WWE Superstars TV Report: RVD vs. Hawkins, Sandow vs. Gabriel
By James Cox
This week's Superstars was a show that showcased two World Heavyweight Title contenders proving that they’re not going anywhere fast; one that gave Curt Hawkins a run out on TV and one that pushed Sunday’s Battleground ppv.
RVD comes out to a good reaction and is joined by Ricardo in a pink version of the RVD shirt to support the Breast Cancer awareness campaign. Tom Phillips is trusted to be the lead announcer this week and is joined by Alex Riley who was bumped last week while they checked on Phillips who had Josh Matthews to hold his hand.
Curt Hawkins is out next. He’s made an NXT appearance in the last month but hasn’t been on Superstars since August 1st. The haircut makes him into just another guy. Think Ziggler when he cut it and stopped bleaching. Rob Van Dam vs. Curt Hawkins
RVD chants start up and the two lock up, Van Dam arm dragging Hawkins. He then puts him in a headlock and as Hawkins powers out, RVD kicks him in the head so that Hawkins falls through the ropes to the matting outside. While on the floor, Van Dam sets up for a plancha over the top rope which Hawkins catches safely. RVD pulls him back in the ring and hits a beautiful Rolling Thunder into a senton from the top turnbuckle. He gets a two count. Hawkins is just out there for RVD to hit all his signatures on.
Hawkins gives RVD a suplex and goes for the cover who kicks out at one. Hawkins knees him in the back and then applies a rear chin lock. Van Dam battles out, runs the ropes and hits Hawkins with a spinning heel kick to the face. He then plants him in the corner and out of the Rolling Thunder uses a monkey flip. Hawkins then reverses an Irish whip but gets rolled up for a two count by Van Dam.
The match’s finish sees Van Dam get up and hit Hawkins with a super kick and then the Rolling Thunder splash. Outside, Ricardo is desperately gesturing for Van Dam to hit the frog splash as if Rob hasn’t being doing this for over 15 years. Of course, he hits the Five Star Frog Splash for the win in 4:38. A fine match; the kind of great match you’d want to see at a live show to get you warmed up – which is exactly what this was. The fact that there was no hard cam for this match didn’t matter either, whereas it normally bothers the hell out of me.
The Raw Rebound is next – the Rhodes family and McMahon-Helmsley segement (no, Goldust shouldn’t have worn paint with his suit) followed by the whole of the Heyman, Ryback and Punk segment. Everyone in the Punk segment was great, Punk sold his knee really well and Heyman and Ryback’s facials were excellent.
Out next on Superstars is Damien Sandow who cuts a promo saying that he is “your uncrowned World Champion”. He buries the city, “the ignoramus capital of the Gulf Coast” and out to face him is Justin Gabriel who is now being called ‘the Cape Town Warewolf’ which is infinitely better than Tony Dawson’s moniker, the ‘darewolf’~! Damien Sandow vs. Justin Gabriel
They lock up and chain wrestle. Sandow takes advantage by starting with a wrist lock that Gabriel reverses only to be smashed by Sandow with a stiff elbow. He then picks Gabriel up and uses a really sloppy scoop slam on him for a one count. He continues to bully him, using eye gauges and boots to the face until Gabriel counters by rolling up Sandow for two quick pins, both are two counts.
Sandow catches Gabriel, throws him outside and charges him into the ring apron. Back inside the ring, he stomps on him and shoulder barges him into the corners. Gabriel counters, whipping Sandow and going for a drop kick but Sandow holds the ropes so Gabriel lands on his ass. We go to a break.
Sandow is in a rest hold as we return and eventually when Gabriel powers out Sandow slows him down with kicks to his left knee and a suplexes. Sandow then uses the middle rope to choke Gabriel and then plants the Cubito Aequet for a two count. Riley on commentary points out that in Florida during the last hurricane when everyone was battening down the hatches, Gabriel went out with a surfboard to try and catch some waves. So the guy is out of his mind yet his character seems like a dull wrestler who happens to be a high flyer.
Gabriel hits a charging Sandow with knees to the face and then lands a clothesline and a spinning heel kick to his face. He then rolls to the apron and hits a springboard plancha on Sandow and gets a two count. Gabriel goes for a springboard moonsault but this time Sandow takes out his leg out of desperation and he starts to sell the knee that Sandow hit. He goes for the cover but only gets a two count.
The finish, almost out of nowhere, comes when Sandow uses a full nelson slam (The Silencer) which doesn’t look much at all. Garbriel sells as if out cold and Sandow pins him at 6:02. After the win, Sandow cuts a promo announcing himself as the next World Heavyweight Champion. Well, if this show is any measure, neither RVD nor Sandow are doing anything any time soon.
Much better this week from Superstars: better wrestlers, better wrestling – just a better show. We end with an extended video package telling the story of the Orton and Bryan’s feud to date that puts over the main event at Battleground pretty well.
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