Superstars (4/23) Analysis

The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
Superstars (4/23) Recap & Analysis
The Kingfish Arnie Katz reports on the second episode of WWE’s new one-hour show on WGN America.

The Kingfish’s Overview

Superstars came off slicker and smoother in its second episode, cast on WGN America on Thursday (4/23). The show seemed more professional, though some serious problems remain.

The hand-offs among the three announcer teams were less tentative and the recap clips for the other three shows seemed better-positioned and more connected to Superstars.

The matches had definite finishes, an improvement over the first show. Unfortunately, though, the matches weren’t a lot more meaningful this time around. The mic men can holler into they’re blue in the face that Triple H needs to beat Cody Rhodes, but that won’t make the fans care about it.

The Recap

When Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler welcomed fans to this London, England, edition of Superstars, they reported Edge’s attack on John Cena on RAW and promised that John Cena would talk about it later in the show.

As Rey Mysterio came down the ramp for his match, a video presented Big Show’s on-punch demolition of the Masked Marvel in a match on the 8/20 RAW.

A clip showed how CM Punk beat Kane in a singles match on the same RAW.

The Kingfish comments: The angle of Big Show punching out Mysterio’s lights is not very appealing, especially after the two previous Big Show angles, which both involved his alleged punching power.

Michael Cole promised that the new, just-drafted rosters will take effect after Backlash.

The Kingfish comments: That announcement was a genuine head-shaker. What a mess! Why have all the announcers on all the shows been caterwauling about the post-draft alignment if it isn’t even in force yet?

And if WWE planned to wait until after Backlash, why didn’t they hold the draft after this PPV instead of WrestleMania?

Kane & Big Show d. Rey Mysterio & CM Punk
Big Show tagged Mysterio with a super-punch as the Masked Luchadore bounded off the ropes. He sailed right into Kane’s clutches for a Chokeslam! CM Punk made the save.

Big Show leveled CM Punk with a punch and Kane Chokeslammed him and covered for the one-two-three.
Grade: C+

Backstage, Finlay and his son Hornswoggle prepared for what could be their last match together for some time to come.

The Kingfish comments: Maybe I’m in the minority, but the split couldn’t come soon enough to please me. Yet fans have to wonder why WWE is doing it. Hornswoggle has little use in the show except as a valet/manager/mascot of some actual wrestler and Finlay needs some kind of more potent gimmick than that he “loves to fight.” This may be the prelude to Finlay’s retirement and his ring-son’s departure.

Josh Mathews and Matt Stryker took over the announcing chores.

Hornswoggle & Finlay d. Tyson Kidd * Natalya
Finlay used his trusty club on Kidd and Hornswoggle put him away with a Tadpole Splash.
Grade: C-

The Kingfish comments: The best thing about the match was a little comedy spot in which Hornswoggle juggled some tennis balls – and then chucked them at Tyson Kidd.

It was nice to give Finlay and Hornswoggle a win in their “final” match together, but it didn’t seem like a good idea to pin a loss on two talents with WWE futures.

Finlay took the mic and got fans to sing “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” in honor of his son.

The RAW Rebound focused on the continuing war between Randy Orton and the McMahon family.

Tod Grisham and Jim Ross described what happened on RA when Edge attacked John Cena.

When Tod Grisham tried to interview Cena after the clip, he found the champ in a very quiet, but intense, mood. Cena didn’t boast or make wisecracks; he just expressed his determination to do his best in what he views as the climactic chapter of his feud with Edge.

The Kingfish comments: Edge and Cena have been worthy adversaries and give us some terrific matches, but it is about time to give the program a rest. John Cena is reportedly in line to do another movie, so perhaps the Last Man Standing match at Backlash will give us some final resolution.

Edge d. Kofi Kingston
Kingston used his agility to stay away from Edge. He hit a High Knee in the corner, which let him go on a decent offensive run before Edge took over the action.

Back from commercial, Edge began doing a good job of grounding the high flyer. His Body Scissors punished his smaller opponent on the canvas.. Edge connected with a Gutbuster, but Kofi foiled the attempted cover.

Kingston got near falls with a DDT and, later, a Legsweep, but he couldn’t keep Edge down for the count.

Edge finally lined up Kingston for a Spear and put him away.
Grade: B-

The Kingfish comments: The ending was abrupt, but at least it was a competitive, entertaining match.

Grade for the show:C+

That’s all for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with another installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising pro wrestling column. I’ll have previews and predicts for Backlash. I hope you’ll join me then and, please, bring your friends.

— Arnie Katz
Executive Editor
[email protected]
(4/24/09)