WWE: Roadblock-End of the Line is in the books. As a night that promised to close the chapter on some feuds on the Raw brand, for the most part the event didn’t disappoint. Here are the results of the matches and my thoughts.
Rusev vs Big Cass (Kickoff Show Match)
As I dreaded, this match was a dud thanks to Rusev. I could honestly care less about his character. While Lana is definitely a lovely woman, looks can only take you so far in the pro wrestling business. The entire setup for the match seemed stolen from 1980’s era wrestling. The only entertaining part of the match was the usual great mic work from Enzo before the match started. Thankfully it was over pretty quick. Lana distracts Enzo who gets taken out by Rusev. Big Cass checks on his friend only to get counted out. Big whoop. The WWE has already announced the rematch for tomorrow night’s Raw.
The New Day vs Sheamus and Cesaro (For the Raw Tag Team Championship)
While this was not the result I wanted, the fact that The New Day broke the record held by Demolition for the longest reigning WWE Tag Team Champions pretty much telegraphed the results of this match. With that said, it was pretty darn good if you asked me. Lots of near falls that made you think either side could have won. The ending was pretty inventive, with Cesaro faking a tag, getting clobbered by Kofi Kingston, only to have Sheamus attack Kofi and cover him for the pin.
Sami Zayn vs Braun Strowman
This was the worst match of the night. The purpose was to try and set up Sami as a resilient fighter, someone who wouldn’t back down from anyone. When done perfectly, like when Jeff Hardy faced off against The Undertaker in a ladder match in the early 2000’s, both competitors look strong and come out at the end better than where they started. This nonsense of a match saw Sami have about a minute and a half of offense with Strowman beating the daylights out of him. The only thing I felt at the match was shock at how stupid they portrayed Strowman who legitimately could have pinned Zayn multiple times yet chose to let the match continue. A waste of ten minutes I want back.
Seth Rollins vs Chris Jericho
While a solid match, I have to say I did expect more between the two. The whole purpose of the match revolved around the ending, when Kevin Owens showed up to try and help Chris Jericho only to see that help backfire allowing Seth Rollins to get the pin.
Rich Swann vs TJ Perkins vs The Brian Kendrick
This match had no passion. No doubt the performers in this match are athletically gifted. Yet the only performer in the match who has anything resembling a character is The Brian Kendrick. I have no reason to care for Rich Swann or TJ Perkins. Swann just seems to want to dance in the ring and TJ seems to be a character in search of some charisma.
Two things came out of this match that are worth noting. One, Austin Aries finally makes his way onto a WWE Pay Per View, albeit as an announcer. He’s currently out with an eye injury thanks to Shinsuke Nakamura. I expect that once he heals up, he’ll be placed in the cruiserweight division. The other big news was the returning Neville who promptly turned heel and beat the living hell out of Rich Swann and TJ Perkins. Neville is amazing in the ring and it was great to see them give his character something to do other than to try and be a nice guy.
Sasha Banks vs Charlotte Flair (In a 30 minute Iron Man Match for the Raw Women's Championship)
For me, this was match of the night. The passion these two women brought was off the charts amazing. What really struck me was how Charlotte carries herself in the ring. The emotion on her face told the whole story. Anger, frustration, joy, she did an amazing job of telling the story of the match with her body movements. The match went into sudden death overtime after Charlotte evened everything up at two falls a piece. From there, she promptly worked over Sasha Banks knee until she got the submission victory. It also appeared as if Sasha Banks broke her nose cause during the final couple minutes she was bleeding quite bad. If you see any match from this show, watch this one. Now Charlotte can turn her attention to Bayley, finally allowing creative to establish that there are more than two women that compete in the division.
Kevin Owens vs Roman Reigns (For the WWE Universal Championship)
This was a technically sound match but I had issue with it for a couple reasons. One, the fans don’t want Roman Reigns in this position. He still has work to do if he’s going to be the next top guy in the company. As others have said, I think a heel run with a manager like Paul Heyman would do him wonders. Look what it did for The Rock? Two, because Roman is held in such high regard, this was not going to be a clean finish. The WWE has had a bad habit for the past few years of making their heel champions (not named Triple H) be chickensh*t heels, meaning they do whatever they can to get out of any particular match they can. The best chickensh*t heel ever was Ric Flair but the difference with him was, even if you hated his guts, you still had no doubt he could beat the guy you were rooting for in the ring. With how they’ve set up Kevin Owens by having Chris Jericho help in in pretty much every match, I never had the feeling Kevin could legitimately win. I’m glad he did. It was the right choice. But they need to build him up to be an actual force the fans think could win.