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WWE Superstars - September 13, 2012

by Scrooge McSuck

- Last week on Superstars, three Champions were in action, without a title on the line. Antonio Cesaro made short work of Justin Gabriel, Kofi Kingston and R-Truth took care of Epico and Primo, and Layla made Natalya look like a goober. Oh, and I think Damien Sandow beat some other scrub. Of course, the real news last week was the unfortunate health scare surrounding Jerry Lawler on live television. Thankfully everything seems to be all right, but I, and I'm sure plenty of others, had serious worries about what might've happened. When the lead broadcaster has to constantly tell us "this isn't part of the show", it reminds me of the days when WCW would do the "worked shoot" for serious situations to the point that we wouldn't believe it when something actually did happen.

- Josh Mathews, Matt Striker, and Scott Stanford are the rotating crew of Play-By-Play guys. I honestly don't know how this works anymore.

Justin Gabriel vs. Tensai (w/ Sakamoto):

I guess the newest saga of pushing Albert as something meaningful has finally been aborted. Gone is the wardrobe and frequent appearances in meaningful situations on Monday Night Raw, and welcome being allowed to squash Justin Gabriel. I guess we figured how low on the pole Gabriel is. I don't think he's won a match since I've started watching Superstars. Stanford mentions a previous encounter between these two in a MITB Qualifyer... wow. Gabriel goes low with a kick, and Tensai shoves him down. Gabriel with blows in the corner, followed by a spinning kick to the midsection. Criss-cross, Tensai sets up for a powerslam, but Gabriel struggles out. Tensai tosses him to the apron, then plows through him with a shoulder tackle. Tensai with a splash in the corner, followed by a short-arm clothesline and elbow drop. Tensai with elbows and headbutts in the corner, followed by a double-underhook suplex for a two count. He slaps on a nerve hold, which screams "I don't have anything worth a damn to do." Gabriel fights his way free and connects with a jaw buster. Tensai misses an elbow drop, and Gabriel with a school boy for two. Spinning heel kick to the face for another two count. He grabs a front facelock, but Tensai dumps him over the top rope. Gabriel responds with another kick to the head, and a springboard moonsault gets TWO! Gabriel with more kicks, but Tensai says "Screw this" and hits the double choke slam. Tensai with a senton splash, and that gets three at 4:13. Meh, the ending could've been a bit more built up, but Gabriel made a match out of it, even though the end result wasn't a no-doubter.

Santino Marella vs. Jinder Mahal:

I don't know who's going to win here... Marella, a former US Champion JTTS, or the modern day Tiger Ali Singh. Oh, WWE Night of Champions is sponsered by Dredd 3D. The crowd seems to be into Santino. He hammers away on Mahal to start. Mahal with a shove, and Marella scares him off with the Cobra pose. Do you think we'll see the Cobra tonight? Marella takes him over with a snapmare, and there's not a whole lot of action going on. Mahal wants a test-of-strength, and Marella goes to his knees almost immediately. That was his own fault, right there. Marella gets back to his feet, so Mahal boots him in the midsection. Whip to the ropes, and Marella does a power-walk, then surprises Mahal with a roll up for two. Whip to the ropes, and Marella misses a dropkick. Mahal with a charging elbow for two. Mahal with a knee across the chest, then settles into a rear chinlock. He connects with a clothesline for two, then chokes Marella across the middle rope. Slugfest won by Mahal, followed by a swinging neck breaker for two. He goes back to the chinlock, but only for a short moment. Marella battles back to his feet again, but gets taken down with a Russian leg sweep for two. Back to the chinlock. Marella escapes with a back suplex. Marella makes goofy faces and takes Mahal over with a hip toss. Marella with a diving headbutt, and he pulls out the sock! The Cobra Strike connects, and Marella is victorious at 5:49. I thought Marella had given up on using the Cobra sleeve over some goofy stuff having to do with Aksana? Oh well...

Alicia Fox vs. Natalya:

I'm NOT looking forward to this... who's Alicia Fox? I guess Striker and Mathews are calling the action the rest of the way through, with Striker having replaced Stanford. Does anyone really care about the Divas Division? I gave up on calling it the Women's, because they're all Divas, you know. Lockup to the ropes, as Mathews reminds us Kaitlyn won the #1 Contenders Battle Royal, because the chosen winner blew a spot and eliminated herself, forcing an on the fly decision. Natalya works the arm, and takes Fox over with a hammerlock. Fox counters with a head scissors, and no one cares. Nattie nips up to escape, and takes Foxd down with another hip toss. Nattie keeps going after the legs, but can't get anything done. She lands a well placed klick to the face, and takes her over with a monkey flip. Fox wants time, but they don't allow that in wrestling. She offers a handshake, but Nattie stomps the hand and offers a pair of bitch slaps. Roll up for two. Nattie continues the beating, but walks into a tilt-o-whirl back breaker. Fox returns the slap, and what is the deal with Nattie being spanked every week? Fox with a body scissors, but Natalya powers her way out. Fox lays her out with a clothesline, but misses a charging boot to the corner. Nattie sweeps the legs, and the Sharpshooter finishes it at 5:15. They are in Montreal, after all. This ended up being better than I anticipated, but I still don't care much for the Divas.

- Own the Rock vs. Cena: Once in a Lifetime 3-Disc DVD Set, TODAY! Interesting idea for a set, but I could think of some better angles and programs to give this kind of DVD set to. Andre vs. Hulk, anyone?

- Raw Rebound! Bret Hart is there, not only to look like he aged about 15-years, but to interview John Cena. He's calling Punk a paranoid little kid, needing gold and constant praise to prove his belief in being the best in the world. Punk gets in Bret Hart's face for whatever reason. Cena brings up Punk's winning the belt at Money In The Bank (2011), and how his promises to change the WWE went unaccomplished. In short, Cena and Punk don't like each other, and they're going to battle it out, once and for all, at Night Of Champions, this sunday night.

Zack Ryder vs. Cody Rhodes:

This is our main event of Superstars? Ryder's barely above Justin Gabriel on the Jobber Totem Pole. Apparently Rhodes is obsessed with regaining the Intercontinental Championship. Ryder considers himself the "Internet Champion", which is like saying "the geeks like me, but no one else does." Ryder lands a blow to the side of the face, and Rhodes sells it like he just got shot. Lockup, and Rhodes grabs an armbar. They go through a series of counters until Rhodes offers a bitch slap following a drop toe hold. Ryder retaliates with a forearm smash, sending Rhodes to the floor for a breather. Back inside, Ryder dumps Rhodes over the top, then takes him down with a one-man flap jack for two. Rhodes goes for a hip toss, but Ryder counters with his own, takes Rhodes over with a pair of arm drags, and locks on an armbar. Rhodes escapes, and takes Ryder down with a Russian leg sweep. He puts the boots to Ryder in the corner, but meets the buckle on a charge attempt. Ryder measures him up for a charging kick, but Rhodes rolls to the floor. He sweeps the legs and attempts to crotch him on the post, but Ryder counters, and comes off the top with a clothesline. Back inside, and Ryder covers for two.

We return from commercial break (a lengthy one hyping Del Rio/Sheamus), with Ryder missing the Koko B. Ware body press on the ropes. Has that move ever worked for anybody?! Ryder rolls back in, and quickly gets stomped on like Rhodes was trying to put a fire out. Rhodes with a front suplex for a two count. Whip to the ropes, and Ryder with a surprise roll up for two. Rhodes quickly lays him out with a clothesline, plays to the crowd, the finally covers for a two count. Rhodes locks on a modified crossface, but Ryder slips free and lands a series of blows to the midsection. Rhodes sends Ryder chest-first into the corner for two, then goes back to the crossface. Whip to the corner, and Ryder explodes out for a head colission, putting both men down. Ryder slams Rhodes face-first into the canvas, and charges into the corner with a forearm. He charges in with the boot to the face, but it only gets two. Rhodes with a shot to the midsection, followed by the Goldust bitch punch to the jaw. Rhodes scoops Ryder up, but he slips through for a sunset flip for two. Ryder with a neck breaker for two. Ryder goes for a hurricanrana, but Rhodes counters with a powerbomb for two. Rhodes runs into a pair of knees, and Ryder with a twirling clothesline for two. They go through a series of counters until Rhodes hits the Cross Rhodes, and that's all she wrote at 11:36 (including NOC Commercial). I'm glad they gave a match this much time, but it kind of fell flat. I wasn't feeling it, the crowd was barely into it, and Mathews and Striker seemed bored about it. It was OK, but it seemed like something that should've been much better.

Final Thoughts: This might've been my least favorite episode so far. The opener was good for "plucky underdog trying to overcome the evil monster heel", but everything else was just OK and/or inredibly boring. Rhodes/Ryder seemed to be going in slow motion, Santino Marella matches are just comedy bits that really take crap on the "suspending disbelief" aspect of wrestling, and yay, another Divas match. At least Nattie went over this time. Don't forget, Night of Champions is coming up! Order now!

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