WWE’s decision to move forward with the Roadblock event, live on the WWE Network, was a bit baffling to me. On the road to Wrestlemania, a good four to six weeks is a good amount of time to allow the weekly television shows to build sufficient anticipation. But, whether I agree with them or not, World Wrestling Entertainment put on a solid, if not memorable show live from Toronto.
LEAGUE OF NATIONS vs. THE NEW DAY (Tag Team Championship): This was a feud that, if you were not keeping up with WWE social media, you wouldn’t know these two factions had beef. However, both teams had a good outing. Both Sheamus and King Barrett put an early beating on Kofi Kingston. But Xavier Woods once again proved to be a great equalizer, distracting the referee and causing the momentum to go back in their direction. A well timed reversal by Big E allowed him to deliver the Big Ending to Barrett. While this wasn’t what I’d call a pay-per-view caliber match, it effectively brought more heat to this rivalry. Here’s hoping that WWE creative actually delivers with a solid ending to this feud and not just forget it after tonight. WINNERS: The New Day
JACK SWAGGER vs. CHRIS JERICHO: Speaking of pay-per-view matches that had little to no build to it, this one was also a bit of a head scratcher as Swagger has been on and off TV many times over the past several months. But these athletes took the lemons and made some sweet lemonade with it. They kept things on the mat in the opening minutes, but it wouldn’t take long for Jericho to speed up the pace. Swagger did his best, countering the Lionsault and the Codebreaker. Swagger tried to lock in the Patriot Lock, but Jericho had it scouted and was able to maneuver Swagger into the Walls of Jericho and make Swagger tap out. WINNER: Chris Jericho
ENZO AMORE & COLIN CASSADY vs. THE REVIVAL (NXT Tag Team Championship): Having two matches with tag team gold on the line in the same event would normally be questionable. But the heat between these two teams and this being their first official match since Dash & Dawson put a beating on Enzo & Big Cass meant that it needed a huge platform for this rivalry to reach its crescendo. Enzo and Cass were more aggressive than usual, matching the smash mouth style of the Revival punch for punch (which the ref was pretty lenient with). Enzo was launched by his partner like a lawn dart at their opponents several times. Dawson landed a hard shot while the referee was distracted, then tried to use Enzo and Cass’ valet, Carmela, as a human shield. Cass got her away safely, but got caught with a double team outside the ring. Enzo tried to come to the rescue, but got hit with Dash & Dawson’s finisher from the top rope. On the one hand, I don’t want this awesome feud to be over. But on the other hand, Enzo & company are long overdue to get called up to the main Raw/Smackdown roster and maybe this means that happens sooner rather than later. WINNERS: The Revival
NATALYA vs. CHARLOTTE (Divas Championship): An impromptu, but much welcome match, these women brought some of the most epic technical wrestling we’ve seen on WWE television in months. The art of working a body part to set up a finisher was on full display as both athletes set up their finishing moves for the majority of the match. Charlotte savagely attacked the legs and then paid homage to her father, Ric Flair, by locking in the Figure Four Leg Lock. Natalya refused to tap out, forcing Charlotte to drag her to the apron, with the submission still locked in. Charlotte went to the top rope, but Natalya caught her with a Power Bomb. Natalya went for the Sharpshooter, but a timely distraction by Ric Flair allowed Charlotte to escape, then get the quick roll up victory. This match was Ring Psychology 101 and many of the men on the roster should watch this match and learn a thing or two. WINNER: Charlotte
LUKE HARPER vs. BROCK LESNAR: I have had deep concerns with how little WWE booking or creative has protected Bray Wyatt or the Wyatt family. This match was more of the same. Lesnar nailed Harper with several German suplexes. Harper was able to get off some hard hitting offense with a big boot, a devastating super kick and even his discus clothesline finisher. Lesnar actually sold for a bit, but regained his composure and took Harper to Suplex City and finished him off with an F-5. I fear that this may be the nail in the coffin of the gimmick that is the Wyatt Family. WINNER: BROCK LESNAR
SAMI ZAYN vs. STARDUST: This match appeared to be the test to see if and when Zayn is full time on the Raw/Smackdown roster, can he not only hang with those guys in the ring, but if he can also maintain strong ring psychology against some of the more colorful and over the top superstars there. Before Zayn could get into a groove with his high flying offense, Stardust went to work on the ribs and back, using the ringpost to cut off air. Zayn tried to build momentum, but was cut off again as Stardust delivered the most unorthodox version of a Boston Crab ever. Both men fought on the top rope, but Stardust nailed him with a top rope Superplex. Zayn was able to come back with a dive over the top rope, then a Blue Thunder Bomb. Stardust drilled Zayn with a Disaster Kick. This couldn’t keep Zayn down, as he followed up with a kick of his own and picking up the pinfall. WINNER: SAMI ZAYN
DEAN AMBROSE vs. TRIPLE H (WWE World Heavyweight Championship): This match only had about a three week build up, but seems to have excited the fans more than any of the HHH/Roman Reigns feud (through no fault of Reigns or Helmsley). Creative let these men speak with their fists, something they SHOULD HAVE done with Reigns from the start. The opening of the match saw Helmsley slowly working Ambrose with his technical game, keeping things on the mat. Ambrose then unleashed some unorthodox offense of his own, ripping at Triple H’s nose, trying to break it, all the while mocking the champion. Though one of the only holes in Ambrose’s offense is that he doesn’t deliver believable punches, he certainly stepped that aspect up here. Ambrose then went to work on Helmsley’s leg. Ambrose got too aggressive outside the ring and it backfired, allowing Helmsley to launch Ambrose into the ring steps. Going back to working Ambrose’s arm, as he did earlier, Triple H locked in a Crossface, then a modified Rings of Saturn, but Ambrose would not submit. After a melee outside the ring, Ambrose escaped an attempted Pedigree, then locks in a Figure Four Leg Lock on Helmsley. This did not work, so Ambrose then locked in a Sharpshooter, but Helmsley got to the bottom rope. Ambrose nailed Triple H with Dirty Deeds but his pinfall didn’t count since his foot was under the bottom rope. Ambrose barely avoided getting counted out, but was hit with a Pedigree as soon as he went back into the ring, sealing his defeat. WINNER: Triple H
Roadblock was far from a bad show, but honestly, could 90% of these matches not have been better served on Raw or Smackdown? What are your thoughts on this event?