WWE held its third network special in Saudi Arabia. Fans have not been behind the company’s decision to still have a show there given the controversy surrounding the country. Despite some backlash and superstars skipping the event, Super ShowDown still went on with 10 matches taking place including a cringe-worthy main event. Here are my thoughts on every match that […]
WWE held its third network special in Saudi Arabia. Fans have not been behind the company’s decision to still have a show there given the controversy surrounding the country.
Despite some backlash and superstars skipping the event, Super ShowDown still went on with 10 matches taking place including a cringe-worthy main event.
Here are my thoughts on every match that took place in Jeddah.
The Usos def. The Revival (pre-show)
Two of the best tag teams in WWE kicked off the Super ShowDown with The Usos taking on The Revival. The match could have been better but obviously, both teams were given little time to work with given the match was stuck on the pre-show.
The match was good with a predictable outcome. When Jimmy and Jey first moved to Raw, fans were excited to see the potential feud they’ll have with Revival’s Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder. While the feud itself has not lived up to the hype so far (and a little cringy), both teams can still put on quality matches.
It’ll be interesting to see what the plans are next for both teams. Will they continue to feud or will one be pushed into the tag title picture (potentially both?)
Universal Championship – Seth Rollins (c) def. Baron Corbin
Seth Rollins, who was still suffering from the attacks of Brock Lesnar a few days ago, defended the Universal Championship against Baron Corbin in the main card opener.
Give credit to Corbin here, who did really well here and improves week in and week out. His End of Days and Deep Six finishers are one of the best moves in WWE in my opinion and has the chance to be one of the top heels in the company. He mixed well with the hero champion Rollins.
The main story here was Lesnar potentially cashing in. It has been advertised for weeks that he’ll cash in but the Paul Heyman distraction allowed Rollins to take a cheap shot at The Beast Incarnate, which was a nice change.
Will Lesnar cash in? We probably will never know. However, the frustration of Lesnar popping up should not take away this match, which was a lot better than expected in my opinion.
Intercontinental Championship – Finn Bálor (c) def. Andrade
The best match of the night in my opinion and despite the obvious Bálor win here due to his demon persona, Andrade looked really good here and made the Intercontinental Championship mean something, which is what WWE has lacked when it comes to the mid-card title matches.
Credit to the commentary team here, who did a good job of putting Andrade over and reminding us that Bálor needed to break out the Demon in order to beat him. Great attention to detail here. It may be a small one but it definitely worked out. Both Bálor and Andrade are great workers and I would not mind seeing them fight for the title once again down the line.
Shane McMahon def. Roman Reigns
So I guess WWE is really pushing Shane McMahon as one the top heels in the company? Reigns has beaten the likes of The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, and Triple H but somehow lost to a part-timer like McMahon.
The match itself was not good. The only positive thing booking wise was having Drew McIntyre interfere to cost Reigns the match. Now, will have McIntyre go up against Reigns at the next WWE pay-per-view, Stomping Grounds.
Lars Sullivan def. Lucha House Party by disqualification in a 3-on-1 Handicap match
Did WWE get cold feet here? Instead of giving Lars Sullivan, who has been booked as a dominant heel the last few weeks, a win, they simply booked a disqualification from The Lucha House Party.
They seem keen into continuing this feud but if WWE still wants to push Sullivan, they should have given him the easy victory here and stick LHP back in the tag/cruiserweight division.
Randy Orton def. Triple H
One of the greatest rivalries in WWE came back into the fold as two veterans in Triple H and Randy Orton squared off. Personally, I really liked this match.
This was a great match between two old-school pro wrestlers. Each spot was build from the last right as the bell rang. The reversals were good here, showing the familiarity between both competitors have against each other.
It makes sense that Orton won, given he is still a full-time competitor in WWE. Having him win here can have him make a case to be back in the WWE title picture.
An excellent storytelling match between two of the best in the business? Sign me up to watch that.
Braun Strowman def. Bobby Lashley
Raw strength between Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley was the main story here while also a good showing off their athleticism.
I was expecting more of a slow-paced match but I was impressed by the pacing here. Lashley looked impressive even in defeat while Strowman scored a quality win.
Not sure what the plan is for both of them heading into the summer. Not a bad match but we have seen this many times before. Hopefully, this is the end of their feud for now.
WWE Championship – Kofi Kingston (c) def. Dolph Ziggler
Given the match quality, both Ziggler and Kingston are capable of, you feel that this could have been better. Part of it may be on Ziggler, who at times looked a little rusty in the ring but is understandable given that he has not been in a singles match in quite some time.
Still, this was a solid match with a positive outcome with Kingston retaining and no sight of Brock Lesnar cashing in his contract.
The post-match rant by Ziggler expressing his frustration to Byron Saxton backstage that he wants Kingston inside a steel cage was a nice touch. We will see that happen, as both competitors will face off once again inside a steel cage at Stomping Grounds.
The postmatch promo can get fans into the match and hopefully there will be an improvement from this bout. Kofimania is still alive and well!
Mansoor last eliminated Elias in a 50-Man Battle Royal
Superstars from WWE’s main roster, NXT and 205 Live squared off in the largest Battle Royal in WWE history. There were many favorites here like Samoa Joe, Ali, The Miz and Cesaro for example but it was Saudi-born Mansoor Al-Shehail from NXT walking away as the victor.
It was a cluster-filled battle royal which makes sense given there were 50 superstars in the match. While it would have been nice to give the victory to one of the previously mentioned favorites or established superstars but I get where WWE was going given the hometown guy the win.
To nitpick here, it would have meant more for him to square off with someone like Cesaro for example in the final moments. Or better yet, have him promoted at some point leading up to the match so fans can recognize who Mansoor is.
An okay buffer between title matches, but in the end, it might not mean anything in the long haul. I would have preferred their 50-man Royal Rumble idea they had last year, that way more superstars would have a chance to shine and their own individual entrances.
The Undertaker vs. Goldberg
Man, this was hard to watch. Undertaker and Goldberg are no doubt legends in the business but both of these guys are way past their primes. I hate to say it but this could be in the case for worst match of the year.
Both Undertaker and Goldberg are iconic characters and bring a certain star power when their names are advertised. This just showed that these guys should not be working a high-level main event type match.
Undertaker and Goldberg standing face-to-face in the same ring made for a great visual but the match was more than forgettable.
There were some good matches like Andrade/Bálor and Orton/HHH, but Super ShowDown, much like past Saudi Arabia shows, is more than forgettable.
The main event was hard to watch given the legends that were in the ring and McMahon going over WWE’s top star was a head-scratching move. Majority of WWE fans do not like the idea of having yearly shows in Saudi Arabia and booking a quality pay-per-view could make fans forget about that for a bit.
Unfortunately, we are left with questionable booking decisions in a controversial show.