Did WWE close out the year on a high note? Will 2017 be the best year yet?
Roadblock: End of the Line has come and WWE is marching towards the end of the year. How did it all go down and what’s to look forward to in 2017. Let’s discuss.
Programming note: We’ll be taking next week off due to travel constraints.
1) Monday Night Raw’s pay per view Roadblock: End of the Line was this past Sunday. What are your thoughts?
Corey: It was a decent outing for the red brand. Nothing too spectacular, but in no way bad at all. I really enjoyed Sami Zayn vs Braun Strowman because the ending didn’t make either man look weak. New Day vs Cesaro and Sheamus, with New Day dropping the titles after a historic run was much needed for both teams and the match was definitely entertaining as well. But as expected, regardless of how I feel about the outcome, Sasha Banks vs Charlotte stole the show.
Josh: It was rather lackluster. Definitely a skippable PPV outside of the excellent Banks vs Charlotte match. And that’s not to say that interesting things didn’t happen, but the December PPV always feels a little too predetermined. You kind of knew from the moment the opening match started who was going to win. That doesn’t make it bad, it just means there was nothing that really jumped out at me.
2) Now that The New Days title run has ended what do you see as being next for the trio?
Corey: Personally I would like them to take a three- or four-week break and then reappear in the middle of a tag team match and demolish both teams to start another heel run. I like them as faces, but I absolutely loved them as heels.
Josh: I’d really like to see them have individual stories as singles competitors but still remain a group. Similar to the Four Horsemen, Evolution, or even the Shield for a time. I think it’d be really cool to see them each compete for a shot at Roman Reigns US Title or maybe Woods can compete in the Cruiserweight Division for a time. I think Woods is a little bigger than the supposed 205 weight limit, but I’d guess that Sin Cara and Neville might both be pushing that weight limit too. Besides Woods in the Cruiserweight Division could give us a sweet retread of the Matt Hardy Cruiserweight Title run from the mid-aughts. Picture Big E and Kofi Kingston doing 80s training montages with Woods to get him to make weight and you’ll see where I’m going with this.
3) Shinsuke Nakamura vs Bobby Roode was announced for NXT Takeover: San Antonio. What do you think the outcome of this match will be?
Corey: I think these two will have multiple outings so this first match will end up going to Nakamura. This could end up being Nakamura’s last feud before going to the main roster, but I’m excited to see what these two do.
Josh: I think Nakamura with the clean victory is the likely outcome. This match should be amazing, but I’m even more interested in the speculation this will cause on who is likely to debut on the main roster first. The internet rumors are always a flurry with activity when the NXT Title is up for grabs between high-caliber competitors and we’ll always read way too much in to what each title change or lack of title change means for the competitors and how/when they make their main roster debut. It’s the fun backstage story that doesn’t involve loads of office politics and is just good fun for wrestling fans to chatter about.
4) Enzo and Cass debuted on Raw a few months ago and quickly gained a lot of popularity, but it doesn’t seem that they as a team are getting any kind of push at the moment. Why do you think that is?
Corey: I think it may just be for timing. They’ve been kept on tv so the crowd doesn’t forget them. If I were booking them then sometime between now and February I would book them into a feud with heel New Day and have it culminate at WrestleMania. That match would be instant money.
Josh: Like a lot of the teams on Raw they’ve suffered from New Day’s impending march to breaking Demolition’s record. I like their current program with Rusev and it’s given something for Jinder Mahal to do which is a nice change of pace. For any team in that division it will come down to timing. And as long as they have something to do they’ll be ready for when they called into a big-time program.
5) In a few days the New Year will be here and we will be on the Road to WrestleMania with the annual Royal Rumble being on January 29th. If you had to pick a winner who would you go with at the moment?
Corey: It’s a little early to choose at the moment. I would love to see Finn Balor make an early return from injury and win the Rumble, but then again writing him into the Universal Title scene won’t be that difficult. All they have to say is he never got his rematch clause. I would like to see Bray Wyatt get the win as well.
Josh: Yes! Wild speculation time! If I was laying early money I’d go with Chris Jericho. When you start looking at the potential card for WrestleMania there’s a lot of guys that are already potentially booked in matches for the show. Rollins seems destined for HHH, the Cena vs Undertaker rumblings are growing every week, I can’t imagine them going with Reigns in the main event for a third WrestleMania in a row. Jericho makes a certain amount of sense and I think could go over well with the type of audience that attends WrestleMania. It’d be a really cool payoff for one of the year’s best storylines. A good dark horse candidate would be the Miz, but i’m going to beat that main event drum for the Miz until I’m blue in the face.
– I haven’t mentioned it yet but I Love heel Natalya.
– There seems to be more rumblings of a John Cena vs Undertaker match at Mania which would mean this coming Mania is Undertaker’s last match. If that’s the case then if they can deliver a great match then I’m all for it.
– Once Rollins and Triple H have their match at WrestleMania, I hope to everything that Rollins finally comes up with another finisher of his own and stops using the pedigree.
– We all need to take a moment to appreciate the amazingness of Tye Dillinger. He was a borderline enhancement talent in NXT last year and has been essentially stuck development for far too long. But finally these weird gimmick has gotten him over on NXT and has started making rumblings in the main roster crowd as well. Expect to hear a very loud “10” chant come Royal Rumble.