WWE Roadblock: End of the Line Review

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Well, it’s alright, riding around in the breeze… Yeah, I have a feeling Traveling Whilbury’s references won’t go over well with the WWE Universe.

New Day vs. Cesaro/Sheamus – Tag Team Championship

The New Day commemorated their record breaking championship reign with a hilarious promo about confusing Roadblock with… something else. The match was exciting – the New Day pulled their usual trickery but with no luck. There exciting spots such as Cesaro AND Kofi reversing Monkey Flips by landing on their feet. There was one nerve-wracking spot where Big E went for the Big Spear – after Big E landed on his head this summer, I got nervous. Luckily, it didn’t look like he got hurt. New Day showed some clever teamwork when Woods took a Brogue Kick for Kingston. The ending was truly creative. Playing off the odd couple storyline, Cesaro reached for the tag and seemingly faked out Sheamus. Cesaro took a Trouble in Paradise, but the ref couldn’t make the pin. Since Sheamus was still the legal man, he pulled a Brogue Kick and won the tag titles. A combination of playing these characters’ colorful personality, good storytelling and innovative ringwork made this a great spectacle.

Overall rating: 4.25 (Out of 5) stars

Braun Stroman vs. Sami Zayn

The stipulation for this match was that Sami Zay didn’t have to pin Stroman, he only needed to last 10 minutes. This has been a good story so far, with plucky underdog Zayn not only wanting to beat the monstrous Stroman, but now Foley has threatened him with a trade to Smackdown to light his fire. The 10 minute stipulation was added when Stroman boasted that nobody could last two mintues with him.

This match started off okay with Zayn in control, but once it devolved into Stroman beating Zayn up, the match started losing steam. This made sense with Stroman needing to look like a monster, but it felt like Stroman would hit Zayn… then hit him again… and hit him again… However, there was a unique level of suspense with the clock constantly clicking against Zayn. Foley came out and tried to throw in the towel for Zayn but Zayn refused. The action picked up, especially with Stroman crashing through the barricade. Zayn finally gained the upper hand with a Heluva Kick and… the match ended as the clock ran out. Look, I get the story, but the lack of a pinfall/submission really took away the satisfaction of Zayn’s win. There’s a right way to do this sort of this, but this felt off.

Overall rating: 2 stars

Chris Jericho vs. Seth Rollins

This was one of the matches I was really looking forward to. Rollins and Jericho are two of the best in the business (and coincidentally two guys I’ve met). The crowd was a little lukewarm, despite both men clearly being over (there were dueling Jericho and Rollins chants). The match was evenly contended with cool spots such Rollins and Jericho attempting springboard moves at the same time but Jericho landing the dropkick. Other cool spots included Jericho countering the Pedigree into a Walls of Jericho. Another highlight was Rollins attempting the Pedigree with a series of reversals from Jericho and Rollins, that ended in Jericho performing a hurricanrana. Kevin Owens interfered on Jericho’s behalf, but this backfired when the distraction caused Rollins to sneak in a win.

Overall rating: 4 stars

TJ Perkins vs. Rich Swann vs. Brian Kendrick – Cruiserweight Championship

This match was passable but felt pointless. There were some cool spots such as Swann performing a double hurricanrana on Kendrick AND Perkins. The match was alright but lacked drama. Swann won and retained the championship.

The real news was the return of Neville. Neville laid waste to all three men, thus turning heel. It is odd that the fans cheered the new heel laying waste to three fan favorites. Maybe they’re as happy to see him (in a good spot no less) as I am. If Neveille’s heel turn seems odd, remember he was good at playing smug as NXT champion.

Overall rating: 2.75 stars

Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte – Iron (Wo)Man Match for the Women’s Championship

This feud has been maligned for the two women seemingly playing hot potato with the championship. Although I feel the title has changed one/two times too many, the feud has been intense, both women have looked like a million bucks and the championship is looking important. As for the match itself, it was another classic from these two. The two held off any pinfall just long enough to build suspense. The match also worked as a whole – The early parts where the two were pacing themselves were alright and it made things pay off when Charlotte played frustrated that she couldn’t keep Sasha down. These two proved their worth by filling the full 30 minutes with exciting action. (Points for a great Sasha Banks match that didn’t seem like she was gonna kill herself – she appears to doing those outside dives much safer now.)

The tie was a mixed bag – on one hand, how it was performed felt a tad forced. On the other hand it added a ton of drama to this match. The two seemed so desperate for this title that they were just willing themselves to continue. This has been billed as the end of Charlotte and Sasha Banks’s final match, and what a note to go out on.

Overall rating: 4.25 stars

Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns – Universal Championship

This was another match I was looking forward to – Reigns and Owens are two of the best brawlers in the company. I was waiting forever for them to feud because I figured their styles would click like peanut butter and jelly. I was… half-right. For the most part, this was a wild brawl. Impressive spots included Owens performing a standing front-flip leg drop, and Owens splashing Reigns through a table. Owens’s mid-match trashtalking was always fun – highlights included Owens asking Reigns “If you’re so tough, why didn’t you put your title on the line?” and mocking Reigns’s trademark taunt. The two kept the flow of the match going, and the crowd was invested.

However, the ending kind of killed it. After the night teased that Jericho and Owens were splitting, Jericho came out and attacked Kevin Owens… only so he’d get disqualified and retain his title. The ending felt like a huge cop out. To be fair, the action after this was exciting with Rollins coming to the rescue. First they double powerbomed Jericho through the German announce table. Then they went up the ramp and bombed Owens through the English announce table. The two demonstrated good team chemistry (which makes sense since they were a stable mates from 2012-14) with just a fist bump saying more than their words could.

Overall, this match had a lot of solid action but had a “This could have happened on Raw” vibe.

Overall rating: 3.75 stars

Roadblock: End of the Line fell into the good but not great category. Comparisons between this and TLC feel inevitable. While Roadblock technically had more good matches, it also had more bad stuff. Also, TLC all around felt more satisfying all around.

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