Welcome to another edition of WWE Heat Index, wherein we discuss the interest level for the various feuds heading into the pay-per-view events. This time around, we’re focusing on Super Show-Down 2018 coming this Sunday night.
The way this works is a pretty simple three-way breakdown of Hot, Lukewarm and Cold. If you like something and you’re very interested in how WWE is setting up the program, it’s Hot (aka Good). If you’re a bit on the fence about it and see some problems, but it’s not awful, then it’s just Okay or Lukewarm. The ones that are the most problematic that you have no interest in are Cold (aka Bad).
The Undertaker vs. Triple H = Hot/Lukewarm
I wish I could give this a full Hot. I really do.
So why is it just a Lukewarm? Well, because I’ve seen it before and I know that what I’ve already seen will be better than what they’re going to do here.
Face the facts. The Undertaker isn’t what he was 10 years ago, or 20 years ago. It’s just not a reality. I can’t go into a match with him anymore and expect anything short of something that will be on the simpler side where the best part will be the entrance.
I’m also a bit irked at this “last time ever” tagline, as the last time they fought, it was “the end of an era” and with Crown Jewel coming up, it’s starting to smell like Triple H and The Undertaker will fight more than this supposed last time.
The Shield vs. Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre = Lukewarm/Cold
These two teams have been going at it long enough that I feel like there’s nothing I haven’t seen already, and knowing that Braun Strowman—who I still maintain never should have turned heel to begin with and his role here should be played by Constable Corbin—will just face Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar at Crown Jewel means there’s no real reason for me to be invested in it.
There’s nothing on the line. None of this matters.
This is as much of an exhibition for the sake of just eating up time as you’re going to get.
Am I being harsh, particularly when talking about a match involving six, count them, SIX guys that I’m a fan of? Yes, I’m counting Roman Reigns in there, too. Maybe I’m being a little rough. But hey, give me something to be more interested in, I’ll be more interested. Give me the same stuff multiple times every week, I’m going to grow tired of it very fast, and I grew tired of this before even Hell in a Cell.
WWE Championship No Disqualification Match: AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe = Hot/Lukewarm
I’m really, really holding out hope that this is where WWE puts the title on Samoa Joe.
I’ve been arguing that he needs this title win and they keep saying “hold on” and it’s starting to make me think there’s no intention to put the belt on Samoa Joe at all, which I feel would be a mistake.
This is it. If Samoa Joe doesn’t win it here, I’m officially going to assume Vince McMahon refuses to consider him a top-tier talent and will not endorse making him champion ever which would be a disappointment to me.
Basically, this is a Hot for the part of me who is hoping for the best, and a Lukewarm for the part of me who is realistic that it’s not going to work out that way but could still be a good match, despite what will likely be a disappointing outcome in my mind.
Cruiserweight Championship Match: Cedric Alexander (c) vs. Buddy Murphy = Hot
These guys are two of the most talented in-ring performers in the entire WWE today, that nobody seems to be aware of, since nobody watches 205 Live, for some reason.
They tore the house down in what I consider one of the best matches of the year, so now that they’ll be on a pay-per-view and in Buddy Murphy’s hometown, I’m definitely expecting a barn burner.
I hope Murphy takes the title. That would cause the place to erupt, and I think he deserves the belt. Even if he doesn’t, I’m excited to see the performance they’ll put on together.
No. 1 Contender’s Match: Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz = Hot/Lukewarm
Now that there’s something on the line and we don’t have to deal with Brie Bella getting in the way, this feels more important and like it will deliver.
Granted, it’s not a WrestleMania main event for the WWE Championship like I would have preferred, but I think this will be a suitable end to the feud and I’m hoping a Daniel Bryan win here can mean Samoa Joe will take the WWE Championship, but we’ll see how the cards play out.
In any fashion, The Miz and Daniel Bryan are two of my favorites, so yay.
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Charlotte Flair = Hot/Lukewarm
I have my reservations that they won’t just put the title back on Charlotte Flair, or book some convoluted ending to this that will scream out “Boo Becky Lynch, damn it!” to the audience.
With that being said, the match should easily be the best on the card as far as the women’s division goes, hands down. There isn’t even any competition. More on that later.
On a card as weak as this one, this becomes one of my more anticipated segments to watch, but if the rest of the card had more thought put into it and wasn’t just tag teams we’ve seen before and other repeats, this would be lower. Proximity-effect in full force here.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match: The New Day (c) vs. The Bar = Lukewarm
I’m expecting this to be a decent match as far as pure in-ring quality goes, but something that is entirely a buffer segment between two more important things—or, things WWE feels are more important, even if they’re awful, like the match below this—so it’s kind of a low-expectation sort of deal.
I don’t think the titles are changing hands, nor do I think this will be some standout performance of the night. I think it’ll just be okay, so it deserves the middle range rating here.
Ronda Rousey and The Bella Twins vs. The Riott Squad = Cold
When quite literally the ONLY interesting thing that has happened in your entire feud is that one person accidentally botched a series of kicks and legitimately injured someone else, that’s not a good thing at all.
The Riott Squad is awful. I’m not mincing any words anymore. They’ve been terrible since the start. The unit doesn’t make much sense, they aren’t edgy enough to feel like they actually are causing any riots, they’re certainly not “cool” in any way that I recognize and it’s become obvious that Ruby Riott is the only one that might have some staying power.
The Bella Twins are awful for other reasons everyone has talked about for years. Their presence back in WWE feels like something shoehorned and fake, rather than something that we should be admiring the same as The Undertaker.
Ronda Rousey not having an opponent here for the title makes sense in the mindset of “we don’t want to run out of opponents and we need to keep her looking strong so let’s just do a cop out” but that doesn’t mean it’s GOOD, it’s just that I get where the writers are coming from. Understanding strategy isn’t the same as liking it.
This will be trash, for sure.
The IIconics vs. Asuka and Naomi = Cold
I’m literally only interested in the pop Peyton Royce and Billie Kay will receive, as well as whether or not WWE will give them the win. That’s it.
This feud isn’t even interesting enough to hold my attention on an episode of SmackDown LIVE, let alone on a pay-per-view.
I get that this isn’t WrestleMania, but WWE is sure as hell acting like it’s WrestleMania to Australia, and for such little effort to be put into it really gets under my skin.
John Cena and Bobby Lashley vs. Kevin Owens and Elias = Cold
Again, this is just a sign that this is a glorified house show as this is a Monday Night Raw match that wouldn’t even be a worthwhile main event to tune in to.
Bobby Lashley has been horrible character-wise since his return. This random feud with Kevin Owens and Elias isn’t doing him many favors, either, as it’s showing how little personality he has in comparison to two of the more entertaining people in the company as far as gimmicks go. Those two got more heat from saying Seattle has no basketball team than Bobby Lashley’s gotten both positive and negative combined since his return!
John Cena’s better than this, too. He should have been facing someone important, in my mind, or doing something special. John Cena against Shinsuke Nakamura for the United States Championship, for instance. Hell, I’d take John Cena against Constable Corbin! That’s a shame to say, as Kevin Owens is someone I wish was holding a championship and Elias is someone who I’m very fond of, too, but since this is just a tag team match, it doesn’t matter in the slightest bit.