The WWE RAW exclusive PPV Roadblock was held on 12-18-16 in Pittsburg PA at the PPG Paints Arena.
Sheamus and Cesaro vs. The New Day – WWE Tag Team Championship
Winners: Sheamus and Cesaro
Despite not liking each other very much, Sheamus and Cesaro blended together like a tag team that had been competing with each other for years. They were able to get Kofi Kingston in trouble early, utilizing quick tags and good combination manuevers. This was compounded by knocking Big E off the ring apron early which caused Kofi to miss two tag opportunities to get him out of trouble. Once Big E was finally able to be tagged in, he showed why he is always one of the two members of the New Day involved in big matches. He immediately turns the tide of any match. After some big offense, a spear to Sheamus sending both out of the ring, a big splash and powerbomb. This however was not enough to put away the Celtic Warrior. The match almost came to an end when Cesaro was attempting a big swing and Sheamus accidentilly hit him. This allowed Xavier Woods to kick Cesaro sending him into the hands of Big E who was able to hit the Big Ending. Again, the New Day was unable to get the three count. The New Day then began to employ dirty tactics, trying to play the numbers game, distract the ref when Kofi was tapping out to a sharpshooter, and even Xavier Woods taking a kick from Sheamus to avoid losing the match. This was all for nothing. Apparently the New Day’s luck ran out tonight after Kofi misread who was the legal man, hitting Trouble in Paradise on Cesaro. This allowed Sheamus to roll Kofi up for the pin, thus ending the record setting 483 day title run of the New Day. The New Day showed great sportsmanship by handing over the titles to their opponents afterwards, and hugging Cesaro. Sheamus on the other hand was not in the hugging mood and just grabbed the belts.
Sami Zayn vs. Braun Strowman
Winner: Sami Zayn?
The basic point of this match was for Sami to last just ten minutes with the 385 lbs monster. This match was exactly what I thought it would be. Sami trying to use his speed and failing. Braun getting the upper hand and stalking Sami around the ring, raining down blows that look like they could break the car in the Street Figher Bonus Round. At about the 3:30 min mark Mick Foley came down to the ring with a white towel, looking to save Sami from more punishment. As Foley stood at ringside, Sami was thrown to his feet by Strowman, who urged the general manager of RAW to save Zayn if he cared about him at all. This was accompanied by Sami begging for the opposite, not wanting to quit. Sami finally threw the towel into the crowd and the match continued. Braun Strowman always brags that no one can beat him, but tonight we found someone who can, and that is Strowman himself. Sami was able to avoid multiple charging bull attacks to run out the clock, as Braun was only hurting himself when he missed. When the clock ran out Sami rolled out of the ring into the hands of Mick Foley. I put the question mark on the win because I don’t know what this will do to Strowman. Can Sami really handle a MORE pissed off giant?
Seth Rollins vs. Chris Jericho
Winner: Seth Rollins
After a very basic and somewhat slow start to the match, Chris Jericho once again showed why he is one of the greatest heels of all time. Running away from the action and using the referee twice to gain the advantage on Rollins. Jericho was very smart in this match, every time Seth tried to pick up the pace of the match, the veteran G.O.A.T would bring it right back to where he wanted it to be. The tide turned when Chris attempted to bulldog Rollins into the turnbuckle. Rollins instead launched his opponent crotch first into the corner, surely damaging the gift of Jericho. Rollins was able to mount his biggest offense of the match hitting Jericho with both the Slingblade and Blockbuster, but was unable to put Jericho away. The match picked up with some great exchanges with both wrestlers trying to hit multiple finishing moves. However it was Seth Rollin’s frog splash that brough out Chris Jericho’s bestie Kevin Owens. KO attempted to interfere but was stopped by Seth, which gave Jericho the opportunity to roll him up in a small package. It would be the same man that gave Jericho the opportunity for that roll up that would cost him the match, as the referee was too busy reprimanding Owens to see the pin attempt. As Jericho was telling Owens to leave ringside, obviously angry that he didn’t get the win, Rollins was able to pull off a Pedigree after countering a Code Breaker. With this botched save attempt by Owens, it seems Kofi Kingston isn’t the only one with trouble in paradise.
Brian Kendrick vs TJ Perkins vs Rich Swann – WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
Winner: Rich Swann
You know what? I both love and hate the cruiserweights. I love them when I just get to watch them, but hate them when I have to recap. Couple that with the fact that a triple threat match becomes hectic sometimes…..PHEW! Of course there was a lot of fast action, and some great move exchanges. What did surprise me is that both Kendrick and Perkins attempted their submission moves while the third man was clearly not incapacited. This is a mistake in any triple threat match and didn’t make sense to me. The match ended when TJ Perkins broke a hold when Rich Swann reached the ropes. He didn’t have to break it because there was a no DQ rule for this match. As all three men were in the ring together again, Perkins and Swann gave Kendrick a double super kick. Perkins was thanked for his assist by catching a super kick of his own from Swann, allowing the “Outlandish One” to pick up the win. The best part of this match was not during, but after the action was over. As Swann was celebrating his victory, the man who gravity forgot made his return. Neville came down to the ring, presumably to congratulate Swann on his success, as they are friends and have trained together. This was not the case. A dark side of Neville we have not seen came out and he beat the holy hell out of both Rich Swann and TJ Perkins. Even Austin Aries, who was guest commentating, said he was surprised at his former tag team partner’s actions. I like this reinvention of Neville and look forward to seeing him return to the ring in the new cruiserweight division.
Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks – Ironman Match – WWE RAW Women’s Championship
“Iron sharpens iron”. A fitting quote to describe what these two women have done for each other in terms of bringing out the best in each other. “End of the Line” seems like it was named for them. One of the greatest rivalries we have seen in quite some time ended tonight, and what a great way to finish a great year of matches. The match started out as you would imagine. Attempting to wear down your opponent early, lots of armbars, not commiting to anything big early, etc. Sasha got the early upper hand and was able to attempt the first submission attempt of the night, a modified straightjacket, but Charlotte was able to show her power and escape. The match slowed down considerably when Sasha ” I take bumps that stop people’s hearts” Banks was tripped up on the outside apron and fell face first into the steel steps. Real talk, I thought she was knocked out cold. The match continued and Charlotte turned on the aggression. One move in particular where he had a modified head scissor applied and then repeatedly slammed Sasha’s head into the mat was pretty inventive. After a failed pin attempt from a regular Natural Selection, Charlotte hit one from the top rope and scored the first fall. I just have to say this for the entire match. Charlotte is so great at being a heel. He work on the mic, her in ring taunting, and her bratty response when she doesn’t get her way in the ring is amazing. She was even so arrogant to attempt to pin Sasha a second time from the same move that got her the first pin. Come on, that’s pretty great. Sasha was able to come back and tie the match up 1 to 1 with a roll up pin after an inpressive set of reversals. Not long after this she was able to gain the lead by locking in a deep Bank Statement. The remainder of the match involved Charlotte working on the knees of Sasha Banks. After extensive punishment she locked in the figure four on Sasha with just under two minutes left in the match. Sasha was a soldier, dealing with the pain and fighting with all she had to try and get to the ropes. It was with three seconds left that Charlotte changed to the figure eight, and the pain became too much for Sasha, causing her to tap.
In a normal iron man match a tie goes to the champion and they retain their title. Not this match though. Not this rivalry. We deserved a definitive ending, and we got one. The referee made the call that it would be sudden death OT, the next fall deciding the entire match. Sasha Banks, already injured from the two minutes of damage to hear knees, a bloodied face and obviously exhausted tried her best to break Charlotte’s perfect record of singles PPV matches at 15-0. Charlotte had different plans, and with a second figure eight leg lock, became the four time WWE Women’s Champion.
Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens – WWE RAW Universal Championship
Winner: Kevin Owens
Right off the bat Kevin Owens shows why he is a great heel champ. Multiple times rolling out of the ring at the start of the match. He made Roman chase him, classic Owens. KO was smart at the beginning, trying to wear Reigns down with a very long chinlock. I think however it was more to give him a chance to do what he does best, talk smack to his opponents. Man he is superb at this, always injecting a bit of real life into the show. “No one wants you here” was my favorite. You would think that Roman Reigns being the bigger, more muscular athletic type would be the one who would pull off some impressive moves in this match. Nope, it was Owens again showing why he belongs in the title game. Early in the match he pulled off a standing front flip leg drop. That’s 280 lbs pulling off that move folks. Later on in the match he countered a superplex attempt by Roman by basically powerlifting him off the turnbuckle and slamming him into the mat. I will say this for Roman though, he did a lot better job selling his exhaustion for the earlier assault by Owens than I have seen him do in a long time during a match. The two continued to trade exchanges, neither wrestler gaining the upper hand for too long. Roman would explode with a big move out of nowhere but KO would gain the control back. Towards the end of the match the two found their way outside the ring near the announcers tables…..you know what that means. Kevin Owens hit not one, but two frog splashes on Roman who was lying prone on the table. Roman was able to beat the 10 count back into the ring only to be hit by a third frog splash from Owens. Owens was unable to pick up the win despite all this heavy offense, and that’s when he let his frustration get the best of him. He rolled out the ring and grabbed his belt. As he entered the ring to obviously hit Reigns with it, he was instead met with a spear. Hit the best friend music. Chris Jericho finally makes an appearance since losing his match. It’s important to note that there was a backstage segment earlier in the night with Kevin Owens begging Jericho to open his door and talk to him. Jericho never answered that door. As Jericho stood in the ring looking at both downed wrestlers, it was Kevin Owens that would get a Code Breaker to the face, ending the match. No more best friends right? WRONG!! It was all a clever hustle to make us all think the glory of Jeri-KO was over. As Chris smiled from ear to ear, he handed Kevin his belt and the two embraced in a hug. As the two walked back to the dressing room Seth Rollins music began to play. A man obviously familiar with these games could not stand by and let it happen to another person. Rollins stalked the besties back to the ring where they were met with an all out assault for the former SHIELD members. First Jericho was powerbombed through a table, and then a retreating Owens was caught on the ramp and received the same treatment.
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