Roadblock (March 2016)
|Roadblock (March 2016)|
|Date||March 12, 2016|
|City||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Tagline(s)||Road Closed Ahead|
|WWE Network event chronology|
Roadblock (originally titled March to WrestleMania: Live from Toronto) was a professional wrestling event produced by WWE, an American-based promotion, that aired exclusively on the WWE Network. The inaugural event took place on March 12, 2016 at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Nine matches (including two dark matches) were contested at the event. The main event saw Triple H defeat Dean Ambrose to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Other prominent matches included The New Day retaining the WWE Tag Team Championship against Sheamus and King Barrett (of The League of Nations), The Revival retained the NXT Tag Team Championship against Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady, Brock Lesnar defeated Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper in a 2-on-1 handicap match, and Charlotte retained the WWE Divas Championship against Natalya in the last televised defense of the Divas Championship.
The card consisted of seven matches that resulted from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portrayed villains, heroes, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches, with results predetermined by WWE's writers. Storylines were played out on WWE's primary television programs, Raw and SmackDown, along with WWE's developmental branch NXT.
On the February 29 episode of Raw, Dean Ambrose challenged Triple H to a match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Later that night, Triple H interfered in Ambrose's match against Alberto Del Rio, causing a disqualification. Ambrose attacked Triple H, but Triple H stopped his onslaught with a Pedigree. He then accepted the challenge before attacking Ambrose again. The match was scheduled for Roadblock.
At the Royal Rumble, Brock Lesnar eliminated Luke Harper, Erick Rowan, and Braun Strowman of The Wyatt Family from the Royal Rumble match. However, the trio re-entered the ring and eliminated Lesnar from the match. On the March 3 episode of SmackDown, a match between Brock Lesnar and Bray Wyatt was scheduled for Roadblock.
On March 11, a non-title match between Divas Champion Charlotte and Natalya was scheduled for the event. In a pre-recorded segment aired immediately before the match, Natalya goaded Charlotte into putting her title on the line in what would be the last televised Divas Championship match.
The event opened with The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) defending the WWE Tag Team Championship against The League of Nations (Sheamus and King Barrett). Big E executed a Big Ending on Barrett to retain the title.
After that, The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) defended the NXT Tag Team Championship against Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady. The Revival executed the Shatter Machine on Amore to retain the title.
The fifth match, originally pitting Brock Lesnar against Bray Wyatt, was changed into a 2-on-1 handicap match also involving Luke Harper. Wyatt remained outside the ring throughout the match. Harper executed a Big Boot, two Superkicks and a Discus Clothesline on Lesnar for a near-fall. Lesnar executed five German Suplexes and an F5 on Harper to win the match.
In the main event, Triple H defended the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Dean Ambrose. During the match, Ambrose executed Dirty Deeds on Triple H for a three count, but the referee voided the count as Ambrose's foot was underneath the bottom rope. In the climax of the match, Ambrose executed a Diving Elbow Drop on Triple H, who was standing outside the ring. Ambrose attempted an Elbow Drop off the barricade on Triple H, who was draped on the announce table, but Triple H rolled off and Ambrose fell through the announce table. Triple H then executed a Pedigree to retain the title.
The event received mixed reviews. Jason Powell of Pro Wrestling Dot Net commented, "Overall, Roadblock is what most of us thought it would be. They weren't going to shake up the WrestleMania lineup three weeks away. I know some fans convinced themselves it was possible, but it just never struck me as being realistic regardless of whether it would have made for a better WrestleMania lineup".
James Caldwell of Pro Wrestling Torch wrote that Roadblock was a "glorified house show for the most part, but the toned-down, less-corporate production value was refreshing for a WWE broadcast". Regarding the main event, Caldwell said that the "false finish for Dean was interesting in that WWE is lacking goodwill heading into Mania and going that far with a false finish straddled the line of being more of a turn-off than heat-generator".
John Powell of Canoe.ca summed up that there were "no surprises at a solid Roadblock... Although the overall show was far better than any of the WWE's recent pay-per-views, Roadblock did nothing at all to fuel any kind of excitement for WrestleMania or its feuds". For the main event, Powell wrote, "In the match of his career, Ambrose proved beyond a shadow of a doubt he is main event material, perhaps soon to be following in the legendary but demented footsteps of another unorthodox superstar, one Mick Foley". Powell also praised Canadians "Natalya, Chris Jericho and Sami Zayn all putting in exceptional performances", as well as the four NXT wrestlers who proved "why NXT is still the show to watch each and every week". However, commentator JBL was criticized after he "literally loses his mind and starts yelling". His grade went to Triple H vs. Dean Ambrose with 8 and a half out of 10 while Brock Lesnar vs. Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper got the worst with a 5 out of 10.
Larry Csonka from 411mania.com gave the event a 7 stars out of 10 rating. The highest rated match was Ambrose vs. Triple H (4 stars), judging that the match "was a lot of fun and felt fresh, but it wasn't without its problems", while Stardust vs. Zayn was rated the lowest (1 star). Csonka also praised the NXT Tag Team Championship match (3 1/2 stars) and the WWE Tag Team Championship match (3 stars).
|1D||Mark Henry defeated Randy Sharp||Singles match||3:35|
|2D||Goldust (with R-Truth) defeated Viktor (with Konnor)||Singles match||6:44|
|3||The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) (c) (with Xavier Woods) defeated The League of Nations (King Barrett and Sheamus)||Tag team match for the WWE Tag Team Championship||9:49|
|4||Chris Jericho defeated Jack Swagger by submission||Singles match||7:54|
|5||The Revival (Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson) (c) defeated Enzo and Cass (with Carmella)||Tag team match for the NXT Tag Team Championship||10:17|
|6||Charlotte (c) (with Ric Flair) defeated Natalya||Singles match for the WWE Divas Championship||13:37|
|7||Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) defeated The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper)||2-on-1 handicap match||4:03|
|8||Sami Zayn defeated Stardust||Singles match||12:33|
|9||Triple H (c) defeated Dean Ambrose||Singles match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship||24:43|
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