WWE Roadblock is in the books. And you know what? For a show that was seemingly thrown together at the last second, this was a fun little Saturday night program. The setting of the event reminded me of the old WWF Live at Madison Square Garden shows that would air monthly on the MSG Network in the ’90s.
The in-ring action, as it has been for the past few weeks on WWE TV, was strong — every man and woman gave it their all tonight. Good in-ring action will always make up for half-baked booking, and there certainly was some of that tonight.
The New Day vs. The League of Nations in a ‘Botchamania Has Some New Fodder’ Match: The New Day is ridiculously over, and are by far the most entertaining part of the WWE week in, and week out. And to think one year ago these guys were nothing — Big E was often on the loosing end to guys like Rusev, Kofi was relegated to Main Event, and smart money would’ve bet that Xavier Woods would be fired soon enough. Now, they’re over. Stupid over. And they get huge laughs and pops out of the most asbury things possible — they’re basically on the level of The Rock in terms of their absurdity. When The Rock was singing about the Smackdown Hotel, and all his favorite flavors of “pie” – people went nuts. When New Day talks about ‘Booty-Os’ and wear unicorn horns on their heads – people go nuts.
Anyways, the match itself was hit-and-miss mostly due to Sheamus, who seemed absolutely out of sorts in the ring. Like him or not, but Sheamus is always crisp in the ring, and tonight he looked sluggish and exhausted. Sadly, this cause for way too many botched spots, including one that nearly killed poor Kofi. Speaking of, Kofi had his damn working shoes on tonight and really shined, Big E did as well. While I initially smelled a title change so this “feud” could go to Wrestlemania, New Day luckily scores the win.
Chris Jericho vs. Jack Swagger in a ‘It’s Shocking That People Still Chant We the People’ Match: Heel Jericho = The Best Jericho. Seriously, as good a wrestler as Chris Jericho is, he’s one of the all-time best heels. His mic work tonight, which was simple and too the point, got the most heat of the night. And even though it’ll be the third or fourth time they’ve fought – I can’t wait for AJ vs. Jericho at Mania. Tonight, however, Jericho name dropped Jack Swagger a few times, and out ‘The Real American’ came. I can’t believe how many people (even in Canada!) chant ‘We the People’ and pop for this guy during his entrance. Sadly, this is the only time people gave a crap about Swaggs. Jack went into his usual lumbering move set, and as usual Jericho carried him to a solid match.
Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady vs. The Revival in an ‘NXT is Obviously Stealing the Show’ Match: Enzo and Cass are SUPER over. And tonight they brought their damn working shoes. The Revival of Dash and Dawson are just great old school bad asses. If you saw their NXT Takeover: London match, you kinda know what happens here, except it’s in front of an exponentially larger crowd. Despite not getting any pop at their entrance, The Revival had people hating them by match’s end. As for Enzo and Cass – despite losing AGAIN – the two have become such much smoother and natural in the ring. It’s time for their call up. How you doin?
Charlotte vs. Natalya in a ‘That’s How You Do A Divas Title Match’: This was probably the match of the night. Charlotte has really come into her own as a heel, and that’s what she’s meant to be. Her “face” run filled with pinky swears and real tears was kinda lame, but now she’s her father’s daughter and it’s perfect. Natalya, despite her lack of TV time, has become such a fan favorite in WWE, and tonight she reminded everyone just how talented of an in-ring talent she is. One has to wonder if this could be her swan song due to the possible retirement of her husband, Tyson Kidd. Either way, great storytelling in this match, and you really thought Nattie could take this one — despite the fact there’s no way they’d change the Wrestlemania triple threat.
Brock Lesnar w/Paul Heyman vs. Luke Harper & Bray Wyatt in a ‘Well At Least Bray Didn’t Lose Again’ Match: A classic heel bait and switch that was a really big let down. I was hoping for a hard-hitting match, but I guess they want to save that for the big money PPV. I’m a bit surprised Harper, who’s been pretty under-used in the past six-eight months, got in as much offense as he did. Maybe someone will take him seriously and push him now.
Sami Zayn vs. Stardust in a ‘That’s Not How You Book Sami’ Match: On paper this seemed like an awesome match as both guys can go in the ring. However, this one stunk. Whomever “produced” this match should be receiving a pink slip this morning. The match was 80% Stardust kicking the crap out of Sami, and then in the last 20% of the match Sami got his licks in and eeked out a win. If you’re going to build Sami for KO at Mania, you can’t have him struggle against a wrestler who everyone has used a jobber for the past year. Titus O’Neil wiped the floor with him. Stephen Amell beat him. Sami Zayn is infinitely better in the ring than both so to have him struggle against Stardust was just terrible booking.
Dean Ambrose vs. Triple H in a ‘This Will Be a Better WWE Title Than At Wrestlemania’ Match: Great build. Strong match. Deflating ending. Listen we all knew Dean Ambrose was not going to win this match. There’s no way Triple H was being pulled from the main event at Wrestlemania. And there’s no way Roman Reigns loses. So yes, people are going to shit all over this match. Regardless, the Dean/Hunter match reminded me a lot of the Mick Foley/Triple H matches in 2000. These had better builds than the ‘Mania main events, and the in-ring quality was infinitely better. Ambrose showed main event mentality here, and one day he can have the belt. The Dusty finish with the fake 3 count was so deflating. Why? Because the ending was so predictable.
Overall, Roadblock was a fun but flawed show.