Thus far, the road to WrestleMania has been full of potholes. Angles that don’t quite make sense, match-ups that on paper at least appear to be quite disappointing and worst of all, there just doesn’t seem to be that big event feel.
With WrestleMania only three weeks away, Roadblock was a chance for the WWE to get their creative house in order. To tighten things up, tell better stories and light a fire under those Mania feuds. Although the overall show was far better than any of the WWE’s recent pay-per-views, Roadblock did nothing at all to fuel any kind of excitement for WrestleMania or its feuds.
Triple H ties Ambrose up. Photo Courtesy: WWE Network.
The WWE’s resident lunatic, Dean Ambrose, thwarted his own chances at winning the WWE World Heavyweight Title by first attempting to pin champion Triple H with his legs under the bottom rope and then taking the fight to the floor. That is not to say Ambrose didn’t put in a great performance. In the match of his career, Ambrose proved beyond a shadow of a doubt he is main event material, perhaps soon to be following in the legendary but demented footsteps of another unorthodox superstar, one Mick Foley.
The crowd at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto, Ontario, seemed oddly divided backing both Ambrose and his opponent, the champion, Triple H. The guarded mat wrestling soon evolved into Dean Ambrose exhibiting some rare ring psychology by targeting Triple H’s knee and Triple H in turn honing in on Ambrose’s back.
As Triple H tried to execute his lethal Pedigree, Ambrose wisely back dropped him over the top rope to the floor. As Ambrose sprinted off the ropes for an attempted Suicide Dive, Triple H just flat out punched him in the face knocking him senseless. Triple H cleared off the announce table of all of the usual distractions, teasing evil intentions. Ambrose, however, reversed things throwing Triple H into the steel steps then back into the ring to a chorus of boos from the impatient crowd.
Ambrose flies high. Photo Courtesy: WWE Network.
As Ambrose climbed to the top rope, Triple H crotched him but as he cinched in a Pedigree, Ambrose maneuvered the champion into a figure four and then a sharpshooter, which had the Canadian crowd buzzing.
After being guillotined on the top rope, Ambrose recovered and drove Triple H into the mat with Dirty Deeds. The referee laid down a three count but seeing Ambrose’s legs under the bottom rope, waved the pinfall off much to the disappointment of Ambrose and the WWE Universe.
An enraged Ambrose threw Triple H into the barricade, nailed him with a clothesline from the top rope to the floor and then took the time to humiliate Triple H with a DX crotch chop.
The turning point in the match came when Ambrose let his thirst for revenge get the best of him. With Triple H laying on the announce table, Ambrose leapt off the barricade with a flying elbow smash. Triple H rolled out of harm’s way in the nick of time. Ambrose, essentially, put himself through a table. As the official reached a nine count, Ambrose dashed back into the ring only to be met by a Pedigree and a pinfall win for Triple H.
Triple H retains. Photo Courtesy: WWE Network.
While Ambrose fans would have to wait another day, the hometown crowd reveled in their Canadian superstars with Natalya, Chris Jericho and Sami Zayn all putting in exceptional performances. In particular, Zayn’s in-ring debut in the Ricoh Coliseum was another milestone for the Montreal native who very well could be on his way to facing fellow Canadian Kevin Owens at WrestleMania.
NXT superstars The Revival and Enzo Amore, Colin Cassady also proved how far they have come by almost stealing the show with their tag team tussle proving why NXT is still the show to watch each and every week.
The next WWE Network show is WrestleMania on April 3.
- New Day spouts off about the Power of Positivity and unveils the Booty-O’s cereal while proceeding to rip on The League of Nations.
The New Day (champions) Vs The League of Nations (challengers) – WWE World Tag Team Championship MatchSheamus clocks Kofi. Photo Courtesy: WWE Network.
- Barrett breaks free of a Unicorn Stampede in the corner with a Winds of Change to tag in Sheamus. The League of Nations takes over scoring a couple of two counts by lowering the boom on Kofi. In the end, New Day scrambles The League for the win.
- Winners: …and still WWE World Tag Team Champions…The New Day…at 9 minutes and 29 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7 / 10
- Time for Paul Heyman to address the humanoids. Tonight, Toronto is the capital of Suplex City. Brock Lesnar is finally going to exact his revenge on Bray Wyatt. Bray has the same chance at beating The Beast as the Miami Heat have at defeating the Toronto Raptors: None.
Chris Jericho Vs Jack SwaggerJericho flips things on Swagger. Photo Courtesy: WWE Network.
- Jericho completely ignores the fans as he strides to the ring in an arrogant huff.
- Dimwit JBL calls A.J. Styles a “rookie”. Seriously.
- Jericho takes the microphone and goes on a tirade. “Toronto you can shut your filthy mouths right now. You had your chance to chant for me, instead you chanted for A.J.,” whined Y2J. The rebellious crows starts an A.J. chant.
- ”Typical Canadians playing catch-up, you are always a little behind. I am the greatest icon in the history of this country,” Jericho continues.
- The crowd chants…We want Bret!
- ”You ain’t never getting him again,” laughs Jericho. “I am so ashamed to be Canadian that I moved from this country years ago…and you want to know why I moved? I moved because Canada stinks, literally, stinks. Toronto is the anus.”
- The crowd calls Jericho an anus…or close to it.
- ”I am not the next big thing, I am the only thing that matters. I am the best in the world at what I do,” Jericho proclaimed.
- Jericho slaps Swagger in the mush. This does nothing but piss Swagger off. Swagger pounds Jericho in a corner but Jericho takes back the advantage by taking a cheap shot. Jericho drop kicks Swagger out of the ring. Y2J whips Swagger shoulder-first in the barrier before hurling him back into the ring.
- The fans chant CM Punk for some unknown reason.
- After a bulldog, Jericho mocks Swagger. Swagger hits back with a Swagger Bomb for a two count. Jericho escapes the Patriot Lock twice before slapping on the Walls of Jericho for the win.
- JBL literally loses his mind and starts yelling…You still got it!…over and over, like 25 times. Someone please loosen his tie or cut back his coffee, thanks.
- Winner: Chris Jericho at 7 minutes and 54 seconds.
- Match Rating: 6 / 10
The Revival (champions) Vs Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady (challengers) NXT Tag Team Championship MatchBig Cass spells big trouble for The Revival. Photo Courtesy: WWE Network.
- One of the, if not THE best match of the night. Amore and Cassady get a big pop when they land a variation of the Missile Launcher, over the top rope onto The Revival who are spilled out on the floor. The Revival takes over after they post Enzo. Enzo gets worked over hard.
- JBL makes a mistake naming the nineties as one of the best eras of tag-team wrestling and then stutters and sputters when trying to name great teams other than the New Age Outlaws. He has to be reminded that he was in the APA. Loosen tie. Less coffee, dude.
- From the floor, Enzo dives like a madman into the ring only to be tackled by Dawson. Enzo does finally reach Cass and all hell breaks loose. Cass manhandles The Revival but his attempt at another Rocket Launcher is halted when Enzo is crotched by Dawson outside the ring. Cass stalks Dawson who hides behind Carmella. Carm slaps the taste out of Dawson’s mouth but this leaves Cass open to an attack leaving Enzo vulnerable in the ring.
- Winners: …and still NXT Tag Team Champions… The Revival …at 10 minutes and 15 seconds.
- Match Rating: 8 / 10.
- Backstage, Nattie dedicates match to Bret Hart in a taped interview. Charlotte and Ric Flair interrupt. Charlotte claims Nattie is not on her level so she won’t put belt on line tonight. Nattie calls the Flairs “cowards”. A goaded Charlotte agrees to give Nattie a title shot.
- ”You are just like the Toronto Maple Leafs, they will never win a cup ever again,” sneered Charlotte.
Natalya (challenger) Vs Charlotte (champion) – WWE Divas Title MatchNattie does her uncle proud. Photo Courtesy: WWE Network.
- Charlotte reminds Nattie she is the champ with a stiff chop to the throat that knocks Nattie to her knees. Nattie retaliates by running off the ropes, stomping on Charlotte and then kicking her in the face. Nattie gets pulled out to the floor. Charlotte calls her a “has-been” wrapping her legs around the steel post.
- Things break down with both women punching and chopping the crap out of each other in the middle of the ring. After several reversed Sharpshooters and Figure Eights, Nattie catches Charlotte on the top rope and powerbombs her to the mat for a two count. She locks on the Sharpshooter again. Charlotte scrambles to the ropes where Ric grabs her arms. Nattie punches Flair. Charlotte pins a distracted Nattie.
- Winner: …and still WWE Divas Champion…Charlotte at 13 minutes and 36 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7.5 / 10
Brock Lesnar Versus Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper – Handicap MatchIt is Suplex City for Harper. Photo Courtesy: WWE Network.
- Bray Wyatt ambles out with Luke Harper. Yes, Brock Lesnar is a monster, a beast and a conqueror but he has never conquered Bray Wyatt.
- ”Luke Harper and I will slay the beast together and stab that sword into heart of beast,” babbles Bray, which means you just know Harper will be doing all the work and taking the fall.
- As the crowd chants…Suplex City!…Brock walk around the entire ring with a smirk on his face. Good times, Brock. Good times. According to Heyman, Brock is not only the mayor of Suplex City but the “Bray Basher” and “Harper Smasher”.
- The most disappointing match of the evening. After taking one suplex, Bray tags out and never enters the bout again. Although Harper staggers Lesnar with everything he has in his arsenal, Lesnar suplexes him a million times and F5s him. Bray heads to the dressing room leaving Harper to fend for himself as Brock is hot on his heels.
- Winner: … Brock Lesnar at 4 minutes and 4 seconds.
- Match Rating: 5 / 10
Sami Zayn Versus StardustZayn dishes out some pain. Photo Courtesy: WWE Network.
- A lot of back and forth action. At one point, Stardust takes off his glove and slaps Zayn in the face. This fires up Zayn who hits the Blue Thunder Bomb twice and the Helluva Kick for the 1, 2, 3.
- Winner: … Sami Zayn at 12 minutes and 31 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7 / 10
Triple H (champion) Versus Dean Ambrose (challenger) – WWE World Heavyweight Title Match
- Winner: …and still WWE World Heavyweight …Triple H at 24 minutes and 40 seconds.
- Match Rating: 8.5 / 10
- Total Event Time: Approximately, 2 and a half hours.
- Overall Event Rating: 8 / 10
- One of the founding managing editors of SLAM! Wrestling, John Powell is a veteran entertainment journalist. He is currently covering Big Brother Canada , Survivor and the the video game industry. He can be reached at [email protected] or @POW2112 on Twitter.