If in 2003 you bet that Goldberg would return to WWE in 2020 and be a world champion, then congratulations. You just made a lot of money. In the main event of WWE Super Showdown, one of WWE’s bizarro-world Saudi Arabia shows, Goldberg pinned “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt to become a two-time Universal Champion.
The show was bookended by returning legends, as it opened with The Undertaker being a surprise entrant in the Tuwaiq Trophy gauntlet match. Elsewhere, Brock Lesnar destroyed Ricochet, and Roman Reigns finally, finally, ended his feud with Baron Corbin. I hope.
The main takeaway of Super ShowDown is, of course, 53-year-old Goldberg winning the strap and punching his ticket to WrestleMania. Lesnar’s win was expected, but Undertaker pinning AJ Styles wasn’t. It appears the rumors they’ll have a WrestleMania match are very much true. The best match on the show was the SmackDown tag team title match, but even that wasn’t really worth going out of your way to see.
WWE’s Saudi Arabia shows are always strange, as the crowd reacts only to big stars and is mostly quiet throughout. That was the case here, and the overwhelming majority of the card was just OK. Not terrible, not good, just there. Full results below.
Goldberg wins the Universal Championship (!)
Party like it’s 1998, because Bill Goldberg is your new world champion. He defeated “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt with a jackhammer to score the Universal Championship.
Very short match. Goldberg hit a spear, Wyatt pops up and grabs the mandible claw. Goldberg powers out, nails three consecutive spears for a two count. The Fiend pops up, mandible claw. Goldberg powers out, jackhammer and new champion.
Rating: 2 stars. It was gripping, even if it was just simple big moves. The decision for Goldberg to beat The Fiend, the most protected new character in years, is sure to rub a lot of the wrestling fandom the wrong way.
Bayley retains her gold
In the second-ever women’s match in Saudi Arabia, Bayley defeated Naomi to retain her SmackDown Women’s Championship. The finish was creative: Women have to wrestle in T-shirts in Saudi Arabia, and Bayley wrapped Naomi’s legs up and trapped them in her shirt before hitting her finish, a Rose Plant driver.
The match was fine. Naomi’s offense is fun, but Bayley’s offense is often bland and unconvincing — and Bayley took much of the match.
Rating: 2 stars. No need to go out of your way to see this.
Roman Reigns defeats Baron Corbin in cage match
It’s difficult to find something to say about this match. These two have wrestled so many times, and to my knowledge none of their matches have been particularly good. Nor have they been particularly bad. They’ve just been OK. This match was OK.
Reigns brought out a steel chain, which it turns out he wanted to use only to reinforce the steel cage’s door so Corbin couldn’t escape. Curious, then, that within 30 seconds Reigns was attempting to climb over the top of the cage. Even the announcers were flummoxed.
The ending came not with a spear, but with a steel chain-wrapped Superman punch. Rest in peace, this feud.
Rating: 2 stars.
Brock Lesnar kills Ricochet
This was a squash match. Ricochet got in zero offense. He tried a drop kick to start the match off but was swatted out of the air by Lesnar. The Beast hits a few german suplexes, an F5 and retains his title.
Rating: 2 stars.
Mansoor pins Dolph Ziggler
Super-basic match here. Mansoor, a hometown hero, beat Ziggler, arrogant bad guy. Announcers pump this up as a “miracle” win.
The match was simply Ziggler getting heat on Mansoor, with a few too many headlocks and static holds, leading to a comeback at the end. Standard A to B wrestling match. Crowd was quiet for much of the bout but did fire up for Mansoor’s offense and win. Mansoor won the match with a moonsault.
Rating: 1.5 stars. Boring.
Seth Rollins and Murphy retain Raw tag titles
Seth Rollins and Murphy defeated the Street Profits when Murphy pinned Angelo Dawkins following a curb stomp to Dawkins by Rollins.
Like the previous match, the wrestling was well done but struggled to get much of a crowd reaction. There were some “this is awesome” chants toward the end, but mostly silence throughout. Much of the match was Murphy and Rollins cordoning off Montez and slowly beating him down, but there were some nice spots toward the end. The highlight was when Montez, who’s a freak athlete, did a huge flip over the top rope to the outside but was caught by Murphy and Rollins and then slammed into the barricade.
Rating: 2 stars.
Angel Garza beats Humberto Carrillo
These two did their best. The Saudi crowds tend to only react to the biggest, often oldest stars (see: Undertaker), so these two young bucks were fighting an uphill battle. And it’s not really a battle they won: The action was crisp and often spectacular, but the crowd did not care.
The finish came with Garza and Carrillo exchanged roll-up attempts, just like on a recent episode of Raw, leading to a victory for Garza.
Rating: 2 stars. Good wrestling but dead crowd.
Miz and John Morrison win SmackDown tag titles
In what ended up being a good tag team match, Miz and John Morrison defeated The New Day to win the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. Miz got the W after Morrison hit Kofi with a chair to the ribs and the Miz rolled him up.
The crowd was fairly into both teams, although more so Miz and Morrison. There was a group of fans in front of the hard cam that kept doing the “hey hey, ho ho, Miz and Morrison” chant, which was fun. Some good action in the match, including Kofi’s hot tag, a huge powerbomb/foot stomp move by The New Day, a nice back-and-forth between Kofi and Morrison and a false finish after a Skull Crushing Finale to Big E. Kofi also wiped himself out with a brutal over-the-top-rope-dive straight to the floor.
Rating: 3 stars. The crowd gave it a “this is awesome” chant. Not awesome, but good.
Undertaker wins Tuwaiq Trophy Gauntlet match
Yep. Undertaker won the Tuwaiq Trophy — which the announcers told us was prestigious almost nonstop — after pinning AJ Styles with a chokeslam. He didn’t even take off his coat!
The gauntlet match itself was sub average. R-Truth was the unlikely hero of the match. He started off with Bobby Lashley, who he got an upset victory over after Lashely missed a spear and collided with the ring post. Afterward, Lashley threw Truth into the steel stairs and cut him down with a spear in the ring. Andrade was in next, but Andrade too fell to R-Truth. The two collided in the middle of the ring, butting heads, and Truth fell atop Andrade for the win. Really.
Rowan was Truth’s third opponent/victim. After an over-the-top-rope dive, the two ended outside where Rowan hit Truth with the steel stairs. Rowan was then disqualified. Like Lashley, he took his frustrations out on Truth in the ring afterward, hitting him with a claw slam.
I say R-Truth was the hero of this match because the crowd was dead for everyone except him until this point. They didn’t care about Lashley, Andrade or Rowan, but when Truth started mounting a comeback or got offense in they would cheer. AJ Styles was in next though, and the crowd loved him way more than Truth. After some Truth taunting by way of dancing, he submitted R-Truth with a calf crusher.
Rey Mysterio was meant to be the final entrant, but he was assailed backstage by Styles’ OC cronies. Styles demands to be declared winner, but is rudely interrupted by none other than The Undertaker. We get an elaborate Undertaker entrance, he enters the ring, chokeslam and 1-2-3.
Rating: 2 stars. Not bad, but definitely not good.
Kickoff Show results
In the sole Kickoof Show match, The OC got a surprise win over The Viking Raiders after they hit a Magic Killer on Ivar.