superstars: spreading my love around

It’s fair to say that this blog steers towards the mainstream. It touches on the ECW brand and occasionally mentions Superstars, but generally this is a Raw and Smackdown stronghold. Well, this was spotted  by the fine people who make WWE Superstars. Yes, WGN America emailed me this past week to say “Hey! Ray! How comes you ain’t gots no love for Supahstahs? We’z da coolest show on WGN!” Ok, so it didn’t really read like that . But WGN America did actually get in touch with me to point out that I’m giving WWE Superstars the cold shoulder. Sorry!

Truth is, it’s a timing thing. I would love nothing more than to recap every WWE show, but I haven’t got the time to cover everything. Also, I may be wrong, but I don’t think Sky Sports have picked Superstars up yet. It’s only a matter of time, but still. We Brits have to make alternative arrangements if we want to watch the show. Let’s just say, we’ve all got very good American friends and leave it at that.

So, as I’ve been stood up for the gym tonight (postponed til tomorrow) here’s a brief recap of last week’s WWE Superstars.

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David Hart Smith/John Morrison

I have to confess, I have a soft spot for David Hart Smith. I don’t love him madly or anything, but I want to see him become a star. It probably has a little something to do with his dad, but he’s also a brilliant talent. I’ll dare anyone who fancies a challenge to point and laugh at his acid pink knee-pads.

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The match against Morrison was superb. Whether it was the suped up Canadian crowd, a readiness to move up the ladder or a combination of two, DHS definitely seemed to up his game. John Morrison is like Rey Mysterio and Chris Jericho – he’s generous. He allows youngsters to shine but still looks fabulous himself. By the way, they were leather pockets on the back of his tights, right? He didn’t just cut two holes out of his backside, did he? Because those pockets were totally the same colour as his bronzed skin. Just sayin’.

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A Starship Pain and a flick of the hair later, John Morrison had taken the match.

Goldust/Sheamus

I don’t know what’s more distracting – the fact that every scrap of Goldust’s skin is obscured from view (Why? What kind of scales and sores is his hiding under there?) or the fact that way too much of Sheamus is on show. Damn. I think that boy was EXTRA pink this week. And I thought John Cena was afraid of the tanning booth.  Much like Jim Ross, I can always rely on Josh Matthews to come up with the perfect words.

Perfect, Josh. Perfect.

Perfect, Josh. Perfect.

I was expecting to have to feign enthusiasm for this one, but it was actually pretty good. The crowd appreciated it too, which should be no surprise being that Canadian fans love technicalities. Goldust pinned Sheamus for the win after almost 15 minutes of quality competition. Nice!

Mickie James + Kofi Kingston/Rosa Mendes + Carlito

I missed Mickie James on Raw last week, so it was cool to see her show up on Superstars. And I have to agree with Jerry Lawler. What on EARTH was going on with Carlito’s hair? I’m trying to remember what it reminded me of…….

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Yes.

Another enjoyable match. Rosa has a way to go, but Superstars is the perfect platform for her. How often does Raw have time for a  match like this? I guess that’s premise of Superstars though; to give decent TV time to those who usually have just bit parts. After a typically strong performance by all, it came to an end when Carlito put the Back-Stabber on Kofi, after he botched one of his high-flying leaps to the top rope.

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You’re welcome, WGN America. Kiss-kiss.

smackdown(lite) under a straight edge spell

I don’t know if it’s because the heat CM Punk generates under my skin is now making him appear in my dreams (true story) or whether it’s my triumphant return to gym training, but the Straight Edge lifestyle is starting to look like a viable option. I mean, it’s not such a massive leap. I don’t do drugs. ( I could still chug 8 ibuprofens a day, right?) I haven’t smoked since I was 17. The only thing left would be alcohol. How hard could that be? I can go without most of the time, and if I need a sneaky tipple I can totally hide bottles of champagne at the back of the toilet without Punk finding them. And, since he appears in favour of poisoning his skin with multi-coloured ink,  I could still get that teacup tattoo I’ve been thinking about getting (Again, true story.) Maybe I need to think about this some more. In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy the view from the start of this week’s Smackdown, where Punk vowed to ‘end’ Jeff Hardy in the hope of putting a stop to our filthy ways.

I'm in this picture. I'm just out of shot. Like, to the south a little bit ;) Ok, I'll stop now. I'm being far too disgusting already.

I'm in this picture. I'm just out of shot. Like, to the south a little bit ;) Ok, ok. I'll stop now. I'm being too disgusting already.

Teddy Long wasn’t having any of this tripe. Despite Punk’s suggestion that Jeff was unlikely to even show up at Summerslam, Teddy announced that Jeff would not just be there for his match at the PPV, but would also be there in Edmonton to say a few words that night. Punk objected to every word out of Teddy’s mouth, which cued Jeff. Geez, that North Carolina sunshine is STRONG! Looks like Matt Hardy’s tan from last week has rubbed off on his brother.

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A few brief syllables of defiance later, Jeff was retreating from the ring, Punk grinned like the evil, clean living genius he is, and Teddy was back in his office to take a call from Mr. McMahon. Apparently, even though he’s way injured and shit, Mr. M demanded that Jeff fight on Smackdown that night. Still on probation, Teddy had no choice but to agree and put young Hardy in action against The Hart Dynasty in a 2-on-1 tag match. Yawch.

Back in the ring, Finlay was up against Dolph Ziggler. In my experience, it’s probably best to leave a Belfast boy alone when he’s in a bad mood. I mean, Dolph Ziggler did keep Finlay away from reaching the Summerslam Intercontinental match on Smackdown last week. But still, Dolph is back for another helping. All was moving along nicely until Mike Knox, who gets creepier with every inch his beard grows, interfered with the match by thumping Finlay on the back of the thigh with his very own shillelagh. As you do.

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Dolph capitalised on Finlay’s agony and pinned him for the win. Dolph disappeared but Knox stuck around to do some additional damage to Finlay. As you know, usually I dig medical terminology, but spoken from the mouth of Mike Knox the words sound terrifying. I’m sure I had a nightmare where I was being chased by someone with that voice once. *shudder* In times of trouble, thank God we have JR to come up with exactly the right words.

Thanks, Mr. Ross.

Thanks, Mr. Ross.

From something genuinely scary to something that’s supposed to be, but isn’t. A whole week has passed since Kane drug dragged Ranjin Singh out of the arena in *insert last week’s location at your leisure* and it appears he’s still being held hostage in some random boiler room. Urgh.

Over in the ladies’ locker room, Maria and Melina were doing more girl-talk stuff, agreeing that Maria would change her tartan top for a leopard print one ‘because Dolph likes leopards’.  Excellent deduction. But I hear on the grapevine his favourite big cat is the puma. Just a little heads up for ya there Maria. Following a further discussion about romantic hotels on the beach in LA, Layla appeared to rain on their parade. That’s right, there’s nothing like a Brit to bring a couple of perky Americans down with her cynicism. Atta girl! She announced that Michelle McCool would be back on Smackdown next week, but Melina was in the mood for a scrap and challenged Layla to a fight that night.

Reserving the right to be in a bad mood since 1776.

Reserving the right to be in a bad mood since 1776.

Enough silliness, let’s have another match – John Morrison vs CM Punk. Awesome! AWE-SOME! No jokes, no perving, it was brilliant. Punk was totally immersed in being a badass and how John Morrison never cracks a rib doing that core twisting, I have no idea. He must do lots of pilates or yoga in his spare time. This could easily have been a PPV match, so next Sunday has an awful lot to live up to. Punk put the GTS on Morrison and took the win, giving him an extra elbow to the face after the bell had tolled. It’s those little touches that take you from heel to super-heel. I thinks I loves you, CM.

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Following another ridiculous hostage video from the boiler room, where Kane still had Ranjin Singh tied to a chair, it was time for the match Melina made for herself with Layla earlier in the show. With Gail Kim gone and Michelle McCool hurting, they need to start putting Natalya to work on a Friday night. Being cheerleader for her family members is a total waste of her ability. Step it up! The Melina/Layla match was far better than I was expecting. I wasn’t too keen on Layla at first, but only because they stuck in that lame dance off/arm wrestle thing with Eve Torres. She’s actually pretty good.  She took some pretty nice hits. Besides, I should be pulling for my compatriot anyway. Shame on me. Melina did some mighty impressive flexi- stuff and snatched the win.

I bet Melina and John Morrison do some awesome tag team pilates.

I bet Melina and John Morrison do some awesome tag team pilates.

Next, Big Show vs JTG, which wasn’t much of a match but any time I can listen to Jericho do commentary is fine by me. He joined JR and Todd Grisham while Big Show made light work of his opponent. My favourite line was when Jericho alluded to the fact that he’d had a sore throat last week, which was why he lost his match. “Do you know what kind of toll that [a sore throat] takes on a man?” He was feeling tremendous this week. Ah the healing power of the Canadian air. Big Show took the match and various other shenanigans went on around the ring. Things are shaping up beautifully for Summerslam.

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Down in Kane’s red dungeon, we found Ranjin Singh suspended by his ankles (yeah, for real). Khali came to the rescue and released him from the rope, but then Kane appeared and proceeded to beat Khali with a tube fashioned from the inside of a toilet roll and some aluminium foil, leaving both for dead. It’s ok. I’m sure the janitor will inform the authorities when he gets off his cigarette break.

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Jeff Hardy, nursing injuries sustained at the hands of  CM Punk last week , was forced to take D H Smith and Tyson Kidd on. The match itself was ok and it allowed a Canadian crowd to crow for their own, but it was all a nice little set-up for a brilliant ending. The Hart Dynasty took the match, leaving Jeff even more battered and bruised than before. The pin was closely followed by the appearance of CM Punk who, with a determined look in his eye, marched up to Jeff, kneed him in the face and elbowed him repeatedly in the neck.

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Even Natalya's shocked. And she's been in the Hart Dungeon.

You call it ‘repulsive’, JR, I call it divine and dastardly. (Brilliant adjectives borrowed from Toni.) Jeff was in trouble and needed a friend. Thankfully, John Morrison ran in to help him out, clearing Punk out of the way and removing Kidd and Smith. But Punk was not finished and slapped Morrison across the back with a chair. With Punk the only one left standing he was free to do as he wished, so he put Jeff’s head through a chair again. Well, why not? It worked last week, right? Just as he was about to smash little Hardy in to the turnbuckle wearing his chair shaped necklace, big Hardy intervened and took Punk out of the game. IT. WAS. AWESOME”!!!!

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The ring cleared, leaving just Matt and Jeff Hardy to face each other. Boy, that NC sunshine is a curious breed. Matt seems to have totally lost his tan from last week, and yet, Jeff’s has developed three-fold. Amazing. I digress. Matt helped Jeff to his feet. With the crowd’s approval and bearly a word spoken, the previous attempted fratricide was history.

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Teddy Long made a match for next week where the Hardys and John Morrison will face CM Punk and The Hart Dynasty. Team Good Guys look like they need the presence of a lady, what with Natalya on Team Mean Boys and all. I’m quite willing to fill in. But only as long as someone tags me in to roll around with Punk. I want to Go To Sleep with him. But not really SLEEP, I mean, oh whatever. You get it. I’m all a-fluster after that ending. I gotta go.

smackdown(lite): hugs, ponytails and gbh

What with Shaquille O’Neal hosting an epic episode of Raw this week, Smackdown had a lot to live up to. But was Smackdown worried? Nah! Course not! It knows it’s still awesome without all the bells and whistles of the flagship brand.

Jeff Hardy kicked things off with a rousing speech about how his Night of Champions win over Preachy Punk wasn’t just a personal victory, but a victory for everyone’s right to choose their own lifestyle.

Wrestlegasm.com does not endorse the misuse of recreational or prescription drugs.  If you're an adult, however, booze and fags are legal, so go knock yourselves out! Do not hold me responsible if you wake in bed tomorrow with someone you don't know and no longer thinks is hot. YOUR fault!

Wrestlegasm.com does not endorse the misuse of recreational or prescription drugs. If you're an adult, however, booze and fags are legal, so go knock yourselves out!

While Jeff was soaking up the crowd adoration, we were treated to a clip of a tender moment shared between Jeff and Punk after Night of Champions went off the air. The match had ended,  both Jeff and Punk stood in front of each other, and in an act of gentlemanly conduct, Punk held his hand out to Jeff. Jeff walked away, began sliding out of the ring, but then returned and shook the dejected Punk’s hand. Punk dropped his head and left the ring broken hearted. Oh God! How badly did Punk need a hug? I wanted to crawl inside the screen, press the side of his head to my bosom and tell him everything would be ok.

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I've been waiting for AGES for a reason to use this picture.

Moving on, it’s been a productive week for Cryme Tyme. First they get to kick it with Shaq and take Jericho and Big Show on during Raw, then they join Twitter and experience just ho demanding the public can be, and then they went on to claim a brilliant victory over The Hart Dynasty on Smackdown. This left them as number one contenders against Show and Jericho at Summerslam. BIG. WEEK.

Sidenote: There’s something very evil about Natalya. In a good way. She is the mastermind behind the Hart operation, with Tyson and David carrying out her devious plans. Very Lady Macbeth.

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As CT celebrated their week from heaven, Jericho and Big Show decided to rain on their parade and came to remind them they had no chance whatsoever against them ar Summerslam.  Jericho tried to explain further just how amazing they are as a tag team, but was interrupted by Shad, who compared to with Han Solo and Chewbacca. Brilliant! He then went on to try and communicate with Big Show in Wookie. Double Brilliant! The king of dead-pan didn’t get the joke……….

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…… and even though he tried to bite back, Cryme Tyme had a full tank of insults to throw back, courtesy of Mr. O’Neal.  Jericho and Show had the final word, but this sets up for an entertaining month ahead. Bravo, WWE. This totally works. What DOESN’T work, is the bad remix/combo track/whatever of Big Show and Jericho’s entrance music. Few missed beats there, guys.

I wasn’t really feeling the women’s match this week. Not sure why. Maybe it’s because, having defended the title at NoC, you would expect there to be some progression in the McCool/Melina storyline.  But it didn’t really materialise. At least on Raw, with the absence of Maryse, they started something new. Anyway, McCool and Melina were strong (especially the flexi-batics at the end). Their students,  Eve and Layla,  seem to be improving. Wax-on-wax-off, girls. Keep it up!

Back in Josh Matthews’ interview den, CM Punk swung in for a chat and was back on the whole Straight Edge thing again. He said he wants EVERYONE to live a Straight Edge lifestyle. Apart from me, of course. I know he’d turn a blind eye if I cracked a bottle of champagne when the two of us have dinner. Aaaand back in the real world, he also said he wanted to take on the winner of the Jeff Hardy/John Morrison match.

Next up, Dolph Ziggler was teaming up with Mike Knox to face Rey Mysterio and Finlay. At first I thought Dolph had gone for a haircut and became quite excited at his new, shorter locks. I like men with really short hair. And I’m not just saying that ’cause my boyfriend has no hair. It’s the truth. Unfortunately, it turned out to be one of those hideous little ponytails. Shame! Maria, how could you let your man walk out like that? Bad girlfriend!

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Great match though. An excellent performance by all. And I was TOTALLY involved in the high pace of the ending. When I’m watching a show alone and I still shout Oooh! Aahhhh! Yeaaaah! Take that, Bitch! at the screen, it’s a cool match.  I’d like to see some verbal battles between Dolph and Rey next week, please. Thanks.

John Morrison did a little promo where he tried to knock Kofi Kingston off the top spot as smiliest boy in the company and then we were in to his match with Jeff. Poet vs Poet. Artist vs Artist.

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Pretty.

Actually, Khali and Charlie Haas fought before the big match, but it was so rubbish I won’t bore you with it.

YAAAAAWWWWN!

So, Jeff and John. Firstly, if you missed this match and are here for a detailed run-down on how it played out….errrm….you took a wrong turn on your Google search somewhere. Read the About page. Secondly, if you missed this match, shame on you. Look for a replay on our local TV channels, go to youtube, go to Hulu.com (if you’re lucky enough to live in America and have access to Hulu), download the torrent, whatever. Just make sure you find it. It was brilliant. And long. That’s what I love about Smackdown at the moment. They’ve got the confidence to trust their guys to put on an entertaining, pacey match without rushing to the pinfall within a few minutes.

If John Morrison isn’t headlining PPVs within a year, I’ll eat my WWE bath towel. Yes, I do own one. Two, actually. And a John Cena and Triple H  cushion. Yes, I am grown woman. What’s your point???

It all came to a climax when Morrison went to stick the Starship Pain on Jeff, but found himself doubled over in actual pain when Jeff lifted his knees at just the right moment. Twist of Fate, Swanton Bomb, 1, 2,3, game over.

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Ah-ha! But it was NOT game over. At least, not for Jeff. CM Punk strolled down the ramp, clapping as he went, and joined Jeff in the ring. He raised Jeff’s arm aloft, the crowd went so nuts they almost collapsed in cardiac arrast, and Jeff looked flummoxed.

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It looked as if Punk was about to apologise for being a buzz-kill for the past few weeks, but just as he began to speak he walloped Jeff in the head with the mic and began his “heinous assault” on Jeff. (Thanks, JR).  So just as we thought this feud might be fizzling out in favour of something new, Punk kicked it up a notch. Fantastic!

TOTALLY morally acceptable, right?

TOTALLY morally acceptable, right?

It all came to a close with Jeff requiring major medical attention and Punk ordering us to watch next week’s Smackdown, where he’ll be taking his belt back. Your wish is my command, honey.