1/1/16 WWE Superstars Review

Jan 2, 2016 - by Steve Gerweck

WWE Superstars

by Matt Storm

WWE Superstars
Announcers: Rich Brennan and Byron Saxton

Welcome to a new edition of Superstars, everyone! I hope you all enjoyed the holiday season.

As WWE kicks off a brand new year, which talent featured here would start off with a win and which would wish for a re-do? Let’s jump right into it!

1. Darren Young vs. Adam Rose

On commentary it continues to be pushed that The Prime Time Players remain friendly but are pursuing singles careers for the time being.

Following the opening opening bell, they locked up with Young forcing Rose back into the corner. Rose quickly reversed the positions and landed a boot to the midsection after feigning an offer of a clean break. Rose rammed Young into the top turnbuckle of the adjacent corner and chopped him hard on the chest. The former Party Boy worked a side headlock until being pushed off and sent into the ropes; he came back to rock Young with a shoulder block. Rose came back off the ropes but this time Young dropped down and caught him flush on the jaw with a back elbow. An attempt by Rose to seek a respite on the apron only resulted in a wicked back suplex onto the apron from Young.

Young rolled Rose to the center of the ring and covered for a nearfall. After sending him into the corner, Young punched away at the head, looking for 10 but only reaching four when Rose scooped him up and delivered a stun gun across the top rope. With Young downed, Rose went on the offense with a pair of leaping kneedrops . He then choked Young against the against the bottom rope with a knee to the back, then across the middle rope peppering him with forearms across the face. Those were good for a nearfall off the subsequent cover.

As soon as Young kicked out, Rose kept him grounded with a chinlock. Young fought up and fired off shots to the midsection but was cut off with a knee to the gut. Rose fired Young into the corner and followed in with a clothesline , then came off the ropes with a one legged dropkick for a nearfall. Feeling cocky, Rose slapped Young across the face but that only served to fire up the former Tag Team Champion; he blocked Rose’s punch and drilled him with alternating jabs. Young sent Rose into the ropes and followed in close behind with a clothesline.

Rose went for one of his own but Young ducked and hit an overhead release belly to belly suplex. A roaring forearm left Rose on dream street, good for a nearfall. Young sent Rose into the corner only to be caught with a back elbow as he charged in. Rose went for a Tornado DDT but Young blocked it and hit The Gutcheck for the pinfall.

Winner: Darren Young

Analysis: Not a bad back&forth opening match at all. While Titus O’Neil has the hotter potential as a singles in my opinion, Young can’t be underestimated either. He has his own brand of ability to connect with the crowd and get them involved with his comebacks. If properly built up, there’s no reason why he couldn’t be something of a factor in the main television midcard. As for Rose, he kicked off 2016 the same way he ended 2015 with a loss and I don’t project that changing any time soon. A real shame if you ask me,

2. The Ascension vs. Mark Henry&Jack Swagger

Swagger and Viktor started off this week’s feature contest for their respective teams, Swagger quickly getting the upper hand with an impressive waistlock slam. He maintained his grip upon impact and rolled with Viktor until he reached the ropes, forcing the break. Swagger went for it a second time, this one blocked with a back elbow. Viktor backed Swagger into the corner and kicked away at the midsection followed by an uppercut. Swagger blocked a right hand and rocked Viktor into the adjacent corner with right hands. Viktor reversed a whip but missed his attempt of a corner splash. Swagger came rocketing off the ropes and turned Viktor inside out with a big clothesline, sending him to the floor.

The action resumed after a break with Viktor having regained control and laying into Swagger with forearms to the face. After briefly working him over in the corner, Viktor attempted to Irish Whip The Real American but it was blocked; Swagger executed a drop toehold, quickly converting it into the Patriot Lock. Viktor kicked him off into the ropes where Konnor provided the distraction allowing a blindside attack from behind.

Konnor then tagged in and the former NXT Tag Team Champions commenced with some good ol’fashioned mudhole stomping. Swagger found himself once again on the receiving end of uppercuts and being worked over in the corner. Konnor choked Swagger across the middle rope, seemingly trying to pry open of his face in the process. Viktor tagged in and whipped Konnor towards Swagger as he delivered a clothesline in the corner. Konnor then whipped Swagger out into a leaping knee for a nearfall. Viktor grinded into Swagger with a chinlock; Swagger fought up so Viktor wisely switched into a front facelock to prevent the tag to Henry.

Swagger powered Viktor onto his shoulder but Viktor rolled into a sunset flip for a nearfall. Upon the kick out, Viktor rolled to his feet and drove Swagger into his team’s corner. Konnor tagged back in and Ascension went for their clothesline/leaping knee combination a second time. On this attempt however, Swagger caught Konnor with a boot to the face and backdropped an incoming Viktor onto the floor. Konnor charged in but Swagger evaded and he went shoulder first into the ring post. This allowed the hot tag to Henry who finally saw action in the match. Henry caught Konnor with a pair of clotheslines and scooped up Viktor as he ran at him. Viktor slipped out but as he came off the ropes, Swagger tripped him up, dragging him onto the floor with the Patriot Lock applied. Henry delivered The World’s Strongest Slam for the pinfall.

Winners: Mark Henry&Jack Swagger

Analysis A basic formulaic tag match that was well executed. Ascension got good heat on Swagger before Henry came in as clean up en route to victory. Swagger and Henry would make for a good full time duo but I got the sense this was just a random one off pairing for the week. It definitely doesn’t bode well for Ascension’s 2016 starting off with a loss to the makeshift pairing. Sometimes it’s hard to believe these are the same guys who were absolute bad ass monsters in NXT.

Raw Recaps:

This week’s Raw highlights included Vince McMahon’s attempt at retribution ending in his arrest, The League of Nations win over Dean Ambrose&The Usos, and John Cena’s return to action with a DQ win over United States Champion Alberto Del Rio.

That wraps up this edition, see you all next week!

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