Craig Wilson and Brian Damage
It’s that time again as we look back at This Week in Wrestling. In this edition, Craig talks the end of WWE Superstars while Brian shares some of the most interesting pictures and videos he’s stumbled upon over the last seven days.
Farewell WWE Superstars
When I attended WWE Raw in Glasgow the other week, the last thing I really expected was also to be at one of the final ever tapings of WWE Superstars.
Yet, as the WWE announcement this week states, that was exactly what happened.
A show that, in all reality, began in September 1986 with the debut of WWF Superstars of Wrestling. From 1992, thanks to a lawsuit from Albert Patterson, the show’s name was shortened to ‘WWF Superstars’. In the pre-Raw WWE era, it was one of the companies flagship shows.
In fact, it boasted several important title changes. In 1987 alone, the Honky Tonk Man defeated Ricky Steamboat for the IC title, The Hart Foundation bested The British Bulldogs for the tag gold and Strike Force won against The Harts to gain the titles.
The tag title changes continued in 1989 with Demolition beating The Brain Busters then the Colossal Connection overcoming Demolition. The following year it was the IC title’s turn to have several changes – both with the same guy winning – as Mr Perfect bested Tito Santana to claim the vacant belt and then Kerry Von Erich to recapture his gold.
While the importance of the show waned, it was home to Diesel winning his first WWE solo gold when he went over against Razor Ramon in 1994 to also win the Intercontinental title.
As a show, Superstars was able to live even with the creation of Raw and Smackdown. However, by the end, it served as little more than a recap show featuring highlights from what had been broadcast on TV. However, by 2001 it was deemed superfluous and was ditched.
In late 2008, WWE and WGN America announced an agreement to create a new weekly, one-hour prime time series entitled WWE Superstars that was to debut in April 2009. It would feature matches featuring superstars from both Raw and Smackdown with Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler calling the Raw action and Jim Ross and Todd Grisham announcing the Smackdown matches.
Viewers of the first episode were treated to a stacked card featuring The Undertaker vs. Matt Hardy, Christian vs. Finlay and Shane McMahon vs. Cody Rhodes. For contrast, the final episode before the recent cancellation saw Sin Cara face Jinder Mahal and the Social Outcasts explode with Curtis Axel taking on Bo Dallas.
Interest once again waned towards the show and it was treated again as a means to air highlights of Raw as well as a couple of short matches filmed before the show and was relegated to being a WWE Network only show.
With the cruiserweights now having their own show – 205 Live – the decision was made to can WWE Superstars. In the grand scheme of wrestling, few tears will be shed for the demise of WWE Superstars. If history has taught us anything, there is a fair chance it will be brought back one way or another – if not in name only.
But viewers of a certain vintage will recall Superstars for being home to some memorable title switches pre-Raw era and some fun moments along the way.
Got any favourite moments or matches from either WWF or WWE Superstars? Leave them in the comments section below
This kid would eventually become the beer drinking, chain smoking, cane swinging Sandman! (Or Hardcore Hak for you WCW fans)
Referee Earl Hebner dressed up as the Undertaker.
An artists unbelievable drawing of Raw versus Smackdown rosters
A Young Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart looking like Sami Zayn…
If this isn’t true for most of us, I don’t know what is…
Who is this masked ‘deadman’?
It was best not to mess with the late, great, Terry ‘Bam Bam’ Gordy…
One of the coolest videos I’ve seen all week….
Last Week on the Blog
Last week’s Sunday Sermon looked at Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg; on Monday we had part 92 of ‘Wrestling with Sin‘; Tuesday’s ‘Crossfire‘ looked at whether the WWE is ready for a female commentator; on Wednesday our ‘Remember When‘ looked at when a mysterious masked superstar invaded the WWF in early 1991; Thursday’s Top Five featured wrestlers who have benefited from the brand split; and we rounded off the week looking at Raw and Nitro from 20 years ago this week.
Next Week on the Blog
All previous ‘This Week in Wrestling’ pieces can be read here.