Sunday, March 19, 2017

WWE Roadblock 2016 Review

Dean Ambrose challenges Triple H for the WWE World Heavyweight Title!

So originally, this was scheduled to be a regular WWE live event, but with WrestleMania coming up, they decided to turn this into a WWE Network Special. There are a number of title matches on this show, and an appearance by Brock Lesnar, so let’s not waste any time!

WWE Roadblock (March 2016)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada 3/12/16

1.) WWE Tag Team Titles - The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston with Xavier Woods) vs. The League of Nations (King Barrett & Sheamus): ***¼

We got the usual promo from The New Day as they made their entrance. I believe WWE was doing a split tour at the time, so half of their roster wasn’t on this show, as they were on another live event elsewhere. The League of Nations are being represented by King Barrett & Sheamus here, as they challenge The New Day for the WWE Tag Team Titles. It’s a little odd that they’re using a title match to built to a larger multi-man tag, but whatever. I thought this was a fine opening match. It was just under ten minutes, and it was relatively entertaining throughout. The match was competitive, and served its purpose. The New Day managed to get the win to retain their titles.

Before the next match began, we got a promo from Chris Jericho, who had just turned heel by attacking AJ Styles on RAW. He talked about AJ Styles a little bit, before transitioning to Canada. He told the crowd that Canada sucked, and was so happy that he didn’t live there anymore. Jericho then moved on and talked trash about his opponent, Jack Swagger. A good promo here from Jericho.

2.) Chris Jericho vs. Jack Swagger: **¾

In a funny little trivia note, Jack Swagger actually cashed in his Money In The Bank Briefcase against Chris Jericho in 2010. My, how things have changed since then. It was nice to see Swagger get on a show like this, because he really hasn’t been doing a lot in WWE, aside from a recent program with Alberto Del Rio over the United States Title. As for this particular match, I thought it was fine, but I was expecting it to be a little better. There’s really nothing else to say, other than that. For its spot on the card, it was solid, but again, considering the performers involved, it definitely could’ve been better. Jericho ultimately won the match via submission.

3.) NXT Tag Team Titles - The Revival vs. Enzo Amore & Big Cass (with Carmella): ***3/4

Up next, we have a special NXT showcase match, as The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) successfully retained their NXT Tag Team Titles against Enzo Amore & Big Cass. This was actually a rematch from NXT TakeOver: London. While I liked that encounter a little bit more, I still liked this match a lot. Both teams work very well together, and they played their roles to perfection. They managed to tell a good story, and there was some solid action as well. Aside from the main event, this was probably the second best match on the entire show. A very strong showcase for NXT’s tag team division.

4.) WWE Diva’s Title - Charlotte (with Ric Flair) vs. Natalya: ***1/2

Of course, the crowd is really behind Natalya, who is challenging for the Diva’s Title on her native soil. These two actually have a history with each other, as they had a fantastic match for the NXT Women’s Title back at the original NXT TakeOver. While this match wasn’t nearly as awesome as that classic encounter, this was still a very good women’s bout. The only real negative point about this match was the finish as, once again, a distraction from Ric Flair led to Charlotte getting the win. Besides that critique, this was a really solid match from start to finish. There was a lot of good action throughout, and it’s clear that these two work very well together. I would say that this was comfortably the third best match on the show.

5.) 2-on-1 Handicap Match - Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) vs. The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper): **½

Problems between Brock Lesnar & The Wyatt Family really exploded during the Royal Rumble Match, when the entire Wyatt Family ganged up to eliminate Lesnar, even though all of them (aside from Bray Wyatt himself) had already been eliminated. I believe the original plan was to do a feud between these two sides, but that never really came to pass on a grand scale. I think a big reason for that had to do with the fact that Bray Wyatt got injured around this time. This match was really the most that came of it. Anyway, Bray Wyatt & Paul Heyman both cut promos beforehand. The match itself was fun for what it was. It was mainly a singles match between Lesnar & Harper. They had some nice back & forth, before Lesnar won in about four minutes. Bray Wyatt was technically part of the match, but really didn’t do anything of note.

6.) Sami Zayn vs. Stardust: **1/4

After making an appearance in the Royal Rumble Match, Sami Zayn is now on the main roster. Unfortunately, he was going up against Stardust here. To say this match was disappointing would be an understatement. It’s not like this match was bad, because it wasn’t. The issue was that it was incredibly average. Honestly, it’s rare to see Sami Zayn have a match this average, and I think that just speaks to the quality of his opponent. If you can’t have a good match with Sami Zayn….well….that speaks volumes. The fact that the match went twelve minutes or so really didn’t help either, and additionally, it doesn’t help Zayn at all they he went back & forth with Stardust. Eventually, Zayn got the victory here.

7.) WWE World Heavyweight Title - Triple H vs. Dean Ambrose: ****1/4

Even though he technically lost a #1 Contender’s Match back at Fastlane, Dean Ambrose is getting a shot against Triple H here for the WWE World Heavyweight Title. Essentially, Ambrose was a “roadblock” for Triple H on the Road To WrestleMania. I thought this was a fantastic main event! The ending was, of course, predictable, but it still incredibly entertaining to watch. The match had a lot of solid action, and they managed to tell a really good story for start to finish. Again, even though Dean Ambrose had no chance of winning, they still managed to feature some great false finishes. In one particular spot, Dean Ambrose appeared to win the title after hitting the Dirty Deeds on Triple H, but his feet were under the ropes, and the match continued. Towards the end of the match, Ambrose tried to put Triple H through the announcer’s table with an elbow drop off the barricade, but Triple H moved, and Ambrose crashed through the table. Ultimately, that ended up being his downfall, as Triple H hit the Pedigree and scored the pin to retain his title. Again, this match was pretty great. It was easily the match of the night.

Overall: 7.0/10

Even though this show was a little weaker, I thought it was very similar to Fastlane. A number of good matches, some low points, and a fantastic main event. In this case, Triple H vs. Dean Ambrose had a great title match to close the show. You also had some really entertaining matches in the form of The Revival vs. Enzo Amore & Big Cass for the NXT Tag Team Titles and Charlotte vs. Natalya for the Diva’s Title. As I previously mentioned, there were some low points (mainly Sami Zayn vs. Stardust), but as a whole, this was an entertaining show from start to finish.

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