G'day! Welcome to The Wrestling Kennection's LIVE (half-awake) PPV coverage of WWE Super Show-Down in magnificent Melbourne, Australia!
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Smackdown Tag Team Championship The New Day (c) w/Big E vs The Bar
RESULT: The New Day wins via pinfall; Kofi pinned Cesaro following a Backstabber-Double Stomp combo.
THOUGHTS: This was a fine opener between two team quite familiar with one another in New Day and The Bar. When you want a fun little opener to whet the crowd's appetite, there are few superstars who can get that engine running as well as Kofi, Xavier and Big E. New Day retaining isn't a huge shock, but it begs the question of why a flagging team like Cesaro and Sheamus was tossed a random tag title shot to begin with and it seems like an example of the blue tag division's slight decline since Rowan's untimely injury.
Dan - 1 pt Ken - 1 pt Alison - 0 pts Jaymes - 0 pts
Smackdown Women's Championship Singles Match "The Relent-Lass" Becky Lynch (c) vs. "The Queen" Charlotte Flair
RESULT: Charlotte Flair wins via disqualification; Flair locked Lynch in the Figure Eight, and Becky hit her with the title for the DQ.
THOUGHTS: I liked the physicality from the get-go in this match. An oft-forgotten aspect of a pro wrestling rivalry between former friends and now-bitter friends is that they'll be more likely to throw punches rather than lock up at the start of a match. I like that they realized that here with Becky and Charlotte. Becky showed more of the brutality her heel turn has brought out and dominated until Charlotte inevitably turned things around and closed in before Becky took the back door out with a DQ loss. Given this is little more than a grandiose house show, the non-finish doesn't hurt anyone and Becky's post-match beatdown of Charlotte keeps their feud running along.
Dan - 1 pt Ken - 1 pt Alison - 0 pts Jaymes - 1 pt
Tag Team Match John Cena & Bobby Lashley vs. Kevin Owens & Elias
RESULT: Cena and Lashley win via pinfall; Cena pinned Elias after an AA and the Lightning Fist.
THOUGHTS: This one pretty much played out as we all expected, with Bobby taking the brunt of KO and Elias' punishment, going to Cena for the hot tag, and having John boy play his greatest hits, including his aptly-named "Lightning Fist" for the win. I say aptly-named because like lightning, John Cena nowadays is here in WWE a split second and gone in a flash the next.
Dan - 1 pt Ken - 1 pt Alison - 1 pt Jaymes - 2 pts
Women's Tag Team Match Naomi & Asuka vs. The IIconics
RESULT: The IIconics win via pinfall; Billie Kay pinned Naomi after the wheelbarrow knee strike.
THOUGHTS: A nice little homecoming for Kay and Royce, which was surprising as everyone but Jaymes had Buddy Murphy pegged as the hometown hero rather than the IIconic duo. That said, Asuka was virtually a non-factor here, and it's sad for me to say that given where Asuka was over a year ago: Undefeated in NXT and a legendary title reign as the brand's champion, now reduced to a mid-card team with Naomi. A fun-looking team, but still a rather big downgrade for Asuka.
Dan - 1 pt Ken - 1 pt Alison - 1 pt Jaymes - 3 pts
WWE World Championship Singles Match "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles (c) vs. "The Destroyer" Samoa Joe
(No DQ, No Countouts)
RESULT: AJ Styles wins via submission; Styles rolled through a Coquina Clutch into the Calf Crusher for the tap out.
THOUGHTS: We see yet another match with a personal rivalry start out with fists and kicks rather than locking up in the middle of the ring. They've gotten that part right as far as the overall rhythm of the show is concerned.
As far as the Styles-Joe match goes, however, the chemistry between two veterans who are very familiar with each other throughout their respective careers felt somewhat off tonight. I think that had a lot to do with the methodical pacing of the match. While I appreciate Styles and Joe getting a lot of time to showcase their rivalry, I expected a more balls-to-the-wall sort of physicality rather than the slow pace we got, with a few usual hardcore spots sprinkled in to keep the subdued crowd in it. It was a fine match, but like with Styles' series of matches versus Nakamura, just missing a certain something.
Dan - 2 pts Ken - 2 pts Alison - 2 pts Jaymes - 4 pts
Six-Women Tag Team Match "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey & The Bellas vs. The Riott Squad
RESULT: Rousey and The Bellas win via submission; Rousy locked Morgan and Logan in a double arm bar for the tap out victory.
THOUGHTS: The overarching theme of this match was Rousey's frustration with the Bellas hogging the ring for the lion's share of the match, only to make the hot tag and clean the floor with the Riott Sqaud. While no post-match shenanigans went down, Ronda's simmering frustations will likely carry over into next Monday and kick-start her rumored match with Nikki Bella for WWE Evolution.
Dan - 3 pts Ken - 2 pts Alison - 3 pts Jaymes - 5 pts
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Singles Match Cedric Alexander (c) vs. "The Juggernaut" Buddy Murphy
RESULT: NEWWW Champion Buddy Murphy wins via pinfall; Murphy won the match after a mid-air knee strike and Murphy's Law.
THOUGHTS: With the hometown crowd firmly behind Murphy, they wasted no time getting right into the thick of things between Cedric and Buddy. Lightning-quick exchanges and stiff counters were the name of the game here, with both men looking to put the other away as quickly as possible, with Buddy proving ever the resilient competitor he's been built up as in 2018, even going so far as to kick out of the Lumbar Check, which got a real nice pop from what's been a surprisingly docile Melbourne crowd of ~70,000. The title victory was a nice touch and a great hallmark moment for Murphy in his hometown. Good on ya, mate.
Dan - 4 pts Ken - 3 pts Alison - 4 pts Jaymes - 5 pts
Six-Man Tag Team Match The Shield vs. The Dogs of War
RESULT: The Shield win via pinfall; Dean Ambrose pinned Dolph Ziggler following a Dirty Deeds DDT.
THOUGHTS: This was a great six-man war. When you have a well-versed three-man team in The Shield versus two of WWE's most physical performers (and Dolph Ziggler), you're bound to get a brutally fun match, and that's just what we got. While Rollins played the face-in-peril for a good chunk of the match, the real story kicked off with a badly-timed Superman Punch by Roman to Dean Ambrose, playing up the miscommunication and doubt brewing between Ambrose and his Shield brethren in the last couple weeks. It seemingly came to a head when it looked like Ambrose would turn and lead a four-corner charge on Rollins and Reigns, only for Dean to take out Strowman, eventually leading to Ambrose picking up a hard-fought win, pinning Ziggler after Roman and Seth sacrificed themselves to give him a fighting chance. Great ending to what was a great match.
Dan - 4 pts Ken - 4 pts Alison - 4 pts Jaymes - 6 pts
Singles Match Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz
(Winner gets a future WWE Title shot)
RESULT: Daniel Bryan wins via pinfall; Bryan countered the Skull-Crushing Finale into a small package for the three count.
THOUGHTS: I blinked and this match was pretty much over. I guess Taker and Triple H needed the time for their intros *eyeroll*. The only ambiguity about this match was where and when the title match against Styles would occur, and when it was announced to go down at Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia, it didn't surprise me that they went with Bryan over Miz. If you're looking at the Crown Jewel as a standalone PPV, you want to have the best presentation put forward for an international audience and Styles vs Bryan for the WWE Title is as good as it gets. Even a loss as shocking as this doesn't hurt Miz in the long run and it also keeps his feud with Bryan active in the background while D-Bry guns for the WWE Title.
Dan - 4 pts Ken - 4 pts Alison - 5 pts Jaymes - 7 pts
Singles Match The Undertaker w/Kane vs. Triple H w/Shawn Michaels
RESULT: Triple H wins via pinfall; Triple H pinned Undertaker after a pair of HBK superkicks and a Pedigree.
THOUGHTS: They short-sheeted Bryan vs Miz for this? Where do I even start with this? First off, I get it, it's a glorified live event/house show happening in Melbourne and ultimately means more for the Aussie fans than it does for us. They enjoyed themselves and that's just fine and dandy, but if you expect me to go along with that "sports entertainment" PR tripe, then you must not know me all that well.
Having Bryan vs Miz going for 15-20 minutes and sending the crowd home happy with Bryan triumphing over Miz in a hard-fought match would have made for a far more well-rounded ending to what was an overall solid show up to this point. Instead they go just under three minutes with Bryan hooking a rather anticlimactic win (like I said, I get why, I just don't like seeing a fantastic feud like theirs getting short-changed) and Taker and Trips end up gassing themselves not even 10 minutes into their main event "spectacular", with HBK stumbling around half the match and Kane basically napping on two feet the entire time.
There was absolutely no reason either Trips or Taker should've been going as hard as they did for near 30 minutes; they kept falling over one another and the brawl out into the audience was bad, especially since you could tell Taker was gassed and heaving like a race horse the entire time. All in all, it was a rather atrocious match, even with all the smoke and mirrors Triple H surrounds his matches with nowadays, and the only bright spot being that it did a decent job of kick-starting the potential HBK return, though I've gone on record saying that it serves no great purpose to have Michaels return, and by what we've seen tonight, for good reason as well. A very sour ending to what was an overall fun and interesting event.
Dan - 5 pts Ken - 5 pts Alison - 5 pts Jaymes - 7 pts (WINNER)
MAIN EVENT TIME-BREAKER (In this circumstance with a 3-way tie for last, whomever is furthest from the actual match time is declared the loser and has to come up with a promo against the winner)
Main Event Undertaker vs. Triple H MATCH TIME - 27:33