OUTCOMES & IMPLICATIONS: A Closer Look at the Possible Match Results of Roadblock: End of the Line

By MIchael Souza, PWTorch Specialist


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Before we officially get on the Road to WrestleMania, Raw will be delivering WWE’s final pay-per-view event of 2016. While there is not too much buzz around Sunday night’s card, there is potential for an unexpectedly fantastic night of wrestling. Many of the stories that have been told leading up to Roadblock will come to a close, setting the tone for these men and women heading into WrestleMania season. Let’s take a closer look at what different outcomes may mean moving forward.

Pre-Show Match: Rusev vs. Big Cass

In a program with a non-PG build up, this match is shaping up to be one of the most intriguing pre-show matches we have seen in some time. The heel is defending the honor of his wife while the babyface is sticking up for his provocative friend who has been punished for overstepping his boundaries. Seems to makes sense, right?

Rusev has been on the cusp of taking the next step in his career since his WrestleMania match with John Cena. Since then he has been as high as a United States Champion and as low as a member of the League of Nations. While Cass poses a threat, Rusev has much more to lose in defeat here.

A loss to Cass would show that the Bulgarian brute may not even be on the same level as a relatively unsuccessful mid-card wrestler and it could damage the image he has worked so hard to create for himself. It could also lead to dissension between he and Lana as he is fighting for her honor in this bout.

A victory in impressive fashion, even with outside interference, would put Rusev back in the win column and hopefully send him further up the card. It is just a pre-show match, but Rusev really needs the win after being overcome by Roman Reigns.

Big Cass has provided some entertaining segments and backstage humor, but has not gotten off to the best start in the ring. He and Enzo had such potential following their call up from NXT, but the team has not really cemented themselves as a threat to the WWE Tag Titles in any way. Given that this is a singles match, Cass has an opportunity to impress regardless of the result. Aside from the short singles run he had when Enzo was injured, we have not seen much more than a few sidewalk slams and big elbow drops. Turning in a good match here against a great worker could raise some eyebrows backstage.

Cass has the look WWE wants in a star and this match could be an opportunity to show what he is made of. A win would be nice but the performance is much more important than result for Big Cass.

Ten-Minute Time Limit: Sami Zayn vs. Braun Strowman

We have all been waiting to see when Braun Strowman would get his first meaningful singles match on a PPV. The conflict, however, seems to be between Sami Zayn and Mick Foley with Braun playing the role of third wheel.

Braun has destroyed everything in his path since debuting with the Wyatt Family, so a loss here could be very detrimental to his momentum. While the time limit stipulation sounds good in theory for Sami’s protection, failing to put away Zayn in under 10 minutes could be a poor outcome for Strowman given how dominant he has been portrayed and the size difference between both wrestlers. The only way Braun comes out of this match in a better position on the card is if he puts away Zayn fairly quickly.

The story here is all about Sami Zayn’s quest to prove Mick Foley wrong. A victory here would be a massive upset and could act as a catapult to bigger and better things moving forward. No one has come close to beating Strowman, so if Sami were to get a pinfall or submission win he would surely be in contention for a major title in the future.

The most predictable outcome here is Zayn lasting the 10 minutes and barely escaping alive. He gains respect from the fans for sticking it out and giving it a fighting chance and also proves to Foley that he belonged in there with a monster. On the flip side, losing this match will mean more of the same mid-card obscurity in a main roster run that has been mostly uneventful.

It is still mind blowing to see where Zayn is on the card relative to Kevin Owens after Zayn won two out of the three PPV matches the two had during their program.

Seth Rollins vs. Chris Jericho

It is hard to pinpoint exactly why these two are feuding. Yes, Jericho did cost Rollins his chance at obtaining the Universal Championship, but this seems like more of a main event of Raw rather than a PPV match. Nonetheless, these are two top superstars jockeying for position heading into the Royal Rumble.

On the surface it would seem like this match could be easy to read – Jericho continues to play his veteran role, gives Rollins one heck of a match and puts him over in the end. Not so fast… Kevin Owens has tried everything to help regain the trust and friendship of Y2J and it would not be surprising to see him interfere.

A loss for Jericho here, like most he has suffered in 2016, won’t hurt him in the least. He is extremely over with the crowd and will continue to be whether he beats Rollins or not. A win, however, could really foreshadow where Jericho fits into the Universal Title picture for Wrestlemania. Sure, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns are both much younger and would absolutely be worthy of challenging for the title on the grandest stage of them all, but a Jericho vs. Owens match with the title on the line at Mania would be a marquee match and a great payoff to this feud.

Seth Rollins has been hard to figure out since his babyface turn. He has not had that signature moment that makes him stand out and different from his heel run and this match could help get Rollins on the right track heading into WrestleMania season. With how thin the main event scene on Raw is, a victory here for Rollins would certainly move him right back in line for a shot at the Universal Title against (a) a heel Kevin Owens which we have seen already, or (b) a babyface Roman Reigns which could pose quite the opportunity for Reigns to finally turn heel.

A loss, pending Owens retaining later in the evening, would almost assure that Jericho would be the next no. 1 contender and send Rollins on his way to feud with Triple H. Hunter is usually sitting right behind the curtain in Gorilla and may get the itch to walk to the ring and play a role here as well.

Cruiserweight Championship Triple Threat Match: Rich Swann (c) vs. Brian Kendrick vs. T.J. Perkins

Unfortunately for these three extremely talented competitors, this may be the popcorn match of the evening. While we are all excited to see what this match brings from a wrestling quality standpoint, there has been almost nothing invested into these three men or their division just yet to garner people’s interest. Sure, 205 Live has given all of the cruiserweights the opportunity to get more television time and build upon their character, but the show is still in its infancy. With all of this being said, the WWE can change all of that by making this match a memorable one outside of just the wrestling.

The only person in this match with something to lose is Brian Kendrick. Regardless of his performance, Kendrick has been questioning whether or not he belongs back in the WWE. After losing his Cruiserweight Championship so quickly after he obtained it, a defeat to two younger and faster wrestlers may spell doom for Brian Kendrick’s credibility.

The key here is to have this match stand out. Whether it comes in the form of Swann or Perkins losing to one another then turning heel after teasing a congratulatory handshake, or someone like Neville shows up for a stare down with the victor, the Cruiserweight Division needs an injection of compelling storylines and meaningful matches. In the last PPV of the year, they have a great opportunity to set themselves up nicely for 2017.

Raw Tag Team Title Match: The New Day (c) vs. Cesaro & Sheamus

The unlikely team of Cesaro and Sheamus has been a pleasant surprise and a great addition to the tag division on Raw. The New Day have not been able to find chemistry between themselves and their opponents since they squared off against the Wyatt Family and it’s made their act a little watered down. Both teams delivered masterful performances last Monday, making this matchup hard to predict.

New Day just became the longest reigning Tag Team Champions in WWE history and it would seem way too predictable for them lose the belts so shortly after breaking the record. All three members of New Day were fantastic last Monday and certainly look like the stronger team after winning two triple threat matches against Raw’s best.

Beating a very formidable team to retain the titles would make it seem like they would move onto a new feud. Or maybe not.

New Day has been teasing a heelish side to them and, with the positive reactions Cesaro & Sheamus have been getting, do not rule out a bit of cheating to keep this program alive. The alternate to that would be a loss for New Day which sets up a big rematch at Royal Rumble with plenty of time to develop a great story.

It would be amazing to see Cesaro & Sheamus win the tag titles so quickly after getting on the same page. A win would reinforce what they told one another at the bar – they would be the best tag team in the division if they would just get along and work together.

If they were victorious, it would prove that they can do what they say they will do and be the new team to beat on Monday nights. If they do lose, they need to be protected.

Whether New Day cheats to turn heel or not, it has to play into the finish if they win. It will maintain Cesaro & Sheamus’ credibility and give them a reason to demand a rematch at Royal Rumble. These two are very capable of turning in stellar matches and I expect nothing but their best on Sunday evening.

Raw Women’s Championship Iron Man Match: Sasha Banks (c) vs. Charlotte

After trading the Raw Woman’s Championship back and forth both Charlotte and Sasha Banks have so much on the line here with the “No Rematch” stipulation that has been added to this 30-Minute Iron Man Match. Sasha will be looking for her first PPV victory in quite a while while, Charlotte has yet to lose. With the threats of both Ric Flair and Dana Brooke interfering in a match that will most likely have multiple pinfalls/submissions, there will be so many ways to tell a great story between these two women. What we do know for sure is this will be the blow-off between them and they will each move onto different opponents.

Charlotte has yet to lose on a PPV. Her skill and dedication to character has made her not only the top female talent in the company, but she is one of the biggest stars in all of WWE. Sasha Banks has had great matches, but Charlotte is on another level. If she were to regain her title in this type of a match, it would prove once again that she is genetically superior and always comes up big when it counts the most.

In victory, we need to see the ruthless side of Charlotte that lives up to the “dirtiest player in the game” character she has built for herself. Make the goal to garner even more heat and make it seem as if she is trying to end Sasha’s career.

A defeat here for Charlotte would be a big one. With Sasha being the babyface, it would seem unlikely that she would cheat to win, leaving no room to protect Charlotte. Enter – Ric and Dana.

What Charlotte’s father could come out to do, only he and Vince would know. If Dana were to interfere with the intention to make Charlotte lose, there could be a meaningful, non-title storyline there for her as well. Dana is sick of being treated like a child and wanted to get revenge on Charlotte for the way she treated her. That might work.

Sasha Banks needs a PPV title defense badly. The Boss has not lived up to her nickname and her character has gotten quite stale. Sure, the argument could absolutely be made that Sasha deserves to win this match and a big push as a babyface, but a loss here might be the best thing for her. With how thin the Raw Women’s roster currently is, there would not be much for Sasha to do in the short term, but she could get TV time picking up victories and rebuilding her resume. Once the company decides to put the Woman’s Championship on Bayley, Sasha turns heel and gets back to what she does best.

I just hope they don’t get hurt.

Universal Championship Match: Kevin Owens (c) vs. Roman Reigns

After not being prominently featured in the few weeks that followed his suspension, Roman Reigns has regained the lime light (for better or worse) and now has a chance to become both the Universal Champion and United States Champion at the same time. His opponent, Kevin Owens, has lost quite a bit of steam in the last month or so and could use a signature victory to legitimize his title reign. The outcome of this match plays a huge part into what the Universal Title picture will look like heading into WrestleMania and where these two will be on the card.

Kevin Owens needs a clean win in the worst way to get back to being the force he was as NXT and Intercontinental Champion. A victory over Reigns will show that WWE still has confidence in Owens as champion and could set up the feud we have all been waiting for against Y2J. A victory would also ensure that the Universal Championship and the United States Championship will return to separate storylines.

A loss, no matter how it happens, would be devastating for Owens. He will go down as the paper champion Rollins has accused him of being and will leave fans wondering if he was ever worthy of this spot to begin with. Sure, Owens has the personality and skill set to get back on track, but losing to Roman will put a huge stain on his first major title opportunity.

If Roadblock fades to black with Roman Reigns holding both championships on those broad shoulders God gave to him the backlash from fans will be astronomical. Putting both titles on Roman will incite the crowd in Pittsburgh and give fans even more of a reason to boo him out of the building. Unless it is the catalyst of a major heel turn, the WWE will make it blatantly obvious that the fan’s opinion of their golden boy means nothing in the way they want to book him.

Also, in looking at the roster it seems that there is not many main event heel opponents for Reigns to defend his title against pending he wins the rematch against Owens and is still holding both belts. Roman taking the loss here seems like the most viable option. After the United States Title lost so much of its luster after John Cena dropped it, Roman could be the guy (no pun intended) to make it interesting again. In defeat, I am sure he will be protected by some sort of outside interference or cheating by Owens. He will also kick out of at least three Pop-up Powerbombs.

Regardless of the victor here, these two are fantastic wrestlers that hit hard and take chances. We are in for a treat. Enjoy!

NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS “OUTCOMES AND RAMIFICATIONS”: WWE TLC PPV: The pros and cons of various finishes for each of the matches

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