ROSEMONT, Ill. - Will Shane McMahon’s quest to make Monday Night Raw great again come to fruition? It’s a long shot of long shots, what with The Undertaker standing in his way at WrestleMania. The Boy Wonder isn’t sweating his path from disowned to ownership, however. Shane’s impassioned promise to overhaul his father’s “tyrannical” regime brought out The Chairman — entering to the toll of The Phenom’s gong — who fanned the fire by destroying a family photo, questioning Shane’s fortitude as a father, and labeling his son no less than “his greatest failure.” Shane got the last laugh, though, when he singlehandedly dismantled the entire security team his father sent to the ring to remove him. Looks like a McMahon to us.
Kevin Owens has been crowing for weeks about the coming of #KOMania in Dallas (known to some as WrestleMania), and it appears not one, but two old enemies have come out of the woodwork to derail The Prizefighter’s path to The Show of Shows. First came Neville, who went toe-to-toe with The Prizefighter in a brutal non-title match and was ultimately denied by a rollup, despite landing two Shooting Star Presses and a second-rope Phoenix Splash.
But then, after KO went to dismantle Neville with the apron powerbomb, Owens’ lifelong rival Sami Zayn came storming unannounced out of the gate to join The Man That Gravity Forgot in a two-pronged attack on the dumbfounded Intercontinental Champion. Dare we say that the road to #KOMania just got … InZayn? Yes. Yes we do.
Looks like Summer Rae has herself a nice little winning streak going. After upsetting Paige — Paige! — on Raw a couple of weeks ago, Summer earned another notch in the win column by knocking off Brie Bella, thanks to the efforts of another devious blonde lurking around the Divas locker room. Lana, who’s had issues with the Bella twin, made her presence known in the thick of the Brie-Summer match, distracting Brie and giving Summer enough of an edge to win with a rollup. Brie’s continued jaw-jacking with Summer gave The Ravishing Russian a window of her own to get physical with the former Divas Champion, hitting Brie’s own facebuster on her before sauntering from the ring.
“Roadblock” isn’t the right word. When it comes to The Road to WrestleMania, Dean Ambrose is looking to blow the whole thing to hell. There’s no denying The Lunatic Fringe’s potential rise to WWE World Heavyweight Champion on Saturday would mean a bit of a scramble when it comes to marketing, but Ambrose’s aim in dethroning The King of Kings at WWE Roadblock is simpler: He wants to force The King of Kings to respect him.
The Game, of course, does not respond well to those who refuse to bend the knee, so he took to the ramp in an attempt to put Ambrose in his place. The Lunatic Fringe didn’t budge, so Triple H changed course, “delegating” that the rebellious Ambrose would battle Bray Wyatt later on Raw. So sayeth The King.
A snarky tweet put Dolph Ziggler in Stephanie McMahon’s crosshairs, but you’ve got to give The Showoff credit for putting his character where his characters are in a Stephanie-mandated Elimination Handicap bout against Sheamus, Rusev & King Barrett on Raw. Stephanie likely expected a massacre, but if anyone can be expected to defy the odds at this point, it’s two-time sole survivor Ziggler.
If only his luck was on the same level as it was in 2014. The League of Nations — showing no mental lapses despite The New Day’s social media jabs — gameplan against The Showoff was overwhelming and airtight; even after a superkick to King Barrett gave Ziggler one shocking elimination, Sheamus & Rusev adjusted accordingly to cut the comeback short. The Bulgarian Brute clocked a rope-hung Showoff with a boot, teeing him up for the big Brogue Kick to end it all.
It’s going to be quite a #FreeWrestleMania for Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks, who’ll battle their fellow Diva revolutionary Charlotte for the Divas Championship at the big dance. Before then, however, the name of the game is a tentative alliance that’s bound to end in epic fashion sooner rather than later. So what are they waiting for?
Well, there’s no rush to fight each other when they’re working well as a team; they did just fine in beating Naomi & Tamina on Raw. Charlotte wasn’t waiting for anything when it came to making a statement, though. The Divas Champion, who was sitting at ringside, bum-rushed both The Irish Lass Kicker and The Boss after the bell, leaving both her challengers in a heap and reminding them just who rules the roost in the new Divas division.
The New Day had about as rough of a Raw as you could imagine last week, getting shown up by Chris Jericho & AJ Styles and finding themselves forced into a title defense as a consequence. This week went much, much better. Not only did the Power of Positivity prove enough to hold off the Codebreaker and the risk-taker, but Y2J had finally had enough of his partner by night’s end.
It’s understandable, on the one hand: Jericho did singlehandedly save the match by drive-blocking Kofi Kingston into a Big E pin attempt on Styles, and was forced to go it alone after Big E took out a rampaging Styles by shoving him into the barricade. Y2J’s mighty effort ended when Big E reversed the Codebreaker into the Big Ending and pinned him. Despite Jericho's performance, the WWE Universe's lingering support for The Phenomenal One drove Jericho to hit Styles with a trifecta of Codebreakers after the bell, then shoved their Y2AJ T-shirt into Styles’ mouth. Why-2J? Why?
Now this was a gorgeous win, though not by The Gorgeous One. Competing solo for the first time in a few weeks, U.S. Champion Kalisto found himself facing off against Tyler Breeze, and even a gritty effort from The Sultan of Selfies wasn’t enough to derail the fire-spitting Lucha Dragon. Breeze’s attempts to smother Kalisto with his ground game fell short in a big way, as The King of Flight fought his way to his feet, ultimately ricocheting off the turnbuckle into a Salida del Sol for the win.
Clearly, we are a long, long way from the halcyon days of RybAxel. In his second Raw dismantling of a Social Outcast (and part of his campaign to position himself for a WrestleMania match), Ryback took on his former tag team partner Curtis Axel and gave no quarter to the former Intercontinental Champion. Despite the Outcasts rallying around Axel to secure a momentary advantage, The Big Guy proved his power by pounding on The Ax Man’s head and swiftly Shell Shocking him to the pavement.
If you’re looking for an opponent to deliver a statement beating to Dean Ambrose, you could do worse than Bray Wyatt. The Eater of Worlds is hungry for a signature win and, with Brock Lesnar lying in wait at Roadblock, a win over The Lunatic Fringe would both put Wyatt in position to upset The Conqueror and put Ambrose into a hole before his own bout against Lesnar at WrestleMania.
Of course, that was the plan. The reality proved messier. Not only did Ambrose go blow-for-blow with The New Face of Fear, but Wyatt also had to bring his Family out to stop The Lunatic Fringe, leading to a disqualification loss and a beatdown of Ambrose that Triple H was quick to capitalize on. Despite a long, pointed staredown between Wyatt and The Game (hmmm), The Eater of Worlds took his leave and allowed Triple H to set up another table attack. By then, though, Ambrose had recovered long enough to hit Dirty Deeds on Triple H and seize the title for his own. Call it a bulldozing before the Roadblock. And there may well be more to come.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Kevin Owens defeated Neville (10:20)
- Summer Rae defeated Brie Bella (2:05)
- The League of Nations (Sheamus, Rusev & Bad News Barrett) defeated Dolph Ziggler in a 3-on-1 Handicap Elimination match (6:35)
- Dolph Ziggler defeated Bad News Barrett (5:46)
- Sheamus defeated Dolph Ziggler (6:35)
- Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch defeated Team B.A.D. (Naomi & Tamina) by submission (1:54)
- The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) (w/ Xavier Woods) (c) defeated Y2AJ (AJ Styles & Chris Jericho) to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship (11:32)
- Kalisto defeated Tyler Breeze (2:12)
- Ryback defeated Curtis Axel (w/ Heath Slater, Bo Dallas & Adam Rose) (2:12)
- Dean Ambrose defeated Bray Wyatt by DQ (11:48)
Other on-screen talent