For us UK fans, WWE’s semi-regular trips to Saudi Arabia mean a little more than just another episode of Vince McMahon’s lust for blood money, it also means we finally get to watch a live pay-per-view at a decent hour. This coming Thursday, WWE returns to Riyadh for Super ShowDown, the culmination of average TV feuds and one or two legendary cameos.
In this instalment, we’ll witness Goldberg return once again to battle ‘The Fiend’ for the WWE Universal Championship. Brock Lesnar will also be defending his WWE Championship against Ricochet and a plethora of other title and grudge matches will go down under the warm Saudi skies.
We run down our thoughts and predictions for the upcoming Network special, and keep our fingers crossed that this doesn’t put too much of a downer as we approach WrestleMania in Tampa, Florida.
Make sure you drop your own predictions in the comments below.
‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt vs Goldberg – WWE Universal Championship
WWE just couldn’t help themselves when they heard Goldberg was game for another throwdown at the Showdown. The former WCW World Champ will be vying for the Universal Championship once again, because ruining Kevin Owens’ first run wasn’t enough for the Hall of Famer. This time ‘Berg seeks to nab the title from around Bray Wyatt’s fiendish waist, taking it into WrestleMania to potentially put together a dream title match against either Roman Reigns or John Cena, or so the rumours say.
Of course none of that will be confirmed until this Thursday, where these two titans will do battle. Honestly I think this is doing no favours for either competitor, especially Wyatt. ‘The Fiend’ only works when he can affect his opponents with mind games, and play on their genuine fear of the unknown. With Goldberg recently laying ‘The Fiend’ out with a huge spear on SmackDown Live, very little has been left to make Wyatt’s monster look like a credible threat.
Granted, this is no inclination of the result, but knowing WWE, this could be the start of ‘The Fiend’s downfall. Vince might not be able to hold off on having a mega main-event at ‘Mania involving a former headline attraction like Goldberg, even though fans are still pretty hot on Wyatt’s Funhouse gimmick.
I like to think that WWE will remain sensible and stick to their guns with ‘The Fiend’, so I’m going to say we’ll see Goldberg take the loss at Super ShowDown, but it could go either way. Hopefully Wyatt will no-sell the usual Goldberg offence and wrap up early with the mandible claw.
Winner: The Fiend
Brock Lesnar vs Ricochet
This match is being considered a bit of a joke amongst the WWE Universe. Fans consider Ricochet’s chances of defeating ‘The Beast’ next to nothing, which in fairness, probably isn’t far from the truth. Nevertheless, people are forgetting the sheer skill Ricochet possesses in a wrestling ring, thus will probably get a half-decent match out of Lesnar in Saudi Arabia.
I’m actually pretty surprised to see Ricochet in a big championship match like this so soon, usually it takes a newish superstar a good year or two until they get to this level of competition, so overall this is a pretty good sign for Ricochet’s future with the company.
I like to think that Ricochet might manage to get some offence in on Lesnar, Brock tends to work best with guys smaller than him, and those willing to take a pounding from the former UFC fighter. Ricochet meets that criteria to a tee.
Maybe we’ll see Drew McIntyre involved somehow? Potentially even costing Lesnar the win and handing the title over to Ricochet to make the WrestleMania main event a triple threat contest. In an ideal world eh?
Winner: Brock Lesnar
The New Day vs John Morrison & The Miz – SmackDown Tag Team Championship
It feels strange putting a SmackDown Tag Title match so far up on the card, but I can honestly say that this particular match feels like a PPV-quality headliner. The New Day have entered into a feud with the renewed team of John Morrison and The Miz.
Miz and Morrison are former Tag champs in their own right, and have enough star power between them to carry the tag division through WrestleMania season and beyond. It’s New Day’s time to hand over those belts that have been practically glued to them since the trio jumped ship.
This is potentially a MOTN candidate right here, do not sleep on this tag match.
Winner: John Morrison and The Miz
Bayley vs Naomi – SmackDown Women’s Championship
Since returning at the Royal Rumble event, Naomi has been one of the hottest stars in the Women’s division. It makes perfect sense for her to be the challenger for Bayley’s Women’s title, and it wouldn’t shock me if she was the one to succeed the former Hugger as the new Women’s champ.
Many new eyes saw Naomi as a reason to become invested in WWE, if that doesn’t tell you that she should be pushed to the moon in time for WrestleMania then I don’t know what else would. Naomi is an absolute star just waiting to be put on the big stage, it should have happened a long time ago.
Quite frankly, unless they decide to unearth ‘The Boss’ Sasha Banks over the next few weeks, I don’t see Bayley having anything worthy to do on the WrestleMania card, unless maybe a rematch with Naomi.
Roman Reigns vs King Corbin – Steel Cage Match
Oh boy, here we go again. I can’t recall how many times I’ve written about a Roman Reigns/King Corbin match but I’m pretty sure I’m getting sick of it. This feud really should have been concluded at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, in their Falls Count Anywhere match that stunk out the building. Yet here we are as we approach Super ShowDown and the two have been thrusted together once more to battle inside a Steel Cage. If this doesn’t end the feud, I don’t know what will.
The Saudi fans should get a kick out of seeing ‘The Big Dog’ kick 50 shades of royalty out of King Corbin inside the structure. I’m sure it’ll drag for just as long as every other one of their matches, but hopefully this will be the end of it all.
Roman wins and then all aboard the Elimination Chamber train.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Tuwaiq Cup Gauntlet Match
I have no idea what a Tuwaiq Cup is and what the winner will receive for winning, but I do know it’s happening this Thursday and it has a pretty stellar line-up. Rey Mysterio, AJ Styles, Andrade, R-Truth, Bobby Lashley and Rowan will all compete against one another under Gauntlet rules to determine the winner of the first-ever Tuwaiq Cup. Hopefully this will mean fortunate things for the winner heading into WrestleMania season, perhaps a shot at their brand’s mid-card champion? Unless Andrade wins it, that would just be silly.
Honestly it could go to anyone, with very little expectations heading into this match, I don’t really have a specific superstar that I want to see win this match. With the Saudi crowd being relatively marky when it comes to the headlining acts, I’d say it would either go to Rey Mysterio or AJ Styles. With rumours suggesting the latter of those two is set for a huge match with The Undertaker at WrestleMania, we’ll say he walks away with the Cup.
Winner: AJ Styles
Seth Rollins & Murphy vs The Street Profits – RAW Tag Team Championship
Oh hey would you look at that, The Street Profits are finally doing something on a pay-per-view. Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins came together to help battle against Seth Rollins’ new faction, siding with the likes of Samoa Joe and Kevin Owens in an effort to ‘take back RAW’. I’m not entirely sure why The Viking Raiders have yet to receive a rematch for the red belts, but hey, fresh blood is always fun.
With that in mind, do they deserve the Tag titles just yet? Hopefully this match will show the WWE Universe that Ford and Dawkins have what it takes to be a big deal one day, but for now I don’t think they’re ready to steal a big win over someone like Seth Rollins, or even Murphy.
I quite like where they’re going with this new faction, so maybe we’ll let their run carry on for just another month or two. Either way, this should be a fun tag affair.
Winner: Seth Rollins and Murphy
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