Rusev vs. Big Cass (pre-show) - I have zero clues on which to base a prediction. If only this show were in Jersey or Bulgaria. I'm going to predict the worst possible outcome in the hopes of being pleasantly surprised. Big Cass wins after a surprise-returning Enzo sexually harasses Lana, distracting Rusev.
One prediction right off the bat as Enzo is out as part of the intro, with amazing hair. And one down shortly thereafter, as a short bullshit match leads to a weird bullshit finish where Rusev and Lana trick Cass into a countout. Which means the feud is continuing. It's a shame, because imagine if they'd built Rusev as an unstoppable monster with one weakness - his temper. He loses his temper, he gets enraged, he gets sloppy, he makes mistakes. Then Enzo and Cass would be a perfect foil and all the needling would make sense. (0/1)
The New Day vs. Cesaro and Sheamus (Raw Tag Team Championship) - Everything's up for grabs now that the record's been broken. I do think it's time for New Day to drop the belts, or close to time, at least. I also think Cesaro deserves a tag belt again, and if he has to get it with Sheamus, well, this is the least offensive Sheamus has been to watch in years. But I think it should happen after more of a serious chase, so I'm going to say New Day retains for another few weeks.
NOPE! The entire chase was played out in the match, as essentially the New Day cheated to win twice but it didn't work either time, and then a clever but nonsensical finish where Cesaro faked a tag in, ate a Trouble In Paradise, and allowed Sheamus to get the rollup pin on Kofi. The idea of a face Sheamus is out the window too, as post-match, Sheamus grabs both belts while Cesaro and New Day are trying to be sportsmanlike. Great match, but not a fan of the outcomes. (0/2)
Sami Zayn vs. Braun Strowman (10-minute time limit) - The time limit is a dead giveaway here. Zayn survives the full ten minutes to a draw, beaten but unbroken. Easy call.
Let's make one thing perfectly clear. The three minutes of this ten minute match t hey spent with MIck Foley wanting to throw in the towel for Sami Zayn was to save us from three more minutes of Braun Strohman's eight moves, which we exhausted in minutes 2 through 5. One minute of Zayn offense, three minutes of boring beatdown, three of argument, one and a half of Zayn dodging while Strohman ran into ringposts, and 30 seconds of Zayn hitting one Heluva Kick. Not sure where either guy goes from here, though the near-win makes me think they're gonna put Sami over him. (1/3)
Chris Jericho vs. Seth Rollins - This is a tough one to predict, but given my impending prediction that Owens will win, and given my prediction that he can't win clean, I'm going to say Jericho wins thanks to the interference of Kevin Owens and HHH.
For some reason, they decided instead to go with yet more Kevin Owens Wants To Help But Can't. They're basically booking the Universal Champion like he's James Fucking Ellsworth and Jericho like he's Dean Ambrose (pre-TLC). This is dumb, and that's why I was wrong. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. No idea how a Rollins win helps here. The match was fine - both guys did what they were supposed to but Jericho's still pretty much wrestling just the one match over and over regardless of opponent. (1/4)
Rich Swann vs. The Brian Kendrick vs. TJ Perkins (Cruiserweight Championship) - Recent victories by both Kendrick and Perkins confirm my belief that it's WAY too soon to take the title off of Swann. He retains.
And he does, in a weirdly booked match whose rhythm may have been thrown off by an early leapfrog botch that gave Kentrick a face full of Crotch Swann. Swann pins Perkins with the heel kick. And speaking of heels, post-match, N-EVIL-LE! Neville returns and beats the ever living fuck out of both Rich Swann and TJ Perkins. The only problem is, the crowd cheers him for it, partly from the return and partly because the crowd was completely out of the match and they turned on the participants. (2/5)
Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte Flair (Raw Women's Champioship, 30-minute Iron Man match) - They haven't been talking up Charlotte's weird PPV-only winning streak for a few weeks, so it's tough to tell how important they think it is. I'm tired of them swapping the title back and forth, so I want Sasha to win and reign for a while, but the only challenger they have on tap at this point is Bayley, which means either Charlotte wins or Sasha turns heel. I'm gonna go with a final Charlotte win and be wrong. Bonus prediction - heel turn by Ric Flair.
Man, you know I wasn't that sure about this prediction because after the match, I thought I'd predicted Sasha and gotten it wrong. Charlotte wins in OVERTIME. They made a ballsy choice to go nearly 20 minutes without a single fall, but the crowd mostly got back into it (as much as this Roadblcok crowd is into anything, which isn't a lot) and the last ten minutes were, with the exception of their superbotch of Sasha's complicated roll up pin, pretty solid stuff. No inclusion of Ric Flair, which is good. Match once again passes the Bechdel Test except for one spot where Sasha taunted Charlotte about Ric. (3/6)
Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns (Universal Championship) - Owens. It has to be Owens. I don't care how it happens. I mean, I'd love Owens to kick Reigns' ass and win clean, but that'd constitute a face turn these days just on principle. So I'm going to say that the Jeri-KO reunion, started in the Jericho-Rollins match continues here, costing Reigns the match.
What's funny is, I did get this right, almost to the letter. Roman was Roman. You wanna know why people hate Roman Reigns? Because Roman Reigns is the only guy who gets to no-sell a Kevin Owens cannonball and immediately bounce back with a Superman Punch. Anyway, it's about as good as this match could have been, considering. Jericho hits Owens with the Codebreaker, causing Reigns to be disqualified. Where I was wrong was in somehow thinking this would need to be telegraphed or established or set up in any way beforehand. Anyway, post-match, Rollins and Reigns sget their revenge with Shield Powerbombs through two announce tables and no real setup for the future. (4/7)
Overall, I went into this show with high expectations, and that was probably a mistake. The tag match was great, the Iron Man match was great, N-EVIL-LE was great. Everything else was mediocre to poor.
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