Welcome to Planet Kayfabe. I'm here to review WWE Super Show-Down live from Melbourne, Australia. I went to bed early last night, missed the Red Sox win against the Yankees and got up at 4AM to watch this event. So, if you think I'm too negative sometimes, ya can't say I hate doing this. ;)
This is going to be more a traditional review instead of my usual "the good/the bad" format with 0-5 goth babe ratings. I'll run down each match and sum it all up with my grade at the end. 70,309 fans were in attendance according to Michael Cole. Live from Melbourne, here's Super Show-Down.
The New Day (c) vs. Cesaro and Sheamus (Tag team match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship)
2 + 3/4 goth babes out of 5
The show kicked off with the SmackDown Tag Team title match. Kofi and Woods took this match for New Day. New Day started off with some fast offense to hype the crowd before getting caught by Sheamus and Cesaro upon attempting a dive outside the ring which lead to The Bar taking advantage. Sheamus did his arm club spot, but stopped when the fans started counting along because he's mean, I guess. Nice how a bruiting heel would allow the fans to influence his offense. From here the heels held the advantage for a while and the crowd was firmly behind Kofi who was the babyface-in-peril here while Woods was going ape shit on the apron before making the hot tag and getting some offense in for bit on Sheamus. Cesaro would get the tag and do the Big Swing spot that got him over years ago that WWE told him not to do because... how dare he do something like get over. Kofi would get the tag and do their double team move for the win.
So, basically it was a tag match. Not a great tag match, but a pretty good one. It was pretty much a WWE tag match like many others you've seen. The babyfaces start off hot and fast, the heels slow them down, slow the match down, get heat, the face in peril gets the hot tag, hits a few spots and lead to victory. Nothing special, but good enough. The fans enjoyed it.
Becky Lynch (c) vs. Charlotte Flair (Singles match for the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship)
2 + 1/2 goth babes
Once best of friends, now bitter enemies. The challenger came out first and they threw to a video package half-way through Becky's entrance which I thought was weird since they usually air the video packages before the entrances on PPV. What's the deal? It's not like they're strapped for time here.
Early on, just like in the United States of America, the fans were mostly on Becky's side. They worked a pretty physical style which is smart because it is a personal rivalry. That's one thing I didn't like about AJ and Joe last month. They have this personal feud and the first thing they do is lock up like respectable little wrestlers instead of just f***ing whaling on each other the moment the bell rings.
They did a yay/boo punch spot. Again, I'll let you guess who got the "yay's" and who got the "boo's". Charlotte did the top-heavy Moonsault, but Becky got her knees up and then went for a top rope spot of her own, but missed which lead to Charlotte locking in a Boston Crab for about a minute until Becky escaped to the outside. She grabbed her title and acted like she was going to leave, so... yeah she's still a heel even though on Smackdown she didn't act much like a heel and has stopped talking down to the fans in her promo. Charlotte locked in the Figure Four, but whacked Charlotte with the Women's Championship for the Disqualification after 10 minutes.
They're doing all they can to get people to boo Becky, but here it just felt like the fans booed the finish. There was a post-match brawl and... you guessed it the fans were still chanting for Becky. Why not just listen to the fans? They don't want cheating heel Becky and they didn't want a DQ finish here. Lame.
Elias and Kevin Owens were in the ring next. Strike that E-minor chord. Elias busted out some of "Thunderstruck" by Australia's own AC/DC for a pop, but of course as usual he turned on the crowd... I think? Kevin Owens said they should have done this show in Canada. Elias took a sports jab that went over my head but it almost sounded like the crowd popped for what he said. I don't know. Smarten me up if you were there. Lashley's music cut him off.
Bobby Lashley and John Cena vs. Elias and Kevin Owens (Tag team match)
1 + 3/4 goth babes
John Cena came out pretty much dwarfing everyone else in terms of stardom. He's 20 or so pounds lighter and has leaned out a bit for this movie he's been shooting in China the last 4 months. His hair is a little longer, too and he almost looks like JBL only with an actual physique. The fans here were split on Cena. The match began with a "let's go Cena/Cena sucks" chant really before it started. The match itself started with Cena on the apron and Lashley working over Elias.
Owens made the tag but Lashley stayed on offense. The crowd wasn't really reacting to him. They teased a Cena tag a few times which got a rise out of the crowd but the heels fought him off the aporn to prevent it. Yeah, so if you want to see one of the most over-exposed wrestlers ever do his signature spots you've seen a million times you're gonna have to wait a little longer.
The heels took over here and the crowd was pretty much sitting on their hands waiting for the hot tag since everyone around the world knows Cena didn't travel to Australia just to do a f***ing job. I can't get over Cena's hair either. If he grew a mustache he'd look just like Ned Flanders when he takes his shirt off. I woke up when Lashley hit a spinebuster to signal a tag to Cena who got the hot tag which woke up the crowd as well. He came in to hit his shoulder blocks on Elias and the Five Knuckle Shuffle. He went for the Attitude Adjustment and then went for the "6th move of Doom" seriously, that's what they kept calling it other than Corey Graves who knew the proper name, but f*** if I can spell it. A very basic match.
After the mach Cena cut a promo to kiss the fan's ass. Michael Cole then kissed Cena's ass by putting him over as the greatest of all-time. I don't hate the guy at all, but I don't agree with that, though obviously his run is one of the greatest ever especially when you just narrow it down to WWE. This was ok. I'm pretty tired of all of John Cena's sappy "I don't know what the future holds for me" speeches. We get it. You're a part time wrestler who wants to get a film career off the ground. You don't need to apologize for it.
Asuka and Naomi vs. The IIconics - (Tag team match)
1 goth babe
Peyton and Billie came out to cut a babyface promo sucking up to their home country fans complete with the Australian flag on their gear, which pretty much confirmed my thought that they would be losing this match which yeah... It's another tag match. Super Tag Down. Despite the opening promo, the IIconics worked as heels during the actual match not really changing their character. I'd sound like a broke record if I started breakding down this match. It was another basic tag match. The fans weren't that hot for the IIconics. I think they would have gotten more heat if they buried the fans instead of kissing up to them. They actually ended up getting the pin on Naomi, so I was wrong. The IIconics won in their home country which they seemed genuinely humbled by. The fans popped for the finish. I'm glad they went with this finish. I'm tired of WWE's stale old mentality of having the home town/state/country wrestler lose or get cheated. Yeah, it worked with Bulldog and HBK because no one was expecting it. Now they expect it. Here they chose to make the home fans happy. Wow. What a crazy idea. I still feel bad for Asuka, though. Find something better for her, WWE.
AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe (No Countout, No Disqualification match for the WWE Championship)
3 goth babes
"There must be a winner". Yeah that's what they said at Hell in a Cell for the Universal Championship, too. Joe has been great, but this feud has gotten a little hokey in recent weeks and has soured me on it a bit. The show also isn't even half way over and the WWE Championship match is up. The very definition of mid-card. Joe came out first as the fans chanted "Joe!" with his music. Half-way through Joe's entrance AJ's music hit. He hit the stag and rushed the ramp where they would begin this match. Cole noted they had to get in the ring for the ref to make this official, but it would be about 30 seconds later where they would hit the ring and the the bell sounded to make it official.
They worked a physical style, but not physical enough for my taste. It started out on the outside and I thought there would be some hot brawling but the body was just the standard brawling you'd see in an other match. The fans were a little more into this match but are still waking up after a lame finish to the SD Women's title match and a couple ga-ga meaningless tag matches, but they're probably like me and wanted to see a little more. The two traded offense for a bit with neither guy gaining a clear advantage.
Renee Young said "this is one of the most hard-hitting matches I've seen in my life" brutal line. I hope it was fed to her. It sounds like your typical WWE bullshit hyperbole. Everything is the biggest thing ever. Joe grabbed a chair but Styles his a dropkick for it to hit Joe in the face. AJ grabbed the chair and did that WWE spot with the gut shot to half the guy while they wait for the chair to hit them in the back. Its an awkward spot because it looks so contrived but that's what they've done since banning chair shots to the head. You want some unpopular opinions spit at you? I'm against banning chair shots to the head. Let me be clear. I don't want to see unprotected shots. Get those hands up and even gimmick the chairs if you have to. There are old school guys who were masters with chairs and never or rarely ever hurt anyone.
Anyway. The crowd got buzzing when Joe grabbed a table and put it in the ring. Joe would go to the top rope but AJ would counter with an Electric Chair spot to put Joe through the table side/leg first. Joe bitched to the ref that his leg "popped" which has been about the only pop in this match so far. AJ didn't give a shit that Joe hurt his leg and started working it over to put over that he "snapped" but I would have liked to see more. There's an element of intensity missing here. AJ hit a springboard 450 splash on Joe's injured knee but again... I'm not looking for flash and finesse. I'd rather see AJ stomp on Joe's knee 450 times than hit one 450 splash on it. I love flashy moves like most fans do, but this match doesn't need flash it needs dirt and blood.
The match would amp up a little towards the end with AJ locking in the Calf Crusher. Joe reached for the ropes but the pain was too much and he tapped out to give AJ the clean submission victory. It was the most PPV-quality match so far on this show and the fans seemed invested in the match and pleased with the finish. I thought it was pretty good, not great, not a match-of-the-year contender. Like I said, I would have liked more intensity and for 85% of the match it felt pretty slow despite the physicality. I'm giving it a favorable rating because in a vacuum it was a good PPV match in the middle of the show, but it was really lacking intensity. This is supposed to be a blood feud. This match was supposed to be a war. Instead I see finesse spots and scientific rest holds.
The Bella Twins and Ronda Rousey vs. The Riott Squad
2 goth babes
Another tag match. Ronda wanted to start the match but Nikki was being a bitch and told her to to f*** off. They are rumored to have a match at Evolution after all. Nikki soon after made the tag to Brie anyway who worked over Liv Morgan which included a thrilling tongue lock... Yeah she grabbed her tongue with her fingers just to be clear. Nikki got back into the mix where she sold a bit for the Babe Squad lead by that f***ing babe Ruby Riott. I mean... damn, what a total babe that woman is. Christ. Anyway, Nikki was in peril. Ronda was begging for a tag but the Squad came in with the cheap shots to knock them off the apron, but only momentarily. Ronda would soon get the hot tag. I thought the story of the match was going to be the Bella's trading tags between the sisters and not let Ronda into the match, but... nope.
Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan were going to work over Ronda but she elbow tossed them both at the same time and got them both in an armbar to finish. The crowd enjoyed that spot. After teasing tension between Nikki and Ronda early on they were all hugs and smiles at the end, so that was that.
Cole reminded us that the attendance (according to WWE anyway) is 70,309 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Cedric Alexander (c) vs. Buddy Murphy (Singles match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship)
3 3/4 goth babes
They mentioned Cedric Alexander has not been pinned all year. Buddy Murphy got the hometown introduction who came out last despite being the challenger wearing the flag of Australia and slapping hands with fans at ringside. Murphy went for a handshake but took it away when Alexander stuck his hand out. The crowd popped for him falling for the schoolyard prank. The live crowd seemed more enthusiastic for this than they did for the IIconics, but it's a title match that actually means something so they should.
"Let's go, Buddy! Let's go!" broke out from Melbourne. Soon after Alexander hit a Michinoku Driver from the top rope. The move invented by Taka Michinoku of Kaientai who I'm sure you all INDEED remember from the Attitude Era who has been away from WWE since 2002. 16 years. Yeah, you're all old.
The match kicked into high gear. Everything you want in a 205 Live match on PPV. Lots of fast action. Flips. High spots. The near-falls were very good, too. Alexander hit his Lumbar Check but Murphy kicked out. Murphy rebounded to hit his finish, which of course Cole didn't call, but it was for the win. WWE putting over their hometown talent and making the fans happy. Whoah. What a crazy idea. NOT killing a town and making fans happy.
The Shield vs. Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler, and Drew McIntyre (Six-man tag team match)
3 goth babes
The Shield came out in their gear and new masks. Make some straight bank on that merch. They started hot brawling on the outside. Things would then settle in the ring to make the match official. Renee put over Dean Ambrose as the most loyal person she knows. You hope, right? They did a good job teasing a turn but I think it's really just a red herring to get us into the match. It's odd how this and the WWE Championship match started out as dirty brawls that "broke down" into just wrestling matches. You'd think it would be the other way around or at least have a crazier brawl to get the guys into the ring.
Seth played the babyface-in-peril here selling much of the match early on. Exactly what you want from the most explosive wrestler of the six here, right? There was a light "get these hands" chant for Braun Strowman. Strowman went to the top rope. Cole said he was over 400 pounds. I doubt that, but they also said he was 7 feet tall a few months back despite him being shorter than Undertaker who they never billed as a 7 footer. Funny how kayfabe works. Strowman looked off-balanced and uncomfortable on the top rope and did some sort of weird splash landing on his knees. Even the landing looked awkward. I was almost expecting a Sid like incident to happen. I hope this isn't a regular spot for him. It just looked bad. Compare this to Kane's top rope clothesline. Yeah. No.
Roman was in the ring brawling with McIntyre. Roman was "locked and loaded" as Cole ridiculously says every week. He charged McIntyre but he moved and Roman ended up inadvertently Superman Punching Dean Ambrose who was standing on the apron. Dean sold the Superman Punch longer than probably anyone has ever and appeared on the apron while it looked like the heels has them cornered, again teasing a turn but instead Dean went after Braun. The fans have not really been into this match, but it's a long show and there isn't much here to get hyped about in terms of winners and losers. The story is all about if Dean will turn which could happen at any time.
Strowman went to tackle a groggy Ambrose on the outside, but Reigns intercepted the attack and speared Braun through the barricade. Yeah, haven't seen a spear through the barricade in a week or two. This allowed Dean Ambrose to take advantage in the ring and pick of the match after about 20 minutes. It was fine. I didn't love it. Good match with not a ton of heat.
Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz (Singles match to determine the #1 contender for the WWE Championship)
1 + 1/2 goth babes
They aired a package recapping the feud, which only acted as a sad reminder of what could have been something great. I haven't loved this feud. It's just been ok. It should have been much better. They shouldn't have relied so much on cheap heat and they shouldn't have gotten the wives involved. It wasn't about them or their reality shows, but that's what it became.
Miz came out first who many of you voted as the best promo in WWE today on a recent NoDQ poll. Uh... He's fine. I don't agree with him being the best promo in WWE today, though. Other than his great unscripted promo on Talking Smack a couple years ago they all kinda blend together. He's good in his role as a cowardly elitist heel and is comfortable on the mic, but if he's not out there to sell a serious story like Samoa Joe or Kevin Owens or Paul Heyman. Don't come at me for "hating". I'm just saying I don't agree with him running away with the poll as the best promo in WWE right now. When's the last time he really got people hyped and talking about a segment or a match the way Shawn Michaels and Undertaker did a few weeks ago?
The crowd was pretty hot for Bryan's offense. The match did not last long, however. Miz went for his Skull Crushing Finale but he countered into an inside crade for the win after three minutes. The finish got a flat reaction but more so because it surprised people and many thought it was a botched finish, I think. Anyway, once the bell rand and Bryan was announced as the winner they all chanted "yes". That seems like a weird blow-off for this feud assuming that is the end. This earns Bryan a shot at AJ Styles' WWE Championship. Some still think the finish was a botch. It wasn't. It was just meant to surprise people, I guess... but I don't think it really got anyone over.
Triple H (w/ Shawn Michaels) vs. The Undertaker (w/ Kane) (NoDQ Singles match)
2 goth babes
The Heartbreak "Kid" uh... yeah let's just stick with "kid" instead of 'bald 53 year old'. (Calm down, nothing but love for HBK here.) came out first. Triple H came out to "The Game" in a hooded leather jacket with no sleeves. When you want to keep everything except your arms warm. Cole noted that Helmsley has not beaten The Undertaker in a one-on-one match in 16 years. Kane made his entrance. No pyro for the demon mayor. The Undertaker came out, who all joking aside, had an entrance as long as the last match. Cole once again noted this would be the last time The Undertaker and Triple H would face off, despite the big rumor being that at Crown Jewel it will be D-Generation X vs Undertaker and Kane (yes, this is 2018) in a tag match. The rind announcer even said "this match will be for... THE LAST TIME EVER" uhh... we'll see. Of course they could always wipe their ass clean by saying it was the last singles match they ever had together. It was also announced that this match was now no disqualifications.
Undertaker was looking pretty tan. Triple H, the 49 year old young gun in this match including the guys at ringside, teased going for Undertaker's "Old School" rope walk, but it was countered. This prompted Undertaker to go for the move successfully, which unless I'm mistaken is the first time he has hit the move in years. I don't think he did it during his cup of coffee at Wrestlemania this past year.
Cole noted to us at home that The Undertaker has 101 wins on PPV. Undertaker got knocked outside the ring. HBK celebrated and Undertaker reacted by grabbing his throat. HHH grabbed Undertaker's hair but Undertaker got out of it only for Shawn to throw Undertaker into the ring post on the outside beginning his physical involvement. Undertaker and Triple H brawled a bit around the outside with HBK floating around when Hunter was in trouble, but not really getting involved. They brawled into the fans. Undertaker wanted to flip HHH onto a piece of the guard rail but Hunter basically said f*** that and didn't give any lift and instead it looked like an awkward fall. They brawled around before getting back into the ring area. Undertaker looked for a weapon under the ring. Shawn tried getting involved but ate a punch to allow Undertaker to grab a chair and work over HHH.
Hunter was set up on the table and Undertaker was going to take to the top rope. Boy, wouldn't that have been something. Instead Shawn took to the apron and ate a boot which allowed Hunter to get off the table and hit Undertaker with a chair. This is where Kane got more involved but HBK hit him with Sweet Chin Music on the table and Hunter topped it off by dropping an elbow on Kane. Back in the ring Hunter would take a Tombstone Piledriver for the near fall. Undertaker, unpleased (yeah, I know its displeased. Going for lame alliteration), punched referee Mike Chioda in the face for being an asshole.
Undertaker worked over Triple H with the chair as a concerned HBK looked on and would plead for Undertaker to stop. Rushing in the ring only to get punched in the face, but this allowed Triple H some time to recover and hit his signature spinebuster on The Undertaker before going for a rather ugly Pedigree. A new referee is in the ring to count, but Undertaker kicked out at 2. HHH folded the chair around Undertaker's head and stomped him from the 2nd rope. Going for the pin, Kane then recovered and pulled the new official out of the ring. Hunter's buddy Shawn Michaels had his boy's back however delivering HHH's trusty sledgehammer into the ring which he struck Undertaker with who was "protected" with the chair in front of his face. Undertaker would slap the Hell's Gate on HHH but Hunter used the handle of the hammer to choke Undertaker leaving each guy looking old, tired and spent.
Michaels prevented Undertaker from using the sledgehammer but Kane got involved and HBK was tossed from the ring. The crowd was pretty dead for all this. Shawn managed to get involved again hitting the Sweet Chin Music on The Undertaker into a Pedigree by HHH for the win.
f***ing hell. I have never felt so old watching a match. This was just old, slow, tired and pretty boring at times. Nothing but respect for the guys involved but I felt like an old man just watching it. My buddy Louise on Twitter @louciferx said it best. It was like watching Wrestlemania 17 on half-speed. There ya go.
It might sound like I'm being too hard on these guys, but when is enough enough? The nostalgia was good. I like seeing these guys. I like watching their entrances. I even like watching them hit their signature spots. It's everything in between that just comes off as sad. A bunch of tired, old, fatigued 50+ year olds, bald, grey and not in their best shape out there wrestling a very gimmick heavy match for a half hour. I just didn't enjoy this main event and the crowd was pretty dead for it which didn't help. They're all legends and HBK may be the best all-around worker in WWE history and The Undertaker may be the best gimmick in WWE history but it's not 1997 anymore. To end on a positive... I though HBK despite being 53 and not having worked in 8 and a half years moved the best out there. He was the quickest. That hat must be glued on or something. He took the best looking bumps even if that's not saying much, and that Sweet Chin Music was still on point, so if anyone here has any business stepping through those ropes again, it's him.... but, I'm sure we'll get to that soon.
That's it for WWE Super Show-Down live from Melbourne, Australia. It was an okay show. It was presented asa huge deal but I'm giving it 5 goth babes out of 10 so, about a C. Once you step away from the spectacle of it all it was really a basic show. There were 10 matches. Half of them were tag matches and there was nothing special about them as I noted.
The crowd was most hot for the 205 Live match for the Cruiserweight Championship and I thought that was the best match on this show. It was exciting, fast action with a couple fresh faces. Ya know, everything the main event wasn't. The finish with Murphy going over was a huge crowd pleaser. When you factor in both work and fan investment I think you have to give the nod to this for match of the night and good for them. I don't think many people were expecting the Cruiserweights to get this much time and spotlighted like they were. The only issue I have is I couldn't put over the 4 star (I mean goth babe) hump because it was just over 10 minutes. Had it gone another solid 5 then maybe. It sure beats 4 minutes on the pre-show, though.
Also, I wanna stress one more time how smart I think it was for WWE for once to avoid the temptation of cheap heat and let their hometown Superstars go over. They enjoyed seeing the IIconics and especially Buddy Murphy win. They got one hot reaction 20+ years ago by screwing the hometown boy. In more recent years killing the hometown hero usually kills the crowd. Instead the WWE tried this old school method called "pleasing the live fans" and whattaya know it isn't such an out-dated concept after all.
Thanks for reading this review of WWE Super Show-Down. I would like to hear your thoughts on the event so leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter over at @PlanetKayfabe where I enjoy engaging in conversations with all of you and live tweet Raw, Smackdown, PPV's and special events like this that I got up at 4AM to watch at 5 just for you and just to have a review ready for you to read this morning or afternoon for the fellow American readers out there.
Ya don't wanna miss out on Tweets like this viral Bad Larry *humblebrag*
I can't get over John Cena's hair. Put a mustache on him and he looks like Ned Flanders without a shirt on. #WWESSD
Thanks again. It's quarter of 11 AM here as I finish this piece on a Saturday so I guess I better get dressed and do something. I hope you enjoy your weekend as well. For NoDQ, I'm KC. Take care, God bless.