ROUND-UP: WWE Roadblock, Saturday March 12, 2016

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For what was essentially a glorified house-show, WWE Roadblock had some merit to it, not to mention marking the arrival of Dean Ambrose as a main event player.

The lunatic fringe has always been on the cusp of being a real player in the WWE, but his title match with Triple H in Toronto has now solidified his place on the top tear of talent on the roster.

However, it does now beg the question after pushing the King of Kings to his limit – and actually getting a three count – does this now change the Wrestlemania picture?

The rest of the Network special had any particular lasting effects on the prospective storylines heading into wrestling’s biggest show of the year.

Opening up the show was the New Day defending their tag-team championship against Wade Barrett and Shamus of the League of Nations.

After a great promo from the unicorn’s of positivity – revealing their own branded bootyo cereal and a potential face turn – the match was pretty flowing.

The best thing about the match was seeing Barrett get a strong showing after appearing to be nothing but a glorified cheerleader of late. And it was the King of the Ring winner who could have captured the gold for the League if it wasn’t for Xavier Woods distracting the referee.

The disappointing part was the amount of botches in this match – mainly the fault of Shamus – but the back and forth worked well finishing with Big E delivering the big ending to Barrett to retain the belt.

It may have been a routine win, but in the process showed that the League could potentially pick up a win over the champions, so could lead to some good momentum going into Mania.

JerichoAfter the opening bout, Chris Jericho came to the ring continuing on from his Eulogy of Y2AJ on Smackdown, Jericho decided to bad mouth his own native Canada.

The promo was the perfect set up for someone like Sami Zayn to come down and restore some Canadian pride, but instead the audience got Jack Swagger.

It is a bit of a nonsensical match up, as Swagger seems to have been picked from obscurity to appear, and the fans don’t seem that interested.

Jericho is an absolutely incredible heel, but this match just didn’t seem to make any sense. After a couple of near falls for Swagger and getting Y2J trapped in the Patriot Lock, it was always obviously that the ayatollah of rocknrolla was always going to pick up the victory.

From the old guard to the next generation. the NXT tag-team championship was being defended at Roadblock as Enzo Amore and Big Cass took on the Revival in a re-match form Takeover London.

This match looked set to steal the show and it did not disappoint.

Recently Enzo and Cass have looked super aggressive and this came across as the certified G’s dominated the early going.

But like good tag champs, Dash and Dawson isolate the ‘weak’ link in Enzo wearing him down until Cass gets the hot-tag, launching his partner around like a rag doll.

And just like in London, Enzo and Cass had their opening to clinch the titles with the rocket launcher, only for Enzo to be tripped by Dawson leading to all four men scuffling and eventually Enzo getting hit by the Revival’s finisher to retain.

Based on this evidence it won’t be long until Enzo and Cass, along with Carmella will be on the main roster.

Sharpshooter The second Canadian native to step into the ring tonight was Natalya who was set to have a Diva’s championship match with Charlotte – reminiscent of the old Bret and Ric rivalry.

Even thought it was painstakingly obvious that Nattie was not going to win the title, due to the triple threat scheduled for Mania, this was one hell of a fight.

Both women offer up counter-after-counter as they try to apply their signature submissions, but if people would see this match as a passing of the torch then the Hart Dungeon graduate had different plans.

After some great technical wrestling from both women there was no telling which way this match would go, even when Charlotte hit Natural Selection, Natalya managed to kick-out three times.

For  a brief moment it looked as though Nattie might ball this out of the bag when she finally cinched in the Sharpshooter after several failed attempts, only to get distracted by Ric at ring side to allow Charlotte to roll up her opponent for the three count.

Next up was the trademark Brock Lesnar squash match, which was originally booked against Luke Harper, then got changed to Bray Wyatt, then all of a sudden was a two-on-one, but essentially became Brock v Harper once more.

A bit of a nothing match, though it was good to see Harper take it to Lesnar briefly connecting with the discus clothesline, but it wasn’t long until Harper was taken to Suplex City.

After the Beast finally puts an end to things with an F5, Wyatt scurries away with his tail between his legs being stalked by the conqueror. Does this mean Lesnar’s Mania opponent could be changing?

SamiNext up was the third Canadian on this Toronto card and the first singles main roster match for Sami Zayn.

Now as much as I love Sami and everything he has done in NXT, since the return from his injury he has looked a shadow of himself.

His match against Stardust was pretty non-eventful and was a surprise to see it so high up the card.

The best bit of the match was when Stardust took off his glove to slap it across the face of his opponent, which got Zayn riled and building some momentum.

However, something I have noted with more frequency is all of Zayn’s matches end in the same predictable manner, he fights back from the brink, hits the exploder suplex in the corner and finished with the Helluva Kick. And true to form this is how he saw of Stardust in an otherwise underwhelming outing.

However, the main event is a different kettle of fish. This was a match that was Wrestlemania worthy.

What I think is great is that Triple H sees a bit of his own rebellious side in Ambrose and this allowed the pair to really tell a story in the ring. This match was just as much about what their actions were as well as their words.

Ambrose clearly getting under the Cerebral Assassins skin – at one point even grabbing his nose to antagonise the champion further.

Dean winsAs the match went on the crowd really grew into it, and neither athlete had hit their signature move but the intensity could be felt among the crowd.

To show just how much this match meant to the challenger he really did pull out all the stops, applying a figure-four while violently shouting in his opponents face. Locking in a Sharpshooter in Canada and even driving his own body through the announce table in the hopes of claiming victory.

When the Lunatic Fringe finally hit Dirty Deeds, he did pick up a three count, only for the referee to wave off the decision as Ambrose’s legs were under the rope.

However, the scare of Ambrose being champion in the Authority’s eyes was not an option and when Triple H connects with the Pedigree there was nothing more the former shield member could do.

But this now begs the question, does this put Ambrose into the Mania main event picture due to the controversy to which he almost had the belt. Or will he still be gunning for revenge on the Beast.

All questions will surely be answered tomorrow night on Raw.

 

 

 

 

 

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