Wrestling Review: WWE Roadblock: End of the Line (2016)

All good things must come to an end, and when the WWE rolls through the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, it may be the End of the Line for many of Raw’s top superstars. When Sasha Banks defends her Raw Women’s Championship against Charlotte Flair, then win or lose it will be the last time these two ground-breaking athletes go against each other. And just to ensure there is no doubt, it will be a 30-minute Iron Man match, with the woman with the most wins after half an hour will leave with the championship. But this might also be the end of two other championship reigns: firstly, Kevin Owens will defend his Universal Championship against the United States Champion Roman Reigns, giving Reigns the chance to leave holding two title belts. Not to be outdone, after celebrating their record breaking tag team championship reign the New Day will look to extend their lead on history as they take on very hard-hitting team of Cesaro and Sheamus. Not to be forgotten, Sami Zayn is in for a monumental task as he attempts to last just ten minutes against the Mountainous Braun Strowman. The WWE has just one more Roadblock before the Royal Rumble, but will this be the end of the line for Raw’s top champions?

+ Chris Jericho vs Seth Rollins: although this was one of the hotter feuds in terms of story, and that translated to a very solid match. Jericho’s experience and Seth’s flashy movesets, and deceptive strength, meshed together to create a fantastic match-up
+ The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E) (w/ Xavier Woods) (c) vs Sheamus & Cesaro (WWE Raw Tag Team Championships): the crowd was not into this, but I thought it was very well done. There was a lot going on, but everyone involved played their parts perfectly. Cesaro again proved why he is one of the best on the roster, if not best in the world

– Kevin Owens (Universal Champion) vs Roman Reigns (U.S. Champion) (Universal Championship): only Owens’ title was on the line, which made for some interesting possibilities (but also begged the question of why Reigns’ title wasn’t on the line as well). This match was… interesting. It was almost unintentionally comedic, at times, due to the different style Owens and Reigns are good at. These two just didn’t mesh well, and in the end it was a obvious ending and a mercy killing that this match ended when it did
– Sami Zayn vs Braun Strowman (10-Minute Challenge): Zayn is so head and shoudlers better than Strowman, but Strowman has been improving so quickly that this was a good test for both of them in different ways. Overall, this probably wasn’t the contest most were expecting, and I think it may have done more harm to both competitors
– Rich Swann (c) vs THE Brian Kendrick vs TJ Perkins (WWE Cruiserweight Championship): I was really excited to finally get a Cruiserweight match that didn’t feel like a second-hand throw-away time-filler. Unfortunately, that is not what it felt like we got. This match was slow and plodded along to a lackluster finish. If there was ever a sign that the WWE needed to strap the rocket to Jack Gallagher, this was it. The best part of the match was Austin Aries on commentary, aftermath was far more interesting than the match
– Sasha Banks (c) vs. Charlotte Flair (WWE Raw Women’s Championship): I don’t know why the WWE insists on having these two fight in increasingly out-of-their-league stipulations, but thank God this match is the end of their feud. Their attemps to replicate former famous moments, in a safer, “woman friendly” way is growing tiresome, and these two desparately need new competitions. This match was predictable and followed nearly the same pattern of their other matches until another very lackluster finish in a row for this show (I will give Sasha props for getting a busted mouth or nose and keeping on like it was nothing)
– Big Cass (w/ Enzo Amore) vs Rusev (w/ Lana): this was the pre-show match, and it was short and frustrating to watch. Why Rusev is continuously portrayed as the bad guy when he has to suffer through assaults on his manhood, insults directed as his wife and a negative attitude from everyone else is beyond me; those are the making of an underdog comeback if I’ve ever heard one

> Radio and podcast host Sam “NotSam” Roberts, a personal favourite of mine for wrestling interviews, was on the pre-show. He could have been obnoxious, but overall I found his insights quite enjoyable
> For the second time, the WWE missed an opportunity to create an ‘Iron Maiden’ match between two of their top women

Should you watch this event: Overall, no. This event was a chore to get through, and seemed to go downhill from the opening match. As always, everything will be recapped to death on the following weeks’ shows, so I don’t think you’ll miss anything particularly important if you just give this a miss instead.

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