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WWE Superstars - September 6, 2012

by Scrooge McSuck

- Last week on WWE Superstars, Jinder Mahal made beating Alex Riley look easy, Ryback fed some more by plowing through Johnny Curtis, the Usos jobbed like Champions to Epico and Primo in a lackluster showing, and if you didn't watch it on Raw, CM Punk burned Jerry Lawler, then proceeded to beat him to a pulp in a Steel Cage Match. What's in store for us this week? What happened on Raw that is worthy enough for a Raw Rewind? Will Smackdown ever feature anything noteworthy ever again?

- Our Play-by-Play team is the usual rotation of Josh Mathews, Matt Striker, and Scott Stanford, depending on a flip of the coin, I assume.

Justin Gabriel vs. Antonio Cesaro (US Champion) (w/ Aksana):

Last week on Raw, Cesaro successfully defended the title against Santino Marella, including no-selling the Cobra Strike (minus the sock, of course), to further bury Marella as a contender. I think Aksana's only purpose is to remind us that Cesaro can speak many languages, say the name of the language, and to fawn over him. Interesting gimmick, I guess. Last we saw Gabriel, he did the job to Cody Rhodes in a fairly solid match. Lockup, and Cesaro with a hip toss for an early near fall. Cesaro escapes a wristlock with an overhead throw, then goes to work on the left arm. Gabriel counters, and Cesaro quickly hooks the ropes to force the break. Cesaro with a headlock, followed by a shoulder block. Criss-cross sequence leads to Gabriel connecting with a dropkick. He counters a hip toss with a spinning heel trip (MK Style), takes Cesaro over with a monkey flip, but a body press from the middle rope has him land on the knees. Cesaro pounds away on the midsection, then drives a knee high into the chest for a two count. Cesaro with a modified surfboard, and another knee lift gets two. He slams Gabriel across the turnbuckle, then charges in with a punt for another two count. Cesaro slaps on a chicken wing as the crowd chants USA... even Mathews points out they can't be chanting for the South African Justin Gabriel. Speaking of Gabriel, he manages to take Cesaro down, but a springboard moonsault meets the knees, allowing Cesaro to cover for a pair of two counts.

We return from commercial break, with Cesaro stomping away at the midsection. Gabriel offers a few shots, but Cesaro lays him out, then throws him over with a gutwrench for another near fall. Cesaro settles into a chinlock, but it doesn't last long. Whip to the ropes, and now Cesaro slaps on an abdominal stretch. Matt Striker makes a Baltimore Orioles reference somehow. Oh, and yes, Cesaro did use the ropes for extra leverage. Gabriel escapes with a hip toss, but Cesaro is still solidly in control, and does the Kevin Sullivan-style double stomp to the chest not once, not twice, but thrice. That only gets two, so it's back to the rear chinlock. Slugfest won by Gabriel, followed by a spinning heel kick and back-handed forearm. He springboards into the ring with a body press, but that only gets two. He heads to the top rope, has to call an audible, and ends up being thrown into the air and nailed with a forearm uppercut. Cesaro with the Neutralizer, and that's enough for the victory at 8:23. Solid match, felt more like an extended squash than anything else. Cesaro maintained control for most of the match, and Gabriel's offense was sporadic at best. Still better than most of the stuff I've seen on Raw, lately.

- WWE Did You Know... Last Friday's Smackdown was SyFy's most watched regularly scheduled program for the 100th week in a row.

Layla (Divas Champion) vs. Natalya:

You want to know how long it's been since I've regularly watched WWE? Layla was just eye candy as part of ECW's Extreme Expose. Natalya's entrance music intro is probably going to be the high spot of the match. Hopefully they dropped the farting gimmick with her. Natalya ducks under a lockup and takes Layala down. Natalya with a fireman's carry takedown. Layla counters with a head scissors, but Natalya kips up to escape. Shoving match, followed by a bunch of stuff. Layla with a springboard body press, but Natalya rolls through. They fight over a roll up, leading to Layla connecting with a dropkick. Layla gets funky, then spanks Natalya on the butt. You know, for kids. Natalya with a handful of hair to slam Layla down to the canvas, then locks her in a Body Vice. Layla falls out, so Natalya levels her with a spinning clothesline for a two count. Natalya with a back breaker, then holds onto it with a submission hold. Layla with boots to the side of the head to escape, but Natalya keeps control and takes her over with a snap suplex for two. Layla with forearms, but a charge to the corner meets an elbow. Layla continues to show fire, and a roundhouse kick wins it seemingly out of nowhere at 4:21. For women... er... Diva's Wrestling, I've seen much, much, much, MUCH worse. This was damn near watchable, which is practically Women's Match of the Year territory.

Alex Riley vs. Damien Sandow:

It's too bad Matt Striker isn't an active wrestler... imagine a horrible program between him and Sandow over education vs. intelligence. Sandow keeps riding the "I'm your Martyr" shtick, thanks to the beatdown from D-Generation X on Raw 1000. Over under for name dropping the A-Ry nickname: 15 times. Any takers? Stanford and Striker are on the call now, by the way. Stanford reminds us of Riley's defeat at the hands of Mahal last week... WHA?!?! Sandow quickly takes a hike to frustrate Riley. Back in the ring, Riley takes Sandow over with a hip toss, then mounts him in the corner for punching. For the first time in forever, Sandow simply creeps out from under and kicks Riley down, then lays a mudhole stomping in him for a two count. Sandow with a hard knee to the back, then slaps on a chicken-wing. Riley quickly fights free, but Sandow is right on him with a knee to the chest, followed by a Russian leg sweep. Sandow with the elbow of disdain for a two count. He removes the knee pad for a knee drop, but it misses. Riley hammers away with rights, then catches Sandow coming off the ropes with clotheslines. Criss-cross, and Riley with a spinebuster for two. Riley sets up for a DDT, but Sandow rams him to the buckle to escape. Riley to the top rope, and a clothesline gets 2.998. Sandow escapes from the Samoan drop position, and rolls to the apron. He hangs Riley up across the top rope, and connects with the Regal neckbreaker for the three count at 4:13. Too short, but was fun for what there was. Sandow celebrates his victory with a perfectly executed carthweel. Thank you, Lanny.

- Last Week on WWE Monday Night Raw... C.M. Punk brutally assaulted Jerry Lawler, again, then called it a "Personal Day" to avoid having to wrestle Sheamus in a midcard Champion vs. Champion match. Later in the night, John Cena fought Alberto Del Rio in a Falls Count Anywhere Match, lasting about 5-minutes too long, until Punk interfered, costing Cena the match. To close out the show, it was revealed that C.M. Punk has some sort of a relationship with Paul Heyman. Interesting choice. I wonder where they'll go with that one? All in all, Raw wasn't too bad, and again, I must mention a horribly goofy angle with Daniel Bryan and Kane being forced to "Hug It Out" thanks to the WWE Universe fan poll. I hope this leads to some sort of bizarre Tag Team Title run for the two of them.

- This Monday, Bret "Hitman" Hart returns to Montreal for the first time in 15 Years. Holy crap, how I can I not watch that? Oh wait, Monday Night Football. Well played, WWE...

R-Truth & Kofi Kingston (Tag Team Champs) vs. Epico & Primo (w/ Rosa Mendes):

Nice to see that Epico and Primo get to face the Champions after going over the Usos last week, but I don't think this is for the Championships. With "Night of Champions" coming up, it's cool to see three champions represented on Superstars this week, even if all of them are Non-Title Matches. Truth and Primo start by playing a game of "Play The Crowd For Response." Truth takes him down with a tackle, then lays into him with rights. Whip to the ropes, and R-Truth with a shoulder block. Criss-cross, and R-Truth with a clothesline. Kingston tags in and comes off the top with a diving forearm for a two count. He slaps on a headlock, but Primo fights through to lock on his own. Whip to the ropes, and Primo with the shoulder. Stanford mentions the Epico/Primo victory last week for possible contention for a title shot. Kingston with a head scissors takedown, and now it's Epico's turn to be treated like garbage. Kofi takes him over with a monkey flip for a two count. Whip to the ropes, and the Champs with a double hip toss. R-Truth gets down before hitting a leg drop for a two count. Epico begs him off, then throws R-Truth to the floor like the punk he is. Back inside, and Epico with the somersault splash from the apron. Primo tags in, and splashes Truth across the middle rope for a two count. Primo slaps on a chinlock as we reference JOHNNY RODZ. Wasn't that (one of) Striker's trainer(s)? Primo takes Truth down with a drop toe hold, and Epico comes in with an elbow drop for two. Truth offers a comeback, but he sandwiches himself between them, and Primo lays him out with a dropkick for two. Primo with rights, and it's back to the chinlock. Truth comes back with a side heel kick from out of nowhere. Kingston gets the hot tag, and quickly lays out Epico with forearms. Kofi with a dropkick, followed by a high elevation forearm to the chest. He comes off the ropes with a double leg drop across the chest. Kofi signals for the end, but Epico counters. Kofi with a twisting body press for a two count. Primo breaks the count, then gets dumped for it. Kofi with a running enziguri on Epico, and the three count is academic at 7:33. Good match, way, way better showing for Epico and Primo than their stinker last week versus the Usos. My faith in them has been restored for future viewings. Kofi and Truth are wasted talent for the Tag Division, but I guess it could be worse.

Final Thoughts: Thoroughly enjoyable show this week. Three different Championships were represented, which is always a nice change for the B-Show's where it's usually undercard fodder that get the featured treatment. Everything featured ranges from pretty good (Cesaro/Gabriel) to at least watchable (Layla/Natalya), so there isn't anything that's going to make you groan. Rounding out the card was a solid tag team main event, and Sandow/Riley had it's own charm. Once again, the Raw Rebound was a good look into what really mattered on Raw, filtering the 3-4 minutes of really awesome out of the 3 hour run time. Next week is the final show before Night Of Champions. Will we see a title match? Champions? Or another chance for A-Ry to do the Job? Until next time...

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