WWE ended up greatly insulting WrestleMania by billing Super ShowDown as its equivalent.
The pay-per-view show from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is up there with the worst the company has produced. Pushing it as being on par with a WrestleMania only made it worse. There was some solid story advancement and a true moment of hope, but mostly it delivered questionable booking, forgettable matches and continuation of feuds that needed to end.
Adding to this show’s ineptness, was it ended with a cringeworthy and down-right dangerous match between the Undertaker and Goldberg in what felt like 102 degrees down in the stadium. The Undertaker closed the show with an end-it-quick chokeslam and the same look of disgust those watching probably had. Goldberg tweeted after the show that he knocked himself out and thought he could finish.
The match didn’t start poorly but proceed to see Undertaker nearly Tombstone Goldberg directly on his head — a replay shows the former WCW stars’ neck crunch a little. Also, a bleeding Goldberg (he was slightly cut before the match even started, probably from his pre-match ritual of slamming his head to his locker room door) dropped Undertaker awkwardly after barely getting him up for a Jackhammer. The commentators kept blaming it on the loss of blood.
Even NXT’s Matt Riddle took a swipe at Goldberg in a Twitter video that has since been taken down saying: “Goldberg, you lived up to the hype again. You’re absolutely the worst wrestler in the business, bro.”
The match seemed like a fitting cap to an awful show.
We also did not get a Brock Lesnar cash-in, but that was for the better in one of the show’s few highlights.
Seth Rollins’ injuries from the attack by Lesnar were played up well in his match with Baron Corbin. Corbin at one point even just buried his head into the hurt ribs. Corbin’s frustrations ultimately cost him as his third argument with the referee led to Rollins, who was hit with an End of Days after the match, scored the pin with a rollup. Lesnar’s music then hits.
What followed was a fun continuation of this Lesnar-Rollins-Paul Heyman story. Heyman tripping and dropping the briefcase on his way into the ring, giving Rollins time to low blow a distracted Lesnar in a WrestleMania callback. Rollins avoided the cash-in and then returned the beating Lesnar gave him — ending with a stomp on the Money in the Bank briefcase. Heyman could get a yelling at and WWE sold the injuries to Lesnar, giving him a reason to be potentially off TV for awhile.
The show’s coolest moment was Monsoor winning the 50-man battle royal. The Saudi Arabia native, who was a WWE prospect at the “Greatest Royal Rumble” there last year, eliminated Elias to win the match, which was the largest battle royal in WWE history. The place went unglued and he delivered a passionate promo about realizing your dreams. These are the type of moments and hope WWE can provide and this delivered exactly that. People were crying in the audience.
The positives mostly ended there, especially when Triple H vs. Randy Orton is in consideration for the match of the night.
Their in-ring story played off the two’s familiarity with each other well, both guys countering the other’s greatest-hits moves into some of their own. Triple H, who turned an old-school Orton Punt attempt into a Pedigree, kicked out the first RKO.
The crowd was looking for a reason to get back into this match, but the slow pace made it tough until the end when they kicked out of finishers and Triple H dropped Orton on the announce table four straight time. It was the opening Orton needed as he put a second RKO on a gloating and overconfident Triple H. There is a low bar for these type of legends match and this did clear that, but this, like Bautista-Triple H, was far too long.
Obviously WWE can’t think of something better for Lars Sullivan to do, so they needed him to lose by disqualification in a 3-on-1 handicap match. The underdog Lucha House Party decided to have all three of them beat on Sullivan at the same time without a tag to even the odds and the bell rang.
WWE should have let Sullivan overcome it and look like a monster. Instead we may get more “primal function” promos and matches between this group unless the post-match beatdown is enough to end the feud. It was one of the brightest examples of a misguided show that didn’t hit the booking mark. The 24/7 title didn’t even make an appearance outside of a video package.
Kofi Kingston over Dolph Ziggler to retain the WWE championship
WWE took a questionable turn in Kingston’s story, by allowing him to win with the help of Xavier Woods, who was superkicked by Ziggler on the outside. Woods got payback by kicking Ziggler when his back hit the ropes, leading to Kingston hitting Trouble in Paradise.
It might have been too early to have the hero Kingston get a victory that’s not above board, but Ziggler made it work with a with super promo calling out the champion getting help to win. He demanded a championship rematch inside a steel cage that he will get at Stomping Ground. Kingston’s character took a small hit, but the story continues and hits the next level.
Braun Strowman over Bobby Lashley
This match was misplaced after the slow Triple H-Orton match. The two did the best they could with the time they were given but it was just another forgettable match on a card full of them.
Shane McMahon over Roman Reigns
Got to give WWE some credit for finding new ways to add heat to McMahon by having Drew McIntyre help him get the victory and then carry him off on his shoulders. This is Reign’s first loss since coming back from leukemia, and he will be facing McIntyre at Stomping Ground. So some of this story makes sense, but Reign’s loss should have been more meaningful. The finish also ignored McMahon saying he was going to submit Reigns and the match was average best with no high-risk moment for McMahon.
Finn Balor (Demon) defeats Andrade to retain the Intercontinental championship
The more you watch Andrade, this time san Zelina Vegas (because no women performers in Saudi Arabia) he just impresses more and more. Both men really sold the power of the Demon persona with their facials. Balor stepped up with a DDT from the top rope into the Coup de Grace for the finish. Not the barnburner we were hoping for, but a good solid match.
The Usos defeat The Revival (Kickoff show)
They’ve had better matches, but this was a fan starter with a superkick party from The Usos for the finish. Crowd liked it, but it makes you wonder if another Revival push is ever coming.
Biggest winner: Mansoor
Biggest loser: Goldberg
Best match: Finn Balor vs. Andrade