Seth Rollins (C) def. Baron Corbin – Universal Championship
Seth Rollins opened WrestleMania and he opened Friday tonight. That’s certainly not an indictment on his performance in the ring, but I did find that interesting. Anyway, this match was about as by the numbers as it could get, and followed the most basic formula. Seth Rollins has tape around his abdomen, so Baron Corbin works it the entire match, but Seth Rollins is able to overcome it off of… referee distraction? Pretty lame. The match is nothing special because one of the competitors is Baron Corbin.
The cash-in attempt afterwards was also completely nonsensical. First of all, Paul Heyman stumbling with the briefcase before he got into the ring was remarkably stupid. I also can’t believe how stupid WWE insists on making their faces. Seriously, if Seth Rollins’ plan was to attack Brock Lesnar with a chair and low blow him, why not wait until the bell rings so that Brock Lesnar could waste his chance and retain your title via disqualification? He won the title off a low blow at WrestleMania, so it’s not like he cares about what he deems is the right action for a face would be.
Pretty average and underwhelming stuff to start us off. **1/2
Finn Bálor (C) def. Andrade – Intercontinental Championship
So it has just come to my attention that it was over 103 degrees in Jeddah Friday. I was wondering why the paint on Finn Bálor’s body was disintegrating faster than usual, but then it makes sense. I can’t imagine wrestling in that weather, so I suppose I’ll have to consider this in the matches going forward.
Anyway, I thought this was a very solid, but nothing awesome match. Early on, the pace was very lethargic as they did the basic of mat work and rest holds. However, the intensity of the match gradually increased, and it led to some impressive, athletic spots from Andrade and a powerful top rope spot by Finn.
While I believe Finn Bálor’s matches in his demon form should be shorter because he is evidently invincible in that form, I did like the competitive fire Andrade brought. Unfortunately, his matches don’t seem the same without Zelina Vega by his side. Respect to the three or so people trying to start an NXT chant as well. Can’t agree with them that the match was awesome, but it got really good down the stretch. It just kind of took a while to get there. ***1/4
Shane McMahon def. Roman Reigns
The reason why I was frustrated with this match was because I had to suspend my disbelief to the point where I should convince myself that punch or move Shane McMahon hits can hurt Roman Reigns. This should have been a spear and a pin and nothing longer. Then, you can add build to Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre at Stomping Grounds. But come on. You expect me to believe that a sweaty, 50 year old man who competes once every so often can go toe to toe with someone who is in the prime of his career and looks like he can break Shane McMahon’s back just breathing over it? Come on.
It’s just inconceivable what the endgame for Shane McMahon winning is. Like, what’s the point? This is all just so completely random. The match was what it was, being nonsensical and cringeworthy, and everything up until the obvious finish was a formality. Yuck. Only thing saving this from a dud was that the two had what appeared to be a match. 1/2*
Lars Sullivan def. Lucha House Party by DQ
No part of this was good, and believe me when I say I was trying to be positive. I suppose the biggest problem of the match, other than the fact that it wasn’t a 3 minute squash, was that the Lucha House Party were supposed to be the faces, but were the heels instead. They had a 3-on-1 advantage, realized they couldn’t beat one guy fairly and what do they do? They jump Lars Sullivan, causing a disqualification, and they make a retreat only to get their asses kicked anyway. They could have accomplished all of that from the start.
In addition, if you are able to make a wildly enthusiastic Jeddah crowd chant “BORING”, then you are doing something terrible wrong, and from bell to bell, this was terrible. I said what I said. -**
Randy Orton def. Triple H
The person who eventually convinces Triple H to wrestle a match that is shorter than 25 minutes needs to be given a medal. I honestly have never liked the pacing and style of these two in their matches, because they are very slow and methodical with their style. Combine that with the 100 degree weather, and it was all adding up to my worst nightmare. In spite of that, I was willing to see what they would do.
Now, I did appreciate the psychology early, with Triple H working over Randy Orton’s left arm. The issue I had with that was that Randy Orton would sparingly choose when he would sell it and when he wouldn’t. I also kind of thought the middle portions of the match were very low in energy. Randy Orton’s consistent chinlocks were not helping as well. Everything seemed as though it was going at half pace, but things started to pick up in a big way when we got to the finisher kickout sequences.
Fortunately, the match ended up not being nearly as slow and lazily booked that I thought it would be. I also feared Triple H would put himself over just because he can, but props to him for doing the right thing. Overall, I’ definitely say this was a tier above their usual matches, and while I wish they would quicken the pace, this match accomplished its purpose and was very well done by their standards. ***1/2
Braun Strowman def. Bobby Lashley
A typical battle between two super heavyweights with little story behind it. This match was, at best, an inoffensive brawl between two big men. There really wasn’t much to get behind this match because they are essentially fighting for no reason. This would probably pass a decent match on Raw as well. The finish was kind of anticlimactic, and a lot of it was a whole lot of “meh”, but I didn’t hate it. Both men went in there and they did their jobs. Guess that is about as much as you can ask. **1/4
Kofi Kingston (C) def. Dolph Ziggler – WWE Championship
Another tremendously average match on par here, with the in-ring work here being by the numbers as per usual. The interactions with Xavier Woods provided little towards the match, and everything else was completely Raw quality. Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston just had a match and Kofi Kingston won. That’s really all there is to it, and there’s nothing more. I wish I could get behind these two more, but when everything has been dumbed down, it is hard to be enthusiastic.**1/4
Mansoor won 50 Man Battle Royal
Looks like WWE finally understood how ridiculous it was to keep playing entrance music for 50 different men, with over a third of them being entire tag teams. So, good on them for just having all the men in the ring to start. I just can’t imagine being in the ring with 49 other big, sweaty men in 100 degree weather, though. Hopefully that money WWE got from this show is worth it.
I usually rate battle royals based on storytelling, drama and big spots that were done. Other than the trio of original NXT tag teams and some other spots, this match was pretty boring bell to bell. Seriously, there is just little to get from this. Mansoor winning is a nice feel-good moment for the crowd, but the importance is now in how they are going to follow up this victory. I do not trust WWE to have him capitalize on this as they should. But yeah, literally nothing to see here.
The Undertaker def. Goldberg
So many problems to discuss in such a short amount of time. First of all, having two men with a combined age of 106 wrestling in 100 degree weather does not sound ideal. I mean, Goldberg was practically in a full sweat just by smirking at him. The match started off well enough. A simple staredown and a series of consecutive spears, which appears to be the formula of every Goldberg match since he first returned. But boy did we quickly head south after that.
After a simple missed Irish whip, Goldberg donned the crimson mask, and if that wasn’t an omen for this was going to do, I don’t know what was. This was during the first minute of the match, mind you. After a series of lazy brawling sequences, the crowd actually gave a “THIS IS AWESOME” chant, giving you an indication that when they chant that, it is incredibly misleading.
Goldberg managed to turn his Jackhammer into a brainbuster, and boy did The Undertaker look PISSED. It looked incredibly bad, and a bump like that can do serious harm to someone of his age. My concern was that Goldberg did not have the stamina for an extended brawl, and he was proving me right with each cringeworthy sequence. I thought I had seen the worst of it. But the match, for some inexplicable reason, continued. Goldberg then attempted to tombstone The Undertaker, and just straight up collapses. Maybe The Undertaker sandbagged him? Who knows, but what I know is that it didn’t look pretty even if you tried.
At this point, Botchamania has enough content for an entire video in one match. Then, The Undertaker mercifully ends it with a horribly done chokeslam, and everything is mercifully over.
That, my friends, was one of the worst matches in WWE history. WWE likes to do the classic bait and switch by showing vintage tapes of veterans in their prime to hype up a first time ever match. News flash. This isn’t the Monday Night Wars. This isn’t even in 2009. This is 2019. At some point, we have to draw a line in the sand and stop insisting on veterans doing battle when they cannot. A special appearance and hitting a finisher on a jobber? Sure. But these matches from the old guys are getting more and more ridiculous. If you look at someone in the front row, he just puts his hands up and says “That’s it?” Yeah, that’s it. And you should be happy you didn’t get more.
I thought they were just going to do a quick sprint of finishers and be done with it, and I would have been happy. But MAN, I didn’t expect that it would be so painfully bad. If you want to torture someone, strap them down and have them watch this abomination. Hearing how commentary had to justify all of the nonsense taking place in the ring made it even worse. This was a trainwreck in every sense of the word and this match was dead in the water before the train left the station. This match gets the full negative monty. YIKES! -*****
WWE branded this show as WrestleMania caliber, perhaps even greater. So, we will grade this as such.
First of all, all the credit in the world to the performers for wrestling in the conditions they were given. That being said, I can quite honestly say that WWE Super ShowDown 2019 was one of the worst PPV’s in WWE history. Pretty much every match was underwhelming, bad, or just straight detestable. A lot of things didn’t make sense (although that is becoming a regular occurrence), and nonsense dominated the evening.
I’d also like to take a moment to discuss how the faces looked very un-faceworthy. Seth Rollins wins off a referee distraction and then low blows his way out of a cash-in. Kofi Kingston wins off of interference by Xavier Woods. Lucha House Party gangs up on Lars Sullivan because they are sore losers but get their asses kicked anyway. The Undertaker and Goldberg nearly killed each other. Yeah, that’s how it went.
If you are interested to see how incredibly bad this show is, then definitely watch it. However, for the sake of your sanity, do not come anywhere near this PPV unless you are overly curious. Even if you are curious, I seriously don’t think this is good for your health. All Elite Wrestling is still no match in terms of competition, but I am I crazy to believe this show was to make a point that other promotions can’t beat WWE at their worst? I don’t know, but whatever it is, this was an abject failure in nearly every sense of the word. If Randy Orton/Triple H is arguably your best match on a PPV in 2019, something is terribly wrong. Goes without saying, thumbs all the way down.