NoDQ.com > Columns > Jay's Ways - WWE Roadblock 2016 Preview
Posted by Justin Watry on 12/18/2016 at 06:05 AM

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My WWE Roadblock 2016 predictions were originally posted on 411mania earlier in the week. As for The New Day defending the RAW Tag Team Titles against Sheamus and Cesaro? Truthfully, I have been ready for new champs since August. The record was broken on Monday, so logic says WWE will move forward now with the fun pairing of Sheamus and Cesaro. That is the easy way out. Feels like The New Day may retain though.

WWE Roadblock 2016

Big Cass vs. Rusev - Keep the train moving for Rusev. Keep it going. He and Lana are officially back to relevance after being tossed in the League of Nations nonsense (called that a bust from day one). Despite any of this magical 'heat' or garbage reported, the duo is in the spotlight and doing great things every Monday night. Their set up of Enzo Amore inside a hotel room was brilliant and awesome television. Wrote a whole on that (on another website). All of it was to make this match for Roadblock: Rusev vs. Big Cass!

It may not be clear to most, but this story has actually be very well told. Rusev was the big bully. Enzo was the clown who didn't know any better, going after Lana. All the while, big brother Cass just watched over him and tried to talk sense into him...but let him do his thing trying to stand back. Once Enzo got into trouble and had everything blow up in his face, Cass picked up the pieces, hoping younger brother learned a lesson. Now though? Now, it was time for big brother to take matters into his own hands. Have Rusev battle someone his own size. No traps, no set ups, no attacks in a hotel room. Good stuff. Rusev will wind up winning because he should, but the crowd reaction for Enzo returning is likely to be pretty big. Whenever that happens. Those two are lined up nicely for a WrestleMania 33 tag team title moment. Don't change either act right now.

Rich Swann vs. TJ Perkins vs. THE Brian Kendrick: Triple Threat Match for the Cruiserweight Championship - This is where the train falls of the tracks. The 205 LIVE show has been ho hum and not exactly compelling. Feels like yet another added expense to the WWE Network lineup with zero upside. The Cruiserweight Title has not seen three different champions since the division rebooted. Plus, RAW has even put them all up for grabs in a match versus Smackdown at Survivor Series...because yeah. I am a fan of all three, I am. However, all the fears and worries of them being on RAW (instead of Smackdown) have come true. The ship has hit an iceberg and now has to correct course. When and how? Beats me. Leave that to the creative team. At Roadblock, Swann retains. No clue where the division goes from here.

Sami Zayn vs. Braun Strowman - When the WWE Draft took place, I was adamant that Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens had to be split up. It was not only fitting coming off their Battleground match, but it would have benefited both men's career and preserved their long stand rivalry. WWE wanted Owens for Smackdown and Sami for Raw, but Owens wanted to be on Raw. Thus, he got his way and was halfheartedly put in a tag team with Chris Jericho, while Zayn did nothing. Of course, Finn Balor later got hurt, things were shuffled around, and now we are getting 'filler' Raw matches featuring Owens vs. Zayn. Yep.

As this was going on, believe it or not, WWE was self-aware of the issue. Sami was constantly barking at Mick Foley to be given an opportunity and wanted the ball to run with. You see, WWE knows how great Zayn can be but with Owens (and others) in the way, it was sorta tough. Enter Braun Strowman.

Exact opposite of Sami in every way. After some beatdowns and story line progression, we finally got to the payoff. Either Sami Zayn was going to be traded to Smackdown for a REAL chance or Mick Foley was going to give him his match against the monster Braun Strowman to prove his worth. In a brilliant yet predictable reveal, Foley not only gave him his match at Roadblock but told him of his motivational plan to get him fired up. Shrewd move to mess with his mind. It worked though. Sami is now fired up more than ever and isn't going to let anybody get in his way. Including Braun Strowman.

Unfortunately, I don't see this going well for Sami. Maybe a moral victory if he can last ten minutes is his best bet...

Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte: Iron Man Match for the RAW Womens Championship - Alright, first things first: WWE needs to move on from this feud after Sunday night. Move on, move forward, and do not be tempted to look back. At least until after Mania season or even longer depending on another draft in the summer. Who knows? Either way, my guess is 99.9999& of us all agree the story line is ready to end.

That being said, what a ride! What an adventure these two have took us on in 2016. People complain about short-term feuds and blah, blah, blah. Well, here we are. A legitimate back and forth battle between two equally special talent that trade wins, losses, segments, and have somehow BOTH come out of this looking better. It is for that reason the title changes and gimmicks matches have not actually bothered me too much. It is logical Charlotte wants to continue to up her game, and the response from Sasha Banks is the same. She wants to prove herself in any match against the best. I love that it is culminating in the ultimate test - an Iron Man Match.

Main events on Raw, PPV headliner, and now, one last bout to see who is the victor.

My pick is Sasha Banks and a heel turn fairly soon to wrestle the beloved Bayley at WrestleMania 33 in Orlando. I've written about that scenario all and believe it is the direction to go in. Ms. Charlotte Flair can do something with Ronda Rousey or Dana Brooke or whoever. Whatever she is involved with will be given a spotlight regardless, so she does not really NEED the championship belt.

Positive thoughts aside, my two fears for WWE Roadblock are this: First off, Ric Flair turns on Sasha and helps Charlotte win. It keeps her one on one undefeated pay-per-view record alive, and the family gets reunited, which is going to happen at some point anyways . Please no more title changes though, not sure I can take one more. Secondly, a draw! Yes, a draw. A tie as the clock hits zero. Sasha remains champ, and Charlotte keeps her PPV win-loss record strong...kinda. That would, of course, mean ONE MORE MATCH! Hopefully, the company simply wraps up this present with a bow on top at Battleground: Sasha beats Charlotte fair and square.

Bayley is next.

Seth Rollins vs. Chris Jericho - "Didn't we just get this match on Raw a few weeks ago?" That was my thought when this was announced for Roadblock. Unlike Sasha and Charlotte, these repeats don't do a whole lot for me. Seth Rollins has been struggling with the face turn, so why is he going up against a heel who gets cheered and has The List, which is seemingly popular? Does not really add up. Rollins did a nice job explaining it all on Raw (getting rid of Jericho to have a fair shot at the title). However, it sounded like junk to me. Rollins has lost countless championship opportunities since July. That is not on Jericho - that is on Rollins.

Luckily, Triple H will be back soon. I assume. That should help immensely with the Rollins face turn. Those two are going to square off in 2017 on pay-per-view. My hope is we get more than a one-off from HHH. It is kinda cool to have him back from January-April earlier in 2016. Even back in 2014 when he wrestled at multiple events by himself and with Evolution. Nothing full-time obvious but something a tad bit more would be nice. Think back to 2005 before he took time off. It was not just a clean loss to Batista and a goodbye. It was a loss to Batista, another loss to Batista, and then one more loss to Batista - in a huge gimmick match. After that, he went away for awhile.

As for Jericho, it is interesting. Reports suggest he is finishing up with WWE at the end of the year and won't be a part of WrestleMania 33 in Orlando. Pretty strange he would spend all year with the company and go into early 2017 NOT appearing at the biggest event of the year. Doesn't make much sense to me. Personally, the Kevin Owens pairing has not been my cup of tea. Fans seem to enjoy it, so I would ride with it as long as possible. Again, not for me but if others are digging it, cool. That'd suggest a one on one clash at Mania. Survivor Series in Canada felt like the right time, but we are past that. Title or no title in the picture, Jericho would be the face. A big win like that for heel Owens in early 2017 would be great. This Y2J run ending without that match would feel like a waste.

Ultimately, the story dictates Seth Rollins beats Chris Jericho and earns a "fair" WWE Universal Championship showdown with Kevin Owens at Royal Rumble or a January Raw...which is where Triple H returns (again) to cost him the match and begin the hype to WM33.

WWE Universal Championship Match: Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns - As outlined above, it feels like we are due one more Owens/Rollins title match. That would suggest no title change at Roadblock. It would also suggest Owens is riding into the Road to WrestleMania 33 as a top champion on Raw. Who would have ever thought that? Of course, he is not facing any ordinary opponent on Sunday; he is wrestling THE Guy Roman Reigns. The guy who is the current United States Champion. The person who has been beating KO all over the country for the past month. The guy who headlined the past two WM events. The guy who rarely loses clean. The guy.

I don't know about you, but it may be a struggle to make it to Mania with Kevin Owens as Universal Champ. Not like television ratings are doing much of anything. Besides that, you just have to look at future options. That is the best way to judge current events in WWE - by looking forward. Who would be next for Owens? Okay, one last showdown with Rollins. Alright, fair enough. Then Jericho I suppose, if they finally pull the trigger on that feud. Then...an Elimination Chamber title defense if RAW gets that event? Maybe something with the Royal Rumble winner? Sami Zain? That was just thrown out there on RAW like nothing. I'm trying folks, I really am...

With Roman Reigns, the floodgates open. The possibilities are endless. Anything WWE wants to do, they will do. Current U.S. Champ or not, we have seen that be ignored in the past. Shawn Michaels and John Cena were tag champs when they main evented WrestleMania 23 for crying out loud! Nobody cared. Cena also had the United States Title belt as he geared up to battle JBL for the top prize at Mania in 2005. He lost it during the build up, but my point remains. Don't think the United States Championship is going to stop any future plans with Roman Reigns.

Why am I picking Kevin Owens to retain then? Two reasons:

1. As noted, I think one last Rollins title shot works best against Owens, not Reigns. Triple H wouldn't help Reigns, but he would help Owens. Look for that next month.

2. Since the moment Finn Balor went down with injury in August, he has been my Royal Rumble 2017 winner. Months later, that is still my prediction. He (and WWE) made it very clear from the beginning of his rehabilitation that the Universal Championship was his goal upon returning. Nothing else. The comeback to the title he never lost writes itself in early 2017. Finn Balor vs. Kevin Owens...or Finn Balor vs. Roman Reigns? Hmm, you tell me which works best.

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