Welcome to another edition of eWN Round Table, where we gather some of the most active writers here on eWrestlingNews and share the platform to answer some questions surrounding a centralized topic, upcoming event, etc.
This is meant to showcase the potential for both a wide range of perspectives as well as how sometimes, there can be a group consensus no matter what your viewpoint is, so we also invite all of you to join in on the discussion by answering these questions yourself in the comments section below.
For this particular volume, we’ll be focusing on WWE Super ShowDown 2019.
Participants for this round = Anthony Mango, Robert DeFelice, Richard Staple and Ethan Absler.
1) “What is your prediction for how long Goldberg vs. Undertaker will actually be once the bell rings?”
MANGO: Less than 5 minutes. This will be almost entirely entrances and staring at each other.
STAPLE: The average length of Goldberg’s matches since he first returned to WWE is about 3 minutes. The Undertaker has had longer matches in recent years. I’ll say 4 minutes. Any longer and Goldberg will probably need an oxygen mask.
ABSLER: I can’t see Goldberg vs Undertaker going more than 10 minutes once the match starts. While this match has an unbelievable amount of star power, both men are far past their physical primes and we can’t expect them to tear the house down in the ring in a 25-minute classic. With that being said, I still savor and enjoy the opportunity to see these two in the ring again.
DeFELICE: I think this matchup needs to go at least ten minutes long. They can drag it out by having rest spots where both men are just on the ground, but it needs to at least be ten minutes bell-to-bell because this crowd does deserve quite the spectacle as they never got to see these superstars in their heyday. That being said, Goldberg rarely went ten minutes in his prime, so we’ll see what happens.
2) “If you could make the 50-Man Battle Royal have some sort of reward for the winner, what would it be?”
MANGO: The best reward is always a title opportunity, but I’d be perfectly cool with them switching things up and saying Brock Lesnar was forced to relinquish the Money in the Bank briefcase (for whatever reason, I don’t care) and that the winner of this will be given the briefcase instead. That’s not happening, though, so I’ll just default to the option that the winner gets a title opportunity on a future episode of Raw, SmackDown or at Stomping Grounds. Then, I’d love to see someone like Ali win it to challenge Kofi Kingston for the title.
STAPLE: It’s certainly not going to be a faux title belt and a trophy, that’s for sure. If you win the largest Rumble ever, it requires a much more worthy prize. For me, it would be a future Universal/WWE Title shot. If that’s what the winner of the regular 30 Man Rumble match gets, why not the same thing in the same match with 20 extra competitors.
ABSLER: If I could make a prize for the winner of this Battle Royal, it would be a future shot at either the United States or Intercontinental Championship, depending on what brand you are on.
DeFELICE: Is it so hard to say the winner of this match will get a future championship opportunity of their choosing, or a future opportunity for the World Championship of their brand? I don’t understand why stakes and stipulations are something WWE is so eager to shy away from these days.
3) “Do you really think this has any chance at matching or exceeding WrestleMania’s quality, and what do you think of WWE harping on that phrase?”
MANGO: I absolutely hate that marketing campaign and how much they’ve been focused on that, as it doesn’t work for people like me who hear it 100 times a week. In fact, it tends to make me think the opposite. I do think this card has some potential, but it’s not going to feel like WrestleMania to me no matter how many times they beat that drum. Show, don’t tell.
STAPLE: I didn’t really think WrestleMania was all that great, but I fully expect Super Showdown to fall well below it. Not only are there so many matches featuring old guys with no chemistry, but there just aren’t any interesting matchups. Roman Reigns vs. Shane McMahon? No thank you.
ABSLER: I don’t think this show has any chance of being better than WrestleMania unless you’re from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. For fans anywhere else in the world, the odd start time, the fact that WWE’s being there is controversial in the first place, and the restrictions to the match card like no Women’s matches or Sami Zayn make this show far less important than Wrestlemania. I don’t like that WWE is harping on this phrase, it is an obvious cash grab.
DeFELICE: The fact that WWE has so heavily compared the show to WrestleMania is a slap in the face, but it is also a very close look at the changing of the times and really the downgrading of WrestleMania as a whole. It’s not what it used to be, and it’s clear that WWE doesn’t even try to hide that when it comes to shilling major supercards that have been bought off.
4) “This is now our third Saudi Arabia show and there has still not been a single female performer. Will that ever happen?”
MANGO: No. Sadly, it’s never going to happen. I think they’re just saying that it’s a possibility to try to keep that as a get out of jail free card every time the criticism is brought up, and they know full well the Saudi Arabia government will not sign off on it. Then, once the deal expires and they stop doing these shows, they’ll just move on as “well, we’re still committed to doing that and we hope we can in the future.”
STAPLE: Women have broken barriers in WWE from a competitive standpoint, but the issue of women competing in Saudi Arabia is an entirely different issue. Sadly, I don’t think we’ll see it. It’ll take a paradigm shift the likes of which we haven’t seen before.
ABSLER: I, unfortunately, don’t think it will ever happen. The society and norms in Saudi Arabia and other parts in the Middle East like Syria, for example, must change before that is allowed. The country is so strict, that Aleister Black will not be allowed in the country due to his tattoo dedicated to Women’s equality! Sami Zayn isn’t allowed in due to his heritage, a journalist was murdered in the country for expressing himself; WWE just shouldn’t be here. WWE’s mainstream stars like Daniel Bryan and Kevin Owens are refusing to work the show. WWE has enough money and the fact that they continue to go to Saudi Arabia is an embarrassing and controversial cash grab where the negatives outweigh the positives.