WWE Saturday Morning Slam Report
By: David Parker
The Big News: It’s back to normal on Saturday Morning Slam as Team Hell No takes on the 3MB in separate singles matches.
At the beginning of the show, the host said he hoped the WWE Universe had a happy New Year. He announced that Kane will take on Jinder Mahal and Daniel Bryan will face Heath Slater.
A video hyping today’s matches was shown. The host noted that Bryan and Kane are former world champions (footage of Kane’s 2010 reign was shown), but the members of 3MB aren’t pushovers. He then recapped the history between Bryan and Kane; he mentioned their relationships with AJ Lee, their trip to anger management, becoming tag team champions who don’t get along, and their recent reconciliation.
Natalya then interviewed the tag team (who were never referred to as Team Hell No during the show for obvious reasons). I guess this is a sign WWE wants to move her away from wrestling. Both men said, “We are the tag team champions,” and Bryan mocked the 3MB for not playing any instruments. When Natalya asked if they’re ecstatic about being on SMS, both men said yes, but Bryan wasn’t sure if Kane was being sarcastic. Bryan asked Kane if he was going to be cheering for him in his corner during his match; Kane didn’t give a straight answer, noting that he could be doing things like raising havoc. Bryan was pretty upset over his response.
Kane defeated Jinder Mahal. Josh Matthews and Booker T were the match’s commentators. Even though it was established that Bryan and Kane now get along, Booker still thought they were at odds. As for the match itself, Kane mostly dominated Mahal. At one point, Kane went for the chokeslam, but Mahal escaped and left the ring. After he and the rest of 3MB tried to come up with a plan, all three men got on the apron and started to enter the ring (it appeared they were doing something similar to the Slater-Cena match), but Bryan ran to the ring and also got on the apron. The referee ordered the noncombatants to get off the ring; after Mahal argued with the referee, he walked into a flying clothesline from Kane, allowing the Big Red Monster to get the pin. Prior to this show, has he ever won a match with that move?
Daniel Bryan defeated Heath Slater. Prior to the match, a “Do Not Try This At Home” vignette featuring Daniel Bryan was shown. As it turned out, Kane stayed at ringside. At the beginning of the match, Slater was almost counted out for taking too long to get off the apron and enter the ring. Slater managed to get the first move, but Bryan was in control afterwards. Slater made a brief comeback, but Bryan managed to recover and apply a surfboard. Later in the match, Slater took control when he managed to hold on to the ropes after an Irish Whip and dropped Bryan over the ropes when he charged at him.
After the break, Bryan was about the escape a submission hold from Slater. This was the first of three submission holds Slater applied in this part of the match. Bryan tried to make a comeback after each submission; while his first two attempts were unsuccessful, he finally took control after escaping a body scissors. For the finish, after Drew McIntyre distracted Bryan on the apron; while Kane pulled him down, this gave Slater a chance to hit a suplex. However, Bryan was able to escape and apply the No Lock on Slater who quickly tapped out. The tag team champions celebrated afterwards as the finishes from both matches were shown on replay.
There were a couple things about the match that also got my attention. The number of moves that were cut was higher than usual, which was strange, since not all of them appeared to aim for the head or neck. Also, at one point, Josh Matthews talked about how it’s good that Bryan doesn’t get distracted during the match by doing stuff like a spinaroonie; this upset Booker, who told him not to talk about it, since he didn’t know about the spinaroonie. Matthews has a point in kayfabe; Booker did lose the WCW Championship to The Rock because he did a spinaroonie.
Afterwards, Natalya interviewed Damien Sandow backstage. He said that while he normally wrestles post meridiem, he decided to make an exception and come to an ante meridiem show. Natalya noted that most people just say A.M. and P.M. Sandow said that he would clean up the filth on next week’s show by doing lessons in the ring on subjects like English and spelling. Orton appeared and gave him a spelling abbreviation: “RKO.” He asked him what that stood for, and challenged him to a match next week. After he left, Sandow claimed that it doesn’t stand for anything. Matthews announced that the match will air next week as the show came to a close.
It’s interesting to see how the show has evolved. It’s gone from having one match and separate, unrelated segments to having two matches and no unrelated segments. I wonder if that’s what they’re going to do for the future.
No new ratings data. For the sake of analysis, it really doesn’t matter, since we don’t know what kind of ratings Saban wants in their time slot.