Roadblock: End of The Line Review and Match Ratings

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Cesaro and Sheamus def. The New Day (C) – RAW Tag Team Championship

Well, it had to end some time, and the moment when The New Day surpassed Demolition’s record, I predicted that they would lose the titles at their next title defense, which happened to be tonight. The New Day have thrived on not only having three members instead of two, but they were able to outsmart their opponents as well. However, a simple act of deception in faking a tag was what did New Day in, and it was simple, yet clever storytelling. The New Day have gained quite a bit of chemistry with Cesaro and Sheamus over the past two months, and they had their best match as tag teams here tonight. There were tremendous near-falls, some great high spots, and some incredible feats of strength, primarily shown by Cesaro. Did you guys see that reversal into the Neutralizer? Incredible. The post match standing ovation for The New Day given by the crowd was certainly well deserved, because they took a gimmick that many thought wouldn’t work, and they turned it into the longest reigning tag title reign in WWE history and they went out with a bang in this match. All men involved worked hard, and while I was bit skeptical that WWE would keep the titles on The New Day a little longer to get them over the 500 day mark, it was only right for Cesaro and Sheamus to go over here and let a new team get some burn with the titles. Great match to open the show, and splendid effort given by all involved in the match. ***3/4

Sami Zayn def. Braun Strowman (10 Minute Time Limit)


So Zayn wins the match because he survived and Braun loses the match because he didn’t win within the allotted time? Well that was stupid. Anyways, I’m not sure who this match was trying to help here. Yeah, Zayn did survive, but he didn’t really beat Braun, and Strowman, who’s been running roughshot over the roster since the draft, showed some vulnerability in this match and also showed that if you have smarts, you can beat him, as shown by the outside action towards the end of the match. The in-ring work was pretty much scarce, as it basically comprised of Braun destroying Sami for the majority of the match and didn’t pick up until Sami showed some light towards the end. There really wasn’t much worth seeing here to be honest with you, unless you are interested in Braun’s tattoos. *3/4


Seth Rollins def. Chris Jericho

Color me disappointed here, because their matches from RAW some months ago were much better. Both men just looked like they were uninspired and went through the motions. Considering all of the anger and frustration Rollins aimed at Jericho, especially when you consider the fact that he was planning on taking him out so that he could have a clear path to Rollins, it sure didn’t show here. This was pretty much average at best, which was basically something that you could find on RAW. Except in this case, the matches that these two have had on RAW were better, so you’d probably be better off watching one of those matches. The match loses additional points because of that stupid, unoriginal finish. How many times have we seen towards the end of any match involving Chris Jericho have him in the midst of a finish, KO comes out, distracts the referee, Jericho has a chance to win, can’t capitalize, KO is neutralized and then Roman or Seth would reverse whatever Jericho was doing to hit their finish and win the match in that order? Too often. The fact that they did it again on PPV just shows that they were running out of ideas. I understand that they want to further build the tension between the two, but continuing to do a finish that we’ve seen before is just a sign of pure laziness. Couple this with the fact that this was a very uninspired effort, I’m disappointed here. While the in-ring work wasn’t terrible, Jericho and Rollins are two of the best in the business, and I suppose I’m more disappointed in Rollins, because he’s the spring chicken and while Jericho has shown he can still have great performances, he isn’t as nimble as he once was. The finish of the match leads me to believe that Jericho will move on to take on Owens at the Royal Rumble and that Seth Rollins will get closer to Triple H, but as for tonight, while the match wasn’t bad, it was disappointingly average. ***


Rich Swann (C) def. The Brian Kendrick and TJ Perkins – WWE Cruiserweight Championship


Nothing like a crowd watching on awkwardly at grown men groaning at submission moves. Unfortunately, that’s the current state of the Cruiserweight division on RAW these days because all of the men don’t have any personality. Even more so, there’s just no reason to care for any of them. So the ring ropes are purple when the wrestle. So are grapes. Big deal. It’s sad too, because the in ring action wasn’t all that bad. There were some neat submission reversals and Swann had some moments, but again, and this is the big problem with the Cruiserweights, no one seems to care. WWE wanted to capitalize on the success of CWC over the summer, and you can’t blame them for wanting to do so, but the toning down of the quality of the matches has hurt the division, and the lack of character development on RAW has been astoundingly bad. Neville coming out after and laying waste to TJ and Rich is a breath of fresh air, because Neville gives the division not only some much needed star power, but some damn credibility. All three men have already been champion within the span of three months, and while I’m not sure Neville can propel the CW’s to the next level, it’s still a plus addition no matter how you slice it. The match, however, was completely forgettable to me. **


Charlotte def. Sasha Banks (C) – RAW Women’s Championship (30 Minute Iron Man Match)

It would appear that depending on who you talk to, this match was either really, really, good, or really, really bad for a long time and only got good in overtime. Personal feelings aside, and hopefully assuming this is the last time these two face off against each other one on one for a while, these two have had a pretty damn impressive 2016 together (though I could have done without the consistent women making history shtick). I personally thought the first 15 or so minutes was pretty boring, and the crowd didn’t seem interested for a while until some damn psychology started to enter the fray. Charlotte targeting Sasha’s legs was obvious because that’s what her submission entails, but it was greatly executed. Meanwhile Sasha tried to do anything in her power to neutralize her and anything that she could dish out. The pacing of the match could have been better to start, and I also didn’t like the tacky ending to the the final seconds where Sasha manages to survive a submission hold in excess of 45 seconds just to tap out when she’s practically right there. The overtime period, however, was when they really picked it up. Sasha’s face looked like she spilled a red slushee all over her face and blood started to trickle down her neck while Charlotte continued to torture her. While Sasha tried to hold on as long as she could, Charlotte’s persistence was rewarded as she finally got Sasha to cave and tap. I felt as though literally nothing happened for the first half of the match, but towards the end, I thought the two really allowed to tell a great story and have a fitting end to their rivalry. However, it seems like only a matter of time until Sasha comes out and asks Charlotte for her one on one title rematch tomorrow. Overall, while I thought their rivalry should have ended at Hell In A Cell, this was an acceptable ending to their feud. ****


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