The WWE Network takes on a new level of cool when you realize that for the 9.99 a month, something that we all have memorized at this point, that you not only get to enjoy what is shaping up to be a decent Wrestlemania card, but that on the way there we get to enjoy a Mini-PPV of sorts in WWE: Roadblock, which took place tonight on the 12th of March, from Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
They get things right from time to time and when you hear the booming voice of one Big E. (Formerly Langston) introducing the World’s Tag Team Champions for the introductory contest, we’re in pretty good shape. We are treated right off the bat to the introduction of Booty O’s cereal. Rest assured if this is served up like Nintendo or Ninja Turtles cereal, yours truly will be wearing a New Day shirt and consuming the product even in this age of Gluten sensitivity. It was a great segment as you’d expect, as we were treated to comedy hijinx from Woods, Kingston and Big E. before the League of Nations music hits and out come Sheamus and King Barrett to a resounding chorus of boos. The result of the contest saw the New Day over Barrett and Sheamus following interference from Xavier Woods. Kingston took a bad bump, so to speak, off the top following a missed high risk maneuver and the League took charge. The action spilled to the outside as Woods distracted the referee. Kingston cuts off Sheamus with a tackle and Big E hits the Big Ending on Barrett inside the ring for the victory as the tag team champions retain on the Road to Wrestlemania.
Break The Walls Down! What would equate to boos across the border is anything but. However a scathing promo on Canada and AJ Styles by Jericho turns the crowd against the first ever undisputed champion. The line of lines from the Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla.
“Canada Stinks and Toronto is the anus.”
The crowd turned quicker than a hiccup. Y2J Calls AJ the flavor of the month and says the same of Cary, Oklahoma’s Jack Swagger who comes out next for singles action. Veteran precision by Jericho throughout the match. Later in the match, a lionsault misses, a Swagger Bomb and a 2 count. Sidestep counter by Jericho after a missed running attempt by Swagger, Walls Of Jericho applied and a submission victory for Y2J. Jericho is looking very solid as he appears to be headed towards a crash course with AJ Styles at Wrestlemania for their blowoff match and if given the right time, that will surely be a stellar contest and one I am certainly looking forward to enjoying.
Up next, fans not familiar with NXT were in for a treat. Very cool to hear Cole, JBL and Saxton on commentary for the affair, as music hits and bouncing out to the stage come the challengers for the NXT tag team championship in a rematch from several months ago. Enzo Amore, “Big Cass” Colin Cassidy and Carmella hit the stage to a great reaction. Enzo is all over the place and it’s magic. The energy that this dude has needs to be seen to be believed. If and when they are introduced to the main roster, they should be over like rover. The usual tremendous mic work from Enzo and the introduction of Big Cass and focus on the 7 foot athletes height and YOU CAN’T TEACH THAT! References to the champions toughness and they spell it out for us. The champs are S-A-W-F-T. SAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWFT! Cool entrance to follow for The Revival, Dash and Dawson, the world tag team champions. Folks either love or hate the champs. While they aren’t as exhilarating character wise as teams like Enzo and Cass or American Alpha (Jordan and Gable), if you’ve ever watched an Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard tag team affair from the eighties, you’ll understand that these guys get it. No gimmicks, all business. They can work. Great back and forth action, highlighted by an over the top rope rocket launcher from Cass to Enzo onto the champs. The crowd goes wild for that spot. A Beautiful East River crossing by Cass. Counters and the action spills to the outside where we see the Fatal Flow on the floor by the champs onto Cass. It’s a variation of the Jericho codebreaker for those who haven’t seen it. The champs are back in the ring looking to pick apart Enzo, who is straddled on the top rope following earlier action. A springboard DDT off the top and a rollup by Enzo. Kickout by the champs. Enzo fights back, but The Revival hits the Fatal Flow on Enzo to retain the belts after an exciting contest. I can’t really say I’m surprised as it seems that Enzo, Cass and Carmela are going to be main roster bound very soon. This might have been done to garner the mainstream reaction by the masses, but who knows? It was very cool to see this NXT presentation at Roadblock.
We move on and it’s highlights of how the women’s title match was set up. Natalya is wearing an awesome Bret/Owen shirt. Charlotte interrupts an interview as she is joined by the dirtiest player in the game, the 16 time world champion, her father, “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. A great contest as one would expect from two great wrestlers and highlights included a beautiful Yakuza kick by Charlotte. A figure four attempt followed as Nattie eventually escapes. Natural selection by Charlotte to follow. Very cool. She hasn’t used that move too much on the main roster, but she used it often in NXT. It was very well executed by the late, great “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig and Charlotte uses it brilliantly. Kickout at two by Natalya following the move. Action progresses and we are treated to a beautiful sitout powerbomb spot by Nattie. Kickout by the champ. A sharpshooter by Nattie. Flair is up on the ring apron for the distraction. Nattie breaks the hold and hits Flair with a forearm. A Rollup by Charlotte, feet on the ropes and a three count. Not surprising that Charlotte retained as she is headed to Wrestlemania for a triple threat match against “The Boss” Sasha Banks and “The Lass Kicker” Becky Lynch. That should be a grand affair, as a great many have been patiently waiting for Charlotte and Sasha on the grandest stage of them all, and with Becky in the mix, it should be a good piece of business!
A video package for Brock Lesnar and Bray Wyatt follows, dating back to their interactions at the Royal Rumble. Bray out first and the fireflies are in full effect. Promo by Bray on Brock being a monster with a rap sheet a mile long. He has conquered Cena, The Rock, the mighty Undertaker at Wrestlemania.
“He has never, ever, ever conquered me.”
Bray has made a deal with the devil to conquer the beast together along with Luke Harper. A two on one handicap match is announced, shades of a recent house show. “Suplex City” chants ensue and here comes the beast. The Toronto crowd explodes. Brock looks cut up a little more in my opinion, and he’s in great shape. JBL echoes the sentiment a short time later. Brock and Luke Harper start it out. A German suplex by Brock and we’re off to the races. Back and forth action and a and spinning discus clothesline by Luke. That looked wicked. Kickout by Brock and he’s back to the german’s, three already, and more follow. F-5 by Brock and this one is over and it’s short. Bray never even got into the ring. Domination by Brock. They have said it before and they say it again, the man doesn’t get paid by the hour. I’m a litle torn on this one. I dig Brock and I dig Harper. The ending makes sense as Brock and Dean Ambrose have a date for a street fight at Wrestlemania and it leaves Bray Wyatt protected. Perhaps we’ll see a singles bout between the two down the line, but as of this moment, Bray doesn’t have a dance partner for Wrestlemania and that is a crying shame. The Wyatt Family is a very unique tandem and has that presence about them like the early days and heck, even the latter days of the Undertaker. Bray teased a world title engagement with HHH on Monday Night Raw and perhaps he could be an early pick for the Money In The Bank match, but we’ll see. Brock was Brock and he and Ambrose will be something to see. Hopefully Bray will get to take a trip to the pay window at ‘Mania as Dusty Rhodes used to say.
Ska music next and Sami Zayn is out. A great reaction for the newest addition to the main roster. The music of Stardust and out comes the man from the fifth dimension. A man who has denied his identity, a man who was once was the son of the son of a plumber. Massive “Ole” chant for Sami. This was a very exciting match to watch as you’d expect if you’re at all familiar with Zayn and Stardust, as both men are great hands in the ring. Back and forth action highlighted by a cool springboard spot into a hard right by Stardust that lands Zayn in a bad way. Byron Saxton calls him “The Monarch Of The Milky Way”. I chuckled.
“Byron, if you had a friend, that would be one.”
Perhaps the line of the night by JBL. A Superplex spot executed by Stardust and a dazed Zayn. Zayn with a comeback and 10 right hands in the corner. He follows it up with a beautiful somersault plancha that hits its mark, and once back in the ring, we have a blue thunder bomb and a kick out at 2. Counters by both men and a disaster kick from Stardust gets a 2 count. Action continues and a T-bone suplex into the corner turnbuckle by Sami. Helluva kick and a 3 count. Big win and great match up! Sami Zayn can work. I don’t know if he and Kevin Owens will see singles action for the IC Title at ‘Mania as allegedly, it might be a multi-man affair, but either way, those two men know each other incredibly well, and being on the big stage together will be something to behold. Neville, The Miz and others might find themselves involved in the contest and if so, I’m okay with that. A slow build can do wonders, just look at Jericho and Styles.
A video package for Ambrose and HHH and it’s main event time. HHH out with title around the waist and ready for action. Ambrose shown backstage, music hits and out he comes to a massive reaction. Toronto is now the Ambrose Asylum. “Let’s Go Ambrose/HHH” chants. It’s great to hear that. You’d expect it for Dean, who arguably is the most over talent in the company right now, but Triple H is Triple H. The man is business personified in that ring and always one to watch. Exchanges follow as the world title match begins and at one point we have Ambrose posing in the corner, infuriating HHH. Ambrose working on the surgically repaired quad of Triple H in the corner. Smart strategy. Outside spots and HHH puts Dean into the stairs off a reversal. Release front suplex back in the ring by HHH. Crossface submission applied as Ambrose eventually finds the escape. Attempted superplex by the cerebral assassin countered into a flying elbow by Ambrose. A flurry of rights and chops, and Ambrose is a house of fire. Running bulldog. Pedigree attempt, counter and kickout. Dirty Deeds attempt and an escape by HHH. Frenzied clothesline by Ambrose. Thunderous clothesline to follow by HHH, and it nearly decapitates Ambrose. One heck of a match so far. Pedigree attempt and Ambrose dumps Hunter over the top and onto the floor with a counter. HHH turns the tide and we have HHH ripping apart the announce table. Ambrose introduces HHH to the steel stairs. We get back in the ring and Ambrose is crotched on the top rope. Action continues and we have a figure four by Ambrose after a counter. An escape by HHH and then we have Ambrose with a sharpshooter in Toronto. Crowd going bonkers.
Dirty Deeds! 1…2…3! New world champion?! Nope. The official says Ambrose had his feet under the bottom rope. He did, but the crowd is livid. “BS” chant. HHH with a roll-up counter, feet on the ropes and a kick-out by Ambrose. HHH dumped over the top to the floor. This my friends is a quality match. “This is Awesome” chant by the Toronto crowd. The fans are right. Forearm smash off the top to the floor on HHH by Ambrose. HHH laid on the announce table and hard right hands by Dean. Ambrose to the rop of and off the barricade with an elbow attempt. HHH rolls out of the way and Ambrose crashes through the table. HHH back in the ring and as we look towards a potential count-out victory, Ambrose beats the ten count in and is immediately drilled with a pedigree and a three count. That was a tremendous ending. You talk about killing a crowd quickly. Ambrose looked like a million bucks in this one and HHH is headed towards his imminent title defense against Roman Reigns. That should be interesting as Reigns has been off television with the nose injury for a minute.
Overall, Roadblock was an enjoyable show. No complaints, outside of Brock stopping in for a cup of coffee and a quick victory before it cooled, I can’t really say there was a disappointing match-up on the show. Certainly tune in and enjoy the show as we move towards Monday Night Raw and head down the road to Wrestlemania. The granddaddy of them all is really shaping up despite the multitude of injuries to the top stars. They have my interest and hopefully, as things continues, they’ll have yours too!
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