Reviews WWE

WWE Superstars Review: Stars and Ankle Locks

WWE Superstars Review 2-5-16

Welcome back to my weekly WWE Superstars review. Last week’s main event pitted Titus O’Neil against former NXT mainstay Tyler Breeze. In the opening contest, Stardust picked up a pinfall victory over Darren Young.

The Ascension vs. Mark Henry and Jack Swagger

Swagger and Henry head into this match boasting a 3-0 record as a cohesive unit, having already defeated The Ascension on more than one occasion. Henry and Viktor start the match. Henry levels Viktor with a headbutt before tossing him across the ring. Viktor makes the tag to Konnor and a faint “We want Swagger!” chant breaks out. Konnor gains the upper-hand by dodging a corner clothesline, dropping Henry with a big boot, and making the tag to his partner. Viktor gets a near-fall and proceeds to stomp Henry in the center of the ring. Henry gets back to his feet and attempts to clothesline Viktor against the ropes, but he misses and is sent crashing to the outside.Konnor makes the tag and immediately rolls out of the ring. Then, The Ascension send Henry shoulder-first into the post. Konnor rolls him back into the ring and hits a leg drop for the count of two. Both men make the tag and Swagger hits a flurry of slams on Viktor. He follows that up with a Swagger Bomb and goes for a pinfall. Before the referee can count Viktor’s shoulders to the mat, Konnor pulls Swagger out of the ring. Konnor goes for a lariat, but Swagger ducks. Henry props Konnor up against the post and delivers a lariat of his own. Distracted by the carnage that’s taking place, Swagger eats a dropkick through the ropes from Viktor. Viktor then sends Swagger back inside and goes for a dive off of the ropes before being caught in the Patriot Lock. Viktor submits, and Henry and Swagger pick up their fourth consecutive victory in tag team action. On paper, this match doesn’t sound like much, but in actuality, it was a quality tag team match that came out of nowhere. In the show’s current cookie-cutter format, this is as good as a Superstars opener gets.

Stardust vs. Zack Ryder

Stardust cartwheels out of a hold before laying on the mat and mocking Ryder. Ryder goes after Stardust, but he rolls out of the ring. Stardust takes his time getting back into the ring. Afterwards, he corners Ryder and immediately targets the leg before being sending him into the turnbuckle. Ryder gets away and goes after Stardust on the other side of the ring, but the referee forces a break. The two competitors then goo back-and-forth for a bit before Stardust hits a drop-down slap to the face of Ryder. Ryder delivers a dropkick, but it isn’t enough to put Stardust away. Ryder drops Stardust with a hip toss and immediately goes for a cover, but Stardust gets his boots up before he can regroup. Ryder then proceeds to introduce a few arm drags to his arsenal. Stardust gets on the apron and goes for a springboard maneuver. Ryder dodges it and nails him with a flapjack for a near-fall. He then clothesline Stardust over the top rope and delivers a dropkick through the ropes to the outside. Ryder sends Stardust into the ring, but catches some elbow strikes on the apron. Following that, Stardust traps Ryder’s legs in the ropes and delivers a dragon screw, which causes Ryder to collapse onto the floor. When we come back from a commercial break, Stardust is in control, working on Ryder’s leg in the center of the ring. He hits a short-arm clothesline on Ryder, but only gets a two-count. Stardust then goes for a lackadaisical cover to no avail, proving that the task at hand is not as unchallenging as he once thought it to be. Ryder escapes a hold, and both competitors collide after going for a crossbody off the ropes. Both men make it back to their feet at the count of six, and Ryder makes his comeback sequence. He then goes for a Broski Boot, but Stardust rolls out of the ring once again. While Stardust has his back turned to the ring, Ryder boots him in the back of the head. Stardust attempts to counter a springboard attack after Ryder rolls him back into the ring but this time, it’s Ryder who gains the advantage. Ryder hits a springboard splash another near-fall. Stardust knees Ryder and goes for a suplex, but falls victim a neck breaker. Unfortunately for Ryder, Stardust kicks out at two and a half. Ryder goes for a corner clothesline before being hit with an elbow strike. Ryder sets Stardust up on the top rope and delivers beautiful head scissors for yet another near-fall. Ryder heads to the top for a missile dropkick, but Stardust pulls him off of the turnbuckle. Stardust follows that up by pinning Ryder with the Queen’s Crossbow.

Nothing like the heyday of Superstars where the likes of Trent Baretta and Tyson Kidd were tearing the house down every week, but a good show nonetheless. The crowd was very into Swagger, and Stardust’s limb work was exceptional. Overall, this was the best episode of Superstars I’ve seen in quite awhile.

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