Barring a classic match between legends Triple H and The Undertaker and a few of the other matches on the card, WWE’s Super Show-Down in Australia was a total bust.
Half of the matches on the card ran approximately only 10 minutes and were weak to mediocre at best. The hometown IIconics defeated Asuka and Naomi in under six minutes and the highly anticipated match featuring Daniel Bryan against The Miz ended in less than three minutes flabbergasting the 70,309 filling the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Super Show-Down was yet another example of the WWE trying to cram too many second-rate feuds and matches from two brands into one show. One wonders if the WWE understands that quality submits quantity each and every time they meet in the ring.
The highpoints of the four hour show which felt rushed at every turn were The Undertaker and Triple in not only one of the best matches of the year but possibly of all time, AJ Styles defending the WWE Championship against Samoa Joe and Buddy Murphy defeating Cedric Alexander to become the WWE Cruiserweight Champion in his hometown of Melbourne, Australia.
The Undertaker and Triple H proved that age is no barrier when you can still go as if you were in your prime. As we all suspected Shawn Michaels and Kane did perform all sorts of chicanery in a ruthless battle that ended with one of the best blindside attacks since Paul Orndorff clotheslined Hulk Hogan setting up their infamous feud in 1986.
With HHH already in the ring, The Undertaker gave him a long cold look as he took his signature hat off and flashed him a blank stare.
The Undertaker and Kane readying to turn on HHH and HBK. Photo: WWE.
The crowd cheers for Taker while Triple H motions that he is going to bury him in the middle of the ring. The Undertaker drags his thumb across his throat in response.
HHH laughs at The Undertaker as he ducks his punches again and again. HHH puts his hands behind his back, ducks, corners Taker in the corner hitting him with some haymakers.
Triple H and Shawn Michaels high-five on the apron. A series of shoulder tackles wipe the smile off of HHH’s face. HHH blocks Old School working on the Undertaker’s arm. HHH makes his own attempt at Old School. An angry Taker grabs HHH by the throat, throws him back into corner so he can punch the stuffing out of him.
Old School clubs HHH to the mat. HHH bounces back after Snake Eyes with a running knee to the face. Shawn Michaels is back on the apron again. Undertaker is clotheslined over the top rope landing on his feet. Taker strangles Michaels. HHH grabs Taker by the hair. Taker guillotines him over the top rope. Michaels shoves The Undertaker into the steel post. Kane chases Michaels away.
HHH whips Undertaker into the ringside barrier and the steel steps. HBK and HHH set-up a table. HHH aims for a Pedigree on the floor. Taker backdrops him to the floor. HHH is run into the steps.
A swinging neckbreaker has the Undertaker kicking out at two. HHH dives out of a corner. The Undertaker catches him, tossing him right over the top rope to the floor and into the barricade.
The battle moves to the floor where HHH is heaved into the time keeper’s area. With deadly intentions the Undertaker clears off the announce table. HBK distracts the Undertaker though the Phenom still backdrops HHH over the barricade into the crowd. The battle moves to the “tech area” where Undertaker strangles HHH with a cord or cable of some kind.
The two legends fight into the crowd before heading back to the ring. HBK interrupts Taker while he searches under the ring. HBK gets a punch in the face for his troubles and is floored. A chair to the stomach sends HHH through the ropes and to the floor. There is a dull whack when Undertaker smashes the steel chair over HHH’s back.
The Undertaker and HHH choke each other out. Photo: WWE.
The Undertaker lays HHH out on the table. He climbs to the top rope keeping an eye on Shawn Michaels. Michaels leaps up onto the apron only to be met with one of the Undertaker’s boots. The Undertaker runs across the ring as he prepares to leap over the ropes at HBK and HHH. HHH cuts him off with a steel chair to the stomach.
As HHH lifts a steel chair into the air Kane pulls him outside the ring. Sweet Chin Music has Kane stumbling into the table. HHH drops an elbow off the apron putting Kane through the table.
HHH receives a chokeslam when he leaps off the top rope steel chair in hand. HHH kicks out of the Tombstone Piledriver. An irate Phenom KOs the referee.
“Are you watching?” The Undertaker asks Shawn Michaels.
Undertaker whacks HHH with a steel chair twice then shoves him down to the mat in front of Michaels. When The Undertaker wraps the steel chair around HHH’s neck Michaels leaps onto the apron.
“Please don’t do this,” says Michaels.
Michaels attacks Taker from behind. Taker drops him with one punch knocking him out of the ring. HHH executes a spinebuster. Both men can barely stand. HHH slips out of a chokeslam and Pedigrees The Undertaker for a two count.
Just as he did to him, HHH wraps the steel chair around The Undertaker’s neck. HHH jumps off the second rope onto the chair, The Undertaker’s neck. The official goes to count three but Kane pulls him out of the ring.
Shawn Michaels hands HHH his sledgehammer as Kane hands Taker a steel chair. Sledgehammer meets steel chair. Sledgehammer wins but there is no official. The Undertaker wraps HHH and his sledgehammer in Hell’s Gate. HHH regains control of the sledgehammer and now both men are choking each other out. They collapse to the mat.
We can clearly see The Undertaker and HHH communicating with one another, especially HHH who tries to block his chatter with a taped fist but we can hear him telling Taker to reach for the sledgehammer.
Taker does but Shawn Michaels is there to stop him. Kane snatches Michaels by the throat. HBK hits him in the “lower abdomen” with the sledgehammer. Taker hurls HBK over the top rope to the floor. A weary Undertaker gasping for breath picks up the sledgehammer. Taker throws it away, Triple attacks with the Pedigree but Undertaker backdrops him. Chokeslam and almost a Tombstone Piledriver on HHH. HBK interferes once again with Sweet Chin Music on Taker. Taker is staggered but won’t go down. Taker blocks another Sweet Chin Music and as he lifts HBK up for a Tombstone Piledriver HHH smacks him in the face with the sledgehammer. Sweet Chin Music. Pedigree. HHH pins the Undertaker.
The Undertaker chokeslams HBK through the announce table. Photo: WWE.
After the match, HHH and HBK hug. HHH falls to his knees while the Undertaker lies in the ropes shaking his head over and over. HHH walks over to The Undertaker who has the sledgehammer in his hand. He nods to HHH before handing it back to him. HHH drops it to the arena floor offering his hand to the Undertaker.
“We have been through enough, haven’t we?” says HBK.
The Undertaker accepts HHH’s hand and gets back to his feet. HHH and Taker hug as they all shake hands and raise their hands in victory while fireworks go off around the arena.
Suddenly, Undertaker Tombstone Piledrives HHH as Kane clotheslines HBK. The Brothers of Destruction turn their attention to HBK. Kane punches HBK in the face while Undertaker clears off the announce desk. The Undertaker chokeslams Shawn Michaels through the announce table. The Brothers of Destruction walk off together leaving the mayhem they have caused behind them.
The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, and/or Xavier Woods) (c) vs. Cesaro and Sheamus – match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship
Cesaro looks for a submission. Photo: WWE.
Big E sits this one out which is odd since Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods aren’t powerhouses. To highlight New Day’s error in judgement Cesaro and Sheamus catch Kingston, Woods in mid-dive slamming them into a steel post. The Bar cut Kingston off from his corner battering him for almost the entire match. Woods finally gets the hot tag. He rocks both Cesaro and Sheamus. Woods back-stabs Cesaro holding him over his knees for Kingston. Kingston pins Cesaro with a double stomp from the top rope. You usual weekly television match not great, not bad, just okay.
Winners: …and still WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions at 10:41, The New Day.
Match Rating: 6 / 10
Becky Lynch (c) vs. Charlotte Flair – match for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
Charlotte has Lynch all locked up. Photo: WWE.
The fans loudly chant…Let’s go, Becky! Charlotte is booed as she mounts a comeback. Becky yanks Charlotte of the ring dropping her on her neck on the floor. Becky posts Charlotte for a two count. At three minutes in, Becky locks on a Fujiwara Arm Bar. Charlotte uses her strength to escape. Becky Lynch overacts as per usual when she becomes frustrated that she cannot put Charlotte away. Tone it down, Lynch. Tone it down. Stop making those goofy, exaggerated faces. Charlotte gets a two count after spearing Becky Lynch. Lynch puts up her knees as Charlotte flies through the air with a moonsault. Lynch misses a leg drop from the top rope. After escaping a Boston Crab, Lynch grabs the belt and prepares to high-tail it out of the arena. Charlotte puts a stop to that by spearing Lynch into a ringside barrier. Charlotte has Lynch in the Figure Eight. Lynch takes the belt, slaps Charlotte lightly with it and is disqualified. A disqualified Lynch remains your WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion. A short match with an unsatisfactory, abrupt ending. The fans in attendance are not happy about the result. As Lynch heads up the rampway, Charlotte attacks her from behind. Lynch fires back with a clothesline and a Bexploder Suplex on the floor.
Winner: Via disqualification at 10:51, Charlotte.
Match Rating: 6 / 10
Bobby Lashley and John Cena vs. Elias and Kevin Owens
Cena is excited to be back. Photo: WWE.
Elias and Kevin Owens sit in the middle of the ring as Elias plays the opening to AC/DC’s Thunderstruck on his guitar. The fans begin to chant along singing…Thunder! Thunder! Kevin Owens looks baffled. Surprisingly, Elias has nothing but good things to say about Australia. Owens calls Melbourne a “cesspool of a city”.
“I told them Super Show-Down should be in Canada!” yells Owens.
Elias mentions he is buddies with the controversial Michael Malthouse and the boos begin. He then rags on the Collingwood Football Club inciting more boos. Before either can stick any more feet in their mouths, Bobby Lashley’s music hits. As Cena races to the ring, Lashley runs alongside him.
Renee Young screws up when she claims that a trimmed down Cena has been training with Jackie Chan in China at the Jackie Chan Stunt and Performance Center. It is actually simply called the Jackie Chan Stuntman Training Center.
Owens cannot move Lashley with a shoulder tackle. At one point, Lashley is fighting off both Elias and Owens. Owens, Elias cut Lashley off from Cena working him over in their part of the ring. Owens and Cena trade verbal insults as Owens grinds Lashley down.
Elias side-steps Lashley and Lashley crashes to the arena floor. Elias rams Lashley’s shoulder into the steel post. A frog splash by Owens nets his team a two count. At almost 10 minutes in John Cena still hasn’t tagged into the match.
Cena runs riot over everyone when he tags in. Cena wraps things up literally in seconds pinning Elias with The Five Knuckle Shuffle, an AA and his new haymaker finisher, Sixth Move of Doom. What a waste of time.
Winners: Bobby Lashley and John Cena at 10:14.
Match Rating: 4 / 10
Asuka and Naomi vs. The IIconics (Billie Kay and Peyton Royce)
The Iiconics are victorious. Photo: WWE.
The IIconics are happy to be home and show Australia, the whole world that they are iconic. Asuka and Naomi have their own happy dance in the middle of the ring after butt bumping the IIconics out of it. As Billie Kay holds up Naomi, Peyton Royce gives her a running knee in the face. A very short match for the hometown team.
Winners: The IIconics at 5:45.
Match Rating: 3 / 10
AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe – No Countout, No Disqualification match for the WWE Championship
Samoa Joe injures his knee. Photo: WWE.
Samoa Joe stands further down the entrance way waiting for AJ Styles to come down as his music hits. There is a brief stare-down. They charge at each other wailing away with haymakers. Styles slams Joe into the barricade. Joe throws Styles over the announce table. Styles lands on his feet and bounces back into the ring. Joe dives through the ropes driving Styles into the ringside barrier. Joe then bounces Styles off the stairs and suplexes him on the floor. Styles turns a moonsault into a reverse DDT on Joe. Styles is bleeding from the mouth following a wicked clothesline from Joe. Joe grabs a steel chair but Styles drop kicks it into Joe’s face. Styles beats Joe with the chair. Styles taunts Joe by sitting on the chair. Joe slams Styles onto the chair, pulls out a table from under the ring.
A chair shot to the back has Styles writhing in pain. Styles puts himself and Joe through the table. Joe holds his knee in pain, rolling around on the mat. Styles smiles as blood continues to trickle from his mouth and Joe claims his knee has popped. Styles relentlessly stomps on Joe’s knee.
Styles yells something about “consequences” in Joe’s face and the rest is bleeped out. Styles escapes a Coquina Clutch to mash Joe’s knee with a springboard 450 off the ropes. Styles delivers a flying forearm off the barricade.
Styles kicks out of a Coquina Clutch and a throw by Joe. Joe cannot execute the Muscle Buster with a hurt knee. Joe taps to the Calf Crusher.
Winner: …and still WWE Champion, AJ Styles at 23:50.
Match Rating: 8.5 / 10
The Bella Twins (Brie Bella and Nikki Bella) and Ronda Rousey vs. The Riott Squad (Liv Morgan, Ruby Riott, and Sarah Logan)
The Bellas and Rousey celebrate. Photo: WWE.
Ronda and Nikki argue over who will start the match. A very stilted, awkward match, especially on the Bellas part, with many missed spots on everyone’s part. The Bellas keep tagging each other out ignoring Ronda. The fans cheer when Liv takes it to Brie. Ruby knocks Brie off the apron. Ronda gets the hot tag throwing people around like usual. Liv throws Brie into the steel post outside the ring and stops Sarah Logan from tapping out. Ronda pulls off an absurd double throw and double arm to make Liv Morgan, and Sarah Logan tap out at the same time. Seriously? What nonsense.
Winners: The Bella Twins (Brie Bella and Nikki Bella) and Ronda Rousey at 10:37.
Match Rating: 3 / 10
Cedric Alexander (c) vs. Buddy Murphy – match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship)
Buddy Murphy is the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion. Photo: WWE.
Buddy Murphy walks down that aisle with an Australian flag wrapped around his waist.
“This is what it is all about!” Murphy shouts as he waves the Australian flag in the ring.
Murphy offers to shake Alexander’s hand but just flings sweat into his face instead. Murphy clocks Alexander with a running knee to the face for a two count. Alexander rolls out of the ring as Murphy ascends to the top rope. Murphy splashes Alexander through the ropes.
The crowd chants for Murphy as he nails Alexander with a pair of double knees from the top rope.
Michael Cole says that Murphy is a risk taker. He bungee jumps and…swims with great whales?
A spinning elbow has Murphy stunned, however, he still puts Alexander in a sleeper to slow down the match.
Alexander buys some time by super kicking Murphy in the face.
Alexander spikes Murphy with a phenomenal Michinoku Driver from the second rope for a two count. A flatliner has Murphy bailing out of the ring. Alexander dives over the ropes at Murphy.
Alexander doesn’t know what to make of the crowd cheering so loudly for Murphy and it appears to be throwing Alexander off his game.
Murphy kicks out of the Lumbar Check shocking Alexander and the crowd who go absolutely nuts. Murphy catches Alexander with a running knee to the face and Murphy’s Law to become the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
Winner: …and new WWE Cruiserweight Champion…Buddy Murphy at 10:33.
Match Rating: 8 / 10
The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, and Seth Rollins) vs. Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler, and Drew McIntyre
They may not look like it but The Shield beat Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler, and Drew McIntyre. Photo: WWE.
Roman Reigns throws a Superman Punch. McIntyre ducks and Reigns hits Ambrose knocking him off the apron to the floor. Reigns and Rollins have to battle on without him surrounded by their foes. A perplexed Ambrose climbs back onto the ring apron. He teases being unsure of whether to assist The Shield or Strowman and his bunch. He takes on Strowman settling the issue. Strowman stops a triple powerbomb attempt on McIntyre with a massive spear. Ambrose kicks out of a Zig Zag. Strowman is about to charge Ambrose. Reigns heads him off spearing Strowman through the ringside barrier. Ambrose pins Ziggler with Dirty Deeds back in the ring.
Winners: The Shield at 19:30.
Match Rating: 8 / 10
Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz – match to determine the number one contender for the WWE Championship
The Miz gets a kick out of Daniel Bryan. Photo: WWE.
After all the lead-up, the match ends in less than three minutes. Just unbelievable. The Miz attacks Bryan’s ribs at the sound of the bell bouncing him off the ropes. As The Miz charges in Bryan kicks him in the head and then it is Yes Kicks time. The Miz gets a two count with a running knee. The Miz argues with the official. The Miz readies Bryan for the Skull Crushing Finale. Bryan just rolls him up.
Winner: Daniel Bryan at 2:20.
Match Rating: 2 / 10
Triple H (with Shawn Michaels) vs. The Undertaker (with Kane)
Winner: Triple H at 27:30.
Match Rating: 9.5 / 10
Overall Event Rating: 6 / 10