Courtesy of WWE Home Video, Matthew Roberts takes a look at their latest DVD release, Super Showdown 2019.
Many people threatened to boycott the WWE as a result of yet another Saudi Arabia show. I felt like threatening to boycott this review. Not because of any moral concerns, but more because if there’s another PPV in 2019 from the WWE that is as inconsequential as this one I’d be very surprised. Even those matches that, on paper, had some potential were largely rendered pointless by a combination of a crowd that didn’t really care (at times you felt like many in attendance hadn’t even watched pro wrestling before) and ridiculous 100 degree heat that severely curtailed what the wrestlers could do.
Whether or not you think that it was a “dream match” in 2019 or not, the main event pitting Goldberg against The Undertaker was indeed a “dream match” that had never been done before. Few could have been expecting anything brilliant from it, but few could have imagined that what we would get would be so, well, awful. If we’re being kind they started off on the right foot, with all the indications being that this would be a short sprint through the trademark moves. It all went downhill in rapid order though as Goldberg gets knocked silly and then nearly kills ‘Taker with a botched Jackhammer, before the pair completely mess up a Tombstone which then sees the match presumably end on an audible as Taker wins with a Chokeslam. Some matches can be so bad that they have a camp, comedy value. This didn’t. The feeling was one of sadness really. Two men who don’t really need the money and are years past their prime have a terrible match where both men nearly get wiped out by botched moves on a show that many fans were “boycotting”. (Or at least being very vocal about not watching yet could take to the social media airwaves to say how bad it was despite not having apparently watched it).
There’s an argument to be made though that I would rather sit through that match than have to suffer Triple H Vs Randy Orton in 2019. It’s not to say that their match was bad, just that someone really needs to remind Triple H that it’s no longer the early 21st Century and that not every match he works has to be a 20 minute “epic” to prove that he can still go. Again the heat and the lack of crowd interest worked against it but essentially this was a slow paced, plodding affair that dragged on and on and would have been far more acceptable if it had lasted half the time.
And yet, and a pattern is starting to emerge here, I would arguably rather sit through that snore-fest than see Shane McMahon defeat Roman Reigns. As Shane would sweat buckets one minute into a match held in a freezer there were genuine fears that the heat here would seem him perspire so much that he’d just be a puddle on the floor that could be swept away. That might have been preferable to another outing for Shane’s “hard man” character which ended in him defeating Reigns. Say what you want about Vince McMahon’s ego, when he got in the ring he generally knew his limitations (and would always get his comeuppance). The match was awful, all due to Shane and the booking, and it once again reminded you that whilst fans talk about Reigns’ “superman” push, the likes of Austin, Rock and Cena would never have been booked like this.
The undercard featured many titles matches; I would guess most people would disagree but I through the Seth Rollins/Baron Corbin Universal Title match was more than acceptable, if a little too much like a match you’d expect on a house show with all the stalling. I certainly enjoyed it more than the WWE Title match between Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler, although that may be more down to the fact that I perhaps expected more from that one and it just didn’t deliver. The interference influenced ending was a let-down too in a sense. The babyface champion shouldn’t need interference on his behalf, even if it’s only to set up a Steel Cage match in future. The Intercontinental Title match between Finn Balor and Andrade was even more of a let-down in the sense of what those two COULD deliver, but it was still a decent enough match.
Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley had a good match that tailed off towards the end, largely because of the humid conditions whilst the Uso’s and The Revival had another decent match that nevertheless was a minor disappointment compared to what they delivered in TV action either side of this show. A Handicap Match between Lars Sullivan and Lucha House Party was utterly pointless, as, so it turned out was the 50 man battle royale, Too many bodies in there for it to be anything other than a blur and Mansoor winning for the cheap home pop was rendered meaningless when it became clear that this was a one-night thing and he hasn’t been seen since as far as I know.
It’s difficult to recommend anything on this show, mainly because anything that was decent on the night had been done better before or since. Worse still, the three “big” matches on the card (Goldberg/Taker, HHH/Orton and Reigns/Shane) are, well, miserable.
The package does add some extras from Raw and Smackdown but they are as inessential as the show itself.
Format Reviewed: DVD
Photographs courtesy of Fetch and WWE
Thank you to our partners, WWEDVD.co.uk and Fetch for providing our review copy of Super Showdown which is out Monday 23 September on DVD. You can buy your copy from WWEDVD.co.uk by clicking here.
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