By James Cox, WrestlingObserver.com
The Big Takeaway
WWE Payback is this Sunday and Superstars helped to build it up this week. Two singles matches saw some average wrestling with wins for Kalisto and Stardust in front of an expectant pre-Raw Cincinnati crowd.
Kalisto beat Heath Slater in a fun 4 minute match. They rehashed the talking points from Raw. Stardust got the win over R-Truth (no plastic/rubber/real arachnids were harmed). Rich Brennan and Byson Saxton hyped up WWE Payback which is Sunday from Baltimore.
Kalisto (w/ Sin Cara) beat Heath Slater via pinfall (4:10)
Kalisto came out to the ring with Sin Cara in new whacky gear that looked kind of like they’d been sneezed on by The Nasty Boys’ graffiti artist. Heath Slater comes out in rare form. He mocks the ‘Lucha’ chants by half-heartedly pointing his fingers in the air and laughing as he says “Lew-cha, lew-cha” in his thick Southern drawl.
They start things off and the referee is forced to break them at the ropes. They chain wrestle for a while until Kalisto locks in a wrist lock and starts to kick and slap Slater. There are some mild Flair ‘woos’ at this point until the match explodes into life as Kalisto launches into a springboard arm drag takedown followed by a full-pelt charge to the corner.
Slater is able to get use a heel kick out of an Irish whip and rolls Kalisto up for two. Then Slater slaps on a rear chin lock. When Kalisto is able to get to his feet to power out he is nailed by an almighty clothesline that looked like it caught him on the jaw and should have taken his head off. Another pin attempt gets two and so Slater goes back to the chin lock.
Slater hits a backbreaker and goes up to the top rope but leaps off into the extended leg of Kalisto. Kalisto ducks under the ropes onto the apron and hits a high kick and then hits consecutive slingshot and corkscrew cross bodies. A Kalisto kick, followed by a spike into the Salida del Sol gets Kalisto the win here.
Stardust beat R-Truth via pinfall (7:11)
This match was the continuation of this lower mid-card feud, but there were no shenanigans this week involving spiders, bags, distractions or otherwise. The Cincinnati crowd is actually pretty into this and they two start off by squaring off with a pseudo big-bout WrestleMania feel and then try to out shove each other.
Truth grabs Stardust and hits him with several arm drags and then spends much of the match working over Cody’s left arm. R-Truth hip tosses Stardust who then gets to his feet and they square off again. Truth does his weird little dance and Stardust sort of gyrates in return.
A huge slap by Truth sends Stardust to the mat and as he rolls outside, Saxton notes “well that was inventive” and we head to a break.
R-Truth is slamming Stardust’s head into turnbuckle as we return until a big kick by Cody stops his intensity. Stardust hits a DDT and goes for a cover that can only garner a one count. Now Stardust starts to work over R-Truth’s left shoulder - he stomps on it, locks it up and slows the match right down.
He goes for a suplex which Truth reverses and then is able to hit his own front facelock suplex. Stardust rolls under the rope to the apron and then drops to the floor while holding on to Truth’s left arm. He leaps back in and then goes for the Disaster Kick but misses. Truth then blocks the charge and gets the heat with two clotheslines and a spinning heel kick. He covers but Stardust kicks out at two.
Stardust’s Cross Rhodes is blocked by Truth who then hits his Lie detector but Stardust is able to kick out at two with Brennan selling that Truth “didn’t quite get all of that.” Stardust then thrusts Truth into post and out of nowhere gets the win with a roll up while he pulls his tights. This was a really slow match that lacked any real spark.