The former main eventer from Mexico facing down three amigos, the Funkasaurus' cheerleaders borrowing his spotlight and a whole lot of 'Raw' were ingredients in this week's 'Superstars'. It made for a surprisingly okay meal. Let's see what our judges thought.
Adelitas Way is kicking, wrestlers faces are spinning - it must be time for Superstars on HuluPlus!
The other original WWE program that comes to us via the streaming service has been really hit or miss lately. Featuring two matches with mid-card (or lower) roster members mixed in with segments from the company's Monday night flagship you'll probably see several times if you watch their shows on cable or internet-based channels, Superstars in 2013 has swung from fun to near unwatchable on a week-to-week basis.
Where did the Feb. 21st edition fall on the scale? Based on who was announced by Tony Dawson and Matt Striker (or, heck, the fact that the first voices we hear belong to those two), you'll probably be as surprised as I was.
Sin Cara defeats Drew McIntyre
in approximately eleven minutes via pinfall
• Sin Cara blanco tonight, so he really looks like Mistico. Our commentators bring up that the faceless one is being lauded for his toughness backstage following his entry into the Hall of Pain on Raw. Not sure how piped in it is, but the crowd sounds hot for him.
• Drew is out with both of his bandmates. He actually comes out on Heath Slater's flank, so it appears as if he and Jinder Mahal are accompanying the red-head out for a match. Pretty amazing that Vince's chosen one is second fiddle to a guy most thought was a spare part of Nexus. But it's the right pecking order now, and Slater's performance as bad guy manager in this one backs up.
• Has Sin Cara always used body language and pidgin signing to communicate? He does it a lot in this match, including at the start where he holds up three fingers and gestures at 3MB, then one finger, looks around and shrugs before charging McIntyre. It helps a lot to give him some character and a way to connect to him as the technico.
• Fast-paced match that features a good mix of lucha libre style aerial and gymnastic maneuvers mixed in with lock-ups and brawling from McIntyre. The Scotsman deserves credit for looking good while beating down the smaller man and assisting in making transitions into the luchador's more unorthodox attacks look pretty realistic.
• Mahal doesn't do too much but assist in the heels' numerical advantage, but Slater is really drawing heat and having fun doing it. There's a quick cutaway after he pulls Sin Cara's feet out from under him where he's strutting away and throws the camera a faux-innocent "What?" smirk that is money. Mouth of the South 2.0, bay-bee!
• Toward the end, McIntyre and Slater catch a leaping Cara on the outside and carry him around to play air guitar for a second. Mahal attempts to interfere soon after, and that finally causes the referee to toss the non-competing members of the band.
• After bringing the larger man down with a drop kick on his knee, Sin Cara hits what needs to be his new finisher. This noob wrote it down as "head scissor enziguri face slam". Striker called it tilt-a-whirl piledriver. Whatever is it or ends up being called, it looked nasty and earned el hombre enmascarado the victory. WWE has only been posting Superstars highlights on their website, so I can't embed it here. But I'll link to it in the comments when I find it.
Our first two Raw segments are John Cena and CM Punk's promos from the start of the Feb. 18th show, and the bit which sets up Vince McMahon versus Paul Heyman. They're really pushing next week's episode.
Cameron and Naomi defeat Alicia Fox and Natalya
in approximately five minutes via pinfall when Naomi pins Fox
• Brodus Clay dances out with the ladies, and the goodwill the show had earned for the solid opener started to fizzle out. But then Dawson introduces Divas tag action and I'm back in. Naomi has been looking good (athletically speaking - get your minds out of the gutter), and if Superstars becomes a place where they show women's matches...well, that sucks since it would further put the women on the periphery. But it gives me something I'm interested in seeing every week.
• What's the only thing more random than a WWE tag pairing? A WWE Diva's tag pairing! The 'dactyls are facing the made-up team of former champs Natalya and Alicia Fox. Like Natty last week, these ladies don't know if they're supposed to be faces or heels. They're smiling and high-fiving fans on their way in. Those fans don't seem to care, by the way. And either the audio mix can't help or the production truck can't even be bothered to mess with the crowd noise on this one.
• Ms Neidhart and Cameron start it off, with the latter showing off some acrobatics before she gets caught. The Canadian switches to heel mode pretty quickly. She keeps her smile but responds to some offense by saying "that wasn't funny" and launching her own assault. We hear Brodus say "that is soooo ghetto" at ringside after Natalya turns the cheerleader inside out with a lariat. Everything about that makes me laugh. Don't judge me.
• Decent little tag match develops. Cameron plays the face in peril well, Fox's offense looks pretty good and the crowd could not give two shizzles. You can hear Clay shaking the pom-poms at ringside.
• Once Cameron gets to the corner for the tag, Naomi is all over the competition. Most of her offense involves her butt. It is a nice butt, but... After a near fall that is broken up by Natty, Cameron clears the blonde from the ring. Her partner swings to the outside off an Irish whip, leaps to the top rope and fells Fox with a crossbody for the win.
• The end, like the match, was botch-free but everything took too long to set-up and dulled the impact. Still, I'd be interested in seeing if Fox and Naomi can get better. I just hope Natalya comes out of her time in WWE a millionaire, because the way they utilize her hurts my soul.
We only have time for a "Raw Rebound" package of the new belt reveal and show close with The Rock, Cena and Punk. That's what happens when you actually give the wrestling some time.
My expectations for Superstars - especially one where I see Sin Cara and the Funkasaurus enter - are pretty low. That probably works to the show's benefit when they manage to not have multiple Great Kahli matches.
Whatever, I enjoyed this week's show and have some hope for the former Mistico's future in the States for the first time in a long time. Let's call it a B-.
Is there hope for a masked man not named El Generico in the WWE of tomorrow? What do you think about Superstars being home to weekly women's wrestling? The comments are there for your thoughts on those questions or whatever else our little ramblings bring to your mind, Cagesiders!