As they could not tape Superstars at Raw because of a small* fire problem all of the matches for Superstars were taped before Smackdown. On the plus side, they still managed to give a decent amount of time to the three matches. On the negative side, no Scott Stanford, therefore messing up my Top 4 of Superstars.
4. Commentary – for the most part
Look, 3 matches does not a Top 4 make. I refused to lessen the show to a Top 3. Fine. Let’s talk about the commentary. Mathews didn’t have Scott Stanford beside him during either match so that meant he was actually just going to rip one out of Scott’s book and pretend to be him for part of it. He doesn’t have the witty banter or the anecdotes, but he does mention talking to them before the match to find out what the fight is about. And doesn’t explain it very well. I don’t hate Mathews, but I want to not hear his voice as much as I do. Striker, on the other hand, has highlights of his old Smackdown self on this episode which is a ray of sunshine. Some days Striker acts like he doesn’t want to be there, others he gives it the ol’ college try. This week he definitely tried and for that he’s more the focus. Oh, and for those who still don’t believe it, they did list Matt Striker’s twitter handle.
3. Natalya vs. Layla
Layla came back and is somehow better than ever, but the crowd has yet to figure it out. They see Layla and sort of sit there on their hands. Of course at most events I’ve been to (did I mention it was 10 this year) the women do not get the respect they deserve for what they do in the company. There are still some incredible athletes amongst the women, and these are two of them. An entertaining match where Natalya feels comfortable in her character and Layla gets to act like a goofball, which she does very well. Layla ultimately wins, but neither looks bad throughout the fight.
2. Heath Slater vs. Tyson Kidd
I knew Slater was going to lose the moment he walked out, sigh, but it was against Tyson Kidd so you are at least assured another good match. Kidd is among those elite that can make anyone look good, though he doesn’t need to. Slater’s a decent wrestler who has fun in the ring. Together it’s entertaining and they ham it up a bit for the audience.
1. Cody Rhodes vs. Justin Gabriel
Okay, first I’m going to start with something completely off topic. Does Justin Gabriel look like he should be going for an S&M character or is it just me? All he needs is higher black boots and a whip. The gloves already work. I’m not even insulting it, even though it would never work. But look at that shot! Come on! … poor wording, Solace.
Anyway, Cody Rhodes and Justin Gabriel have tonight’s main event. People complained about the time on this match, not because it was too long, but because when they were going to feud there was never a match this good. They didn’t get the time to show off their skills. This match blew any previous collisions the two have had out of the water and both were able to play it up and tell a story. There might not have been a current reason for a rivalry, but boy did they have fun doing it.