Welcome to the TJRWrestling review of WWE Super Showdown 2020. This is the first of two major WWE events in Saudi Arabia this year. They have ten matches announced including one match on the Kickoff Show.
The Kickoff Show match saw The OC’s Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson defeat The Viking Raiders duo of Erik and Ivar. I don’t think I’m going to review it.
The announce team for the show is Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton.
WWE Super Showdown
From Mohammed Abdu Arena at the Boulevard in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
February 27, 2020
The opening video package focused on the key matches on the show as usual for those videos.
There was an impressive pyro display on the stage in this outdoor venue. The “Legends Rise” song by Godsmack is the theme song for the show. The fans were impressed by the pyro and had a lot of energy.
The Tuwaiq Trophy Gauntlet Match is up first with the trophy at ringside with Cole letting us know that it is named after a mountain that is a symbol of strength. The announce team of Cole, Graves and Saxton let us know that the temperatures were in the mid-60s (that’s Fahrenheit), so it’s comfortable and not going to be too hot for the wrestlers.
R-Truth made his entrance as the first competitor in the gauntlet match. The fans loved his “What’s Up” entrance with fans chanting his name by the end of it. Bobby Lashley was next as the second man in the gauntlet. Lashley was joined by storyline wife Lana, who had her whole body covered up in a golden dress. While Lashley went towards the ring, Lana went backstage. The Arabic announce team was at ringside.
Analysis: Lana flew all the way to Saudi Arabia just to stand on the stage for 15 seconds and walk to the back. I think she did that the last time too. May as well stay home next time.
Tuwaiq Trophy Gauntlet Match
Gauntlet Match #1: Bobby Lashley vs. R-Truth
Lashley with a shoulder tackle on Truth, then Truth hit a corner splash. Truth went to the apron leading to Lashley hitting a forearm that knocked Truth off the apron to the floor with Truth crashing into the barricade. Back in the ring, Lashley hit a running shoulder tackle to the ribs of Truth. Lashley with a delayed vertical suplex. Truth slapped on a brief sleeper, but Lashley fought out of that and Truth hit a shoulder tackle. Lashley hit a more impressive shoulder tackle to stop Truth’s momentum. Truth managed to hit a spinning sitout slam like John Cena followed by the Five Knuckle Shuffle fist drop. Lashley blocked the AA attempt, Truth with a jumping kick and Lashley hit a flatliner. Lashley charged with a Spear, Truth moved, Lashley hit the turnbuckle and Truth covered Lashley for the upset win with Truth using his upper body to pin the legs of Lashley. This went about five minutes.
R-Truth advances over Bobby Lashley
After the pinfall, Lashley hit Truth with a forearm to the back. Lashley sent Truth out of the ring and whipped him shoulder first into the ring post. Lashley whipped Truth shoulder first into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Lashley hit a Spear on Truth. Lashley left at that point.
Andrade was up next with the US Title making his return after his 30-day Wellness Policy violation/injury angle. No Zelina Vega with him. Truth had some blood on his face, so the referee put on the white gloves and wiped it off.
Gauntlet Match #2: R-Truth vs. Andrade
Andrade wrenched on the left arm of Truth against the ropes. Andrade grabbed an armbar to pull on the left arm of Truth some more. Andrade hit the running double knees on Truth against the turnbuckle for a two count. Truth blocked a double arm DDT attempt by driving Andrade into the turnbuckle. The fans were not into this that much. Andrade worked over Truth with chops, then Andrade charged, Truth ducked and Andrade went flying over the top to the floor. Good bump there. Back in the ring, Truth got some offense with a flying forearm, a punch and then Andrade hit a spinning back elbow and they also did a spot where they bumped heads. Truth laid on top of Andrade in a fluke manner and it was enough to win. That fall went about five minutes.
R-Truth advances over Andrade
Analysis: The idea with that is they bumped heads and Truth got the lucky win by landing on top for the pinfall.
Erick Rowan was up next and he brought his cage that had a cloth on it.
Gauntlet Match #3: Erick Rowan vs. R-Truth
Rowan with a running splash on Truth followed by a body slam and an elbow drop. Rowan charged, Truth got two feet up to stop him and Truth lowered the top rope to send Rowan to the floor. Truth with a slingshot dive over the top onto Rowan on the floor. Rowan with a headbutt to the shoulder and then a dropkick that sent Truth into the steel steps where Rowan’s cage was. That knocked the cage over, so Rowan put the cage on the apron and sent Truth into the steel steps. Rowan grabbed the steel steps and Rowan hit Truth with the steps into the damaged shoulder of Truth. The referee called for the disqualification after that. This fall went about three minutes.
R-Truth advances over Erick Rowan
After the disqualification, Rowan went back into the ring and hit an Iron Claw Slam on Truth. Rowan left with his cage. Truth was getting checked on by the referee in the ring.
AJ Styles was up next and he got a superstar pop from the crowd. That was loud. Nice pyro display too as Graves put over Styles as one of the best wrestlers of this generation (that’s true) and noted that Truth was a sitting duck.
Gauntlet Match #4: R-Truth vs. AJ Styles
Styles had a confident look on his face as the fans chanted “AJ Styles” for him. Truth tried a punch, Styles moved and mocked a breakdance followed by a kick to the face. Styles told Truth to get up to dance, so Styles punched him when Truth got up. Styles kept on doing some dance moves followed by a kick to the back of the leg while the fans continued to chant AJ’s name. Styles rolled through with a Calf Crusher submission on Truth’s left leg and Truth tapped out. This fall went about three minutes.
AJ Styles advances over R-Truth
Rey Mysterio’s music hit since he was the final competitor in this match. Styles was smiling when Mysterio’s music hit and there was no sign of Mysterio making his entrance. They played Rey’s song again, but he did not appear. The camera showed Mysterio backstage where he was getting beat up by Gallows and Anderson. Gallows hit Mysterio with a boot to the face to knock Rey down.
Styles said it doesn’t look like little Rey is going to be getting up from that. Styles said that by forfeit, he is the Gauntlet Champion. Styles told the referee Sean Bennett to raise his hand, but the referee wouldn’t do it and Styles told him he’s the referee. Styles told them to ring the bell and give him the trophy.
The referee told the ring announcer Mike Rome something with Rome announcing that if AJ’s opponent doesn’t make it out by the count of ten then Styles will be the winner. The referee counted in the ring and Styles did too. There was a shot of Luke Gallows and Karl getting knocked to the ground followed by a black leather jacket and boots. The fans popped because they knew it was The Undertaker.
The Undertaker made his slow walk to the ring as some pyro went off and there were flames lighting up by the entrance. Cole noted that the reports were true because WWE ran with the story of Undertaker at Super Showdown after there were photos and videos online.
Analysis: It was reported weeks ago that The Undertaker was scheduled to face AJ Styles at WrestleMania. It’s true and it’s cool to see them face off for the first time ever.
When Undertaker got in the ring, Styles told him he wasn’t supposed to be out there. Styles complained to the referee about it, but the referee told him the match was on.
Analysis: If you want to complain about something here, they said the opponent had to get to the ring in ten seconds. It was a few minutes later when Undertaker got to the ring, but I guess the point is that AJ’s opponent made his presence felt.
Gauntlet Match #5: AJ Styles vs. The Undertaker
Styles charged towards Undertaker and Undertaker grabbed him by the throat. Undertaker didn’t even take his jacket or hat off. Undertaker gave Styles a Chokeslam and pinned him to win this fall after about ten seconds. The entire Gauntlet Match took about 33:50 and about four minutes of that was Undertaker’s entrance.
Winner of the Tuwaiq Trophy Gauntlet Match: The Undertaker
Post match, The Undertaker stared at the trophy. Undertaker didn’t pick up the trophy. I guess they’ll Fed Ex it to his funeral home.
The Undertaker walked to the back as more pyro went off.
Analysis: ** That’s my rating for the entire Gauntlet Match. The stuff with Truth was funny with some lucky pinfalls for him. The Undertaker showing up was a cool moment that the fans loved. As I said earlier, it should set up Undertaker vs. Styles for WrestleMania with Styles likely wanting revenge for what happened here. It’s a fresh match and they didn’t give away too much here. Styles losing to one move makes him look like a loser, though, so I don’t like how that was booked. At least follow up with a Tombstone. Just a Chokeslam? That shouldn’t be enough for the win.
The New Day’s Big E and Kofi Kingston did a promo saying they’ll show us why they are the Smackdown Tag Team Champions.
A commercial aired for the WWE Elimination Chamber pay-per-view on March 8th on WWE Network.
The Miz and John Morrison made their entrance for the Smackdown Tag Team Title match. Morrison got his slow-motion entrance with some pyro. Big E and Kofi Kingston were next as the champions and the fans loved them.
Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The New Day’s Kofi Kingston and Big E vs. The Miz and John Morrison
There was some comedy early on as Big E slapped on the abdominal stretch on Miz followed by some butt slapping. Morrison tagged in, Big E with a belly to belly suplex and Kingston tagged in with a splash on Morrison for a two count. Big E with a shoulder to the ribs, Kingston with a corner splash and Big E with a clothesline on Morrison. Morrison dumped Big E out of the ring, Miz with a kick on Big E and Morrison hit a twisting dive over the top onto Big E on the floor. Miz tagged in for a double gutbuster followed by a boot to the face for a two count on Big E. Morrison with a running kick on Big E for a two count. Miz tagged back in, Big E dumped Morrison out of the ring and Big E hit a uranage slam on Miz. Kingston got the tag with a springboard punch on Morrison, a dropkick and Morrison with a kick to the ribs. Kingston jumped off the top with a hurricanrana followed by a double foot stomp to the shoulders for a two count. Kingston with the Boom Drop double leg drop to Morrison. Miz in the ring, Kofi sent him out and Morrison with an Alabama Slam followed by a running knee for a two count. The fans were doing the “Miz and Morrison hey hey ho ho” chant from Smackdown so that was funny. Kofi hit the SOS flipping slam for a two count. Big E got the tag, Morrison punched Big E to the floor and Big E put Morrison on his shoulders with Kingston hitting a double foot stomp off the top to Morrison’s shoulders and that got a two count. Good move for the nearfall there. Miz sent Kingston into the barricade, then Miz got the tag and Miz hit a DDT for two. Miz did his It Kicks to the chest, Big E caught Miz, Morrison tag and when Miz did his backbreaker/neckbreaker combo there was a double foot stomp by Morrison as well. Morrison went for Starship Pain off the top, but Big E moved out of the way. Kingston tagged back in and punched Miz off the apron. Big E tagged back in, Kingston lifted Morrison onto Big E’s shoulders and they hit the double team Midnight Hour for a two count with Miz breaking up the pin. Kingston went for a trust fall dive over the top on Miz, but Miz moved and Kingston landed back first on the floor. That was a rough sounding landing, but Kofi landed it perfectly. It’s still a big bump to take on your back. Miz tagged in, he avoided a slam from Big E and hit a Skull Crushing Finale for a two count. Great nearfall there. Miz with kicks on Big E, then two running knees and Big E avoided a third attack as Miz bumped into the turnbuckle. Kofi got back into the match with a forward roll on Miz for a two count, then Kingston got another rollup. Morrison jabbed a chair into Kofi’s ribs (the referee never saw it) and Miz did the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! while grabbing the tights of Kofi for the pinfall win at 13:15.
Winners by pinfall and NEW Smackdown Tag Team Champions: The Miz and John Morrison
Analysis: ***1/4 This match was pretty good with some clever spots and a finish that was fitting for a heel team winning in a chap manner. I’m very tired of the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! finish that is done way too often, but at least it followed a chair shot and Miz grabbed the tights too. I thought that they could have added a few more nearfalls to build up to the finish, but the work in the match was good. I thought there would be a title change because it just felt like the right thing to do with Miz and Morrison getting some momentum as a team. Plus, New Day will eventually get the titles back at some point since they have had so many title wins. Smackdown has a lot of good teams right now, so they could always do a multi-team match at WrestleMania.
Post match, The Miz and Morrison celebrated with their titles.
Byron Saxton was backstage after being on commentary earlier and he interviewed Seth Rollins and Murphy, who are the Raw Tag Team Champions. Rollins said it was a matter of destiny that they will still be the Raw Tag Team Champions and the threat of the Street Profits will be eradicated.
Angel Garza made his entrance for a match against his cousin Humberto Carrillo. This match was added on Wednesday and is a rematch from Raw when Garza beat Carrillo.
Humberto Carrillo vs. Angel Garza
The first minute featured each guy going for moves while the other guy avoided getting hit. Carrillo with two kicks followed by a flying headbutt off the top rope. Carrillo with an arm drag after jumping off the ropes. Carrillo with a headscissors takedown on the floor. Carrillo with a suicide dive that sent Garza into the barricade followed by an elbow drop to the ribs. Back in the ring, Carrillo with a basement dropkick to the ribs. Garza tripped up Carrillo to the ropes followed by a dropkick to the knees. Garza pulled off the pants to reveal the tights underneath although it did not get much of a reaction from these fans. Garza slapped on a Camel Clutch. Carrillo with a jumping kick, then a hard slap to the face and Carrillo with a springboard kick to knock Garza down for a two count. Garza with a leaping kick to the head while Carrillo was on the top, then Carrillo jumped off and Garza hit a dropkick to the ribs for two. Carrillo with a superkick to the back of Garza’s neck, then Garza came back with a superkick to the face and Carrillo hit a Canadian Destroyer. Garza had a bloody nose or mouth. The fans barely reacted to this match. Carrillo with a kick to the face. Carrillo went up top, he jumped off with a moonsault, they each got a two count and Garza pinned the shoulders of Carrillo while hooking the legs for the pinfall win at 9:05.
Winner by pinfall: Angel Garza
Analysis: **1/2 The winning ways continue for Garza since this is the second time this week he has beaten Carrillo after he won on Raw. The Raw match was better and got more time as well. That crowd in Winnipeg reacted to these two guys way better than the Riyadh fans did. That’s because of the unfamiliarity of these guys to a lot of fans since they are still new on Raw. I thought the match was lacking in terms of exciting moments. Their counters throughout the match were good, which shows that they are familiar with eachother, but I would have liked to see Carrillo coming close to winning a few more times.
Bayley was interviewed by Byron Saxton with Bayley saying she was making history for the first Women’s Title match in Saudi Arabia. Bayley says she’ll continue to prove to the WWE Universe that she is the most dominant women’s champion that Smackdown has ever seen.
A commercial aired for John Cena’s return on Smackdown in Boston this week, which is tomorrow, February 28th. The announce team of Cole and Graves hyped up Cena’s return some more.
The Raw Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins and Murphy entered for their title defense. Byron Saxton was back on commentary. The Street Profits duo of Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins entered as the challengers.
Raw Tag Team Championships: Seth Rollins and Murphy vs. The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins)
Dawkins tackled Murphy, Ford with a missile dropkick and Dawkins sent Rollins out of the ring. Ford with a dropkick on Murphy with Ford possessing one of the best dropkicks in WWE. Ford kicked Rollins while Ford was on the apron and then Murphy punched Ford off the apron onto the Arabic announce table. Rollins and Murphy kicked Ford in the back repeatedly to keep him down. Murphy with a double knee attack on Ford for a two count. Murphy dumped Ford out of the ring, Rollins got the tag and whipped Ford into the barricade. Rollins slapped on a chinlock on Ford. Rollins dumped Ford out of the ring, Murphy tried to attack, but Ford whipped Murphy into the barricade. Rollins missed a dive on Ford and hit the barricade. Dawkins wanted the tag, but Murphy pulled him off the apron and whipped Dawkins into the barricade. Rollins went back in with a forearm to Ford followed by a Falcon Arrow slam for a two count. Rollins gave Ford a Buckle Bomb along with a kick from Murphy that got a two count because Dawkins broke it up. Ford broke free leading to Dawkins getting the hot tag with dropkicks for both opponents. Dawkins with spinning attacks against the turnbuckle and a bulldog. Dawkins with an overhead suplex on Rollins for a two count. Ford back in with a spinning forearm and then a reverse neckbreaker after jumping off Dawkins. Murphy sent Dawkins to the floor, Ford with a jumping kick on Murphy and Rollins got a two count. Ford with an enziguri kick on Rollins. Ford up top and he hit a Frog Splash for a two count due to Murphy pulling Ford out of the ring. Dawkins with a Pounce attack that sent Murphy onto the announce table. Rollins avoided a double team move, he sent Dawkins into the turnbuckle and a kick to the ribs sent Ford out of the ring. Murphy was back in, Ford jumped off the top and the Street Profits countered moves into a double DDT to send the champs to the floor. Ford hit a somersault dive over the top, but Rollins and Murphy caught him leading to Ford getting whipped into the barricade. Dawkins with a running attack off the apron on Rollins and Murphy. Dawkins with a slam on Rollins on the floor. Rollins held Dawkins’ foot, Murphy with a pump knee and Rollins hit The Stomp on Dawkins on the apron (the referee didn’t see that) and Murphy covered for the pinfall win at 10:41.
Winners by pinfall: Seth Rollins and Murphy
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a solid tag team match with an expected outcome where the champs retained in a manner that they have done before. That spot with Rollins hitting The Stomp on the apron looks great, so I’m not surprised that WWE has gone with that ending for a match again. Ford continues to impress with his athleticism and Dawkins had some cool moves too. That Frog Splash from Ford always looks amazing. Murphy is consistently good as well. I didn’t think The Street Profits had a chance to win here because they haven’t been built up enough as challengers. I’m fine with the champs retaining here.
They showed replays including Ford’s incredible Frog Splash where he gets a lot of height every time he does it. Rollins and Murphy celebrated the win.
A graphic let us know that WrestleMania 36 was 38 days away. Cue the “Kickoff Show has already started” jokes.
They showed highlights of The OC beating the Viking Raiders on the Kickoff Show.
Dolph Ziggler entered for a match that was added yesterday. Robert Roode was with Ziggler since they are regular tag team partners. The technical difficulties envelope thing appeared on screen. I think it’s for Ali, but I don’t know for sure. The fans popped big for Mansoor who is from Saudi Arabia and we’ve seen him win matches on the Saudi shows before.
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Mansoor vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/Robert Roode)
I missed a few minutes to start the match and apparently Roode was ejected, so I missed that. I returned with Mansoor hitting a standing moonsault. Ziggler came back with a dropkick. Ziggler with a snapmare into an elbow drop for two. Ziggler grounded Mansoor with an armbar on the left arm, Mansoor got back up and Ziggler hit a neckbreaker. Mansoor got some momentum going with an elbow, a kick and a leaping kick while on the apron. Mansoor jumped over the top rope leading to a neckbreaker on Ziggler. Mansoor picked up Ziggler leading to a turning slam for a two count. Mansoor slowly climbed to the top, so Ziggler was able to knock him down. Ziggler hit the Zig Zag for a two count because it’s not his finisher anymore. Ziggler hooked the arms of Mansoor leading to a two count. Ziggler missed a corner attack, Mansoor used his legs to climb up the ropes leading to an impressive DDT. Mansoor went up top, he took a long time and connected wit ha moonsault where Mansoor’s knees hit Ziggler in the ribs. Ouch. Mansoor covered Ziggler for the pinfall win at 9:22.
Winner by pinfall: Mansoor
Analysis: **1/4 It was just an average match. That finish was a rough landing for Mansoor with his knees landing right on the chest/ribs of Ziggler, so I hope Dolph is okay after that. I think it was a case of Ziggler being too far away and that’s why the landing looked. Mansoor winning was the obvious thing because they want to put him over in front of the Saudi Arabian fans as a local hero to the fans there. It does suck a bit that somebody accomplished like Ziggler has to put over a new guy like Mansoor, but I get why WWE does it. I thought the Mansoor match with Cesaro was a lot better than this.
Mansoor was interviewed in the ring by Byron Saxton, but then Mansoor took the microphone from him. Mansoor thanked the fans and said that their voices carried him. Mansoor said that the fans gave him hope. Mansoor said that last year Saudi Arabia showed him that they were ready for its first superstar and tonight we showed WWE that we are here to stay. Mansoor spoke in Arabic to end it. Graves said he wanted to see Mansoor featured more in the United States. Me too.
Analysis: It will be interesting to see when Mansoor is featured on NXT since he trains at the WWE PC and lives in Orlando. I think he’s got a lot of talent here with plenty of potential.
A commercial aired for the Ruthless Aggression series on WWE Network. I have not reviewed episode three yet. That’s coming soon.
The announcers talked about the six-woman Elimination Chamber match featuring Raw women that should be a win for Shayna Baszler.
A video package aired about the WWE Championship match between Brock Lesnar and Ricochet. They barely interacted with eachother, so the video was about Ricochet talking about how he knows he can beat Lesnar. Ricochet said it’s his one shot to make history to become WWE Champion.
Ricochet made his entrance for his WWE Title opportunity. Ricochet ran down to the ring, so he has had the fastest entrance on this show so far. Cole put over Ricochet winning a triple threat match to earn this title match and beating bigger opponents to prove he can do it.
Brock Lesnar got a huge pop for his entrance as he walked down the ramp with the WWE Title and Paul Heyman was with him as usual. The reason he gets such a big ovation is because the fans know he is a huge star and there just aren’t that many guys like him anymore.
The wrestlers stood in the ring for the introductions from Mike Rome. After Rome introduced Ricochet, Heyman took the microphone to introduce Brock Lesnar. The fans chanted along with Heyman’s promo.
WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Ricochet
Ricochet tried to attack as soon as the bell rang, but Lesnar shoved him away when Ricochet tried a dropkick. Lesnar hit Ricochet with punches to the back. Lesnar with two German Suplexes, then he went over to Ricochet and hit a third German Suplex. Lesnar picked up Ricochet and hit an F5 for the pinfall win at 1:30.
Winner by pinfall: Brock Lesnar
Analysis: 1/2* It was another dominant performance from Lesnar. It was what I expected although I thought maybe they would go three minutes. Going under two minutes is very short and it doesn’t make Ricochet look good at all. This is all about making Brock look like a beast before WrestleMania. I can’t say I love it, but I understand why they do it.
Post match, Lesnar left triumphantly with the WWE Title while Ricochet was down in the ring looking shocked about what happened.
A commercial aired for WWEShop. I think that’s the second time in the show. It’s been a long day.
A video package aired for Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin. This feud has gone on for about four months.
The steel cage was lowered to surround the ring. King Corbin made his entrance with six guys carrying him down to the ring on his throne.
Roman Reigns was next as the babyface opponent. Reigns put his fist down on the stage as the pyro went off although some of the pyro was delayed a bit, so it looked a bit awkward. Cole said that Reigns was celebrating one year cancer free. Reigns brought a steel chain with him down to the ring.
Steel Cage Match: Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin
The rules of a WWE Steel Cage Match are that you can win by pinfall, submission, escaping by climbing over the top of the cage or leaving through the door.
Reigns used the steel chain to lock the door to prevent interference and keep Corbin from walking out the door. Corbin attacked from behind before the bell. When the bell rang, Corbin punched Reigns and whipped him into the steel cage twice. Corbin whipped Reigns into the cage again. Corbin slowly tried to climb up the cage, but Reigns managed to bring him down. Reigns punched Corbin to prevent a Powerbomb off the top rope and Reigns jumped off the top with a double axehandle for two. Reigns worked over Corbin with the corner clotheslines, then they ran the ropes with Corbin hitting the Deep Six slam for a two count. Corbin was looking for the key to the padlock chain that was wrapped around the door. Corbin caught Reigns with a lifting slam for two. Corbin got the key from Reigns’ pocket and Corbin opened the lock that was by the door. Reigns tried to stop him, but Corbin elbowed him down. Corbin called for a referee to open the door as Corbin worked over Reigns with punches to the head. Reigns grabbed Corbin’s foot, then Corbin got to the turnbuckle and Reigns slammed the door onto Corbin’s head. Reigns wanted a Superman Punch, but Corbin caught him and hit a Chokeslam. Corbin wrapped the steel chain around his fist, he mocked a Reigns pose and Reigns hit a Superman Punch for two. They did the classic spot with Corbin climbing up top and Reigns going over him leading to both of them sitting on the cage as they exchanged punches. Reigns managed to get to the outside of the cage, but Corbin grabbed Roman’s vest to bring Reigns back inside the cage. Reigns tripped up Corbin on the ropes to crotch him on the top and Reigns hit the Superman Punch two times to knock Corbin down. Reigns put the steel chain on his fist and hit a Superman Punch for the pinfall win at 12:50.
Winner by pinfall: Roman Reigns
Analysis: *1/2 This was a boring match. They worked hard, but it just wasn’t that interesting. I think the match was hurt by the fact that nobody watching this thought Corbin had a chance to win. The thing with the chain and the door wasn’t that interesting either. I thought the pacing of the match was too slow. I understand wanting to sell the physicality of a cage match, but they were like seven minutes into the match looking like they were exhausted as if they were in there for 30 minutes. That just makes it feel boring because they could have been doing a lot more in the match instead of laying there for so long. Reigns winning with the Superman Punch with the chain is fine. It’s rare to see Reigns to not connect with a Spear, but the chain punch for the finish seems like a bigger deal, so it makes sense to end with that.
Post match, Reigns posed with his arms in the air as the pyro went off in the background. That was a cool visual. The announcers talked like the Reigns/Corbin rivalry was over. I sure hope so.
Analysis: The rivalry wasn’t that good even though the announcers tried to put it over as some legendary feud. Their Royal Rumble match was better than this match.
There was a commercial for the WWE 24 special about R-Truth. That should be fun to watch. He’s a great guy.
They showed replays of The Undertaker winning the trophy earlier in the night when he beat AJ Styles.
Naomi made her full “Feel The Glow” entrance. Bayley was up next as the Smackdown Women’s Champion. Both women were wrestling in t-shirts that covered their gear and their gear covered their bodies. This is the second WWE women’s match in Saudi Arabia and the first time with a title on the line.
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley vs. Naomi
Naomi with a jumping elbow attack followed by a split-legged leg drop that got a two count. Bayley tried to regroup, which led to Naomi coming back again this time with a leg drop for two. Bayley pulled Bayley towards the ropes, then pulled on the arm and Naomi came back with a kick to the gut. Naomi with a leaping headscissors that led to Bayley getting to the floor. Naomi with a corkscrew plancha over the top on Bayley on the floor. Bayley managed to knock Naomi off the apron to the floor. Bayley whipped Naomi into the barricade. Back in the ring, Bayley slapped on a chinlock. Bayley with a snap suplex. Bayley did some showboating, so Naomi got boots to the face and she whipped Bayley to the turnbuckle. Naomi with a jumping kick to the head followed by a jawbreaker and a punch. Naomi with a springboard kick. Naomi with a springboard cross body block where she landed badly with her knee hitting Bayley in the ribs instead of landing higher on the body. Naomi with a submission on the upper body, but Bayley got to the ropes. Bayley ducked a kick, Naomi with another kick and double feet to the face. Bayley hit the Bayley to Belly slam for a two count because it’s not her finisher anymore. Bayley with a forearm to the back of the leg leading to a two count. Bayley with a high angle belly to back suplex. Naomi avoided her finisher, so Bayley hit a running knee to the face against the turnbuckle. Bayley up top, Naomi tripped her up and when Naomi went for a moonsault off the top, Bayley moved out of the way. Bayley trapped Naomi’s feet into the back of her shirt and then drove Naomi face first into the mat for the pinfall win at 11:33.
Winner by pinfall: Bayley
Analysis: *1/2 This was below average probably because women’s matches in Saudi Arabia are still in the early stages, so they’re not going to do anything that interesting. It was very basic the whole way. There were a few moments where it looked like they messed some things up too. The crowd was tiring out as the show went on and they were not into this match very much. Bayley retaining was the obvious result here as her reign continues.
A commercial aired for Elimination Chamber on March 8th.
The announcers talked about what’s coming up on Smackdown and Raw with John Cena on Smackdown tomorrow.
A video package aired for the main event between “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt and Goldberg. They barely interacted, so the video promoted Goldberg a lot.
Goldberg made his entrance with security walking him towards the stadium from the backstage area. The fans were chanting “Goldberg” for him. Goldberg is still in great shape at age 53, so kudos to him for continuing to look impressive. That’s not easy at that age.
Bray Wyatt made his entrance as The Fiend with his custom Fiend version of the Universal Title. Wyatt won the Universal Championship against Seth Rollins at the Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia on October 31 last year. That means The Fiend has held the title for about four months now.
Universal Championship: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt vs. Goldberg
There is no red light for this match like Fiend’s last title match against Daniel Bryan, so that’s a good thing. Regular lighting is fine with me.
Goldberg and Fiend had a staredown to start the match. Fiend took the jacket off and Goldberg hit a Spear for a two count with Fiend kicking out quickly. Fiend slapped on the Mandle Claw, but Goldberg backed him into the corner. Fiend charged and Goldberg hit another Spear. Goldberg hit another Spear, so that’s the third Spear. Goldberg hit a fourth Spear for a two count. Fiend slapped on the Mandible Claw on the throat again and Goldberg got out of it with a headbutt followed by a knee to the gut. Goldberg gave The Fiend a Jackhammer (sort of, more like a floatover suplex) for the pinfall win to win the Universal Championship at 2:15.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW Universal Champion: Goldberg
Analysis: *1/4 A quick match as expected whenever Goldberg is out there. I thought it was booked about as well as it can be for a three-minute match. Goldberg was aggressive from the start, Fiend kept on trying to come back and Goldberg was too much for him. That was the story of the match. The final Jackhammer didn’t look very good either because Goldberg had trouble lifting Wyatt before the slam. It wasn’t that exciting to me. This also put an end to The Fiend’s dominance after about a year of building him up. I don’t like it.
Goldberg celebrated with the Universal Title. As Goldberg celebrated on the turnbuckle, The Fiend stood behind him looking angry. The lights went out, then a few seconds later they came back on and Fiend was gone. Goldberg continued to celebrate to end the show.
This event had a runtime of 3:23:34 on WWE Network. I’m glad they kept it under four hours.
Analysis: It’s also disappointing that they built up The Fiend to be this unbeatable monster, yet this 53-year-old part-timer was able to beat him in a few minutes. That’s not a good payoff for a character like The Fiend that WWE has invested so much time into. I wouldn’t have booked it like this, but obviously WWE likes the current version of Goldberg more than I do.
Please remind Vince McMahon of when he used to run videos mocking WCW for pushing old people past their prime. Goldberg is about a decade older than Hogan and Macho were when Vince made fun of them. It’s just weird to me. Have more faith in your current stars.
What’s next is the road to WrestleMania with a stop at Elimination Chamber on March 8th. As we posted earlier on Thursday, the WrestleMania plan is Bray Wyatt vs. John Cena and Bill Goldberg vs. Roman Reigns. That means Reigns will probably win Elimination Chamber to get the Universal Title shot while Wyatt will target Cena, so those are the two biggest matches on Smackdown. I’m not that excited about either match, but I’m sure all four guys will work hard to make it interesting.
Five Stars of the Show
- John Morrison/The Miz
- Kofi Kingston/Big E
- AJ Styles
- Seth Rollins/Murphy
My WWE PPV Rankings for 2020 looks like this so far:
Royal Rumble – 8
Super Showdown – 3
It gets a 3 out of 10 from me.
This was a bad show with very few moments where I would say it was good or interesting. The two tag team title matches were the best matches, but they weren’t even that special. They were just typical WWE tag matches. I really hope there’s not another PPV as bad as this in 2020.
The most newsworthy things were Goldberg winning the Universal Title at 53 years old and then Undertaker beating AJ Styles with one Chokeslam. I think WWE’s insistence on relying on these part-time wrestlers that are past their prime is a bad thing, especially around WrestleMania. It shows they don’t have that much faith in the current stars, which is a shame. I don’t see how The Fiend got “the rub” from losing to Goldberg in a few minutes. They invested so much time in The Fiend and putting him over as a dominant figure only to lose like that? I don’t like it. I get what the future plans are for WrestleMania with Goldberg likely putting over Reigns for the Universal Title (while John Cena probably puts over The Fiend), but I would have rather seen Fiend vs. Reigns. Rely on your current stars more, WWE. It’s not a bad thing. The two “World” Title matches on this show lasted less than five minutes combined. Is this a good thing? No. It’s not fun to watch.
At least the show wasn’t four hours long. There! I said something positive. You can put on better shows, WWE. This was a poor effort.
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