WWE Superstars TV Report
July 2, 2009
By James Caldwell, PWTorch.com
After the WWE Superstars video montage started the broadcast, Raw announcers Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler opened the show. Santino Marella then came out for the opening match. Santino, playing the babyface, shook hands with Lilian Garcia and Ref Marty Elias. The Brian Kendrick then strutted out to face Santino.
1 — SANTINO MARELLA vs. THE BRIAN KENDRICK
Crowd with a “Santino, Santino” chant and Santino started blushing trying to downplay the cheers. So great. Kendrick then kicked Santino in the gut and put him on the mat, which drew boos. Santino quickly countered with a series of takedowns into headlocks, showing off his hidden judo background. Santino started talking to an inanimate object, so Kendrick kicked him in the gut. Santino then tried to skin the cat back into the ring, but Kendrick yanked his right leg across the top rope. Kendrick went Mexican-style and started working the right. Kendrick started calling Santino a loser, a nobody, a never-will be, which only made Santino ah-so-ah-mad. He Hulked up on Kendrick with a round of hip tosses before walking right into a kick to the face. Kendrick had a cover, but Santino casually grabbed the bottom rope for a break. Kendrick tried a roll-up, but Santino flipped him over and trapped the shoulders for a pin as Kendrick tried to wiggle out.
Post-match: Santino then did his big “trumpet and dancing” celebration. He said today was his day. He tried to shake Kendrick’s hand to adhere to the Code of Honor, but Kendrick wanted to slap him. Santino moved away and simply said, “I try. But he too angry.” Santino then worked out the leg work on the way to the back with a victory in his pocket.
WINNER: Santino in 4:00. Santino is so great in his babyface role. Kendrick was just playing the enhancement talent, which is apparently his permanent role on Raw. (*1/4)
Announcers: Cole and Lawler talked up tonight’s TV main event of Punk vs. Edge in a “Clash of Champions.”
In-ring: Already in the ring when they returned from break was Charlie Haas. He’s billed as being from Dallas, Tex. now. Cue up Smackdown announcers Jim Ross and Todd Grisham on-camera to talk about the 15-person trade. John Morrison then came out and Ross said he’s glad J-Mo stayed on Smackdown. They replayed Smackdown when Morrison pinned World champ Punk, causing Punk to snap with the G2S on Morrison post-match.
2 — CHARLIE HAAS vs. JOHN MORRISON
Match moved to the floor in the opening minute with Morrison trying to drag Haas up the ring steps, only to have Haas drop him abs-first across the steps with a leg sweep. Haas then dragged Morrison back into the ring to start working on the six-pack. Morrison suddenly nailed a head-stand kick to the head followed by a leaping dropsault into a running kick for a two count. Sweet three-move combo. Haas then cut him off with a knee to the abs again. Haas missed with a kick, then Morrison hit a spinning neckbreaker. He followed right up with the Starship Pain springboard corkscrew plancha for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Morrison in 4:00. Haas had a decent showing enhancing Morrison, who looked very sharp with his offensive display. Ross and Grisham had ample time to talk up Morrison, which was the key to the match. Morrison is slowly connecting with the audience as a babyface with his flashy moves that the fans are recognizing more and more. (*1/2)
Backstage: They showed Zack Ryder walking backstage. He’s up next.
Announcers: ECW’s crew of Josh Mathews and Matt Striker did some promotional plugs before Zack Ryder came to the ring for ECW’s featured match tonight. Cue up some generic surfer music and Tyler Reks came out to face Ryder, who mocked Reks’s gimmick.
3 — ZACK RYDER vs. TAYLOR REKS
Hot start with a back-and-forth exchange until Ryder blasted him with repeat kicks to the body before hitting a Samoa Joe-like kick to the face in the corner. I miss the Face Wash. Ryder then settled into a side headlock, but Reks slipped out and hit a neckbreaker. They had a forearm exchange before Reks landed an elbow smash and face-into-the-mat slam. Reks tried a move from the second rope, but Ryder cut him off with a kick to the knee. Ryder followed with the Zack Attack – reverse Fameasser – for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Ryder in 4:00. Another brief four-minute match, but really nice action. Ryder continues to “grow into his shoes” as a legit heel with a mean streak. He’s at that Jack Swagger make-or-break point where he needs to put on a suit, step into the ring, and cut a ten-minute promo to see if he can handle the big time. Reks was solid in his debut. Curious he would lose in his first match, though. (*1/2)
Superstars profile: Christian. Lengthy, good video package. … Announcers: Back to Raw announcers Cole and Lawler. Cole said Raw has been great the past few weeks with record ratings and controversies abounding. Um, sure. Cue up the Raw Rebound for a look at Vince McMahon talking up goofiness by Donald Trump. Video included clips of celebrities who have been involved in WWE, old-school wrestlers, and then Batista showing up as the guest host for Raw. Batista then booked Randy Orton to look the fool being taken out by Mark Henry. They highlighted Evan Bourne effectively in the process. After the video aired, Cole did a clear voice-over plugging Triple H vs. John Cena on Raw next week. Winner gets Orton for the WWE Title at Night of Champions.
Announcers: Back to the Smackdown announcers. Ross and Grisham talked up Punk vs. Edge tonight, but before that, they recapped footage from The Bash when it appeared that Jeff Hardy won the World Title from Punk. Only, Punk had a rope break to prevent a three count. Punk then sold an eye injury and kicked the ref, causing a DQ. They played up the story of Punk claiming it was “accidental.”
In-ring: World champ C.M. Punk came out first to a mixed reaction. He had a smirk for the fans ringside as he clapped it up. Punk celebrated in the ring and tried to hype up the crowd, but they weren’t buying Punk “playing nice.” So great. Match up next.
In-ring: Punk was still in the ring looking confident in himself with a smug, self-satisfied grin on his face. Edge then made his way to the ring to lock horns with Punk.
4 — World Hvt. champion C.M. PUNK vs. Unified tag champion EDGE — non-title match
Bell sounded and Edge shoved Punk in the corner. Punk was pissed off that Edge went after the “injured” eye, so he chased Edge back into a corner. Ross tried to play up Punk as a credible man by saying Punk apologized to the official he “accidentally” kicked in the back during The Bash after the show. Grisham interjected that Hardy would see it differently. Great storyline.
Edge landed a forearm to the eye, then Punk dumped him to the apron and kicked his legs out from under him. Punk then sent Edge to the floor with a baseball slide kick. Punk followed on the floor, took Edge back into the ring, then Edge blasted him in the “injured eye.” Ref held Edge back and checked on Punk, who covered his eye and tried to shake it off. Edge wasn’t buying it. Cut to break.
Back from break, Edge was working over Punk. Ross said he’d bet a rack of ribs that Jeff Hardy is watching the match intently. Grisham said it must be weird for Jeff to root for Edge after their series of recent matches. Nice interjection of history. Punk came back with a standing enziguiri on Edge for a two count, then he checked the eye again. Punk attempted a Pedigree or butterfly suplex, but Edge cut him off with a DDT for a two count. Punk came back with an attempted springboard clothesline, but Edge ducked, only to take a powerslam from Punk.
Edge regrouped in the corner and Punk charged him with a running knee in the corner. Edge blocked a bulldog, but Punk teased the G2S. Edge raked the eyes to break the hold, prompting Punk to run into the corner to sell an eye injury. Edge then attacked Punk in the corner and the ref held him back. Punk suddenly waved his arms and said he can’t continue because he can’t see. Edge was stunned, but he was announced as the winner. Mixed cheers for Edge, who laughed and pointed at Punk.
WINNER: Edge via Punk not being able to continue in 12:00. Solid TV match. Very intriguing with the slow babyface turn for Edge (via Punk) and Punk’s slow progression as a heel, but still remaining tweener. A few great exchanges in this one before the No Mas finish. If they really want to add fuel to the fire without turning Punk full heel, they can have him plead Wellness Policy combined with the Nigel-as-ROH-champ storyline that he’s not going to risk his health for the sake of the fans’s enjoyment and protect his interest as champ by only defending every 30 days. It wouldn’t be a heel line because it’s smart business for his personal career, but the fans wouldn’t want to hear it. Lots and lots and lots of potential for this storyline before Punk turns full-fledged heel. Keeping him as a tweener trying to explain himself to unappreciative fans should make for great TV over the next few weeks and months. (**1/2)
Post-match: Ref checked on Punk, then Josh Mathews entered the ring to check on Punk. He asked Punk if he would have done the same thing if this was a title match. Ref checked on Punk, who said if he can’t see, he can’t compete. He said he’d be happy to give Edge a re-match. Crowd booed Punk as a doc tried to get a light in the eye, but he couldn’t open his eye. Ross said it must have hurt Punk’s pride to wave this one off. They showed a replay of Edge “raking the eyes” leading to the finish. They did a close-up on Edge’s eye as he sold pain to close the show. Great closing shot.