A shock title change and a legend’s return were the standout moments of WWE Super ShowDown in Saudi Arabia.
WWE go all out with these annual events and the Mohammed Abdu Arena on the Boulevard in Riyadh looked spectacular with more pyro than ever and stunning light shows for superstar entrances.
Super Showdown certainly had a big pay-per-view event feel and kicked off with a match stacked with talent that could have featured on any US based event.
The Middle Eastern state has a number of custom WWE titles and awards: The Greatest Royal Rumble belt, the Best in the World trophy, the Tag Team World Cup and now the Tuwaiq Trophy.
A gauntlet match for the not so prestigious prize was kicked off by R Truth and Bobby Lashley, with the ever popular former 24/7 champion Truth picking off The All Mighty with a roll up after Lashley missed a spear.
Despite a post elimination beatdown, Truth continued to run the gauntlet defeating the returning United States Champion Andrade by pinfall and also the giant Erick Rowan via disqualification, after an incident with Rowan’s mysterious caged beast.
It was at the point Styles entered the match displaying the type of swagger and confidence he has shown over recent weeks. AJ – who was wildly popular with the Saudi audience – quickly took Truth down with the Calf Crusher and set in motion a moment that could lead to one of the most hotly anticipated matches at this year’s WrestleMania.
As he awaited who he thought was Rey Mysterio, the giant video wall showed the scene backstage where his OC teammates, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows, had attacked the Master of the 619, taking him out of the match.
But it was then revealed they had been laid out themselves and AJ’s confusion over got revenge for Rey was soon answered as Undertaker arrived in Riyadh.
One epic entrance and one chokeslam later and The Deadman claimed the Tuwaiq Trophy.
Could The Phenom take on the Phenomenal One at WrestleMania 36 on April 5?
Elsewhere on the card, new champions were crowned as the newly reformed Dirt Sheet defeated The New Day for the SmackDown Tag Team Championsip.
The Miz and John Morrison – who hadn’t teamed together in over a decade – captured their fourth tag team title in WWE. In a competitive affair with some amazing high flying moves from the Guru of Greatness and equally from Kofi Kingston, the A-List team prevailed as Morrison caught Kingston with a steel chair behind the referee’s back, allowing Miz to get the tainted victory and claim the titles.
Angel Garza continued his current good run with a victory over his real life cousin Humberto Carillo in a match that was very similar to the one the pair had on Raw of late. They are truly talented luchadors and showed off some incredible rapid offence before the former NXT Cruiserweight champion Garza rolled up Carillo for the victory.
In one of the most anticipated matches, The Monday Night Messiah Seth Rollins and Murphy defended the Raw tag titles against the popular Street Profits.
Rollins has stepped into a high gear since forming his faction with AOP and Murphy and their clash with Ford and Dawkins lived up to the lofty expectations.
Giving ample time for Montez Ford to show off his athleticism and also Murphy to shine, this was a bout that had the crowd engaged from the get go. The Architect took advantage of the referee’s distraction in order to Curb Stomp his opponent Dawkins on the apron, allowing Murphy to get the pinfall. That-s two straight title defeats for the Street Profits. – their future direction remains unclear, despite their popularity.
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Hometown hero Mansoor was out next to face Dolph Ziggler and the result was as expected. The Riyadh native continued his streak of wins at events in his native country as he defeated the ever dependable Show Off.
The WWE Championship bout was up next as Ricochet challenged Brock Lesnar. The build up pre-match for this was longer than the contest itself. Lesnar threw his smaller opponent around and won via pinfall after an F-5 in around two minutes.
The Beast Incarnate now heads to WrestleMania to face Drew McIntrye, as for Ricochet, well after that he needs some big wins to re-establish himself.
Roman Reigns faced off with King Corbin in what seemed like chapter 1000 of their recent rivalry, this time in a steel cage. This match was hopefully the end of their feud as the pair fought an uninspiring match, which truly didn’t need the cage element at all.
Reigns picked up the win after hitting a Superman punch to Corbin with his fist wrapped in a chain. WWE has certainly put on much better cage matches recently.
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