Surprise. Surprise. Despite their assurances that it would be, the second annual Super ShowDown was nowhere near a WrestleMania quality broadcast.
Perhaps the WrestleMania the WWE were referring to was WrestleMania 12. If so, that would make total sense.
The overblown, overhyped, pedestrian pay-per-view was punctuated by an embarrassing showing from two wrestling icons: Goldberg and The Undertaker.
What started off as a dream match became an awkward nightmare for the legends as Taker and Goldberg didn’t seem to have any energy left at the six to seven minute mark to push on.
Things began promising enough with the arena chanting “Goldberg!” in unison while he was lead from the locker room his head already slightly busted open. That is what happens though when you head butt a steel door, even if you are Goldberg.
The announcers kept pushing the WCW, WWE angle which is so played out in this day and age. It has been approximately 18 years since WCW last locked horns with the WWE. It is ancient history. Move on, Vince.
A procession of torch bearers walked in front of a line of coffins belching fire as bells tolled heralding the arrival of The Undertaker.
Goldberg lays busted open as Taker advances. Photo: WWE.
“The Pale Rider has returned,” said an ominous Michael Cole.
Goldberg looked to intimidate The Undertaker right out of the gate by giving him the Rest in Peace, throat slash sign two inches from his face. The Undertaker ain’t taking that. He punches Goldberg square in the jaw. Goldberg bounces off the ropes spearing the Undertaker. Goldberg backs into another corner, waits for a wobbly Undertaker to get back to his feet. He hits a second spear for a two count.
Goldberg cannot believe his eyes when The Undertaker sits straight up off the mat seemingly unfazed by the damage he just inflicted.
Goldberg powers out of a chokeslam taking Taker down to the mat for a knee bar…of all things.
Goldberg looms over The Undertaker. Photo: WWE.
The Undertaker moves out of Goldberg’s way as he charges in. Goldberg whacks his head off the ring post. Goldberg drops to the mat bleeding profusely from his forehead.
Unable to defend himself, Goldberg takes shot after shot as the ring ropes are the only thing holding him up. Old School makes way for a chokeslam which has The Undertaker flashing his own Rest in Peace sign. The chokeslam takes forever to execute as The Undertaker stands uncomfortably waiting and waiting while Goldberg fumbles in the ropes for what seems like an eternity.
One Tombstone Piledriver is not enough to bury Goldberg and it looks like he might have taken the move on his head or spine. Goldberg actually beats the Undertaker back to his feet, leaning against The Phenom’s shoulder leaving a trail of blood down his arm.
The crowd cheers both men on as Taker and Goldberg batter each other with punches. Although The Undertaker gets in a running clothesline and Snake Eyes, Goldberg spears him for the third time.
Goldberg points to the heavens lifting The Undertaker up for one of the worst Jackhammers he has ever done. Goldberg stumbles forward with Taker rather than lifting him up and slamming him down. The Undertaker kicks out.
Goldberg gives the Jackhammer sign again. He lifts Undertaker in what should result in Taker flipping him into a Tombstone Piledriver. Instead, both men fall to the mat in a messy heap.
An unimpressive chokeslam from heck. Photo: WWE.
Undertaker’s chokeslam raises Goldberg only like waist high off the ground but it is enough to pin Da Man.
That’s all, folks.
Whether it was the scorching heat in Jeddah, ring rust, age or maybe a combination of all three, Super ShowDown was The Undertaker and Goldberg at their very worst. What should have been a bout signifying to all what the two legends have meant to the business instead turned out to be a lesson of what can and does happen when the WWE believes inactive talent who haven’t wrestled for an extended period of time can carry a main event marque match without a hitch.
Botches happen. Injuries happen. Embarrassment happens.
We can only hope that the WWE gives both men another shot to redeem themselves in some way. If anyone deserves that opportunity, they do.
The messy main event was the cherry on the top of the borefest that was Super ShowDown. Finn Balor defending his Intercontinental Championship against an always exceptional Andrade was the only really extraordinary bout on the four hour show. Another match between two veterans – Triple H and Randy Orton – didn’t fare well either. Lasting 25 minutes long, double the length of any of the other matches, the bout was lethargic, lifeless and ended with another unsatisfying finish.
To top things off, Brock Lesnar did not cash-in his Money in the Bank briefcase either.
Losing to Seth Rollins, Baron Corbin devastated him with a Deep Six. This brought out Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman. Heyman is carrying the briefcase. Lesnar has a steel chair.
Paul Heyman trips getting into the ring and drops the briefcase. Heyman’s blunder distracts Lesnar. Rollins low-blows Lesnar, takes the steel chair and wails on Lesnar daring him to cash in the contract. Rollins Curb Stomps Lesnar’s head into the briefcase.
The crowd chants…Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey-ey, goodbye!…while Lesnar lumbers up the entrance way the briefcase tucked under his arm. Heyman follows close behind stuttering and stammering.
During the pre-show, David Otunga gives a shout-out to my hometown Raptors. “Shane McMahon talks a big game but we all know Drew McIntyre is backing him up. He is the one who does the heavy lifting. Shane McMahon reminds me of Drake bouncing around and cheerleading while the Raptors do all the winning,” he says.
The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) versus The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder)
The announcers claim it is 100 degrees in the ring and even hotter in the ring for the wrestlers. The crowd, who are still pouring in, are very vocal in their support of the Usos. Both The Revival are dumped out of the ring early on. The fight goes to the floor with the Usos lighting up the Revival with chops. As the fans cheer: “Let’s go Usos!” the Revival take over smacking Jimmy’s head off the apron. The Usos have the match won with a roll-up but Wilder distracts the official from the apron. So many, many super kicks end the only match on the kick-off show in favour of the Usos.
Winners: The Usos at 7:17.
Match Rating: 7 / 10
Seth Rollins (c) versus Baron Corbin – WWE Universal Championship match
The crowd is shocked this is the starting match. So am I, to be honest. Rollins comes out first, which is odd. His chest and back are all taped up. The Arabic announce team praises Cory for getting their names right. They joke that Rene would have screwed them up. Cole to Rene: “Stick to English.” Corbin is announced as “Jeddah’s favourite son”. Based on the boos, it is probably Corbin’s wishful thinking. Rollins counters Corbin’s haymakers to his injured ribs with punches of his own. Corbin shoves Rollins off the top rope. Rolling falls heavily on his ribs and back. Corbin punches, kicks and stomps on Rollins’ ribs as the crowd wills The Architect on to fight through the pain. Ticked off at what he thinks is a slow count, Corbin shows the official how to count to three. “Do your job!” he yells. Rollins struggles to break a crushing bear hug by Corbin. He backs Corbin up with chops, punches and a discus elbow. Corbin rolls out of the ring after taking a Slingblade. Rollins dives through the ropes driving Corbin into the announce table. Corbin screams at the official again when a side-slam doesn’t pin Rollins. A Deep Six doesn’t win Corbin the title either. Corbin backs the official into a corner. “How many times do I have to tell you? Count to three!” he screams in the ref’s face. The official stops Corbin from using a steel chair on Rollins. “Stop telling me what to do?” says Corbin. The official rails back at. “Don’t tell me how to do my job!” he responds. Rollins rolls up Corbin as he continues arguing.
Winner: …and still WWE Universal Champion…Seth Rollins at 11:43
Match Rating: 6 / 10
Finn Bálor (c) versus Andrade – match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
Not as good a match as you thought it might be but better than anything else tonight. It just doesn’t have the passion or energy you would expect from these two. The crowd seems mostly dead for this one, occasionally chanting..This is awesome! Andrade arrives without Zelina Vega. As the Demon, Balor crawls down the rampway, kneeling and staring at the Intercontinental Championship that he holds like it is an idol of some sort. A cautious Andrade steps outside the ropes allowing the Demon a wide berth. The crowd shouts…Demon Balor! Andrade misses a knee strike bumbling over the ropes to the floor. The announcers maintain that Balor respects Andrade as he brought out the Demon tonight to face him. A kick to the face and a back elbow just angers the Demon. Double Knees in the corner equals a two count for Andrade. Andrade stays in the fight after absorbing a double stomp to the back of the neck. Andrade shakes his head repeating to himself over and over…I beat him! I beat him!…when his Hammerlock DDT doesn’t win him the championship. DDT from the top rope, Coup de Grace, Balor retains.
Winner: …and still WWE Intercontinental Champion, Finn Balor at 11:42.
Match Rating: 7.5 / 10
Roman Reigns versus Shane McMahon
Shane McMahon gets a smattering of applause while he poses on the top rope. Drew McIntyre’s theme sounds confusing the crowd. McIntyre enters the ring, standing beside McMahon guarding him. Roman’s entrance is backed by fireworks on the stage and in the ring. I miss fireworks in WWE. McIntyre finally leaves the ring but remains outside. McMahon jump starts things swarming Reigns with punches and raking his eyes on the ropes. Reigns explodes out of the corner with his own rights and lefts.
Reigns misses a charge ramming his shoulder and neck into a steel post. Reigns rolls to the floor so McIntyre can sneak in some stomps to his back. Reigns’ shoulder tackles and clotheslines in a corner knocks the oxygen out of McMahon’s body. McMahon avoids a Superman Punch by chop blocking Reigns in mid-air. Reigns powers out of a Triangle Choke powerbombing McMahon to the mat. McIntyre drives Reigns into the ringside barrier. Reigns no sells it, rams McIntyre into the steel steps and Superman punches him. McMahon’s spear doesn’t have the power of Roman’s. It doesn’t result in a pinfall.
The arena starts cheering…CM Punk! CM Punk! Reigns drops McMahon with a right hand. Shane falls into the official taking him out of the equation. Claymore Kick from McIntyre has McMahon covering Reigns for the victory. McIntyre carries McMahon on his shoulders to the back. Fireworks explode. “You are the best in the world!” McIntyre tells Shane. Best at what? We are not sure. “I did it! I did it!” shouts Shane. That you did, Shane. That you did.
Winner: Shane McMahon at 9:18.
Match Rating: 7 / 10
Lars Sullivan versus Lucha House Party (Kalisto, Gran Metalik, and Lince Dorado)
It is three against one. Three against one. Get it. Get it. That’s so entertaining. The crowd doesn’t seem to care and neither do I. Whether from Kalisto’s kicks or Dorado’s attacks, Sullivan is bleeding from the mouth. Lars bulldozes through Dorado growling in his face, spitting blood. Lars clotheslines Kalisto out of mid-air. Lars goes to the top rope. Lucha House Party crotches him on the ropes letting loose with a barrage of drop kicks, splashes and punches. The official calls for the bell. Lars catches up to the trio on the entranceway. Lars slams Kalisto hard on the rampway. Someone from the crowd yells out…”You killed him!” That made me chuckle. Lars dumps Dorado on the ring apron.
Winner: Lars Sullivan via disqualification at 5:07.
Match Rating: 2 / 10
Triple H versus Randy Orton
Michael Cole hypes the match as this is the first time HHH and Orton have met in a decade. Wow. That makes it all worthwhile then doesn’t it? Why are in the world are they fighting again? Oh, right. Lazy booking. The announcers blather on to sell the history forgetting it is ancient history. Hunter roars out, well, putters out on his tricycle, a hoodie and a skull mask. He revs it to more fireworks. “You know it is a WrestleMania-like event when Triple H has a bad ass entrance like that,” gibbers Michael Cole. It sounds as if Cole almost believes what he is saying. We don’t.
Small NXT and RKO chants break out. HHH gives the fans an appreciative look. The two superstars aren’t even locked up and the fans are chanting…This is awesome! The announcers heap praise on HHH and Orton selling two stars that don’t need to be. It is a little much. “This is like watching two master chess players at work,” jabbers Cory. Rene laughably claims HHH is still riding the momentum after beating Batista at WrestleMania. WrestleMania was like two months ago, Rene. Someone buy her a clue, please.
HHH wraps Orton’s hand and shoulder off the ring stairs and ring post. In retaliation, Orton slams HHH on the announce desk. Orton reverses an Irish Whip throwing HHH into the steel ring steps. Orton shakes out his arm trying to get the blood flowing again. A headlock by Orton in the middle of the ring slows the match down to a grinding halt, not that it has had much energy to begin with. Orton grabs The Game by the beard clotheslining him to the canvass for a two count then back to the headlock.
A high knee from HHH stuns Orton for a clothesline in a corner and a face buster on his knee. Orton catapults HHH into a steel post foiling a Pedigree. HHH has another Pedigree blocked as he is backdropped to the apron. Orton drop kicks him to the mat. Orton looks down with scorn on HHH punching him with right hand after right hand in a corner.
Orton responds to a HHH crotch chop and a charge by power slamming him. The crowd calls for the RKO. At this point in the match so am I just so it ends. Orton DDTs HHH through the ropes still holding his injured arm. Orton signals for the RKO. It is HHH who spinebusters Orton though and that opens the door to a crossface from him as well. Randy forces the break by draping his arm over the ropes.
Orton backdrops out of Pedigree, blasts HHH with a RKO. HHH gets his shoulder up. Orton points to the crowd warning them that another RKO could be coming up next. Standing over HHH, Orton backs into a corner setting up a punt on HHH. The slow as molasses, awkward punt becomes a Pedigree. Orton pops out before the official can slap three.
Orton crawls away from the ring until HHH catches up with him. Orton is slammed on the announce desk four times in a row by Triple H. After all of that, the match ends in a flash. Returning to the ring, HHH runs into an RKO and is pinned…just like that. That’s all, folks.
Winner: Randy Orton at 25:34.
Match Rating: 7 / 10
Braun Strowman versus Bobby Lashley
Before the match, we have to put up with footage of that ridiculous arm wrestling match on this week’s Raw, one of the worst Raw broadcasts in recent memory. Lashley cannot budge Brawn no matter how hard he tries. “You have to do better than that,” laughs Braun. Braun wins a test of strength, tackling and splashing Lashley in a corner. Lashley lifts Braun onto his shoulders, deals out a running powerslam to him. Another headlock segment puts the crowd to sleep. Braun builds momentum with two Stinger Splashes, two running charges around the ring and a clubbing forearm. “Come on!” sighs Strowman as Lashley kicks out. Strowman runs into a steel post. On the floor once again, Lashley charges Braun into the ring barricade, suplexes him on the rampway for a two count. Braun slams Lashley off the top rope, connects with two running powerslams for the predictable 1, 2, 3.
Winner: Braun Strowman at 8:23.
Match Rating: 6.5 / 10
Kofi Kingston versus Dolph Ziggler – match for the WWE Championship
No matter how much they try, this doesn’t seem like a championship match. Xavier encourages the crowd to show Kofi some support, which they do. Dolph is all over Kofi who can’t keep any kind of offence going. Kofi hangs onto the ropes to stop Dolph’s Zig Zag. Dolph throws the rulebook out the window, rams Kofi into a steel post, choking and mauling him. Dolph has the wherewithal to kick out of an SOS. Kofi leaps off the barrier onto Dolph hurting his knee in the process. Dolph sends Kofi into the ring stairs. Xavier gets clocked for coming to Kofi’s aid. Kofi and Dolph brawl on the floor. Xavier kicks Dolph in the head from the apron so that Kofi can land Trouble in Paradise. Hey, I thought they were the good guys? Good guys don’t take shortcuts. Dolph calls Kofi a coward backstage. He demands a rematch with Kofi in a steel cage at Stomping Grounds so that nobody can interfere.
Winners: …and still the WWE Champion Kofi Kingston at 10:15.
Match Rating: 7 / 10
50 Man Battle Royal
The only superstars who get real entrances are The Miz, Samoa Joe, Cesaro, Titus O’Neil and Elias, who walks to the ring singing a song mocking the other participants. The Miz has had enough. He drags Elias into the ring. The Viking Raiders eliminate both members of AOP. Titus throws out both Viking Raiders. Samoa Joe boots both Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder, the Raw Tag Team Champions. Sin Cara sends Shinsuke Nakamura to the back? Groan. It is down to The Miz, Elias, Cesaro, Samoa Joe, Ricochet, Ali and Mansoor Al-Shehail. Elias kicks The Miz with a running knee. Ali and Ricochet suplex Samoa Joe from the apron to the floor. Cesaro clobbers Ali and Ricochet from behind. Elias takes out Cesaro. Mansoor eliminates Elias for the hometown win.
Winner: Mansoor Al-Shehail at 17:58.
Match Rating: 6 / 10
Goldberg versus The Undertaker
Winner: The Undertaker at 8:25.
Match Rating: 5 / 10
Overall Event Rating: 6 / 10