This article is about the event Xiaolin Showdown (contest). For other uses, see Xiaolin Showdown.
To participate in the showdown, at least two warriors are needed, and they all must touch the item, person, or thing that they are fighting for at the same time. The warriors do not always have to touch the wanted item physically, as seen when Omi used his Shimo Staff to snag a sack of Shen Gong Wu in "The Return of Master Monk Guan". At least one Shen Gong Wu is often wagered for the Xiaolin Showdown, but this is not required, as seen in the showdown between Omi and Grand Master Dashi in "Days Past". Earlier in the series, the challenger decides what event is used to compete for the Shen Gong Wu, but now anyone can propose the challenge, even if they're a spectator.
The wagered Shen Gong Wu may be used in the Showdown, as well as any Shen Gong Wu that is not wagered but is conveniently on hand. The latter is considered cheating or at least morally questionable, but no rules exist that would disqualify someone who does this, since players such as the Sapphire Dragon or the Fearsome Four must be composed of Shen Gong Wu to exist. After the showdown, the winning warrior(s) then gets the contested item, person, or thing, as well as any other things that were wagered.
No rule prohibits modifications of Shen Gong Wu, forced use of it, unfairly manipulating the environment, spectator interference or attacking another player non-competitively. If the contest doesn't involve losing based on proximity to it, a player can leave the arena, either through flight or extradimensional travel. Fixed gambling plays are also not against the rules, and the "Xiaolin Showdown Dive" is written in the rules as a legitimate tactic.
It has never been shown what happens if a showdown challenge is denied, nor what happens if neither player accepts a proposed contest.
Shen Yi Bu Dare
Main article: Shen Yi Bu Dare
First seen in "Shen Yi Bu." This is when two Shen Gong Wu are wagered and used instead of one. The number of competitors does not matter; for example, it can be a 2 vs. 2 showdown, with each team sharing their two Wu. According to Master Fung at the end of this episode, there has not been a Shen Yi Bu Dare in many centuries because it is very difficult.
Shen Yi Bu All In
First seen in "The Return of Master Monk Guan". According to the rules, one side can go all in by calling a Shen Yi Bu All In. By doing this, both sides agree on betting all their Shen Gong Wu. This can be done in the middle of a showdown, but those who participate can only use one Shen Gong Wu.
Main article: Showdown Trio
First seen in "The Shard of Lightning". This is when three people reach the contested item at the same time. Each wagers one Shen Gong Wu, fighting a free-for-all to win all items wagered.
Cosmic Clash Showdown
Main article: Cosmic Clash Showdown
This showdown variation has no set rules on teams, and is set on battlefields isolated exclusively within space. If there is no Shen Gong Wu being competed for, a person's freedom can be wagered, but only if that person is at least half made of Shen Gong Wu, and is freakishly ugly. (This happened in "The Last Temptation of Raimundo" and "The Dream Stalker".)
8-Way Xiaolin Showdown
Main article: 8-Way Xiaolin Showdown
This showdown's first and final appearance was in "Dreamscape". It starts with eight people all touching the same Shen Gong Wu, and each person wagers one Shen Gong Wu. Despite being eight-way, teams can be forged within the showdown. The winner(s) of the showdown gets all nine of the Shen Gong Wu.
Conducting the Showdown
The goal for winning a Xiaolin Showdown can be anything that the participants agree to do. The aim is always announced on the spot, and it is often inspired by the environment in which the showdown is fought. Common goals include racing to reach a target or fighting to be the last one remaining in the arena. However, many other types of competitions have been set, including flashlight tag, ice hockey, and chess.
Depending on the type of contest declared, the area around the disputed Shen Gong Wu changes to suit the challenge. This transformation enhances whatever environmental hazards are present and makes the location more arena-shaped—even to the extent of providing a suitably-distanced platform for spectators. For example, the first episode featured a race to the last stepping stone in a path, so for the showdown, the stepping stones became massive rock pillars. After the showdown is finished, the area returns to normal.
In the first episode, Dojo shows how to begin showdowns by calling, "Gong Yi Tan Pai!" This is a pseudo-Chinese way of saying, "Ready, Set, Go!" 摊牌／攤牌 (Tanpai) means "showdown" in Chinese, 工 (Gong) is Chinese for "begin" (as to attack), and 艺/藝 (Yi) means "the" in Chinese, so it literally means, "Begin the showdown!"