Championship’s roll call: WWE Champion: CM Punk… World Champion: Sheamus… Intercontinental Champion: The Miz… United States Champion: Antonio Cesaro… Tag Team Champions: Team Hell No… NXT Champion: Seth Rollins… Diva’s Champion: Eve Torres
Tyson Kidd vs. Wade Barrett: I think Barrett got new music; he also has a blank lower portion of the Titantron. They have appeared to dim the house lights for Barrett’s entrance, too. Kidd tries a waistlock and Barrett backs him into the corner; no clean break here as Wade back elbows the crap out of him. He wrings the arm and drives Kidd down to the mat where he works an armbar. He bends the fingers back to add further torture. Kidd uses the Owen Counter in the ropes and flips into an armdrag. Kidd with a wheelbarrow victory roll for two; he hits a savate kick and goes to hit the ropes but Barrett follows right behind him and clotheslines him to the floor. Wade heads out after him but Kidd out quicks him and hits a wicked running kick on the apron. He follows up with a baseball slide. He tosses Barrett back in and tries a sunset move but Barrett sidesteps it and BAREKNUCKLE punches him in the face; he mauls Kidd in the ropes and boots him to the floor. He applies a chinlock; Kidd tries to make a comeback, starting with a float-over out of the corner, but Barrett savate kicks him. Barrett goes for his first wrestling move: the pump-handle slam (for two). Wade goes back to the short punches to the kidneys. Barrett follows that up with the slingshot backbreaker and back to the chinlock after a nearfall. Kidd gets some boots up in the corner and kicks away at Barrett’s legs. He hits a twisting enziguri and a slingshot guillotine legdrop (to the floor). Kidd comes back with the slingshot elbow drop, which was his finisher when he first debuted in ECW, it nets two. He ventures a tornado DDT but Wade tosses him off and Kidd crashes and burns, flat on his face. Barrett adjusts the elbow pad and nails the Souvenir, knocking Kidd out, to get the pinfall. 3.5/10 Squash for Wade. I like Barrett but this incarnation is a bit boring at times. Granted, he has been facing lower midcarders as of now, so his matches are all about keeping him strong and getting over his bareknuckle fighter roots. It’s just tedious to watch sometimes, which is why I usually chose Zangief instead of Balrog. I’m also not a fan of all of the tag wrestlers jobbing all of the time to singles’ midcarders.
Here is your winner… Wade Barrett @ about 9:15 via Souvenir pinfall.
Michael McGillicutty vs. David Otunga: Former tag team champions EXPLODE! This is an odd match, both are heels and both were in the New Nexus together; no known storyline issues between them either. Scott Stanford informs me that the reason these two are wrestling is because each blames the other for losing the tag titles… a year and a half ago! That’s a LONG time for a blowoff. They lock up and jockey for position in the corner but Otunga does not give the clean break and he opens up with punches, kicks and chokes in the ropes; he tosses McGillicutty into the ropes but he’s quick [McGillicutty] and is able to connect with a running dropkick. McGillicutty clotheslines Otunga to the floor and meets him there for a knife-edge chop. Otunga uses his POWER to slam McGillicutty on the floor. Back in the ring, Otunga hits a forearm rebound off the ropes and pulls a Scott Steiner flexing the muscle. He hits it again and puts Michael in the corner, stomach first, and hits shoulderblocks to the back. He looks for a back suplex but McGillicutty blocks and tries to punch his way back but Otunga hits a running shoulderblock. McGillicutty blocks a toss into the corner and hits a forearm shiver. HE charges right into a clothesline though. Otunga with a vertical suplex and we hit the chinlock (with knee to the back). Fans rally McGillicutty and he hits a back clothesline; he fires up with some reverse elbows and a bodyslam. A running Euro uppercut (with Otunga on the mat) connects for two. He hits a Saito suplex; it took two tries because of the bad back that Otunga has been working. McGillicutty tries a Rude Awakening but Otunga uses that Harvard educated bean to grab the rope and McGillicutty crashes to the mat. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve seen that counter before in the thirty years I’ve been watching pro wrestling. Otunga hits the Verdict and gets the pinfall. 2/10 Perfectly boring match; Otunga controlled most of the match but his entire O consists of is shoulderblocks and clotheslines. McGillicutty is the FAR more talented member of the (former) team and, of course, jobs. I prefer Otunga as the manager/advisor.
Here is your winner… David Otunga @ about 6:55 via Verdict pinfall.
Yoshi Tatsu vs. Tensai: Tatsu gets an entrance so I’m happy there. Tensai immediately hits a uppercut and drops elbows. He tosses Yoshi around the ring and he runs to the floor to break momentum; Tatsu tries to outspeed the big man with a baseball slide but Tensai catches him, spins him around, and hits a boot to the head. Yoshi continues to try to fight back, even stunning Tensai with a chop to the head off the turnbuckles. He uses the kicks and an enziguri. Tensai goes down to one knee so Tatsu nails a Shining Wizard for a nearfall. Yeah, the WWE has dropped Tensai down to midcard when Yoshi Tatsu is getting mid-match nearfalls on you. Yoshi begins to kick away but Tensai has had enough of this shit and hits the Baldo Bomb and squashes Tatsu with the running senton for the win. Post-match, Tensai grabs the mic and screams a little in Japanese. 2.5/10 Nothing special just a squash but not the usual Tensai squash over a jobber; Tatsu get some offense in and even scores a nearfall. Tensai is moving down the card and will settle in the midcard area perhaps until he either gets over or heads back to Japan.
Here is your winner… Tensai @ about 4:00 via running senton pinfall.
The Raw Rebound is all about AJ Lee losing control of her show. For my full review of Raw please, click here.
The Usos vs. Team Rhodes Scholars: Good to see the Usos getting the Siva Tau entrance back. The ENTIRE Titantron is bamboo which amplifies the effect of the entrance. Sandow starts with Jey Uso; they battle over a waistlock as Matt Striker explains the origins of the actual Roads Scholar program from Oxford University. Sandow, who must have fallen asleep in class when they discussed Samoan noggins, tries to ram Jey into the turnbuckle; that goes as well as you’d think so Sandow runs to the floor. Rhodes gets a tag as does Jimmy. Cody does not fare any better and gets slugged in the mouth; the Usos hit a double reverse elbow/double elbow drop combo. Jey gets a one count. The Usos exchange again and Jimmy tries a backdrop but Cody counters with the Goldust Uppercut. Sandow tags and the Scholars pound on Jimmy in their corner. Rhodes hits the release gourdbuster for two; quick tagging follows as the Scholars pound away. Cody tries an Alabama Slam but Jimmy sunsets free and tags in Jey. The other Uso brother pounds on Rhodes and clotheslines him to the floor. Sandow comes over and the Usos wipe them both out as we head to break. When we come back, Sandow has Jey in a chinlock; he breaks free and drops down into a reverse forearm. To the corner they go and Sandow floats over and tags in Cody. Rhodes looks a bit perturbed by said tag but manages to retain the advantage with help from a Damien distraction. The Scholars are happy again as they await a countout. Jey makes it back in at nine. Rhodes works over the knee, which looks to be hurt; Sandow tags in for the Russian leg sweep and Cubito Aequet for a pair of nearfalls. Cody tags and hits a knee trembler and taunts Jimmy. Cody and Sandow continue to cut the ring in half (including a really close hot tag). Rhodes with a slam and an armtrap chinlock; Sandow tags but misses a knee drop. He grabs the leg to cut off the tag and beings Cody back in he slaps on a seated full nelson. Jey elbows his way free and for some unknown reason Rhodes tries a (beautiful) moonsault press that he misses by a mile. I looked nice, but in the context of the situation, was really stupid. Jimmy receives the hot tag from his brother; he levels Sandow with clotheslines and a savate kick. The Samoan drop and Samoan Avalanche follow but Cody returns to toss Jimmy to the floor. Jimmy pulls Rhodes to the floor so Jey can leap off the apron with a clothesline. Sandow retains his wits and submarines Jimmy’s knee as he is reentering the ring and quickly finishes with Terminus (Latin for “the end”) complete with The Thinker pinfall. Post-match, Rhodes assists Sandow with his cartwheel. 5.5/10 Average main event but at least there is focus on the tag division. Rhodes Scholars dominated the entire second half of that match and the Usos continue to be the 1991 Tito Santana of the tag division.
Here are your winners… Team Rhodes Scholars @ about 13:55 (broadcast) via Terminus pinfall.
OVERALL 3.5/10 Argh, just a bunch of boring squashes but a pretty fun, albeit pedestrian, main event; the tag division is really going through a fine renaissance and is about the only good part of this show.
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