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CALDWELL'S WWE SUPERSTARS REPORT 9/17: Complete report on Santino comedy, Ryder cockiness, Ziggler vs. Finlay main event

Sep 17, 2009 - 11:11:34 PM
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WWE SUPERSTARS TV REPORT
September 17, 2009
Aired on WGN from the week of September 14
Report by James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor


Announcers: Show started with Michael Cole calling it one of the most controversial weeks in WWE history. Such a manufactured line. Cole and Jerry Lawler plugged Dolph Ziggler vs. Finlay in the main event later in the show.

In-ring: Chris Masters's music hit to open the show. He did his intro, then Santino Marella came out to a huge reaction. Hilarious doing a huge Chris Masters pose, then laughing and doing "aw shucks" for the crowd.

1 -- SANTINO MARELLA vs. CHRIS MASTERS

Canadian crowd hot for Santino, who continued to do the "aw shucks" routine on the huge cheers. Santino grabbed a headlock, but Masters shoved him to the mat. Masters hopped up trying to look tough to answer Masters. Santino comically tried to pick up Masters for a slam, but Masters blocked and dropped Santino on his back to begin an attack. Masters landed a long vertical suplex, then dropped a leg for a two count. Only works for Hogan. Santino tried to come back with a cross-body off the ropes, but Masters caught him in mid-air for a bear hug. Santino sold, but then Hulked himself up inside the bear hug. Looked very inappropriate with Santino's hands close to Masters's crotch trying to escape. Masters then cut him off, but Santino went into his full "You ah make me ah so mad" routine and fired off with left hands. Masters tried a clothesline, but Santino did an R-Truth and dropped down to one knee to duck and nail a clothesline. He called for the Masterlock, but Masters knew the combination to break his own hold. Masters then slapped on the Masterlock himself and Santino tried his best John Cena face to escape, but Masters tightened it and he faded out to give Masters the win.

WINNER: Masters in 5:00. Great entertainment-centric match. Masters was in fine form as the heel dashing the dreams of the crowd hoping to see the entertaining Santino score a win. Santino was so great creating entertaining TV while not taking too much away from Masters. Then again, Triple H did more damage in five seconds on Raw two weeks ago than anything Santino could have done being too comedic and not taking Masters serious. (*1/2)

Backstage: After an "Ask the Divas" segment aired, they showed ECW champ Christian walking down the hallway. He's up next.

[Commercial Break]

Superstars profile: They took the "Paid service announcement" used for Edge and gave it to C.M. Punk to show him as the "straight-edge, choice for a new generation."

Ringside: #1 contender to the ECW Title Zack Ryder joined the ECW announcers ringside to comment on him becoming the new #1 contender to the ECW Title via the battle royal on Tuesday night. Christian then came out for his match and Ryder acted like he didn't think he was a big deal. Ryder said he took him to the limit the first time they were in the ring together and he plans on becoming the new ECW champ. Christian had a long intro and wouldn't look at Ryder, who watched him from ringside. Paul Burchill then came out sans Katie Lea for a match-up against Christian.

2 -- ECW champion CHRISTIAN vs. PAUL BURCHILL -- non-title match

Basic start between Christian and Burchill as Ryder gave a shout-out to his girlfriend back home in Long Island. Burchill slowly worked Christian over, then Christian made a comeback and went up top. Burchill had it scouted and started to run away, but Christian chased him down near the ropes and clotheslined him to the floor. Christian in control going to break.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Burchill was in control as Ryder talked more trash about Christian. Burchill then took Christian up top and nailed a superplex. Christian came back with a Tornado DDT out of the corner, then stood on Burchill's neck Burchill was throat-first across the middle rope. Ryder said it was cheating. Would be appropriate for a Bryan Danielson "he has until five!" point from Striker. Christian then nailed a Reverse DDT at 12:00, but Burchill kicked out. Christian then went up top for a diving head butt, but Burchill rolled out of the way. Burchill tried to follow with a corner splash, but Christian blocked and nailed a D.J. Gabriel European Uppercut from the second rope. He followed right up with the Killswitch for the pin and the win.

Post-match: Christian took his ECW Title belt and gave Ryder a good look at it from inside the ring. "That's mine, bro," Ryder shot back on commentary. Christian then went back to celebrating the victory as Ryder said he ain't nothing. Ryder maintained his look of anger mixed with determination as they closed the segment with Christian celebrating the W.

WINNER: Christian in 12:00. Good, basic match to plant seeds for Christian vs. Ryder down the road. Burchill continues to be put in position to look better than he was a few months ago, even if he lost. (**)

WWE Kids Magazine: Taker, Evan Bourne, and John Cena in cartoon form. Don't forget to get your copy to support that little ol' small business called WWE.

[Commercial Break]

Backstage: Josh Mathews brought in Randy Orton. WWE piped in some crowd boos to make it obvious Orton's a bad guy for the kids watching at home. Orton didn't want to talk about Batista. He said he made a business decision at Breaking Point to say I Quit to protect his body. He said Cena refused to say he quits because of stupidity. He said Cena is hurting a whole heck of a lot more than he is and it's going to get worse at Hell in a Cell when he makes him suffer all over again. Orton maintained a cold stare ahead for a while before they cut to a split screen of Dolph Ziggler and Finlay before the TV main event. Great heel promo from Orton. Perfect way to get his heat back, but this was in front of one-fifth the audience compared to Raw.

[Commercial Break]

3 -- DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. FINLAY

Nice start early on with a mat exchange that led to Finlay corkscrewing Ziggler into the mat. Ziggler then ran away to the ropes to hold off Finlay. Suddenly, he spotted that Finlay's shoelaces were untied. He demanded Finlay tie his boots, then Finlay bent down to tie, but Ziggler kicked him right in the head. Great heel move. Finlay, pissed, then chased Ziggler out of the ring. Ziggler ran over the guardrail to the front row and told Finlay to get back or he'd walk. They cut to break with Ziggler running away from Finlay. Ziggler is slowly perfecting his heel characteristics. Fun to watch his development.

[Commercial Break]

Ziggler was back in the ring and in control back from break. Jim Ross and Todd Grisham picked up a discussion on the "conspiracy" ending to The Undertaker vs. Punk at Breaking Point. They plugged tomorrow night's show to find out some answers to the proceedings. Ziggler was in control working over Finlay with some more mat holds, which Ross said John Morrison is probably watching to scout their upcoming Intercontinental Title match. Ziggler's facial expressions and heel mannerisms are terrific. At this point in the match, he settled into a pattern of delivering a move, then slowly lowering his head and eyes to measure Finlay for another move. Very subtle, but it adds up over the course of a match.

At 10:00, Ziggler talked trash to Finlay and asked him what he's going to do about his attack. Finlay responded with a forearm, but Ziggler cut him off with a hard whip to the corner. Ziggler pounded him down in the corner with forearms, but Finlay came back with a kick strike and a hard clothesline. Suddenly, they bumped heads in the corner and collapsed to the mat. Looked worse the first time and two replays softened the blow. They came to their feet and ended up in the corner where Finlay keeps his shillelagh. Ref bent down to move the shillelagh (showing smarts for the first time in five years), which allowed Ziggler to rake the eyes behind the ref's back. Ziggler then nailed his Zig-Zag reverse bulldog drop for the pin and the win.

Post-match: Announcers narrated a replay of the finish and gave a few final plugs for everything on Smackdown tomorrow night including Punk, Taker, and Teddy Long's reactions to the Breaking Point finish, as well as the return of Batista. They closed with Ziggler celebrating and Finlay frustrated in the ring to close the show.

WINNER: Dolph Ziggler in 15:00. Really nice match. Nothing fancy or Morrison-Rey in the highspots department, but they told a good story and Ziggler walked away enhanced as a top heel act on the Smackdown brand. He's really sharpening all of the little "Randy Orton heel mannerisms" in his toolbox to make himself stand out. It's fun to watch a young star progress and really "get it" when it comes to character presentation and what the purpose of the match is. Well done. (**1/2)


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