The last WWE PPV of 2016. The craziest year of WWF/E in memory begins its final chapter with another Raw exclusive show named after my sixth-favorite GI Joe.
Though their last few shows have not gone exceptionally well, I look at the card for Roadblock 2016 and see a lot of promise. That’s never deterred Vincent K. McMahon before, but here’s hoping we go out with a bang. Let’s take a look at the card:
Big Cass vs. Rusev
Ok, so a married woman was harassed by a supposed ‘good guy’ character, who was rightly beat up by her husband who is supposed to be a heel. Now the face is having his tall friend fight his battles for him? And we’re supposed to still be cheering for Enzo and Cass? This makes no sense. You bet your sorry behind Enzo and Cass come out top.
PICK: Big Cass
Chris Jericho vs. Seth Rollins
In lieu of either man getting a chance to go after a belt, they get to go after each other! Hurray! I’m quite excited to see two exceptionally talented wrestlers square off with no real ramifications. I feel confident that the combined wrestling genius of Rollins and Jericho will present a very fun, pace-pushing match. If Creative can let the two go at it uninterrupted, it should be a highlight of the evening. Seth needs a PPV win, and will undoubtedly come out on top if it stays sans shenanigans.
PICK: Seth Freakin’ Rollins
Sasha Banks (c) vs. Charlotte
30-minute Iron Man match for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship
This is how you do a feud. This is the (hopefully) cap-off match to a ruthless, almost eternal battle between two embittered foes. I cannot imagine this being any less than excellent, though I did say similar things about the HIAC match between the two. This is the match that I buy the PPV for, this is contest I can’t look away from. This is MOTY for Sasha and Charlotte to lose. My hopes are high, yes, but I think it’s more than fair. There’s only one end in sight. Middle of the ring. Bank Statement.
PICK: Sasha Banks
Rich Swann (c) vs. T.J. Perkins vs. The Brian Kendrick
for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Rich Swann is a champion in the WWE…I cannot believe I typed those words. While I am thrilled that Mr. Swann is at the top of the cruiserweight division, I am not thrilled that we have yet another PPV match including TJ and The Brian Kendrick. While they’re a talented duo, but I’m chomping at the bit to see new contenders rise through the ranks to prove themselves and help this wealthy waterfowl look like the star he is meant to be. As for this match at hand, it would be nothing short of a crime to see anyone else but Rich leave the ring with the purple strap and I cannot let myself believe Creative is willing to undercut a burgeoning talent.
PICK: Rich Swann
Braun Strowman vs. Sami Zayn
Why? Why is this still a thing? Why does it have a ten-minute time limit? Well, I can answer that pretty easily. Gotta let Sami look good while keeping Braun a monster. But why must we even test those bounds? Is there no other way to have Sami grow? Is there no one else to put up against Braun so he continues to look formidable? I almost started crying tears of joy when Sami was thought to be traded to SmackDown on this past Raw, but alas, we are stuck with this match.
PICK: Time Limit Draw
The New Day (c) vs. Cesaro and Sheamus
What is this? A New Day match where the outcome is all but certain? Sign me up! The fracas on Monday night was a joy to experience; Cesaro and Sheamus have been growing on me like lichens. The Unlikely Alliance (I guess that’s what I’ll call them now) must win the belts at some point, lest Mick Foley look like the fool to end all fools. Whether that victory be on Sunday night is anyone’s guess, but I, for one, cannot wait to see another team take hold of those engorged pennies. I foresee New Day continuing heelish shenanigans, with a possible turn down the line. If they retain, it will surely be through extra-legal means.
PICK: New Day
Kevin Owens (c) vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Title
Oh, the WWE, how do you love to watch me squirm and squeal like a worm under a magnifying glass on a hot summer’s day. Roman would value the US title, they told me. He’ll make it mean something again, I was assured. We even got a glimpse on Wednesday night, when he raised the belt high in front of an adoring crowd of our nation’s veterans – seemingly proud to be the face of the United States.
But on Sunday, Roman fights for Kevin Owen’s Universal title without putting his own belt on the line. It is nothing less than disappointing to see the WWE handle two champions so poorly in a situation that could be bettered with just a few lines in a promo. Have Roman put the US belt up, or have him want to beat Owens without the Universal belt hanging in the balance. Make him the badass we all want him to be. There are so many ways to make this match better than it is, but, sadly, none were pursued. As for a winner, Roman won’t likely go down clean. I’ll go with KO, with interference from Jericho and/or Rollins.
PICK: Kevin Owens
The End of the Line for 2016, the End of the Line for this wild ride of pro wrestling madness. I’ll see you next week with my wrap-up and review. Enjoy the weekend, stay safe, and tune in on Sunday to see how very wrong I’m sure I’ll be.