WWE Superstars Report 1/8: Breeze vs. Swagger, Truth & Goldust vs. Ascension
by Matt Storm
Announcers: Rich Brennan&The Miz
With the Royal Rumble mere weeks away and the stakes never higher, which superstars would build momentum to possibly not only being entered into the Rumble Match itself but potentially become WWE World Heavyweight Champion? Let’s get to it!
With Byron Saxton being moved over to Smackdown, The Miz sat in on commentary this week.Right off the bat he proved his worth by claiming his expertise would drive up ratings for the show. I guess to him, Network subscriptions and ratings are the same thing.
1. Tyler Breeze vs. Jack Swagger
At least on this show, Breeze received his full entrance in all its glory. Good heat received for it too.
Following the opening bell, Breeze had no desire for physical contact as he avoided an attempt by The Real American to lock up. He did however find time to do his trademark pose laying across the top rope. Swagger looked for a single leg takedown and when that was dodged as well, a waistlock; Breeze managed to fight off that as well and ducked through the ropes, making a hasty exit onto the apron. Upon re-entry, the two combatants did eventually lock up with Swagger using his power advantage to force Breeze back into the corner. The official quickly stepped in to force a break and when Swagger focused his attention on him as he obliged, Breeze seized the opportunity to apply a side headlock,
Swagger easily powered him off and fired him into the ropes. Breeze halted his momentum by hooking onto the top rope but Swagger was right there to deliver a less than smooth looking clothesline. Swagger backed Breeze into the corner and delivered a stiff knee strike to the midsection before whipping him across the ring and following in with another clothesline. Not satisfied with two of them, Swagger nearly took Breeze out of his fashionable boots with a third clothesline as he stumbled out of the corner.
Swagger did a “We The People” to signify the Swagger Bomb but before he could even get a running start, Breeze was already rolling onto the floor. Swagger quickly gave chase and connected with a running shoulder block. Swagger sent Breeze back into the ropes, Breeze coming off with a crossbody block attempt only to be caught in mid-air. Swagger went for a Fall Away Slam but Breeze managed to land on his feet. Breeze’s attempt at a Hurricanrana was converted into the Patriot Lock.
After a few moments of nearly tapping out, Breeze finally kicked Swagger off back towards the corner. Swagger charged in but wound up going shoulder first into the ring post when Breeze moved out of the way. Breeze quickly hit The Unprettier for the pinfall.
Winner: Tyler Breeze
Analysis: A short but fine opening contest. Aside from an early glitch, both Swagger and Breeze had a good accounting for themselves. While not the dominant win I would have liked to see, they did get over Breeze’s cunning and ability to survive any onslaught. Right now if feels as if they do have eventual plans for him but since it isn’t his “turn” yet, he’s likely to collect wins over the lower-card talent while splitting wins&losses with the likes of Ziggler as he has been. A big positive was his split from Summer Rae as she really hasn’t added to anyone’s act since her debut alongside Fandango. As for Swagger, I’m mildly surprised he’s yet to be paired back up with Zeb Colter. They seem to find more value in him when they’re together.
Backstage: Goldust managed to bring the weird and surprise R-Truth with the news they’d be teaming together in the feature contest. Truth seemed pleased with the idea but not too keen on adopting any of Dust’s antics.
2. The Golden Truth (Goldust&R-Truth) vs.The Ascension (Konnor&Viktor)
Viktor and Truth kicked off the action for their respective teams. Viktor clamped on a side headlock and seemed to have to locked in snug until Truth pushed him off into the ropes. Truth dropped down and leapfrogged Viktor, then put his hand up to halt momentum for some gyration. Not amused, Viktor attempted to land a right hand but it was blocked and Truth drilled him with a left hook. Truth took control with an arm wringer and pulled Viktor to his corner to tag in Goldust.
Dust’ delivered a blow to the exposed arm before applying a side headlock. Viktor pushes him off into the ropes and goes for a backdrop but Dust’ had other ideas and dropped down to deliver his trademark thrust to the jaw. Dust’ ducked a clothesline, took Viktor off balance with an inverted atomic drop, and sent him over the top rope onto the floor with a clothesline of his own.
When the action resumed following a commercial break, the babyface maintained the advantage for a change. Dust’ lit up Viktor with chops in the corner then sent him across to the adjacent corner, following in with a palm strike to the face. Perched on the middle rope,Dust’s commenced with the 10 punch sequence but only got to 5 when he had to leap off and deck an incoming Konnor. The distraction allowed Viktor to blindside him and bring in his fresh partner for the first time in the match. Konnor went to work with some ground£, earning him a nearfall off the cover.
Konnor rammed Dust’s head into the top turnbuckle of his corner and tagged Viktor back in. Viktor choked Dust’with a knee to the throat using the bottom rope for illegal leverage and not breaking until the count of 4. Dust’ tried to crawl over to Truth for a tag but Viktor grabbed him by the right leg and turned him over onto his stomach to prevent in. Konnor got the tag and landed a nice leg drop to the back of the neck as Viktor held Dust’ in a half Boston Crab. That was good for a nearfall.
Konnor continued to wear Dust’ down with a chinlock but the Bizarre one fought up, creating space with shots to the ribs. The comeback was short lived as Dust’ came off the ropes right into a well placed knee to the midsection. Konnor got a nearfall off a unique neck twist, using his legs to do the twisting. Viktor tagged in and got his payback for the earlier chops by delivering several of his own in the corner.
Suddenly Dust’ showed some signs of life, rocking Viktor with fists and Konnor with back elbows in succession. He left his feet to leap for a tag but Viktor was right there to catch him on his shoulder. Dust’ escapes and pulls down the top rope as Viktor lunges at him,sending flying to the floor. Viktor recovered quickly and tried to knock Truth off the apron but the savvy veteran dropped down to avoid him. Undaunted, Viktor rushed at Dust’ again, this time met with a well executed spinebuster.
After both men recovered, they made tags to Truth and Konnor who went to battle.Truth ducked a clothesline and went to town, connecting with two of his own. He did the splits to avoid another clothesline and scored a nearfall off a beautiful twisting side kick; Viktor made the timely save. Dust’ came back into the fray but was promptly deposited back onto the floor. Ascension went for a double clothesline,Truth ducked it and Viktor went 0-3 at charging Dust’, falling victim to a snap powerslam.
Konnor went for a bodyslam but Truth escaped and delivered The Lie Detector for the pinfall.
Winners: The Golden Truth
Analysis: Very good tag team match with the crowd solidly into the action. I have to say that despite the back to back losses to makeshift duos, Ascension are putting together a nice body of work. Their chemistry and psychology improve with each match. It’s just a shame they seem to have been given up on just as they do improve, though that’s not the first time that’s happened in WWE (Drew McIntyre being a prime example of this). Goldust&Truth, like Mark Henry&Jack Swagger last week, wouldn’t make a bad regular duo but also like last week’s pairing they seem to be a one-off deal to fill the gaps left by injuries to the Tag Team Division.
This week we saw Raw Recaps of Kevin Owens defeating Neville then brawling with Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose, Chris Jericho making his latest return at the expense of New Day to enter himself in the Royal Rumble,and WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns retaining his title over Sheamus only to find himself forced to defend his title in the Royal Rumble match itself.
That does it for this week! Until next time, follow me on Twitter to lend your feedback! I can be found at @RandomStormGuy.