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WWE Superstars - January 8, 2015

by Scrooge McSuck

- Welcome to a new year (NEW YEAR!) of WWE Superstars. Yes, technically January 1st was the first episode of Superstars, but also as a technicality, it was taped in 2014, so this is the true first TAPING from 2015 for 2015. How do you like that kind of effort into making an opening statement seem important? Like I mentioned in this week's recap of WWE Main Event, I’m going back to the heart of the WWE, the undercard, to find some decent, no-strings attached wrestling while Monday Night Raw keeps pushing me further and further away.

- Taped wherever the hell Monday Night Raw was broadcast from, with Renee Young and her cute lisp and Tom Phillips. WWE should give us the real montage of Superstars appearing in action for Superstars. We’re in luck… this is the 300th episode of WWE Superstars, modern version.

Jack Swagger vs. Titus O’Neil:

Wait… WHAT?! It’s a rematch from Main Event, but technically it happened first. That’s WCW logic right there, buddy! They take a lockup around the ring until Titus connects with a cheap knee in the corner. Swagger takes offense to this and unloads with knees of his own and some pie facing before dropping him with a short-arm clothesline. O’Neil quickly grabs the ropes to avoid a Patriot Lock attempt, and uses a leverage throw to send Swagger to the corner. Titus pounds away across the back and drives a series of shoulders to the midsection. Titus with a short-arm clothesline for barely a one count, then settles in with a chinlock. Swagger quickly fights to his feet, but Titus continues to punish him with clubberin’ blows. O’Neil goes for his body throw, but Swagger lands on his feet. Whip to the ropes, and Titus connects with a big boot for two. O’Neil with an avalanche for another two count. Swagger gets boots up on a charge attempt and rams the ankle against the post for good measure. Swagger clips the knee, goes for the Patriot Lock, center of the ring, and Titus taps out at 4:32. 50/50 booking! **1/2 Shorter than their Main Event match, but felt more together and more fun to watch. Will we get a rematch next week? Maybe.

- Courtesy of Monday Night Raw: The Authority returned to power, mocked John Cena, abused their… authority (har har), and basically wiped their ass with the Survivor Series stipulations less than two months later. I’m not too upset, but I find it funny that so many people were surprised by how quickly they came back. Seriously, “loser leaves” stipulations… not holding up? FOR SHAME! WWE always has enforced those.

- Highlight package for Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt… wait… FIRST EVER AMBULANCE MATCH ON MONDAY NIGHT RAW? Are you serious? I can automatically name one, between Kane and Edge, from 2005. I sure as shit know they’ve done more. I guess their Ambulance Match will be the final Chapter in their program that has dragged on a little too long, including that retarded finish from TLC where Dean Ambrose did his best Wile E. Coyote impression.

- We get a replay of the closing minutess of said Ambulance Match. The work was fine, but again, this angle really didn’t have much legs to stand on, had some ridiculous moments (the magic hologram lantern, the exploding TV), and just felt like it did more to hurt Dean Ambrose than help either man. Wyatt going over as clean as can be in this kind of match wouldn’t be such a bad thing except that it probably won’t lead to anything important. There’s rumors of a possible match at WrestleMania between Wyatt and the UNDERTAKER, but please, for the love of God… No. Undertaker lost, he’s done. Wyatt is NOT the opponent to get one last classic match out of him. Nowhere close to it.

Los Matadores (w/ El Torito) vs. Goldust & Stardust:

Despite being a thin roster when it comes to Tag Teams, it’s a shame Goldust and Stardust are back to being an afterthought. To be fair, the Ascension has made their debut, but I don’t feel like they’re being handled well, and don’t see them lasting long enough on the Main Roster. I’m going to say this every time I see him… but you got to give Cody Rhodes credit for committing to the gimmick. Goldust and Fernando start. Stardust quickly tags in and gets taken over with a hurricanrana. Whip to the ropes, and Diego comes in with a clothesline for a one count. Criss-cross sequence to the floor ends up with Los Matadores faking the Dust Brothers out with a teased plancha. We return from a quick break, with Diego unloading on Stardust with chops. Goldust with a distraction, allowing Stardust to lay him out from behind. Stardust with a front suplex and Goldust with an elbow drop for two. Diego fights out of a chinlock and takes Goldust over with a sunset flip for two. Goldust is up first, and quickly lays him out with a clothesline. Diego actually blocks Goldust’s signature uppercut, but gets caught with the snap powerslam. El Torito gets involved, allowing Diego to recover and plant Stardust with a one-man flapjack. Fernando with the hot tag, coming off the ropes with a diving elbow and clothesline. He heads to the top rope and connects with a somersault for two. Goldust and Diego take it to the floor, leaving Fernando and Stardust. Disaster Kick accidentally KO’s Goldust, and Diego rolls Stardust up for three at 6:31. ** Sluggish start, but picked up after we came back from the WWE Network commercial.

- Courtesy of Monday Night Raw: It’s John Cena Appreciation Night! The Authority did their best to mock John Cena before firing Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, and Ryback for their allegiance with Cena at the Survivor Series. Jeez, you don’t think that stipulation will hold for longer than a week, will you? Again, here’s the hypocritical nature of the smart audience… no one will REALLY complain about when they return from being terminated, but were quick to bitching about the return of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon.

Final Thoughts: I don’t know if it’s because of the WWE Roster being a little thinner than usual, but it’s weird to see them feature the same undercard match on their Network Exclusive Shows in the same week. The wrestling was decent for both the Swagger/O’Neil and Matadores/Dust Brothers matches, but the total time of actual wrestling was barely 10-minutes on a episode running over 50-minutes. We got decent recaps from Monday Night Raw, but I feel like they could easily add a third match, probably a squash of some kind with “local” talent, to pad things out. It used to work for Heat and Velocity when “unknowns” were used in the form of Bryan Danielson, CM Punk, A.J. Styles, and others. Why not do it now? Or use an NXT act or two. It’ll keep things fresh.

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