WWE Roadblock review and Raw thoughts.
Seeing how this is my first piece on wrestling for this site, I’ll just flat out say I’m a huge fan of professional wrestling. Yeah, it’s predetermined. So is the majority of stuff you watch on TV and other stuff in life that you think you actually have a say in. I got out of WWE wrestling for a bit in the 1990s – around the Wrestlemania 9-11 era. The stigma that follows (and still remains) with watching wrestling was something I didn’t want following me while trying to impress the ladies in my teenage years. Mind you, most things I did or were into probably didn’t impress them, but that’s a whole other issue. My soap opera hooked me back in when WWE Raw started getting edgy and the “Attitude Era” began. Long story short: I bitch about WWE like a mo-fo, but I keep coming back to it ever week. Here are my thoughts on my trip to WWE Roadblock in Toronto and the Raw that followed it.
I had never been to the Ricoh Coliseum before, so I was unsure what kind of view I’d get for my $54 ticket. From the picture you see leading into this piece, you can see that it was damn good. I’ve been to a Raw event at the Air Canada Centre before (a long, long, time ago – probably 12 years) and a Smackdown event here in (cheap pop) LONDON, Ontario, and it always amazes me how big it looks on TV compared to seeing it live.
I have to say thanks to my cousin Dan again (the person who helped me get this site up and running) for grabbing the tickets AND doing the driving. As soon as we got there, there were two important things to do: get in line for some merch AND grab beers. $13.25 beer. Holy SHIT. And it was the Molson Canadian/Coors Light swill I usually never touch. Later on I found a service area where they served Rickards Red and it washed the crap taste out of my mouth. You people in the US and other countries have no idea how good you have it with beer/alcohol prices. OOPS! Sidetracked. Let’s look at the merch line!
I haven’t bought WWE merch in years and years (besides the odd action figure – surprise), so I figured I’d make it count. I bought the replica championship belt. HELL NO! Just kidding. I wish I could, but $450 (Canadian) is just nuts to pay for that. Actually if it wasn’t for property taxes being due, my mortgage, bills, a 7 1/2 month old baby and a clear head, I WOULD have bought one. Instead, I asked my wife what she may wear if I bought a shirt and she wanted a Dean Ambrose shirt. I agreed with her choice and bought one. I’d have a picture of it, but she wore it the day I got home and the baby spit up on it, so it’s in the wash.
To start off the show we got Mark Henry vs. some jobber. Henry won in a couple of minutes. After that we got one of the poorly booked guys from the Ascension (Viktor) vs. Golddust. Golddust won, but the Ascension was beating him down after the match and R-Truth came down for the save.
The show started off officially with The New Day (who are so over in T.O.) vs. Wade Barret and Shemus from The League of Nations. The New Day won this match. It had some good moments during the match, but it was the New Day’s promo featuring their newly released Booty-Os cereal box (with a T-Shirt inside) that people will remember.
Chris Jericho vs. Jack Swagger was next. Why the hell WWE let an American patriot character face Y2J when they were letting Jericho say whatever he wanted to get heat from a Canadian crowd is beyond me. It bascially cancelled all Jericho worked for out. Jericho won, but the match was nothing again compared to the promo before-hand. Why we got this while another WWE house show got AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens boggles my mind.
The Revival vs. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady was an NXT title match. Why this was put on a WWE Network “Pay Per View” is another weird choice. (I guess I should start calling them specials now). Perhaps it was to gauge how the WWE crowd would respond to two guys that the NXT fans eat up due to their repeated, New Age Outlaw-esque intro promo. The match was good and The Revival kind of remind me of the Brain Busters in action (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard) – but they just don’t have the “it factor” Enzo and Colin have. Anyway, the Revival won in a great match full of good spots and back and forth action.
WWE Diva Champion Charlotte vs. Natalya. You knew that Charlotte wasn’t going to lose this match. Maybe a DQ victory could have been done, but Natty hasn’t been involved in shit recently. Thank goodness, too, as the Total Divas show on the E! network has mademe loathe that whiny, self centred woman. The match was probably the 2nd best of the night and I’m surprised they gave the match almost 15 minutes. Charlotte retains but Natty as a wrestler looked great against her.
Next up we had the “handicap” match of Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper vs. Brock Lesnar. This match pissed me off the most as Wyatt was never tagged in and didn’t do anything and Lesnar basically ran through the motions. It was less than 5 minutes of ring action, that really wasn’t action. When Lesnar and WWE make that much money, you can give the fans something more than this.
Sami Zayn (a fan favourite Canadian from NXT) faced Stardust. There was no reason for the match. Zayn has still not been introduced well on Raw as he should have and Stardust lacks any credibility (although, this week on Raw they did say he was now on the main roster, which makes sense after losing the number one contender match for the NXT championship to Samoa Joe). This match was one of the longest of the night and provided me another beer break and time for a piss. Zayn one but I don’t remember a damn thing about the match live. On TV, Stardust dominated most of the match for some reason and still lost.
Dean Ambrose vs. HHH for the WWE Championship was the final match and it was great live. HHH still got some good cheers, but the crowd was totally behind Ambrose. Why Vince and WWE still want to push Roman Reigns down the audience’s throats and not push Ambrose as he should is beyond me. HHH won this match, keeping the (ugh) main event of ‘Mania in tact. Ambrose should have won, as the false finish with Ambrose’s legs under the rope during a three count pin just wasn’t presented well live, nor on TV. I have to say that HHH didn’t seem to have an ring rust and the match was my favourite of the night.
Overall, I enjoyed the time at the event as it was the first time in a long time I’ve seen a WWE event live. The card going into the event wasn’t going to change anything leading to Wrestlemania, so that made a highly predictable event. Watching (or actually skimming through it) on my PVR the next day made it look like WWE made a great effort to have this event come across bigger than it was. Oh yeah, Cole and Saxton got boo’d heavily when coming down to the ring. I boo’d and gave JBL the finger as I can’t stand him. Never have in any role and never will. I’d give the show a 6 out of 10 as a score.
On the RAW side of things as a sidenote: the build up to this year’s Wrestlemania is garbage. Reigns is not over and will not get over any time soon. His attack on HHH gave the opponent more sympathy than it should have. Reigns should not have even come back until the Monday before ‘Mania.
The Shane McMahon vs Undertaker angle is confusing as hell and still has no story besides it revolving around Vince and Shane tugging a rope for control. Taker has still said nothing about why he’s in the match. It’s just piss poor storytelling and WWE should be ashamed that this is what they’re giving the audience.
As for the rest of Raw and the Wrestlemania build-up. the three hour show fumbled and the card is still not getting any better. I’ll be back in a few weeks with some guests to give my Wrestlemania predictions and thoughts on the card.