Roadblock End Of The Line: Who Would Have Bet On That?
Roadblock: End of the Line
Date: December 18, 2016
Location: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
We’ll wrap up the pay per view calendar with this show, our third pay per view in about a month. This isn’t the hottest card in the world with a fairly lame main event of United States Champion Roman Reigns challenging Kevin Owens for the Universal Title. There’s also an Iron Man match as Sasha Banks defends the Women’s Title against Charlotte. Let’s get to it.
Pre-Show: Rusev vs. Big Cass
This is over Big Cass defending Enzo Amore, who tried to sleep with Rusev’s life. Before the match, Enzo says something about Lana owing him money and Rusev playing Jumanji in the hotel room. Enzo puts on a red nose and Cass lists off the eight reindeer. Cass kicks Rusev in the face and we take a break less than thirty seconds in.
Back with Cass hammering away and dropping the Empire Elbow for no cover. They head outside Rusev taking him out into the crowd, leaving Enzo to go after Lana. Rusev defends his wife while Cass checks on Enzo, leaving Rusev to beat the count at 4:33. Not enough for a rating but this was rematch bait.
The opening video has a police chase theme with the idea being that everything ends at the end of the line.
Tag Team Titles: New Day vs. Cesaro/Sheamus
New Day is defending. Big E. is confused about what the show is called because he thinks it’s a rather different, very un-PG kind of blocking. I’ll let you figure out what the joke there is. Woods suggests that the challengers should be called Swing Low Irish Chariot. Cesaro dropkicks Kofi at the bell for two and it’s already time for the uppercut train. It’s too early for the Swing so Sheamus clotheslines Kofi instead.
The slingshot shoulder gets two on Kingston and Swiss Death is good for the same. This has been completely one sided so far. Kofi breaks up the ten forearms and brings in Big E. for the spear off the apron. The Warrior Splash gets two on Sheamus and everything breaks down. Sheamus kicks Cesaro by mistake and Woods kicks Cesaro by design, setting up the Big Ending for a very close two.
The Midnight Hour is broken up and Big E. gets the Brogue Kick. Cesaro Swings Kofi into the Sharpshooter for the submission….but Woods has the referee. Cesaro lifts Kofi up into a suplex and rolls into the Neutralizer for two with Big E. making the save this time. That was some scary power, as is always the case with Cesaro.
Woods sacrifices himself to take the Brogue Kick and the SOS gets two on Sheamus. Cesaro comes in without a tag (though Sheamus was right next to him), meaning Kofi kicks Cesaro for no count. Instead Sheamus sneaks in and rolls Kofi up for the pin and the titles at 10:00.
Rating: B-. The ending was really good but I have no interest in Sheamus and Cesaro holding the belts. It’s more than fine to take them off New Day now but you really couldn’t do this at the Rumble against Enzo and Cass or ANYONE that might draw some interest? People didn’t care about Cesaro and Sheamus at first and I doubt they will now, but this was going to happen no matter what.
New Day gets the big show of respect and we get the battle for the spotlight from the new champs.
Kevin Owens doesn’t care about New Day because that will never happen to him. After insulting the interviewer, Owens flags down Chris Jericho and gives him a present. Jericho isn’t impressed with his holiday scarf.
Sami Zayn vs. Braun Strowman
Ten minute time limit as Raw GM Mick Foley is scared for Sami’s health. The ring announcer says Sami must last ten minutes though, which makes things a bit unclear. So can Sami not even go for wins? Sami dodges for the first thirty seconds and Braun no sells a chop. Braun gets his hands on Sami for a big toss and kicks him in the ribs for good measure.
We’re down to eight minutes as Sami knocks Braun over the top, only to have Strowman come back in and hammer away with ease. The referee starts to check on Sami with about six minutes to go but Zayn wants to keep going. Braun lets Sami stumble around as we get down to five minutes. Some very hard clotheslines take us to four minutes and here’s Foley with a white towel.
Sami is thrown down at Mick’s feet and Braun goes outside to talk trash. Zayn grabs the towel and throws it into the crowd with two minutes left. Strowman promises to finish this himself but misses a charge into the post. Another missed charge sends Braun through the barricade but Strowman beats the count with 47 seconds left. A third missed charge hits the post and Sami gets two off a high crossbody. Sami is knocked to the floor but comes back in for the Helluva Kick as time ends at 10:00 (really 10:12).
Rating: D+. Corey sums it up perfectly: Sami didn’t win anything here. He just didn’t get killed. This really belonged as an angle on Raw to set up the pay per view match instead of being the match itself. Sami hitting his finisher (which didn’t knock Braun down) to end the match was a nice touch but I really have no idea where this goes outside of Braun beating Sami in another match.
Package on the UK tournament.
We recap Chris Jericho vs. Seth Rollins. Jericho lost to Rollins several times but then started costing Rollins matches against Owens. This earned Jericho a Pedigree on top of a car and that means a match.
Seth Rollins vs. Chris Jericho
Jericho headlocks him to start and does the Gift of Jericho pose. Chris stops him with a raised boot and the missile dropkick gets two. A rake of the eyes slows Rollins down (he even makes like he can’t see for a bit, which you almost never see anymore) but he’s easily able to catapult Jericho into the buckle.
Jericho gets in a clothesline and we hit the ASK HIM chinlock. Back up and Rollins fires off some right hands followed by the Slingblade. A Blockbuster gets two and Jericho gets shoved out to the floor. Rollins’ springboard knee is countered into the Walls which last about as long as you would expect them to. Now the Lionsault is good for two and Seth’s Falcon’s Arrow gets the same.
Rollins tries the Pedigree but Jericho powers out and gets in a hurricanrana, which transitions into the Walls. Seth counters that with a small package for two, followed by the frog splash. Cue Owens for a distraction, just as Jericho grabs a small package. The Pedigree is countered again but Jericho stops to yell at Owens, allowing Seth to get in the jumping knee. Rollins gets the Pedigree for the pin at 17:12.
Rating: B+. I really liked this one as Jericho’s roll continues. You can almost pencil in Jericho vs. Owens for the Rumble and that story is going to write itself very well. Rollins getting the pin makes sense and maybe we can FINALLY do the blowoff between him and HHH so Rollins can move on with his career.
Pre-show recap. Cass vs. Rusev II is set for tomorrow night.
Cruiserweight Title: Brian Kendrick vs. TJ Perkins vs. Rich Swann
Swann is defending and Austin Aries is sitting in on commentary. One heck of a forearm puts Kendrick on the floor, leaving Perkins to take the champ down. Swann hurricanranas both guys down at the same time (Aries: “I’ve done it before.”) but gets caught in the Captain’s Hook.
Perkins makes the save with the kneebar but Swann makes a save of his own. Cole: “Who is the favorite now?” Aries: “I would be if I was in there.” Kendrick gets tossed and Perkins slaps on another kneebar, sending Swann to the ropes. That’s not a break in a triple threat but Perkins lets go anyway. Back up and Swann kicks Perkins in the head to retain at 5:59.
Rating: D+. Can we please, please, PLEASE get Aries anything he wants? He was by far and away the most interesting thing about this match as he just commands respect and I completely buy him as the greatest cruiserweight of all time. I mean, I know he’s not but he gives you the belief that he is and that’s what matters.
Post match Neville makes his return to celebrate with Swann before turning heel (!) and destroying all three. Fans: “THANK YOU NEVILLE!” I can totally go for this, though the idea that Neville weighs under 205lbs is downright laughable.
Owens goes to Jericho’s locker room but Chris won’t let him in. Kevin tells him to put his name on the list but Jericho still doesn’t open the door. That hurts Owens’ feelings and he walks away.
Recap of Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte. They’ve traded the title for months and this is the final match.
Women’s Title: Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks
Banks is defending and this is a thirty minute iron man match, though JoJo says the winner is the woman with the most pinfalls. I’m going to assume that’s an error because nothing like that was ever mentioned before. Feeling out process to start and they hit the mat for the first two minutes. Banks headlocks her down and things stay slow to start. Some chops have Charlotte in more trouble but it’s too early for the Banks Statement.
Another attempt fails just as much so Banks opts for a dropkick instead. Banks: “Your daddy loves me more!” Sasha wraps her up in something like a rear naked choke but Charlotte drops her back onto the mat for two. Charlotte heads outside and takes the double knees as we hit eight minutes in. A cross arm choke has Charlotte in more trouble but she doesn’t tap out as we get to ten minutes.
Sasha throws her outside for a suicide crossbody, only to be tripped face first into the steps in a bad looking crash. We’re twelve minutes in now as the referee slows things down a bit to check on Sasha. Three straight knees get two on the champ but another one misses to give Sasha a breather. Charlotte does the figure four headscissors and we’re at the halfway mark.
Something like a neckbreaker onto the knee gets two on Sasha and Charlotte seems to be getting frustrated. Natural Selection connects for two but Banks can’t get the Bank Statement. Instead Charlotte is put on top, only to come back with a super Natural Selection for the first fall with 10:45 to go.
Charlotte talks a lot of trash but can’t get another fall as we hit nine minutes left. Banks goes to the air and spins into a rollup for the tie with 8:43 to go. That means Charlotte needs to get aggressive, only to have Sasha grab the Bank Statement for the tap out with six minutes left. Charlotte gets smart by draping the knee over the middle rope and crashing down onto it as the clock keeps ticking.
Some cannonballs down onto the knee set up a leglock as we’ve got three minutes left. A not great Figure Four goes on with two minutes left and Sasha is in big trouble. The hold is turned over a few times until Sasha gets caught in the middle of the ring. We’re down to thirty seconds left and Banks screams a lot. Charlotte FINALLY turns it into the Figure Eight and Banks taps with two seconds left, meaning it’s a draw at 30:00.
This is the END OF THE LINE though so let’s do sudden death. Charlotte gets in a shot at the bad leg before the bell rings and a small package gets two for the champ seconds into the extra period. The Bank Statement goes on but Charlotte grabs the bad leg to break the hold. It’s turned into a Figure Four and Sasha (with a bloody mouth) taps to the Figure Eight at 2:58 of overtime.
Rating: B. Well that happened. I’m completely out of things to talk about with these two trading the title because WWE has no concept of how to wrap up a feud in an appropriate manner. Charlotte winning is fine, though the question now is who challenges her next. I know the obvious answer is Bayley, but do you trust them to do something that logical?
We recap Owens vs. Reigns. Roman beat him a few weeks ago to earn another shot here tonight but the big story is about the drama between Jericho and Owens.
Universal Title: Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns
Owens is defending and I’ll only refer to him as champion for the sake of simplicity. Kevin quickly bails to the floor but gets punched in the mouth for his efforts. Something like a spinebuster gets two for Reigns but the threat of a jumping clothesline sends Owens outside. The champ takes over on the floor and hits the backsplash off the steps, followed by the chinlock back inside.
Owens wants to know why Reigns didn’t put his title on the line but suspects it’s a lack of testicular fortitude. A standing flip legdrop of all things gets two on Roman and it’s back to the chinlock. Reigns finally powers out and drives Owens into the corner, only to have the champ throw him down with a German suplex. The Superman Punch is countered into a DDT for two more.
Reigns no sells the Cannonball and hits the Superman Punch for two of his own and both guys are down. Owens goes up top and gets Superman Punched again but still manages to grab the swinging superplex. A Swanton Bomb hits Roman’s raised knees and it’s spear time. It might be the big scream before the spear but somehow Owens knows to bail to the floor. Reigns gets suckered in and a splash off the apron onto the announcers’ table doesn’t break the table.
The second attempt works though and Reigns’ ribs are hurt again. Reigns dives in at nine so Owens bolts to the top for another frog splash and the accompanying near fall. Roman’s sitout powerbomb and Owens’ Pop Up Powerbomb get two each and the champ doesn’t know what to do. He goes outside for the title belt, earning himself a spear as he comes back inside. Cue Jericho, who looks back and forth at both guy. A Codebreaker to Owens draws the DQ at 23:33.
Rating: B. Good, though the waiting for Jericho took a little away from it. Unfortunately this shows the problem with Reigns being US Champion coming into this match: what good does it do to tie the title up in this match with no challenger for the title in sight? Yeah Owens vs. Jericho will be fine but sweet goodness enough with the champion vs. champion nonsense.
Jericho raises Owens’ hand because IT WAS A SWERVE to end the show. Uh, couldn’t he just tap Reigns and get the same result? Rollins comes out and helps with the beatdown, including a DoubleBomb to put Jericho through the table. Owens goes through the announcers’ table to end the show to almost no reaction.
Overall Rating: B+. I liked this a lot more than I thought I would but it’s a great example of a show I’m never going to watch again. Other than Charlotte getting the title back like we’ve seen before, nothing was really interesting here, though I can always go for a night of good wrestling. That being said, they really, REALLY need something fresh in the main event scene on Raw because “oh wait they’re still best friends who get beaten up by the Shield guys” was tired a month ago.
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