Wrestling Review: WWE Super ShowDown (2020)

The Mohammed Abdu Arena on the Boulevard in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia once again plays host to WWE Super ShowDown, where five championships and the first ever Tuwaiq Mountain Trophy will be decided. In the main event, the undefeated The Fiend Bray Wyatt will defend his favourite toy, the Universal Championship, against the Hall of Famer Goldberg in what is sure to be a slugfest. On the Raw side, Brock Lesnar faces a potential upset as he defends the WWE Championship against Ricochet, as Lesnar has traditionally had some troubles with smaller opponents. Bayley and Naomi will make history, as for the first time ever the SmackDown Women’s Championship will be defended in Saudi Arabia, and a gauntlet match will decide the winner of the prestigious Tuwaiq Mountain Trophy, a symbol of excellence and strength in Saudi Arabia. All of these matches, as well as three grudge matches and both sets of Tag Team Titles on the line.

+ Bayley (c) vs Naomi (WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship): this was a pretty good match, albeit nothing special, but the ending was certainly interesting, if you wanted to take it as an indictment on Saudi culture and the womens’ outfits. Best of all, this was a real, actual match with a bad guy champ defending against a good guy challenger, and not some ‘happy to be here’ exhibition like Natalya/Lacey Evans
+ Angel Garza vs Humberto Carrillo: this was the best match of the show, with a long running story and perhaps implications for the United States Championship scene, and the live crowd was deadly silent for the whole thing. It was clear when Finn Balor and Andrade had the same situation happen to them at the 2019 edition that these sort of matches are not worth it for the crowds who want old stars, big names or constant finisher spam
+ The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) (c) vs John Morrison & The Miz (WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships): I could hardly believe how popular Miz and Morrison were with the Riyadh audience, with even their intentionally lame chant getting sung out at various points. The New Day have been spinning their wheels for a while, and while i can’t say I was thrilled with Miz and Morrison being the match of choice for them, this was a good match and easily one of the best on the show

wwe_supershowdown_2020_2
Roman Reigns and Baron Corbin throw punches atop the steel cage.

“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (c) vs Goldberg (WWE Universal Championship): this was the match I was most looking forward to. Goldberg didn’t quite look like his old self, but he’s still in better shape at 53 years old than I will ever be. I really enjoy The Fiend’s character, and win or lose, this match was going to be a test for that characters’ longevity. This went pretty much the way I expected, and I did not like the way this went at all
Roman Reigns vs King Corbin (Steel Cage Match): cage matches are often pretty bad, but following that Cody/Wardlow match from AEW, this was garbage. Please, WWE, end this feud. I want to like Reigns, I really do, but this six month slog of bad matches and worse storylines is taking its toll on me. Hey, at least the live crowd loved Reigns
Brock Lesnar (c) (w/ Paul Heyman) vs Ricochet (WWE Championship): let’s be honest, nobody thought Ricochet had a single spark of a chance in winning this match, which just made his pre-match promo video even more embarrassing for himself. This was exactly what you’d expect when you look at these two athletes, and it just makes Ricochet look worse than ever. Imagine wanting to do this, rather than having matches with Ospreay in New Japan
Dolph Ziggler vs Mansoor: I like Manny, and I am really sad he was not given a chance to show his personality with Dio Maddin. That said, he is the best option for a Saudi performer to be shown off in their “home town” (read: “home country”, because all of Saudi Arabia is one big town, don’t you know). His match with Cesaro last year was great, but you’d be a fool not to say that was mostly because of how damn good Cesaro is, and frankly this match was basically the same thing. Mansoor will be great, once they let him wrestle more than a few times a year
Murphy & Seth Rollins (c) vs. The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) (WWE RAW Tag Team Championships): this was fine, but about as standard as it gets, with so much of the same stuff we’ve seen every week for the last month or more. It makes the good guys looks like fools when they keep falling for the same tricks, and it makes the bad guys looks like they know they can’t win without cheating, despite the fact both Murphy and Rollins are former singles and tag champs with other people. “The money is in the chase”, sure, but this chase is boring as sin
Tuwaiq Trophy Gauntlet Match: this was baffling, in terms of entrants, entry order, eliminations and the eventual winner. I know these Saudi shows are essentially non-canon, glorified live events SOLELY for the royalty of Saudi Arabia to enjoy, but holy smokes, this was utterly ridiculous

> I still get a kick out of The Fiend carrying a decapitated head (his own head, but still) in Saudi Arabia. It’s black comedy at its best

Should you watch this event: Absolutely not. Not only were even the best matches no better than a good free Raw or SmackDown match, but the three biggest matches were all absolute garbage. Avoid this show, at all costs.

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