WWE Roadblock premiered tonight on the WWE Network. No, not The Roadblock, Joe D’Acquisto, from WCW. We’re talking about WWE’s newly christened Saturday pay-per-view. This review will not be kind, because this so called pay-per-view wasn’t anything special and was mainly a glorified SmackDown episode.
The show kicked off with The New Day coming to the ring to cut a really forced, unfunny segment about Booty-O’s cereal. Why WWE chose to kick off the show in such a manner is beyond me. Wade Barrett and Sheamus come out to battle for the Tag Team Championship gold. It was nice to see Barrett back in competitive action, but the match was fairly stale. New Day retained with some interference from Xavier Woods. Not much to be said on this one except that New Day retaining is a smart decision. Until The Golden Truth is legitimized as a real tag team and Enzo and Cass come up to the main roster, the tag titles are on the right team.
Immediately after that short match, Paul Heyman cuts a backstage promo that really only served to hype up the crowd. It seemed like an advertisement to sell the show we were already watching, all bracketed around saying Brock Lesnar’s name a bunch. Heyman got the crowd fired up, but didn’t really give us anything new.
Y2J, aka Chris Jericho, aka a Canadian hero in his own town, comes out and insults everybody, including his native country. Another talking segment. That makes three promos and only two matches about forty minutes in. Y2J comes across as not really a good heel, but just giving off a real Donald Trump vibe. It’s awkward and the crowd seems a little confused. Jack Swagger interrupts. They put on a good match, with Michael Cole, dare I say, actually selling the play-by-play beautifully. Perhaps he has been feeling the pressure from Mauro Ranallo? In a surprise move, Y2J makes Swagger tap out. So in the same week, Jericho, a part-timer, takes out AJ Styles and then pins Jack Swagger in his return debut? Terrible booking from WWE, even if Jericho is about to go on hiatus for his shitty band again.
And what’s more… WWE booked a Canadian hero to be the heel in a match against an American babyface while in Canada. Very, very confusing. NXT was up next. Dash and Dawson, the NXT Tag Team Champions, took on Enzo Amore and Big Cass. This was extremely exciting as it introduced Enzo and Cass to the main roster fans. Rumor has it they’ll move up to Raw and Smackdown in the near future. Really great match that showed the gaping holes in the main roster tag division. Dash and Dawson, or The Revival as their known, retain. Good outing for these four. Crowd was really into it. Best thing to happen thus far in the evening.
Natalya takes on Charlotte for the Divas Championship, in what was basically a Canadian fanboy match. As female wrestling goes, it was really good. But Nattie lost, as was expected. Not sure what the point of this match was except to let Natalya, the Canadian face, take a loss in front of her home crowd. I guess Vince still hates Canada.
Next up is Brock Lesnar vs….. Luke Harper? Bray comes out without his usual lantern but instead he’s holding a microphone. (More promos? Yes. More promos.) Wyatt verbal dissects Lesnar. His music hits, crowd goes wild. You know the deal. Lesnar destroys Harper, gaining a pinfall victory after hitting an F5. Bray Wyatt spends most of the time standing on the ramp. 90 minutes into this waste of time, and we’re still not sure what the point of all this is. This match was meaningless and amounted to nothing in terms of story. It was supposed to be the comeuppance of Bray Wyatt and he didn’t even wrestle. Brilliant.
Sami Zayn’s music hits, crowd goes ape shit for the Canadian hero. As far as the night’s going, things don’t bode well for this NXT allstar. Fresh back from his injury, Zayn takes on…. Stardust??? What in the holy hell is going on? This has been one of the most bizarre matchcards in recent memory. Is WWE trying to get everyone to turn off the Network? Sami wrestles a little soft, and appears winded at times. Sami Zayn gets the pinfall victory. There is no Kevin Owens run-in during this match and it was pretty much a snoozefest.
Triple H’s music hits. The heel champion comes out first. What’s up with this booking tonight? So many poor decisions being made. Fairly mediocre match as far as World Championships go. Ambrose hits Dirty Deeds and picks of a pinfall victory! But the ref restarts the match because Ambrose had his feet under the ropes. This match shows that HHH still clearly has the it factor. Ambrose is still shaky when it comes to telling a story in the ring (ie: the in-ring psychology) in my opinion. Crowd starts an unwarranted “THIS IS AWESOME” chant. This match was anything but that if we’re judging it fairly. Definitely not one of HHH’s best. Ambrose pulls out a Figure Four, a Sharpshooter, and puts himself through the announce table. HHH tries to get a count-out victory, but Ambrose rolls in. He takes a Pedigree and HHH retains. This sets up HHH vs Reigns at WrestleMania.
Face To Heel’s advice on this “Network Speacial”? Can it, erase it, cancel it for next year. Wipe it off the Network completely. It was as pointless as Fastlane. All we need is Royal Rumble then WrestleMania. Nothing in between is needed. Everything that transpired tonight could have just been slowly put out on Raw the next few weeks. If you are reading this article prior to going in to watch Roadblock for the first time, I strongly advise you just skip it. They’ll show the highlights five times during Raw in a couple days. Let us know what you thought if you ended up watching the whole thing in the comments below.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker