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JAMES'S WWE SUPERSTARS REPORT 1/5: New Year begins with familiar matches - Kidd vs. Yoshi, Tag champ in singles action, Rack vs. Clutch main event

Jan 6, 2012 - 1:02:47 AM
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WWE Superstars Report
January 5, 2011
Taped 1/2 & 1/3
Report by Justin James, PWTorch contributor

superstars_155.jpg

1 - WWE tag champion EVAN BOURNE (w/Kofi Kingston) vs. EPICO (w/Primo and Rosa Mendes)

Epico gloats over landing an armdrag, like he just beat John Cena. Bourne and Epico trade wristlocks and offense until Bourne gets some fast-paced, exciting offense. Bourne and the ref keep Primo and Mendes out of the match, then Bourne scores with more offense. Epico turns it around and dominates for a bit, including a very nice butterfly suplex. Bourne knees out of a vertical suplex, but eats a backbreaker and gets kicked through the ropes to the floor.

[ c - "The Best PPV Matches of 2011" DVD ad ]

Epico is still in control back from the break, and Mendes is helping to generate heat at ringside. Bourne with a springboard crossbody for two, but Epico responds with a German Suplex for two. Epico puts Bourne in a chicken wing-like hold across his back. Bourne slips down and rolls up Epico for two, then attacks the hamstrings with a kick. Bourne with high knees and kicks, then lands a big double knee strike from the top rope for two. Mendes with a distraction on the apron, letting Epico leverage Bourne for two. Bourne rolls through, though, and leverages Epico himself for two. Bourne with a jumping side kick, and sets up Air Bourne. Primo on the apron but Kofi lands a crossbody to take him down. Bourne with a kick to Epico's head from the apron and Air Bourne for the win.

WINNER: Evan Bourne in 9:00. I just love seeing Evan Bourne in action, and Epico is a great opponent for him. Epico really seems to be a natural born wrestling, with a very fluid style and ability to heel to the crowd. The relationship with Mendes needs clarification, though, as Primo typically makes facial expressions like he wants to make a connection with her, but Epico seems to ignore her.

[ c - "The Best PPV Matches of 2011" DVD ad, Royal Rumble ad ]

2 - MASON RYAN vs. JTG

JTG foolishly locks up with Ryan, who pushes him right to the corner without effort. Ryan with a shoulder block and forearms to the back. JTG does a drop-down slap, but gets caught off the ropes and Ryan scores with a fallaway slam, then corner work. JTG kicks out Ryan's legs and lands a dropkick from the second rope. JTG with a chinlock, but Ryan gets out. JTG with a chopblock to put Ryan back on the mat and JTG with more matholds. Ryan reverses a whip and sends JTG to the corner, then gets a back body drop and a big boot. Ryan with a Full Nelson Slam for the win.

WINNER: Mason Ryan in 4:00. Mason Ryan needs a lot of work to transition his exciting look to an exciting in-ring style. He needs to expand his moveset to include things that look really painful, not just kicks and body slams.

[ c - WWE Magazine ad ]

3 - YOSHI TATSU vs. TYSON KIDD

Matt Striker calls Tatsu "Piston Honda," which is pretty dated. Quick back and forth in the beginning, like many of their matches. These two can run the ropes for a minute and make it look interesting. Tatsu looks for a suicide dive, but Kidd his a Pele Kick as Tatsu comes through the ropes. Kidd takes control in the corner and Tatsu is bleeding from the lip. Kidd with a Dragon Sleeper, then one from Tatsu. Tatsu catapults Kidd into the corner, but Kidd responds with kicks and chops and a Chono Boot followed by a Shining Wizard for two.

Tatsu to the top rope and he calls for the end, but Kidd dodges the spinning heel kick from the top. Tatsu is down selling ribs and Kidd tries a springboard moonsault from the apron (yes, it was nuts), but that whiffs, too. Tatsu then scores with his killer roundhouse to the head for the win.

WINNER: Yoshi Tatsu in 6:00. These two always excite. The only disappointment is that I saw the Pele Kick to counter the suicide dive a few months ago in a match between these two, but considering how often they've face each other this year, it's not a surprise that a spot or two is going to get re-used.

[ c - Be a S.T.A.R., Smackdown hype ]

If you want to know why Smackdown is up and Raw is down, just compare the content of their ads. Smackdown's focus is on championship matches between up and coming stars (Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan) and existing stars (Booker T, Big Show). Raw's video looks at corny feuds that involve t-shirts, Zack Ryder being dragged through a hole in the ring, and John Laurinaitis arguing with C.M. Punk over who is boring, unpredictable, and exciting.

Raw Rebound.

[ c - WrestleMania 28 ad ]

4 - EZEKIEL JACKSON vs. JINDER MAHAL

Matt Striker explains Mahal's turban as a status symbol in India. "USA!" chant before the match even starts, even though Jackson is billed as from being from South America. Jackson easily wins an early set of lock-ups, sending Mahal to the ropes for a rest. Mahal with a waistlock, but Jackson easily escapes. Jackson with a back elbow and a throw for two. Mahal with an elbow and kick to get separation, but Jackson with a shoulder block to knock him down. Jackson with big blows to the back, then a suplex for two. Mahal kicks Zeke's knee, but Jackson catches his boot and throws him to the mat. Mahal comes back with punches and a pair of neckbreakers, which gets two.

Mahal chokes Jackson in the ropes. More "USA!" chants. Side Russian legsweep from Mahal for one, then he settles into a rear chinlock. The crowd rallies Jackson but Mahal lands a nasty series of knees to Jackson's face. Mahal goes back to the rear chinlock. Yet another "USA!" chant. Jackson stands up and puts Mahal into the corner to get him off.

Jackson throws Mahal into the corner twice, then lands two clotheslines and punches and another clothesline in the corner, then more punches. Jackson starts a series of blodyslams. Jackson tries the Torture Rack, but Mahal slips out and shoves Jackson into the ringpost. Mahal with a running high knee sending Jackson to the mat. Mahal slaps on the "Punjabi Clutch" (as Matt Strriker has dubbed his Camel Clutch) and Jackson taps out after about five seconds.

WINNER: Jinder Mahal in 7:00. Here is the best compliment of the night: Jinder Mahal had a quite watchable match with Ezekiel Jackson. As I've said in the past, Mahal has a great look and a unique ring style that has a lot of martial arts in it. It was nice to see Mahal getting some momentum here.


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