A look back at a previous December pay-per-view!
As we get closer to closing the book on 2018, we’re approaching WWE’s December pay-per-view (see the latest TLC 2018 card) so today we’re looking back at a past December event with Roadblock: End Of The Line 2016! The RAW brand finishes out the year with a clash of titleholders, as United States Champion Roman Reigns challenges Universal Champion Kevin Owens. However, this event was all about RAW’s ladies as Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair clashed in the main roster’s first ever Women’s Iron Man Match! Let jump into the action…
Kickoff Match: Rusev w/Lana vs. Big Cass w/Enzo Amore
The bell rings and they lock-up quick, Cass backs Rusev into the corner, unloads with clubbing blows, shoots him across and scores with a big boot, The Bulgarian Brute rolling to the outside to regroup as we go to a break….Back from the break and Big Cass hammers Rusev with right hands, The Bulgarian Brute tries to escape back to the outside, Cass pulls him back in, puts him in the corner and connects with more fists and back elbows. The seven footer ties Rusev up in the ropes for more heavy shots, The Bulgarian Brute continues trying to get out of the ring, surprises Cass with a back elbow, then catches him coming into the corner with a boot.
He fires back with big punches, measures for the superkick, Big Cass blocks it, delivers a body slam and hits the Empire Elbow. He scores with a splash in the corner, Rusev rolls out to the apron, Cass builds a head of steam for a big boot, but The Bulgarian Brute drops down to the floor to retreat. The seven footer goes out in pursuit, chases Rusev into the crowd, they trade shots, Rusev heads back towards ringside and Lana shoves Enzo from behind. The Bulgarian Brute clocks Amore, rolls back in the ring, Cass unable to make it back before the 10 count.
Winner: Rusev (Count-Out)
- EA’s Take: Well, that was certainly underwhelming. It pretty much went down the way I expected it to with Lana getting into it with Enzo once again to cause a distraction. I figured Rusev would get a win one way or another because Enzo & Cass should really stay as a team, RAW’s Tag Team Division can’t afford to lose them to singles careers yet. I’d imagine this will continue on RAW in the coming weeks, helping to fill time since there’s not another PPV until January 29th. We all know WWE is very high on Cass’ as a solo star, so it looks like they are going to keep protecting him from clean losses.
Open: “The battles have begun. It’s everyone for themselves. No one is safe. The End Of The Line is near.” Tonight, Roman Reigns looks to become a double champion as he faces Kevin Owens for the Universal Title. Chris Jericho seeks revenge on Seth Rollins. Sasha Banks and Charlotte once again make history as they square-off in a 30-minute Iron Man Match for the RAW Women’s Championship. This is Roadblock: End Of The Line.
Match #1 for the RAW Tag Team Championships: RAW Tag Team Champions The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E) w/Xavier Woods vs. Cesaro & Sheamus
Kofi & Cesaro to start the action, The Swiss Superman connects with a dropkick right at the bell for an early count of 2, sends Kingston into the corner and goes into the Uppercut Train. Kofi gets the boots up to stop it quickly, heads up top for a crossbody, The King Of Swing catches him in the air, tries for a tilt-a-whirl, but Kingston slips out and shoves him to the corner. He rushes in for a monkey flip, Cesaro lands on his feet, goes for one of his own and Kofi lands on his feet in turn, but gets taken down by a double leg for the Swing.
Kingston gains the ropes to avoid it, the referee backs Cesaro away, Sheamus with a clothesline from the apron behind the official’s back, then tags in. He delivers a vertical suplex for a 1 count, drags Kingston to his corner and tags out, plants Kofi with a rolling fireman’s carry, The Swiss Superman follows with a double stomp and finds a 2 count. He brings Sheamus back in and shoots Kingston to the ropes, The Great White slingshots in with the Battering Ram for a near fall, then flattens Kofi with a short-arm clothesline. The Celtic Warrior grounds him now with a rear chinlock, Kingston works to a standing position, hits a jawbeaker to escape, Sheamus knocks Big E off the apron, turns back to Kofi for a clothesline, but misses.
Kingston rolls to his corner to tag and nobody’s there, Cesaro tags in, gets shot into a running uppercut, The Celtic Warrior follows with a shoulder to the midsection, The Swiss Superman clocks Kofi with the Very European Uppercut and gains a near fall. He measures Kingston in the corner and rushes in, Kofi side-steps out, Cesaro goes shoulder-first into the ring post, but E’s still out on the floor and Sheamus re-enters the match. He hooks Kingston for a back suplex, Kofi flips to his feet, elevates The Great White over the top to the floor, Sheamus climbs back up to the apron and sets for the Beats of the Bodhren.
Kofi fights it off, E’s finally back up to tag in, hits the ropes and spears Sheamus off the apron to the floor. He throws The Celtic Warrior inside, rolls in and hits the ropes for the big splash, hooks the leg and almost puts it away. He kicks Sheamus out to the apron and attempts to suplex him back in, The Great White blocks it, drops him on the top rope with a hot shot, scores with a reverse hot shot, rolls into the ring and looks for the Brogue Kick. Big E counters into a powerbomb for a count of 2, measures Sheamus for the Big Ending, The Great White slips out of it, scores with a stiff kick, makes a tag and hits an assisted White Noise with Cesaro, The King Of Swing gaining a 2 count.
He hooks Big E for the Neutralizer, E counters out with a back body drop, The Swiss Superman flips to his feet, ducks under a clothesline and springs off the 2nd rope with a corkscrew uppercut. Cesaro’s feeling it and calls for the Swing, Kofi slides in to break it up, Sheamus is there to meet him, Kingston ducks a shot and The Swiss Superman gets clobbered accidentally by his own partner from behind. Kofi dumps The Celtic Warrior outside, the ref works to get him back to the corner, Big E elevates Cesaro into the air and Xavier connects with an enzuigiri to Cesaro behind the official’s back, E following with the Big Ending, but still can’t finish it.
Big E is stunned, Kofi punts Sheamus from the apron and tags in, New Day sets for the Midnight Hour, The Celtic Warrior grabs Kingston’s foot to prevent it and Cesaro tosses Big E to the outside. The Swiss Superman scales the ropes and hits Kingston with a super hurricanrana, puts him in the Swing, Sheamus drills E on the outside with a Brogue Kick and The Swiss Superman locks Kofi in the Sharpshooter. Woods climbs on the apron to distract the referee as Kingston taps out, Sheamus chases Xavier away, Cesaro releases the hold and gets surprised by a small package, but rolls through it. He dead-lifts Kofi into a Neutralizer, lateral press and E saves the match at a count of 2.
Big E tries to throw Cesaro to the outside and gets sent out himself, The King Of Swing hits the ropes, Sheamus makes a tag and Cesaro flies over the top onto E with a corkscrew crossbody plancha. The Celtic Warrior lines Kofi up for the Brogue Kick back in the ring, Xavier rolls in and pushes Kingston out of the way, taking the Brogue Kick for him. Kofi counters a Sheamus clothesline and hits the SOS for a near fall, The Celtic Warrior tries to crawl to make a tag, Cesaro comes in too early, Kofi decks him with Trouble In Paradise and makes a cover, Sheamus surprises him with a roll-up and we have new champions.
Winners and NEW RAW Tag Team Champions: Cesaro & Sheamus (Sheamus/Roll-Up)
- After The Bell: The New Day looks distraught, rises to their feet and hands the titles over, then embraces Cesaro. Sheamus rips the belts away, stands o the corner and celebrates, The Swiss Superman heading into the crowd to celebrate with the fans.
- EA’s Take: Tremendous opening contest, I never doubted these guys wouldn’t give us a great match. Still, it doesn’t change the fact that I dislike Cesaro & Sheamus being the ones to win the straps, I still believe it should have been Gallows & Anderson some months back. I’m just not a huge fan of singles stars being thrown into a tag team and I’m supposed to buy it. RAW’s Tag Team Division is still in serious need of some help because I’m sure New Day will get a rematch, but the bigger question is what’s next for them. To me, the thing to do would be to allow New Day to hang onto the titles until WrestleMania and have a huge babyface showdown with Enzo & Cass, but now I think we’ll likely see Gallows & Anderson step in next.
Backstage: WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens walks down the hallway holding a Christmas gift when Charly Caruso stops him for a word, The Prize Fighter wondering if she’s trying to insult him or if she’s just bad at her job. He says New Day fell, but he’s better than them, better than Cesaro & Sheamus and certainly better than Roman Reigns. She asks him about Chris Jericho, KO wonders how long she’s worked here and claims he doesn’t even know her name. He explains that he and Y2J are best friends unconditionally, the camera pans over and we see Chris Jericho. Owens apologizes for Monday and says Seth Rollins is to blame for them not being Tag Team Champions, stating he wants to make it up to him and gifts him with a holiday scarf. The Ayatollah of Rock & Rollah says nothing, throws it back in the champion’s face and walks away.
Match #2 – 10 Minute Time Limit: Sami Zayn vs. Braun Strowman
Braun tries to corner Sami at the bell and Zayn uses his quickness to keep away, The Underdog from the Underground ducks a couple of shots, scores with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors, goes back to the ropes, Strowman elevates him and gets hit with a dropkick. The Underdog from the Undeground corners him and goes to the 2nd rope for right hands, Braun shoves him away, throws him into the corner, then tosses Sami across the ring. Strowman squashes Zayn with a corner splash, Sami rolls out of the ring to recoup, Strowman going out in pursuit and hammers him with clubbing shots to the chest.
He rolls Zayn back in and buries a kick to the midsection, chokes Sami on the middle rope, The Underdog from the Underground tries to fight back, but Braun puts the boots to him, then chokes him against the 2nd rope again. The official backs him away, Strowman charges in, Sami low-bridges the top rope to send him outside, slingshots over the top with a crossbody, Braun catching him in mid-air and drops Zayn face-first on the apron. He throws The Underdog from the Underground back inside, Strowman steps in, hits another splash in the corner, then levels him with a short-arm clothesline. He covers Sami and pulls him back up at 1, delivers more heavy shots to the head and chest, the ref backs Braun off to check on Zayn, Strowman with another big shot, covers and pulls him up at 1 again.
The Underdog from the Underground staggers to his feet and tries to fight back, gets flattened by a clothesline, Braun decks him with a massive forearm to the jaw, then clubs him back down to the canvas. Zayn stumbles back to his feet, Strowman plants him with a body slam, The Underdog from the Underground keeps staggering back up, gets floored by a short-arm clothesline, then nearly decapitated by another. He keeps getting back up only for Braun to knock him back down, RAW General Manager Mick Foley makes his way down to ringside with a towel, Strowman yells at him to throw it in, then tosses Zayn outside at Foley’s feet.
He steps out and implores Mick to throw in the towel, The Hardcore Legend contemplates it, Sami pulls himself up using Foley for help, telling him not to do it. The Underdog from the Underground grabs the towel and tosses it into the crowd, Strowman clocks him with another shot, informs Foley that Sami’s blood is on his hands and he will finish it. He measures for a splash near the post, The Underdog from the Underground side-steps it, Braun runs himself into the ring post, staggers back to his feet and lines up for another.
Zayn avoids it and Strowman goes crashing through the barricade into the timekeeper’s area, Sami rolls back into the squared circle, Braun stumbling back in at a count of 9. He charges Zayn in the corner and only finds the ring-post with his shoulder, The Underdog from the Underground goes upstairs, scores with a crossbody and gains a count of 2, but gets sent to the outside on the kick-out. He quickly slides back in, drills Braun with a Helluva Kick and the clock hits zero.
Winner: Sami Zayn
- EA’s Take: I really wish the rules of this one had been explained a little bit better because I would have certainly picked Sami to “win” if that was the case. Either way, I knew Braun wasn’t going to get pinned in this one and it still basically ended in a “draw” fashion as I anticipated. Sometimes sticking to the script is the smartest move as this makes Sami look good while Strowman can continue to look like a monster.
Video: Last Thursday, WWE COO Triple H was in the United Kingdom for a blockbuster announcement, revealing that a two-day tournament will be held in January on the WWE Network to crown the first-ever WWE United Kingdom Champion.
Match #3: Chris Jericho vs. Seth Rollins
Collar & elbow tie-up to begin, Rollins with an arm drag and we have an early stalemate. They lock-up again and Jericho goes to a side headlock, Seth shoots him away to the ropes, gets knocked down by a shoulder block and The Ayatollah of Rock & Rollah plays to the crowd. They circle back around into another collar & elbow, Y2J grabs a wristlock, The Architect rolls through into one of his own, scores with an arm drag and hooks on an armbar. He snapmares Jericho back down and hits the ropes for a kick to the chest, puts him in the corner for lefts, rights and chops, whips him across, rushes in and Jericho gets a boot up to the chin.
He goes to the 2nd rope and connects with a dropkick for a 2 count, pulls Seth back up for a back suplex, makes an arrogant cover and only gets 1. The Architect fires back with more fists and chops, Jericho rams him head-first into the top turnbuckle, beats Seth down in the corner, sends him across and Seth rebounds back out with a clothesline. He whips him to the ropes, Jericho hangs on to avoid a kick and skirts to outside to take a walk, Rollins steps out to the apron, comes off with a high knee, then deposits Y2J into the ringside barricade. He rolls The Ayatollah of Rock & Rollah back in the ring, Jericho uses the official as a shield, sneaks in a poke to the eyes, then takes control with stinging chops and whips Seth to the ropes for a clothesline.
He looks for a dropkick and Rollins catches him by the legs, catapults Jericho into the turnbuckles, rushes in, gets elevated over the top, but lands on his feet on the apron. He clobbers Y2J with right hands, the ref steps in between them to create separation, The Architect looks to springboard back in, Jericho beats him to the punch with a springboard dropkick and Seth spills down to the floor. He pulls himself back inside at a count of 9, The Ayatollah of Rock & Rollah meets him with heavy fists, hooks on a modified crossface chicken wing, The Architect finds his footing, fights free and hits the ropes, but runs into a dropkick for a count of 2.
Y2J chokes Rollins on the middle rope, starts to slap Seth across the face, The Architect blocks one and returns the favor, irish whip to the ropes is reversed and Jericho buries a knee to the breadbasket. He goes for the Walls Of Jericho, Rollins squirms to the ropes, Y2J pulls him back up, Seth lands on his feet and connects with an enzuigiri. He measures Y2J in the corner and charges in, Jericho gets the boot up, attempts the running bulldog, Seth pushing him away into the turnbuckles to buy a little time. He starts to build momentum with punches, irish whip to the ropes is reversed, The Architect ducks a couple of shots, plants him with a sling blade, puts Y2J in his crosshairs in the corner and scores with multiple running forearms.
Rollins to the 2nd rope for a blockbuster that gains a 2 count, Seth wants the Pedigree, Y2J counters with a back body drop, The Architect lands on his feet, but is taken down by a double leg for the Walls Of Jericho. Rollins is able to power The Ayatollah of Rock & Rollah away, both guys back up quick and Jericho connects with an enzuigiri, goes to the ropes for the Lionsault, Seth is playing possum and he pushes Y2J over the top as he springs off the 2nd rope. Jericho falls to the floor, Rollins takes flight with a suicide dive, throws The Ayatollah of Rock & Rollah into the squared circle, climbs up to the apron and springboards in looking for the high knee, but gets caught and then locked in the Walls Of Jericho.
The Architect drags himself to the bottom rope to force the break, Y2J argues with the official about a tap-out, gets angered and kicks Seth out to the apron. He looks for the springboard dropkick and gets caught in mid-air by a kick, Rollins heads to the high rent district for a frog splash, nobody’s home and Jericho follows with a Lionsault for a near fall. The Ayatollah of Rock & Rollah hits the ropes for a clothesline, Rollins counters into a falcon arrow for a count of 2, both guys stagger to their feet and trade right hands, Jericho goes to the ropes and runs into a high knee. The Architect quickly attempts the Pedigree and Y2J blocks it, Rollins tries to counters into a powerbomb, Jericho reverses back into a hurricanrana, Seth rolls through, Jericho rolls through himself and slaps on the Walls Of Jericho again.
Rollins is able to turn his body and grabs a small package for a near fall, Y2J quickly goes to the midsection with a kick, hits the ropes and gets sent over the top, lands on his feet and scales the corner to the top turnbuckle. He comes down with a double axe and gets caught by a kick, The Architect follows with a basement superkick, heads upstairs and scores with a frog splash, but can’t capitalize. WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens sprints down and tries to climb into the ring, Seth meets him with right hands and keeps him on the outside, turns around and gets surprised by a small package, but the ref is dealing with KO, gets there late and only counts 2.
Both guys are up quick and Seth goes for the Pedigree, Y2J counters with a back body drop, turns to yell at Owens, The Prize Fighter walks off, Jericho turns around and gets clocked by a high knee. He stumbles into the corner, catches Rollins running in with a boot to the jaw, rushes out for the Codebreaker, Seth blocks it, plants him with a Pedigree and covers for the win.
Winner: Seth Rollins (Pedigree)
- EA’s Take: Pretty good match here, but it kind of felt like a prolonged match we would see on RAW and was pretty predictable with Owens getting involved and arguably costing Y2J the match. Part of me was hoping we would see a Triple H return just so that there would be something a little more exciting, but of course that didn’t happen, so we’ll have to wait a little longer. I figured that would be a good way to advance two stories in one between Rollins/HHH, while also giving Jericho a win and essentially making him #1 Contender to Owens’ title, leading to a match at Royal Rumble. That could still happen, but they just went about it a more simple way.