WWE Super ShowDown 2019 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights
WWE invaded Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Friday for a Super ShowDown event it was eager to promote as something that would eclipse WrestleMania.
With a card featuring the first-ever match between The Undertaker and Goldberg, as well as the latest chapter in the rivalry between Triple H and Randy Orton and both major singles titles on the line, it appeared as though the lineup could rival The Showcase of the Immortals.
Did it do so in execution, though, and was Brock Lesnar able to successfully cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase on Seth Rollins for the Universal Championship as advertised on Raw?
Find out with this recap of Friday's blockbuster WWE Network presentation.
Kickoff Show: The Usos vs. The Revival
Two of the premier tag teams in WWE kicked off the Super ShowDown festivities, as the feuding Usos and Revival squared off on the Kickoff Show.
Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson cut the ring off, isolating Jimmy Uso from Jey and double-teaming the second-generation competitor. Dawson grounded his opponent and worked a modified abdominal stretch before applying the more traditional version of the move.
The resilient Uso fought out and made the hot tag to his brother, who exploded into the ring as Michael Cole exclaimed: "And now the action starts!"
At one point, Jey Uso sent Wilder off the top rope and to the floor, and then delivered a crossbody block for a near-fall. A small package attempt went unnoticed as Dawson provided a timely distraction.
The action continued to break down before Jimmy sent Dawson to the floor, delivered a superkick and scored the pinfall over Wilder.
The Usos defeated The Revival
With a little more time for each spot and a moment to breathe, this could have been a genuine "A." As it was, it was rushed for time. The result was a good, TV-quality match that failed to live up to expectations for two teams as celebrated for their greatness as The Usos and The Revival.
It is interesting to see The Usos go over just when it appeared as though Dash and Dawson were building that elusive momentum. Though, that should not be any sort of surprise given their booking over the last three years.
Universal Championship Match: Seth Rollins vs. Baron Corbin
Days after being brutalized by a Brock Lesnar-assisted steel chair, Seth Rollins defended the Universal Championship against Baron Corbin in the opening contest of the event.
Like a shark smelling water, Corbin targeted the taped ribs of The Beastslayer. The strength and power of the challenger were almost overwhelming for Rollins, who tried to fight from underneath but quickly found himself right back at the mercy of The Lone Wolf.
Rollins finally fired off some hard right hands, some chops and a discus elbow. He followed with the Slingblade as he eyed a successful title defense. A suicide dive built on his momentum.
Back inside, he fought free of Corbin's grasp, delivered a short sidekick and scored a two-count.
A back elbow from Corbin slowed the champion's roll, and Deep Six nearly earned the despised former general manager the first world title of his career. Corbin teased introducing a chair to the mix, but referee John Cone pulled it away from him. The irate challenger berated the official, who shoved him right into a roll-up by Rollins for the pinfall win.
After the bell, a frustrated Corbin dropped Rollins with End of Days, setting the stage for Lesnar's music to play and The Beast Incarnate to make his entrance.
As Paul Heyman entered the squared circle, he tripped on the rope and dropped the briefcase. The momentary distraction opened Lesnar up to a low blow from Rollins, who followed up with a series of steel-chair shots, leaving The Beast writhing in pain. He grasped the briefcase, protecting it like a child as Rollins unloaded on him.
The universal champion stood tall, leaving Lesnar motionless inside the squared circle.
Rollins defeated Corbin
First things first: Corbin is so much better than he gets credit for. His performance here was that of a talented big man growing more and more confident with his in-ring performance with every passing week. Is he the most flashy competitor? Of course not, but he is as solid and consistent a heel performer the Raw brand has, and he more than held up his end of the match with Rollins.
There will be those who decry the idea of Lesnar failing to cash in, despite advertising from WWE all but promising it would happen this week, but seeing the Beast's masterplan foiled by a smart, alert babyface for once is a welcome change.
Do not be surprised to see Lesnar back later in the show, though, because his promise to cash in was exclusive to Friday.
Not for Seth Rollins.
Intercontinental Championship Match: The Demon Finn Balor vs. Andrade
Andrade got the Intercontinental Championship match he desired at Super ShowDown, but it came against one of the most imposing Superstars in the WWE Universe: The Demon Finn Balor.
Clad in the red and black paint synonymous with his alter ego, Balor menacingly stalked toward the squared circle for his defense against El Idolo. Michael Cole expertly put over Andrade during the intros, citing the respect Balor has for Andrade as the reason for him returning to the dark place The Demon calls home.
Balor started hot, but Andrade scored a knee to the face and tried for the hammerlock DDT. Balor countered and delivered a basement dropkick for two. The aggressive champion again fended off Balor's onslaught and grounded him, fairing much better than even Bobby Lashley did at WrestleMania.
A well-timed dropkick by Balor slowed Andrade's momentum and allowed the champion to create some separation. A clothesline to the floor and a tope from Balor allowed him to fight back into the match.
Later in the bout, Andrade recovered, dropped him in the corner and delivered the running double knees for a two-count. An ill-timed standing moonsault spot gave way to Balor delivering a double stomp to the back of the head for another two.
Balor withstood another attempt by Andrade to win the title, delivering a dropkick in the corner. He executed a DDT from the top rope and finished El Idolo off with the Coup de Grace to retain his gold.
Balor defeated Andrade
There was an instance or two when Balor and Andrade didn't look like they were on the same page, but for the most part, this was a hard-fought match that put over the abilities of the competitors and the prestige of the title itself.
The commentary team did a superb job of putting Andrade over, hammering home the idea that Balor felt it necessary to break out the Demon in order to beat him and retain his title. It seems relatively small, but that sort of attention to detail, coupled with Andrade's performance between the ropes, does more to put him over as a real threat than even a win would have.
The presentation, the in-ring performances of the Superstars themselves and the storytelling by the announce team helped elevate this one exponentially.
Roman Reigns vs. Shane McMahon
The Best in the World returned to the site of his greatest victory for a showdown with The Big Dog as Shane McMahon squared off with Roman Reigns in a match that received the most hype and television time over the last few weeks. It probably would have been the main event were it not for the return of industry icons later in the broadcast.
Drew McIntyre, as promised, accompanied McMahon for the anticipated contest.
McMahon capitalized on a momentary distraction and took the fight to Reigns from the opening bell. Reigns answered with hard rights of his own. McMahon again seized an opening, grounded Reigns and engaged in a blatant choke in front of the official. He worked a headlock to the delight of McIntyre ringside.
A big clothesline from Reigns gave way to a Superman Punch attempt, but McMahon clipped his legs out from underneath him. Shane-O-Mac followed up with a triangle choke, but Reigns remained valiant in the face of adversity.
He fought out, blasted McIntyre with a big right hand and grounded McMahon. Back inside the squared circle, McMahon crotched Reigns on the rope and delivered a Spear of his own that netted him a two-count. The prodigal son scaled the ropes and came off, but Reigns caught him in midair with a Superman Punch.
Reigns set him up for a Spear but ran right into a boot. On the way down, McMahon hit the official, allowing McIntyre to deliver a Claymore to Reigns. Three seconds later, McMahon scored another high-profile victory in Saudi Arabia.
McMahon defeated Reigns
So McMahon is apparently smarter than every other wrestler who has ever fallen prey to Reigns' Spear because he knows infinite counters to it? Because, the idea that McMahon could stay alive in the match long enough to counter two Spears from Reigns is asinine when guys like Brock Lesnar, Triple H and even The Undertaker have not been able to do the same.
The match was not good, but no match that does not feature some ridiculous high spot from Shane is going to be. The booking was solid enough, with McIntyre building heat ahead of his Stomping Grounds match with Reigns.
The only problem? We have already seen Reigns beat McIntyre in a glorified squash at WrestleMania.
Lucha House Party vs. Lars Sullivan
The Freak was unleashed in Jeddah, as Lars Sullivan made his official main roster in-ring debut against Lucha House Party's Lince Dorado, Kalisto and Gran Metalik in a 3-on-1 Handicap match.
Sullivan overpowered the opposition from the onset, overwhelming the cruiserweights with his raw power and fury. He was relentless, brushing off strikes by former United States champion Kalisto like they were flies and batting away the aerial assaults of his opponents with ease.
With Kalisto down, Sullivan scaled the ropes for his diving head-butt, but Metalik and Dorado crotched Sullivan and knocked him to the mat. The three-on-one advantage finally proved fruitful, but not until the officials disqualified the babyfaces for not leaving the ring.
Sullivan seethed as he stalked after his rivals. He backdropped Metalik viciously, ran over Kalisto and slammed him back-first on the entrance ramp. He finished his assault on Dorado, slamming him on the ring apron.
Sullivan defeated Lucha House Party via disqualification
So, WWE Creative was that concerned with preserving the credibility of the freaking Lucha House Party that it booked a disqualification here instead of a straight victory for the dominant Sullivan?
Even if the plan is to book a rematch at Stomping Grounds, was Dorado or Metalik that valued by WWE Creative that they could not have taken a Freak Ending to give Sullivan the win?
If the execution of the booking had not made Sullivan look like so dominant, the grade for this would have been drastically lower.
Triple H vs. Randy Orton
"One of the greatest rivalries in WWE will write another chapter tonight," Corey Graves said as Randy Orton stalked toward the squared circle for one more showdown with his mentor (and former Evolution teammate) Triple H.
Chants of "NXT" spilled from the stands in a show of respect for Triple H as The King of Kings came face-to-face with The Viper.
Chain-wrestling by the industry icons gave way to a teased Pedigree and RKO as the associates-turned-rivals measured each other up. The Game scored the early upper hand, sending his protege shoulder-first into the ring post. Orton answered, dropping The Cerebral Assassin back-first on the announce table, driving his spine into the edge of the structure.
Back inside, Orton stomped away at the limbs of his opponents, unforgiving in his targeting of Triple H's integral muscle groups and joints. He applied a tight headlock to his opponent as he sought to keep the action grounded.
Triple H fought out, delivered a high knee and created separation.
The fight spilled to the ring apron, and after a back-and-forth tussle, Orton was able to drop his boss with a beautiful dropkick that downed The Game. Triple H fought back but his overconfidence backfired, and Orton scooped him up with a snap powerslam for two.
He followed up with the spike DDT and set up for the RKO. Triple H blocked the finisher, sent Orton into the ropes and downed him with a spinebuster for a near-fall. He applied a cross-face to Orton, looking to force a tapout, but Orton made it to the ropes.
The Superstars continued to tease finishers before Orton was able to drop the COO of WWE with his vaunted RKO. To his surprise (but not that to fans who have watched the product of late), Triple H shot his shoulder off the mat to prevent the fall.
Orton tried for the punt, but The Game caught his leg, delivered the Pedigree and was still only able to keep The Viper down for two. Moments later, Orton exploded with an RKO from out of nowhere to pick up the clean pinfall victory.
Orton defeated Triple H
This was an expertly wrestled match between two old-school pro wrestlers. Each spot built to the next, the reversals reflected the familiarity between the competitors—and the outcome was the right one.
Say what you will about him and his history of putting himself over when he was at the top of the industry, but Triple H has been incredibly selfless over the last five or so years, including with this loss to Orton.
Orton is so good, an all-time great whose status as one of the company's chosen ones will always haunt his case for greatness. He is as cerebral a worker as there is on the roster and a master of timing. Throw in some extraordinary psychology and you have a wrestler whose attributes make up a rare total package.
And then there is Triple H, who may not necessarily work the explosive, fast-paced style fans have appreciated over the last decade, but he is as superb a storyteller between the ropes as there is today.
This was just two strong workers telling a story, wrestling their match, and the result was one of the best on the show to date.
Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley
Raw strength and deceptive agility dominated early in Braun Strowman's match with Bobby Lashley.
The Almighty dropped Strowman with a big powerslam but could only keep him down for two, as it became clear this would be a war of attrition and between power-based offenses. Lashley clubbed away at Strowman and applied a chinlock as Corey Graves talked up the former intercontinental champion's badassery.
Strowman fought back, flattened Lashley with a spinebuster and followed with his running shoulder block on the floor. He delivered another, and Lashley bumped hard on the floor. In the ring, Strowman delivered his own powerslam, but Lashley kicked out.
Frustrated, Strowman charged at Lashley but collided shoulder-first with the ring post. Lashley, seizing an opening, rushed around the ring and sent Strowman back-first into the guardrail. A suplex on the entrance ramp followed.
Back in the ring, Strowman sent Lashley off the top rope and delivered two more powerslams, this time keeping Lashley down for the win.
Strowman defeated Lashley
The effort was there, as was the athleticism, and there was more than one big bump by the heavyweights to help separate this from similar matches between these guys in the past.
Lashley looked impressive for the first time since last fall, while Strowman scored a quality win for the first time in what feels like an eternity.
It will be interesting to see if their performances lead to anything more substantial for the Superstars to do. If not, they at least have this representation of their work to boast about.
WWE Championship Match: Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler
Fresh off an inspirational return to his native Ghana, where he was met by a nation viewing him as a conquering hero, WWE champion Kofi Kingston defended against longtime rival Dolph Ziggler in one of the night's highest-profile bouts.
Michael Cole started the match by revealing that with this match, Kingston and Ziggler have battled for every title in WWE besides the Universal Championship. That's a staggering stat that is a testament to their longevity.
A ferocious Ziggler took the fight to Kingston, relentlessly working him over. He grounded Kingston and trapped him in a submission attempt, imploring the official to ask the champion if he wished to continue fighting.
Kingston fought out, fired up and delivered the Boom Drop. He called for Trouble in Paradise, but Ziggler wisely trapped himself in the ropes. That drew Kingston to him, and The Showoff fired off an elbow and then a DDT for a near-fall.
Ziggler set Kingston up for the superplex, but the champion fought out of it, dropped him with a head-butt and delivered a cross body. Ziggler rolled through for another two-count. They exchanged near-falls before Kingston delivered an S.O.S. for a nice false finish.
Kingston sailed through the air, wiping Ziggler out on the floor. The challenger responded, sending Kingston into the steel steps and then dropping Xavier Woods with a superkick. An enraged Kingston unloaded on Ziggler and tried for a Trouble in Paradise. Ziggler ducked and scored a roll-up. Kingston kicked out, sending Ziggler into Woods.
Trouble in Paradise followed, and Kingston successfully retained his title.
After the match, an irate Ziggler expressed to Byron Saxton backstage that he wants Kingston inside a steel cage.
Kingston defeated Ziggler
Kingston and Ziggler have had infinitely better matches over the course of their careers.
Maybe it was ring rust on Ziggler's part, the sweltering heat that was continuously referenced by the announce team or the lack of emotion paid off over the course of the match, but this felt like a major disappointment given the quality of the performers involved.
The postmatch promo from Ziggler was that of a spoiled brat in disbelief that just being a better wrestler did not earn him the win. Frustration mounted, and he made a challenge for a cage match. That is booking the audience can get behind.
Hopefully, that match lives up to expectations way more than this non-classic did.
50-Man Battle Royal
Superstars from WWE's main roster, NXT and 205 Live squared off in the largest Battle Royal in WWE history.
Except for that Greatest Royal Rumble in this country last year.
The Miz, United States champion Samoa Joe, Cesaro, Titus O'Neil, Ricochet, Elias and Ali were among the favorites in the contest.
Superstars soared over the top rope, weeding out the wrestlers with no real shot of winning.
At one point, a tag team standoff between NXT alumni The Viking Raiders, Heavy Machinery and The Authors of Pain unfolded. Samoa Joe, demonstrating unbridled dominance, dumped Raw tag team champions Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins at the same time.
Ricochet eliminated Jinder Mahal. The Usos and Revival continued their rivalry from earlier in the show, and The Miz and Elias battled each other in the corner as the match raged on. Otis Dozovic of Heavy Machinery bowled over Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura, but Rowan dumped him shortly thereafter.
Rowan's brief reign of terror was cut short by The Usos, who were retired from the match by Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder moments later.
The eliminations came fast and furiously as Sin Cara, Rusev and Nakamura all were sent packing. The Miz eliminated Robert Roode, staved off his own dismissal and unleashed with a series of Yes! kicks to Elias and The Swiss Superman.
That flurry would be the end of Miz's night.
Saudi-born Mansoor Al-Shehail was unabashedly courageous as he took the fight to Joe. Ricochet and Ali dumped Joe, but Cesaro sent them both to the floor. Mansoor eliminated him and then tossed Elias out to win the match.
The victor cut a pandering hometown babyface promo about dreams and other cliches.
Mansoor won the Battle Royal
For a moment, this looked like Miz's or Joe's match to win.
Until it was not.
It is easy to understand what WWE was going for here, but it would have meant more for him to square off with someone like Joe or Cesaro in the closing moments, lose and receive a sign of respect from them—rather than to outright win a match in such a transparent manner.
This was a nice buffer between title matches, but otherwise there was nothing worth remembering beyond the close of this show.
Goldberg vs. Undertaker
Pomp and circumstance accompanied both Goldberg and Undertaker as they entered the arena for their historic first match against each other, but it was anything but glitz and glamour once the bell rang.
Goldberg struck quickly with a Spear for a two-count. Undertaker seized control of the match and wore the WCW icon down.
Like a quick-striking missile, Goldberg fought back and delivered three Spears. An ugly, dangerous Jackhammer followed, but Undertaker still managed to kick out at two.
Egging his opponent on, Goldberg tried for a powerslam, but the weight of the Superstar proved too much. Undertaker recovered, delivered a chokeslam and scored the win in the messy, uncoordinated main event.
Undertaker defeated Goldberg
There is not enough Saudi money in the world that would make this writer want to watch that match again.
Undertaker and Goldberg are iconic characters whose auras were as much a part of their package as anything they did in the ring. Watching them in this match, well beyond the age that they should be working a high-profile main event, not only killed that aura but also created sympathy for them.
That was not at all the intention given how both 50-somethings were talking about badasses and smashing competition just a few days earlier.
A massively underwhelming main event, even if Undertaker and Goldberg standing face-to-face in the same ring made for a great visual.