Report by James Caldwell
This week's Superstars episode opened with Scott Stanford and Jerry Lawler introducing the show coming off the heels of the TLC PPV on Sunday. Zack Ryder was out first for the opening match of the show. After an on-camera for Stanford and Lawler, David Hart Smith came out to some generic rock music. Lawler said that Smith is looking forward to starting out as an individual away from Tyson Kidd.
D.H. SMITH vs. ZACK RYDER Edit
Stanford noted Ryder was victorious last week on Superstars and he won a Slammy Award for worst catchphrase. Ryder, riding that momentum, slapped Smith early on before running away. Smith came back with a half Boston Crab, Ryder escaped, and Smith resumed a ground attack. Ryder then took a ride on a delayed vertical suplex for a nearfall. Ryder took a break on the outside, but Smith tapped him on the shoulder and landed a big European uppercut. Back in the ring, Ryder cut off Smith and landed a dropkick from the second turnbuckle for a two count. Ryder returned the favor settling into a mat-based hold trying to wear down Smith. The announcers filled time creating conversation about Ryder's basic characteristics of being cocky, arrogant, and full of himself. Ryder settled into a body scissors and they cut to break.
The two-segment match resumed with Ryder standing up Smith in an abdominal stretch. Smith escaped, but Ryder pounded on Smith in the corner. They battled up top and Smith missed with an elbow drop after knocking Ryder to the mat. Ryder tried to follow with a suplex, but Smith countered with a suplex. Smith called to the crowd for extra strength as he built momentum with clotheslines and an overhead throw. Smith tried to show fire and landed a powerslam for a two count. Smith missed with a running leg drop, but Ryder missed with the Rough Ryder, and Smith dropped Ryder with a Saito Suplex for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Smith in 12:00.
Basic back-and-forth match with each man showing flashes of decent work in the ring. But, there's a reason why they're on Superstars and not on Raw right now. Smith with new generic rock music doesn't help. (*1/2)
NXT recap: Stanford fed to a video package recapping the high points of Tuesday's NXT show. They really put over Derrick Bateman in the video.
Main event to come: Kelly Kelly and Beth Phoenix vs. Lay-Cool.
In-ring: The "unique" tandem of Yoshi Tatsu and Darren Young made their way to the ring for the next Raw brand match. The Usos were out next to face Yoshi & Young without Tamina accompanying them. Meanwhile, Lawler cracked jokes about his Christmas traditions.
USO BROTHERS (JIMMY & JEY) vs. DARREN YOUNG & YOSHI TATSU Edit
Lawler said the Usos made a big splash when they first debuted, but he's surprised they haven't put themselves in the mix lately. Stanford noted Tamina's absence as Young and Jey battled in the ring. Yoshi then tagged in and nailed a series of kick strikes. Jey bailed to the floor and tagged in Jimmy on the way back in the ring to blindside Yoshi. The Usos began working over Yoshi as Lawler and Stanford talked about Nexus in the past-tense after Cena's work on them at the TLC PPV. The crowd rallied behind Yoshi, who teased a comeback before executing an enziguiri kick to escape and tag in Young. Young landed some offense for a nearfall, but the Usos blind-tagged again and attempted a double Samoan Drop. In post-production, they cut to a different camera shot to cover for the move not being executed cleanly, but it was good for a pinfall to give the Usos the win.
WINNERS: Usos in 5:00.
Basic tag match trying to establish the Usos on their own. WWE just doesn't have a program for any of the four men in this match, so the name of the game is just staying on TV. (*)
Announcers: Smackdown's Matt Striker and PPV preview guy Jack Korpela introduced the Raw Rebound showcasing the John Cena of old from Monday night.
In-ring: Ring introductions took place for Lay-Cool ahead of the TV main event featuring the Smackdown Divas.
KELLY KELLY & BETH PHOENIX vs. LAY-COOLEdit
Matt Striker noted three of the four Divas in the match are injured after the TLC PPV where Beth and Natalya defeated Lay-Cool in a tables match. Lay-Cool sold the effects early on in the match, including McCool refusing to tag in while selling her back and side muscles. Lay-Cool eventually bailed to the floor looking for a break, but Kelly slid through Beth's legs for a dropkick that knocked Lay-Cool to the floor. Beth taunted them as the show cut to break.
Back from break, Kelly executed a handspring elbow smash in the corner to continue the babyface Divas's momentum. McCool then came back with a belly-to-belly suplex and Lay-Cool built some momentum working over Kelly. The heels worked over Kelly for a few minutes as they built to a hot tag to Phoenix, who cleaned house on Lay-Cool. Layla was left alone in the ring to take the Glam Slam for a pin and the win. Afterwards, Beth and Kelly hugged it out while McCool desperately reached out for Layla, who was splattered across the ring. Kelly and Beth waved to the crowd as they went to a final shot of McCool dragging Layla across the ringside area to continue selling the effects.
WINNERS: Phoenix & Kelly in 12:00.
Phoenix is picking up where she left off pre-injury dominating in the ring. It would be great to see her in the Rumble again like this year when she memorably eliminated Great Khali. Fine main event getting over the personalities and stories of everyone involved.