WWE Superstars TV Report: Del Rio vs. Gabriel, SLATER GATOR



Slater Gator
Image by Fabian Winchester

By James Cox, Wrestling Observer

Noteworthy: Alberto Del Rio was on Superstars for the second straight week and needed seven stitches to his left eye after his match against Justin Gabriel, who returned. Heath Slater and Titus O’Neil are now a team – ‘Slater Gator’.
 
Alberto Del Rio beat Justin Gabriel with the cross armbreaker in 4:14
 
So Del Rio is out here on this show for the second week running, yet he’s beating Dolph Ziggler one week and facing Roman Reigns the other in the main event over on SmackDown. Your guess is as good as mine but we’re constantly told that he’s likely running down his contract and then going.

Gabriel gets some early offense and out of an Irish whip he hits a spinning heel kick on Del Rio who rolls under the bottom rope on to the apron. Gabriel picks him up and suplexes him from the outside into the ring. Del Rio rolls outside to compose himself. Gabriel charges and hits a baseball slide on Del Rio and the both go down. Del Rio gets up first and hits an almighty clothesline on Gabriel, strikes him to the back of the head and then rolls him back in.

Gabriel has had an odd career to date. Part of the original Nexus, his style is entertaining but he lacks charisma and is a fairly useless promo. He’s won tag team gold on three occasions but that was more a case of hoping the title would make the man rather than a genuine push. He even had a brief role on Total Divas but Jojo Offerman was quickly removed from all programming and was never seen again. His extreme sports obsession seems to be more important to him that his wrestling career.

Del Rio puts him in a rear chin lock and as Gabriel powers out of it, he is hit with a back suplex as Renee Young tells us that Gabriel enjoys such pursuits as volcano boarding… whatever that is. Del Rio pings Gabriel into the corner and then lands a fabulous enziguri and covers him for a two count.

Back to the rear chin lock goes Del Rio and this time his back suplex attempt is reversed as Gabriel tries a leg sweep but can only make it count for a one count. Del Rio responds with a back breaker and puts him on the top rope for a suplex. As he lands on the mat and gets up to posture, “si!” chants break out but somewhere here Del Rio has been busted open. I think it must have been from a landing on the suplex. He grabs the arm and puts Gabriel in the cross armbreaker for the win.

Essentially a squash for Del Rio here.

-- The Raw Rebound showed that fantastic Cena and Heyman segment followed by Cena v Cesaro and ended with a video package promoting the Orton and Reigns feud.

-- Backstage, we’re shown exclusive WWE.com footage of Alberto Del Rio getting seven stitches. Heath Slater and Titus O’Neil argue backstage – Heath wants to be a team but Titus O’Neil says “I don’t like you; we’re not a team.” Next thing we know they’re out on Superstars and they’re called Slater Gator. What happened? I have zero clue.

Slater Gator (Heath Slater & Titus O’Neil) beat Sin Cara & Zack Ryder in 7:47

Heath and Sin Cara start things off and Ryder and his goatee is quickly tagged in and hits his best move (a drop kick) on Heath. Titus tags in a works over Ryder, doing the Big Show flat hand slaps to the chest in the corner. These clearly suck and none of the guys like taking them.

A kick from Ryder out of an Irish whip slows him down and then he follows it up with a lariat as he dumps Titus outside over the top rope. Sin Cara comes in to lower the top rope so that Slater can be dumped outside, too. Since they’re a tag team in the WWE - and babyfaces - they have to do some dives so, Sin Cara hits a topé while Ryder uses a rather lame missile drop kick onto Slater Gator and we go to a break.

As we return, Ryder powers out of O’Neil’s chin lock and hits his drop kick, tagging in Sin Cara. Titus gets a tag to Heath as well and Sin Cara does his signature routine: the top rope punch, the top rope springboard cross body, the back elbow off the ropes but can only get a two count.  A heel kick from Slater allows him some respite and he tags in Titus who stomps Sin Cara into the mat.

O’Neil does his torture wrack style backbreaker, which still has no name, and gets a two count. Slater tags back in and uses stomps, kicks, and a choke with his knee. He tags O’Neil back in who whips Sin Cara and he blocks the charge as both go down.

There’s a creative finish at least as Ryder gets the hot tag, get his knees up on a charge, hits a top rope missile drop kick and sends Slater packing. He hits a Broski Boot on Titus but only gets a two count because Slater makes the save. Ryder hits Slater with the Rough Ryder, turns back to do likewise on O’Neil but gets beaten with the Clash of the Titus.

Nothing to this match. WWE doesn’t need another hodgepodge comedy heel tag team and, given the cutbacks, I’d be worried if I were these guys.

-- The Raw Rebound was a rehash of Steph and Brie from Monday.

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