John: Welcome to the TJRWrestling WWE Super Showdown 2020 preview. I’ll begin by saying that this is not a highly anticipated show with one of the weakest lineups WWE has put on for any WWE Network event or PPV if you still want to call it that.
Super Showdown is taking place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and airing in the afternoon for me here in Canada, so I’ll watch it and write about it on Thursday, but it’s not like I expect a great show. The major title matches are fresh at least, so that’s a positive thing. There are seven matches in all although it’s possible they add more. For example, the @Enjoy_Saudi Twitter account posted this video of WWE superstars arriving at the airport for the show. A lot of wrestlers aren’t booked for the show, which might make a lot of them happy due to the major travel issues that happened after the Crown Jewel show in Saudi Arabia last fall.
Joining me for the preview are Alex Podgorski and Lance Augustine. Here are some thoughts from Alex and then we’ll get to the preview.
Alex: This is my first time predicting a WWE PPV for TJRWrestling. I’ve been watching wrestling for about twenty years and have seen a lot in that time. When I make my predictions, I usually try to think, ‘what makes the most sense in this situation?’, and then pick the opposite or more boring choice. This is because WWE loves the almighty swerve more often than not, especially when it doesn’t make any sense. That said, I’m going into these predictions with a combination of that mindset with some bold and wildly-unrealistic predictions that won’t happen at all, but it would be great if they actually did.
(Note: All graphics are from WWE.)
Note: WWE announced more matches on WWE’s The Bump show on Wednesday morning. We are not going to include it in our preview, but these are the matches:
* Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson (Kickoff Show)
* Dolph Ziggler vs. Mansoor
* Humberto Carrillo vs. Angel Garza
That means there are now ten matches overall.
Tuwaiq Trophy Gauntlet Match: Andrade, Rey Mysterio, R-Truth, AJ Styles, Erick Rowan and Bobby Lashley
(Note: Rusev was originally a part of this match for several weeks. On Monday, WWE replaced him with Rey Mysterio with no explanation given. There have been reports that Rusev chose not to go or he has a sore back according to Pro Wrestling Sheet, which sounds like a kid faking sick to get out of school. Either way, Mysterio is in the match rather than Rusev.)
Alex: Has anyone actually explained what the Tuwaiq Trophy is? Is it like the Kuwaiti Cup that Bret Hart won in a tournament over twenty years ago? Does it have magic title-match granting powers like the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal SHOULD have? Or is it another vehicle through which Shane McMahon can reintroduce himself and resume his tired role as the corrupt authority figure after being gone for a few months?
Whatever the reason behind it, this is a gauntlet match composed of midcarders and AJ Styles. In terms of actual unfolding of this match, I predict the following occurring:
* R-Truth will try some comedy involving Rowan’s mysterious cage, and will then get crushed;
* Andrade will probably be eliminated quickly and without much offense; either because, a) WWE will want to punish him more for his recent transgressions; or b) Humberto Carrillo will appear out of nowhere to attack him to continue their feuds until it reaches its climax on the WrestleMania pre-show;
* Rey Mysterio will do awesome Rey Mysterio things, because he’s REY FREAKING MYSTERIO and he will always be a huge draw
As for who will win this match, well, let’s play a game by looking at the participants. We have a non-speaking monster with a mysterious cage, a wrestler that was great in NXT and has since done nothing special, a guy that has a job for life because he can make Vince McMahon laugh, a big muscleman, a legendary cruiserweight that WWE cannot seem to replace no matter how hard they try, and one of the best wrestlers of the past twenty years. Gee, I wonder…
Winner: Bobby Lashley (because, BIG MUSCLES)
Lance: This is the typical match that is thrown together to make the show feel special. It’ll probably belt a lot like the “belt” that Braun Strowman won a couple of years ago at the Greatest Royal Rumble show that was forgotten about soon after. There are a couple of different ways they could go with this and the other competitors who don’t win won’t lose much steam. If I must narrow it down, I will say it would have to be between AJ Styles and a returning Andrade, who will be fresh off a suspension. I will go with Styles only because typically wrestlers get punished when they come back from a suspension unless you are Roman Reigns.
Winner: AJ Styles
John: It seems like every time WWE runs a show in Saudi Arabia there’s a trophy or special belt up for grabs that we’re supposed to care about. In this case, it’s a trophy that the winner of a gauntlet match gets and will probably brag about for a few weeks until they forget about it. I’m going with AJ Styles to win this since he’s the biggest name and it makes sense for a heel to brag about winning a trophy. It would be funny if R-Truth got a couple of wins to make it to the finals of the Gauntlet Match and then Styles puts him away.
The other story here is that The Undertaker is in Saudi Arabia according to this report we posted and he’s in the video I referenced in the opening of this preview. Why is The Undertaker? It’s likely because he’s going to confront Styles to set up their WrestleMania match. I can see Styles doing a post match promo bragging about how he has beaten everybody that WWE has put in front of him, that he’s the Phenomenal One and then there’s “The Phenom” known as The Undertaker. It would generate a huge pop from the crowd.
Winner: AJ Styles
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Naomi
Alex: Finally, a storyline that makes sense! Bayley cuts a promo saying she’s beaten every woman on the SmackDown roster, only for Naomi to interrupt because Bayley had never beaten her. Then Naomi wins a #1 Contender’s match and challenges for the title. It’s so simple yet so straightforward.
That said, this won’t be Naomi’s night to win. Bayley has been more interesting to some degree as a villainess, and it looks like she’s finally shedding all the baggage from her earlier lack of success as a hero. She needs a bigger opponent to lose the belt to (or at least, one that has been built-up better) and that person isn’t Naomi.
Plus, as of this past Sunday, Bayley has held the SmackDown Women’s Championship for 132 days. All she has to do is hold it for another fifteen days and she’ll have held it longer than anyone else. THEN we have the perfect recipe for an exciting storyline: the desperate champion that wants to keep holding her title for as long as she can versus the determined, hungry challenger wanting to make a name for herself, whomever that may be.
While it’s nice to see Naomi back in a WWE ring, she’s going to have to wait before she sees any more gold around her waist.
Winner and STILL SmackDown Women’s Champion: Bayley
Lance: This is a big deal for the Women’s Division. The first couple of shows the women were absent because they were not allowed to perform in the country. Then we saw a couple fly out, but not wrestle. Then at the last event, Natalya and Lacey Evans took a huge leap forward and had a match that would have been unheard of a couple of years earlier. Bayley and Naomi are about to make more history here and wrestle for the Women’s Title, which I am sure will be huge for both women. I will go with Bayley because I think they might just have this match again at Mania, or both will be involved in the Smackdown Women’s Title match at least.
Winner and STILL Smackdown Women’s Champion: Bayley
John: This is the first Women’s Title at a WWE show in Saudi Arabia, so expect WWE to hammer home the “first ever” phrase repeatedly during the match as well as all over their social media. I’m not sure what WWE is doing with the Smackdown women at WrestleMania because I thought there might be a multi-woman match since there are a lot of contenders, but then Lacey Evans mentioned last week that there is probably an Elimination Chamber match for the Smackdown women. That makes me think that Evans is going to win that or maybe even Sasha Banks if she’s healthy. As for this match, I’ll go with Bayley winning what should be a very basic match where both women are fully clothed and not wrestling in their regular gear like we saw with Evans and Natalya at Crown Jewel last October. Anyway, keep the title on Bayley for now, but I expect her to lose it at WrestleMania to whoever the challenger is.
Raw Tag Team Championships: Seth Rollins and Murphy (c) vs. The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins)
Alex: Rollins has flourished as RAW’s main villain and Murphy has benefitted greatly from being his right hand man. Fans hate them and want to see a team come along and take the titles off of them. The problem here is that the Street Profits are not that team.
The Street Profits are great hype men and talk a big game. But like 90% of the WWE roster that isn’t in the main event circle, they lack credibility. Whom have they defeated to gain credibility as challengers? Gallows & Anderson? Everyone beats them up, it’s pretty much written into their contracts. In fact, all The Street Profits did to get a title shot was help the good guys in a post-match brawl. If that’s all it takes to get a title shot then by this point in time both Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe should’ve challenged 56 times each.
Given that the challengers are going into this match without a shred of believability, and also that one of the champions happens to be Triple H’s golden boy, it seems unlikely that the titles will change hands in Riyadh. Unless the stipulation is a ‘who-can-do-more-pop-culture-references match’, in which case the Street Profits would win in Goldberg time.
Winners and still WWE RAW Tag Team Champions: Seth Rollins & Murphy
Lance: The Street Profits have cooled down substantially from their initial push since being pushed up to the main roster. Both men are entertaining, but they have just not been getting the TV time they had been getting a few months ago. Rollins and Murphy have still been trying to find their way since joining forces, so I can’t see them losing the titles here. The stable, which includes The Authors of Pain, has just gotten started and I could see them getting an extended run to build it up a little more.
Winners and STILL Raw Tag Team Champions: Rollins and Murphy
John: It would have been nice if WWE did more to set up this match. When they announced it a few weeks ago, it just happened to be a random announcement instead of The Street Profits winning a match to earn the title shot. In the other tag team title match, the challengers earned their title shot. Is it that hard to have a team earn a title shot? No. Don’t be lazy, creative team. Anyway, I fully expect Rollins and his buddy Murphy (I hope you saw what I did there) to retain the gold likely due to some crafty heel work. The match quality should be very good since both teams are very capable of putting on a good showing. I was really impressed by Montez Ford against Rollins on Raw. I think at some point in 2020, The Street Profits will win tag team gold and I hope it’s at a major show like a WrestleMania or SummerSlam. I just don’t think it’s the right time at Super Showdown.
Winners: Seth Rollins and Murphy
Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) (c) vs. The Miz and John Morrison
Alex: A former WWE Champion and his massive ally are defending their titles against the best team in WWE…from twelve years ago. Feast your eyes on this glorious tapestry of storytelling. Seriously, though, this does have the potential to be the best match on the card. Miz and Morrison were a great team way back when, and The New Day are basically the face of WWE’s stagnant tag team division. All four of them are solid performers, and can be entertaining provided they don’t roast alive in the sweltering Saudi heat.
As for the winners, I’m going with Miz & Morrison here. The New Day is beyond stale at this point as an act, and they’re dying for some much-needed change. Although I don’t predict this next part will happen, I can only pray that someone in WWE thinks this way as well. I can see Big E turning on Kofi after losing the titles, upset over losing something so precious to them in front of such a large audience. Then Big E and Kofi can feud in the same way as Rey Mysterio did with Eddie Guerrero (minus the child custody wackiness), and Xavier Woods can come by in a non-wrestling role to try and restore peace between them, albeit in vain.
And just like that, you have an interesting storyline for Kofi and Big E for WrestleMania, which is way more than what they will have if they retain the titles again. Obviously, this isn’t going to happen, but we don’t always have to have our predictions grounded in reality, do we?
Winners and NEW WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions: Miz & Morrison
Lance: John Morrison hasn’t been back on TV too terribly long, and they wasted no time throwing him right back together with The Miz because of their history together. The fall from grace that Kofi has been through since being WWE Champion is something I will never understand. The New Day is great though, and they will always be over enough that they don’t need the titles as much as some other teams do. I smell a title change here, but like the Women’s Title match, I could see these teams together again at WrestleMania.
Winners and NEW Smackdown Tag Team Champions: John Morrison and The Miz
John: This match probably has the best build of any match on the card since it’s been built up for about two months since John Morrison returned on Smackdown as an ally of The Miz. That has led to them in a tag team title feud with New Day with several different matches between the teams leading up to this title match. I’ll join my fellow preview writers in picking Miz and Morrison to win. The New Day’s title reign has been okay so far, but it’s not like they need to keep going as champs since they have had so title runs in their careers. I think it should be a very good match with Morrison winning for his team.
Winners and New Smackdown Tag Team Champions: The Miz and John Morrison
Steel Cage Match: Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin
Alex: Must we sit through this again? While their match at Royal Rumble 2020 wasn’t bad, that contest ended with a decisive finality that should’ve marked the end of this drawn-out feud. Yet here they are again, facing each other as if that big match never happened. Way to keep fans invested in your rivalries, WWE.
I expect a 10-15 minute match here with Corbin utilizing his usual cheap villain tactics to try and win. I also think he’s going to try and use the scepter to score a dirty win, only for Reigns to duck that and hit the Spear for the win. Hopefully once that happens, both men can move onto newer and more exciting feuds. Reigns can move into the main event as he was always meant to, and Corbin can hopefully go back to doing what he does best: hitting his devastating finisher on much smaller guys (seriously, Corbin is surprisingly great at this).
Winner: Roman Reigns
Lance: I feel like this feud has gone on WAY too long at this point. It’s one of those things that’s like a nagging injury and never goes away. At this point, I feel like this feud jumped the shark when there was dog food getting involved. Obviously, the plans for Reigns are a tad bit higher than Corbin going into the Mania push, and I suspect this will be the ending to the feud here. I would be shocked if there was any other outcome than Reigns winning.
Winner: Roman Reigns
John: I am so tired of writing about Reigns vs. Corbin matches. The last show in Saudi Arabia four months ago featured these guys on opposite teams, Reigns’ side won and the feud has continued for four more months. It should have been over at Royal Rumble last month when Reigns beat Corbin in a Falls Count Anywhere match, but no, it just keeps going. Maybe this will be their last match on TV for a long time. I hope so. Time to move on.
Winner: Roman Reigns
WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Ricochet
Alex: While I must applaud WWE for trying to make people believe Ricochet is a top-level star, this isn’t the right way to do that. No one in their right minds thinks that Ricochet has ANY chance of beating Brock ‘I-can-do-whatever-I-want-Vince-McMahon-said-so’ Lesnar, especially going into WrestleMania.
Unfortunately, this isn’t one of those beautiful underdog stories where Ricochet plays The Little Engine That Could to overcome a colossal challenge. This is going to be a one-sided slaughter for Brock to use to send a message to Drew McIntyre for WrestleMania.
Winner and still WWE Champion: Brock Lesnar
Lance: I legitimately started to fear for the long-term health of Ricochet the second he won the match to get this opportunity. Ricochet is an excellent in-ring worker, but this isn’t your standard match. AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan have both had stand out matches against Brock, but I don’t think this will be the same type of thing. I could see this being a Kofi/Brock type of match where Brock disposes of a great worker in quick fashion.
Winner and STILL WWE Champion: Brock Lesnar
John: This should be a dominant win for Brock Lesnar. If it’s something other than that I would be very surprised. I like Ricochet a lot, I think it’s cool that he earned a title shot, but this is a bad time to get that title shot since we are on the road to WrestleMania. In my Raw review on Monday, I noted that it was odd that they didn’t even have Lesnar and Ricochet interact. Why not have Ricochet do a quick promo saying he’s going to shock the world to win the title? Instead, they did nothing. That tells me this is going to be a short match is over in under five minutes. Maybe even three minutes. Anyway, it’s a win for Lesnar.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
WWE Universal Championship: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Bill Goldberg
Alex: I’m going to make a bold prediction here for entertainment’s sake. Logic would dictate that The Fiend – the monster being pushed like there’s no tomorrow – will triumph over Goldberg and walk into WrestleMania as champion (again).
But this is WWE we’re talking about. WWE, the company has a bigger love affair with swerves than Goldberg does with the word ‘next’. Given that WWE are once again aboard the Reigns train and would want him crowned champion at WrestleMania (again!), it might make sense in their twisted minds to have Goldberg win here only for Reigns to beat him at ‘Mania.
This would likely happen because, a) the Saudis having influence on this show want to see legends, and since Goldberg is active they’d likely want him winning to help people forget about last year’s fiasco; and b) Reigns would be able to argue that he has the better spear.
And thus, we have another scenario where Reigns walks into WrestleMania to challenge a seemingly-unstoppable monster. We also end up with a scenario where a top WWE star would likely vanquish one of the biggest names in WCW (because clearly that horse hasn’t been beaten enough).
What’s more, many of WWE’s biggest stars over the past two decades have used the Spear as a finisher or signature move: Edge, Batista, Big Show, Charlotte, and, of course, Reigns. But no matter whom you ask, virtually everyone would say that Goldberg always had the best spear. So, it makes sense then, that WWE try and bury that notion by having the guy with the (supposedly) best Spear in the business lose to a Spear from Roman Reigns.
Plus, with this route we’d have our main event for WrestleMania 37 next year. Only two men have beaten The Undertaker at WrestleMania: Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns. If WWE goes down the above path, only two men will have beaten Goldberg at WrestleMania (and also for the title): Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns. If this is Roman Reigns’ Road to WrestleMania 36, then it can also be the first stop to his Road to WrestleMania 37, when he faces Brock Lesnar in the main event.
Winner and NEW Universal Champion (at the expense of a younger fulltime star): Goldberg
Lance: I don’t want to give anyone a spoiler, but this match is not going to last long. Goldberg’s first run in WWE showed that having his matches last very long isn’t a good idea. The Fiend has been booked well, outside of the Hell in a Cell finish that I am still upset about, and there are rumors about his WrestleMania fate putting the title on the line against Roman Reigns. Depending on who you believe those plans could change, but for now, we will assume that will be what is happening. The match will consist of Spear, Spear, kickout, Spear, Jackhammer, kickout, Mandible Claw, The Fiend disappears. Man, what a hole they have booked themselves into here.
Winner and STILL WWE Universal Champion: The Fiend
John: This should be interesting just to see what kind of match they have. Goldberg has a lot of star power obviously, but at 53 years old it’s unrealistic to expect a long match from him. The Fiend version of Bray Wyatt is a unique character that has been booked as an unbeatable monster. He’s also 20 years younger than Goldberg and a regular WWE superstar, so the obvious thing is that The Fiend should win here. I really don’t want to see a Goldberg win because they’ve spent so much time building up The Fiend as a dominant wrestler, so having a part-timer older wrestler beat him would hurt The Fiend quite a bit.
I still think WWE is going to do Fiend vs. Reigns for the Universal Title at WrestleMania even though there are rumors that plans may change. They kept Reigns away from any title shots for the past year for a reason and that reason is to get him back in there for WrestleMania. A win for The Fiend makes sense. I just hope they don’t complicate things by trying to go 15 minutes here. Keep it simple under ten minutes. I think The Fiend is going to get the win.
Winner: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt
The Match I’m Looking Forward To The Most
Alex: Goldberg vs. The Fiend. This actually has the potential to be amusing, especially if WWE decides to pull the classic Vince Russo swerve at the end. I don’t think it’s the right idea, but I still think that mindset alone will make this one a bit more exciting than it has any right to be.
Lance: This show doesn’t have a runaway one that I am really eager to see, but if I have to pick we will go with the gauntlet match.
John: I think New Day vs. Morrison/Miz will be the best match on the card, so that’s my pick.
The Match I Care About The Least
Alex: The RAW Tag Title Match. The Street Profits are completely boring to me and bring nothing to the table in the RAW tag team division. With Rollins being such a key fixture on RAW (and likely for WrestleMania, once they’ve figured out his opponent(s)), this match seems like nothing more than a stepping stone for the top villain on RAW and will likely be presented as such in Riyadh.
Lance: Corbin vs Reigns and it isn’t even close.
John: I’m going with the Tuwaiq Trophy Gauntlet Match because there’s no storyline going into it. It’s just not that interesting.
Alex: The Tuwaiq Trophy Gauntlet match. They will treat it as a single match but in reality, it will be 5 house-show-level matches combined into one. So by that metric it’ll go longer than anything else on the show.
Lance: I would say probably either the gauntlet match or The Raw Tag Team Title match.
John: The Gauntlet Match if you want to call it one match. I think the Smackdown Tag Team Title match could go long too.
Alex: Lesnar vs. Ricochet. It was Ricochet’s low blow that set McIntyre up to eliminate Lesnar from the Rumble match. Lesnar’s going to want revenge and will tear Ricochet apart (pun definitely not intended) in less than 5 minutes.
Lance: Believe it or not, I think it’s going to be close between the WWE Title match and the Universal Title match. I’ll pick the WWE Title match.
John: I think Lesnar vs. Ricochet will be under five minutes. I doubt Goldberg/Fiend goes long
Excitement Level on a Scale of 1-10 (1 being low, 10 being high)
Alex: Despite making these predictions, I do not and will not watch WWE’s Saudi shows as a matter of principle. I cannot in good conscience allow myself to watch these shows knowing that in some way the money and time I spend on it will somehow benefit Saudi Arabia in some way. So while I won’t actively seek out a way to watch the show live, if anything I’ll catch the highlights on Botchamania.
Lance: Personal feelings aside about going over there in the first place, I still think it would be about a 5 for me.
John: It’s just a 5 out of 10 for me. I think WWE should be able to put on better shows when they have WWE Network specials, but this just doesn’t feel like a big deal to me. I know it’s going to make WWE a lot of money and that’s why they do it. I just can’t say from an entertainment standpoint that I’m really excited about it.
John: I’ll be back with a review of WWE Super Showdown on TJRWrestling.net on Thursday, so check that out during the show or after it’s over.
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