(CBSNewYork/CBS Local) — With WrestleMania now just weeks away, WWE delivered two big surprises at Super Showdown to set the stage for their biggest event of the year. The Undertaker is back, and Goldberg is the new Universal Champion.
Following a one-year absence from WrestleMania, it appears the Dead Man is on the cusp of returning to professional wrestling’s grandest stage. The Undertaker made a surprise return to WWE at Thursday’s mega-event in Saudi Arabia, where he set his sights on AJ Styles and came away with some hardware for his efforts.
As the inaugural Tuwaiq Trophy Gauntlet Match neared its conclusion, Rey Mysterio was twice introduced as the final competitor, but failed to answer the call. While Styles stood in the ring, cameras cut to the back, where Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson were attacking the masked Mysterio. The leader of the O.C. then told the referee to declare him the winner of the match as no other competitors were left. But as cameras panned backstage once again, it was revealed that the Gallows and Anderson had subsequently been attacked and were left laying themselves. With a closeup of the beaten duo on the ground, a familiar pair of black boots and long black leather jacket walked through the shot.
Moments later the familiar gong of Undertaker hit and the unquestioned future WWE Hall of Famer slowly and deliberately made his way to the ring. After the enraged Styles objected and poked his finger in the Dead Man’s chest, the Undertaker delivered the Last Ride and made the cover to the delight of the stunned the crowd, winning the Tuwaiq Trophy.
The brief encounter puts the wheels in motion for a second showdown at WrestleMania in Tampa, Fla. on April 5. Styles will likely be crying foul and demanding a rematch until then. The next stop on the road to WrestleMania for the Undertaker is likely to be the March 9 episode of Raw. The Capital One Arena in Washington, DC, where the show will originate, has announced that he will be appearing that night.
On the SmackDown side of things, Goldberg stunned the WWE Universe by defeating “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt in the main event to capture his second Universal Championship. The 53-year-old fan favorite delivered a series of spears to Wyatt who was initially unfazed by the powerful moves. Eventually, Goldberg hit a Jackhammer to hand Wyatt his first defeat since bursting back onto the stage with a demonic split-personality.
Naturally, the next question for Goldberg becomes who’s next?
As the new champion was celebrating, The Fiend rose to his feet and appeared ready to vent his frustrations by delivering a post-match beatdown. However, before ever throwing a punch, the arena suddenly went dark. Once the lights came back on it was revealed that he had vanished. Clearly, there is unfinished business between the two.
It is possible that the pair will settle the score at WrestleMania or on the final big show preceding it, next Sunday’s WWE Elimination Chamber. There have been rumors that John Cena, who is scheduled to return on Friday’s SmackDown, will challenge for the Universal Title at WrestleMania, and there has also been speculation of a Goldberg-Roman Reigns match.
So, who’s next? We’ll soon find out.
The other main event of WrestleMania is much clearer after Brock Lesnar made quick work of Ricochet to retain the WWE Championship. Waiting in the wings is the man who eliminated The Beast and went on to win the Royal Rumble, Drew McIntyre. McIntyre, who reportedly is in Raw executive producer and on-screen Lesnar advocate Paul Heyman’s good graces, will be gunning for his first major championship in the company.
In another big moment on the show, The Miz and John Morrison defeated The New Day to capture the SmackDown Tag Team titles.
WWE SUPER SHOWDOWN RESULTS
WWE Universal Championship
Goldberg def. The Fiend Bray Wyatt
Goldberg delivered a series of spears to The Fiend before finally hitting a Jackhammer to dethrone The Fiend and become a two-time Universal Champion.
SmackDown Women’s Championship
Bayley def. Naomi
Both women were dressed in body suits which completely covered their arms and legs as well as loose-fitting t-shirts to make their appearances even more modest. Bayley used the garb to her advantage as she twisted Naomi’s foot in her own t-shirt before spiking her face into the mat to score the win and retain the championship.
Steel Cage Match
Roman Reigns def. King Corbin
There would be no dog food or outside interference in this one, which should serve as the final match in Roman Reigns and King Corbin’s lengthy feud. The Big Dog got the win after wrapping a chain around his fist and nailing Corbin with a Superman Punch.
WWE Heavyweight Championship
Brock Lesnar def. Ricochet
Brock Lesnar easily defeated Ricochet to retain the WWE Championship and lock in a showdown with Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania.
Mansoor def. Dolph Ziggler
Mansoor scored an upset victory over Ziggler with a moonsault. The native of Riyadh was easily one of the most popular wrestlers of the night and received a big ovation from the hometown crowd during a post-match promo that was delivered in a mix of English and his native tongue.
Raw Tag Team Championship
Murphy and Seth Rollins def. The Street Profits
Murphy scored the pinfall on Angelo Dawkins after Seth Rollins Curb Stomped the Street Profit member while the ref’s back was turned.
Angel Garza def. Humberto Carrillo
Carrillo fell short of getting redemption against his cousin. But he will have another chance on Monday’s Raw where he is scheduled to tag with Rey Mysterio to face Garza and Andrade. Zelina Vega did not accompany Garza to the ring.
WWE SmackDown Tag Team Title Match
The Miz and John Morrison def. The New Day
SmackDown has new tag team champions after The Miz and John Morrison defeated Kofi Kingston and Big E to win gold in Riyadh. The Miz pinned Kingston to score the win as the referee missed the fact that The A-Lister had a fistful of tights to keep his opponent’s shoulders pinned to the mat.
Tuwaiq Trophy Gauntlet Match
The Undertaker def. AJ Styles, R-Truth, Erick Rowan, United States Champion Andrade, and Bobby Lashley
R-Truth defeated Bobby Lashley, who was accompanied by Lana in the first leg of the match. The usually scantily-clad Lana was cloaked in a shiny gold abaya and hijab that covered her entire body to respect the Middle Eastern culture. Following the pinfall, R-Truth was brutally attacked and left laying by Lashley.
By pure luck, R-Truth managed to upset the United States Champion Andrade, who was returning from a legitimate 30-day suspension, in the second match of the contest. As was the case with Angel Garza, Zelina Vega did not accompany Andrade to the ring.
R-Truth continued the improbable run by defeating Erick Rowan via disqualification after the red-bearded big man used the steel ring steps as a weapon.
AJ Styles finally ended R-Truth’s run by forcing the 34-time (not a typo) 24/7 Champion to tap out in the fourth match of the contest.
The Undertaker shockingly replaced the injured Rey Mysterio and quickly dismissed AJ Styles with the Last Ride to win Tuwaiq Trophy.
The O.C. def. The Viking Raiders
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson hit a Magic Killer on Ivar to walk away victorious in the only match featured on the pre-show.
Chuck Carroll is former pro wrestling announcer and referee turned sports media personality. He once appeared on Monday Night RAW when he presented Robert Griffin III with a WWE title belt in the Redskins locker room.
Follow him on Twitter @ChuckCarrollWLC.