1/15 WWE Superstars Report
by Matt Storm
We’re a week away from the Royal Rumble and now more than ever, momentum is an absolute essential. Which superstars would build some this week and which would find themselves mired in a slump?
Your announcers this week are Rich Brennan and Byron Saxton returning to spare us from The Miz. Thank you Byron!!
1. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray& D-Von) vs. The Ascension (Konnor& Viktor)
Ascension come into this opener looking to snap a four match losing streak while The Dudleyz defeated The Waytts in a Tables Match on Smackdown.
Bubba and Viktor kick things off with an intense struggle after locking up. Viktor briefly forces Bubba to his knees, Bubba fighting up quickly and forcing him into the corner. When the referee steps in to force a break, Viktor rocks Bubba with a forearm smash following with a clothesline to the right shoulder. After an uppercut and a chop in the corner, Viktor attempts an Irish Whip across the ring; Bubba reverses it and isn’t there when Viktor tries to go up& over him. Bubba plants Viktor with a back suplex and keeps him on the mat with an armbar.
Bubba sends Viktor into his corner where he misses a swing at D-Von. D-Von sends Viktor into the ropes from the apron and Bubba connects with a big boot to the face. D-Von tags in and makes the cover for a nearfall. Viktor recovers and lays into D-Von with a knee to the midsection and a chop. D-Von ducks a clothesline and comes off the ropes with a spinning back elbow for a nearfall. Viktor rushes D-Von and rams him into the corner. D-Von decks both Ascension until Konnor drops to the floor to avoid another elbow; D-Von keeps his focus on him long enough for Viktor to hit an STO.
Konnor tags in and gets a nearfall with a flapjack. D-Von is choked on the bottom rope, Konnor’s boot planted firmly on his back. D-Von fires off some right hands but runs right into a back elbow, Konnor following with a flying elbow off the ropes for a nearfall. Konnor traps D-Von in a chinlock for several minutes before D-Von fights up and breaks the hold with shots to the midsection. Konnor cuts him off with a knee to the midsection and sends him into the corner. Konnor rushes into a back elbow, shakes it off and rushes D-Von a second time, D-Von moves and he posts himself shoulder first.
Bubba gets the hot tag and goes to work throwing several jabs. He ducks a clothesline and lands two of his own. Bubba sends Konnor into the corner and follows in with a body splash. Viktor gets knocked off the apron with a clothesline and Konnor falls victim to a Uranage. Viktor quickly recovers but is met with jabs and a bionic elbow when he slides into the ring. Bubba slams him and D-Von comes off the top with the Wazz Up. Konnor misses a clothesline and The Dudleyz deliver 3D, D-Von covering for the pinfall.
Winners: The Dudley Boyz
Anaylsis: At least Ascension can say they lost to a legitimate team this week. Match was a good opener following the formula of Ascension matches lately: Slow start, several minutes of domination only to lose in the end. The Dudleyz remain a vital part of the tag team division. I just wish they had more teams to work with.
2. Tyler Breeze vs. Jack Swagger
This is a return match from last week’s opener, which saw Breeze pick up the victory.
They start out locking up and Breeze escapes a side headlock. Pleased with himself, he lays across the top turnbuckle to do his trademark pose. Not amused in the least, Swagger rushes at him but he hides in the ropes to avoid any physicality. Swagger connects with a waistlock slam. He goes for a second one but Breeze hooks onto the top rope to prevent it; as the referee administers the count for Swagger to break, Breeze catches him with a back elbow. He then returns to the corner to complete the pose Swagger had interrupted moments ago.
Swagger advances towards Breeze who humorously tries to ward him off with his foot. Swagger snatches it and yanks him back onto the mat and tosses him across the ring. Swagger clotheslines Breeze over the top rope and decides he too wants to perform Breeze’s pose; the crowd pops big for that. Breeze returns to the ring and is greeted with a shoulder block for a Swagger nearfall.
Swagger bounces Breeze;s head off the top turnbuckle then rams him into the adjacent corner. Breeze is sent into the ropes but manages to hook onto them a second time to halt his momentum. He tries to backdrop an incoming Swagger over the top rope but doesn’t quite lift him up all the way and Swagger lands awkwardly on the ropes. Swagger lands a right hand but is sent rolling to the apron after a dropkick to the right knee. Breeze dropkicks the knee a second time to send Swagger onto the floor.
After the break, we see Breeze repeatedly dropping elbow onto the bad lag of The Real American. Breeze locks in a half crab but Swagger stays alive by reaching the bottom rope. Breeze goes to apply a spinning toe hold but gets kicked off through the ropes. Swagger catches Breeze coming back in with a flapjack then goes for the Patriot Lock.
Breeze kicks Swagger off into the corner but missed a charge. Swagger drills Breeze with a hard clothesline for a nearfall. Swagger drives into the midsection with a knee in the corner but misses another clothesline attempt; Breeze looks for the Unprettier but it’s countered. Swagger goes for a back suplex but Breeze flips out of it onto his feet and hits a leaping Enzuigiri for a nearfall.
Breeze stomps away at Swagger in the corner but his whip is reversed. Fortunately, he is able to use momentum to avoid crashing in the corner and goes onto the apron. He rocks Swagger with a forearm and comes off the top rope with a crossbody; Swagger catches him and gets a nearfall with a powerslam. Swagger goes for the Swagger Bomb but Breeze gets a boot up, connecting with the jaw. Breeze charges forward but is met with a double boot to the chest. Swagger hits the Swagger Bomb without a running start. Swagger executes a leg sweep and applies the Patriot Lock. Breeze momentarily fights it but quickly taps out.
Winner: Jack Swagger
Anaylsis: Very solid feature match! With more time given this week, they were able to develop a better chemistry the second time around. Unfortunately this is another case of 50-50 booking doing no favors for anyone. Breeze won decisively last week, Swagger gets his win back, and both remain where they were before either match. And that’s a true shame because they both belong on the main shows with bigger roles. Breeze especially as he’s worked at the same level he did in NXT only less appreciated by main roster creative and Vince McMahon.
Raw Recaps: This week’s show took a look back at:
-The McMahon Family torturing Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar delivering an F5 to the WWE World Heavyweight Champion
-New Day appearing on Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel and losing to The Usos in a Non-Title Match
-Sheamus vs. Dean Ambrose followed by the latest Ambrose/Kevin Owens brawl
A good show this week. When watching, you know you aren’t going to get any heavy wrestling storylines
so you can at the very least hope for the two matches to be of good quality. This week certainly fit that bill. Particularly, check out Swagger vs. Breeze if you only have time for one.
That’ll do it for this week! Questions or comments? Hit me up on Twitter (@RandomStormGuy) or Rainmaker5685@gmail.com