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Mr. Tito's PHAT WWE Roadblock: End of the Line Pay Per View Review with Match Ratings & Show Grade
By Mr. Tito
Dec 18, 2016 - 10:55:17 PM
Welcome to the final Mr. Tito Pay Per View review of 2016 exclusively here at LordsofPain.net / WrestlingHeadlines.com. In addition to my column, please check out Steven Bell and LoPRadio after the show as well. You can listen to the show while reading my column. We have you covered here at LoP, as always, for immediate Pay Per View coverage like only a handful of sites can present but at no cost to you. Just enjoy it!
Not much to say other than the RAW brand being high disappointing to me as a wrestling product for 2016. One would think that significant storytelling or mindblowing matches could be done to help boost this brand. The Rollins/Reigns show does nothing for me, ditto for the Charlotte show for Women, and RAW just kept the titles on New Day to eliminate Demolition from EVER being mentioned on WWE programming ever again. Time for RAW to step it up, especially Rollins and Reigns who are both responsible for losing 1 million RAW viewers as main eventers. Meanwhile, many good wrestlers with potential and guys who love the business are kept down.
Please entertain me, RAW.
Mr. Tito's PHAT WWE Roadblock: End of the Line Pay Per View Review
Big Cass vs. Rusev did not get the show off to a good start... Just a nothing match with not much time to develop and it was purely booked just to continually push the angle of Enzo being vulnerable to Rusev's attacks. Nobody got pinned in this match, as I predicted... [ 1/2 * ]
Up next, it was for the RAW Tag Titles between New Day (c) with Kofi and Big E representing against Sheamus/Cesaro. The start of the match had Cesaro and Sheamus aggressively going after the New Day. It was a nice approach and a good follow-up to the New Day possibly being fatigued from Monday (though that was 6 days ago, hmmm)... To act as an equalizer, Xavier Woods repeatedly interfered from the outside. Between using the Free Bird rule and repeatedly having the 3rd member, often Woods, cheating on the outside... Hard to compare to Demolition. Oh, and brand split didn't exist for Demolition... This was a very fast paced tag match, taking a page out of the New Day vs. Anderson/Gallows match that we saw a few Pay Per Views ago. Very enjoyable. LOVED the finish on Cesaro falsely tagging Sheamus which fooled the New Day to finally lose the Tag Titles. [ *** 3/4 ] Fun match, although it just seems too obvious that New Day's title reign existed just to purge Demolition from the record books. Filing lawsuits against the WWE doesn't keep you in the record books. WWE Creative are complete fools if they break up the New Day. Keep them together and just let them wrestle more in SINGLES matches... Think of it like a NASCAR team...
Good promo cutting backstage by Kevin Owens, talking down the female announcer. He is the longest reigning WWE Universal title holder, after all...
Next match was Braun Strowman vs. Sami Zayn, but in a stipulation that I must have missed (or Hulu edited), it's a "Survive in 10 minutes" kind of match. You know, to protect everyone from jobbing. Sorry, but Sami Zayn took one of the best wrestlers in the world in Shinsuke Nakamura to the limits and also gave the current WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens fits earlier in the year. Yet, he has to fear a former power lifter who has LESS wrestling experience than him? This is where the WWE is absolutely STUPID when it comes to how it markets its product. Strowman was having his way with Zayn until Mick Foley, with towel in hand, came down... That distracted Strowman enough to let Zayn back into the match and he ended up surviving. I'm sure that some on the internet will argue that Zayn surviving "gets him over", but to me, had Foley not come down to slow down the beating, easy win for Strowman. [ * ] Can we get out of the cartoonish 1980s already, Vince?
Next, it was Chris Jericho vs. Seth Rollins... Good match... It's just automatic that two guys who are very talented, very experienced, and have worked together for a while can have a decent match. However, because it was typical of what they put on and nothing additional, this match didn't pop. [ **1/2 ] Seemed too much like a RAW match instead of something extra or special that is needed for a Pay Per View match. They seemed to be waiting around for Kevin Owens to distract and in the end, that cost Jericho the match.
Rich Swann (c) defended his Cruiserweight Title against Brian Kendrick and TJ Perkins. Gotta love that Purple tint that the arena becomes for these matches. Really helps improve the mood for these matches... Yeah. The most positive thing that I can say about this match was how Byron Saxton was replaced by Austin Aries on commentary. THANK YOU... Can someone explain to me what value Saxton adds to the product other than being a corporate shill? Exactly how many viewers does Saxton add to RAW by being the 3rd man to the commentary team? This match was another spot-by-spot match without much rhyme or reason. Just keep it on the 205 so that it can build a following instead looking small in a WWE ring within a bigger arena. Swann won the match. Yipee. [ ** ] Afterward, Neville came down and attacked Swann. That was cool, at least. Only way that the Cruiserweight Division succeeds is if (a) it's something new that fans haven't seen before or (b) has star power. Neville being added helps, but they need more...
Backstage, Kevin Owens was trying to apologize to Chris Jericho...
30 Minute Ironman Match between Sasha Banks (c) and Charlotte was up next for the RAW Women's Title. Slow start the match, lasting about 20 minutes before any falls occurred. Natural Selection from the top by Charlotte for fall #1 and then Bank Statement by Sasha for fall #2. Fall #3 was a botched roll-up pin... There was just no energy between these two, unlike Bayley vs. Sasha who were highly motivated to have their 2nd match. That's right, 2nd match... When you wrestle the SAME person over and over again, not only do you struggle to do anything new or innovative, but the crowd becomes bored. Pittsburgh isn't exactly a wrestling hotbed, but I can understand the boredom. I was bored with this match. Sorry... Last 2 minutes had the Figure 4 locked in by Charlotte and Sasha actually tapped out with 2 seconds left. TIED 2-2 and the referee decides that the match will become SUDDEN DEATH for fall #5. Charlotte immediately goes after the leg but Sasha rolls her up for a close fall. Nice sell by Sasha of her knee after her usual transitional move before the Bank Statement... Bank Statement reversed into a Figure 4/8. Sasha got close to the ropes but Charlotte bridges to cause Sasha Banks to tap. [ **1/2 ] Hey, it's a Pay Per View so therefore, Charlotte wins these head-to-head matches. Already, Charlotte is a 4-time Women's Champion in just over a year (Sasha is now a former 3 time champion). The lovefest for Charlotte continues and yet it's her controlling of these matches that makes them dull.
The MAIN EVENT was Kevin Owens (c) vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Title and to my surprise, the World Champ comes out first. How about that? Fans are booing the crap out of Roman as they come alive in Pittsburgh just to boo him and cheer Kevin Owens. SLOW start and Roman is already sucking wind by pushing around the heavier Owens. Funny how Roman tries to pass off "selling" for his many breaks to catch his breath. And we can't have a Roman Reigns match WITHOUT brawling around the announcers' tables. You know, heaven forbid that we impress wrestling fans with anything in the ring. Nice flip into a legdrop by Owens. See, WWE... Owens has actual talent to pull unique moves like that off... He doesn't have to mail in a match and wait until a moment to hit a Superman Punch. LONG chinlock sequences here on Reigns, but hey, he's probably tired... Back up, they have a few nice sequences when fighting off a Samoan Drop and missed clotheslines... Afterward, the camera catches Roman sucking HARD for wind. He's legitimately coughing and weezing. What the hell, WWE? This is your perceived #1 guy and you can't get him in strong cardio shape? Reigns no-sells the Canonball into the corner by Owens and hits the Superman Punch. 2 count only, thankfully. "Roman Sucks" chants break out. Yep, he sure does. On the top rope now, Owens eats another Superman punch... But then soon counters a Superplex by hitting an inverted one on Roman. Nicely done, but that sort of devalues Reigns's move. Hey, if the other guy isn't selling, why would Owens? Owens tried a Swanton but landed on Reigns's knees. That was impressive. Hits the driveby, tries another but Owens moves and hits a Superkick. Owens hits a Froggy Splash on Reigns on the announcer's table, but it doesn't break... Attempt #2 does break... SOLID OAK table as the late great "Ravishing" Rick Rude would say. Reigns barely makes the 10 count and then eats another Froggy Splash in the ring, 2 count only. Of course, the WWE announcers talk about how impressive Reigns is by not losing to that sequence of moves. Nice show of power by Reigns by catching a kick and then lifting into a Powerbomb. Pop-up Powerbomb by Owens, 2 count only again... Announcers praise Reigns again like he's a God. As Kevin Owens tries to use his Universal Title as a foreign object, Roman hits a Spear. That allows Chris Jericho to run down to the ring... He looks at both and then hits the Codebreaker on Kevin Owens to disqualify Roman Reigns. [ ** ] Afterward, Jericho has a smile on his face and he hands Kevin Owens the title. They celebrate afterward by raising their arms and hugging. Seth Rollins runs down... That scares the heels to let Owens eat a Spear and Jericho to eat a Pedigree. See, I told you that it was the Rollins/Reigns show. Next, Jericho eats a Shield like Powerbomb into the announcer's table. Owens gets a Shield like Powerbomb into an announcer's table as well... Those guys are NOT drawing and yet we must always keep Reigns/Rollins strong. Whatever.
LAST WORD: Eh, they can't all be good... This show summarizes everything wrong with RAW that I've criticized for the past year. New Day was on auto-pilot just to erase Demolition from the record books, Charlotte is pushed too strong in the Women's division, and WWE Creative wants only Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins to get over. Sorry, it's not working and tonight's show didn't deliver. The superstars need reshuffled on this brand and a new creative team needs formed. It is a BROKEN television show and brand, period. [ C ] for this show.
Well, that completes a full year's worth of reviewing WWE Pay Per Views. I reviewed all of them instantly after the Pay Per View with the exception of WWE Battleground in which I was in a bad frame of mind then to cover it (mourning the loss of a significant family member). Otherwise, the majority of the Pay Per Views were instantly posted seconds after the Pay Per View ended on the WWE Network including Network specials (non-PPVs) and NXT Events.
In case you missed any of my Pay Per View reviews, here you go... Lots of HTML work in this brief pile of text that you're about to see.
- 1/24/2016 - WWE Royal Rumble
- 2/21/2016 - WWE Fastlane
- 3/12/2016 - WWE Roadblock
- 4/1/2016 - NXT Takeover Dallas
- 4/3/2016 - WWE Wrestlemania 32
- 5/1/2016 - WWE Payback
- 5/22/2016 - WWE Extreme Rules
- 6/19/2016 - WWE Money in the Bank
- 7/29/2016 - WWE Battleground
- 8/20/2016 - NXT Takeover Brooklyn II
- 8/21/2016 - WWE SummerSlam
- 9/11/2016 - WWE Backlash
- 9/25/2016 - WWE Clash of Champions
- 10/9/2016 - WWE No Mercy
- 10/30/2016 - WWE Hell in a Cell
- 11/19/2016 - NXT Takeover Toronto
- 11/20/2016 - WWE Survivor Series
- 12/4/2016 - WWE Tables, Ladders, and Chairs (TLC)
What keeps me SANE as a WWE fan, in all honestly, is Pay Per Views. That's where actual good wrestling still exists. The WWE can't halfass those with poorly scripted drama that you see on RAW or Smackdown. They HAVE to show actual wrestling matches. Any shortcomings that many wrestlers have in personality, charisma, or handling scripted lines doesn't matter when they hit the ring. 2015-2016 have gave us excellent Pay Per Views to enjoy and that's because the athletes they have on the roster have good workrate to execute many good to great matches in a given year. Problem remains character and personality which is greatly limited by a poor WWE Creative staff who lacks the balls to challenge Vince McMahon's obsolete vision on developing talent. I'm getting VERY CLOSE to just ditching RAW and Smackdown and just covering the 2 Pay Per Views per month that they give me. And why not? RAW and Smackdown are just 2-3 hour infomercials for those Pay Per Views.
Now that the WWE Pay Per View schedule has officially ended, I can begin my "Best of" columns for 2016 and begin to look forward to 2017.
SO JUST CHILL... UNTIL THE NEXT EPISODE!
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