Sorry to miss last week, dear readers. But the draw of the sand & surf was too much for even as quality an internet program as Superstars to overcome.
I can't leave the HuluPlus show alone for a minute, though. If I do, Alex Riley might replace Matt Striker and turn out to be even worse commentator than he is a wrestler. And a certain Brit might step into Michael McGillicutty's boots as Mr. Superstars...
Wade Barrett defeats Zack Ryder
in approximately eight and a half minutes via pinfall
• Yes, last week The Miz officially kicked the former Nexus leader out of the Intercontinental title picture. And with his second straight appearance at the top of the Thursday streaming staple, he looks to have found his niche. Poor bastard...
• A-Ry actually says that Wade lacks personality. I sure hope he gets bare-knuckle brawled in the back for that. He prattles on quite a bit about how Ryder revolutionized sports entertainment, too. Kind of true, but ignoring where it got Iced Z takes a decent point and de-legitimizes it by only looking at part of it. Be careful what you kind of shoot about there, announcer boy.
• The first part of the match is pretty boring, with Barrett in control via strikes with occasional bursts of acrobatics from Zack. The long-pantsed babyface looks to take charge with a flapjack and dropkick that forces the Brit to the floor as we head to break, but when we come back, he's back in a chinlock.
• Pumphandle slam gets two for the leader of the Barrage, as does hanging his opponent off the top rope for some clubbing blows and a stiff looking kick. After some rest holds, Ryder slams Wade face first to the mat off of a whip and a missile dropkick from the 2nd rope earns him a nearfall.
• After a nifty sequence where Barrett dodges a Broski Boot only to have the former Internet champion snap his neck over the top rope before landing a modified version of the move, Wade ducks under a Ruff Ryder and nails the Bullhammer elbow for the victory.
• Well, if he is the new Mr. Superstars, at least he wins...unlike his predecessor.
The jaw-a-thon between the competitors for the red briefcase is our first recap, followed by the majority of Kane vs. Randy Orton with Dan Bryan as special guest referee.
Natalya defeats Naomi
in approximately four and a half minutes via submission
• Natty is escorted to the ring by Eva Marie from E!'s Total Divas. The inclusion of 2012 Powertec Fashion Model winner Natalia Eva Marie and singer/dancer Jo-Jo Offerman in the push surrounding the reality show rather than any of the wrestlers training down in Florida does not fill me with hope for women's wrestling in WWE.
• This one starts out as face vs. face, and the women trade takedowns and armbars. We eventually get to running the ropes and Naomi's patented rump bump spot. I was looking forward to this match when they came down the ramp, but that was so deliberately set-up that it sucked a good deal of the enthusiasm right out of me.
• Tony Dawson talks up Neidhart's marriage to Tyson Kidd. So if nothing else comes of this reality show, at least Natalya won't have to pretend to be Khali's love buddy anymore.
• After a delayed vertical suplex, Natty does her old sitting on her opponent's mid-section pin attempt. It only gets a one count, but it briefly makes her look like the bad girl. After that, she gets Naomi in an insane looking octopus abdominal stretch. It's in the clip below, but here's a picture too:
• The Funkadactyl manages to elbow her way out of that, and follows that up with a drop kick. The blonde rolls out so she can confer with the model with no wrestling experience (don't ask me). Naomi holds the ropes so she can get back in, and then offers her hand, because, everyone should shake hands mid-match, right? Cameron's partner continues her Superstars-only heel turn by dropping Natalya for a roll-up attempt during the show of good sportswomanship.
• Naomi flies around like only she can, hitting a 360° neckbreaker and a hurricanrana. But when she goes for an enziguri, the Canadian catches a leg and locks in the Sharpshooter. The cheerleader almost makes the ropes, but is dragged back to the center of the ring and forced to tap.
• They did a good job salvaging the match after a rocky start, but the schizophrenic treatment of their characters isn't making their jobs any easier.
And we cruise on out with a package of the champion vs. champion match and Mark Henry vs. John Cena build.
Maybe it was the week off, but even Riley didn't totally ruin this for me. Everybody was working hard and delivered what they could in the time allowed and with no backstory. This was a solid C.
Anybody else spending their holiday watching wrestling online? What the heck happened to Wade Barrett? Let's hear from you in the comments!