Commentators: Scott Stanford, Josh Matthews & Matt Striker
Championship's roll call: WWE Champion: CM Punk… World Champion: Sheamus… Intercontinental Champion: The Miz… United States Champion: Antonio Cesaro… Tag Team Champions: Kane & Daniel Bryan… NXT Champion: Seth Rollins… Diva's Champion: Eve Torres
Yoshi Tatsu vs. Heath Slater (w/Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre): I guess the Mahal/McIntyre match last week was a subterfuge. I like the stable too. Yoshi gets a full entrance too so I get to hear his music. He shoves Tatsu and does the air guitar taunt. Yoshi get a schoolboy and leaps off the second rope with a unique looking armdrag cradle move. Tatsu hits a Japanese armdrag and a dropkick. Mahal walks up the ring steps and stomps his feet drawing Tatsu and the ref over; Heath takes the advantage and beats Tatsu up in the ropes. Slater applies a chinlock as the commentators ponder the alliance. Tatsu tries to mount a comeback but runs into a leg lariat. Slater hits the Elvis Knee Drop and gets two. He gets approval from his stable and reapplies a chinlock. Tatsu tries a mini comeback but misses a splash in the corner and then my feed glitches out and starts back up with a Slater victory. Post-match, Slater and the band celebrate. 5/10 Since I cannot really rate the match clearly because it was incomplete, I'll rate the stable. I like "The Band" or whatever the WWE is going to call these three. As long as they stick with it and do not turn them into a "jobber squad"; I'm not saying they should be pinning Randy Orton or anything like that but they should be, at least, competitive in the midcard ranks. The WWE should shoot a bunch of skits of this stable playing Rock Band 3, yeah I know it is a bit silly but Slater (if he is the leader) is more of a whimsical heel as opposed to a mean one. The match was a squash BTW and I got to hear Yoshi's music so it's all good.
Here is your winner… Heath Slater @ about 5:00 (what I saw) via pinfall.
Ted Dibiase vs. Michael McGillicutty: I have to say McGillicutty is growing on me having watched NXT for the past few months. Scott Stanford (who rules, gotta support NY sports broadcasters) throws out an interesting factoid that the last time these two shared a ring together was McGillicutty's in-ring debut (on NXT) when they teamed. Not quite sure if that is true since McGillicutty's pro on NXT was Kofi Kingston, he probably would have teamed with him in his debut; don't have a lot of time to research it. If anyone knows let me know. McGillicutty hits an armdrag and laughs about it. They lock up again and McGillicutty backs him in the corner and slaps him; Dibiase twists him around and beats him up. Michael reverses a cross-corner whip but misses a splash in the corner. He does not hit the post like his father would have but he sells it nicely, striking his face on the turnbuckle pad, regardless. Dibiase kicks his leg and McGillicutty does a complete reverse flip sell. THAT'S an oversell that daddy is smiling down from Heaven; or perhaps he is already reborn in Dolph Ziggler. Ted knocks him to the floor and hits his new favorite move: the topé. Back in the ring, Dibiase walks right into a flapjack onto the top rope. McGillicutty stomps the yard in the corner and chokes him with the boot. He hits a Hennig standing dropkick and then slaps on a chinlock. Dibiase breaks out of the hold and hits that Dibiase Lariat and a spinebuster, for two. He looks for Dream Street but McGillicutty counters and heads to the corner where a Dibiase charge meets boot; Michael leaps off the ropes and lands right into a dropkick. Ted rolls over to garner a nearfall. McGillicutty still has the wherewithal to counter a whip into a backdrop suplex. Dibiase blocks another backdrop suplex and hits Dream Street shortly after for the three. 4.5/10 Extended squash for Dibiase; if you really want to see what McGillicutty can do with an equally carded wrestler watch NXT, he's pretty good and not as boring as I initially thought. I'll give Ted this, the crowds like him; I think he'd be better suited (for right now) in a heel tag team with his brother. With the tag renaissance, and more focus on the tag titles, lower midcarders can pave their way to stardom through a tag team. The way it used to be in the eighties and nineties. (See examples: Hart, Bret and Michaels, Shawn).
Here is your winner… Ted Dibiase @ about 7:25 via Dream Street pinfall.
Layla vs. Eve Torres: Eve is the Diva's Champion but it's a non-title match. The commentators try to make sense out of the whole Eve/Kaitlyn storyline. I like Eve's music. Matt Striker makes me laugh blaming one of the Beverly Brothers for Kaitlyn's attack, seeing as they are blonde and all. I think they've dropped the "Torres" from her name. Layla works the arm and Eve cartwheels free; Layla reverses again and Torres tries a sunset flip but Eve Mysterios her and hits a low dropkick. Eve looks mad but smiles and offers a handshake; Layla smartly does not reciprocate and applies a side headlock. Eve fires her off the ropes and they trade a pair of athletic nearfalls. Layla goes back to the chinlock and then an arm wringer. Torres reverses and sends Layla to the floor, backwards, in a very awkward looking tumble onto the back of her head. Layla recovers awfully quickly (like three seconds) to pop back up on the apron and avoid a Torres charge. Back in the ring, Layla misses the Nasty Kick but hits a shuffle side kick on the rebound. She tries her bouncing crossbody but Eve kicks her leg out of her leg and Layla splats. Torres now gets really aggressive and munt punches the crap out of her; he grabs her in the turnbuckle hangman's chinlock, Eve breaks on four (or else gets herself DQed). Eve slaps on a rolling figure-four neck lock. Layla frees herself but Torres hits a bicycle kick and tries a moonsault but she rolls away at the last possible second. I was going to make a "why didn't me feed go out during THIS match" comment but the match has been pretty entertaining, actually. Layla nails the Nasty Kick and get the pin on the champion to become the next number one contender (I guess?). 5.5/10 This was a pretty well executed diva's match… with zero heat. The problem here is, again, for a business which is 60% personality, the divas sure lack it. Eve is the only one who has gotten any character development in the past year and it shows as she is one of the more over divas on the roster. AJ Lee was the other (and got over as well) but the new GM think put the kibosh on that.
Here is your winner… Layla @ about 6:55 via Nasty Kick pinfall.
The Raw Rebound is cut off but I'm sure it involved CM Punk, Mick Foley and John Cena; for my full review of Raw click here.
I must note that I love the Devil's Advocate-esque HITC promo with CM Punk as Satan.
Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero): This is a rematch from their excellent match from Raw this past Monday... it's also match number 43,783 between them both (and all of them have been good, considering their crazy in-ring chemistry). No R-Truth with Kofi but Little Jimmy may or may not be there. They jockey for position against the ropes and Dolph eventually scores with a shoulderblock; they lock up again and trade arm wringers. Ziggler winds up with a side headlock; he hits another shoulderblock and makes the mistake of trying to speed the match up. Kofi bounces around (leapfrogs) and hits the leaping reverse elbow for two. Kingston uses a ground-and-pound strategy with another armbar, which is rare for him; therefore, Dolph is able to easily reverse into his own armlock. Kofi rolls through, trips him up and splashes him for two. Back to the armbar for Kofi; Dolph reverses but walks into a pair of armdrags. Kingston continues to work the arm; I ponder if it's because Dolph uses his arm to hit the, Zigzag, which garnered him the victory on Monday. STRATEGY. Ziggler begins to unload with punches as the "let's go Ziggler" chants begin. Dolph tries a monkey flip out of the corner but Kofi lands on his feet and hits his own monkey flip (complete with 360º oversell). Dolph rolls to the floor, which is a bad move considering his opponent; Kofi looks for a pescado but Dolph moves, Kingston lands on his feet, and leaps off the apron with a crossbody. Back from commercial, Ziggler has a side single-leg crab applied because Kofi tweaked his knee landing from the crossbody; Ziggler was able to capitalize (during the break) via Vickie distraction. Kofi gets a surprise schoolboy but Dolph hits a running clothesline to put his opponent back horizontal. Ziggler hits a leg DDT and keeps on the knee with kicks to the back of it. He hits the Rude Awakening but only gets a nearfall; Dolph goes to a unique chinlock and pulling on the injured leg in unison. Kofi begins a comeback attempt but Ziggler keeps him at bay with short-basement dropkick. He tries the Namedropper but it is countered into a (one-footed) powerbomb. Both men are down in pain and exhaustion. Kofi begins his real comeback with chops and a Russian leg sweep, with his highflyer stuff temporarily neutered by the legwork. He hobbles into the Boom Drop but sells the leg after the move. He goes for Trouble in Paradise but Ziggler retreats to the apron and hangs him off the top; Dolph charges back in but Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise out of nowhere. Dolph smartly rolls to the floor. Kingston drags Ziggler's deadweight in into the ring… but Dolph grabs the bottom rope to break up the pin. Kofi props Dolph on the buckles and they fight up there; Ziggler kicks the knee out and quickly finishes with the Zigzag for three. 8.5/10 I liked this better than their Raw matchup because it had two strategies involved along with the great in-ring action. Despite the chemistry, these two just faced each other on Monday, so this match was full of little things that they both did to try to keep the other off-balance. Their competing strategies, Kofi working the arm to counter the Zigzag and Dolph the leg to cut off the high flying moves, lead to an excellent main event this week.
Here is your winner… Dolph Ziggler @ about 12:50 (broadcast) via Zigzag pinfall.
OVERALL 7/10 Three okay squash matches and one very good main event this week indicates a good forty-five minutes of wrestling show. The main event was better than the Raw match and should be seen.
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