By Jason Powell
WWE Roadblock: End of the Line 2016
Aired live on WWE Network and pay-per-view
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at PPG Paints Arena
A video package opened the show and focussed on the top matches while also showing a car racing toward a roadblock that included WWE talent behind it… Pyro shot off on the stage… Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton were on commentary. JoJo was the ring announcer…
Powell’s POV: For those who missed the Kickoff Show, Rusev defeated Big Cass via count-out.
New Day made their entrance. Big E told a joke in which he made it seem like he thought the title of the show was cock block. Kofi Kingston cut him off before he could say those words. Once in the ring, Kingston said it felt good to say they were the longest reigning champions of all time. Xavier Woods led them in the tag team champions hip swivel, and then played the trombone while the crowd chanted “New Day Rocks.”
Sheamus and Cesaro made their entrance. Cesaro continues to wear the tearaway tuxedo for reasons that only he or Vince McMahon understand. The challengers acted like they were on the same page as they headed to the ring. Meanwhile, Cole introduced the Spanish and German broadcast teams, who presumably cussed everyone out in their native tongues…
1. Big E and Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) vs. Sheamus and Cesaro for the Raw Tag Team Championship. Cesaro caught Kington with a dropkick and went for an early cover. The challengers worked over Kingston. Shemaus knocked E off the apron. Kingston tried to make a tag, but E was still down at ringside. E recovered and took a tag around 4:00 and immediately performed his spear through the ropes and down to the floor.
Powell’s POV: It’s nice to see E has changed the way he performed the spear through the ropes. He used to land face first, but now he hits the move and spins himself over so that he lands on his side or back.
Cesaro tagged and and he and Shemaus hit a tag version of White Noise on E for a two count. Kingston ran in. Sheamus tried to hit Kingston, but accidentally hit Cesaro instead. Kingston cleared Sheamus from the ring. As the referee was clearing Kingston, Woods caught Cesaro with a kick that led to a two count for E.
At 7:50, Cesaro applied the Sharpshooter on Kingston. Woods played the trombone and the referee missed Kingston tapping out. Cesaro hit the Neutralizer at 8:20, but E broke up the pin. Sheamus was tagged in and went for his finisher, but Woods checked in and shoved Kingston out of the way and took the Brogue Kick himself.
Late in the match, Sheamus reached out for a tag. Cesaro pulled his hand back and then entered the match. Kingston caught Cesaro with Trouble in Paradise and went for the pin, but Sheamus dove on top of Kingston and pinned him.
After the match, New Day sat in the corner with the titles and acted shocked. They stood up and hugged Cesaro and gave him the tag titles. Shemaus took the titles and then went to the corner to pose with the titles. Cesaro went into the crowd and celebrated with the fans while they did the yay/boo routine. They went to the stage and celebrated together…
Sheamus and Cesaro defeated New Day to win the Raw Tag Titles in 10:10.
Powell’s POV: The finish of the match was played up as a genius move by Cesaro done to outsmart New Day. It was clever and the fans were very satisfied with the tag title change. I suspected this was a strong possibility, but I was actually hoping that WWE would drag it out for a few weeks simply because they finally had some mystery regarding the outcome of New Day tag title matches after the trio broke the record.
Backstage, Charly Caruso asked Kevin Owens if he’s worried about suffering the same fate as New Day. He asked if she was trying to insult him or if she’s just bad at her job. Owens said he is better than New Day and Roman Reigns. Casuso stared off and then Owens called her on it before turning and noticing Chris Jericho walking into the picture. Owens tried to apologize to Jericho for what happened on Raw and then gave him a gift. Owens opened the gift, which contained a holiday scarf. Jericho threw it aside and walked away…
A Royal Rumble commercial aired…
2. Sami Zayn vs. Braun Strowman with a 10-minute time limit. A video recapped the recent Sami and Mick Foley saga prior to the match. There was a ten-minute countdown clock on the screen. At 2:45, Zayn went for a dive over the top rope, but Strowman caught him and then dropped him on the ring apron.
Back inside the ring, Strowman caught Zayn with a clothesline in the corner, then followed up with a short-arm clothesline. Strowman covered Zayn and had him pinned, but he pulled Sami up. The referee checked on Zayn, who got up and slapped Strowman’s chest. Strowman put him back down and had him pinned, but once again lifted him up. Strowman barked at Zayn to stay down.
At 6:30, Mick Foley walked to the ring with a towel in hand. Strowman dumped Zayn onto the floor in front of Foley, then barked that Foley would save his life by throwing in the towel. Zayn recovered and pleaded with Foley not to do it. Zayn took the title and threw it into the crowd at 8:00.
Strowman told Foley that what would happen was on his hands. He said Foley could have ended it, but now he’s going to. Strowman charged at Zayn, who moved, and Strowman ran into the ring post. Strowman recovered and charged at Zayn, who moved, and then Strowman crashed into the timekeepers area. Back inside the ring, Zayn hit a cross body block off the top rope for a two count. Strowman kicked out hard and Zayn ended up on the floor. Zayn returned to the ring and hit the Helluva Kick and the time expired. Foley hugged Zayn afterward…
Sami Zayn beat Braun Strowman by lasting to the 10:00 time limit.
Powell’s POV: Yes, this was announced by JoJo as a win for Zayn rather than a time limit draw. It was nice to see Zayn get some offense at the end of the match, and I’m sure he’ll use that to claim he was on the verge of actually pinning Strowman had it not been for the time limit. In other words, this feud isn’t over even though they had to go out of their way to show that Strowman could have beaten Zayn in short order had he not picked him up. Strowman wasn’t exposed because they took so much time with Foley on the floor, but that also worked against the match, which was very forgettable.
A video recapped the announcement of the UK Title tournament… The broadcast team set up a video package for the Seth Rollins vs. Chris Jericho match. Cole said it was the first step toward Rollins getting revenge…
3. Seth Rollins vs. Chris Jericho. They killed the Rollins’ entrance by showing the beginning of it and then cutting to Cole introducing the rest of the foreign broadcast teams. There were loud chants for both wrestlers as the match started. Rollins caught Jericho with a flying knee off the apron at 3:50, then ran him into the barricade. Back inside the ring, Jericho hid behind the referee, then stood up and raked the eyes of Rollins.
A short time later, the referee once again got between the wrestlers, and Jericho capitalized by performing a springboard dropkick. At 7:10, Jericho performed a dropkick that led to a two count. The dueling chants continued for the wrestlers with Jericho getting the edge. Rollins came back with a sling blade clothesline, then performed running forearms in the corner. Rollins performed a Blockbuster for a two count at 10:10.
A short time later, Rollins dove onto Jericho on the floor and then threw him back inside the ring. Rollins went for a flying knee, but Jericho countered him into the Walls of Jericho, which Rollins broke by reaching the ropes. Jericho went for a springboard move. Rollins caught him with a kick. Rollins went for a frogsplash. Jericho avoided it and then performed a Lionsault for a two count.
At 13:45, Rollins hit the falcon arrow for a two count. Both men got to their knees and traded punches. Jericho ran the ropes and Rollins caught him with a high knee. Rollins went for the Pedigree. Jericho blocked it, but then Rollins countered into a powerbomb attempt, which Jericho countered with a huracanrana and finally into the Lionsault again.
Later, Rollins caught a kneeling Jericho with a superkick and then performed a frogsplash. Kevin Owens ran out to help Jericho. Rollins hit Owens. Jericho had Rollins pinned with an inside cradle as the referee had his back turned while dealing with Owens. Jericho barked at Owens to stay away. Owens left. Jericho turned into a high knee. Jericho went for a Codebreaker, but Rollins caught him and then performed the Pedigree for the win…
Seth Rollins pinned Chris Jericho in 17:05.
Powell’s POV: An entertaining match that was laid out to make Rollins and Jericho look even before Owens’s interference backfired. There’s still something missing with Rollins as a babyface. The fans like him, but they’re just not as hot for him as I envisioned they would be once they pulled the trigger on his babyface turn. Of course, it doesn’t help that the botched his return by bringing him back as a heel when the fans were ready to cheer him.
A WWE Network commercial aired… The broadcast team recapped Rusev beat Big Cass via count-out on the Kickoff Show. Cole hyped Rusev vs. Big Cass in a rematch for Raw…
4. Rich Swann vs. Brian Kendrick vs. TJ Perkins in a Triple Threat for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. Austin Aries replaced Byron Saxton on commentary for the match. Cole announced that Sami Zayn would appear on the Raw Talk show that would air on the network after this pay-per-view.
There was an awkward spot early with Kendrick charging Swann, who leapt up and appeared to accidentally catch Kendrick with a knee to the face. Kendrick grabbed his face and rolled to ringside, but he was back in the mix just moments later. Swann performed a double huracanrana. Graves said he didn’t think he’d ever seen that before and asked Aries if he had. Aries said he’s actually performed the move.
At 3:00, Kendrick caught Swann in Captain’s Hook while Perkins was on the floor. Perkins returned to break it up, but Kendrick kicked him aside. Perkins applied the knee bar on Kendrick, who gave up his own submission hold on Swann, who then splashed Perkins to break the hold.
Kendrick went for Sliced Break No. 2, but he ended up being dumped to the floor. Perkins caught Swann in the knee bar. Swann reached the ropes and Perkins ended up releasing the hold. A short time later, Swann and Perkins traded punches. Kendrick returned only to take a double superkick from both opponents. Swann caught Perkins with a kick and then pinned him…
Rich Swann defeated Brian Kendrick and TJ Perkins in 6:00 to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
After the match, Neville’s music hit and he headed to the ring where Swann was all smiles. Neville entered the ring and applauded, but then attacked Swann. Perkins tried to break it up, but Neville caught him with a pair of kicks. Neville hit Perkins with a running kick and then tossed Swann to the floor. Neville ran Swann into the barricade. Neville picked up Perkins and ran him into the barricade. Neville rolled Perkins back inside the ring and then tossed Swann in there with him. Neville stood over both men to end the segment…
Powell’s POV: The match was more of the same with the fans reacting to high spots rather than the individuals, though they did find a few people who were dancing horribly to Swann’s entrance music. The real story was what happened afterward with Neville finally making a splash on the main roster. It’s a shame that they never did right by Neville in the heavyweight division, but he was terrific here. I remember someone in the business whose opinion I respect telling me a while back that Neville would make a great heel because he’s so tenacious in the ring. This attack certainly supports that.
Backstage, Kevin Owens tried to get into Chris Jericho’s locker room, but Jericho never answered the door. Owens yelled through the door that Jericho could put him at the top of the list. Owens said friends make mistakes, but best friends forgive each other. Owens asked if they are best friends or not. When Jericho didn’t reply, Owens said he guesses he got the answer and they are no longer best friends. Owens said that hurts his feelings…
A video package set up the women’s match…
5. Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte in an Iron Man match for the Raw Women’s Championship. Cole said it was the eleventh Iron Man match in WWE history and only the second involving women. The first few minutes were slow paced and fairly even with Cole labeling it a feeling out process. The broadcast team spoke about the strategy of the women conserving energy since they knew they were going 30 minutes.
Sasha applied the Bank Statement just before 5:00, but Charlotte rolled to ringside to break it. Sasha mocked Charlotte with a strut. Charlotte kicked her. Saxton said it appeared as if Sasha told Charlotte that her daddy likes her more than he likes Charlotte. Sasha applied a sleeper hold at 7:00. Charlotte got to her feet and broke it with a jaw-jacker. There were quiet dueling chants for both women.
Charlotte brought Sasha to the floor and went for a powerbomb, but Sasha leapt up and landed on the apron, then performed a double knee press to the floor. Back inside the ring, Sasha applied the straight jacket. They cut to a fan with a hokey looking shocked expression. Ugh. Charlotte eventually powered her way back to her feet and flung Sasha off of her at 9:30.
At 10:00, Sasha performed a suicide dive onto Charlotte on the floor. Sasha rolled Charlotte back inside the ring and covered her, then screamed in frustration when Charlotte kicked out. Sasha went to the apron to apparently climb the ropes when Charlotte kicked her leg out from under her, causing Sasha to crash face first onto the ring steps. Cool spot.
Charlotte went on the offensive and dropped three knees onto the head of Sasha and got a two count. Charlotte performed a neckbreaker and then kipped up to her feet. Charlotte dropped a knee and covered Sasha for another two count. Charlotte applied a head-scissors and then drove Sasha’s head into the mat three times. “Four-time champ, baby,” Charlotte said while holding onto the head-scissors.
Sasha came back around 17:00 and threw a series of slaps and then punches at Charlotte in the corner. Sasha followed up with double knees in the corner. Charlotte avoided a cross body block and then performed the Natural Selection and went for a cover, but Sasha kicked out.
Charlotte went up for a moonsault, but Sasha caught her on the ropes. Charlotte knocked Sasha down and then hit a Natural Selection off the top rope and pinned her. Charlotte took a 1-0 advantage at 19:45.
Charlotte slapped Sasha and taunted her. Sasha fired back, but Charlotte suplexed her and covered her for two at 21:00. Sasha performed a head scissors takedown into a pin. Sasha tied it up at 1-1 at 21:40.
Charlotte went on the offensive and went for a moonsault. Banks avoided the move and then applied a Bank Statement. Charlotte nearly reached the ropes, but Banks rolled her back into the middle of the ring. Charlotte tapped. Sasha took a 2-1 lead at 24:00.
Charlotte came back with some chops. Sasha slapped her off. Sasha went to hop onto the ropes, but Charlotte kicked her knee out and then stomped the bad knee. Charlotte worked over the left knee and then went for her submission hold, but Sasha kicked her away. Charlotte went to the floor and wrapped Sasha’s bad leg around the post.
Charlotte returned to the ring and continued to wrench on the bad knee. Sasha rolled Charlotte into a pin for a two count. Charlotte hit the bad knee again and wrenched on the leg in different positions. Charlotte applied the Figure Four at 28:00. Sasha rolled it over briefly. Sasha reached for the ropes, but Charlotte slid her away. Sasha slapped Charlotte, who yelled at her to tap at 29:00. Charlotte pulled her into mid-ring and then arched into the Figure 8, and Sasha tapped out with two seconds remaining. Charlotte tied the match 2-2 at 29:58.
Cole said the match was tied and now the question was what referee Chad Patton would rule. Patton walked to ringside and told JoJo that the match would continue into sudden death overtime. Cole said the champion would normally retain in a tie, but this is the last match, it’s the end of the line.
Charlotte went right at the bad leg again. Sasha managed to roll her up for a two count. Charlotte went for a slam. Sasha countered into a small package for another two count. Sasha hit the Backstabber and clutched her bad knee. Sasha applied the Bank Statement. Charlotte grabbed Sasha’s bad knee, broke the hold, and applied the figure four again. Sasha was bleeding heavily from the nose. Charlotte arched into the Figure 8 and got the submission win. Cole said Charlotte was 15-0 in pay-per-view matches…
Charlotte defeated Sasha Banks in overtime of an Iron Man match in 34:45 to win the Raw Women’s Championship.
Powell’s POV: It looked like Sasha suffered the bloody nose when she caught a boot to the face after Charlotte kicked out early in overtime. This was the best match of the night thus far. It wasn’t perfect, but there was good drama and genuine suspense over which would would win. I’m happy they gave us a definitive finish. It seemed odd that the broadcast team wouldn’t know the rules and made it seem like it was up to the referee to decide what would happened after they finished tied at the end of regulation. Nevertheless, this was really fun and hopefully this is the end of the line for these two for the time being. They’ve had a great feud, but it’s time for a break given all of the title changes and stipulation matches we’ve seen so far.
After some commercials, the broadcast team set up a video package for the main event…
Roman Reigns made his entrance to far more boos than cheers. Cole said Reigns could be only the second person in history to hold the U.S. and World Championship at the same time. Saxton said that if Reigns wins, they will talk about it for years. Owens posed on the ropes and was booed again. Kevin Owens entered to an oddly quiet reaction that didn’t seem to eclipse the volume of his entrance music.
6. Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Championship. JoJoe delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Reigns was booed loudly. Owens was cheered by a group of fans at ringside who held up small signs for him. Owens kissed the title before giving it to the referee.
Owens stalled early by leaving the ring twice. Reigns chased after him the second time and punched him on the floor before rolling him back inside the ring and punching him again. Owens rolled to the floor a third time. Reigns went after him and rolled him back inside the ring. Owens caught Reigns entering the ring and applied a headlock. There were high pitched “Let’s Go Roman” and adult male “Roman Sucks” dueling chants.
Owens went to the floor again at 2:45. Reigns followed and ended up running him into the barricade. Reigns prepped one of the broadcast tables, but Owens cut him off. Back inside the ring, Owens ducked a Superman Punch at 4:30 and went to the floor. Owens ended up running Reigns into the ring steps (drink). Owens followed up with a senton off the steps onto Reigns on the floor. Owens rolled Reigns back inside the ring and covered him for two.
At 11:15, Reigns caught Owens with several clotheslines in the corner. Reigns went for a Samoan drop a short time later, but Owens avoided it and suplexed Reigns. Owens charged into a boot from Reigns, who followed up with
Reigns went for a Superman Punch, but Owens countered into a DDT for a two count. Reigns caught Owens with a kick and a Samoan Drop for a two count. At 15:00, Reigns went for a superplex, but Owens elbowed his way out of it. Reigns caught Owens with a Superman Punch while Owens was seated on the ropes. Reigns went for the superplex, but Owens countered into a suplex of his own off the ropes for a two count at 15:45.
At 17:55, Owens superkicked Reigns onto a broadcast table. He dove off the barricade and frogsplashed Reigns, but the table didn’t break. Owens performed the move again and the table broke. Reigns was nearly counted out, but he returned to the ring at nine. Owens performed a top rope frogsplash, but Reigns kicked out at two.
At 20:00, Reigns caught Owens going for a superkick and powerbombed him for a two count. Owens hit a Popup Powerbomb and had Reigns pinned, but Roman put his foot on the bottom rope at 21:10. Owen went to ringside and grabbed his title belt. The referee tried to stop him from using it as he got back in the ring. Owens broke free and tried to use it, but Reigns speared him.
At 22:45, Chris Jericho walked to the ring and looked at both men. Jericho performed the Codebreaker on Owens. Cole said there goes the friendship. The referee called for the bell. JoJo announced Owens as the winner by DQ.
Kevin Owens defeated Roman Reigns by DQ in 23:20 to retain the WWE Universal Championship.
After the match, Jericho picked up the title belt, smiled, and then handed it to Owens. Jericho raised the arm of Owens. Jericho smiled and then they hugged while Reigns watched seething from the floor. Cole questioned whether this was the plan all along. Jericho noticed Reigns and then ushered Owens out of the ring.
Seth Rollins’ music played and he cut off the heels from leaving. Reigns speared Owens on the floor. In the ring, Rollins hit the Pedigree on Jericho. Rollins tore the Spanish announce table apart, and then he and Reigns performed 2/3 of The Shield Powerbomb on Jericho through the table.
Owens was nearly to the entrance area, but Rollins ran up and stopped him from getting there. Reigns and Rollins took turns punching Owens and then performed 2/3 of The Shield Powerbomb on Owens and drove him through Cole’s broadcast table.
Powell’s POV: Again? This just isn’t fun anymore. It would have been interesting if Jericho had gotten Owens disqualified and it was left open in terms of whether he was doing it because he disliked him or if they were still aligned. At least then there would at least be some chance that the cheap interference finishes would be over. Instead, Owens and Jericho are besties again, and it felt like the pay-per-view main event was done to set up a Raw tag main event. The powerbomb payoff just wasn’t enough for this viewer.
Overall, the women’s match and the tag title change felt like the most meaningful moments of the night, and I also enjoyed Neville’s heel turn. The rest just felt like something you could see on Raw most weeks. I’ll have more to say in members’ audio with Jake Barnett later tonight, and then I’ll be back on Monday with my WWE Roadblock Hit List. Thanks for watching along with me.