WWE’s young stars showed us a glimpse of what the future might look like. The tag team champions were in action in the main event.
For the insatiable WWE fans out there, for whom Raw and SmackDown are not enough, there is always Superstars. With its focus on wrestling over entertainment, the 45-minute show sometimes offers more actual wrestling than Raw.
This episode gave fans a compelling opener, a chance to see little-used stars and Little Jimmy taking a major bump.
As United States champ Antonio Cesaro comes to ringside, Matt Striker remarks that many superstars have their eyes on the US title. Hopefully, this hints toward a non-Santino opponent for Cesaro at Night of Champions.
Cesar does his usual five-language routine. The crowd is unmoved.
It isn't until he delivers some thunderous moves to Justin Gabriel that the crowd gets into it.
Cesaro thwarts a Gabriel crossbody and turns it into a gutbuster. He also doles out a vicious kneelift that gets a big gasp from the crowd.
The match is a showcase of Cesaro's power as he remains in control for most of the bout, targeting Gabriel's torso.
Oddly enough, fans begin a "U.S.A." chant despite the face in the ring being a South African.
Gabriel gets in a few kicks and a nice rolling elbow but never seems to gain momentum.
Cesaro finishes off his foe with a mid-air European uppercut and the Neutralizer, capping a well-worked match.
The US champ certainly has the in-ring skills to create great matches, but it may take a while for fans to catch on to his talents. Hopefully, he gets a good opponent at Night of Champions to showcase what he can do.
The two Divas begin cautiously, feeling each other out.
Natalya pushes Layla which leads to a roll-through, and the intensity is picking up. The crowd reacts to Layla's athleticism and Natayla's strength.
Layla ruins a series of impressive moves, including a springboard crossbody, with some goofy dancing. She looks like she's doing the poor man's Spinneroonie.
After hitting a powerful spinning clothesline on Layla, Natayla grinds her opponent down with rest holds.
The short match ends with Layla delivering a kick to Natayla's throat.
These two women's chemistry was quite good. There were some sloppy moments, but there is potential for some entertaining matches here if WWE wants to go that direction post-Night of Champions.
WWE take note. Alex Riley got the biggest pop of all the wrestlers on Superstars.
Damien Sandow did his usual shtick for "the betterment and benefit" of the WWE Universe. As he enters the ring, the camera spots a fan in a rather convincing Randy Savage costume.
Props to that guy.
Sandow evades Riley for the first few moments of the match, slipping in and out of the ring. Meanwhile, Matt Striker calls A-Ry the Mike Trout of the WWE—an interesting comparison, though Trout gets far more playing time.
Riley has a couple of clotheslines and a spinebuster for his opponent but is mostly dominated. Sandow stomps and elbows his way to controlling the action.
At one point, Riley hits a flying clothesline and Sandow delivers a Ziggleresque sell of the move, looking unconscious for a moment.
Sandow is tested, sweaty and breathing hard but comes out on top—as one might expect. He is clearly having fun playing his role, and it will be interesting to see what they do with him next.
The tag team champs enter the ring with Little Jimmy at their side. Primo plays along, having fun with the imaginary kid before kicking him in his invisible face.
Kofi Kingston and R-Truth take control early, Truth dancing, Kingston flying.
Primo and Epico take advantage of a distracted ref and get some cheap shots in to turn the tide in their favor. A pretty standard tag team match follows, complete with heel tactics and a hot tag.
Primo and Epico are upping their showmanship in recent weeks.
They've begun to put more emphasis on showcasing their arrogance while in the ring. This will give them more depth.
Matt Striker spent a good portion of the match discussing who should be the No. 1 contender for the tag belts.
According to him, the WWE Board of Directors will decide Truth and Kofi's opponents after SmackDown. Striker throws out several candidates: the Usos, the PrimeTime Players and Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd.
Perhaps WWE doesn't know what they want to do here and are just delaying the decision.
The only certain thing is that this guarantees no hype whatsoever for the Night of Champions tag match.
The Superstars match ends with the action getting chaotic, all the men and Rosa involved. Rosa tries to distract the ref to get the upper hand but instead watches Kofi pin her man after a Trouble in Paradise.