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WWE Super ShowDown 2020 boasted an interesting card with major potential to make big waves for that pirate ship heading toward WrestleMania 36.
Multiple titles were on the line, and momentum could be seized by Superstars looking to impress in these final weeks before the biggest show of the year.
But these Saudi Arabia shows have had spotty records. Often, the big matches, like Goldberg vs. Undertaker from last year, fail to deliver, and the roster is left in worse shape, despite all the potential for success.
How did this year’s show play out? What were the biggest positives and negatives that stood out from the rest of Thursday’s event?
Presented in order of appearance, here are the highlights and low points from Super ShowDown 2020.
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WWE Super ShowDown 2020 results
- The O.C. defeated The Viking Raiders by pinfall.
- Gauntlet Match: The Undertaker won the Tuwaiq Trophy.
- John Morrison and The Miz defeated The New Day by pinfall to win the SmackDown Tag Team Championship.
- Angel Garza defeated Humberto Carrillo by pinfall.
- Seth Rollins and Murphy defeated The Street Profits by pinfall to retain the Raw Tag Team Championship.
- Mansoor defeated Dolph Ziggler by pinfall.
- Brock Lesnar defeated Ricochet by pinfall to retain the WWE Championship.
- Steel Cage Match: Roman Reigns defeated King Corbin by pinfall.
- Bayley defeated Naomi by pinfall to retain the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
- Goldberg defeated Bray Wyatt by pinfall to win the Universal Championship.
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Par for the course with WWE events, the pre-show wasn’t worth paying much attention to.
This is not the least bit surprising, as the kickoffs never have the best content. It’s typically 45 minutes of recaps, video packages and panel analysis to break down angles that aren’t complex enough to need that discussion.
For those who don’t watch the weekly television content, that’s fine. But for dedicated fans, it’s needless background noise until a match begins.
Unfortunately, the featured match this time was The Viking Raiders against The O.C. in a bout that was fine but ultimately pointless.
It had absolutely no build beyond just being a rematch of what happened at the last Saudi Arabia show. After seeing these two teams go at it enough times in the past, rinsing and repeating with no extra hook just doesn’t excite, despite how talented Erik, Ivar, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson are.
Intermittent audio issues also popped up here and there with the studio crew still having their microphones live during Ricochet’s promo and the commentary team glitching out. It’s not the end of the world, but problems like that just added more fuel to the fire.
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The Tuwaiq Trophy Gauntlet Match was very much “take it or leave it” rather than a true low point or highlight. It’s all about which elements you focus on.
You might have thought the R-Truth bits were funny or cringy. Perhaps you’re mad Andrade’s stock dropped with this loss, or it doesn’t matter to you. Fans of Rey Mysterio are undoubtedly disappointed he didn’t compete.
But The Undertaker’s entrance remains one of the coolest things in WWE history, and his surprise appearance trumps everything else in the segment. He did one move (a chokeslam) and didn’t even bother to take off his hat and coat, yet he still stole the show.
The trade-off from AJ Styles taking such a quick loss is that we should get a legitimate match at WrestleMania between The Phenomenal One and The Phenom.
Will that be worth it, or will this end up being a strange segment that led to an oddball moment that hyped up an eventual disappointing? Time will tell.
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Admittedly, the finish to the SmackDown Tag Team Championship match wasn’t as smooth as it should have been, with Kofi Kingston’s askew roll-up leading into a weak chair shot from John Morrison. However, the title change itself is a noteworthy moment of this show.
All too often, WWE makes the mistake of holding off on something like this, only to pull the trigger with crowning new champions soon after. That could have happened again on Friday’s SmackDown or with Elimination Chamber on March 8, but the right call was made.
The New Day forged its Hall of Fame legacy long ago and has no need to keep the belts. Morrison and The Miz, though, had to win these titles to validate their reformation.
Now that they’re the champions, it shows they didn’t take a step back in their careers and that they successfully made a transition to focus on the tag team gold instead of singles titles.
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Listen to the crowd every Monday night and try to hear the overwhelming support for Humberto Carrillo to get revenge on Angel Garza and Andrade. You’ll notice it isn’t there.
Try as hard as WWE might try to get that story over, it just isn’t translating well. There’s no deep investment in this feud—it just happens to keep going on and on as if that were the case.
It’s exhausting watching the same match over and over, especially when this just happened on this week’s Raw. To make things worse, Garza won that one and this one.
Nothing even changed in the dynamic of the feud. No momentum shifted balance. Any alternative match would have been a better use of this time.
At best, these repetitive matches get a smattering of cheers whenever something athletic and interesting happens, but that isn’t even a consistent thing. All the down time between those spots is just dead air. This storyline should have been put to rest a while back.
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There isn’t much to examine about Seth Rollins and Murphy against The Street Profits. None of it will stand the test of time, no moments were particularly memorable, and it wasn’t the best match of the night.
But it was a solid match from start to finish. Sometimes that’s all you can ask for.
The Street Profits had a decent enough showing that they’re still in the title hunt, but the belts are still around the waists of The Monday Night Messiah and his top disciple. That makes sense, as the spotlight is more on that stable than Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford.
While Rollins and Murphy stood tall, The Street Profits had their moments to shine and didn’t leave looking bad.
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While this contest was not as good as Mansoor’s last match against Cesaro, it was still a step in the right direction.
By how little WWE uses the Saudi Arabian outside of these shows, it’s extremely transparent he’s a pet project for Saudi Arabia more than anything else. But he’s proved himself to be a more-than-capable Superstar who should get more opportunities than that.
Even if that doesn’t come to pass, at least the crowd is invested in Mansoor’s career and gets riled up any time he appears. Lots of happy faces were in the audience, which means that mission was accomplished.
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After the past bunch of years, if you expected anything other than Brock Lesnar completely dominating Ricochet, you only have yourself to blame.
WWE consistently books The Beast Incarnate in very short squash matches. He’s one of the most protected Superstars in company history. Even when he’s against multitime world champions and legends, he wrecks them like they’re nothing.
Of course Ricochet wasn’t going to stand a chance. However, it’s still disappointing he wasn’t booked to even get a single move in, as Lesnar easily swatted away his one and only chance at a strike.
It’s sad there can be no faith in WWE to follow up Ricochet’s laughable challenge with something that will rehab his credibility, as he’ll undoubtedly lose to Styles on Raw and then disappear into nothingness. Then, WWE will wonder why fans don’t see him as a top star, rather than point the blame at themselves for not booking him as such.
But his sacrifice is at least supposed to be in service of a greater cause. The stronger Lesnar looks heading into WrestleMania, the better it will be for Drew McIntyre. It will mean more if McIntyre beats the strongest version of the WWE champion possible.
Then again, if Lesnar retains in April, then this will have been for nothing, so this is another instance when a bad thing may pave way for something good as a trade-off, but we won’t know for several weeks.
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This feud should have ended at TLC. At the very least, after being dragged out through December and January, Royal Rumble should have been the culmination.
But WWE kept Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin going all the way until this show, acting as if this would be the glorious conclusion to an epic storyline.
It’s easy to be lazy and slap a steel cage gimmick onto this and let the promotion do itself. Unfortunately, it’s also easy to write this match off as nothing worth going back to see if you missed it.
The strengths of the feud between The Big Dog and The Lone Wolf—if any—never included the in-ring action. They are brawlers and not technical artists.
Locking them between the ropes and preventing them from using weapons and having more freedom was a flawed formula, and it showed with how bland this was.
Rather than a feeling that Reigns truly got his revenge, the biggest relief here is that this story is at least finally done.
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Far from the most exciting match on the card, even among some underwhelming contests, this was fine.
The most important part of this is just that it happened at all. It’s not as monumental or history-making as Lacey Evans vs. Natalya, but it’s great that the women’s division continues to get these opportunities to compete in Saudi Arabia.
It still left much to be desired, though. Even after all these months, Bayley still hasn’t clicked as a heel. She comes off more as trying to copy a generic heel template than someone who is a natural villain.
The ending, for instance, is an example of a decent idea with weak execution. Bayley locking Naomi’s foot in her shirt was interesting, but the impact of ramming her head into the mat afterward didn’t land like it should have, which took away from the moment.
At least this gives Bayley another victory so she can say she’s gone through nearly the whole blue brand’s worth of talent. Here’s hoping her challenger for WrestleMania is Sasha Banks and not just a rematch with someone who failed to beat her over this past year.
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Carrying on with the running theme of the show, your mileage may vary on the Universal Championship situation depending on your priorities.
Is it more important that the bigger mainstream star has the title? In that case, Goldberg winning is a positive and you can argue at least Bray Wyatt took multiple Spears and a Jackhammer before he no-sold it after the match. That helps his credibility even in taking this loss.
But is it more important to you that the younger star should have gone over? If that’s true, you’re bound to hate this, as it’s another example of WWE going with an older wrestler and saying it doesn’t trust the roster to be a draw.
The match itself was as bare bones as expected. We have no idea if Goldberg will face Reigns or John Cena at WrestleMania or how that will play out.
So again, like in other matches at Super ShowDown, hindsight is going to dictate whether this was a good decision or a terrible one. There isn’t enough context at the moment to fully judge it as a highlight or a low point.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.