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JAMES'S WWE SUPERSTARS REPORT 2/23: Mahal vs. Gabriel main event, McGillicutty, Reks, Ryan, Riley

Feb 23, 2012 - 11:29:15 PM
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WWE Superstars Results
February 23, 2012
Taped 2/20 & 2/21
Report by Justin James, PWTorch contributor

superstars_18.jpg

1 - ALEX RILEY vs. MICHAEL MCGILLICUTTY

Lock-ups without much advantage for either man at the beginning. Riley gets the crowd involved and takes McGillicutty down. A few vocal males are chanting "Mr. Perfect." Riley with ten punches in the corner and a faceplant for a close two count. Riley with a small suplex for two. McGillicutty drags Riley out of the ring by his feet.

[Commercial Break]

McGillicutty is selling like nuts as he has Riley in a headlock on the mat. Riley forces his way out and tricks McGillicutty into whiffing on a dropkick. Riley jackknifes for two, but McGillicutty is back on the attack. McGillicutty with a blockbuster for two. McGillicutty continues to dominate. Riley with an STO to go on attack, and lands a spinebuster and a float-over DDT for a close nearfall. McGillicutty with a Saito suplex for a nearfall of his own. McGillicutty to the top rope, but Riley shakes the rope to crotch him. Riley meets him up ton for an inside-out superplex for another nearfall. McGillcutty stumbles into the Final Score, but slips out at the last moment. McGillicutty with the Turning Heads neckbreaker (about time it got a name!) for the win.

WINNER: Michael McGillicutty in 10:00. This may well be the best match I've seen McGillicutty in. In the last few weeks, he's turned up the pacing to a level appropriate for his position on the weight chart and it's working wonders for his matches. Using more moves like the Saito suplex to distinguish himself from the rest of the roster is important. He and Riley work well together, too.

2 - MASON RYAN vs. TYLER REKS

Wow, the lower card is doing a lot of double duty this week (Reks and Riley both wrestled on NXT, too).

Reks outwits Ryan, but Ryan uses power to get out of a waistlock. Ryan shoves Reks out of the ring. Reks and Ryan trade offensive barrages, but Ryan maintains momentum. Ryan with a very shaky delayed vertical suplex, which only gets one. Reks uses a chopblock to dominate for a stretch. Ryan with a flapjack and forearms, then a shoulder to the gut and a big boot. Ryan with a powerslam for two. Reks with a reverse STO to put Ryan into the turnbuckle face-first. Reks distracts the ref and Hawkins whacks Ryan from the ringside. Reks with the Burning Hammer for the win.

WINNER: Tyler Reks in 5:00. Reks carried Ryan to a decent-enough match. Reks has a fair amount of upside; he just needs to flesh out his character beyond where it is now (generic, arrogant heel) into something that the audience can sink their teeth into.

Raw Rebound - Triple H and Undertaker jaw at each other for 15 minutes. If Ms. Helmsley taught 'Lil Hunter the "sticks and stones may break my bones..." rhyme, this match wouldn't be happening.

3 - JUSTIN GABRIEL vs. JINDER MAHAL

Gabriel with an early takedown and then another. Mahal can't shake off the tenacious Gabriel. Mahal with a shoulder block into a headlock of his own. Mahal blocks an armdrag, but Gabriel ducks his followup punch and takes Mahal down again and rolls back into the headlock. Mahal twists out, then moves to his knee-based offense. Gabriel jumps off the second rope and lands a huracanrana, but Mahal pops right back. Gabriel kicks Mahal to the ringside and looks for a springboard dive, but Mahal moves, so Gabriel backflips into the ring off the ropes. Very smart looking move. Mahal dodges a baseball slide and is in control headed to break.

[Commercial Break]

Mahal cuts off Gabriel's offense out of the break with a kneelift. The crowd rallies Gabriel, who hits a monkey flip and a backslide for two. Mahal with a neckbreaker for two. The ignorant crowd chants "USA" despite the fact that Gabriel is from South Africa. Mahal with strong offense using his knees and the ropes for leverage. Mahal sends Gabriel into the corner hard. Back elbow from Mahal gets another two count. Gabriel dodges a running knee and hits a jawbreaker to get control.

Gabriel with a big roundhouse kick, then a huge springboard shoulder block for two. Gabriel fires up and wails away on Mahal. Gabriel even manages a front suplex, but he can't get Mahal's shoulders to the mat. Mahal gets knees up on a springboard moonsault and lands a running high knee to Gabriel's upper back. Mahal settles into the Camel Clutch for a speedy tap-out.

WINNER: Jinder Mahal in 8:00. Very, very serviceable match. Gabriel always impresses with unique high-flying moves and Mahal kept pace while delivering his own brand of offense.


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