As Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan, wrestling’s all-time greatest thinker, is fond of saying: “A friend in need is a pest.” At RoadBlock, the final WWE pay-per-view of 2016, it was all about the trials and tribulations of friendship. Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens punked the WWE Universe while The Shield reunited for the hundredth time on WWE television. The Hounds of Justice? The Hounds of Monotony is more like it.
With their friendship apparently on thin ice, besties Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho were at odds during the entire show as a desperate Owens tried to apologize repeatedly only to be rebuffed by Y2J, repeatedly. You know things are beyond repair when Jericho throws away the gift of an expensive and festive holiday scarf. Bah, humbug!
The bromance imploded when Owens made his presence felt during Jericho’s match with Seth Rollins. Rollins knocked KO off the apron and Jericho yelled at him to just leave. Throwing his hands up in the air, a dejected Owens split the scene and Jericho would go on to lose minutes later.
Owens and Reigns square off. Photo Courtesy: WWE.
When Jericho interfered in the Roadblock main event giving a Codebreaker to champion Kevin Owens instead of challenger Roman Reigns, it seemed like the camaraderie was over or…was it? Once Roman Reigns was disqualified by the official because of Jericho’s outside interference, Y2J and the Prize Fighter smiled and hugged in the middle of the ring as a stunned Reigns and WWE Universe looked on. The fights, the falling out, the arguments, were all one big ruse to make sure Owens left Pittsburgh with the WWE Universal title.
Owens splashes Reigns. Photo Courtesy: WWE.
Owens and Jericho weren’t able to savour the success of their deception for too long. The WWE resurrected the stale and decomposed Shield angle once again. Rollins stormed the ring as Owens was speared by Reigns on the floor. Rollins Pedigreed Jericho and then…you guessed it…Reigns and Rollins powerbombed Jericho and Owens through separate announce tables.
It might have been cool the first time. It might have been fun the second time but now reunifying The Shield every week is about as interesting as a sixty minute Iron Man match between Bone Soldier and Toru Yano. If you don’t get the reference, you need to do your wrestling homework.
Y2J hands Owens the Universal Title. Photo Courtesy: WWE.
Despite ending in shenanigans, Owens versus Reigns was the best match on an otherwise unexceptional pay-per-view. It is not that any of the matches were bad, they weren’t. It is just none of them were particularly memorable. There just wasn’t a whole lot of drama or excitement on display even in what should have been some riveting encounters like the Iron Man match and Jericho’s match with Rollins. It could be that the rematch well could be drying up. That the limitations brought upon by the brand split are finally beginning to take their toll with recycled finishes, recycled matches, recycled spots and recycled feuds.
The next WWE Network pay-per-view is The Royal Rumble on January 29th.
Roadblock: End of the Line Results
Big Cass Vs Rusev
Big Cass and Rusev collide. Photo Courtesy: WWE.
- Lana gets a healthy reception until she asks the crowd to welcome her hubby. Enzo accompanies Big Cass to the ring, which begs the question…Why doesn’t Enzo fight his own battle against the Bulgarian Brute? Enzo trash talks from the safety of the aisle while Rusev begs and begs him to come into the ring.
- After the bell rings, Rusev is knocked through the ropes and to the floor with a big boot from Cass while Enzo continues to cheer on his pal from ringside. Back in the ring, Cass continues to batter and bruise Rusev, who offers very little offense in return. Rusev’s big kick is caught by Big Cass and he feels the sting of an Empire Elbow. Cass follows Rusev into the crowd as the two take the fight to the floor. Lana distracts Enzo and Rusev clocks Enzo from behind as he beats the count back in the ring. Despite dominating the entire bout, Big Cass is counted out.
- Winner: Rusev at 4 minutes and 25 seconds.
- Match Rating: 4 / 10
The New Day (champions) Vs Cesaro, Sheamus (challengers) – WWE Raw Tag Team Championship MatchNew Day hands over the titles. Photo Courtesy: WWE.
- I still don’t get the James Bond deal with Cesaro’s entrance, how is it relevant in any way? But, who am I to argue? Cesaro roars out of the gate with a drop kick for a two count stunning Kofi and The New Day. Sheamus is tagged in and Kofi is just pummelled some more. Cesaro hits Kofi so hard his arm band comes flying off. Big E is knocked off the apron and Kofi has nobody to tag in for some time as he continues to be mugged by Sheamus and Cesaro.
- Big E is finally tagged in and spears Sheamus off the apron. Big E evens things out giving Kofi some time to rest on the apron. A double White Noise scores Sheamus, Cesaro a two count. Sheamus accidentally hits Cesaro and Xavier Woods clocks Cesaro for a two count. Woods continues to interfere but The New Day cannot put Cesaro, Sheamus away. Cesaro fakes a tag into the ring and is knocked senseless by Kofi but Sheamus, the legal man, scores the pin on Kofi. We FINALLY have new champs! New Day reluctantly hand the belts over and congratulate Cesaro as Sheamus tries to hog the spotlight. Cesaro and Sheamus battle back and forth for cheers, all the way to the lockeroom.
- Winners: …the new WWE Raw Tag Team Champions …Cesaro, Sheamus at 10 minutes.
- Match Rating: 7.5 / 10
- Backstage, Kevin Owens is carrying a Christmas present and the WWE Universal belt. Owens says he isn’t impressed by Cesaro, Sheamus. He is better than them and better than New Day. He is also better than Roman Reigns. Jericho appears. Owens tries to apologize as Jericho attempts to walk away. Owens grabs his arm. Y2J glares at Owens. Owens says he is not to blame for the loss on Raw this week. It was the fault of Rollins. Owens hands him the present. It is a fancy holiday scarf. Jericho tosses it in Owens’ face and walks away without saying a word. Ouch! Where’s the love Y2J? Where’s the love? What a Grinch.
Sami Zayn Vs Braun Strowman -10 Minute ChallengeStrowman confronts Foley. Photo Courtesy: WWE.
- Sami mounts some agile offence at the start and Strowman sells very, very badly. You can almost see the cartoon stars circling around his head. What a terrible job.
- Sami is crushed in the corner and ducks outside where he is pounded and stomped by Strowman. Strowman takes over until he runs at Sami. Sami ducks and Strowman stumbles outside of the ring. Sami takes to the sky but is caught by Strowman and slammed head-first on the ring apron. Strowman lifts Sami up again and again after pin attempts just to inflict more punishment.
- Braun continues to toy with Sami as Mick Foley comes to the ring with a white towel in hand at 6 minutes in. Strowman throws Sami out of the ring at Foley’s feet. “Save him! Throw the towel in or his blood is on your hands,” screams Strowman. On his knees, Sami begs Foley not to throw the towel in as the fans chant…Let them fight!
- Sami grabs the towel and throws it into the audience. He ducks as Strowman charges into a ring post and then moves out of the way again as Strowman smashes through a barricade moments later.
- In the ring, Sami dodges and weaves again. Strowman runs into a steel post hurting his shoulder. Sami knocks Strowman off his feet for a two count and hits a Helluva Kick as the time limit runs out.
- Foley helps Zayn to his feet, clapping him on the back for a job well done as Strowman pouts in the ring.
- Winner: Sami Zayn at 10 minutes.
- Match Rating: 6 / 10
Seth Rollins Vs Chris JerichoJericho and Rollins battle. Photo Courtesy: WWE.
- There are competing chants with half the crowd cheering for Rollins and half for Y2J. Jericho poses after knocking Rollins to the mat with a shoulder tackle. As he paintbrushes Rollins in the corner, Jericho taunts him until the tables are turned. Jericho ducks out of the ring, Rollins gives chase and hits a flying knee from the apron. Rollins then throws Jericho into the ringside barrier.
- Jericho is slingshot into the steel post but drop kicks Rollins to the floor. Rollins just barely beats the count back in. Jericho takes over choking Rollins over the ropes and slapping him in the face. Rollins gets back to his feet seething. Rollins fires back but Jericho puts him back on the mat again.
- Y2J is thrown off into the corner and lands awkwardly. Rollins hammers Jericho and hits a Sling Blade. A Blockbuster off the ropes gets Rollins a two count.
- Y2J is pushed over the top rope as he attempts a Lionsault. A suicide dive takes Jericho down on the outside. Jericho counters Rollins and slaps on The Walls. Rollins makes the ropes and escapes. Rollins misses a Frog Splash. Jericho’s Lionsault earns him a two count.
- Rollins his a Frog Splash but cannot capitalize. Kevin Owens races down to help Y2J. Rollins cuts him off and knocks him off the ring apron. Jericho orders Owens to leave. “I told you to stay away,” he shouts. Owens throws up his hands and leaves. Minutes later, Jericho loses to a Pedigree.
- Although an even match-up and technically sound, this bout really lacked the intensity these two are truly capable of.
- Winner: …Seth Rollins at 17 minutes and 9 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7.5 / 10
- It is announced that Rusev will battle Big Cass in a rematch on Raw Monday night.
TJ Perkins (challenger) Vs The Brian Kendrick (challenger) Vs Rich Swann (champion) – WWE Cruiserweight Championship MatchNeville returns with a new attitude. Photo Courtesy: WWE.
- At 30 seconds in, Swann goes to dive over Kendrick and the two collide. Swann seems confused and concerned. Kendrick appears stunned for a bit but gets back to his feet.
- Swann almost submits to TJP’s Kneebar as Kendrick is down outside the ring. Swann contemplates tapping but makes it to the ropes. Since there is no DQ in a Triple Threat match, Perkins has no reason to stop the hold but does. Swann blasts Perkins with a spinning kick for the win.
- Fireworks go off and Neville strolls to the ring smiling. Neville looks as if he is going to shake Swann’s hand but boots him and Perkins in the face. Neville throws Swann to the floor and into the barricade. Neville does the same to Perkins but walks by Kendrick, not laying a finger on him. Neville rolls Perkins and Swann back into the ring as the crowd cheers before he walks away.
- A six minute match? Come on, WWE. Not sure why these three men weren’t allowed to show all they can do and more. What a wasted opportunity. WWE marks don’t know what “awesome” truly means.
- Winner: …and still WWE Cruiserweight Champion…Rich Swann…at 6 minutes.
- Match Rating: 7 / 10.
- Owens tries to apologize but Jericho won’t open his dressing room door. Owens begs Jericho to put his name at the top of his List, if that will make things better. Owens claims that even the best of friends make mistakes and they forgive each other. “I guess I got my answer, huh? I guess we are not best friends any more. That hurts my feelings, man,” says Owens before walking away staring at the ground.
Sasha Banks (champion) Vs Charlotte (challenger) (30 Minute – Iron Man Match for the Raw Women’s Championship)Charlotte continues her pay-per-view streak. Photo Courtesy: WWE.
- First of all, let’s get one thing straight. Iron DOES NOT sharpen iron. It never has. It never will. Science.
- A new champion has been crowned each time these two have met. That is not a good thing for the legitimacy of the title, folks.
- A slow start with both wrestlers trading headlocks and arm bars as each grounds the other. Sasha executes a great flip-over for a two count, shades of Eddie Guerrero for sure. At just over 4 minutes in, Charlotte escapes the Bank Statement and takes a walk outside.
- Lots of roll ups until Sasha struts and shouts in Charlotte’s face…”Your daddy, loves me.” Charlotte takes Sasha outside and attempts to hoist her into the steel post. Sasha lands on her feet and hits the double knees off the apron. As Charlotte is locked in a straightjacket submission move, the WWE cuts away to corny crowd reactions, as they have over the last two weeks. Cut it out, WWE. Cut it out. It is just silly and unnecessary.
- Charlotte kicks Sasha’s legs out from under her. Sasha lands on the steel steps, face-first. Charlotte stomps and chokes a stunned Sasha then works on her neck. Charlotte kicks out of a crossbody, lands a neckbreaker and a knee for a two count.
- Sasha unloads with slaps in the corner and double knees. She misses a body press and Charlotte hits Natural Selection for a two count.
- Charlotte gets the first fall at 19:19 with Natural Selection from the top rope.
- Charlotte starts mocking Sasha slapping her in the face. Sasha fights back but gets suplexed. Sasha sneaks a fall at 21:44 with a really awkward, stilted roll-up.
- Charlotte misses the Moonsault and is locked into the Bank Statement. Charlotte taps at 24:01 and Sasha takes the lead.
- Charlotte and Sasha snap and begin slapping each other. Please stop the slapping and punch each other. Gosh. Charlotte drives her knee into Sasha’s then wraps the injured knee around the steel post again and again. Charlotte locks on the figure four at just two minutes left in the match. Sasha taps and the match is tied. Since the time limit has expired, the official decides it is time for sudden death overtime. The next to gain a fall will win. Charlotte works on the knee some more and Sasha almost steals another pin. Blood starts pouring from Sasha’s nose or mouth but she locks on the Bank Statement again. Charlotte reaches for the bad knee and reverses into a Figure Four. She then bridges into a Figure Eight. Sasha taps out.
- Another well wrestled but underwhelming match as far as drama and excitement go. And announce team, stop overselling the women’s matches. Yes, they are doing a great job but there is no need to be overhyping every match they have. Not everything they do is historic or revolutionary, maybe in the WWE but not in the rest of the wrestling world, like Japan where many women have had all sorts of hardcore and steel cage matches. The hype is becoming quite patronizing now, to say the very least.
- Winner: …and new WWE Raw Women’s Champion…Charlotte…at 34 minutes and 52 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7 / 10
Kevin Owens (champion) Vs Roman Reigns (challenger) – WWE Universal Championship Match
- Owens taunts Reigns from that start saying his title is the only one that matters. KO’s strategy is to duck out of the ring whenever he is in trouble and just to tick Roman off. Owens also demands to know if Roman is so tough, why didn’t he put up the U.S. title tonight?
- The biggest spot of the night comes when Kevin Owens Frog Splashes Reigns on an announce table and then through the same table again so that it finally breaks. Just before Jericho interferes, Owens was going to clock Reigns with the championship belt but was speared by Reigns.
- Winner: …by disqualification and still WWE Universal Champion…Kevin Owens at 23 minutes and 31 seconds.
- Match Rating: 8 / 10
- Total Event Time: Approximately 2 hours and 50 minutes.
- Overall Event Rating: 7 / 10
Pittsburgh loves Banks, Jericho & New Day but wants nothing to do with Reigns at Roadblock