TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S WWE SUPERSTARS TV REPORT 3/11: Complete coverage of Christian & MVP, Ziggler vs. Shelton, Hulk Hogan everywhere
Mar 11, 2010 - 8:00:22 PM
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WWE Superstars TV Report
March 11, 2010 - Week 48
Taped the Week of March 8
Report by James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor
The WWE show started with Smackdown announcers Todd Grisham and Matt Striker introducing the show with hype for WrestleMania 26, leading to Dolph Ziggler coming to the ring. Continuing the theme, Grisham and Striker talked up Ziggler appearing in his first WrestleMania this year in the Money in the Bank match. Out next was Shelton Benjamin for the opening match.
1 -- SHELTON BENJAMIN vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER
Ziggler dominated early on and nailed a Rocker Dropper one minute into the match for a two count. Meanwhile, Striker talked up the MITB match, with a little bit too much of that Christian-Shelton ECW Title build-up focusing on the "performance aspect" rather than striving for a victory and a championship opportunity. Shelton then made a comeback and scored with a Samoan Drop for a two count. The match then moved to the top rope and they had an awkward spot with both men flying off the top turnbuckle. Ziggler followed with the Zig Zag and he scored a two count only. Ziggler flipped out, then he tried a sleeper on Shelton. Shelton reached for the ropes, but Ziggler pulled him back to center ring as Shelton's eyes faded out. The ref then called for the bell with Ziggler picking up the win.
WINNER: Ziggler via sleeper submission in 4:00. Interesting match, with re-emphasis on Ziggler in with the early offense and victory. We'll see if this is a sign of things to come with WWE perhaps putting more emphasis behind Zig. (*)
Main event to come: Raw brand's Christian & MVP vs. the combined 1-43 Carlito & Chavo Guerrero.
[Commercial Break. Looks like another Hulk Hogan for Rent-a-Center kind of a night. C'mon, Troy.]
In-ring: Mike Knox was already in the ring back from break. Not a good sign for Dr. Knox, who checks in without a win this year. Goldust then came out to face Knox and gave him a show during the ring entrance before the bell.
2 -- MIKE KNOX vs. GOLDUST
Knox settled into offensive control to start things off. Goldust then dropped down and landed an uppercut on Knox before firing off his usual comeback routine. Goldust mounted Knox in the corner, then caught Knox off the ropes with a snap powerslam for a two count. Striker called it a "Mad Dog" powerslam in tribute to this year's Hall of Famer.
[Q2] Knox followed up with a big cross-body block, but Goldust kicked out. Knox tried again, but Goldust kicked out again. Knox then went for a suplex, but Goldust countered into a nice spinning neckbreaker - the Final Cut - for the pin and the win. Impressive from Goldust.
WINNER: Goldust in 3:00. Fine, predictable match. Knox is in a race with Carlito for who will score the first win of 2010, while WWE appears to have plans for Goldust on Smackdown. They gave him a lot of offense against Jericho last week in the TV main event, which the announcers failed to bring up on this show with WWE's short-term memory lapses, and WWE could find a decent role for him post-WrestleMania. He's worked hard to get in shape and improve in the ring, so he deserves another chance to see if he can make some money for WWE. (*)
NXT plug: They rolled footage from Tuesday night's NXT show focusing on the Daniel Bryan-The Miz issue escalating, Heath Slater over Carlito, and Justin Gabriel looking strong in the TV main event.
[Commercial Break. Look, there's Hulk Hogan promoting Rent-a-Center again.]
WrestleMania Recall: We go back to WrestleMania XX for Steve Austin officiating Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar, with Jim Ross calling the send-offs for Lesnar and Goldberg.
Raw plug: We heard Michael Cole's voice plugging Steve Austin guest-hosting Raw on Monday with the three big singles matches and Hart-McMahon contract signing.
In-ring: Cue up Santino Marella's music. He came out alone and played the stripped-down Bushwhacker babyface to the crowd. Zack Ryder then came out with Rosa Mendes as Cole robotically said they're expecting big things from this "young talent." That being Ryder.
3 -- ZACK RYDER (w/Rosa Mendes) vs. SANTINO MARELLA
Jerry Lawler mocked himself from last week's mistake of calling Santino's move the "Scorpion" instead of the "Cobra" as the action started with Ryder in control. Ryder, of note, put some color product in his hair to apparently differentiate him. Ryder cut off Santino and went to work on Santino as Lawler naturally focused on Rosa. I don't think Lawler has moved past Ryder's split-pants wardrobe. Ryder talked trash as he worked over Santino, then Santino began to Hulk Up to a nice reaction. Santino then punched Ryder with successive left hand jabs before ducking and doing the splits. He followed with the Cobra strike and Ryder rolled to the apron. Rosa ran interference, then Santino hit the Rough Ryder. He followed with the Zack Attack for the pin and the win to pick up his first win on Raw.
WINNER: Ryder in 4:00. Good, necessary win for Ryder. Maybe in a few weeks, the Raw announcers will find another talking point beyond the pants and Rosa Mendes. Santino was fine doing the comedy setting up Ryder "dashing the fan's excitement" for a possible Santino win to get heat on Ryder. (*)
[Commercial Break. Hogan for Rent-a-Center again. Hogan's more over than this show.]
Superstars profile: This week, they focused on Batista in his own personal spotlight. They went back to the Rey Mysterio heel turn before fast-forwarding to his destruction of John Cena lately.
Announcers: Cole and Lawler were shown on-camera feeding to a Raw Rebound with more Batista-Cena with focus on the Raw main event with Vince McMahon pinning Cena thanks to Batista.
In-ring: MVP bounced out to the ring for the main event tag match. Christian then walked out with his rookie Heath Slater. Slater had a bit of a deer-in-the-headlights look as Christian confidently walked to the ring. Juxtaposition is a good way to enhance the established WWE stars. Cut to break.
[Commercial Break. Going for the home run with a full trip around the bases, yes, we have Hulk Hogan for Rent-a-Center yet again. They'll find a way to get Troy Aikman over eventually.]
In-ring: Carlito was on the way to the ring with Mr. 1.9 Michael Tarver, who stared down Slater in the pre-match introductions. Chavo Guerrero then came out as the final man in the match. There were some pics of Tarver getting stitched up on WWE's website this week and Cole filled in the blanks that Tarver cut open his forehead...running into the ringpost while training.
4 -- MVP & CHRISTIAN (w/Heath Slater) vs. CARLITO (w/Michael Tarver) & CHAVO GUERRERO
MVP and Chavo started things off here. Suddenly, Cole talked about these matches being important leading to WrestleMania as the wrestlers try to build momentum and confidence. It was probably the best line Cole has ever had on TV establishing the importance of the wrestling content. Carlito and Christian then tagged in and Carlito bumped Christian off the ring apron hard into the guardrail. Christian in jeopardy going to break.
[Commercial Break. Do we get the fifth installment of Hogan for Rent-a-Center? Swing...and a miss with Domino's, Burger King, and Sleep Number stealing the airtime.]
Back from break with a video plug for Steve Austin guest-hosting Raw on Monday, Christian was locked in a mat hold by Carlito. Christian broke free, but took a springboard back elbow smash from Carlito for a two count. Henry then tagged in for Christian and landed a jawbreaker on Carlito. MVP then set up the Ballin' elbow drop and connected. MVP tried to measure Carlito for the finish, but Chavo yanked Carlito to the floor. No matter, MVP nailed a double dropkick sending both heels into the guardrail. MVP then tried to follow up on Carlito, but Chavo yanked MVP off the apron to the floor. Carlito then rolled MVP back into the ring and isolated MVP. "Vintage Carlito," Cole informed us. Thanks. The fans chanted "Chavo sucks" as Chavo worked over MVP and Slater danced around on the floor encouraging more chanting. Chavo shook it off, then took MVP to the corner for the heels to continue to work him over with the announcers filling time talking up Tarver getting an education on the outside.
MVP made the hot tag to Christian at 10:00 and Christian entered hot with an attack on Chavo, who tried to duck to absorb blows. Christian knocked over Chavo, then dropped him with a sunset flip for a two count. Christian slapped Chavo before taunting Carlito and coming off the top with a flying elbow on Chavo. Christian then started to clap it off before kneeing Carlito off the apron. Christian tried another sunset flip, but Chavo trapped him for a two count. Chavo followed with One Amigo, then Two Amigos, then Christian countered Three and hit an inverted DDT. The action broke down and Chavo scored with a Gory Bomb. He then went up top for a frog splash, but Christian moved and dropped Chavo on a follow-up exchange with the Killswitch. Christian with the pin for the win.
Post-match: Christian and MVP got their hands raised as Slater joined the celebration. MVP and Christian then pointed at the WrestleMania sign debating who's winning Money in the Bank. Christian and MVP had a friendly face-to-face stare with the two babyfaces jockeying for position. Slater had a great facial expression selling the tension. MVP closed the show doing his ballin' motion as Christian looked into the crowd to see how far the ball went. That was subtly great.
WINNERS: MVP & Christian in 13:00. We need to see Christian and MVP on Raw setting up the MITB match at WrestleMania. Fine tag match with good, rapid-fire action for the most part. Involving Tarver and Slater was a good move to continue getting them on TV. (**)
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