This Friday, WWE returns to Saudi Arabia to host what they are branding to be a “WrestleMania-equivalent” show, WWE Super ShowDown. WrestleMania was not all that great to me in its totality, so at least they are being realistic about the bar they are setting. While the PPV is sure to cause controversy for obvious reasons, its still a show with potential implications on future plans going forward. Here are my predictions for WWE Super Showdown this Friday.
Lars Sullivan vs. Lucha House Party – 1-on-3 Handicap Match
WWE is trying to build up Lars Sullivan as this freak of nature, but if we are being honest, the only people he has taken out are semi-retired superstars, or people who weigh about 50-70 pounds lighter than him. Am I supposed to be impressed that he can powerslam R-Truth? Pretty sure anyone on the roster can do that. Anyway, I suppose he hasn’t been booked badly, but considering that we have yet to hear him speak, and Lucha House Party has the collective charisma of a stump, this is bound to be a snoozefest. At WWE Super ShowDown, I am fully expecting this match to be received like paint drying. What about you?
Winner: Lars Sullivan
Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley
Remember those 5 or so months in 2017 where everyone loved Braun Strowman? Yeah, I do, too. It’s a shame that I can’t get behind this match. Two and a half years ago, I would have been hyped. However, the most hype that this match has gotten is the fact that Bobby Lashley lost an arm wrestling contest. The only beef I can think of between these two is that Bobby Lashley was one of the cronies that always jumped Braun Strowman for no reason. There’s no reason to care about this match whatsoever. Because Bobby Lashley got the upper hand on Monday’s segment, Braun Strowman winning is a safe bet. It’s not like he will get anything for it, though.
Winner: Braun Strowman
Finn Bálor (C) vs. Andrade – Intercontinental Championship
From an in-ring standpoint, this match has the most potential. However, I don’t expect WWE to be wise enough to give this match the time and focus it needs to reach that level. Just a minor wrinkle here, but it’s pretty interesting how Finn Bálor picks and choose when to paint his body. He has proven to be practically invincible whenever he does that. So why didn’t he go Demon in the ladder match at Money in the Bank? Or when he faced Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship?
Anyway, this feud kind of hurts from the standpoint that Finn Bálor hasn’t been there to build hype up for the match. However, since he’s selling Andrade’s insane sunset powerbomb, it makes sense. Meanwhile, WWE inexplicably has Andrade cutting promos with Zelina Vega literally just standing there listening to him. If you’re not going to have Zelina Vega speak, what’s the point of her being there exactly?
Andrade seems to have the support of a lot of people backstage, so I think it’s set in stone that he will win the Intercontinental Championship one day. I just don’t think it will come against the Demon this Friday. However, if any title match is subject to have a title holder go belly up, it’s this match.
Winner: Finn Balor
Roman Reigns vs. Shane McMahon
As wrestling fans, we need to suspend our disbelief due to the fact that the wrestling we see is predetermined, and enjoy the athletic spectacle before us. However, this suspension only reaches so far. How can anyone look at this match and think, kayfabe or otherwise, that Shane McMahon can take Roman Reigns? Roman Reigns is in the prime of his youth and is the jewel of the company’s future. Shane McMahon is knocking on 50 years old with grey hair and is in a full sweat with the slightest physical exertion.
If we want to put things into the proper perspective, Roman Reigns squashed Elias within a minute at Money in the Bank. Shane McMahon shouldn’t last 30 seconds. The biggest beef I have with this match is that WWE is building up Shane McMahon as a threat by having other people beat him up. Shane McMahon has the power to create tag team matches on SmackDown LIVE, so why doesn’t he use his power to make this match into a handicap match with Elias and Drew McIntyre, since he probably already knows he can’t take Roman Reigns in a fair fight? It’s like he forgot he is a McMahon and can create unfair advantages for himself.
The other issue is that Shane McMahon seems to still have unfinished business with The Miz. It’s a shame that in 2019, if you were to tell me that the biggest heel in WWE who is a consistent part of WWE programming and said Shane McMahon, I’d begrudgingly agree. That is a severe indictment on WWE’s booking team. Anyway, Roman Reigns wins because of logic and I have a brain.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Triple H vs. Randy Orton
Triple H and Randy Orton have not gone one-on-one in 9 years. So in one sense, this is a fresh matchup. Then again, with how frequently these two fought in the Ruthless Aggression Era, it feels like they fought last week. Here is the basic breakdown. The story behind this match is in their history. Randy Orton and Triple H do not have beef with each other. If you listen to their segment Monday night, it was about as by the numbers as it can get for two veterans who are fighting for literally no reason. Triple H said he’s going to kick Randy Orton’s ass. Randy Orton said Triple H needs to get his balls out of Stephanie McMahon’s purse, like CM Punk didn’t make that joke already 8 years ago.
Another reason that I cannot get behind this match is due to the lack of chemistry Randy Orton and Triple H have in the ring with each other. To say their matches are boring is to state the obvious. They just work a slow, methodical, sluggish style of match that often goes longer than needed. When you combine Triple H’s main event style of matches, and Randy Orton’s often uninspired efforts in the ring, it doesn’t make for a good combination. The Saudi Arabian crowd may not care, but this has all the makings of a snoozefest. Randy Orton’s a full-time superstar while Triple H shows up once every so often. I’d say Randy Orton wins, but I think Triple H will put himself over. Just because.
Winner: Triple H
Kofi Kingston (C) vs. Dolph Ziggler – WWE Championship
Hey guys, do you know it should have been Dolph Ziggler? Because it should have been Dolph Ziggler. This feud is only taking place because Kevin Owens does not want to go to Saudi Arabia (cannot blame him), and they need to find another heel who is currently unoccupied. And who better defines unoccupied than Dolph Ziggler?
If there is one thing that I can give this match, it’s that it at least has a clear focus. Dolph Ziggler is quite clearly envious of Kofi Kingston, who has been a singles competitor in WWE for about as long as Kofi Kingston has, and Ziggler believes all of the moments Kofi Kingston benefited from should have belonged to him. Kofi Kingston correctly replies by telling Dolph Ziggler that when he gets opportunities and fails, he quits. Credit to WWE for actually not only mentioning their history competing against each other, but also that Dolph Ziggler relinquished the United States Championship for, well, reasons.
Kofi Kingston isn’t losing the title this soon, especially not to a backup option for his original opponent. One would think one day Dolph Ziggler will reach the brass ring, and maybe he will. It’s just not happening on Friday. Or in other words, it won’t be Dolph Ziggler.
Winner: Kofi Kingston
Seth Rollins (C) vs. Baron Corbin – Universal Championship
Even this itself does not have much of a story behind it, because Seth Rollins is feuding with Brock Lesnar at the same time. Baron Corbin is sort of just a placeholder challenger. Logic will tell you that in lieu of Brock Lesnar’s brutal attack on Seth Rollins on Monday, Baron Corbin has the greatest advantage in the world. However, perceived advantages for heels end up turning against them on the day of the PPV. I will not elaborate on this match more than I have to because, once again, there is no meat behind this match.
Brock Lesnar stated that he will cash in on Friday (which evidently means he’ll actually be cashing in next week). That will be the main story of the match, not whatever Baron Corbin does. Seth Rollins winning this Friday seems like the biggest formality on this card, because the question will be if Brock Lesnar will follow through on cashing in.
Winner: Seth Rollins
The Undertaker vs. Goldberg
Once again, this match has absolutely no focus other than two veterans with a combined age of over 100 fighting because they are getting huge paydays. Other than the faux attraction of it being the “first time ever”, this match is bound to be more of a quick sprint than an extended slug fight. If this match happened at the peak of the Monday Night Wars, we may have something. But in 2019? Meh.
The only interesting thing about this match is how long they are going to allow these two guys to go. Personally, my bet is on 4 minutes. As long as this match doesn’t overstay its welcome, I don’t really see a problem with it. Personally, I’ll say Goldberg wins. The Undertaker is at the point in his career where losses will not hurt him, and he can certainly take a loss to Goldberg. I think The Undertaker has shown he doesn’t have a good history with people who have spears as their finisher anyway.
50-Man Battle Royal
If there was something up for grabs here, I would be more excited. The winners of the traditional 30-man Royal Rumble match get a future WWE/Universal Championship match. So what does the winner of the same match with 20 added competitors get? Bragging rights? A trophy? A belt which they won’t carry around? Ugh.
Last year’s battle royal was immensely boring because all they did was give spots to individual members of tag teams who do not get airtime and people we have never heard of before. All we can do is discern who the biggest names on the roster who don’t have an announced match will be. Off the top of my head, we have Drew McIntyre, Elias, Samoa Joe, Cesaro, Ricochet and Aliester Black.
I’ll go out on a limb and say Drew McIntyre wins the match to build him up for his match against Roman Reigns at WWE Stomping Grounds (yes, there is already another PPV in two weeks).
Winner: Drew McIntyre
Will WWE Super ShowDown be another flop in Saudi Arabia, or can it surprise and surpass expectations? We shall find out this Sunday.