By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Super Show-Down
Aired live on October 6, 2018 on WWE Network and pay-per-view
Melbourne, Australia at Melbourne Cricket Ground
A video package opened the event and focused on the Undertaker vs. Triple H match… A pyro display shot off over the stadium. Michael Cole welcomed viewers to the show and noted that there were 70,309 in attendance… Cole, Corey Graves, and Renee Young were on commentary…
1. “New Day” Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods (w/Big E) vs. Sheamus and Cesaro for the Smackdown Tag Titles. Graves questioned New Day’s logic of keeping Big E on the sideline given that they were going against two powerhouses. The challengers dominated the body of the match. New Day came back and there was a nice spot with Woods performing a Backstabber on Cesaro followed by Kingston hitting a double stomp off the top rope, which led to the pin…
New Day beat Sheamus and Cesaro to retain the Smackdown Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: A good opener. I enjoyed the strategy talk from the broadcast team regarding New Day going with their smaller lineup against The Bar. I was hoping for a title change because The Bar need the tag titles more than New Day.
A WWE video game commercial aired…
2. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Both women made their entrances and then a video package on their feud was shown. JoJo delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Australia likes Lynch more than Charlotte too. There was a loud “let’s go Becky” chant as the match got underway. Lynch caught Charlotte in an early Fujiwara armbar. Charlotte broke he hold with a side slam.
The women traded forearms for the “yay/boo” dynamic with the crowd cheering in support of Lynch. Charlotte caught Lynch with a spear for a two count. Charlotte went for a moonsault, but Lynch put her boot up at 8:35. Lynch went for a top rope legdrop a short time later, but Charlotte rolled out of the way. Charlotte applied a Boston crab at 9:15. Lynch reached the ropes to break it.
Lynch grabbed the title belt and wanted to leave, but Charlotte stopped her. Back in the ring, Charlotte speared Lynch again and then applied a figure four. Lynch grabbed her title belt that was on the apron and hit Charlotte with it for the DQ. The women fought after the match. Lynch gave Charlotte an exploder on the floor, then ran back and delivered a knee to the head…
Charlotte beat Becky Lynch by DQ in 10:50.
Powell’s POV: An entertaining match with a finish that explains why the match was so low on the card. The finish also says they are continuing with this illusion that Charlotte is the babyface in this program, which is just stubborn and counterproductive.
After some advertising, Elias was introduced. Elias and Kevin Owens were both in the ring seated on stools. Elias played the Thunderstruck opening and the fans responded with the “Thunder” lines.
Powell’s POV: There’s no truth to the rumors that Vince McMahon has been walking up to random Australians and asking them if they know Angus Young.
Owens said he was in a bad mood because he’s in a cesspool of a city. “I told them Super Show-Down should have been in a Canada!” Elias was interrupted by Bobby Lashley’s entrance music. He left Lio Rush at home. John Cena made his entrance and the crowd sang the usual “John Cena sucks” at the beginning of his song…
3. John Cena and Bobby Lashley vs. Kevin Owens and Elias. Cole said Cena is a 16-time world champion “and in my estimation the greatest of all-time.” Cole said Cena and Lashley teamed together against Randy Orton and King Booker back in 2007. Cena looks like he went to JBL’s barber. The heels isolated Lashley while Cena’s hair waited for the hot tag.
Lashley tried to spear Elias on the apron. Elias moved and Lashley tumbled to the floor. Elias ran Lashley into ring post and put him back inside the ring where Owens performed a frogsplash for a two count. Cena’s Hair took the hot tag and entered the match for the first time at 9:25 and hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle and an Attitude Adjustment on Elias. Cena’s Hair struck a fighting pose and then threw an elbow or something to the face of Elias and pinned him. Graves said the name of the move in Mandarin and also said it was the mythical sixth move of doom…
John Cena’s Hair and Bobby Lashley defeated Kevin Owens and Elias in 10:05.
After the match, Cena’s Hair took the mic and said he honestly didn’t know what to expect. He said WWE is his home and always will be. He said he knows his life is changing, but he never, ever forgets where he came from. Cena’s Hair said he has no idea what the future holds so he focuses on the now. “And right now I am standing in front of 70,000 people saying the word what,” Cena’s Hair said. Cena’s Hair added that there’s no a better feeling in the world. Cena’s Hair thanked the fans for allowing him to come to their country and to perform in front of them. Cena’s Hair and Lashley hugged and left the ring…
Powell’s POV: I would say that Cena did the least amount of in-ring work possible, but he added that new move. He should have stuck with the least amount possible since the new move felt really flat and unnecessary. Cena’s lack of in-ring work would have been disappointing if WWE had built up his return in a bigger way. They just don’t position him as a meaningful part of the company these days, though I assume someone in the crowd paid good money to see him and is feeling a bit let down at the moment. It’s worth noting that Cena didn’t put over Lashley in any way, and Lashley didn’t really get anything out of this.
After some advertising, The Iiconics made their entrance with mics in hand. Peyton Royce and Billie Kay debated over who would say something, then they both said they were finally home. Kay said there’s no place they would rather be and no fans they would rather be competing in front of…
4. Asuka and Naomi vs. Peyton Royce and Billie Kay. There was an early spot with Royce and Kay pausing the match and putting their hands on their hips and saying Iiconics. The broadcast team said it was their superhero poses. It led to nothing other than Asuka and Naomi roughing them up, though they did come back and isolate Asuka.
Later, Naomi performed a split-legged moonsault on Royce and had her pinned, but Kay broke it up. Asuka hit Kay with a missile dropkick. Naomi set up for a springboard move, but Kay pulled her down from the floor. Asuka went after Kay, who ran Asuka into the barricade. Kay held up Naomi and then Royce hit her with a running knee and pinned her…
Peyton Royce and Billie Kay defeated Asuka and Naomi in 5:45.
Powell’s POV: The Iiconics didn’t get the mega reaction when they were introduced (or at least it didn’t seem like they did through my sound system), but the crowd popped big when the duo got the win. It was a nice moment for them and I assume the babyface duo will get the win back on television or perhaps at WWE Evolution.
A video package set up the WWE Championship match…
5. AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe in a no disqualifications, no count-out match for the WWE Championship. Joe made his entrance first and then waited at ringside for Styles, who ran to the ring and fought with Joe at ringside before the bell. The ref officially started the match once both men were inside the ring. Styles worked over Joe early. Joe eventually cut off the opening flurry and kicked Styles to ringside. Joe performed a dive through the ropes and hit Styles with a forearm.
Joe worked over Styles with his signature offense, including the step-up enzuigiri. Joe catapulted Styles into the bottom rope and then Styles tumbled to the floor. Joe tried to suplex Styles back into the ring, but Styles slipped over him and threw a series of strikes around 8:30. Styles performed a backflip off the middle rope into a reverse DDT for a two count. Joe came back by catapulting Styles into the corner and then caught him with a clothesline for a two count of his own at 10:05.
Joe went to ringside and grabbed a chair at 12:10. Joe brought the chair into the ring and Styles dropkicked it into his face. Styles picked up the chair and jabbed Joe in the gut with it and then slammed it over his back. Styles set up the chair and sat down on it for a moment and looked at Joe, who was selling in the corner. Styles went for a springboard move off the chair, but Joe caught him in the corner and performed a uranage onto the side of the chair and then got a two count.
Joe pulled out a table for a pop. Joe slammed the chair over the back of Styles and then set up the table in the middle of the ring. Joe set up for what appeared to be a superplex through the table, but Styles slipped under him and dropped Joe through the table. Joe sold left knee pain. Styles was bleeding from the mouth. Cole noted that Joe told the referee it popped, then said he’s fine and told the referee to leave him alone. Styles pulled the referee back and went to work on Joe’s knee.
Styles barked at Joe that there are consequences for messing with his family. Something was censored. Styles went for a Calf Crusher, but Joe countered into a Coquina Clutch. Styles reached the ropes while Cole said the ropes won’t force a break in a No DQ match. Styles reached the ropes and slid to the floor to break the hold. Styles hit Joe with a few shots from the apron that knocked him down. Styles hit a springboard 450 splash on the knee.
Styles sent Joe fought to ringside and followed him. Styles ended up in the front row, then used the barricade to perform a Phenomenal Forearm on Joe. Styles rolled Joe back inside the ring. Styles set up for a Phenomenal Forearm, but Joe stepped aside and then applied the Coquina Clutch. Styles backed Joe into the corner twice in hopes of breaking the hold, but Joe performed a wicked suplex and covered Styles for a near fall at 22:20.
Joe applied a Coquina Clutch. Styles rolled onto Joe for a two count in a play off their Hell in a Cell finish. Styles applied the Calf Crusher and got the submission win.
AJ Styles defeated Samoa Joe in 23:45 in a no disqualification, no count-out match to retain the WWE Championship.
Powell’s POV: If this event is considered a glorified house show then apparently Styles and Joe didn’t get the memo. This was an excellent match and it’s hard to imagine anything else on the show will come close to touching it, but we’ll see. I was really hoping for a title change here with interference from Randy Orton, which would have moved Styles into a hot program away from the title while freeing up Joe for a program with Daniel Bryan, but no such luck.
Ads aired for Smackdown 1000 and WWE Network…
6. Ronda Rousey, Nikki Bella, and Brie Bella vs. Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, and Sarah Logan. Rousey received the big star reaction. Rousey and Nikki had a lengthy debate over who would start the match. Nikki ended up starting for her team. Brie and Morgan ended up in the ring together early on. Brie grabbed Morgan’s colored tongue. Brie yelled Brie mode a short time later to a minimal reaction.
Riott Squad isolated Nikki, who eventually made a hot tag to Rousey. Ronda worked over Logan and performed a twisting Samoan Drop style move. Riott and Morgan ran in and were cut off by the Bellas. Rousey set up for her finisher on Logan, but Morgan ran in and broke it up. Morgan and Logan went for a double team on Rousey, who tossed them both around and then put them in a double armbar and go a double submission…
Ronda Rousey, Nikki Bella, and Brie Bella defeated Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, and Sarah Logan in 10:05.
Powell’s POV: I liked the early tease of issues between Rousey and Nikki over who would start the match. There was no further issues, which is a bit of a letdown in the moment, but they can obviously do an angle on Raw if they are going with the two of them at WWE Evolution. I just hope we get a Nikki turn and not a respectful match between two babyfaces. Ugh. The finish was a bit much and WWE just keeps plowing through potential opponents for Rousey, as she has now beaten all three members of Riott Squad in just a matter of days.
A Melbourne tourism ad was shown and it didn’t feel gross unlike the Saudi Arabia propaganda video… They once again boasted over having a crowd of 70,309…
7. Cedric Alexander vs. Buddy Murphy for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. Murphy came out wearing the Australian flag on the back of his shorts. The Melbourne native was well received by his home country crowd. There was a “Buddy” chant after the opening bell. Murphy played to the crowd and then jawed at Alexander. He eased a handshake and pulled it back. Murphy caught Alexander with a high knee and got an early two count. Murphy performed a flip dive onto Alexander at ringside.
Alexander hit a Michinoku Driver from the ropes around 5:00. Alexander followed up with a flip dive of his own. Alexander set up Murphy on the ropes. Another “Buddy” chant broke out and Alexander stopped and looked at the crowd before going to the ropes. Murphy ended up slipping away and catching Alexander with a kick and then a powerbomb from the ropes for a two count.
Murphy went for a high knee, but Alexander avoided it. A short time later, Alexander hi the Lumbar Check and covered Murphy, who kicked out at the last moment. The crowd roared as Alexander expressed shock. Alexander went for a springboard move, but Murphy caught him with a knee and hit his pump-handle driver finisher for the win…
Buddy Murphy defeated Cedric Alexander in 10:35 to win the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
Powell’s POV: A really good match with a hot live crowd. This is the biggest moment the cruiserweight division has had perhaps ever or at least since the Neville vs. Austin Aries match at WrestleMania. Hopefully the company won’t decide to cut this match from the DVD too. Yes, I’m kidding, but it will be interesting to see how they follow up on this. If they are serious about the cruiserweight division then they should really spotlight this on Raw somehow.
A Total Divas ad aired. They need the hype given their lousy viewership numbers. An ad aired for WWE Story Time on WWE Network…
8. “The Shield” Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose vs. Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre, and Dolph Ziggler. The Shield entered through the crowd and wore masks that covered the bottom half of their faces. All six men fought and it spilled to ringside. The Shield set up for a triple powerbomb through a broadcast table on Strowman, but it was broken up by McIntyre and Ziggler. Rollins and Ziggler ended up in the ring together and the bell rang to officially start the match.
The heel trio isolated Rollins early on. Strowman tagged in around 5:40 and knocked Reigns and Ambrose off the apron. McIntyre ran Reigns into the steps, then Ziggler ran Ambrose into the barricade. At 8:30, Strowman went up top and went for a splash, but Rollins rolled out of the way. Rollins crawled to the corner for a tag just as Ambrose got back on the apron to take the tag. Ambrose and Ziggler tagged in, and Ambrose performed a fallaway slam. Cole asked where JBL was. Didn’t he team with Bobby Lashley earlier tonight?
Reigns tagged in and had McIntyre down. Reigns set up for a move in the corner, but Zigger ran interference. Moments later, Reigns went for a Superman Punch only to have McIntyre move. Reigns accidentally hit Ambrose and knocked him off the apron. With Ambrose down at 15:45, the heels stood on the apron and surrounded Rollins and Reigns, who were in the ring. Ambrose got back onto the apron. Ambrose held his jaw, then entered the ring and ran through his partners and dropkicked Strowman off the apron.
The Shield set up for a Triple Powerbomb on McIntyre, but Strowman returned and broke it up. Strowman tossed Reigns and Rollins to ringside. Strowman followed and performed running shoulder blocks on Reigns and Rollins. Strowman looked to the ring and yelled, Finish him.” Ziggler performed the Zigzag on Ambrose for a near fall. Strowman called for Ambrose to be sent to ringside so he could “run his ass over.”
Strowman went for his running shoulder block on Ambrose, but Reigns speared Strowman through the barricade. McIntyre and Ziggler set up for their finisher on Ambrose, but Rollins broke it up. Rollins superkicked McIntyre to ringside, then Ziggler took out Rollins with a superkick, and finally Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds on Ziggler and pinned him. The Shield trio put their fists together at ringside afterward…
The Shield defeated Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre, and Dolph Ziggler in 19:40.
Powell’s POV: A clunky match at times. The crowd doesn’t seem to be mic’d particularly well, but it didn’t seem like the heels had a ton of heat. That’s actually been an ongoing issue with Strowman in that the fans were passionately behind him as a babyface and yet they don’t react with the same level of passionate heat for him now that he’s a heel. The Ambrose tease was well done and Graves made it seem like it’s still an issue even though The Shield members seemed to be on to be on the same page afterward.
A video package set up the Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz match…
9. Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz for a future shot at the WWE Championship. AJ Styles was shown watching on a backstage monitor. Miz tried to deliver a pre-match promo, but Bryan’s entrance music interrupted him. The bell rang before Bryan even took his t-shirt off. Miz raced over and hit Bryan with a knee to the ribs.
Miz threw more knees to the ribs. Miz removed Bryan’s shirt and Bryan had tape on his right side. Miz did the Yes pose in he corner only to run into a kick from Bryan, who then threw his kicks to the chest of Miz. Bryan wound up for the big finale kick and Miz avoided it. Miz avoided a running knee and then hit one of his own for a two count. Miz set up for the Skull Crushing Finale, but Bryan countered into an inside cradle and pinned Miz…
Daniel Bryan defeated The Miz in 2:25 to earn a WWE Championship match.
Afterward, the broadcast team said they just received word that Paige booked the Styles vs. Bryan match for the WWE Championship for Crown Jewel… The broadcast team hyped WWE Evolution matches…
Powell’s POV: Why would Paige book a title match in a place where she’s not even allowed to see it in person? Is WWE going to follow up every mention of the Saudi Arabia show with a plug for the all-women’s Evolution event? Cheap shots aside, this was a disappointing match. I don’t know if one of the wrestlers entered the match with a legit injury that required it to be short or if this was simply the plan, but I didn’t care for it either way. It’s a shame that creative never managed to recapture the magic that Bryan and Miz found on the Talking Smack set. By the way, this leaves a lot of time for the main event or this show will be going off the air earlier than the four-hour window would seem to suggest. Of course, the ring entrances alone may eat up 20 minutes.
A video package set up the main event…
10. Undertaker (w/Kane) vs. Triple H (w/Shawn Michaels) in a No DQ match. Michaels made a standard entrance. Hunter came out with a hood over a skull mask that he removed on the stage. Kane made a pyro-free entrance. Taker made a standard entrance as Cole played up this match as the final meeting between two legends. JoJo announced that it would be a no DQ match. Taker looked at Hunter after JoJo made that announcement. The broadcast team played up that Hunter had the power to make it a No DQ match given his status as COO.
Taker went for Old School early, but Hunter cut it off. Triple H tried the move himself and Taker grabbed him by the throat and pulled him down and then worked him over with punches in the corner. Taker ended up performing the Old School move at 3:35, which led to a small “you’ve still got it” chant. Cole said Undertaker has a record 101 pay-per-view wins. Taker stood on the apron and clotheslined Triple H as he dropped to the floor. Michaels shoved Taker into the post and then ran when Kane walked toward him. Hunter went to ringside and shoved Taker into the ring steps. Michaels pulled out a table, which Hunter set up on the floor. Kane went over by the DX duo and was chased off by the referee. Triple H set up for a move on Taker, who delivered a back body drop.
Undertaker ran Triple H into the ring steps. Hunter rolled back inside the ring and kicked Taker when he tried to follow. Taker performed a neckbreaker for a two count. Hunter controlled the next couple minutes of offense until Taker caught him coming off the second rope and tossed him to ringside. Taker controlled the offense and dumped Hunter over the barricade and then followed him. Taker choked Hunter with a cord in the crowd (thank God it wasn’t a necktie).
A short time later, Triple H set up for a Pedigree, but Taker fought him off. They went back into the crowd and Taker chased Hunter deep into the crowd before bringing him back to ringside. Taker went to pull a chair out from under the ring. Michaels tried to stop him, but Taker knocked him down. Taker brought the chair into the ring. Hunter ended up getting the chair, but Taker kicked him in the gut before he could use it. They went to ringside where Taker slammed the chair over the back of Triple H.
Taker set up Hunter on the table at 14:25. Taker went to the apron. Michaels climbed onto the apron and ate a boot from Taker, but it gave Triple H enough time to move off the table. Back in the ring, Taker stopped Triple H from using a chair and then chokeslammed him. Taker hoisted up Triple H and put him down with a Tombstone Piledriver. Taker crossed Hunter’s arms over his body and covered him for a near fall. Michaels gave Kane a superkick that positioned him on the table. Triple H leapt off the apron and elbow smashed Kane through the table.
Undertaker punched out the referee. Taker hit Triple H with a chair over the back multiple times and then placed it over his face. Michaels climbed onto the apron and pleaded with Taker. Triple H came back and hit a Pedigree and a new referee was there to make a near fall count. Triple H placed Taker’s head in the chair. Triple H went to the second rope and dropped a knee onto the chair. Triple H had the pin, but Kane recovered and pulled the referee out of the ring.
Michaels pulled out a sledgehammer from underneath the ring and handed it to Triple H, who hit Taker with it. A short time later, Undertaker put Triple H in the Hell’s Gate finisher. Hunter had the sledgehammer and used it choke Taker until he released the hold. Taker went for the sledgehammer. Michaels entered the ring and grabbed it. Kane cut off Michaels, who low blowed Kane. Taker tossed Michaels over the top rope to ringside.
Taker chokeslammed Triple H and went for a Tomestone, but Michaels broke it up with a superkick. Michaels went for the move again, but Taker scooped him up in Tombstone position. Triple H hit Taker with a sledgehammer. Michaels superkicked Taker, then Hunter performed a Pedigree and got the win…
Triple H defeated Undertaker in 27:35.
Triple H and Michaels embraced while Cole said it was all over. The broadcast team raved about the match. Taker sat up in the corner and had the sledgehammer in his hand, which he handed to Triple H. Hunter pulled up Taker and hugged him. Taker also patted Michaels on the back, then all four legends raised their arms in the ring and pyro shot off around the stadium. The legends kept their arms in the air and played to all four sides of the building.
Suddenly, Taker grabbed Hunter and gave him a Tombstone, and Kane took out Michaels with a clothesline. Taker scooped up Michaels, who threw a couple of punches, but Kane hit Michaels. Taker dumped Michaels to ringside and ended up chokeslamming him through a broadcast table. Taker’s music played to close the show…
Powell’s POV: I give Taker and Hunter an A for effort if nothing else. They received a ton of television time and this was the featured match on this show and it’s obviously it’s leading to more at Crown Jewel, so they couldn’t deliver the type of throwaway match like Taker and Cena had at WrestleMania for instance. They were moving in slow motion at times and it wasn’t pretty, but the crowd appreciated the effort to at least attempt to have an epic match. All of the outside interference by Michaels made him and Hunter feel like the heels, so Taker and Kane attacking them afterward felt justified. In fact, it felt ridiculous that Taker and Kane would go along with raising their arms with the duo afterward. It was all a bit confusing. I guess the idea is to let the fans choose between the teams, but they both actually came off poorly. It was a real mess in a lot of ways, though it seemed like the crowd left satisfied and perhaps a little confused. Grade the show and let us know your pick for best match in our polls on the main page.
Check out the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast below for an audio review of WWE Super Show-Down hosted by Jake Barnet and I.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Vice TV's "Dark Side of the Ring" executive producers Evan Husney and Jason Eisner discussing the March 24 second season premiere focusing on the Benoit family tragedy, plus their pro wrestling fandom, the show's name and origins, highlights of season two, Chris Jericho becoming the narrator, and much more...