HuluPlus brought us another ten or fifteen minutes of original sports entertainment programming on Feb. 14, 2013 in the form of another episode of WWE Superstars.
Those were packed in with many of the same replays that our own C. J. Bradford was so thrilled with on Wednesday night (Feb. 13). I mentioned it in that thread, but does WWE have data that shows that airing the same segments three or four times a week draws eyeballs? I imagine they must, but I still find it shocking that anyone who seeks out Superstars hasn't seen Raw in some form, or won't see Smackdown.
Alas, it is what it is.
The Prime Time Players entrance is blaring and Titus O'Neil has a whistle and a microphone, so things ain't all bad.
O'Neil delivers a good but rote heel promo focused on his athletic career at the University of Florida and their history of success against the schools of Tennessee (so I guess this match was filmed Monday night in Nashville).
Justin Gabriel defeats Titus O'Neil
in approximately seven minutes via pinfall
• Gabriel gets a decent babyface pop. He tries to work that by mocking the "Millions of Dollars" dance and stuns the crowd into an awkward silence.
• Our usual Superstars booth crew of Tony Dawson and Matt Striker do a couple of good things right off the bat. They put over the Big Show's WMD punch to Striker from Raw. Then, they continue the recent trend of providing backstory to the match by saying that it was made after the South African and Peyton Manning fan spoke up for the Tennessee Volunteers alum during one of O'Neil's tirades about Florida's football dominance. It's cheesy, but I'd rather have corny backstory than none at all.
• Typical match structure to start, as the Werewolf of Capetown dodges and dances past the big man's offense including the obligatory spot on the floor to lead into commercial. Titus turns the high flier inside out on a clothesline to establish dominance.
• O'Neil remains in control for the bulk of the contest and looks great with an array of moves including a spinning side slam, a backbreaker/overhead toss combo, elbows to the kidneys and European uppercuts to the back of the head. It's not a long match by any stretch, but I think there was only one rest hold. The PTPer can flat out go.
• Charles Robinson warms this ref mark's heart by reacting to every move the boys make: awe for Titus' power and shock at Justin's comeback attempts. A couple of the latter are thwarted in cool spots; most notably one where the former defensive back catches the daredevil with a boot to the face when he leaps to the top rope from the apron.
• Good triumphs over evil, however, when the International Airstriker connects on an enziguri from the outside and quickly capitalizes with his 450° splash finisher for the three count.
It's Raw recap time (part 1)! All of the Shenaback squash of 3MB is shown, followed by The Shield promo and brawl. It's been said a lot already, but, my goodness, do all three men nail there performances in that Shield segment.
Hey, look! It's the women's titleholder!
Kaitlyn defeats Natalya
in approximately three and a half minutes via pinfall
• Everyone is all smiles here, so it looks like it's face v face. Natty does try to act a little cocky, though. Just enough to make you really depressed about how they use her.
• Speaking of which, Dawson talks a lot about her Valentine's Day date with Khali. There was hot yoga and a candlelight dinner. I...don't have words.
• The ladies work an enjoyable almost-comedy match for a minute. They grapple, respectfully break holds and when the Anvil's baby girl goes for the first pin she does so by sitting on Kaitlyn and laughing when she's bucked off.
• Anytime Kaitlyn has to do anything other than hold her opponent, things look in danger of going wrong. There are a couple of sharpshooter attempts where Natalya has to do all the selling of both trying to apply the hold and how it's being fought off. The roll-up counters look even worse.
• No sooner does Dawson shift the narrative from the Punjabi playboy's V-Day mack attack to the Chickbuster's idolatry of Goldberg then we get a slam and a spear and the champ wins.
The show wraps with the full Rock promo, brawl with CM Punk, belt theft overrun.
The horse is dead, but I liked Rock's promo because it was self-effacing enough to connect him to "the people" despite the fact that he's a huge Hollywood star slumming it part time in a wrestling ring (the bar/crackhead/car story), put over the belt (working fairgrounds matches with the dream of being champ) and set-up Sunday (responding to the Vince/Heyman stipulations with "Just Bring It").
The best part was when, in response to Rocky's dig about Stephanie Meyer teen novels, Punk mouthed to Paul Heyman, "I haven't seen Twilight".
Sorry, it's easy to get to thinking about Raw when you watch Superstars, since it's 75% of the runtime.
The show that this post is supposed to be about gets a C- from me this week. I quite enjoyed the O'Neil - Gabriel match, and, yeah...
What about y'all? Anything strike your fancy? Just want to praise Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins, or argue about Dwayne Johnson?
The floor is yours.