First, 23:46 of match time is better than previous weeks, but it’s spread out between 4 matches where 19 minutes of match time usually went to 3. That pretty much covers the extra match. Still, there are another 23 minutes of on air time that is filled with ads and recaps and entrances. WWE is delusional if they believe you are watching Superstars but have somehow missed RAW and don’t plan on catching it again.
Second, I asked for four matches so I could leave one off, so I could actually choose the better matches, and then WWE gave me what I asked for. You know that whole, “Be careful what you wish for?” I was having a rough time choosing which match to leave off. I know for many of the TWC this would be easy, because Riley is hated among the internet, but leaving Riley off this week feels wrong, but in the end I had to. In any other week this match could have been in the top spots because Alex Riley showed more character than smiling heartthrob and Sandow showed an incredible amount of skill, and still, it was the weaker of the four matches. That’s not even saying anything bad about the match, though. Not with what they are up against.
4. Antonio Cesaro vs. Justin Gabriel
Ah, you have to love (hate) when USA chants start and none of the men are from the US. I just consoled myself with thinking they were cheering for the US champ and decided to let it go (mostly). The match itself was good, unlike the other three matches of the night these two took it a bit more seriously. Riley and Sandow may have had on “serious face” but the matches were fun. This match was calculated, but not in a slow moving way. This was two athletes putting on an entertaining match for the crowd, and doing a great job of it.
3. Layla vs. Natalya
I laughed at this match, and not in a, “That was so bad it was funny.” Layla and Natalya go out there and engage the audience. Natalya whines and yells at Striker for laughing at Layla’s antics, and even throws a tantrum when she loses. It’s a great way to build her character, or give her character since the divas do not get enough story time, and she embraces the time she has and makes it her own. Layla dances in the ring, smacks her booty (and is called a great role model for young girls just moments before this) and genuinely looks excited to be out there. Layla and Natalya are just pure fun in the ring. It’s hard not to like these two.
2. Kofi Kingston & R-Truth vs. Epico & Primo
Continuing the streak of having fun while out in the ring, Epico and Primo start playing entertaining points, including attacking Little Jimmy. Despite the crazy antics it never takes away from the athleticism that is displayed between the ropes. These four have perfected the way to entertain on a show like Superstars, where in-ring is key to displaying character, talent, and passion.
1. Scott Stanford
As usual, when the story isn’t in the ring Scott Stanford is telling it on commentary. He’s teamed up with Striker again this week, which I prefer, but I still think Striker needs to tone it back a bit. Striker on Smackdown was good and had fun, when he’s out there with Stanford he appears to be competing which takes away from the flow. Scott Stanford is never one to get deterred, though, and keeps up the enthusiasm. It’s also fun to see them taking clear sides once again, with Striker continuing to praise Sandow for his intelligence and Stanford coming right back with why Riley is the entertaining man in the ring to watch. Sandow did win that match and Stanford quirked to Striker, “Come on, sit down, does he deserve a standing ovation?”