Posted December 17th, 2016 by 1Wrestling News Team

By Don Murphy

Happy holidays to the entire 1wrestling.com universe! While this time of year brings back warm memories of years past, older wrestling fans will remember that historically, Christmas night was an important one for professional wrestling. Long after the presents were opened, Southeastern fans would head to their local arena to see stacked shows, featuring the likes of Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, and the Road Warriors, to name a few. The WWE attempts to re-capture this holiday excitement, presenting its Roadblock: End of the Line show tomorrow night on the WWE Network and pay-per-view. This Raw brand-exclusive show emanates from the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and includes four championship matches on a seven-match card. Each match has had a logical build from a storyline perspective, but what I’ll be looking for from this show, as well as during the weeks ahead, will be how the creative team will begin to construct the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania. One of the challenges the WWE has had over the years has been building its current stars to be the main attractions at their biggest shows of the year. They’ve fallen into the habit of relying on their legacy stars, who come in for one show, sell tickets and pay-per-view buys, and are then nowhere to be seen the next night. There will come a day when they run out of legacy stars, so the time is now to build their current talent to the same level of importance. Against that backdrop, it will be interesting to see how tomorrow night’s show unfolds. Let’s run down the card….

Main Event: Kevin Owens defends the WWE Universal Championship against Roman Reigns

Analysis: As I mentioned above, the WWE is lacking depth at the top of the card. It doesn’t help that Finn Balor, who was on track to be a top act on Raw, is injured. So, challengers for Owens are only limited to three or four guys, at this point. And, it’s clear that a showdown with Chris Jericho is being held for either the Royal Rumble or WrestleMania. So, while this will be a good match, the story is serving as a placeholder until Owens moves on to Balor and/or Jericho. On the flip side, I don’t really see any scenario where Reigns carries both titles, but since creative is intent on making him the top babyface, anything is possible. In the end, I see some sort of interference from Jericho. They have been building toward his breakup with Owens, but I still see him playing a factor in this match, giving Owens the victory. I also see some level of interference from Seth Rollins, as they continue to tease a full-scale Shield reunion.

Murphy Predicts: Kevin Owens retains the WWE Universal Championship

WWE Raw Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks defends the WWE Raw Women’s Championship against Charlotte Flair in a 30-minute Iron-Woman Match

Analysis: Some will say that this storyline has overstayed its welcome. Typically, a Hell in a Cell match should signal the end of a feud; however, these two work so well together that creative managed to continue to make their matches exciting. I think the “Iron-Woman” match is the logical conclusion and I like the fact that Sasha gets the chance to get a decisive victory. Her title win was fine, but I’m not a fan of the finish, where she used the barricade to get the submission. There’s always the chance that we’ll see a Ric Flair heel turn to give Charlotte the title, which would further extend the feud. But, I think we get the finale here, with Sasha going over and moving on to renew her rivalry with Nia Jax and Bayley.

Murphy Predicts: Sasha Banks retains the WWE Raw Women’s Championship

Singles Match: Seth Rollins meets Chris Jericho

Analysis: Arguably, Chris Jericho is doing the best work he’s done in years. The only issue is that he’s supposed to be the heel in this scenario, while Rollins is supposed to be the babyface, especially as they are building to a showdown with Triple H at WrestleMania. This should be a great match, but again, I will be interested to see how this fits into the larger story. In the end, I see Rollins getting the win here. There’s always the chance that Owens interferes to cost Jericho the match, but given he’s in the main event, I see this being a clean win, with much of the interference taking place during the main event.

Murphy Predicts: Seth Rollins defeats Chris Jericho

WWE Raw World Tag Team Championship: The New Day defends the WWE Raw World Tag Team Championship against Sheamus and Cesaro

Analysis: The WWE has an infatuation with records and their talent breaking them. We saw that recently as the New Day broke Demolition’s record for the longest reigning tag team champions. In doing so, the New Day tended to use heelish tactics to hold on to the titles. It will be interesting to see if that trend continues here, because it certainly looks like creative is building Cesaro and Sheamus for a title run. I look for the new pair to win the titles, as it is time for the division to move on in a different direction.

Murphy Predicts: Sheamus and Cesaro win the WWE Raw World Tag Team Championship

WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Rich Swann defends the WWE Cruiserweight Championship against TJ Perkins and Brian Kendrick

Analysis: It’s been a slow process, but I feel like, with the addition of 205 Live, we’re getting some actual stories and character development from the cruiserweight. This is a story that has been told many times before. Two babyface friends with tension, and one manipulative heel. Kendrick has been great since returning, but Swann and Perkins will need to do more to win the crowds over. Right now, there’s very little substance beyond their in-ring presence. Expect a lot of great action here, with Swann retaining. Also, as an aside – keep an eye on Jack Gallagher as the next potential Cruiserweight star. It’s not his time yet, but when it does happen, it can be something special

Murphy Predicts: Rich Swann retains the WWE Cruiserweight Championship

Pre-Show: Big Cass meets Rusev

Analysis: Enzo and Cass were poised to be a hot act on Raw, but their star has faded. Enzo is great on the mic, but his in-ring work is limited. Cass is slightly better, but he doesn’t have the same presence as his partner. So, this recent story with Rusev has not only been flat, but really didn’t do a good job to make the fans care about the outcome. Rusev gets the win here, likely with Lana interference.

Murphy Predicts: Rusev defeats Big Cass

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Category: Wrestling.

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