My Saturday night was spent at a Beer and Cheese festival in Boston so I missed WWE Roadblock from Toronto. This would be the first WWE “special event” from Canada in a very long time. Here’s a look at the show from my inner monologue, all while trying to recover from the idiocy of daylight saving time adjustments:
Oh for the love of God they are using Cole, JBL and Saxton for this. Really? … I wonder how much the Air Canada Centre charges for events that WWE plays the smaller Ricoh Coliseum. … I love Toronto the city but who knows what this crowd will be like since not only is it smark-y but also extremely iconoclastic.
New Day vs League of Nations (Sheamus and Barrett)
New Day is a merchandise machine as still-heels so imagine them as faces. … League of Nations theme reminds me too much of Ric Flair’s early 90s WWF theme and that’s bad because the League concept sucks. Who names a stable after a failed organization that contributed to the causes of World War II? … When New Day does the Unicorn Stomp in the corner, nothing makes that less cool than JBL’s incessant babble. Shut the hell up, you Stan Hansen wannabe. … The LON is such a collection of boring dudes, except for Rusev who has a ton of personality. Too bad he’s rarely allowed to show it. … Big E to me is world title material and will have a WWE title run in the next 3 years. The running the ropes and the big splash reminds me very much of the People’s Elbow but he hasn’t added the comedy element. His overhead belly to belly is awesome. … Nice counter by Kofi off the cloverleaf even if it was a bit botched. Lot of disjointed stuff in this match. … Very strange finish with Xavier on the apron in a heel-like manner, almost to remind us that they aren’t technically babyfaces. … I love the Big Ending as a finisher. … I can’t believe that I only noticed now that Xavier has the Iron Sheik boots with the curl on the end.
Paul Heyman promo
This is weird in that there is one male manager and he’s a de facto babyface. … Still enjoy hearing him even if the bit gets tired with Lesnar on TV more. … Seriously, why can’t they have 3 male managers? That’s how it worked in the old days: Heenan/Hart/Slick or even back to the early 1980s Three Wise Men group of Albano/Blassie/Grand Wizard.
Chris Jericho vs Jack Swagger
Jericho is trying to evoke burning a flag with the shirt, and it’s not often someone takes from the 1991 Sgt. Slaughter playbook. … Bryan Alvarez mentioned that someone other than Barrett is quitting, and I thought it might be Swagger. Who knows, really. … Jericho promo was a bit too long but he knows what he’s doing and this was designed to make sure this crowd would boo him. … Was funny to hear him rip the Leafs, when I saw him in January 1998 in WCW at a Boston show he wore a Leafs jersey to draw heat, even if Toronto was in the other conference. (That was a weird time for the Bruins, as they didn’t have a real rival with Montreal down and Hartford gone) … Jericho is not young anymore but he still knows his way around the ring, which I do appreciate. … Swagger’s pro-USA gimmick makes me wonder how that plays in Canada. I recall Duggan and his flag waving self at Mania 6 in Toronto vs Dino Bravo but Duggan was still cheered. The Mountie gimmick was another one in the opposite direction. … CM Punk chants are the worst shit ever, the sign of a bad audience. Silence is far more powerful even if it’s less fun. … Crowd does not buy any near fall for Swagger and didn’t react when he got the Patriot Lock. … Does JBL ever sound natural? He’s the fakest broadcaster ever. … I suppose this was okay to give Jericho a win. … JBL’s “you still got it” was awful. Just shut up.
Enzo and Cass vs the Revival
Enzo is going to be around for years with his ability to talk and riff, opening house shows, etc. … Just wait until Vince sees Cass and tries to make him a singles wrestler and break up him and Carmella or some other such sociopathic crap. … I LOVE the Revival’s look with the satin jackets. They are everything I want in a team. … Scott Dawson is the evolutionary Arn Anderson in many ways. … Enzo is so improved over the last two years as a wrestler. … Again, I worry about them trying to do too much too soon with Colin Cassady. I don’t know if I have ever seen him work a singles match. … Michael Cole doesn’t even seem to get the point of a tag rope. Jeez. … Pretty sure Cole called Amore “Encho” at one point. … Revival on offense makes me giddy, because they do little smart stuff like make a cover and throw in a forearm to the face. … Dawson works so smartly, like a guy who puts thought into everything. I love the part when he brings Dash around on the outside, gets him in the ring to get the tag. All things that make sense. … That finisher is awesome. Man, I love Scott Dawson.
Natalya vs Charlotte
Do they get how creepy Greg Hamilton appears? Why this guy when Rich Brennan is available? … I love watching Ric Flair when his daughter talks, it makes him so happy to be part of it. Also Charlotte is very comfortable in the character. They are getting the women’s division right, finally! … Nattie is pretty underrated and is probably underutilized because she doesn’t come off as clownish as the others from Total Divas. … Some nice mat work in this match, though there is some clunkiness. … It’s my understanding (per someone who was there) that this was an excellent match in Montreal the night before. … It’s funny how Ric Flair and Bret Hart never had good chemistry together. … Also funny is how they always tie Natalya to Bret when she’s Neidhart’s daughter. Almost like they are embarrassed by the Anvil or something. … Natural Selection isn’t a finisher, I guess. That’s too bad because it worked in NXT. … Charlotte putting feet on the ropes for the pin to be a dick is an awesome tribute to her dad.
Brock Lesnar vs Bray Wyatt Luke Harper
This might not be popular, but most Bray Wyatt promos are tedious and boring, like a paint by numbers Jake Roberts imitation. … Don’t tell him I said this, but Brock looks bloated. He would have fit in at the beer and cheese festival I was at. … Best sign of the night was the “Stephen Luke Harper” one. … It’s stunning to see Brock on the defensive and taking shots from a guy like Harper. Of course that doesn’t last long. … German suplexes are cool, but I am starting to get bored with the Lesnar formula. He can mix it up with different variations. That’s what Taz did in ECW as the Human Suplex Machine. … I am less optimistic about the Lesnar-Ambrose match at Mania than most people.
Sami Zayn vs Stardust
I heard about this match when I was out last night and was interested to see for myself. … Hoping for a nice showcase for Zayn in his 2nd match in Canada in two nights. … But what everyone said was true about Stardust being on offense literally for 97% of the match. Seriously, what the bloody hell is this? … Zayn can sell his ass off but this is Stardust here, not Brock. … I fell asleep for 2-3 minutes, and I have no regrets. … This match is murdering the crowd, and that shouldn’t happen with a guy like Sami Zayn. … Yes, Zayn got the win, but woof, I hope he gets booked better than this or this might turn into Tyler Breeze the sequel. And that would be a horrendous waste.
Triple H vs Dean Ambrose
Trips is older than Bob Backlund was when he won the title in 1994, but note how age is never mentioned with him. … Fun to see Ambrose “wrestle” which is a change from the usual. Interesting to see him work a body part. … Ambrose looks the part of a brawler, but his punches suck. I’m obviously not alone in feeling that way. … My issue with Ambrose is the lack of seriousness with which he often carries himself. Clownish guys don’t carry companies. … Wondering in kayfabe the relationship between referees and HHH. Technically he is their boss too and they are reffing his match. You could work an angle around that. … JBL and Saxton suck and add nothing to the match. Not sure what they said, but this holds true. … Ambrose working on the leg but the crowd seems oddly dead. I am curious if the sound was edited. … This feels very lackluster to me, though not as bad as the Sharpshooter by Ambrose. That’s why you don’t learn that hold from The Rock. … I hate “this is awesome” chants now so much, and even more when the crowd does it after sitting on their hands for 10 minutes. … The phony three count was so contrived and it should have been closer to the ropes. Came off as dumb. … Referee counts on countouts seem inconsistent. Ambrose breaks the count rolling in on his own, but HHH does it and it’s not broken.
Best match: Enzo and Cass vs The Revival
Worst match: Sami Zayn vs Stardust
Verdict: This show fell off the cliff after the women’s match. I didn’t hate the world title match, but it lacked a big match feel. Toronto crowd needs to decide what they want because they were all over the place. Did I mention how much I love the Revival? One more time won’t hurt.