The Ultimate Guide To WWE Super Show-Down
It is currently a very exciting time for Aussie wrestling fans. Our local wrestling scene is blowing up, international acts are being brought to Australian shores frequently, and it is possible that Australian wrestling will wind up on TV very shortly, with tapings taking place in November and December.
I’ll get more into the local scene in a future article, but before all that, we have business involving the world’s biggest wrestling promotion to attend to. WWE is bringing a live PPV event to Australia for the first time, WWE Super Show-Down. Taking place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, there is a Wrestlemania-esque vibe to this. A ton of tickets have been sold, and I believe the nature and magnitude of this event will bring in a lot of casual and lapsed wrestling fans. So, in order to get you up to speed on what’s been happening in WWE, and how these matches came together, I’ve put together this handy (not so) little guide. In it, I will give a brief (ish) write up on how the matches and feuds have been built up, and also try and provide context on who the wrestlers are, with links to notable matches that need to be watched before going to Super Show-Down. If you’re going to the MCG for this epic event, you’re going to have a great time regardless, but it’ll enhance your experience a lot more if you know who guys like Daniel Bryan and the Shield are, and why they are loved (or hated) by ardent WWE fans.
**NOTE**: The links I’m going to provide include video content on the WWE Network. If you’re not a subscriber, never fear- WWE offer a one-month free trial for first time subscribers, with zero commitment needed, cancel anytime.
Triple H (w/ Shawn Michaels) vs. The Undertaker (w/ Kane
The Feud: This is the most heavily promoted match of Super Show-Down and will almost certainly be the main event of the card. Billed as “Last Time Ever”, Triple H and the Undertaker are two legends who have feuded on and off through the majority of their careers. Undertaker started his WWE career in 1990, Triple H started his in 1995. They were both major stars of the famed Attitude Era in the late 90s/early 2000s, and today they only wrestle a few times a year for special occasions, and this Australian stadium show fits the bill. The HHH/Taker rivalry escalated to new heights in 2011, when Triple H attempted to do the thing his best friend, Shawn Michaels, had failed to do the previous two years- defeat the Undertaker at Wrestlemania and end his fabled Streak. In fact, when Undertaker defeated Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 26 in 2010, Michaels (also known as HBK, or “The Heartbreak Kid”) was forced to retire. At Wrestlemania 27 and 28, Triple H also failed to beat the Undertaker twice at Mania. Michaels was involved in the latter match as the special referee for a Hell In A Cell match billed as “End Of An Era”.
Triple H vs. Undertaker was announced by Vince McMahon in a short video promoting Super Show-Down. Since then, both Triple H and Undertaker have appeared on WWE Raw to promote the match in talking segments. Videos have been taken of various wrestling legends and personalities making predictions on who would win. HBK appeared on Raw to predict that his best friend Triple H would finally defeat The Undertaker. Undertaker confronted Michaels and said that he had stayed retired not out of respect to Undertaker, but rather out of fear. As HBK had stated he would be going to Super Show-Down, Undertaker has said that he will likely be at ringside in Triple H’s corner for the match. To counteract this, Taker is bringing his brother, the Big Red Machine, Kane! A lot of combustible elements in this one. Two legends throwing down for the Last Time Ever. What roles will HBK and Kane play?
**Normally at this point, I would have a “Who Are They” section, with links to career highlights etc. But if you don’t know who Triple H and The Undertaker are, you wouldn’t be reading this. Really, the first couple of sentences I wrote regarding HHH and Taker were probably unnecessary**
What You Need To Watch
Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker- Wrestlemania 25
Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker- Wrestlemania 26
Triple H vs. Undertaker- Wrestlemania 27
Triple H vs. Undertaker- Wrestlemania 28
Those three men (and Kane) had many other encounters, and more history to go through, but that four year arc of Wrestlemania matches is the most relevant to the feud and match that will happen at Super Show-Down.
The Shield vs. Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler
Who Are The Shield? The Shield are a trio comprised of Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. They burst onto the scene in 2012 as a unit, destroying anyone in their path. Calling themselves “The Hounds of Justice”, they sought to rectify any perceived injustices in WWE through any means necessary. They took out many high profile stars, including John Cena, The Rock and The Undertaker. They disbanded in 2014, and became successful singles stars. Reigns, Rollins and Ambrose all became WWE Champion at various points before reuniting in October 2017.
Watch: The Shield vs. Team Hell No & Ryback- TLC 2012
The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family- Elimination Chamber 2014
Who Is Braun Strowman? Known as “The Monster Among Men”, Strowman stands 6’8” and weighs 385 pounds. He has been a dominant presence in WWE over the last couple of years, demonstrating incredible feats of strength. He has been a fixture in Raw’s main event scene as of late, with several matches against Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar on his CV.
Watch: Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns- Fastlane 2017 (skip to 1:47:00)
Braun Strowman vs. Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe- Summerslam 2017
Who Is Dolph Ziggler? Ziggler has been a constant presence in WWE over the last decade. Often compared to Shawn Michaels for his athleticism and flashy wrestling style, he has the nickname “The Show-Off”. A multi time Intercontinental Champion, he formed an alliance with Drew McIntyre earlier this year following the Superstar Shake-Up, with both men citing frustration at being overlooked.
Watch: Dolph Ziggler vs. Rey Mysterio- Summerslam 2009
Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz- No Mercy 2016
Who Is Drew McIntyre? From Eire, Scotland, McIntyre is referred to as “The Scottish Psychopath”. He first joined WWE in his early 20s, and was praised by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, who anointed him as “The Chosen One”. Despite a run with the Intercontinental Championship and the Tag Team Championship, McIntyre didn’t really catch on and left in 2014 after a run as the low-card comedy act 3MB. In his time away, McIntyre radically changed his physique and wrestling style, gaining acclaim on the independent scene. This led to his re-signing and he returned to WWE’s NXT brand on Wrestlemania 33 weekend. After winning the NXT Championship, he was sidelined with a biceps injury in October 2017 and returned on the Raw brand during the Superstar Shake-Up.
Watch: Drew McIntyre vs. Oney Lorcan- NXT 387
The Feud: After Roman Reigns won the Universal Championship from Brock Lesnar at Summerslam, Braun Strowman attempted to cash in his Money In The Bank briefcase for a title shot on Raw, after Reigns defended the title successfully against Finn Balor. The cash-in attempt was thwarted by a Shield reunion, as Rollins and Ambrose stormed the ring. Strowman went through the announce table courtesy of the Shield’s trademark Triple Powerbomb.
The following week, Strowman looked for retribution, aligning himself with Ziggler and McIntyre. Ziggler and McIntyre proved to be formidable allies, as they went on to win the Raw Tag Team Championships from The B-Team on Raw. The six-man tag contest was signed for Super Show-Down, and with so much high level talent in one match, they’re sure to put on a spectacle at the MCG!
Watch: Roman Reigns vs. Finn Balor- Raw 1317
Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose- Hell In A Cell 2018 (skip to 1:12:00)
WWE Championship: AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe
Who Is AJ Styles? Regarded as one of the best wrestlers in the world, Styles spent the majority of his career at TNA Wrestling, establishing himself as their premier homegrown talent. He then went to Japan and raised his profile further by joining the infamous Bullet Club. AJ Styles made his proper WWE debut at the 2016 Royal Rumble (he made a few appearances as an enhancement talent in the early 2000s). From there, he never really looked back. Feuds with Chris Jericho, Roman Reigns, John Cena, even Shane McMahon. He is currently in his second reign as WWE Champion.
Watch: AJ Styles vs. John Cena- Summerslam 2016
Who Is Samoa Joe? Much like AJ Styles, Joe spent around a decade of his career in TNA. He developed a reputation as one of the toughest wrestlers around, becoming a star through a feud with Kurt Angle. A large man, he wowed fans with his uncanny athleticism for a man of his size and build, as well as his intensity. He also wrestled AJ on multiple occasions in TNA. Samoa Joe debuted in WWE on its NXT brand in 2015. He became a two-time NXT Champion before getting called up to Raw in early 2017.
Watch: Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor- NXT Takeover Dallas
The Feud: Prior to Summerslam, Smackdown GM Paige announced a contract signing for AJ Styles and his next challenger for the WWE Championship. Before Paige could announce who that challenger was, Samoa Joe ambushed Styles and choked him out with his Coquina Clutch. In the following weeks, Joe would go on to make the rivalry personal, calling Styles a bad husband and father because of his commitments as champion. At Summerslam, AJ’s rage boiled over and he got disqualified for blasting Joe with a steel chair. In Joe’s rematch at the Hell In A Cell PPV, there was controversy as the referee missed Styles tapping to the Clutch, instead counting Joe’s shoulders to the mat for the 3 count. This rematch at Super Show-Down has a no DQ, no countout stipulation. Can we see a decisive winner this time at the MCG? We will find out in a matter of days!
Watch: AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe- Hell In A Cell 2018 (Skip to 1:38:00)
Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz- Winner Gets A WWE Title Opportunity
Who Is Daniel Bryan? Following a decade on the independent circuit, notably engaging in feuds with men such as CM Punk and Samoa Joe in the Ring Of Honor promotion, Bryan joined WWE in 2010, debuting on their NXT program. NXT was originally a game show of sorts rather than the developmental promotion/third brand it is today. NXT Season 1 featured Rookies being mentored by Pros. Bryan was cast as a Rookie despite his extensive experience outside WWE. His pro? The Miz. After being eliminated from the NXT competition, Bryan would resurface as a member of the faction Nexus, but almost immediately got fired (legitimately), for choking ring announcer Justin Roberts with a tie during a storyline attack, breaking WWE’s PG guidelines. He would be re-hired a few months later and returned at Summerslam 2010. Over the next few years, Bryan would win a variety of championships, including the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but shortly after was forced to retire from the ring due to a neck injury. Following 3 years out of the ring and a run as Smackdown General Manager, Bryan received medical clearance earlier this year and had his return match at Wrestlemania 34, teaming with Shane McMahon to face Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn.
Watch: Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena- Summerslam 2013
Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H -Wrestlemania 30
Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton vs. Batista- Wrestlemania 30
Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn- Wrestlemania 34
Who Is The Miz? A former reality TV show star on The Real World, Mike Mizanin participated in WWE’s reality show Tough Enough in 2004. Although he did not win, he was given a developmental contract and debuted on Smackdown in late 2006. Since then, he has won a variety of championships. Multiple time Intercontinental and Tag Team Champion, and won the WWE Championship in late 2010. He main evented Wrestlemania 27 against John Cena. In addition to his wrestling work, he has also starred in movies for WWE Films and currently has a reality show with his wife, WWE star Maryse, called “Miz And Mrs”.
Watch: The Miz vs. John Cena- Wrestlemania 27
The Feud: The Bryan/Miz feud began in 2010. As Bryan’s “Pro” in NXT, Miz antagonised Bryan for not being more flashy and charismatic like he was, often verbally and physically attacking his “Rookie”. Bryan first faced Miz at Night of Champions 2010 for the United States Championship. The tension would continue over the years, even when Bryan was medically unfit to wrestle. During Bryan’s run as Smackdown GM in 2016, both he and Miz appeared on the WWE Network show Talking Smack, which tended to blur the lines between reality and fiction. After Bryan took a shot at Miz’s wrestling style for being too weak and safe, labelling him a “coward”, Miz unleashed a tirade in response, calling Bryan a coward because he wouldn’t quit WWE and go wrestle in “bingo halls” if he wanted to wrestle that badly. Due to Bryan’s legitimate medical issues, no physicality or pay-off would occur for almost 2 years. When Bryan was cleared for competition in 2018, he stepped down from his authority figure role as GM, but ensured that Miz would be traded to Smackdown so he could “punch him in the face”. Despite that acknowledgement of their past history, they would not cross paths in the ring until Summerslam 2018 a few months later. The Hell In A Cell PPV saw both men’s wives get involved (Brie Bella and Maryse), but at Super Show-Down, it is one-on-one, with the highest stakes… the winner will challenge either AJ Styles or Samoa Joe for the WWE Championship!
Watch: The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan- Night of Champions 2010
The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan- Summerslam 2018
Ronda Rousey & The Bellas vs. The Riott Squad
Who Is Ronda Rousey? Okay, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 5 years, you know who Ronda Rousey is. First UFC women’s champion, broke down barriers for women in MMA, which had a heavy influence on WWE in kickstarting their Women’s Revolution. A long time fan of WWE, Ronda appeared at Wrestlemania 31 while she was still the undefeated UFC champion. She made her official debut as a contracted WWE performer at the 2018 Royal Rumble, had her debut match at Wrestlemania 34, and won the Raw Women’s Championship from Alexa Bliss at Summerslam.
Watch: Ronda Rousey & Kurt Angle vs. Stephanie McMahon & Triple H- Wrestlemania 34
Who Are The Bellas? The Bella Twins debuted in WWE in 2008, after appearing in WWE’s “Diva Search” competition. Originally, Brie was the solo competitor, and her twin sister Nikki would switch with her mid-match, in a tactic known as “Twin Magic”. Over the next decade, Brie and Nikki would compete both as singles stars, both winning the Diva’s Title, and also tagged together at various points. Their profiles rose as lead stars of WWE’s reality TV show on E! Network, Total Divas, and subsequently got their own spin-off, Total Bellas.
Watch: AJ Lee & Paige vs. The Bellas- Wrestlemania 31 (Skip To 1:36:40)
Who Are The Riott Squad? Ruby Riott debuted on NXT just prior to Wrestlemania 33, as an ally with Tye Dillinger to fend off Sanity member Nikki Cross. She had some success as a singles competitor on NXT before being called up to the main roster, specifically Smackdown, in November 2017. She aligned herself with fellow NXT alumni Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan to create the Riott Squad. Their mission statement is essentially to cause chaos. Morgan and Logan were essentially enhancement talent in NXT, and on the main roster they haven’t had much of a chance to establish themselves beyond being Ruby’s lackeys.
Watch: The Riott Squad vs. Natalya, Naomi & Charlotte- Smackdown 954
The Feud: Ronda Rousey declares herself to be a fighting champion, and tried to show that recently on Raw, issuing an open challenge for her newly won Raw Women’s Championship. Ruby Riott (who was drafted to Raw in the 2018 Superstar Shake-Up, with the Riott Squad) came out to answer the challenge. The match never got started, however, as the rest of the Riott Squad got involved, and the Bellas came to Ronda’s aid to even the odds. So here we are with the six-woman tag. Not a ton of great build to this one, seems like just a way to feature Ronda Rousey on the massive Melbourne show. Interestingly, the last time Rousey was in Melbourne, she lost her fight and UFC Championship to a Holly Holm head kick. Ruby’s Riott Kick is quite impressive, but it must relieve Ronda to know she has little chance of being KOed in this match. And speaking of KOs, an inadvertent bit of spice was added to this match last week on Raw- in the latest in a string of botches (or mistakes) by a recently returning Brie Bella, Liv Morgan was legitimately knocked out by a stray kick by Brie. Will be interesting to see how that factors into the match at the MCG. Will Brie be hesitant to do moves? Will the anger of Ruby and Sarah boil over to give Brie a “receipt”? (Would be career suicide)
Watch: Ronda Rousey & The Bellas Fight Off The Riott Squad- Raw Sep 17, 2018
Bobby Lashley & John Cena vs. Kevin Owens & Elias
Who Is Bobby Lashley? After a decade away from WWE, Lashley returned on the Raw After Wrestlemania 34. In his time away, he bounced between a relatively successful MMA career and continuing pro wrestling with TNA/Impact Wrestling. He is an incredible athlete capable of extreme feats of power and explosive energy. He does lack a little in the promo/charisma department, so WWE have given him a “hype man”, 205 Live competitor Lio Rush. Unsure if Rush is making the trip to Melbourne, but he has been a very welcome addition to Lashley’s act over the last couple of weeks. A former United States and ECW Champion from his original 2005-2007 WWE run, Lashley has the credibility, and now with Rush, he has the voice to go with it.
Watch: ECW Championship Steel Cage Match: Bobby Lashley vs. Hardcore Holly- WWE ECW 38 (2007)
Bobby Lashley vs. Roman Reigns- WWE Extreme Rules 2018
Who Is John Cena? Doesn’t matter, you can’t see him. Cena has been THE guy in WWE for a good 15 years. But recently, especially the last 12 months, Cena’s role in WWE has been reduced greatly. Cena is getting older, his body is starting to wear down, and he’s pursuing opportunities in Hollywood. He can still go to a point, but John Cena is a rare commodity in WWE these days, only showing up for these big international shows. Have a look at his last televised WWE match in the link below, if for some reason you’ve never seen him wrestle, he pretty much does his greatest hits here.
Watch: John Cena vs. Triple H- Greatest Royal Rumble 2018
(it’s the opening match, just skip to 5:00 to avoid all the crap about Jeddah being a “progressive city” in Saudi Arabia)
Who Is Elias? Elias is a strange case. One of the few wrestlers I’ve seen who wasn’t great during NXT, got called up anyway, and has knocked it out of the park since joining the main roster. Originally known as “The Drifter” and with a last name of Samson, Elias tweaked his gimmick a little upon joining Raw, and is now a wannabe musical icon, constantly playing “concerts” with his guitar, insulting the fans and generally being an egotistical jerk. But because pro wrestling is a weird fandom, many fans recognise his startling improvements as a pro wrestler and as a performer in general, so he’s starting to get cheered a fair amount, despite playing the bad guy.
Watch: WWE Intercontinental Championship- Elias vs. Roman Reigns- Raw 1279
Who Is Kevin Owens? Kevin Owens is an unlikely WWE Superstar. Physically, he has a build similar to Mick Foley, and Foley had to scratch, claw and destroy his body to find success in WWE. Owens, under his real name of Kevin Steen, spent a good 10 years on the independent scene. Once he made it to WWE, however, he found success quickly. He had one of the fastest tracks from NXT to the main roster that I can remember- NXT debut December 2014, Raw debut May 2015. And in his first match as a Raw Superstar, he beat John Cena. Clean. Kevin Owens, or KO, has gone on to win the Intercontinental, United States and Universal Championships in the last 3 years. He is a mainstay in the upper end of the card.
Watch: Kevin Owens vs. John Cena- Elimination Chamber 2015
The Feud: Admittedly, the build to this tag team match has been a slightly strange one. John Cena has not appeared once on WWE TV to promote this match. He’s flying to Melbourne, he’s getting his shit in, and he’s leaving again. So, the feud has essentially been Lashley vs. both Elias and KO. It began with Lashley interrupting Elias’ attempts to serenade the WWE Universe, and after Lashley did a god-awful rendition of Rockin’ Robin (seriously, it was so bad they cut it out of the YouTube recap), Elias attacked him. Kevin Owens attacked Lashley and powerbombed him on the apron in following weeks, with KO apparently given carte blanche by Baron Corbin; able to do whatever he wants without consequence. Owens declared himself a fan of Elias and they formed a friendship based on that admiration. The absent John Cena has history with all three men- he wrestled Lashley in the last high profile match of Lashley’s first run at the Great American Bash 2007. It was for the WWE Championship and was arguably the best match of Bobby’s career, at least to that point (I’m unfamiliar with his work in TNA). As mentioned earlier, Cena feuded with Owens in KO’s first feud on the main roster. And finally, Cena crossed paths with Elias at Raw 25, in probably the best angle on the show.
Watch: Lashley and Elias fight- Raw July 30, 2018
Owens attacks Lashley- Raw Sep 3, 2018
Bobby Lashley vs. Elias- Sep 24, 2018
Elias disrespects John Cena- Raw 25- Jan 22, 2018
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair
Who Is Becky Lynch? Known as the Irish Lass Kicker, Becky is one of the NXT’s Four Horsewomen; that is, one of the four women most heavily credited for WWE’s Women’s Evolution. Outside WWE, it was people like Ronda Rousey causing the big societal shift for what women could do in sports, and any endeavour. In WWE/NXT, it was Becky Lynch, along with Charlotte Flair, and Sasha Banks and Bayley. But, Becky sometimes found herself being the forgotten one. Sasha and Bayley had the incredible NXT feud, Sasha vs. Charlotte was an epic feud on Raw following that, then Bayley got some shine too being the one to end Charlotte’s PPV streak and defend the belt successfully at WM33. Becky was the first ever Smackdown Women’s Champion, but that soon gave way to Alexa Bliss getting the spotlight. So Becky was designated as the “good hand” for a long time, and the frustration of not being the top star lead to where we are today.
Watch: NXT Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks- NXT Takeover: Unstoppable
Who Is Charlotte Flair? First of all, that last name should be familiar if you’re any sort of wrestling fan. Charlotte is the daughter of the legendary two-time WWE Hall of Famer and 16-time world champion, the Nature Boy, Ric Flair. So, a hell of a name to live up to. Charlotte debuted on NXT TV in 2013, and after a shaky start, found her groove after an excellent match with Natalya. This gave her the confidence to go from strength to strength, earning accolade after accolade and having many high calibre matches with the likes of Sasha Banks, Bayley and Asuka. Charlotte, in my humble opinion, is doing the Flair name justice.
Watch: Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch- Wrestlemania 32
The Feud: Becky earned a one on one match with then-champion, Carmella, at Summerslam. Then, Charlotte Flair returned from injury (she had issues with her breast implants) and Paige gave her an opportunity to join the match and make it a triple threat at Summerslam. Charlotte would win the championship at the biggest party of the summer, and a bitter and angry Becky attacked her. I feel like she’s fairly justified in her anger, but she’s cast as the heel here. I dig her “don’t give a shit” attitude since then, in any event. At Hell In A Cell, Becky won the title clean. We get the rubber match in Melbourne at Super Show-Down.
Watch: Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch vs. Carmella- Summerslam 2018
Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch- Hell In A Cell 2018 (Skip to 40:00)
Smackdown Tag Team Championship: The New Day vs. The Bar
Who Are The New Day? Comprised of Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods, the New Day are a highly entertaining trio. Often comedic, playing trombones, dressed as unicorns, eating pancakes, it’s all very silly fun. But when it comes down to it, all three are very serious, credible competitors. Big E is the powerhouse, while Xavier and Kofi offer speed and innovation. The trio utilise “the Freebird Rule”, meaning any two of the three can defend the tag championship in any given match.
Watch: Hell In A Cell Match: New Day vs. Usos- Hell In A Cell 2017
Who Are The Bar? The Bar is comprised of Cesaro and Sheamus. Former Raw GM Mick Foley put them in a Best of Seven series against each other in order to work through the rivalry they were having, and it ended in a draw. So, Foley had them team together to find common ground, and although they took a while to gel, they are one of the best tag teams in the world today, with Cesaro’s technical ability and Sheamus’ smash-mouth (somebody once told me…) style.
Watch: Iron Man Match: The Bar vs. The Hardys- Great Balls Of Fire 2017
The Feud: New Day and The Bar have a storied history, having many classic battles. This feud was recently re-ignited when the New Day won back the Smackdown Tag Team Championship from the Bludgeon Brothers, and The Bar won a mini tag tournament to earn their number one contendership. Those tag matches were among the best matches seen on WWE TV in quite some time, definitely worth a watch. New Day have stirred the pot in recent weeks, making juvenile jokes about Sheamus’ hair and Cesaro’s nipples (yep), while Sheamus and Cesaro have picked up singles victories over New Day members, doing a nice job gaining momentum before they walk into the MCG.
Watch: The New Day vs. The Bar- Roadblock: End Of The Line
The New Day vs. The Bludgeon Brothers- Smackdown 992 (skip to 1:08:30)
Asuka & Naomi vs. The IIconics
Who Is Asuka? Known as “The Empress of Tomorrow”, Asuka built a strong resume in Japan as Kana before making her NXT debut. The name changed but the vicious streak didn’t. She went undefeated for well over a year and only gave up the NXT Women’s Championship when it was time to move up to the main roster- no one beat her for it. While her undefeated streak was snapped at Wrestlemania this year by Charlotte, she remains one of the most dangerous women on the roster. Check out what happened the last time Asuka had an Aussie opponent.
Watch: Asuka vs. Emma- TLC 2017
Who Is Naomi? First appearing on the third season of NXT, Naomi used to be a back up dancer, most notably for Flo Rida. She brings a party vibe to the room when she makes her “glow” entrance, and she has crazy athleticism as well. It’s not always smooth, but it’s fun to watch.
Watch: Naomi vs. Alexa vs. Becky vs. Mickie vs. Carmella vs. Natalya- Wrestlemania 33
Who Are The IIconics? Formerly known as the Iconic Duo (a far better name… hur hur u spell it wiv two I’s coz theres two of them… fuck’s sake), Peyton Royce and Billie Kay are two Australian wrestlers who are real life best friends. They have been virtually inseparable as an act since joining WWE. Their characters have evolved since joining the main roster, from bitchy “Mean Girls” to wannabe stand up comedians, it seems. It might seem like they’re going to get a win because the show is in Australia, but given how comedic their characters have become, without the in-ring credibility to go with it, I wouldn’t be so sure.
Watch: Peyton Royce vs. Billie Kay vs. Nikki Cross vs. Asuka- NXT Takeover: San Antonio
The Feud: Not much depth to this one. The IIconics gained victories over Naomi, they gloated over the wins and made fun of Naomi for having no friends. Enter Asuka. At least the Aussie girls get on the Melbourne card?
Watch: Billie Kay vs. Naomi- Smackdown 993 (skip to 33:30)
WWE Cruiserweight Championship- Cedric Alexander vs. Buddy Murphy
Who Is Cedric Alexander? Alexander came to WWE through the 2016 Cruiserweight Classic tournament (CWC). In that tournament, he had such fantastic matches, including one with Kota Ibushi that was in Match Of The Year consideration, the appreciative crowd at Full Sail University chanted, “Please Sign Cedric.” And sign him they did! A member of 205 Live since its inception, Cedric was kept strong with winning more often than he lost, but it wasn’t until 2018 that he got his true shot. Alexander is undefeated in 2018, and his path to the gold started when Enzo Amore was fired from WWE for misconduct (well, his name was cleared. But he was honestly pretty shit at the wrestling thing so let’s leave it). Cedric Alexander won the tournament for the vacant Cruiserweight Championship at Wrestlemania 34, defeating Mustafa Ali. He has turned back all challenges since with little issue. Until now.
Watch: Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali- Wrestlemania 34
Who Is Buddy Murphy? Murphy has been signed to WWE since 2013. He has an NXT Tag Team Championship reign to his credit with Wesley Blake, but before debuting on 205 Live, Buddy Murphy honestly looked like he was on the chopping block. However, he radically changed his body and is in the shape of his life. Known as the Juggernaut, he cuts weight to make the 205lb limit, and has added more explosive, innovative offence to his repertoire, including the devastating pumphandle buster known as Murphy’s Law. EVERY time Murphy has had a singles match on 205 Live over the past few months, he has knocked it out of the park.
Watch: Buddy Murphy vs. Kalisto- 205 Live 92
The Feud: Cedric is the quintessential babyface fighting champion, and Murphy is the classic bully using his size advantage. This match was meant to happen at the Greatest Royal Rumble, but Murphy missed weight in the storyline (I believe the legitimate reason was that Murphy had some visa issues). Kalisto was plugged into the challenger’s spot in Saudi Arabia, but it may have all been a blessing in disguise. Murphy coming back to his hometown, where he started his career, getting a singles match on a stadium show that will be seen worldwide on the WWE Network… it’s the perfect storm. I fully expect Murphy to win the Cruiserweight Championship in the opening match of the main card. Anything else would be a massive mistake in my view.
Watch: Cedric Alexander vs. Buddy Murphy- 205 Live 79
So that does it for my guide to WWE Super Show-Down. Some truly incredible matches set to take place at the MCG, and honestly there’s some great matches to watch here in the build as well. I do a similar thing for UFC cards, where I watch the last fight of each fighter before they go at it on a live Fight Night or PPV. Looking at each WWE performer and trying to think of the ideal match to showcase that performer, or the match that fits best into the story/feud, I inadvertently discovered some hidden gems.
I’m so excited for October 6th, WWE Super Show-Down. If you’ve taken the time to read this and watch my recommendations, I hope you are too! Live on the WWE Network at 7pm AEST (5am ET, 2am PT).
Until next time, take care,