By Jason Powell
WWE’s Roadblock: Limp to the Finish Line would be a more appropriate title for the second Roadblock pay-per-view of 2016. Do we really need a show headlined by Roman Reigns attempting to hold two championships? What a Christmas gift that would be to the world. Fortunately, the hard working crew should be able to make up for the forgettable build to a show that feels unnecessary (yes, we’re back in that mode). One positive is that it does feel less predictable than usual, so keep that in mind when you read the following predictions. In other words, don’t bet the Christmas gift money while using these picks.
Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Championship: Is Vince McMahon such a scrooge that he would send his fans into the holidays with his chosen one holding not one but two title belts? Have you been watching WWE television for the last few years? Of course he would. Vince’s man-love for Roman knows no bounds. Get ready to be bombarded with talk about whether fans love or hate Reigns, they feel passionately about him. Of course the live crowd is going to react. I once sat through a live crowd popping big for a Kane vs. Great Khali house show main event with a post match dance party involving Khali and Cryme Tyme. In this case, the Reigns fans want to see him win, and the Reigns haters will be more vocal than usual while hoping that he doesn’t win another title. It should make for a good atmosphere, but does anyone really believe that the same type of passion for this match exists anywhere outside the building? Sure, the internet would be flooded with all sorts of venom if Reigns wins the championship. Vince and his cronies will tell themselves that any reaction is a good reaction as long as the fans are passionate. Is it a good reaction when consumers get food poisoning from restaurant food and find out it was caused by unsanitary conditions? Those poor patrons would surely have a strong reaction and something tells me it would not be good for the restaurant. Nothing would surprise me with Vince and Reigns at this point. Here comes the hate.
Roman Reigns wins the WWE Universal Championship.
Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte in a 30-minute Iron Man match for the Raw Women’s Championship: This is it. No, for real this time. There are no rematch clauses in the contract, so the winner of this match gets the last laugh and walks away with the title. Unless they finish tied with the same number of falls at the end of 30 minutes. Even if I’m wrong about the finish to what jumps out as the show stealing match, I don’t see this feud ending until these women have performed every type of gimmick match in WWE’s arsenal. I can’t wait for the Dog Kennel Match in July. Will WWE go full circle by having this feud culminate in a bra and panties match at WrestleMania 34?
Sasha and Charlotte finished tied, so Sasha retains the title.
New Day vs. Sheamus and Cesaro for the Raw Tag Titles: New Day broke Demolition’s record and now it finally seems possible for the titles to change hands again. It will be interesting to see if WWE pulls the trigger right away or milks this out while knowing that fans expect a title change soon.
Sheamus and Cesaro win the Raw Tag Titles.
Seth Rollins vs. Chris Jericho: The most popular babyface in WWE is still playing a heel, while the guy who should be the most popular babyface in WWE is still paying the price for Vince McMahon bringing him back from injury as a heel so that he could feud with Roman Reigns. The feud doesn’t feel significant. It doesn’t help that Rollins is treating Jericho as a mere steppingstone in his odd master plan to get to the Mighty Triple H in the ring. The hard work will be there and I assume this will be one of the better matches of the night.
Seth Rollins wins.
Rich Swann vs. TJ Perkins vs. Brian Kendrick in a Triple Threat for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship: WWE has done a nice job of establishing the every man for himself vibe. Unfortunately, I can’t help but wonder how many people actually watched the build on 205 Live. I also can’t help but feel that the TJP character is a real dick. His buddy wins the title. Instead of being happy for him, he just keeps insinuating that he was lucky. Then he teased kicking him in the face one week after he accidentally kicked him in the face. This would be great if Perkins were on the verge of a heel turn, but I doubt the guy with the elaborate video game entrance is turning heel. Here’s hoping that he puts over Swann after this match and says the talk of luck was just head games.
Rich Swann retains the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
Sami Zayn vs. Braun Strowman with a 10-minute time limit: After all the fuss with Mick Foley trying to draw the darkness out of Zayn, now Foley is reportedly taking time away. There’s been some speculation about what this means. It’s Mick Foley. It’s Christmas. Perhaps there’s more to it, but the question “Does Mick Foley take time off for Christmas?” feels like the WWE equivalent of “Does a bear shit in the woods?” As for the match, it seems set up to give Zayn a win that isn’t really a win by having him simply survive ten minutes. Strowman won’t actually lose the match either, so it’s clever. The big question is whether Strowman can hang in a ten minute match.
Sami Zayn survives the time limit.
Rusev vs. Big Cass in the Kickoff Show match: Rusev and Lana took care of that pervert Enzo Amore, but now they have to deal with his big brother. I assume Enzo will be there simply because we saw how flat the crowd was for Cass when he cut that lousy promo on Monday. So if you combine the babyfaces outnumbering the heel, and the fact that the babyfaces win the majority of the Kickoff Show matches, then you have my formula for predicting this outcome.
Big Cass wins.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...