WWE Super Show-Down 2018 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights
The Superstars of WWE rolled into Melbourne, Australia Saturday for Super Show-Down, another experimental live event extravaganza broadcast on WWE Network and headlined by what was billed as the final battle between industry icons The Undertaker and Triple H.
The Deadman and The Cerebral Assassin headlined a show that also featured a WWE Championship bout between AJ Styles and Samoa Joe, a Six-Man Tag Team war between The Shield, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman, and an in-ring appearance by Raw women's champion Ronda Rousey.
What went down during the massive spectacular and what, if any, long-reaching effects might it have on the WWE product going forward?
Find out with this recap of the October 6 telecast.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match: The New Day vs. The Bar
The SmackDown Tag Team Championships were up for grabs to kick off Saturday's show as The New Day and The Bar electrified the crowd from the opening match slot.
New Day started hot but Cesaro and Sheamus caught the flying Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods at ringside and drove them into the ring post to seize early control of the bout.
The challengers isolated Kingston, using their size and strength advantage to wear their smaller opponent down. Sheamus and Cesaro blasted Woods, knocking him from the ring apron and leaving Kingston with no one to tag into the match.
Woods made the tag but was unable to reverse the champions' luck, enduring the same beating dished out to Kingston. He did dodge a Brogue Kick and score a quick rollup for a near-fall. Cesaro regained control for the challengers and delivered his trademark swing, followed by the Sharpshooter as commentator Michael Cole asked if The Bar was closing in on the titles.
Late in the match, Cesaro tried a rollup using the ropes but Kingston broke it up, delivered Trouble in Paradise to Sheamus at ringside and joined Woods in a backstabber/double stomp combination for the successful title defense.
The New Day defeated The Bar
Even a so-so match between The New Day and The Bar is pretty strong and this was no different.
It was formulaic and never really strayed from what the teams do best but it was the best option to kick the show off with energy and electricity.
The Bar looked spectacular as they controlled the match from start to finish and New Day showcased the resiliency that has become a trademark of that trio over the last two or so years.
Hardly a match that anyone will remember even by the end of the show but a quality way to kickoff the night's festivities.
SmackDown Women's Championship Match: Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch
Arguably the hottest rivalry on the SmackDown brand was up next as Charlotte Flair challenged Becky Lynch for the women's championship. The fans were solidly behind Lynch, as has been the case in recent weeks, despite the narrative spun by the broadcast team.
An aggressive Lynch took the fight to her friend-turned-rival from the opening bell, not giving the challenger a second to catch her breath or create any sort of momentum for herself.
The Lass Kicker cut off a momentary comeback attempt with an armbar for a submission attempt but Charlotte showed toughness as she fought through the pain.
Flair did finally fight her way back into the match, delivering a fallaway throw across the squared circle. Lynch answered, sending the second-generation competitor face-first into the turnbuckle. The action went back-and-forth, neither woman gaining a sustained advantage.
A big boot from Flair earned a two count. An exchange of rights, lefts and headbutts gave way to a big spear from Flair, who scored another near-fall.
The challenger scaled the ropes for a moonsault, launched herself off and crashed right into the waiting knees of the champion. Lynch responded, herself climbing the ropes. She, like her opponent, missed a high-risk leg drop.
Flair applied a Boston Crab but Lynch fought out. A second spear from Charlotte had the decorated Superstar rolling. The Figure Eight threatened Lynch's title reign. The Lass Kicker, alert and aware that she was in trouble, grabbed hold of her championship and bashed the bridging challenger with it, drawing a disqualification.
Frustrated and angry, Flair attacked Lynch. Before she could follow up her assault, Lynch blasted her at ringside and delivered a Bexploder on the arena floor. A running knee smash to the head continued her onslaught before Lynch marched her way up the ramp, her title flung over her shoulder.
Flair defeated Lynch via disqualification
A strong match between Lynch and Flair that may not have been up to the level of their Hell in a Cell bout but captured the intensity of the rivalry and never portrayed one as being clearly better than the other.
Some may poo-poo the idea of the disqualification finish but it allows both to retain their momentum ahead of an even bigger rematch, potentially with a gimmick attached.
Was it counterproductive in that it fueled the cheers for Lynch, who was able to beat Flair down and stand tall? Sure, but those cheers are coming either way. The fans are so connected to Lynch that any attempt to portray her as the heel when what she says carries so much validity is destined to fail.
WWE Creative might as well embrace the story it wants to tell because the audience is going to back Lynch either way.
Bobby Lashley and John Cena vs. Kevin Owens and Elias
Elias and Kevin Owens fired the Australian crowd up, drawing heat before Bobby Lashley and John Cena even made their presences felt. The franchise star, making his first appearance since The Greatest Royal Rumble, and Lashley sought to shut the sinister songster and The Prizefighter up for good in what was tantamount to a special attraction.
Lashley and Owens paired off to start, the former speeding the match up and frustrating Owens with a neckbreaker and series of right hands. Elias entered the ring and tried to slow the big man down but Lashley fended off the two-on-one attack.
The Drifter knocked Cena off the ring apron, allowing the heels to take Lashley down and seize control of the match. The heels isolated the bigger, faster Lashley, using their numbers advantage to keep him at bay.
A big spinebuster by Lashley allowed him to create space and finally make the hot tag to Cena.
The crowd erupted as the legendary Superstar rifled off his vintage (trademark Michael Cole, obviously) offense, including his Five Knuckle Shuffle. The Attitude Adjustment and the Sixth Move of Doom earned Cena the uncontested victory.
Cena and Lashley defeated Elias and Owens
This was...a match. A house show match that was largely meaningless, followed a very familiar formula and featured the most predictable outcome imaginable.
It did not have to be anything more than a cameo from Cena and it did not have to.
His post-match promo, in which he admitted that he was not sure what the future held for him, was heartfelt and had the characteristics of a goodbye. With that said, he continues to bring an energy to his performances that others on the roster simply cannot replicate.
Definitely not Lashley, who it never once felt like the fans cared about as he tried to build sympathy as the babyface-in-peril.
Asuka and Naomi vs. The IIconics
It was a homecoming Saturday for Billie Kay and Peyton Royce, The IIconics, as they squared off against Naomi and Asuka in a match weeks in the making. The heels really played up the homecoming, never even turning on the fans and building heat, something of a surprise given WWE's booking tendencies.
Royce and Kay looked on in disgust as Naomi and Asuka danced in the ring while Corey Graves admitted that he liked The Empress of Tomorrow a lot more when she just kicked people really hard. The former dodged a bulldog into the corner, sending Naomi crashing into it and seizing momentary control of the bout.
The former SmackDown women's champion recovered and joined Asuka for some double-team action, frustrating Kay.
The IIconics talked some trash on their opponents before enduring a double kick that sent them to the floor. A momentary distraction allowed Kay to plant Asuka with a big kick as the heels regained momentum.
Naomi made the hot tag and mocked a staggered Royce. A split-legged moonsault scored her a near-fall but Kay broke up the pin. Asuka sent Kay to the floor with a missile dropkick while Naomi wiped Royce out at ringside.
At ringside, Kay sent Asuka into the barricade. Back inside, Kay hoisted Naomi in a wheelbarrow and Kay delivered a running knee for the upset victory.
The IIconics defeated Naomi and Asuka
The match itself was a rushed mess but the moment just after the finisher, which saw Royce and Kay emotionally embrace in the center of the ring while their fellow countrymen applauded their victory, more than made up for it.
They may not be the most traditionally sound in-ring performers but The IIconics are great characters and have done a ton with little. Do they need a major push? Probably not, but if they keep fine-tuning their characters, they can have a long and sustainable run in WWE.
This was just the start of their run and a great moment to boot.
WWE Championship Match: AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe
The emotionally intense rivalry between WWE champion AJ Styles and Samoa Joe wrote its latest chapter Saturday in Melbourne as they met one more time for the top prize in professional wrestling.
A staredown across the aisle gave way to a brawl that saw Styles gain the upper hand. Seeking revenge, The Phenomenal One unloaded on a defensive Joe with rights and lefts. The challenger answered, driving the champion into the corner.
Styles fired off three straight kicks to the chest and Joe answered with a single chop that knocked the champion to the mat. Joe seized the momentum, sending Styles back-first into the guardrail. A big clothesline by the challenger continued his onslaught.
Joe continued to overwhelm Styles, running through him with a shoulder tackle and scoring a near-fall. A nerve hold grounded the champion momentarily but Styles fought out with a few chops and a right hand. It barely fazed Joe, who caught him with a corner splash and an enzuigiri for two.
Styles countered a suplex attempt and unloaded with a flurry of strikes that began his comeback. Joe answered moments later with a nasty lariat for another near-fall.
Joe introduced a chair into the match later in the match but Styles, his mouth bloodied, dropkicked it back in his face. Styles unloaded on Joe with the chair as the commentary team reminded fans that it is all legal. Styles used the chair as a springboard for a forearm but Joe caught him and delivered a uranage onto the weapon.
Joe bashed Styles with a chair and set up a table for a superplex attempt. Styles escaped and put Joe through the table. The challenger screamed in pain and grasped at his knee as he told the referee, "it popped...it popped." Styles, unforgiving, targeted the knee.
After weeks of mental and emotional anguish, Styles teed off on the injured joint of his opponent. Styles, seeking revenge, took his eye off the proverbial prize momentarily and Joe countered the Calf Crusher into the Coquina Clutch.
Styles escaped, falling to ringside. He recovered and delivered a springboard 450 splash to the injured leg, continuing his calculated attack. The match spilled to the floor, where Styles delivered a Phenomenal Forearm off the guardrail, laying him out at ringside.
Joe again caught Styles in the Coquina Clutch and threw him across the ring. An exhausted challenger scored a near-fall. Styles scored a rollup and Joe countered with another Coquina Clutch. Styles tried a reversal like the one from Hell in a Cell but Styles escaped and applied the Calf Crusher.
In agony, Joe had no choice but to tap out as Styles retained his title.
Styles defeated Joe to retain
The best match of the show to this point and it is not even close.
Styles and Joe threw back to their previous matches, using elements from them to tell their story here.
The intensity was just right, particularly from Styles, who showed a new side of himself here. Joe was great, really selling the knee injury while cutting his opponent off at every turn until the pain from the Calf Crusher was just too much for him to fight through.
Styles continued his impressive reign as the top champion in the company while Joe lost nothing in defeat.
This was everything it needed to be and more.
Ronda Rousey and The Bella Twins vs. The Riott Squad
It was in Melbourne that Ronda Rousey found herself questioning what the future held for her after being knocked out by Holly Holm in her first UFC defeat. Saturday, she returned to the city the Raw women's champion, riding a wave of success as she teamed with The Bella Twins to battle Liv Morgan, Sarah Logan and Ruby Riott in Six-Women Tag Team action.
Nikki Bella started the match following a brief disagreement with Rousey and earned an early advantage for her team with a big spinebuster to Riott. The heels took control of the match off a kick to the face of Brie Bella.
Bella grabbed the blue tongue of Morgan, providing her just a moment to regain her composure and fight back. The twins delivered a double team suplex to Morgan that scored Nikki a two count.
The Riott Squad regained the lead, isolating Nikki and beating her down while simultaneously mocking the other babyfaces in the match. A missed corner charge by Morgan allowed Nikki to create separation but the pink-haired New Jerseyan cut off a tag and dragged her back to the heels' corner. A Cobra Clutch from Morgan kept the heels on top.
With sister Brie knocked off the apron, Nikki tagged Rousey into the match. The champion tossed her opponents around with reckless abandon, punishing them with the raw fury that earned her such tremendous success this early in her career.
At ringside, Morgan sent Brie into the ring post. Nikki sent Riott into the guardrail. Rousey set up the arm bar but Morgan made the save. Rousey overcame a double team, grabbed both Morgan and Logan, and applied a double armbar for the quick tapout victory.
Rousey and The Bellas defeated The Riott Squad
The match was better than it had any right to be, thanks to the extended heat segment from The Riott Squad. Morgan, in particular, looked better than she ever has in her main roster stint. She sold when necessary and had the opportunity to showcase more of her abilities than she is typically allowed.
The predicted betrayal by Nikki never happened but there was noticeable dissension between her and Rousey at the start of the match, planting the seed for the angle that should happen Monday night to set up their Evolution title bout.
The finish was brilliant and made Rousey look like even more of a badass.
Cruiserweight Championship Match: Cedric Alexander vs. Buddy Murphy
"It is a home game for Buddy Murphy!" Michael Cole said as the Melbourne native made his way to the ring for his latest shot at the Cruiserweight Championship, held by Cedric Alexander. Chants of "Buddy" rang throughout the stadium as Murphy was the clear favorite.
A hard shot from Murphy nearly scored him the win seconds into the match while a senton over the top rope wiped Alexander out at ringside. A Meteora scored him a near-fall as the challenger was very clearly fired up.
Alexander rocked Murphy with a superkick that allowed him to get back into the match. Murphy halted his momentum again, setting him up for a superplex. Alexander fought out and delivered a lightning-quick Michinoku Driver from the top rope that nearly ended the night on a downer for the hometown hero.
The champion launched himself over the top rope, this time knocking Murphy out at ringside.
Graves put over the intense, high-impact nature of the match and the arsenals the Superstars had emptied on each other to that point.
Alexander set Murphy up for a superplex but the champion countered with a sunset flip attempt. When the champion fended that off, Murphy delivered a superkick and powerbomb for another quality near-fall. Alexander delivered a series of moves, including a standing Spanish Fly and his finisher The Lumbar Check, but Murphy still found a way to kick out.
The "Buddy" chants grew louder as the arena came alive.
Murphy delivered his pumphandle driver finisher and won the title to a massive ovation.
Murphy defeated Alexander to win the title
And with that, the show has been stolen.
We knew Murphy and Alexander had tremendous in-ring chemistry but the emotion from Murphy's hometown crowd made this even better than it already was. Cutting a furious pace, the Superstars left it all in the ring, crafting a match with some quality near-falls and a finish that left 70,000-plus emotional.
A thrilling moment for Murphy, who has been every bit of his Best Kept Secret nickname for the better part of the last year. His win not only validated his hard work, it positioned him as the face of a brand that is evolving and growing with every passing week.
This was a great match and an even better moment that single-handedly elevated this show from glorified house show to momentous event.
The Shield vs. Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler and Drew Mcintyre
The Shield started the match hot, taking the fight to the heels, but it was only a matter of time before Seth Rollins found himself isolated in the corner of Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre.
The intercontinental champion endured pain and punishment as Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose impatiently watched from their corner, eager to get in the match and unload on their main antagonists. Ziggler talked trash to the babyfaces, giving Rollins a moment to regather himself and mount a potential comeback.
A well-timed sleeper hold from The Showoff slowed the pace back down. A Sling Blade by Rollins to McIntyre allowed him to halt the opposition's momentum. Before he could make the tag to Rollins or Reigns, though, Strowman exploded across the ring and wiped both of them off the apron.
He bowled over Rollins as the heels continued to roll.
Rollins fought off Ziggler and McIntyre, creating a one-on-one scenario with Strowman. When The Monster Among Men grew too confident and climbed the ropes, Rollins was able to roll out of the way, leaving Strowman to crash to the mat below.
Rollins finally made the hot tag to Ambrose, who exploded into the match and unloaded on Ziggler. He delivered a fallaway slam, which prompted a shoutout to JBL by Michael Cole and tried for Dirty Deeds. Ziggler countered, but so did The Lunatic Fringe, who scored a two count.
Ambrose headbutted Ziggler off the top rope and tried for a cross body. The Showoff rolled through for another near-fall.
Reigns finally entered the match late, pairing off with McIntyre. He unloaded with 10 corner clothesline and a big clothesline that sent the sinister Scot to the floor. The Drive-By continued Reigns' onslaught. A DDT followed for a count of two.
A bit of interference from Ziggler forced Reigns to take his attention from McIntyre. When he returned it, he accidentally blasted Ambrose with a Superman Punch, knocking his Shield brother off the ramp.
Like lions at feeding time, Ziggler, McIntyre and Strowman surrounded the ring. On the fourth side, Ambrose stood on the apron, his true intentions unknown. The Lunatic Fringe exploded into the ring, delivering a dropkick and suicide dive that wiped the big man out at ringside.
That is until he re-entered just in time to breakup a triple powerbomb.
At ringside, Strowman ran over Reigns, blasting him into the barricade. He followed up on Rollins. Back inside, the Zig-Zag to Ambrose resulted in yet another near-fall. Ziggler threw Ambrose to the floor, where Strowman attempted to run him over too. Reigns came from out of nowhere, spearing Strowman through the guardrail.
Back inside, Rollins disposed of McIntyre with a superkick, Ziggler answered with one of his own and Ambrose delivered Dirty Deeds to score the win.
The Shield defeated Strowman, Ziggler and McIntyre
The psychology, the chaotic nature of the third act and the further tease of dissension within The Shield made this one an easy 'A.'
The chemistry these six have is incredible. They have yet to have a bad match and this was no different.
Everyone was properly showcased and the finish, though decisive, still opens up the possibility for another match between them. Given the fact that no one else on Monday nights is ready to step up and combat The Shield, look for the war of trios to continue for the time being.
If WWE Creative can continue to find fresh ways to keep them together, and the Superstars involved can keep up the in-ring quality, fans will reap the rewards.
The key is keeping it fresh.
Too much of the same will grow stale and by the time the two teams reach their blowoff match, no one will care.
For today, though, The Shield, Strowman, Ziggler and McIntyre can rest peacefully knowing they continued to build a pretty fun rivalry with another superb main event-quality match.
Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz
One of the most intense rivalries in WWE continued Saturday as Daniel Bryan battled The Miz for the right to challenge for the WWE Championship. AJ Styles was seen watching from backstage as Miz took the ring. The Hollywood A-Lister took the fight to Bryan from the onset of the match, targeting the already injured ribs of his opponent.
Suddenly, and without any sort of build, Bryan countered a Skull-Crushing Finale and scored the win with a small package rollup.
Bryan defeated Miz
Months of television built to Bryan finally beating and silencing The Miz and he does it with a frickin rollup? After three or so minutes? What the hell just happened?
At first, it seemed like maybe it was a botched finish but the replay shows a pretty clear finish in which Bryan surprised Miz and scored the win.
Was there possibly a worse finish for a match than that?
What a bummer of a finish that brings down what has been a damn fine second-half of this show, even if just slightly.
At least Bryan vs. Styles should be awesome.
Last Time Ever: The Undertaker vs. Triple H
With Kane accompanying The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels in the corner of Triple H, all of the ingredients of a massive main event spectacle (or 1997 episode of Raw) were in place to close out Saturday's broadcast from Melbourne.
As announced by JoJo during the ring introductions, the match was to be contested under No Disqualification rules.
Undertaker unloaded with right hands to Triple H, downing the COO and targeting the arm in hopes of setting up Old School. A slight distraction by Michaels allowed Triple H to clothesline The Dead Man over the top rope. The Phenom grabbed Michaels by the throat and, after a brief rescue by The Game, shoved Undertaker into the ring post.
Triple H sent The Dead Man into the barricade, then the ring steps, taking advantage of his bestie's interference. Michaels joined Triple H in setting up a table at ringside before The Cerebral Assassin attempted a Pedigree on the floor. A big back body drop halted that attack but back inside, Triple H resumed control.
Undertaker cleared the announce table in a bit of foreshadowing but before he could use it, he back body dropped The King of Kings into the crowd. The fight spilled into the production tech area, where Undertaker used a cable to choke his opponent. The competitors brawled deeper into the crowd before returning to the ringside area.
The Phenom introduced a chair to the proceedings, blasting his opponent over the back with it. A shot to the midsection followed. Michaels again attempted to interfere on behalf of the COO but ate a big boot from Undertaker for his troubles. Before Triple H could properly use a chair to his benefit, Kane pulled him off the apron. Sweet Chin Music from Michaels set The Big Red Monster up on a table and The Game delivered an elbow drop through it.
The Dead Man delivered a chokeslam and Tombstone but The Game shot his shoulder off the mat at the very last second.
A pissed off Undertaker channeled WrestleMania X-Seven and dropped referee Mike Chioda, his emotions getting the best of him. A chair in his hand, Taker dared Michaels to get involved before bending a chair over Triple H's back. He wrapped the chair around Triple H's head as Michaels climbed up on the apron. As The Dead Man turned his back, HBK snuck into the ring, only to eat a hard right hand to the nose.
The distraction allowed Triple H to deliver a big spinebuster. The Game recovered and delivered a Pedigree but Undertaker kicked out, meaning each Superstar had their premier finisher kicked out of. Triple H followed up, collapsing a chair around the neck of his opponent. Kane grabbed the official, though, preventing a three count.
With both men in disbelief, Michaels handed his friend a sledgehammer while Kane handed his brother a chair. The Game blasted The Phenom and fell on top of him for the pin-fall but the lack of an official left him unable to secure the win.
Undertaker applied Hell's Gate from out of nowhere but no referee meant no finish. Later, he tried the Tombstone on Triple H but ate Sweet Chin Music. He recovered and tried for a Tombstone on Michaels. Triple H recovered, blasted him with the sledgehammer and a Sweet Chin Music/Tombstone combo finally earned Triple H the win.
Triple H defeated The Undertaker
This...was not good.
Yeah, Undertaker and Triple H are legendary wrestlers who sacrificed it all for WWE and broke their backs for the industry. Corey Graves and Michael Cole can remind fans of that until they are blue in their faces but reputation does not a good match make.
The match was overbooked, entirely too long and featured a crowd brawl that meant nothing at all within the context of the match. Kane brought nothing to the table, except the table spot, and Michaels really only factored into the closing moments of the match.
By the time the pyro exploded from the top of the stadium, the only thing accomplished was another unnecessary pat on the back to a bygone era while guys like The Shield, Dolph ZIggler, Braun Strowman and Drew McIntyre were tearing the house down earlier in the night and Daniel Bryan and The Miz were relegated to a five-minute embarrassment.
The effort was there, sure, but the match was way too much smoke and way too many mirrors, to the point that it became evident the performers were trying to make up for their physical limitations.
The angle at the end of the show, in which Undertaker and Kane heeled on Triple H and Michaels to set up the inevitable tag match in Saudi Arabia does little to elicit excitement given the mess that this match was.
There will be some who loved the match and criticize this writer for being too harsh. Everyone has their own opinions, cherishes their own eras of wrestling, and that is fine. But nothing about this match was particularly good, from the lackadaisical brawling to the post-match beatdown. If nostalgia is your thing, you enjoyed it. Otherwise, it looked every bit like one of those WCW main events where the nWo hid behind plunder so as not to expose the fact that they did not belong in that position anymore.