Cool touch that the first time the theme song says "it's the dawn of a new day" there's a shot of The Shield putting their fists together after a victory.
Titus O'Neil defeats Tensai
in approximately seven minutes via pinfall
• It's interesting that his intro graphic still says Tensai, as I thought they had officially changed him to Sweet T. His tracksuit is monogrammed "ST", but I guess that's less expensive - or maybe Matt Bloom himself is in charge of that. Speaking of who's in charge of what - who paints those characters on his face every day? Are they greasepaint of some kind of temporary tattoos? Do they stay on for days at a time? Do we know what those mean?
• We get the obligatory hoss fight stalemate of strength. After several shoulder blocks fail to fell either man, Titus looks pissed while Tensai just smiles. O'Neil takes charge for a second with a slam and leg drop, but Sweet T dumps him to the floor with a release German suplex and we hit the break after about a minute of action.
• Next time they're on the floor, Darren Young looks to interfere, but Brodus Clay stares him off. Babyface entourages (the Funkadactyls are also cornering Tensai) make everybody involved look dumb. More on that in a minute...
• T gets cut somewhere on the face - bridge of his nose, I think - and we don't switch to black and white! Superstars is adult programming, y'all. That's why we get the dancing dinosaurs and Japanese lords versus the locker room bullies.
• Titus dominates for a few minutes in a pretty deliberate fashion. I want to like the guy, but his workrate doesn't do him any favors. Tensai can actually carry a match when he has to (as in, all of his tag matches under the Tons of Funk gimmick), but he's having trouble getting this one out of the "crap" range. After punching out of an arm-in headlock rest hold, Sweet T sets into his finishing sequence. But after a running knee (done in place of the cannonball), Young jumps up on the apron and the former Albert has to chase him off.
• A big boot from Tensai seems to signal the end, but Brodus Clay only now decides to plead with the referee about DY's interference from earlier. That distraction allows Young to nail Sweet T with a few punches when he goes up top for a splash, allowing Titus to push him off the ropes (and that's not me being lazy or not knowing what to call a maneuver - he actually just uses one hand to nudge him and Tensai does the rest) and get a pinfall victory.
• Brodus Clay, ladies and gentlemen. Worst tag partner ever.
A Raw Rebound version of the opening Vince/HHH (and, oh hey, Curtis Axel was there) segment and subsequent family staredown with Steph, followed by Daniel Bryan vs Seth Rollins. The DB replay is easily my favorite part of this show. It should get it's own entrance music, something like Henry Mancini's Theme from Viewer Mail.
I also notice that they stay in color for DB's split lip - Superstars is X-Treme!
There's also this, which I just couldn't wait to share with you guys...
Heath Slater defeats Zack Ryder
in approximately four minutes via pinfall
• Zack has on his serious new pants. And his seriously dumb haircut. Really, who told him dyed blonde Lloyd Christmas was a look that was going to get him to the main event? He manages to get a small "woo, woo, woo" chant going, but you can't have it both ways, man. Either you're for realz or you're a spaz.
• 3MB escorts the former one-man band to the ring. If we exclude Bryan's one night as a member, Slater and Skip Sheffield are the Nexus members who get the most air time. What kind of odds could you have gotten on that back in 2010?
• Heath ducks his head under the ropes to avoid an early Ryder attack, and then gloats way too much over a successful takedown. He's really everything an undercard heel should be. Ryder sells really well, and if his offense were a bit more convincing and he could tweak his character into something fresh, he'd be a great midcard face. That might be too many "if"s at this point, though.
• I think Ryder does three facebusters in a four minute match. After one of them, he sets up for a Broski boot but Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre both jump up to distract him. He runs them off, but when he goes back for the boot, Slater is able to recover enough to move and finish with the Smash Hit and escape with a win.
A recap package for the John Cena vs Ryback feud (after two other commercials for their Payback match and more Tony Dawson and Matt Striker chatter about it than we got for the actual bouts on the show) closes us out.
Did I watch the right show? Heels win on Superstars! It is a new WWE!
The matches were still pretty much pointless, with out of nowhere finishes and some noctambulistic performances. D feels like a fair grade; I can't recommend this unless you're really bored or a Slater superfan.
Let us know what you think in the comments below!