12/18 Powell’s WWE Roadblock: End of the Line Kickoff Show coverage: Rusev vs. Big Cass

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

-Renee Young introduced the show from the usual pre-show set on the floor of the arena. She was joined by Booker T and guest Sam Roberts, a popular Sirius/XM radio host. Young introduced Booker as the future mayor of Houston. Roberts said it was a dream come true to be on the pre-show panel.

-Tom Phillips checked in from his mobile kill room known as the Social Media Lounge. Phillips will ask Sami Zayn a batch of really bad questions submitted by fans via social media.

-The panel discussed the tag title match. Booker predicted a title change.

-A Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte video package aired.

-Bayley joined the panel with Young noting that she won the Iron Man match at NXT Takeover. Bayley said this is the end of their rivalry and Sasha wants to start her legacy tonight. Bayley said she is next in line and will be waiting to face the winner. Bayley said she is mentally ready for 2017 and is ready to hug the championship. Bayley predicted that Sasha will retain the championship in the Iron Man match, noting that she has the upper hand because she competed in the Iron Man match against her. Roberts also predicted a Bayley win, while Booker picked Charlotte.

-A video package aired for the Seth Rollins vs. Chris Jericho match.

-The panel played up the idea that the winner of the match would have to be considered No. 1 contender. This would have given the match a nice hook. Booker and Roberts both picked Jericho to win.

-A video package recapped the Braun Strowman, Sami Zayn, and Mick Foley saga.

-Sami Zayn joined Tom Phillips in the WWE designated survivor room. Sami admitted there is some level of fear when you face Strowman. He said he is also very aware of what he is capable of doing to Strowman. Sami said people ask him why he’s obsessed with Strowman. He said it’s about what it represents. He said it’s about making your own opportunities, standing up for yourself, and doing the right thing even when people tell you it’s not worth it. He said this may be the most important match of his career and then said he had to go.

-A video aired on Triple H announcing the tournament to crown the first UK Champion on January 14-15, plus Nigel McGuinness being introduced as the color commentator.

-TJ Perkins joined the panel to discuss the WWE Cruiserweight Championship match. Perkins said people take umbrage with the way he makes wrestling look easy. Dick. Perkins said he had to beat five people to become the first cruiserweight champion, and tonight he has to beat two. Perkins said he feels he has earned the right to call himself “cruisergreat.” Ugh. Booker named this the Shucky Ducky Quack Quack moment of the night.

-The broadcast team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton checked in from their spot on the stage. Lana introduced Rusev. Enzo Amore and Big Cass made their entrance. Enzo said if he really wanted to see the Ravishing Russian, he would check out her Wikileaks. He accused Lana of having a weird fetish and said when Rusev entered the room it was like they were playing a weird game of Jumanji. Enzo said he will continue to run his mouth because his words have the length of a seven footer. Cass had Enzo put on a red nose, then ran through the reindeer names while Enzo led the crowd in the “how you doin'” bit.

1. Big Cass (w/Enzo) vs. Rusev (w/Lana). Cass caught Rusev with a big boot that knocked him to the floor. They went to a WWE Network commercial less than a minute into the match. Cass continued to dominate Rusev and performed the Empire Elbow, then following up with a splash in the corner.

Rusev dodged a big boot by dropping to the floor. Rusev tried to leave through the crowd, but Cass went after him. Lana distracted Enzo on the floor and then faked an ankle injury. Rusev struck Enzo from behind on the floor. Rusev returned to the ring, while Cass checked on Enzo and was counted out…

Rusev defeated Big Cass by count-out in 4:30.

Powell’s POV: Cass looked a little dopey for tending to Enzo rather than returning to the ring, but no real harm was done. The finish resolves nothing so I assume we’ll be seeing more of this on Raw.

-The panel spoke about the Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns main event. Roberts said not all fans are on Roman’s side. He said it’s because “we all know what Roman can do.” Roman has been a great soldier, but he needs to be a one man army. Roberts and Booker both predicted that Owens will retain.

-A video package aired on Owens vs. Reigns.

Join me for live coverage of the WWE Roadblock: End of the Line pay-per-view in a separate post on the main page.


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