Well the road to Wrestlemania was met with a, you guessed it, a roadblock. A confrontation between the “Eater of Worlds” and the “Beast Incarnate” a rematch from the NXT Women’s Championship finals, Cass and Enzo’s last chance to become NXT tag team champions. The New Day defend their titles and the “Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose tries to show Triple H that he isn’t merely a speed bump, but the roadblock that will bring his World Heavyweight Championship reign to a screeching halt. Was this a worthy Network Special to continue our road to Wrestlemania, or merely, for the creative staff, a creative block?
WWE Tag Team Championship Match:
The New Day (c) Def. King Barrett & Sheamus (9:49)
The show kicks off with our favourite unicorn bunch The New Day cutting a wonderful promo as per usual, highlighted by their latest prop. A box of Booty O’s which I thought was a great edition to New Day’s arsenal of gags. Always keep cycling never let one thing get too old, stay one step ahead of the audience. Their match against Barrett and Sheamus was a very solid opener, as bad as LON have been booked, it was nice to see Sheamus and Barett get some exposure to show how good they really are. Heck it was nice just see King Barrett wrestle again after so long, 4 solid workers produced a nice match. Big.E continues to shine and Kofi looked great, these two could have some seriously strong singles runs if New Day were to ever disband. Especially Big.E, I feel he could even be a threat in the world title scene in a few years given the right character and booking, he has a nice move set, is big and over as heck. The finish was classic New Day, using a distraction to help pick up the win, this time Xavier doing a Bo Dallas lap around the ring, although I would have preferred seeing them use the Booty O’s in some fashion, throwing some cereal in their eyes or chucking the box at them. Overall a very solid tag team match to kick off the show.
Chris Jericho Def. Jack Swagger (7:54)
Another great promo to start this off, Jericho bringing back his 2008 heel character, and I f*cking love it! From his opening line of “Shut you filthy mouths” to telling the crowd how he’s ashamed to be Canadian, Jericho taught everyone how to get heat, even if it’s in your hometown and the fans love you. Sadly his opponent of choice wasn’t the best, I think Swagger is a great worker and talented, but he’s just not over right now. A better choice would have been a face Canadian star *cough* Sami Zayan *cough* This match was simply here to give Jericho a win leading up to hopefully a match with AJ Styles at Mania, hopefully a cheeky submission match stipulation. For 8 minutes, you got a decent showing, a house show standard match which is what this show mostly was, a glorified house show. The post match was great, Jericho ripping up a fans sign, and out of all the signs he chose to rip IN CANADA, it was a damn “Get Well Soon Bret” sign. Such amazing heeling from Jericho which definitely lifted this much up a peg.
Rating: **1/4 (+5 For Jericho Heel Spots)
NXT Tag Team Championship Match:
The Revival Def. Enzo Amore & Collin Cassady (10:17)
Great choice by WWE to have this match on the card, give the NXT boys some exposure and get them over with the main roster fans and casauls who might not watch NXT. Enzo & Cass are very much over with the crowd, with their intro getting a nice reception, hopefully they can add to it or change it around in the future to avoid it getting stale. The Revival are very old school in their heel ways, just classic tag team cheating, distractions, using the opponents valet as a shield, handful of tights, just a great team. The match was great, an early contender for MOTN, these two teams have amazing synergy together. This was just a nice throwback tag team match, more about teams working together as a unit rather than working well on their own. Big Cass is probably my favourite hot tagger in NXT/WWE he just gets so pumped on the apron and charges in once he’s tagged, it’s great. Enzo and Cass have some nice tag moves, the way Cass will just hurl Enzo into their opponents is great, my favourite being Cass chucking Enzo over the top rope, then he’ll immediately get back up. Dash & Dawson are no slouches of course, using less big spot moves and just working well as a unit with quick tags keep their opponents far apart from each other, making the hot tags more impactful during the match. Using Carmella as a shield to stop Cass attacking was a great heel move and the shatter machine spot on the outside was great. The finish was good, having to use another shatter machine from the top rope to put Big Cass away really empathised how much The Revival had to do to put Enzo and Cass away for good. This should be their swan song for being called up the main roster while The Revival move onto other teams, if so, a great match to end their NXT run on.
WWE Divas Championship Match:
Charlotte (c) Def. Natalya (13:37)
My personal MOTN, I thought this was a great match, a nice throwback to the final of the NXT Women’s Championship tournament. While I prefer their NXT match, this match was still well done, showing that a simple story in the divas division will work better than stupid bitchiness. Natalya the hometown hero and Charlotte the evil cheating heel and they worked well off it. Solid chain wrestling at the start and more technical than your average divas match, very much based on holds and submissions. Both women trying to wear each other down to apply their finisher, which made for a nice change in how to work a divas match in todays WWE. Both ladies sold each others submissions well and let the tension build enough before breaking free, especially Charlotte with selling the sharpshooter. That girl can bend her back so well and make her selling on submissions so much more effective. Slightly off spot with Ric trying to help Charlotte, they could clearly grab each other’s hands but chose not to, which then went into the finish of Charlotte’s roll up and using the ropes for leverage which I thought was a nice ending. Have Charlotte win, but make her look venerable going into Mania, becoming more desperate in her ways of winning. I would’ve personally liked the finish to be Charlotte winning via the sharpshooter, in Canada, imagine the heat! None the less a nice finish to an awesome match, hopefully we see more of Natalya, she’s criminally under used.
2 on 1 Handicap Match:
Brock Lesnar Def. Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper (4:03)
The only dark spot on the show, not that a Brock Lesnar squash is bad, but the false advertising was laughable. After so much hype around this match being Bray against Brock, not only was it changed to a handicap match on the night, but Bray didn’t event touch Lesnar. It was just Luke getting sacrificed and Bray running away during the post match, which just makes him look weak. I get that they didn’t want Bray losing or getting pinned, but with matches like Jericho Swagger and Sami Stardust, why not have: Sami vs Jericho instead whilst not having Swagger and Stardust on the card at all, meaning we either get a nice brawl between Brock and Bray or at least a more compelling handicap match because Luke deserves better than to be squashed. At the very least this keeps things open for a match later down the line with Brock going through each member of the family before finally confronting Bray one on one after the Wyatt Family abandon Bray for throwing them under the bus essentially. Outside of that this match really shouldn’t have happened if this was suppose to be a blow off type encounter, yeah Brock gets a win after Fastlane, but as usual, Bray is left challenging someone, then losing.
Sami Zayan Def. Stardust (12:33)
Now like I’ve said throughout the review, Sami and Jericho should have been the match, have this be their spot, take the 8 minutes from Jericho’s match with Swagger. Add that to the previous match, suddenly you have two good-great matches rather than 3 disappointments all involving great talent. My only guess is they didn’t want Sami or Jericho losing heading into Mania which I understand, but I don’t think fans would have complained, it would’ve drawn good heat/pops. Anyways, the match itself was good for what we got, I like Stardust in terms of he takes a gimmick and runs with it, but it’s just not a great character. These two didn’t have ideal chemistry and it felt a bit off, even Sami’s closing spot just didn’t feel as exciting as it usually does. It was a good match in terms of getting Sami over and showing off his moves, but outside of that, this match didn’t accomplish much. No run in from Owens after or anything to progress their story on RAW, it just falls flat sadly.
Main Event – WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match:
Triple H (c) Def. Dean Ambrose (24:43)
A solid main event and runner up for MOTN for me. Triple H coming out first seemed odd, seeing as he’s champion but I guess it didn’t matter to much as it is, a glorified house show. I have to say, I still don’t buy Dean in the main event title picture, I just don’t, pretty generic character and no defined move set just doesn’t appeal to me. It’s hard for him to have a great straight up wrestling match one on one, he’s always needed gimmick matches or back in The Shield days, his fellow stable mates to help carry him through. With this match sadly feeling like Trips had to carry Dean through at points. It was also weird seeing Dean attack Trips quads, even thought Dean’s only real consistent offensive moves attacks the head, not quads. I know it gets applied to a sharpshooter later on, but Dean makes the break away spot of that move look so obvious that I didn’t buy that Dean would finish him off that way. The match was very well paced I must say, Triple H showing he can still go in longer matches, pacing it to his liking always selling in some way even when he’s not on the offence or defence. There weren’t many false finishes but a few false builds to the pedigree and dirty deeds which I thought was nice, not knowing who would strike first and if it would be enough. The false finish at the end with Dean’s foot under the ropes was well done, felt natural with everyone cheering thinking he had won, then having it being pointed out afterwards. Normally spots like this you can tell when it will happen but here it was discreet and props for Dean for making it that way. A nice table spot as well, which honestly I thought was going to be the go home with Dean getting in and simply being pedigreed and losing but no we got a bit more action including the nice false finish. Of course Triple H would pick up the win shortly after, and with no confrontation with Roman after it just made this whole match and story feel heatless with Dean merely serving as a speed bump rather than a real contender for the title, which I know most would rebel against but I have no love lost for Dean not being in the main event. I think he’s good, but not world champion, not for a while longer. Overall this match was still fine, showing Triple H can still work longer matches which might be a taste of things to come at Wrestlemania, and gives Dean a story element they can go back to with the false finish as Triple H never kicked out of dirty deeds which was a nice change, having the finisher, actually finish someone off instead of a million kick outs.
Final Thoughts: Overall while not exciting in advancing storylines or changing things up with title changes, Roadblock was a safe entertaining show. Solid matches for the most part with a few misses in Jericho Swagger, Brock Bray Harper and Sami Stardust. But the other matches were good-great which balances it out. Still this show isn’t going to make us want to watch the next special, because nothing happened that was big, like a big return, title change or exciting confrontation. There was no big thing that viewers would miss if they didn’t tune in then think “Well the last special did this, I need to watch the next one in case something big happens.” It was sadly, by the numbers and merely a pit stop for creative to top up their creative tank seeing as it was clearly empty while plotting up this show as I have said before and many others have as well, a glorified house show. A solid wrestling show, but don’t expect magic, still worth a watch for the good that’s on there.
Overall Rating: 7.5/10
What did you guys think of WWE Roadblock? Good? Bad? Anything they could’ve added or taken away? Comment below your thoughts and don’t forget to like and share this review. As well as following us on Twitter @WeWriteWrestlin and don’t forget to follow my personal Twitter @WWWDylanOsborn and have an awesome day.