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Saturday, June 12, 2010

WWE Superstars 2010: The First 4 Months, #10-6

10. Evan Bourne vs. Carlito (2/4/10)

This was a very offense-based match for WWE, and one style that WWE is actually really good at (that they don’t get much credit for) is the your-move-my-move style that plagues so many indies. WWE main event style can often be your-move-my-move but enough of their guys have decent selling ability that they aren’t just rushing through from spot to spot.

This starts with Bourne kicking the shit out of Carlito’s leg, and Carlito putting over the kicks great. For fans of the Wrestling Observer, Carlito was Hidehiko Yoshida to Evan Bourne’s Mirko Crop Cop. We spill to the floor and Bourne misses a plancha, recovers, and NAILS Carlito with an awesome knee to the face. We go back in and Carlito still admirably sells his knee, still getting offense on Bourne but showing that his leg is killing him. I didn’t care for him hitting his slo-mo springboard back elbow, but at least he clutched his knee when he landed. They start exchanging some big moves and get some fun nearfalls, and the end run is really nicely done by Carlito. Just like Chavo was finding a bunch of cool news ways to get in position for the 619 every week in 2004, Carlito kept finding cool believable ways to fall perfectly in position for Air Bourne. Bourne blasts him with a kick from the apron, Carlito falls back nicely into place. Bourne goes up top, Carlito struggles up to stop him, catches a knee and falls right into place for Air Bourne (still one of the most spectacular finishers around). Bourne really could be one of the most popular people on the roster if he got more TV time. The fans love him because he does cool moves that nobody else in WWE does, and he knows how to make opponents’ offense look devastating. I miss WWE’s ECW. It was just one more hour a week where guys like Bourne could have awesome 7-10 minutes matches.

9. Layla vs. Beth Phoenix (4/8/10)

People finally seem to be coming around on Layla, but she has been nothing short of awesome since she started with WWE. When she was Regal's second she was always great at ringside, better than most experienced male workers. Her facials are perfect, which made her an amazing team with Regal, two of the most expressive faces in wrestling. She's been a good worker for awhile now but she's just now getting her due with her awesome LayCool tag team (She had a great match against McCool a couple years ago where Layla's transitions were really awesome and had a nice natural feel to them. She looked really comfortable on the mat.) This match is super fun and Layla works it perfectly. She knows she's in over her head against the Glamazon, so she does what any sensible person would do: runs like mad, tries to beg off, and when that doesn't work, kicks her. Layla has some really nice kicks and Phoenix plays them up nicely, putting them over well. Layla actually got a lot of offense in this one, thanks mostly to McCool and Vickie Guerrero running distraction on the outside. Best bit of that was when McCool got Beth to chase, then Vickie distracts her further, allowing Layla to hit an awesome baseball slide dropkick. Layla chokes her on the ropes, then gets too cocky and locks on a headlock while trashtalking. Beth simply powers out, dishes out a backbreaker, and then we go to the Glam Slam for the finish. Layla takes offense really well and bumps in a really cool natural way (kinda like Akira Taue would take bumps more realistically, not like wrestling school hit the mat flat back bumps...and NO I'm not saying Layla is as good as Akira Taue so pipe down...though she is clearly better than a large majority of the current puro favorites), really throws herself into stuff like armdrags and the like, and her selling and faces really put over her opponent. She's been one of my favorites to watch for some time now. You all need to get into Layla.

8. Goldust vs. Chris Jericho (3/4/10)

Never thought I’d see the day where Dustin was getting all these TV opportunities to do his thing. None of the matches have been as good as the match he had on the 3/14 @ the Cow Palace against Dolph Ziggler (view the fancam here! http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xclw9u_goldust-v-dolph-ziggler_sport), but they’re almost always really damn fun. It’s so nice to see Dustin in this kind of meaningful comeback. The crowd genuinely gets behind him and it seems really special. He works really nicely with Jericho here, especially love the reverse Irish whip into the leaping butt to the face, and Jericho missing the Lionsault, stumbling into the ropes, and stumbling back into a great snap powerslam. Dustin clotheslining Jericho to the floor was awesome as well. I want to see Dustin against anybody in the world. He’s like Finlay in that regard.

7. William Regal vs. Evan Bourne (3/4/10)

This might be the first time these two met, and THIS was a great way to work a 5 minute match. Starts off with some opening wristlock stuff and Bourne gets a nice headscissor hold that Regal fights out of, but it pisses Regal right off. Then Bourne lands a nice monkey flip and a beautiful headscissors takedown (man Regal takes a headscissors great) and this is the final straw as Regal decides to stretch the shit out of Bourne and make him hurt. Regal just has his way with him, rolling him on the mat, throwing him with a suplex, stretching him some more. Bourne gets a flash kick to Regal’s spine (so we get to see Regal’s amazing facial as he sells his back better than anybody. I bet Regal would sell a stubbed toe REALLY great.), and Regal walks right into Bourne’s awesome jumping knee RIGHT to the chin. Air Bourne, and we’re out. I love how genuinely excited Lawler gets whenever he hits Air Bourne (really, he seems to just enjoy Evan Bourne in general. His matches are one of the few times where he just stops cracking jokes and seems generally in awe of Bourne). He stops acting like a douche for a moment and just totally gets into the awesome spectacle in front of him.

6. William Regal vs. Yoshi Tatsu (4/1/10)

Regal has been a blast working with all the younger guys, as he does completely different offense in all the little matches, mixes everything up. He got three singles matches over this period on Superstars, and he hit different suplexes in each one (butterfly, half nelson, exploder) and busted out different submission variations. He leans into all of Tatsu’s kicks here and makes them look really great. They get to a point where they start trading back and forth in the middle, and it was one of the best exchanges I’ve seen, just due to how they position themselves. Usually when you see these indie chop and kick exchangers, it’s two guys standing straight across each other, taking turns kicking each other in the chest, taking turns growling and miming double fist jack off until they decide to go to the next part of the match. Here Regal and Tatsu start the back-and-forth exchanges but do it while circling each other, Tatsu kicking from different angles to different body parts, Regal trying to pick his forearm shots. It looked really cool and was a different way of doing a completely played out spot. Regal must know how awesome he is at selling kicks to the back, as Tatsu kicks him up and down and Regal puts it over huge. His missed running knee would’ve absolutely obliterated Tatsu. I hate when missed moves would’ve missed had the guy not moved one inch anyway (like people clotheslining a foot over an opponents’ head, not even requiring him to duck). The crowd doesn’t expect the head kick to finish it, but it looked nice and this was a fun time.

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