“Good morning WWE Universe! It’s time for another hot episode of WWE Saturday Morning Slam! Today we’ve got two hot matches comin’ atcha! United States Champion, Antonio Cesaro takes on R. Truth in our main event, but first a battle between Tons of Funk and the Prime Time Players over who is the greatest dancing tag team!” announces the unseen Saturday Morning Slam announcer guy.
Before any of that can begin we head down to ringside to see who the Guest Commentator of the Week is. AW YE YE! This week we get “The Dazzler” Daniel Bryan joining Josh Mathews. This should be fantastic!
Last Week on Saturday Morning Slam…
There was some sort of backstage kerfuffle between Tons of Funk and the Prime Time Players involving dancing. General Manager Mick Foley was there and said, “You’re both great dance teams, but let’s see who’s the best tag team next week!”
That match is happening now!
Match 1: Tons of Funk (w/ Naomi and Cameron) vs. Prime Time Players
Lord Tensai, now apparently known as Sweet T and Brodus Clay make their way out first accompanied by The Funkadactyls. Tons of Funk are sporting red warm up suits and matching 1980s LL Cool J hats.
Daniel Bryan talks about how Mick Foley said he should be the assistant GM of Saturday Morning Slam and the talks about what a good GM Mick Foley is as the Prime Time Players make their way to the ring. Bryan says that Sweet T is the second best dancer in the ring behind Naomi.
Titus O’Neil and Brodus Clay start out the match. Titus is wrestling with a whistle in his mouth for some goddamn reason…oh yeah, because Saturday Morning Slam. Titus goes for a body slam and fails so he immediately tags out to Darren Young.
Brodus Clay ruins Darren Young’s shit with a scoop slam and then back him into a corner and tags in Sweet T. Tensai elbows Young and hits him with a bunch of fat guy attacking a dude in the corner moves.
“That’s a lot of man in your face right there,” says Daniel Bryan as he watches this ridiculous scene unfold. This somehow leads to “The Dazzler” Daniel Bryan to talk about how wrestling Tensai is like wrestling a bear. Bryan continues to say that you cannot be a true champion until you have wrestled a bear. He, of course, has, as has Stu Hart, Gene LeBell, and Arn Anderson. This is the greatest bit of commentary of all time.
Sweet T tags Clay back in and they double team Young, whipping him off the rope and taking him down to the mat. Clay gets Young up for a suplex, but O’Neil is like, “Let’s do the finish to that Rick Rude vs. Ultimate Warrior match from WrestleMania V!” and trips Clay from the outside. Young lands on top of Clay and the ref counts to three.
Young and O’Neil make their way up the ramp but General Manager Mick Foley comes out and says that he saw the bullshit that went down in the ring and he wants to restart the match, but here on Saturday Morning Slam, all referee decisions are final so while he can’t overturn the ref’s decision he can sign a rematch.
O’Neil and Young are like, “Okay cool. Next week. Next week.”
Foley’s like, “Not next week. The rematch is happening right now.”
Darren Young nervously bites his nails as he and Titus O’Neil head back down to the ring. The Dazzler talks about what a great decision this was by GM Mick Foley as we go to commercial. TAPE MACHINES ARE ROLLING!
Winners: Prime Time Players
Pretty meaningless match to grade on its own since it basically was just the set up for the immediate rematch. [NR]
Match 2: Tons of Funk (w/ Naomi and Cameron) vs. Prime Time Players
We come back from break to find the match already underway. Tensai is droppin’ ‘bows on Darren Young. O’Neil gets tagged in. Josh Mathews claims that during the break Daniel Bryan was talking shit about Mick Foley for making this match, but “The Dazzler” denies this saying he would never do such a thing as Assistant GM.
O’Neil tries to slam Tensai, but he has a hard time getting the big man up so he goes off the ropes and runs right into a massive back elbow. Darren Young tags in and headbutts Tensai. Darren Young appears to be in pain and the Dazzler talks about how Tensai has the biggest head in the WWE and how Tensai said he had no idea what his face tattoos meant which causes The Dazzler to opine, “It really is best when you get a tattoo to not know what it says.”
Young tags O’Neil back in and they double team Tensai and O’Neil finally slams him. Daniel Bryan talks about determination and how Titus O’Neil body slamming Tensai is a perfect example of why you should never give up.
With his body slam accomplished Titus O’Neil has nothing left to prove in this match and tags in Darren Young. He goes for some kind of maneuver I guess that fails on pretty much ever conceivable level.
I seriously have no idea what he was attempting to do there, but it really, really did not work. Tensai tags Brodus Clay in who chucks Darren Young across the ring with a release fisherman’s suplex. He hits some more shit before laying out Darren Young.
Tensai comes back in and he and Brodus Clay pantomime talking on cellphones and yell, “CALL MY MOMMA!” and then hit a big double splash that Daniel Bryan says resulted in a combined weight of 1,300 pounds crashing down on Darren Young.
Naomi and Cameron come in and do some decidedly non-G rated dance moves that Brodus Clay and Sweet T copy before heading to the pay windah.
Winners: Tons of Funk
This and the preceding match were a ton of fun but that had more to do with Daniel Bryan’s commentary than anything going on in the ring. The actual tag team match was your standard issue TV tag match fare, nothing really to write home about, but because of Daniel Bryan going off about wrestling bears I enjoyed the shit out of this. [**⅓]
We get footage of R-Truth and Cesaro ahead of the main event. Remember when R-Truth was the United States Champion? I sure didn’t.
Match 3: R-Truth vs. Antonio Cesaro
R-Truth is out first. Josh Mathews asks Daniel Bryan if R-Truth is dazzling. Daniel Bryan says he tries to be but R-Truth can’t compete with The Dazzler. Mathews tells Bryan there’s nothing dazzling about him and Bryan gets offended. Truth’s glove must say “FUCK” in giant letters or have the old WWF logo on it because it gets blurred out.
Cesaro’s out next. He has Dean Malenko’s old James Bond theme music. Mathews admits that Daniel Bryan’s curly-Q hair thing is pretty dazzling as Cesaro makes his way down to the ring.
The match begins with R-Truth screaming “What’s up?!” at the audience to which they respond by screaming it back at him. Cesaro is not having it and yells for the audience to shut up. Outstanding.
Truth holds out his hand to signal “Stop,” like a traffic cop at one point in the early going. Bryan states, “That may confuse Antonio Cesaro, but it would never work on a bear. I’m a big believer if it doesn’t work on a bear, you shouldn’t do it in the ring.” Daniel Bryan: Bear Fan is solid gold.
R-Truth hits an armdrag takeover but Cesaro counters, whipping Truth into the corner. Truth comes out of the corner and shouts, “WHAT’S UP?!” at the crowd again. They pop huge as R-Truth hits a big leg drop on Cesaro. He then sends Cesaro over the top rope with a clothesline. As the show goes to commercial Josh Mathews wonders if Cesaro will be able to get back in the ring. TAPE MACHINES ARE ROLLING!
We come back from break and get a PSA from Cesaro telling us that he spent years and years training to be a wrestler and imploring us not to try this stuff at home. I’m confused. Didn’t the Anonymous Saturday Morning Slam Announcer tell me to work on my signature move during the break a couple commercial breaks ago?
Meanwhile In The Ring…
Cesaro gets back in the ring. The ref was apparently being really lenient with the 10 count since a few minutes have passed since we went to break. Truth hits another armdrag and gets Cesaro in a submission hold, but Cesaro fights back and hangs Truth out to dry on the top rope. He headbutts Truth in the stomach and then goes for a cover and gets a count of one. Bryan is like, “Looks like Cesaro is focused on Truth’s stomach. If he really wants to do some damage he should get him in the BEAR HUG!”
Cesaro sends Truth off the ropes and catches him in an abdominal stretch. As Cesaro starts working the ribs, Daniel Bryan continues to talk about bears…ALL KINDS OF BEARS! He’s just listing off different species of bears now. I have no idea what is going on but I love it.
R-Truth gets out of the hold but Cesaro whips him off the ropes and takes him to the mat for a two count. Truth gets back to a vertical base and Cesaro gets him in the BEAR HUG causing Daniel Bryan to go absolutely apeshit (think JR hearing the sound of breaking glass and yelling “STONE COLD!” as Mr. McMahon does something especially dastardly in the ring). This is fantastic.
The crowd is behind R-Truth and they are cheering for him to escape from the hold. He manages to escape and goes for a sunset flip. Much in the same way you cannot powerbomb Billy Kidman, you cannot sunset flip Cesaro.
Cesaro is barely hanging on and tries to get to the ropes but R-Truth does the impossible and manages to get Cesaro rolled up for a two count. Cesaro counters by grabbing Truth’s legs and getting him up in the Giant Swing and Daniel Bryan goes fucking berserk. “IMAGINE DOING THIS TO A BEAR!!!” he screams. I LOVE THIS!
Cesaro maybe did one too many rotations because both men are having trouble standing. Truth actually gets his bearings first and sends Cesaro to the mat with a scissors kick that the announcers call but the cameraman missed. Truth gets a two count.
Cesaro catches Truth with a European uppercut for a two count of his own and then goes for a suplex, but Truth escapes and hits the What’s Up for the three count.
As R-Truth heads up the ramp Josh Mathews tells Daniel Bryan that he did an amazing job which is a goddamn understatement. He later amends it to say everyone on Saturday Morning Slam did a dazzling job.
Cesaro gets announced as the United States Champion and hold his belt up in the air and kisses it as if he just won a hard fought battle. Truth does the universal symbol for “I want that championship belt!” as he stands up on the stage and this week’s episode Saturday Morning Slam comes to a close.
Another fine TV match. R-Truth is honestly a pretty decent wrestler. It’s kind of a shame that WWE never really did much with him. I know he had that weird quasi-main event run like right before CM Punk cut his pipebomb promo and catapulted himself to the top of the heap, but after that R-Truth got shuffled down the card pretty quick.
Sure. he’s shown up in multi-man clusterfucks for midcard titles since then and been involved in tag team feuds and stuff, but he was good on the mic, connected with the fans (especially in the early 2010s), and a pretty solid worker in the ring. I mean he did hold the NWA World Heavyweight Championship back in the day. That’s gotta count for something right? [**⅞]
This was the best 20 something minutes of wrestling I have seen all week. Better than Hulk Hogan title matches from the 80s. Better than indie darlings having hard hitting matches in NXT. Better than random TNA nonsense. Better than 205 Live dudes doing flips. Why? Because bears…
Daniel Bryan, talking about wrestling bears for 20 minutes while mediocre TV matches featuring the midcard from WWE 2013 were contested was the most fun I had watching wrestling this week. He and Josh Mathews were a fantastic commentary team that made me want to watch more WWE Saturday Morning Slam. They added to the quality of the matches rather than detracted from them.
As for the matches themselves? They were mostly okay; the sort of stuff you’d have seen on Superstars or Main Event around this time which sometimes is fine. They wrestled wrestling matches with little need for extraneous plot or backstage segments and that is awesome.