of Wrestlemania tickets going on sale in Atlanta. The mayor gives a backhanded compliment to WWE.
Match #2 Ė Curt Hawkins vs. Trent Baretta
Here is another match that is less than newsworthy. Baretta goes on offense early but goes flying over the top rope, putting Hawkins in control. Hawkins applies a chinlock as the crowd pushes for Trent to break out. Trent fights his way out and hits a springboard dropkick. Trent hits a Frankensteiner off the top rope and a DDT for the win.
Winner via pinfall: Trent Baretta
The Smackdown vs. Raw video game plug airs. I think that the video game is actually a tool that can be used to introduce high school and college students to the product. I hve heard of kids getting to know the characters from the game and then all of a sudden it was not an embarrassment to actually watch them on television.
Match #3 Ė Yoshi Tatsu vs. Primo
Yes, this match is using the old school stage! It is immediately less boring than the first two matches on this show. They seriously need to just use a version of this set regularly. Typical action between these two. Watch Superstars more often if you arenít familiar. There is a commercial break in the middle.
C.M. Punks high fives Primo after Primo jumps through the middle rope, choking Yoshi. Punk rips on the new announcer. The new announcer is a tool. Punk is actually really entertaining. Primo tries a superplex, but Yoshi headbutts his way out and hits a kick from the top rope and gets the pin.
Winner via pinfall: Yoshi Tatsu
Mean Gene does the old school update where he pushes merchandise.
A pretty cool video airs promoting the Survivor Series. Roddy Piper really sold the main event on Raw. I havenít seen that type of sales job in years. Literally. For some reason it was not on the video.
Match #4 Ė Melina & Gail Kim vs. Maryse & Alicia Fox
The main event is the Divas wrestling on the old school set. Punk continues to be awesome. The announcer does a Mean Gene impression. This announcer is like the crazy substitute teacher everyone had in high school.
Alicia applies a headlock on Gail for several minutes. Melina and Maryse tag in and Melina is on fire. OK, this match has the most random ending I have ever seen. All of a sudden Melina just rolls up Maryse.
Winner via pinfall: Melina & Gail Kim
This show is better than normal because they include the old school set for two of the matches. I donít think they should main event with the Divas, unless they can put on something more significant than that. It was difficult to remember who was in the match 5 minutes after it ended. Mild thumbs up based on the set. Check out my Twitter page. I am going to start updating it regularly with wrestling tweets.
Matt Johnson is going to start posting new things on Twitter. Join him at: http://twitter.com/mattjohnsonSLAM. Email Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org.