WWE Roadblock: End of the Line - Results and observations from the show
The final WWE pay-per-view of 2016 emanated from Pittsburgh Sunday night and it left a little to be desired.
That is not to say that Roadblock: End of the Line was a bad show because I have certainly seen worse from WWE and other promotions.
There was a lot of potential for this card to feature some very memorable matches. However, we got only one that I would actually go back and watch again on the WWE Network at a later date.
Besides that one match and a historic title change, Roadblock was pretty forgettable.
Before I dive into my analysis, here are the full match results from PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh:
- Kickoff match – Rusev def. Big Cass via count-out
- WWE Raw Tag Team championship – Sheamus & Cesaro def. The New Day
- Sami Zayn survived 10 minutes with Braun Strowman
- Seth Rollins def. Chris Jericho
- WWE Cruiserweight championship – Rich Swann def. TJ Perkins & The Brian Kendrick
- WWE Raw Women's championship (30-minute Iron man match) Charlotte Flair def. Sasha Banks (3-2, F/OT)
- WWE Universal championship – Kevin Owens def. Roman Reigns via disqualification
Best friends forever
Despite weeks of not being on the same page, all was right in the world of Owens and Jericho Sunday night, as Jericho got Reigns intentionally disqualified so that Owens could retain his Universal championship.
The good part was that it looked like Owens and Jericho are back on good terms.
The bad is that the logic behind all of this was rather flawed.
Was the rift between Owens and Jericho all part of some master plan? If so, why was it needed? If that wasn't the case, what made Jericho want to help?
Also, why did Jericho hit his best friend with the code breaker? Just to provide a shocking twist? If he wanted Owens to retain the championship, he could have hit Reigns with the code breaker and he would have accomplished the same thing.
After the match, Rollins and Reigns took Jericho and Owens a part by putting them both through tables, but did so to a chorus of boos.
It just goes to show how backward this and a lot of other storylines are in WWE, as the good guys often do things that aren't necessarily heroic (example: Enzo Amore) and the bad guys are supposed to be disliked for being upset about the good guys' un-heroic acts.
That's not how real life works, but I guess it flies in WWE's world.
Charlotte is champion yet again
Charlotte is once again Raw Women's champion after defeating Banks 3-2 in overtime in a very entertaining 30-minute iron match that featured some very good storytelling and blood spewing from Banks' face.
It was by far the best match of the night, but it was also the most polarizing outcome, as fans complained about Charlotte defeating Banks to win the championship for the third time this year to become a four-time champion.
On top of that, Banks has yet to successfully defend her championship despite winning it on three different occasions.
When it is all said and done, the Raw Women's championship changed hands a whopping six times this year with all three of Banks' victories coming on Raw and all of Charlotte's wins coming at a pay-per-view, which keeps her winning streak at the monthly events in tact.
The rapid switching between Banks and Charlotte has drawn the ire of some fans, as they believe the tug-of-war has devalued the title to a certain extent.
I wouldn't go that far, but I'm not a huge fan of the title changing hands that many times over the course of a year between two people. Even if it were six different people, I'd feel the same way.
At least fans can take some respite in that there was apparently a no-rematch clause in the match, which means we will not see another championship match between Banks and Charlotte. That is until WWE needs the pair to wrestle each other again on a random episode of Raw at some point in February.
But for now, it will be a welcome change of pace when these two women go their separate ways. There isn't a ton of depth in either of the women's divisions, but Raw's has been criminally underutilized lately.
Bayley didn't have a match at Roadblock and Nia Jax and Dana Brooke haven't been on television in weeks. I'm not even counting the likes of Emmalina, Summer Rae and Paige, who are all on the sidelines for a variety of reasons.
The New Day's run is over
As the cliché goes, all good things must come to an end and after 483 days, The New Day's record-setting reign as Raw Tag Team champions came to an abrupt end at Roadblock: End of the Line when Sheamus and Cesaro defeated the trio in a thrilling opening match.
It was kind of weird to see The New Day hand over the titles after losing. I almost forgot what the titles looked like in the possession of someone not named Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston or Big E.
It will be even weirder when they make their entrance on Raw without the titles, which means they can no longer shout to the world that they are the W…W…E tag team champions anymore.
At the end of the day, we all knew the clock was ticking on New Day's title reign once the trio broke Demolition's record. It was only a matter of time, but I figured WWE would let the group top 500 days, which would have occurred in a little more than two weeks. But WWE decided to pull the trigger at Roadblock.
As far as the new champs, Sheamus and Cesaro have come pretty far as well in their short time together. They have somehow overcome the horrible decision to end their best-of-7 series in a tie to becoming a fairly entertaining act on Raw and are now the top team in the division by virtue of being champions.
Sami Zayn won by surviving
I was under the impression that if Zayn lasted 10 minutes with Strowman at Roadblock, the match would be considered a time-limit draw.
However, WWE announced that Zayn somehow defeated Strowman despite not doing much in the way of actually winning.
That technically means Strowman has been handed his first official lost without being pinned or submitting, which is kind of a lame way for that to occur.
I'm not sure exactly how much Zayn gained from this. WWE tried its best to tell Zayn's story of courage and perseverance, but I'm not sure how much that resonated with the fans in Pittsburgh.
From the sounds, not a whole lot resonated with those fans Sunday night.
The match itself went as expected with Strowman dominating it essentially from beginning to end. Raw general manager Mick Foley teased throwing in the towel out of mercy for Zayn, but Zayn took it from him and tossed it into the stands. The tease lasted a lot longer than it probably should have and made it look like everyone was merely trying to milk some time off the 10-minute clock.
Neville returns, destroys cruiserweights
We saw the return of Neville Sunday night and he came back with a purpose.
Neville made his entrance after Swann retained his cruiserweight title and walked to the ring. He said nothing and wasted little time kicking the crap out of Swann, Perkins and Kendrick before leaving and cementing himself as the new top villain in the division.
Firstly, it was nice to see Neville back on television.
Secondly, it was nice to see him in the cruiserweight division, which feels like the perfect place for him, especially since WWE isn't doing anything else with him.
Thirdly, Neville came across as a pretty convincing bad guy. He turned the aggression way up and actually felt natural in the role.