Match of the week: Zack Ryder vs Jack Swagger (Superstars)
For fans of Zack Ryder who are annoyed with him being underutilised or often not used at all on the flagship programming, it was refreshing to see him wrestle in a meaningful match with a good opponent on this week’s Superstars.
After locking up, Swagger grounded Ryder with the go behind before mocking his fallen opponent with his open armed strut around the ring. Swagger proceeded to out muscle his opponent by taking him to the mat with a horizontally applied hold but Ryder fought out and fought back to take Swagger off his feet for the first time with a side headlock takedown. Swagger then used his superior strength to work over Ryder’s arm but Ryder increased the tempo of the match to send Swagger flying with some arm drags before returning the favour by working over Swagger’s arm near the corner.
More back and forth led to Swagger taking control and hoisting Ryder up to the top rope and slapping him around before Ryder slapped him right back and managed to execute a dropkick from the middle turnbuckle. Swagger then missed a charge into the corner but managed to avoid the Broski Boot by rolling outside where Ryder reunited with his opponent following a rope assisted dive.
Back from the break Ryder’s momentum was cut short when Swagger thwarted a top rope attempt by meeting Ryder at the top and bringing him crashing to the mat with a belly to belly suplex which resulted in a near fall. Swagger then took delight in working over Ryder’s back incorporating a couple of cool heel spots including standing on top of Ryder and flexing his muscles and performing push ups with Ryder’s back being used as his apparatus. Swagger then tried to trap his opponent in a bear hug but before he could find a proper grip, Ryder quickly capatalised with an elevated DDT.
Moments later, Ryder was successful in his second Broski Boot attempt for a near fall but was sent into the corner following a neckbreak attempt whee he used his knees to send Swagger flying from his leap from the turnbuckle and then managed to hit the neckbreaker for another near fall. The finishing sequence then saw Ryder avoid a gutwrench powerbomb, hoist his knees up in the corner as he telegraphed Swagger’s charge and attempt a Rough Ryder that was transitioned into a mid air Swagger bomb for the win. Fluidly worked match with neat transitions.
Honourable Mention: Christian vs Dolph Ziggler (Smackdown)