Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Sunday, December 18, 2016

WWE Roadblock Not at All Live Blog

So it looks like we got Jeremy Jamm filling in on the pre-show. Though I know I'm getting my hopes up unnecessarily for Roadblock himself to show up on the show. He has to own the copyright, right? Send WWE a cease and desist and then turn it into a final payday. Okay I just looked and apparently Roadblock is somehow in his early 60s. I don't want to see AARP Roadblock. I'll just live off my memories of Roadblock vs. Rick Fuller. These PPV blogs are a regular battle of seeing if Phil is right or not, as he always calls me a masochist (or worse, usually) for doing them. He's usually right, except for maybe last time.

1. Rusev vs. Big Cass

ER: Kinda surprised this one ended up on the kickoff show as it got a lot of TV build. But WWE seems to both love and hate Lana, even though she's the best. Cass is getting a nice soft belly, must be eating a lot of Christmas time work treats like me. I don't think about Godiva chocolates 11 1/2 months out of the year, then suddenly they show up at work littering the Tax Collectors offices and suddenly I want dark chocolate salted caramels. And oh shit that match just ended really quick. That stunk. Rusev threw a great back elbow and I was getting into them starting to brawl into the crowd...and then we get a count out! Still not getting why Enzo is the good guy for trying to plow a married woman.

2. New Day vs. Sheamus/Cesaro

ER: I am so tried of Michael Cole shouting the exact number of New Day's title reign, every time. It makes me want to see them lose so badly. New Day's gear makes them look like extremely loud Mountain Dew adverts. Cesaro is working at a crazy pace, really flying into people super quick. His Irish whip reversal uppercut in the corner was great, but then he follows it up with his boss flapjack uppercut. Sheamus/Big E is such a fun match up as they both do cool power reversals off moves. The caught brogue kick into a delayed powerbomb was wild. Big nearfall after Cesaro planted the neutralizer (getting there in a tremendous strength showoff) and then Cesaro hits a tornillo and holy shit this man is working like a man who is showing he's worth owning a few title belts. This whole match was really worked as a finishing stretch, resulting in a hot opener.

3. 10 Minute Challenge: Sami Zayn vs. Braun Strowman

ER: I love these kind of challenge matches, really feels like old Memphis TV. The build up on TV was good too and probably the only Foley thing I've been interested in over the last decade. I wanted to like this more than I ended up liking it though. As much as I enjoyed the Foley/Zayn segment on Raw, I thought Foley completely ruined things in this one. His part in this went on far too long and the melodrama was just way too much. He comes limping down the ramp in his shitty gigantic leather sports coat, and I really just wanted Zayn to run towards him and give him the helluva kick before going back inside the ring to get his ass handed to him. The begging just dragged on too long. Braun's crossface shots looked great, and Sami sold it really well by rubbing at his ear, in that way you do when you get hit in the ear and it starts to feel hot. Also dug Braun's big missed charge through the barrier, and him staggering around after getting hit with the helluva kick. The match was fine but the 10 minute challenge portion ended up feeling limp as hell. Considering 3 minutes were wrapped up with Foley's shitty acting, and capped off by Byron Saxton's pathetic, wimpy "Sami Zayn did it!" It really came off like Luger getting the count out victory. It will build to another match, yippee yippee, and maybe it will be better as just a straight match. But for something I feel like I should have been into, it mostly fell flat.

4. Chris Jericho vs. Seth Rollins

ER: This is an example of a match I ended up enjoying, despite hating the movesets of both men. There was clumsiness and I hate how Rollins bunny hops into everything, especially his missed bunny hops into the corner. But it was paced nicely so I had that odd feeling of watching something with a decent build, while disliking the moves that were building things. Jericho takes the pedigree really well, and I also liked how he blocked a pedigree earlier. Rollins hopping knees look a little silly, and the run in leading to finish is blah. This was whatever.

5. Brian Kendrick vs. TJ Perkins vs. Rich Swann

ER: This starts a little nuts with Kendrick catching an errant knee to the eye socket when he didn't duck low enough under Swann. Three ways are usually pretty bunk, but Kendrick is ace enough to know how to plausibly get out of the way. His big swan dive fall to the floor was great and really looked like he just dropped into nothingness when he fell out of sight. Kendrick's falls and getting dumped to the floor have been a real highlight of his matches. That and the struggle around the bully choke. Rolling through the bully choke actually worked decently in a three way, Kendrick was able to add some neat dodges leading into a TJP save. When Kendrick came back only to eat two superkicks it was a logical progression. But the match felt super rushed, which is a little silly since we have now seen them match up so many times. This felt like a rushed greatest hits version of their other stuff. "Gotta do the caught in a kneebar spot, gotta do the surprise superkick spot." The ringwork was good, but I was hoping for more, and Swann just doesn't interest me much as champ.

6. 30 Minute Iron Man Match: Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks

ER: Really liked the standing exchanges they opened with, and Sasha leaping onto Charlotte's back with a sleeper. The way they crumbled to the mat is one of those moments in their matches where something seems very much clunky, but in a way that ends up making the move look more nasty. And the straitjacket choke always looks gross thanks to Charlotte's flexibility. Sasha takes a mean bump off the apron onto the ring steps after getting her leg swept. But it does seem like we get one of these "stop the damn match!" moments in every big Sasha match. It's weird that a wrestler is prevented from pinning another wrestler when one of them maybe can't continue. If a ref has to hold up the match to make sure you're okay, that should count as a pinfall in this type of match, right? Maybe I've just been watching more UWF than usual lately. Charlotte locks on an awesome rolling headscissors and let's loose an appropriate "Four time champ, BABY!" to the quiet crowd. The rolling headscissors is maybe the best "rolling" move, rivaling even the rolling Olympic Hell. Sasha's first comeback felt a little unwarranted, but I loved the missed crossbody that lead to Charlotte taking back over. I do appreciate that we didn't get any falls in the first 20 or so, as that at least plays off the fact that these two go long against each other. I hate elimination matches where people start getting eliminated after taking 12 seconds of offense. Holy lord Charlotte's springboard stomp to spike Sasha's leg was the most vicious thing on the card. All the bending and stretching of Sasha's knee and ankle is sick, though it's kind of a storyline blunder to have Sasha tap with just a few seconds left in the match. But Sasha getting busted open is a great unexpected moment, and made the Banks statement look killer with blood striping her face. But I really wanted her to retain.

7. Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens

ER: Eh, this was what it was. I liked Owens sentons, the one off the ring steps, the somersault one that hit knees in the ring, really all the ways he uses his fat. This whole thing was decent without ever feeling like more than a Raw main event. Maybe the table spot? Table spot is an accepted "PPV moment", and the table spot was pretty great. So we got a table spot. Reigns has had plenty of great PPV singles main events, and this wasn't one of them. Owens is going to get the blame for that but I don't think that's fair. I think both men looked fine and it was more a case of things just not adding up to much. The ending with a semi-reunited Shield attacking and destroying JeriKO was satisfying even if it felt more like a crowd pleasing moment given minimal thought. But that's fine. This whole match just didn't have a whole lot to keep me.

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