Our Australian Place to Be Nation Members, Stacey O’Laughlin, Dave Hall and Michael McDonald, all attended the WWE Super Show Down in Melbourne this past weekend. Here is their live review of the event, as only a group of Australians would see things.
Match of the Night
Dave: In my opinion the match of the night was Buddy Murphy vs Cedric Alexander. I must admit that I don’t watch 205 Live, and have seen very little of the cruiserweight division, but this match absolutely rocked live. Both guys worked hard, had no slow spots, and pulled out some great athletic moves, that kept the crowd involved the whole time and reminded me of some of the great cruiserweight matches from back in WCW. Buddy Murphy looked like a genuine contender for any title this night, and the crowd treated him like a legend. His reception and the pop for the win were the loudest of the night.
Stacey: Cedric Alexander vs. Buddy Murphy – Cruiserweight Title. The crowd support for Buddy was incredible, way beyond my expectations, and the match was HOT from start to finish. Buddy and Cedric came with their flippy cruiser goodness and built it into something special, I fell for a bunch of near-falls, and the finish was spectacular and heart-warming.
Michael: Murphy vs. Alexander. Styles vs. Joe was a very close second and probably only doesn’t get the spot for mine simply due to other factors. Those being this is the biggest spotlight Australian wrestling has had since the 70s and that version of WCW. You had two incredible athletes giving a high octane contest in front of a RABID crowd (seriously, TV doesn’t do the crowd justice here) who were not just invested in the home country guy winning but the entire match itself. It’s also arguable that this is the biggest platform the cruiserweight division has had since they stopped having them on RAW, which basically ensures no one looks bad here. It was crisp wrestling that just stood out over the other matches around it. And that Mickinoku Driver off the spot was beautiful.
Worst Match of the Night
Dave: Sadly, I have to give this to Daniel Bryan vs The Miz. I was expecting this to possibly be the match of the night, and sadly I was “treated” to a three minute match that never felt like it got started before it finished. The crowd was totally caught off guard with the finish, which was why there was no initial reaction to Bryan’s victory. The short time and shock result really left the crowd underwhelmed. I hate giving Daniel Bryan this “award”, but there was little option. While there has been no reason given for why the match was kept short (no news of injuries etc), but immediately after the match the ring crew spent about five minutes working on the ring, which made me wonder if something had happened to the ring and an audible had to be called either before or during the match.
Stacey: Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz. Harsh because nothing was particularly bad on the show, but more than anything it was just… odd. I wasn’t even paying attention when the finish happened.
Michael: Iiconics v Naomi/Asuka. Unfortunately, the other Australian act on the card has to take the worst match of the night. It just felt like Peyton and Billie were visibly overawed by the occasion and Asuka and Naomi had to slow down to keep it together, plus the entire match just appeared to be clunky and awkward, it was just. flat.
Moment of the Night
Dave: No doubt about it from a live perspective: Buddy Murphy winning the Cruiserweight Title was the best moment of the night. It was a great match, and his win got an amazing reaction from the crowd. Buddy seemed genuinely overwhelmed with the response he got, which just added to the moment.
Stacey: BUDDYMANIA~! Buddy winning the title – the first Australian to do so in WWE as I understand it – at home in front of 70,000 people going completely mental for him was just a beautiful moment. And so well deserved after being the MVP of 205 Live this year.
Dave: Apart from meeting up with Place to Be Nation members in person, there were a few good highlights in the night. Seeing the entrances for the main event was a major highlight, especially the arrival of the Undertaker. He has an aura that captures the entire arena. Triple H’s entrance was just a notch below, but was also an amazing sight. The post-match beatdown of Triple H and Shawn Michaels was also great to witness live. Another highlight was the moment when Roman Reigns speared Braun Strowman through the ringside barrier. From my vantage point, I could not see Roman set up for the move, and it looked amazing, and the crowd went off, which shows that Roman is not as hated as people want to make him out to be. The AJ Styles vs Samoa Joe match was a solid match, that would have been match of the night if Buddy Murphy and Cedric Alexander didn’t decide to totally steal the show. Elias’ pre-match segment was really good too. He tried to get heat by disparaging one of the local football teams that lost a grand final the previous week. Unfortunately for Elias, in Australia if you are not a supporter of that team, you probably hate them, and the crowd popped huge for the comment, making Elias come across as a massive babyface. Ronda Rousey was also great to watch, it’s just a shame that the rest of the women in her match sucked the life out of the crowd. Ronda’s double armbar finish was great live, and really popped the crowd. I could go on and on, but one last highlight for me was the finish of the New Day match. The finishing move looked amazing in person, and painful, and credit goes to Caesaro for taking the move.
Stacey: New Day vs. The Bar was a fun opener. Becky Lynch did not lose the SmackDown Women’s Title. John Cena debuting the Sixth Move of Doom Lightning Punch finish. The IIconics got to win and seemed over the moon. AJ vs. Joe was fantastic and almost a co-MOTN for me, another awesome match. People popped for Liv Morgan coming in and beating on Brie. Ronda’s hot tag and double armbar finish RULED and she officially redeemed herself in Melbourne for the Holm fight. Roman’s POUNCE-like spear on Braun through the barricade, amazing. Shawn Michaels somehow took about 37 bumps before his hat came off.
Michael: Buddy Murphy vs. Cedric Alexander. Styles vs. Joe was a gritty match that was probably the best of this run. Actually seeing Shawn Michaels involved in a WWE event which I had resigned myself as to never happening was a nice personal highlight. Shield vs. Strowman/McIntyre/Ziggler was a fun six-man that had a lot of nice little moments that teased the Ambrose turn again but thankfully didn’t do it.
Dave: There were very few lowlights during the event, but there were a couple. The finish to the Becky Lynch vs Charlotte match was horrible. Becky was over huge, but it is clear WWE want to keep trying to make Becky a “chicken-shit heel”, and so we get a lame DQ that the crowd shit all over. Becky grabbed the belt and barely touched Charlotte with it and the ref called for the bell. The crowd rightfully chanted bullshit and were booing the finish. As mentioned before, the Daniel Bryan vs. Miz match was a big lowlight, as was having to watch Bobby Lashley take most of the tag match. I get that John Cena needed to not take bumps, but Lashley looked terrible during the match. Another lowlight for me was the tepid reaction that The IIconics received in their home country. I think we were all waiting for them to go heel on the mics, and so there was a cautious reaction to them. On top of that they were facing Asuka and Naomi, and everyone likely expected them to lose. Speaking of Asuka, her entrance was cut off and she was made to look second-fiddle to Naomi, and this was just awful to witness live. All in all, it made for a tepid crowd response to this match, which is unfortunate for Peyton and Billie, who looked very emotional when the scored the win. They got a decent reaction the win, which I think surprised most of us.
Stacey: The bullshit finish to Becky vs. Charlotte, the people hated it and they still haven’t learned their lesson about forcing Becky into the heel role. Lashley having to work face in peril for ten minutes. The IIconics tag wasn’t too crash hot and with weird dynamics the heat dissipated too. Bryan and Miz I guess got cut for time and we got short-changed out of another good match on paper. In the main event, Shawn Michaels was interfering freely and Kane would just stand there doing nothing like a dork. I hated the Curtain Call moment before DX got beat up at the end too.
Michael: The two drunks to the right of me who constantly yelled out some of the more vulgar requests of the night during the women’s matches. The Finish to Becky vs. Charlotte was clear as day the moment the belt went into the ring. I get why they did it, just disappointed. Cena/Lashley vs. Owens/Elias… except Lashley. Honestly think that could have been left off the show and it wouldn’t have affected show quality. The lack of a pre show match was a bit of a surprise as it is usually a staple of pre shows.
Dave: A couple of really Aussie moments happened during the night. The “You are a Wanker” chant got an early start when Sheamus drew the ire of the crowd for not allowing us to count along with him. This chant is as Australian as you can get (for those who don’t know, a Wanker is an Aussie term for masturbation, and is usually reserved for sportsmen who are annoying a live crowd). There was another attempt to do this to Kevin Owens later in the night, but it never got going. At the end of the Miz vs. Daniel Bryan match, the crowd on my side of the stadium got involved in watching a “match” between two kids on the floor of the arena, which drew massive pops.
Stacey: Many contenders for this. The upgraded seats gimmick being sponsored by meat pies. “You Are A Wanker” chants. Elias trying to get heel heat by dragging Collingwood and most of the crowd cheering in agreement because everyone hates the Pies. The crowd running the gamut of Aussie chants during Buddy’s match, all the way up to singing “Horses”. Jojo becoming an honorary Australian by pronouncing Melbourne correctly. The “height” of drunk bogan comedy, shouting “50!” and “Deliberate!” at things that aren’t footy games. But the winner is probably the floor seats not being traditional folding chairs, but rather white plastic lawn chairs from Bunnings.
I realise that none of our non-Australian friends will not understand literally any of this.
Michael: Elias mentioning Mick Malthouse and Collingwood’s choke job of the Australian Football League Grand Final was probably the most Australian part of the night, close though was one section of the crowd’s impassioned rendition of “The Horses” by Daryl Braithwaite (an iconic Australian song from the late 80s/early 90s era) during the six woman tag goes right up there.
Did that Really Happen
Dave: Before the event started, WWE ran a promotion to get upgraded to ringside seats. When the camera was on people, they were to wave the wrappers from their meat pies (if they purchased one). The crowd cheered this one guy who had a foam finger in his mouth and waving wrappers with both hands. Then when the camera moved to someone else, the crowd would boo. The camera kept returning to our foam fingered hero, and the cheers got bigger. Then the camera switched to this young 10-12 year old who got boo’d as the crowd wanted to see their hero. The reaction seemed to catch the production crew out, but they did adapt. Only in Australia does a crowd boo a 10 year old kid in favour of an adult biting on a foam finger.
Stacey: This is where I have to talk about THE GREATEST MATCH OF ALL TIME taking place during Bryan vs. Miz out on the floor behind the seats. Two little kids were getting their Ospreay on and went absolutely BONKERS with this epic spotfest, a match so legitimately good that we all started watching them instead and missed the whole Bryan/Miz thing. One kid eventually jobbed to an AA and LEAPED UP and hit a SHOOT SPEAR on the winner because he was shoot hot that he’d lost the greatest match of all time. Wouldn’t you be. Then they hugged it out like they knew they’d just had a workrate classic. Then they had a rematch a minute later. Security did pretty much nothing to break this up by the way. A modern classic. *****3/4
Michael: Miz vs. Bryan ending so quickly. No one saw this match only lasting three minutes, if it was that long. Part of the reason I think lays in the fact you couldn’t actually hear any of the referees counts all night. Most of the people around me only thought it was a two and it just caught everyone off guard. Crowd was happy Bryan won, and there wasn’t a HUGE uproar from where I was sitting but can totally understand if some people walked away feeling slightly jipped there.
Also, I told Dave that Bryan would win.
Dave’s View Michael’s View
Dave: I had a great time at this event, and it was totally worth the money spent on travel and accommodation, and the lack of sleep for two days, to be a part of the event. The matches were all good in the ring, save the Bryan vs. Miz match, and the crowd was into everything that happened. My view was great. While a little high up in the arena, I had a front on view of the ring, and could see all the entrances, plus I had a view of the video screen, so I did not miss anything.
Stacey: I had a blast. I feel like the card delivered, with a couple really good matches, a lot of solid matches and really nothing remotely bad. It moved quickly from match to match and never really dragged watching live. We got the special hometown moment with Buddy and the fun clusterfuck of Legends in the main event. And being in a GIGANTIC crowd like that, in such a gigantic stadium was a fantastic experience, and to their credit the crowd was really good and kept the energy up all night (regardless of however the sound translated onto TV). The only downer of the live experience was not being able to see entrances and not having them up on the screen.
Michael: Incredible, personally driving three hours to Melbourne and three back afterwards left the entire event physically exhausting but totally worth it. The show went for four hours but being live it actually didn’t feel that long overall which is a great positive.
How did this event compare to other events you have attended?
Dave: This is my third live event in Australia, and it was certainly the best one I have been to. The event felt bigger than previous house-shows, and seemed to have more meaning than the 2002 Global Warning Card, which was just a glorified house show. We had a title change hands, and a main event that actually meant something. Most of the matches had genuine, on TV storylines, that were either concluded or advanced, so you felt like what we were watching matches that had a purpose. I hope the WWE comes back down under again next year to do another PPV level event… but, next time make it in my own city of Sydney rather than Melbourne.
Stacey: This is an unfair question after I went to WrestleMania six months ago, but it was the best live event I’ve attended in Australia for sure. Having an actual, honest to God WWE PPV in Australia is absolutely incredible and a dream come true for us long suffering faraway fans. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. And again I think the card delivered and we got a lot of good wrestling up and down the show. I’m definitely a happy camper.
Michael: Most events I have attended have been basic live show events so this far and away blows this out of the water. From production to the quality of matches this was by far the best event I have attended. Above all I know there will be some who viewed Super Show Down as a “throwaway” event that had to consequence to them, but make no mistake for the audience that attended this was a big deal. Australian audiences have never had a show that even comes close to having any significance as far as outcomes/ story advancement and Global Warning to be honest was a glorified live event that they filmed for a chopped down DVD release. This was a show that MATTERED to what happens to storylines and a show that was hyped on worldwide TV beforehand. That makes going and enjoying the show a lot easier because it mattered to those in the crowd. Hope they do another one.