Review: The latest WWE Saudi Arabia supershow underdelivers (surprise!)
That Goldberg-Undertaker match sure was good. For a couple of fiftysomething guys. Who almost killed each other botching spots.
Such was the highlight of the latest WWE supershow from Saudi Arabia, which, surprise, surprise, went again without anything of consequence happening.
Unless you’re counting Brock Lesnar failing to cash in his Money in the Bank title shot opportunity for what amounts to a fourth consecutive week.
WWE breathlessly told us all day Monday that Lesnar would cash in on “Raw” that night, only to have him beat Universal champion Seth Rollins to within an inch of his wrestling life, then say, into the camera, “Friday,” pointing to the Saudi Arabia show.
OK, so that was the third bait-and-switch in as many Mondays, but, fine.
So, Friday, Rollins pinned Baron Corbin on the first match of the show, before Corbin leveled the champ in a post-match attack, as Lesnar’s entrance music hit.
But it was Rollins who would beat Lesnar down with a chair, meaning WWE flew Lesnar to the Middle East for … what, exactly?
Hey, the Money in the Bank title shot is wrestling’s best prop, even more than the actual title belts, but you can’t keep promising that it will be used, then not use it.
The rest of the show was basically a really, really nice house show with full WWE Network production quality.
Kofi Kington recorded an odd victory over Dolph Ziggler – odd in that Kingston, the WWE champ, and top babyface on “Smackdown,” won by virtue of outside interference from New Day stablemate Xavier Woods.
Good guys winning with outside interference. OK.
WWE flew Alexa Bliss and Natalya to Saudi Arabia with the understanding that the show would feature the first-ever women’s pro-wrestling match on Saudi soil, only to have the match nixed by the Saudi government.
In the main event, you have to give credit to Goldberg. He’s 52, and aside from the gray beard, he looked every bit as jacked as he did in 1997 at the height of his run in WCW.
Undertaker, at 54, looked not a day older than 75, unfortunately, and both guys blew up early in this one, to the point where they were botching more moves than they were properly executing.
‘Taker nearly brained Goldberg with a tombstone that was about as stiff as you’ll want to see. Then Goldberg inadvertently returned the favor with an attempted jackhammer that turned into an ugly brainbuster suplex.
The finishing sequence was two botches – Goldberg was supposed to try to catch Undertaker in a powerslam, leading to a ‘Taker reversal into a Tombstone, but Goldberg was weak on the slam, and ‘Taker dropped Goldberg before he could execute the piledriver.
The finish ended up being an at-best half-chokeslam that was as anticlimactic as you’ll see in a so-called dream match.
Oh, well. We were able to pretend it was the late 1990s for five minutes, anyway.
Review by Chris Graham