WWE deliveres another Network Special ahead of WrestleMania…
We appear to have hit a Roadblock on the Road to WrestleMania 32, and the lackluster build towards the Biggest Show of the Year has produced this little ditty that features a championship match and two outings originally pencilled in for Mania. We’re in Canada buddy, here’s the line-up and preview for the aptly named WWE Roadblock.
Triple H vs. Dean Ambrose for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Let’s get this right out of way: Dean Ambrose should be in the position Roman Reigns is in. That has been abundantly clear for the last year or so. No matter what they do with Ambrose, he remains over. He’s cheered by everyone. But because he’s smaller than Reigns and his hair isn’t as nice, he’ll never be ‘the guy’. They’ve pinned all their hopes on Reigns to be their next top star and they’re sticking to them. Would this have made a better WrestleMania main event? Sure. Would it have been nice to relive that glory of WrestleMania XXX when the entire crowd was behind the babyface in the main event? Sure. But that’s not what we’ve got, so instead lets enjoy it here. By all rights this should be a fun little match with Triple H going over clean to make him look strong going against Reigns at Mania. Because, you know, Triple H needed to look strong after beating Sting and winning the Royal Rumble. They’ll have some amazing hope spots where it looks like Ambrose is about to win only to have it stolen away at the last minute. The problem with this match – and really this Network Special – is that it’s put a hold on the Ambrose vs. Lesnar match at Mania. With Ambrose being beaten all asunder for the last few months, he needs some serious rehab if he’s going to look like a credible threat to The Beast. Will Lesnar appear in the main event? I doubt it. There’s a better chance of Reigns interfering, really.
Brock Lesnar vs. Bray Wyatt
Our first match that was originally pencilled for WrestleMania is taking place here instead. It’s kind of amazing to see just how far Wyatt’s star has fallen in the last two years. He’s gone from facing John Cena, to The Undertaker to having his Mania Moment with Lesnar taken away from him so he can probably be in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. It’s a shame, really. Ignoring the Rumble, this match has had zero build because it’s been thrown together at the last minute. It will have the same heat Lesnar vs. Big Show did at the last Network Special. This could have been a money match, but as such it’s sort of lost on this show. I’m sure it will be great, but it feels a little pointless. A better idea would have been to have Lesnar face Luke Harper or Braun Strowman – especially if you’re grooming Wyatt to be a WWE World Heavyweight Championship contender as teased on Monday’s Raw. Lesnar will win, this will be decent.
The League of Nations vs. The New Day for the WWE Tag Team Championships
Another match originally pencilled for WrestleMania now leaves The League of Nations and The New Day with little to do on the Biggest Stage of Them All. No doubt there will be a tag team championship match, so do you instead to a 4-way match with The Dudleys and The Usos? Or are they off having their own feud that’s been forgotten about? I like both these teams, but The League of Nation have been arguably the worst top-heel stable since The New Blood. The New Day have grown very stale and their upcoming babyface turn is sorely needed. The New Day will retain presumably, but it doesn’t really matter.
Enzo & Cass vs. The Revival for the NXT Tag Team Championships
Of all the matches on the card, this is amazingly the one with the most heat and build. Well, if you watch NXT anyway. I’m not sure if they’ve promoted this match on the main shows – which is utterly baffling – but regular viewers to NXT will know what’s up. Enzo & Cass probably should have won the straps at NXT Takeover: London as The Revival’s win really deflated the hot crowd (I should know, I was there). I know that The Revival needed the belts to hand them over to American Alpha at NXT Takeover: Dallas, but they could have won them back here and it would have had the same impact. Anyway, this should be a really great match and a good showcase for both teams on such a big stage. With Enzo & Cass taking the loss here, it seems like they’re headed for the main roster where they should thrive in the tag team division. Lets just hope they don’t become the next Ascension or Tyler Breeze or Neville or Bo Dallas…
Update: Charlotte vs. Natalaya for the WWE Divas Championship has been added. A match that is so important it’s not even mentioned on their website…
Based on the last couple of network specials, this should be a fun little outing. The problem that its announcement has really stifled the build towards WrestleMania. That build should begin at Royal Rumble and I still feel like we’re waiting for it to start. At the moment we know four matches: Triple H vs. Roman Reigns, Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker, Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns and the Divas three-way with Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch and Charlotte. We’re presumably getting Chris Jericho vs. AJ Styles for the fourth time and a multi-man match for the Intercontinential Championship with Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Neville and The Miz – but we should be more excited than this. Once again the card for the NXT show looks so much more appetising. And I don’t want to sound like an NXT mark, but it just does. As I said, this will be a fun show, but it’s a real Roadblock on what should be the hottest period of the year.
Luke Owen is the Deputy Editor of Flickering Myth and the co-host of the Flickering Myth Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @ThisisLukeOwen.