Credit: James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor
This week’s episode of WWE Superstars on WGN started with Smackdown announcers Todd Grisham and Matt Striker introducing the show, then MVP came out for the opening match. Chris Masters followed behind him, as did NXT Rookie Percy Watson. There was a lot of posturing and movement in that group. On-camera, Grisham and Striker talked up the Money in the Bank PPV and Kane’s surprise World Title victory. The Dudebusters then came out to face MVP and Masters while Striker listed the Dudebusters’s itinerary of events over the past week.
1 — CHRIS MASTERS & MVP (w/Percy Watson) vs. DUDEBUSTERS (TRENT BARETTA & CAYLEN CROFT)
MVP and Trent started things off as Striker plugged the NXT voting currently ongoing on WWE’s website. Masters then tagged in and worked on Trent, including a high back-body drop for a one count. Masters followed with a round of chops to the chest that drew “Oh yeahs” from Watson ringside. Croft then blind-tagged into the match between Masters’s back and cut him off at the knee to begin a focused attack on the lower body. The Dudes continued to work over Masters, who countered a spinning toehold into a small package for a two count on Trent.
Masters broke free from Trent and made his way to the corner to tag in MVP. Croft also tagged in and accepted the Ballin’ elbow drop moments later. MVP made a cover, but Trent broke it up. The action broke down with Masters locking in the Masterlock on Trent to knock him to the outside. In the confusion, Croft tried a small package on MVP, but MVP escaped and flowed into the Play of the Day finisher for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: MVP & Masters in 6:00. Fine tag match with the focus on MVP, but not long enough for the Dudes to stand out offensively. (*1/4)
Still to come: Hart Dynasty vs. Usos in a Money in the Bank re-match.
2 — JTG vs. CHAVO GUERRERO
Grisham and Striker talked about JTG reviewing the tape of his loss last week to Chavo Guerrero and finding “what he did wrong.” Nice kayfabe set-up for their re-match this week. JTG’s strategy of tape review didn’t work out too well, though, as Chavo won the match in a decisive three minutes with the top rope Frogsplash. Striker covered for JTG in the process, saying JTG was competitive despite the loss.
WINNER: Chavo in 3:00. Another victory for Chavo that seems to be part of WWE’s strategy to attempt mini-storylines on Superstars that continue from week-to-week, with the recent example being the month-long Bellas vs. Jillian storyline. (*)
Backstage: They showed Yoshi Tatsu warming up while walking down the hallway to face Primo Colon next.
Nexus Video: They recapped Nexus’s path of destruction over the past several weeks, including the attack on Ricky Steamboat, who remains in the hospital. Of course, WWE will claim the attack had nothing to do with Steamboat’s physical condition.
In-ring: Yoshi Tatsu came out for Raw’s first match of the night. Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler were shown on-camera to talk up the MITB PPV as “Mr. Superstars” Primo came out to face Yoshi.
3 — YOSHI TATSU vs. PRIMO COLON
Yoshi and Primo started with some basic chain wrestling and Primo hid between the ropes to get a rope break. Yoshi then knocked Primo to the outside and landed a drop kick through the ropes. Yoshi teased a follow-up plancha, but Primo cut him off and landed a boot on the apron. Back in the ring, Primo went to work on Yoshi with a methodical attack. Lawler said he’s not sure if the “change in attitude” has paid dividends in the wins/loss column for Primo, but he senses it’s helped Primo. Lawler talked up Yoshi, who made a comeback with his high-flying moveset. They battled to the corner and Yoshi attempted a huracanrana, but Primo ducked underneath. Primo then hit a backstabber off the second rope and made cover for the win.
WINNER: Primo in 5:00. Another fine match, but too short to stand out on the show. Good win for Primo if it matters at the end of the day with WWE’s lack of emphasis on wins and losses. (*1/4)
Raw Rebound: They went back to Monday where John Cena turned down the option of joining Nexus, then forming his seven-team unit, with Bret Hart, to face Nexus at Summerslam.
Announcers: Lawler and Cole broke down the Summerslam line-up thus far with Team Cena vs. Team Nexus and WWE champion Sheamus vs. Randy Orton.
In-ring: Cue up the Hart music to bring out the Unified tag champions. Hart Dynasty got their shine in the ring before Cole recapped their title retention over the Usos on Sunday at the MITB PPV. Main event next.
4 — Unified tag champions HART DYNASTY (TYSON KIDD & D.H. SMITH w/Natalya) vs. USO BROTHERS (JIMMY & JEY USO w/Tamina) — non-title match
Smith and Jey started things off, with Smith quickly grounding Jey with a headlock. Lawler expanded on his thoughts from the PPV that Smith has all the tools, but he needs a mean streak to be a dominant force. Smith continued to work on Jey with an armbar and Jey reached the ropes with a break. Jey recovered to his feet and landed right hands to the face until running into a high knee from Smith. Kidd tagged in to a strong reaction and they set up a double-team dropkick with Jey hanging upside down in the corner.
Kidd slapped on an armbar and tagged in Smith again after continuing to set a methodical pace. Jey eventually made his way to the Uso corner to bring in Jimmy. The Usos tried to out-quick Smith, who eventually dumped both of them to the outside. The Usos retreated on the outside while the Harts stood tall in the ring as they cut to break.
Back from break, the Usos had control of the match working over Kidd. Kidd then came back with a back kick to the mid-section before hitting a double-foot dropkick that knocked Jimmy to the outside. Kidd tried a running dive off the ring apron onto the Usos, but Kidd fell into their arms, then was tossed into the guardrail. Kidd got some serious air on the way down, looking like he was in a movie on a suspension cord. Kidd made it back into the ring at a nine count, then Jimmy went back on the attack.
The Usos began a methodical beat down on Kidd at 10:00 while Natalya tried to rally the crowd. Jimmy and Jey executed a signature double-team move and gloated before making a cover that Smith broke up. The announcers got over the “resilient” label for Kidd as he continued to kick out of pin attempts. Kidd and Jimmy had a double knock-down center ring, which led to Jey tagging in, then Smith coming in with the hot tag.
Smith executed power offense as Lawler noted more aggression from Smith. Smith then tried a Sharpshooter, but Tamina hopped on the ring apron for a distraction. Natalya then came up behind Tamina and popped her with a clothesline on the floor. Back in the ring, the Harts hit a double Hart Attack on the Usos and Smith made the cover on Jey for the pin and the win. Post-match: Natalya hugged it out with the Harts as the Usos retreated on the outside. Nice crowd reaction for the win with the match peaking right at the finish. After a replay of the high points in the match, they showed the Harts celebrating in the ring and the Usos retreating up the stage to close the show.
WINNERS: Hart Dynasty in 14:00. Very good TV tag match. Hart Dynasty look good for a long-term run with the tag titles until WWE finds a solid heel tag team (could be the Usos) to take the belts off them to set up the Harts on the chase. Good conclusion to the show. (**1/4)