Courtesy of WWE Home Video, Matthew Roberts takes a look at their latest DVD release, Super Showdown 2020.
There comes a time when it’s, well, pointless to continue to complain about certain things. WWE holds a couple of shows a year in Saudi Arabia. If that’s not for you, so be it. Don’t watch. At this stage, it is what it is. And the WWE is hardly alone in cashing in on the Saudi Riyal in the sports or entertainment world.
The main concern here is not with politics but with wrestling action. Whilst previous shows have not been great, I’ve never thought that most of them were as bad as some people made out. But then I never come into these shows expecting much…
The opener was the kind of match that thirty years ago when the WWE was first making serious inroads into international marks would have been seen as very good. Sure the Viking Raiders and The Good Brothers wasn’t exactly an all-time classic but it was a solid run through the tag team formula that wrestling fans in the Royal Albert Hall would have eaten up in 1991. As it was, decent action was let down by a flat atmosphere. But the four guys can’t be blamed for that.
I can’t say I was particularly hyped for the Tuwaiq Trophy Gauntlet Match, despite the fact that a line of up AJ Styles, Rey Mysterio, Lashley, R-Truth, Andrade and Erick Rowan at least offered up some potential. The problems were many though. For a start, no-one cares about the Trophy. Then the match went on far too long, almost as if it went long for the sake of it. This wouldn’t have been too bad if it wasn’t for the fact that (much like Shane McMahon on a previous event) the trophy ended up going to someone who wasn’t even entered into the match. And yes, this gave us the impetus for AJ and The Undertaker at WrestleMania (though at the time of this “match” we could have had no idea how that match and the show itself would end up being far from what we’d have imagined) but to take nearly 35 minutes to get to that point and that finish? Why even bother?
The Smackdown Tag Team Title match between The New Day and Miz & Morrison couldn’t have failed to be better than what preceded it and although it started off a little slow it did turn into a good match. Similarly, Humberto Carrillo and Angel Garza probably didn’t come up to the levels we would quite have expected given the quality of their matches on TV around this time, but again they cannot be blamed for a crowd that simply didn’t seem to care about them.
The “good but not great” action continued as Seth Rollins and Murphy defended their Raw Tag Team Titles against The Street Profits. Again, you probably would have expected more from this match in different circumstances and it never threatened to hit top gear but it was another decent match that provided entertainment. The idea of Mansoor against Dolph Ziggler was not one that filled me with anticipation and that was solely down to the latest sacrificial offering to Mansoor. Still, on a card when a lot of guys phoned it in, Ziggler was in good company. It was a very predictable match but was ok overall.
The next match upset a lot of people as Brock Lesnar squashed Ricochet. Now don’t get me wrong; I too think it was a waste of a man with talent and even more disappointing given that there was actually a good underdog storyline behind Ricochet going into this one. But a month before the biggest PPV of the year, your dominant World Champion who kicks the crap out of everyone should be battering an opponent like this. I wish it hadn’t been Ricochet, but that’s life.
I’m in the minority of people apparently who actually reasonably enjoyed the Roman Reigns / King Corbin feud. However, their cage match here was awful. The feud should have been done at the Rumble, and both men here wrestled like they felt that way too. There was nothing in this that screamed “grudge feud” and the apathy from the wrestlers was met by apathy from the crowd.
Bayley’s Smackdown Women’s Title defence against Naomi was yet another entry on the evening’s “ok, but not great” list. As a House Show defence, this would have been a perfectly adequate ten-minute match and the finish was a nice creative touch.
And then it was time for the match that perhaps had the most vitriol thrown at it by fans for years. Goldberg Vs The Fiend. For the sheer audacity of booking it the way it went down, I take my hat off to Vince. I was literally crying with laughter when it finished. Anyone shocked by it clearly hasn’t been paying attention to the WWE for the last decade. It was what it was. But for all the complaining that it “killed The Fiend’s momentum” I offer you his big spot at Mania opposite Cena and his status as number one contender to the Universal title post Mania as counterpoints to that viewpoint. And whilst that upsets me from the point of view of being yet another confirmation that wins and losses don’t matter in WWE storylines anymore, it does show that a lot of people who really should know better were being over-the-top in their distress at the result of this one.
Overall this wasn’t a great show, but it wasn’t all bad. It’s just a pity that when the show did suck, it REALLY sucked. Still, there’s entertainment to be found in parts of this.
Format Reviewed: DVD
Photographs courtesy of Fetch and WWE
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