Wrestling Review: WWE Super Show-Down (2018)

Live in Melbourne, Australia, from the home of Australian sport, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, comes WWE Super Show-Down. For the last time ever, two legends of the wrestling business, Triple H and The Undertaker, are slated to go one on one, but they aren’t coming alone: in the Undertaker’s corner will be his brother, the Big Red Machine, Kane, whilst Triple H will be cornered by a man who knows the Undertaker better than almost anyone, the Heart Break Kid, Shawn Michaels. Almost every championship in the WWE will be on the line, including the WWE Championship, when AJ Styles and Samoa Joe look to end their heated blood feud in a match with no countouts and no disqualifications with the WWE Championship on the line. The recently reformed Shield – the trio of Universal Champion Roman Reigns, Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins and the lunatic, Dean Ambrose – will head down under to face off against the monstrous three-man team of Braun Strowman and the Raw Tag Team Champions, Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler. These three matches and much more, including homecomings for Buddy Murphy and the Iiconics, as the WWE takes over the MCG for Super Show-Down.

+ Triple H (w/ Shawn Michaels) vs The Undertaker (w/ Kane): a welcome but predictable pre-match alteration added a new layer of intrigue, and I really enjoyed the parallels to the Wrestlemania Hell in a Cell match these two had some years ago. The inclusion of Kane and HBK was mostly just for a few select moments, and despite this going on for longer than it probably had to, and some more predicatable post-match shenanigans, I still enjoyed this. I do hope, however, that this was the last time ever for these two going on on one
+ Cedric Alexander (c) vs Buddy Murphy (WWE Cruiserweight Championship): this was very easily the best worked match on the show, and the hometown crowd for Murphy made it exciting throughout. It’s such a shame these two are buried so deep on 205 Live because if the WWE just let the cruiserweights have one match on Raw or SD each week, and let them go all out, they might actually get a reaction outside of a hometown crowd
+ Ronday Rousey & The Bella Twins (Nikkie & Brie Bella) vs The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan): holy cow I don’t like the Bellas. I’ll forever love Ronda, undefeated MMA streak or not, but I can’t stand the fact that the Bellas are treated as legends when they are still shit enough to literally knock out their opponents with a kick. I feel bad for the Riott Squad, because I hope it’s not a spoiler to say their chances of victory here were not huge, and things all night went about as you would expect. This was another fun, but not very good match up
+ The Iiconics (Peyton Royce & Billie Kay) vs Naomi & Asuka: as far as wrestling ability goes, this was a very one sided affair, but the good girl / bad girl dynamic was completely flipped upside down (or is that down under?) due to the Iiconics hometown crowd advantage. This wasn’t a good match, but I couldn’t help but smile
+ The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) (w/ Big E) vs The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro) (WWE SmackDown Live Tag Team Championships): my boy Cesaro gets to be the first ever guy to have his music played live in Australia on the WWE Network. The Speed Force pairing of the New Day is my personal favourite combo, but dammit if The Bar haven’t grown on me. Cesaro is still just so good. This was a good match, though it didn’t quite meet the standards of most Usos/New Day title matches

Daniel Bryan vs The Miz (WWE Championship Number One Contendership): I can’t even think how to describe this. Far too short and absolutely the wrong way to do things are just to ways, but overall all I can say is this was hugely disappointing
The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns ) vs Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre: this was alright, but outside of one moment it just felt like every other combination these six have appeared in recently. I am enjoying the Dean Ambrose loyalty story they are telling, but if there was ever a poster match for over exposure, this was it
AJ Styles (c) vs Samoa Joe (No countouts, no disqualification match for the WWE Championship): after the Nakamura title match in Saudi Arabia, I was sure that the WWE would try something a bit different here. But unfortunately, this was another really boring Styles title match in a non-US country, despite the hugely personal rivalry coming into the event. This match went on far too long with not nearly enough happening
John Cena & Bobby Lashley vs Kevin Owens & Elias: for some reason, Bobby Lashley looked all out of sorts, which is severely problematic because Lashley did the vast majority of his team’s work. Elias and Owens were at their best insulting the crowd (though it was foolish to think the ol’ “local sports team” jab would work in Melbourne). This was to get Cena one more appearance in Australia, nothing else
Becky Lynch (c) vs Charlotte Flair (WWE SmackDown Live Women’s Championship): I understand this is essentially just a “live event”, but gosh this was disappointing. These two have had such a heated feud (particular considering the usual calibre of storyline for the women), so I was disappointed this was just a normal match. I am so glad my fellow countrymen are as behind Becky as I am

> I’m pretty annoyed at the image used above, which was the official production poster. Finn Balor, Bray Wyatt, Shinsuke Nakamura, Carmella, Bobby Roode and Randy Orton, to name but a few, weren’t even on the show!
> I’m not sure what happened for the main event, but all of a sudden every time HHH or ‘Taker hit the mat there was a sound like a gunshot. It was hugely distracting to watch on TV

Should you watch this event: Overall, this was a hugely disappointing show. I can freely admit I was perhaps overhyping it for myself, due to it being in my home town, but the way Styles/Joe went, and John Cena and especially Daniel Bryan were used on this show was just unforgivable. If you were only here for the main event and the hometown returns, then it was probably exactly what you wanted, but watching at home it was nothing short of lackluster.

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