12/18 WWE Roadblock Review: WWE closes 2016 with an average main event, another Women’s Title change

5
WWE Roadblock Review

WWE Roadblock Review 12/18/16
WWE Roadblock Review
December 19, 2016
By: Adam Martin of Wrestleview.com

Since becoming the full-time recapper for RAW in the last few weeks, I was interested to see what kind of a final effort we would get from the red team to close out 2016.

It’s no secret that RAW has been a consistently hit and miss program in the weeks leading up to this show. One week the pacing will be great and the storytelling will be rather entertaining, only for the following week to leave you completely underwhelmed.

This unfortunately was how RAW decided to close 2016 with the final WWE Pay Per View of the year. We were treated to a very average main event effort between Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns, a decent match from Sasha Banks and Charlotte and the end to The New Day’s longest reigning tag team championship run.

Nothing stuck out or made you want to tune into RAW tomorrow night.

Such is the stale WWE product these days.

WWE closes 2016 with an average main event

I’ll be the first one to say I’m really glad to not be writing a review where Roman Reigns became a double champion on Sunday night. After his complete disaster of a title run last time, I see absolutely zero upside with Reigns as Universal Champion and while the Kevin Owens title run has left more to be desired, it’s certainly the better trajectory path at this time. I just don’t get what a lot of fans see in the Reigns presentation.

Things got even sillier with the finisher trade offs between Reigns and Owens tonight, especially Owens connecting with a cannonball in the corner only for Reigns to pop up with a Superman “out of no where” spot. That was rough to watch. At this point the WWE really needs to find some kind of interesting way to present Reigns. Even Rollins, who has started to gain some momentum with fans, got sucked into the yeah-boos to close the show.

I did see some positive feedback to the Chris Jericho interference finish, but even that left a lot to be desired when Corey Graves acted completely shocked like we had all been fooled. Were we really fooled or was this just a nice way to save face with Reigns in a main event scenario? I know Graves doesn’t write the scripts, but man was that annoying. Even the attacks on Owens and Jericho by Reigns and Rollins was meh. Not a good closer tonight.

Another Women’s Title change

While this wasn’t nearly as good as the match they had on RAW a few weeks ago, Sasha Banks and Charlotte put forth another strong effort on Sunday night in Pittsburgh. Sure I have my moments of frustration with both women in the ring. I can’t stand Charlotte talking to herself during match and Sasha Banks is way too counter heavy with her offense presentation. Despite some flaws, they have good chemistry and really picked things up in the last 15 minutes of the 30 minute time limit. Even the overtime finish came off really strong and created a fun “anything can happen now” sports type atmosphere. WWE kept hammering home that this was it between Sasha and Charlotte. We’ll see.

Random Thoughts

* New Day has started to lose stream. Dropping the titles was a good call.

* I actually enjoyed Sami Zayn surviving Braun Strowman tonight.

* Seth Rollins and Chris Jericho worked hard. The crowd just wasn’t into it.

* The only interesting Cruiserweight is Jack Gallagher. That’s it.

Overall Impression

This was a very lackluster way for WWE to end the year and man are these brand-only PPV specials starting to get tiring and forced.

Wrestleview reader Brian tweeted at us with the same feeling.

34% of our readers gave the show a Thumbs In The Middle as of late Sunday night.

I was one of them. This wasn’t a terrible show by any means. But man, it left you with just about no interest whatsoever heading into RAW tomorrow night and the many weeks we have ahead until the Royal Rumble.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know your Roadblock thoughts in the comments.

Follow me on Twitter: @adamwrestleview

  • Spoiler alert…. Long thoughts ahead…

    What a wrestling world we live in when Roman Reigns gets more of a reaction than crowning a new Women’s champion. Regardless of where volume levels were at, physical viewing of the crowd showed that there was hardly NO reaction to Charlotte winning a FOURTH (?!) championship. It’s SIXTH transition in 8 months between TWO competitors. For comparison’s sake, “Big Gold” had eight transitions in 2009 but between SIX competitors. I am not sure how you build prestige in a championship when only two people are involved. Don’t get me wrong, Sasha and Charlotte put on a great match, but when Roman Reigns gets more of a reaction on his ENTRANCE, than the WINNER of the Women’s championship…I just feel like you’ve done something wrong over the course of the feud; and as it turns out… a blood feud. To which they made no reference to that I heard and I’m still not sure what caused Sasha’s nose to start flowing. I just hope she’s ok in the long term.
    Like you Adam, I see no upside with Roman as dual champion, but nice to put over the fact that only Seth had done this previously so not only was there history to be made with Roman gaining his first Universal championship but also #2 to hold both a “world” championship and the U.S. Championship. I didn’t get to see Graves as a competitor before his injury but as a commentator I am not impressed. He has his moments that I’ll be “yah… that was good, I agree” but more often than not he just annoys me. And if that is his job, then he does it superbly. For him to be in shock that Y2J comes out? Come on… anybody on The List could have seen this coming. But maybe not seeing the Codebreaker put on Owens. But what they failed to mention on camera was that Chris got over two points: 1) he got back on KO his frustrations of recent weeks in one shot and 2) he solidified how he felt about KO even if in the moment KO wasn’t quite sure why he did it that way. This by the way was excellent selling by KO.
    To touch back, in article time, I felt like the Iron Women’s match was a complete waste of time with the way the finish played out. You get an awesome match in that 30 mins but negated in the next 3 with complete heel posturing and maneuvering. I get it, don’t get me wrong, but all the hard work they put in could have resulted (again, just my opinion) in such a better moment with Sasha holding on for those last three seconds, bloodied, beaten by all counts, but still… coming out on top. Putting over Naitch’s faith in her over his own flesh and blood. Yes, we get the heel champion to hold the championship to contest it against all the other women who in all honesty are pretty much babyfaces at this point. But damn, that color in the match could have permanently cemented Sasha as a face (Good and bad points to be made there too).At any rate, Charlotte’s the definitive heel to beat going into 2017.
    On the Rasslin’ Ramblins podcast I’m pretty sure (I forget now) I called New Day would drop the tag team championship once they had surpassed Demolition’s record. But it was a fun match with the false tags and help from outside. The one three count that E pulled Kofi off with just millimeters to spare?!?!?! Amazing. Then… talk about stand up… Xavier taking a brough kick because he knew that would be it if Kofi took it instead. Selfless. And classic playing off of that exact scenario for Cesaro to do the exact same thing in reverse to do the fake tag, take the TIP and for Sheamus to get the 1-2-3. It will be fun to see where this goes, not only in New Day’s rematch clause, but also the dynamic between the NEW
    W
    W
    E
    TAG
    TEAM
    CHAMPIONS. Ha
    I saw the “trade” coming with Mick and him trying to get the fire out of Sami instead. The fact that he got some color in there too was nice. But I wonder if they’re going to play on the fact that with Mick coming out and the talk between him and Braun and he and Sami ate up a good minute or minute and a half. Regardless it’s always nice to see the little guy get one up on the big guy and I don’t see this one going away any time soon.
    I’m not sure we were ever really supposed to care about Seth and Chris; maybe just something to fuel the storyline between KO and Chris.
    I’m glad the cruiserweights have their own show that I cannot watch because honestly I am not sure that I could care less about them. There are some high spots, to be sure, superb talent…but the whole concept’s throat shoving has grown thin and I think as a whole they’ve suffered the Roman Reigns syndrome. “You are supposed to care about this, why you don’t care about this, we are going to make you care about this.” 205Live I hope finds its own footing now that Superstars (or was it Main Event) is no more, but where does the UK show go now?
    To the point of you and @bigstupid21 the brand separation is great as it theoretically gives more talent an opportunity to shine, having a PPV every couple weeks hasn’t played out I don’t think the way the E would have liked ; especially if you are to believe Meltzer’s report on advance sales. I am a firm proponent of the no more than 6-8 PPV’s a year (the big four and maybe 3 or 4 other special events) and have been for many years. You just can’t build interest in the casual viewer if a feud is over in four weeks (or less depending on the feud now with the separation). It used to be you could miss a week or two and the big feud was still building to the blow off at the big ppv event not just “the next ppv event.” You could build prestige to a championship (if it was at stake) and create talent, enhance current talent by extending out a story for more than a few weeks at a time. You saw this with the territories because as the local guy got himself over, and the champion would come to town and still win (whether it be as a heel or face) you couldn’t wait for that guy to come back to town to continue that battle ultimately ending in (hopefully) your guy winning and then be the guy that goes all over defending that championship (or starting a new journey depending on what was going on). We get that now, but in a much truncated way. Sasha/Charlotte and KO/Y2J (albeit in a different way) are about the only things going right now that come close to that.
    Of course, these are all just my ramblins…

  • Steven Herrera

    I don’t think December has ever been a good month for wrestling. Feels like they’re just coasting until the rumble.

  • unknown

    Can Bayley be the next contender for Charlotte, at least to have a fresh face? Or have Nia Jax become a tweener so Charlotte has a bigger challenge.

  • Zach Steven Whitlow

    I agree between the Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year’s holiday, this is the time of the year wrestlers really begin to just need to take a relaxed break. Very rarely have we closed the year with a ton to look forward to in the next but that is what the Rumble does

  • JFJ

    They’re not coasting until the Royal Rumble just until the first RAW and Smackdown Live of the new year. They know everyone is in holiday mode right now and because of that WWE shows are somewhat of an afterthought even for their biggest fans.