WWE SUPER SHOW-DOWN REPORT
OCTOBER 6, 2018
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA AT THE MCG
AIRING LIVE ON WWE NETWORK & PPV
REPORT BY TOM COLOHUE, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Check out PWTorch.com starting just past 5 ET / 2 PT for ongoing results updated throughout the event of WWE’s Super Show-down, broadcast live from Melbourne, Australia.
In the mean time, check out my full preview and predictions on the event here:
Also, check out PWTorch editor Wade Keller’s “Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast” preview of the Super Show-down with Sam Roberts of the “Not Sam Wrestling Podcast” HERE. (Or search “Wade Keller” on your phone’s podcast app such as Downcast or Beyond Pod or Dogg Catcher or Google Podcasts or any other podcast app.)
And also, check out this week’s PWTorch Livecast with Greg Parks & Co. previewing Super Show-down HERE.
Images of the set for Super Show Down have been filtering out over the last couple of days. It looks very similar to the set used for a recent Wrestlemania in which Shane McMahon jumped off of a set and of course for Greatest Royal Rumble. It looks like new set design has been cut down a little for cost purposes so we’re going to get a more generic “large arena” style in future. That said if it’s just a template to build on then it’s a solid base so I can’t wait to see the final design.
The betting odds in the past few days have favoured a show devoid of title changes, which would be unusual but not unique in WWE. This is much easier to believe when you consider that there is no Monday Night Raw brand title on the line. Meanwhile, all but Shinsuke Nakamura’s United States Championship is on the line on the other side. In my predictions I only predicted one title change; the Cruiserweight championship. I’m excited to see what the end results are.
– The opening package is incredibly Raw heavy in the opening but it settles well into its main feud. They show highlights of Triple H vs The Undertaker over the years; a two decade long rivalry that never failed to produce magic. It is derailed slightly by the seemingly out of nowhere Kane and HBK involvement. After that it runs through the card, a little more jovially and with a lot of catch up on the Smackdown Live side. They say the words ‘Melbourne, Australia’ a lot but otherwise this could be any other generic commercial.
Australia got pyro. That’s going to upset a lot of people, not least the neighbours.
– Michael Cole announces the attendance as 70,309.
(1)THE NEW DAY VS THE BAR – SMACKDOWN LIVE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS
Sheamus and Cesaro get a good reception, if a little spread out.
Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Renee Young are commentating. Young mentions that the event ‘feels like Wrestlemania’ which is surely meant to elevate the event but succeeds more in diluting Wrestlemania if you ask me. There is no Smackdown commentary team announcing this Smackdown Live match.
Woods and Kingston wrestle for New Day. They start hot with a duo combination. Woods hits a second rope turnbuckle splash and Kingston follows with two off the rope rebound splashes. Cesaro is dragged out by Sheamus and Kingston and Woods are both caught when trying to dive to the outside. Cesaro and Sheamus take control quickly afterwards. When doing his ten beats, Sheamus stops early after realising how into it the crowd is, earning himself some classic heel heat.
Xavier Woods gets a good run after a hot tag, hitting Sheamus with a quick run of offence before being overpowered. Sheamus then flings Woods across the ring into a Cesaro uppercut which despite being a little sloppy looks glorious. Cesaro then settles into a sharpshooter before a period of standard all man carnage. Cesaro rolls Woods up with his foot on the ropes but Kingston manages to prevent the loss. Woods hits a backstabber and holds Cesaro in place for Kingston to land a stomp off the top rope for the win.
NEW DAY RETAIN
(Tom’s Thoughts: Short and sweet by the standards of these two tag teams but they managed to fit a lot in without deviating far from the usual template. I didn’t expect to see a change as The Bar were essentially just there to help kill time. We’ll see in the coming weeks how Smackdown have recovered from the loss of the Bludgeon Brothers.)
– WWE 2K19 commercial.
(2)BECKY LYNCH VS CHARLOTTE FLAIR – SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Charlotte comes down in her pink robes and receives a strong reception. No boo for the woo that I can hear. Becky receives a similar reception. Things do see a little muted from the crowd here and I’m not sure why. Once they were in the ring for the first match you could hear crowd engagement very well so maybe it’s a mic issue.
Lynch and Flair get a hype package while they make it the rest of the way down the ramp. The feud definitely deserves that at least. I would have just called her queen rather than face her wrath, FYI.
Charlotte’s reception does become a lot more negative once she is formally announced. Not a hint of a boo for Becky Lynch and the crowd start chanting her name immediately afterwards. Like it or not, her heel turn has undoubtedly made her more over than ever before. The crowd move from chanting her name to chanting “Let’s go Becky!”
The match starts aggressively. Lynch hits hard before Charlotte begins to retaliate. Becky goes to the outside and drags Charlotte out through the ropes. Some sections of the crowd continue to chant. As Charlotte aims for a chop, Lynch comes off the ropes and reverses a side slam attempt with a tornado rotation into an armbar on the mat. Lynch pulls at Charlotte’s fingers for a Randy Orton moment but Charlotte reverses by finishing her side slam and following up with a belly to back suplex.
Reversals continue to be a staple of Lynch vs Flair matches. This is made clear again later when Flair reverses a Bexploder into her own variant of it. There’s a brief run when both go for their signature submissions but those are also reverse. Thankfully Flair keeps it simple with her standard issue big boot. That never fails to look impressive. The two brawl punch by punch for a while before Charlotte hits a big spear that flips Becky Lynch completely around. She still doesn’t get the pin.
Lynch reverses the moonsault attempt with her knees up. She also misses her own top rope leg drop. Charlotte hits her big boot again and positions Lynch into the Boston Crab. Lynch crawls to the ropes and escapes the ring. In classic heel style she grabs her title and takes this opportunity to try walking away. Charlotte throws her and the belt back into the ring and gives her another big spear. She gets the figure four in and, while looking to bridge, Lynch gently caresses her hip with the title belt.
CHARLOTTE WINS VIA DQ
Charlotte would attack Becky after the ring bell but Becky would stand tall after a Bexploder on the outside. There are some boos as she leaves but the fans are still chanting for Becky as well.
(Tom’s Thoughts: They were always going to make Becky look more like a heel eventually and this was another classic step. Unfortunately the belt spot was weak at best and really undersold the whole thing. The beat down afterwards was started by the wrong person, undermining the dynamic again, especially when it was Becky Lynch that ended up standing tall.)
– WWE advertise their calendar going forwards.
(3)ELIAS AND KEVIN OWENS VS JOHN CENA AND BOBBY LASHLEY
Elias is announced to a cheer and Owens is also announced to a boo. Interesting. Elias breaks out the AC/DC to play up to the crowd and get them going. Elias warms the crowd up with his usual combination; making everyone cheer for him before then making everyone boo him. We all know it’s happening and we’re all absolutely fine with it.
Bobby Lashley comes out to interrupt the two. He gets his usual indifferent reaction. WWE need to do more than just throw John Cena at him if they want him to get over but here we are. John Cena comes out afterwards to his usual song. He has hair now. It’s weird. Big of a bald spot at the back too, bless him.
To my knowledge, everyone in the world has Lashley and Cena winning this match. Has Owens done anything other than put other people over since he moved over to Raw?
Lashley and Elias start. Lashley shows his strength and power but there is a curious botch with a leapfrog. If you’re not sure how you can both a leapfrog have a look. He tries it again afterwards with more success and hits a snap powerslam that doesn’t quite get the full rotation it needs.
Owens tags in and bounces off of Lashley a few times. Fans at this point are chanting for Cena, proving that you can be a hot tag even when your partner is dominating both opponents. Elias comes back into the ring but Lashley fends off both men with ease. Elias would charge over to known Cena off the apron, distracting Lashley enough for Kevin Owens to finally take Lashley down.
Elias and Owens continue to beat down Lashley, slowly building up the hot tag to John Cena. Owens taunts Cena. Lashley eventually manages to fight back but focusses too much on Elias on the outside. He dives through the ropes, looking for a spear, but only hits the floor. Cena plays cheerleader until Lashley can hit his mountain spinebuster on Owens. Cena gets his tag, gets a big pop and then instantly turns the crowd on him by going into his five moves of doom set on Elias. After he hits the AA he eventually finished Elias by jabbing him in the chest. Cole calls it the sixth move of doom.
I’m not going to try and type out what Graves says.
CENA AND LASHLEY WIN VIA FIST
(Tom’s Thoughts: You do not get any more by the book than what we’ve just seen.)
– Cena thanks the crowd afterwards, ensuring them that WWE is still his home and essentially cutting the same John Cena promo we’ve been seeing for years. He thanks Australia for not kicking him off the plane and goes home, to wherever he’s been instead of the WWE for half a year.
– Commercial for ‘The Happy Space’ Victoria.
– Naomi features in a commercial for Four n’ Twenty pies in which Jimmy Uso has a romantic evening with a pie. I don’t want to go into any more detail than that.
(4)PEYTON ROYCE AND BILLIE KAY VS NAOMI AND ASUKA
The Iiconics come down first and play up to the crowd. Asuka and Naomi come out separately, which is a shame. Asuka’s hair lights up though, which is nice.
Naomi and Asuka taunt and double team Kay early on before all four women step into the ring. Asuka and Naomi continue to dominate and taunt. The Iiconics eventually regain control after Royce tags in using a double team on Asuka. Things get a bit scrappy after that. Asuka is thrown into the barrier to eliminate her from proceedings. Kay and Royce then hit a double team cradled knee strike to win the match.
(Tom’s Thoughts: The match was a bit slow but it was a huge moment for Peyton Royce and Billie Kay.)
– Hype package for Samoa Joe vs AJ Styles focussing as closely as possible on the most recent proceedings. There’s very little focus on the nature of the match so we’ll see how heavily they use the no disqualification and no count out stipulation.
(5)AJ STYLES VS SAMOA JOE – WWE CHAMPIONSHIP
The two start on the outside. The announcers meanwhile make it clear that the match has to start in the ring so they end up there very quickly. Styles shows his aggressive to get the upper hand early but Samoa Joe is able to regain control quickly through a series of sharp jabs. They’re potentially overselling early on here. Joe throws Styles outside and then launches him over the announce table but Styles stays on his feet and gets quickly back into the fray. Styles lands very rough kicks on Joe’s chest but Joe no sells and launches a brutal chop which flattens Styles entirely. The whole segment sounds amazing.
Joe kicks Styles to the outside and then flies out with a suicide dive. Joe continues to dominate through pure physicality and brutality as the match goes on but things do settle down into a rest hold before Styles gets a brief run on offence. Joe ends that with a charging elbow into the corner followed by his typical corner enziguri. A subsection of the crowd start chanting for tables. Given that this match is no DQ I think that’s a fair comment, to be honest.
While trying to suplex AJ Styles into the ring five counters take place before Styles goes over Joe’s head to land a few hits and his sliding forearm. There’s a corner scuffle before Styles hits the moonsault reverse DDT. He teases the Styles Clash but gets reversed into the turnbuckle before Joe flips him over with a clothesline from hell. This match has been intensely physical so far. Styles is bleeding from the mouth, as can be seen just before Joe hits him with a snap powerslam. They replay the clothesline from hell. It was brutal.
Joe rolls to the outside and the crowd smells blood, popping hard for a steel chair. AJ responds immediately after seeing it, hitting a drop kick into the chair, into Joe out of pure panic. Styles has the chair. He unleashes on Joe for a while and then sits on the chair in the middle of the ring waiting for Joe to recover. He goes for a turnbuckle splash off of the chair but Joe catches him with a urinagi in the general direction of the chair.
And then we have tables. The crowd goes wild. Joe hits Styles with a chair and tries to put Styles through a table with a muscle buster but instead Joe is put through using the electric chair. It’s an uncomfortable sideways drop and Joe sells his leg immediately. Styles’ mouth is pouring blood at this point. Joe tells the referee that his knee popped and followed up with “I’m fine, leave me alone.” Styles carefully walks the referee away from Joe before going a little bit crazy on the injured knee. Joe gets a brief flurry of offence before Styles goes for the calf crusher. Too late though as Joe slips into the Coquina Clutch. AJ escapes outside and kicks Joe before slipping over the broken shards of table.
Styles stands on the apron, milking the moment before launching into his springboard 450, ostensibly on to Joe’s knee. They replay it at a different angle to make it look like it landed. The match is starting to feel like it should have ended four or five minutes ago. Styles milks the crowd again before going for the phenomenal forearm but Joe reverses that into the coquina clutch again before turning that submission hold into a high hold german suplex. He has one more attempt at the muscle buster but it doesn’t work out. Styles covers but that also gets reversed into the coquina clutch. Styles finally manages to lock in the calf crusher and, after a while of grimacing, Samoa Joe taps out.
AJ STYLES RETAINS
(Tom’s Thoughts: A strong showing by both men with some very good storytelling and a lot of reversals to make the viewer very unsure what the result would be. In the end though this was a conclusive victory for Styles even if Joe was protected. I’ll be very interested to see where Joe goes from here but it looks like he might have to take a little time out to sell his injuries and untarnish his image. He was the conclusive loser in this feud, as Nakamura was before him. If this goes on much longer people might start to look at Styles as a bit of a burier.)
(6)RIOTT SQUAD VS RONDA ROUSEY AND THE BELLA TWINS
No break between matches here. The Riott Squad come down first as a group, followed by The Bella Twins and then Ronda Rousey. The Bellas applaud Rousey as she enters the ring. If we are going to see Rousey vs Nikki Bella at Evolution then this match needs to be the catalyst for it. I’m interested to see how Liv Morgan and Brie Bella interact here.
Nikki and Ronda debate about who is going to start the match. They play it up enough that the announcers comment. Nikki wins that duel and starts off against Ruby Riott. The battle is fairly even. Nikki tags Brie in rather than Rousey, an unpopular move made more unpopular by the fact that it’s Brie Bella. Riott tags in Morgan and Morgan hits Brie with an airborne kick straight to the side of the head. Brie grabs Morgan by her blue tongue – definitely not something I expected to see – but Morgan escapes it. Brie takes up the dominant position and tags in Nikki for a double team suplex. Shortly afterwards Logan tags in and hits Nikki with a running knee.
Riott checks on Morgan outside. Neither woman look hurt but Riott is known to be very protective of her squad so I would imagine that’s all it is. Morgan tags back in shortly afterwards and after taunting Brie receives a wild kick out of the turnbuckle from Nikki. The commentary team compare The Riott Squad to The Shield, which is high praise indeed. Or it would be if there was any push forthcoming.
Logan tags back in and works on Nikki Bella, continually taunting Ronda Rousey who seems the obvious hot tag choice. Nikki Bella recovers but Riott and Morgan clear out her tagging options. Rousey however recovers quickly, gets the hot tag and launches all three members of The Riott Squad in all directions.
Rousey prepares Logan for the armbar but is saved by Liv Morgan. With Riott out of the picture the other two members of The Riott Squad are both trapped in Rousey’s armbar and both tap immediately.
RONDA ROUSEY AND THE BELLA TWINS WIN VIA DOUBLE SUBMISSION
(Tom’s Thoughts: Matches like these are what make this card feel like a house show. Rousey never looked even slightly at risk. Brie took her medicine from Morgan and the tongue spot was memorable but ultimately nothing else happened really worth the reporting.)
– Commercial for The Marine 6.
– Advert for Melbourne, Australia.
– Michael Cole once again reports the attendance in the arena as 70,309.
(7)CEDRIC ALEXANDER VS BUDDY MURPHY – CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
A strong place on the card for the Cruiserweight title match. Buddy Murphy seems the most likely new champion and he is introduced as “from Melbourne” before his music hits which shows how much of a star they are showing him as here. Murphy comes out wearing an Australia flag around his waist. This will mean a lot to him and he has fully deserved it.
Cruiserweight matches are very fast paced and technical so you’ll forgive me if I don’t call the action too in-depth here. Murphy is clearly very hyped up and the audience respond to him strongly.
Murphy taunts Alexander early and hits him with a high knee out of nowhere while Alexander was distracted. He goes to the top rope but Alexander rolls out in classic heel fashion, letting you know how this match is going to go. Murphy leaps over the top rope onto Alexander and then, on the inside, lands a beautiful top rope meteora for a near fall. Murphy continues to dominate until Alexander hits a panicked superkick out of the corner turnbuckle. It evens out a little afterwards, with Alexander reversing two superplex attempts from the top before turning the third attempt into a Michinoku Driver from the top rope for another near fall.
Alexander hits a diving flatliner through the ropes and then launches over the top rope himself to catch Murphy with a cannonball when his opponent escapes. Alexander shows distraction when the crowd chants for Murphy, which will serve as great protection for him should he lose this one. Murphy attempts a sunset flip powerbomb from the top but Alexander holds on. Murphy kicks in in the head and hits a sit out powerbomb instead but it still can’t finish the match.
Murphy kicks out a standing spanish fly. He kicks out of the lumbar check immediately afterwards and the crowd go absolutely nuts. Alexander backs off a little in shock, allowing Murphy to crawl to his feet and attempting another lumber check but Murphy pushes him out of the ring. Alexander comes off the top with a nothing into Murphy, who reverses into his own finisher to win the title.
BUDDY MURPHY IS YOUR NEW CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPION
(Tom’s Thoughts: This was a huge moment that made the audience and a lot of fans very happy. Murphy’s time as the best kept secret is long over and WWE have someone with immense talent and starpower on their hands. This was the beginning of something special, even if Murphy loses the title straight back on Wednesday. Alexander meanwhile should be fine going forwards as if anything this will release the reigns on him a little. Great match, potentially match of the night depending on how Bryan and The Miz perform. Both men were hugely invested and it showed.)
– Commercial for WWE network.
(8)BRAUN STROWMAN, DREW MCINTRE AND DOLPH ZIGGLER VS THE SHIELD
Four championship belts are not being defended because of this match, which is essentially the six men who have run Raw since Summerslam. Both teams get a mixed reaction from the audience, despite The Shield entering through the crowd. Ambrose has to wait for security to clear him a patch and neither Roman nor Seth seem particularly confident in keeping hold of their titles but the new face masks look cool. It takes a long time for them to get to the ring, often having to shove people out of the way.
I think we need to give these guys more credit for this. That must be a pretty intimidating thing to have to walk through. It takes so long that their theme actually rolls over for the first time I can ever remember happening.
The Shield surround the ring, lining up against their favoured opponents and the six men start brawling. The Shield quickly take the advantage through sheer number and tease putting Strowman through the announce table. Honestly, Renee needs a table to be christened in front of her or she’s not really a member of the announce team, is she? The Shield go for the triple powerbomb but Ziggler and McIntyre recover from their gentle injuries to get put things back in their favour. McIntyre chops Seth’s chest protector; which is sure to hurt, right? The match starts right afterwards, with the long standing Ziggler vs Rollins rivalry kicking us off.
Ziggler and McIntyre rotate, attacking Rollins and keeping him down. Strowman comes in afterwards, allowing Ziggler and McIntyre to assault Ambrose and Reigns on the outside. It’s a slow paced match. While Ziggler and McIntyre patrol the ring, Strowman comes off the top rope looking for a splash and missing. Rollins crawls to the corner, calling for Ambrose. It’s a classic heel turn tease. Strowman tags in Ziggler, meanwhile Ambrose comes in and wails on Dolph. He hits Ziggler with a fallaway slam, hits McIntyre and takes control of the match after a series of reversals with Ziggler. It’s good viewing; I enjoyed it. Ambrose hits his standing elbow drop but Ziggler rolls through before the two men hit a double cross body on each other. McIntyre comes in to stop Ambrose tagging in Reigns but Ambrose hits a neckbreaker to slow him down.
Reigns comes in to take on McIntyre and as expected Roman dominates. He hits the drive by and reverses a McIntyre clothesline into a DDT. At this point the match slows right back down again. A distraction from Ziggler results in Roman accidentally hitting a superman punch on Dean Ambrose. McIntyre tries to roll him up but Roman lifts him up into a powerbomb. Ziggler saves and McIntyre kicks out. Rollins returns to take out Ziggler but Strowman takes out Roman in the mean time. Rollins and McIntyre scuffle until Roman recovers enough to take over. This match has almost entirely lost the crowd at this point.
Strowman, Ziggler and McIntyre surround the ring. A recovering Ambrose accidentally takes up the fourth side and the crowd chants yes. Ambrose then enters the ring, drop kicks Strowman and launches out at him with a suicide dive. Once again the three men overpower the one left in the ring, in this case McIntyre. All three men bully McIntyre, looking for a triple powerbomb but Strowman recovers enough to spear all four men. He flings Roman out of the ring. He flings Rollins out of the ring. He hits his running block table on Reigns and on Rollins, both of whom sell like they’ve been run over by an actual truck. Ziggler hits the zig zag on Ambrose for a near fall.
At Strowman’s request, Ziggler throws Ambrose to the outside to be run over but at the last second Reigns spears Strowman out of the way and through the barricade, eliminating both from the match. Ziggler rushes McIntyre to finish Ambrose quickly but Rollins returns to knock McIntyre out of the ring. Ambrose hits Ziggler with the Dirty Deeds to finish the match with a win.
THE SHIELD RETAIN THEIR YARD
(Tom’s Thoughts: While the match was very slow paced there were a couple of big moments and some nice sequences in the middle section. Overall this showed that the feud is far from over but we should now have a conclusive answer as to where Dean Ambrose’s loyalties lie. I want to see more made of that moment right at the end where Seth Rollins held both the Intercontinental and Universal Championships. As usual all six men worked extremely hard and put their bodies through a lot. Roman in particular looked very banged up by the end. Unfortunately, nothing was advanced.)
– Long hype package for Daniel Bryan vs The Miz
(9)THE MIZ VS DANIEL BRYAN
The Miz, usually one of the most popular heels in the company, comes out to a negative reaction for the first time in a long while. Bryan comes down to a good reception. No sign of either Brie Bella or Maryse, curiously. The announce team mention Bryan’s damaged ribs after his match with Shelton Benjamin on Smackdown.
The match begins and The Miz focusses entirely on Bryan’s ribs to take an early advantage. Bryan eventually regains control and, after hitting the Yes Kicks, he gets hit with his own finisher from The Miz for a near fall. Moments later, Daniel Bryan rolls up The Miz for a sudden three count and the win. The announce team cast doubt. So, I’m guessing The Undertaker’s entrance is going to be forty minutes rather than the usual thirty.
DANIEL BRYAN WINS?
(Tom’s Thoughts: What the hell was that? A botched count? A botched roll up? Something definitely went wrong there.)
– The announce team announce that Styles vs Bryan will take place at Crown Jewel.
– Commercial for Crown Jewel.
– Charlotte Flair will face Becky Lynch for the Smackdown Women’s Championship on this Tuesday’s Smackdown.
– Plug for WWE Evolution.
– Hype package for Triple H vs The Undertaker
(10)TRIPLE H VS THE UNDERTAKER
Shawn Michaels comes down to the ring first and goes through his usual routine. Triple H comes out next with a skull mask but, for once, no motorcycle cavalcade. Another cost cutting measure I guess. Triple H has an NXT badge sewn into his jacket so I’m really not sure whether we’ve got good guy Triple H or bad guy Triple H tonight. Kane enters next. Once again I’m not sure who we have. Everyone has an alter ego. HBK is in Marine movies, Kane is a major, Triple H is a COO, The Undertaker is an American badass. Who knows what’s really going on?
Finally, The Undertaker emerges, all pyro and dry ice, taking forever to march down to the ring. The Undertaker, who has been mocking Shawn Michaels recently because of his retirement, is now on a year and a half since his own unsuccessful attempt at retirement.
We finish the entrances after only fourteen minutes. They announce that it will be for the last time ever, which obviously means a huge amount in wrestling terms. They also announce that the match is now no DQ, which was a very popular last minute move back in the Attitude Era that almost always ended in an overbooked mess.
HBK and Kane help both men stall for a while. We’re going to see a lot of that. Triple H teases old school but gets dragged off the top so that The Undertaker can do it himself. The audience chant both “Undertaker” and “You still got it”. Undertaker hits Triple H with snake eyes and goes for the big boot but Triple H counters with the high knee before it can land. Shortly afterwards Michaels distracts The Undertaker, including putting him into the post to give Triple H the advantage. Kane is too late to halt any involvement.
Triple H whips The Undertaker into the steps. It looks like ‘taker wanted to go over the top but thinks better of it. DX set up a table but encounter Kane who wanders over, stands near the table and watches on as Michaels just moved the table. Triple H goes for a powerbomb but The Undertaker reverses it with a back body drop.
After another tease with the announce table, the fight extends into the crowd, which Undertaker wraps something around Triple H’s neck. Triple H recovers enough to land a few punches and set up for a powerbomb but Undertaker attempts to reverse with a back body drop that they just imagine actually happened. Eventually they make it back to the ring, with Triple H being thrown over – no, sorry on to the ringside barricade. Undertaker goes under the ring for a chair, dropping Michaels while he does, but gets hit with a leg drop as he comes into the ring. Triple H tries to use the chair but takes a big boot instead.
After a few chair shots, The Undertaker lays Triple H on the table outside the ring. He looks to be climbing the turnbuckles but had to switch to a big boot on Shawn Micheaels instead. Kane still hasn’t done much of anything. Undertaker prepares to lead over the top rope but Triple H comes in and hits him with a chair first. Finally, Kane gets involved, laying on a table so that Triple H can hit him with an elbow drop.
Kane is purely there to take bumps, isn’t he?
Triple H comes off the top rope looking to hit Undertaker with a chair but The Undertaker catches him with a choke slam instead. He follows up with a tombstone but Triple H kicks out. For reasons unknown, Undertaker’s next move is to hit the referee and threaten Shawn Michaels. The Undertaker continues to punish Triple H, torturing Shawn Michaels and convincing HBK to get in the ring but Undertaker takes him down straight away. The distraction allows Triple H to hit a spinebuster. This leads into the pedigree. This results in a near fall from an extra official that entered the ring unnoticed. Triple H comes off the turnbuckles to stamp on a chair wrapped around The Undertaker’s head but the count is stopped by Kane.
His work done, Kane lays down again afterwards and it’s starting to look like we may have lost another referee.
As we all must have known, a sledgehammer is then introduced to the match by Shawn Michaels. It’s not a Triple H match without a sledgehammer any more. Fun fact, the sledgehammer was originally the weapon of choice for Mankind, not Triple H. The Undertaker walks at Triple H holding a chair. Triple H though lands his sledgehammer hit first. He covers but, once again, there is no one to count. As both men recover, The Undertaker takes hold of Triple H and puts on the Hell’s Gate submission. Triple H though, still armed with sledgehammer, forces the handle down on to The Undertaker’s throat and manages to escape.
Two sweaty men lay on the floor for a bit to a round of warm applause.
The Undertaker goes for the sledgehammer but Michaels interferes. Kane comes in to stop him but takes a low blow. The Undertaker, recovered, throws Michaels over the top rope, eliminating both man and hair in one smooth move. The Undertaker retrieves the hammer but gets rid of it. Triple H goes for a pedigree but doesn’t succeed. A tired choke slam follows. Michaels, back in, hits Michaels with the sweet chin music. He goes for the tombstone but Triple H hits him with the hammer first. Michaels hit sweet chin music again, this time into a Triple H pedigree and Triple H wins the match.
SHAWN MICHAELS WINS
(Tom’s Thoughts: That was an absolute mess and will hopefully be conclusive proof that it’s time to put this particular style of match to bed now. Almost every match that Triple H has ends up like this now, with Michaels playing the role usually played by Stephanie McMahon. It was tired, filled with small botches and constantly all over the place. The actual time that the two competitors spent wrestling was dwarfed by the entrance theatrics, the stalling, the outside interference and the laying down. I’m confident there will be another match and soon.)
The Undertaker nods and shakes hands with Triple H afterwards, acknowledging that all of his cheating, manipulating and bullying were entirely justified and fair and that the better man won. The four men end the show hand in hand arms in the air.
Six and a half years later, we get the actual finish to the End of an Era match.
Nope, Undertaker and Kane attack DX after the match to ensure the feud keeps going. Triple H takes a tombstone and Shawn Michaels is put through the table they’ve been teasing all night. Welcome to commentary, Renee.