Roundtable: WWE Roadblock: End of the Line 2016

The Wrestledelphia staff talks about various storylines going into the pay-per-view.

In the build to the Kevin Owens-Roman Reigns match, the United States Championship has been all but ignored and Owens has spent more time feuding with Chris Jericho than with Reigns. Have you liked the build?

John Corrigan: No, it’s a slap in the face to the recently revitalized United States Championship to be ignored as Roman once again pursues the world title. We have no reason to care about Roman vs. Owens, and it’s simply a roadblock on our way to the greatest breakup since Brangelina.

Evan Cross: The Jericho-Owens stuff has been good, but the fact that a U.S. title-holding Reigns is the challenger irks me. Reigns has only had two feuds since winning the belt and neither of them needed it. If Reigns is going to be in the main event no matter what, at least let Rusev keep the belt to add another ingredient to the far more interesting Rusev/Lana vs. Enzo/Cass feud.

David Gibb: No. 😉

David Levin: John Cena must be pissed right now. After making the United States Championship great again, the company has done the right thing by putting the title on Reigns after he beat Rusev. But there has been a huge failure in how Reigns has been booked as the champion. I like the idea of the US title being a stepping stone to the Universal title – much like the Intercontinental title used to be a gateway to the WWF title. Reigns, however, should have been challenged for the title before he was booked to be the lead guy once more.

This is presumably the blow-off to the Sasha Banks-Charlotte Flair feud. Where does the women’s division go after it ends?

Corrigan: In the toilet! Unless Sasha turns heel, which would be pointless after this awesome rivalry with Charlotte, the only other contenders to her throne are Nia Jax (zzz) and Emmalina, who I’m still bitter about not premiering this past Monday.

Cross: I honestly don’t know. Other than Bayley and Nia Jax occasionally squashing people, the division hasn’t been much outside of the title picture. Someone’s gonna need a rocket strapped to her back soon.

Gibb: I think we see Charlotte against Bayley in a title series throughout the winter season while Sasha Banks continues playing underdog, this time against Nia Jax.

Levin: Not sure. I assume (I know that is a dangerous word) Bayley challenges Charlotte with Nia Jax becoming a serious contender as well. The problem is there are only four major stars in the division who are being booked as contenders. Bayley and Jax cannot feud because they both must look strong. Sasha is rumored to turn heel, which makes a Bayley confrontation at WrestleMania 33 very possible. After such a strong performance this year by both women, there isn’t a lot higher this division can go for now.

How does The New Day stay fresh after breaking Demolition’s record, which has been their goal for the last few months?

Corrigan: I’m not sure how they stay fresh, but I’m confident they will. Their creativity on the mic, in the ring and on social media have carried them this far, and perhaps boxes of aphrodisiac Valentine BootyO’s are on the horizon.

Cross: I am still intrigued by New Day as a stable, but I’m ready to see another tag team, ideally Sheamus & Cesaro, take the belts from them. Then Kingston and Woods can chase the belts while Big E has a singles feud with someone like Seth Rollins that can prepare him for a top storyline

Gibb: I disagree with the premise that New Day can “stay fresh” because that implies that they are fresh now. With that said, I think a feud with the debuting Revival would be the best thing for them (or any babyface tag team).

Levin: Other than a split, I am not sure how they stay fresh. Demolition’s shtick would never have lasted that long in today’s WWE. Now other teams like The Club are screwed out of real opportunities. I think Sheamus & Cesaro are next in line to win the titles, but what happens with this division depends on better booking. The trio of New Day has been very good, but now it is time to move on. I would like to see a split where maybe Xavier Woods move to SmackDown or Kofi gets a run at the IC title. Big E is the one who may suffer the most from a split as he doesn’t have a true role outside the tag team division. And please get him a better singlet!!!

Is Mick Foley’s involvement in the Sami Zayn-Braun Strowman feud interesting?

Corrigan: Yes. I see Foley as the Mick to Zayn’s Rocky. Feeling that the underdog from the underground is a little too happy go lucky, the RAW GM sought to awaken the beast inside Zayn as he prepares to face the unstoppable Strowman. Plus, that Eva Marie line was hilarious.

Cross: Yes. I hadn’t liked Mick’s seemingly weekly manic rants, but this makes sense to me – he has a responsibility to keep all on his roster safe. It builds up Zayn as an unafraid competitor and Strowman as a monster, which is what good feuds should do.

Gibb: I thought the Foley-Zayn interplay established that the thought process of the Mick Foley character is not the thought process of a sane person. That could be an interesting breadcrumb to look back on in a few months.

Levin: Foley may be the best addition to Raw this year. His sell of both the Hell in a Cell match with Sasha and Charlotte and now this angle with Zayn prove how good he is for the brand. I like the fact he is working to make Zayn a better wrestler and performer. The David vs. Goliath angle with Strowman is so overdone, but the Foley angle makes it new and fresh. The mere thought of Foley in the ring as a performer continues to creep into the back of my mind. If Zayn can become half as good as Foley was as a balls-to-the-wall performer, then WWE should make him a title contender. Bravo.

Is 205 Live helping or hurting the cruiserweight division?

Corrigan: 205 Live gives the cruiserweight division its own world inside the WWE Universe. The one-hour format is refreshing, and the talent aren’t overshadowed by the larger, more defined personalities of RAW and SmackDown superstars. Being on Raw as well is what hurts the division as the talent are overexposed and treated as second-class citizens. Because WWE filmed Tribute to the Troops on Tuesday, 205 Live was taped prior to Raw so when Lince Dorado or TJ Perkins competed for a second time that night, the crowd simply didn’t care.

Cross: 205 Live has been better for match quality, but it hasn’t moved the needle as far as interest in the division goes. I’d love for the division to be a bit less insular and cross paths with the main division, which will hopefully make the cruiserweights seem a little less minor league.

Gibb: I think 205 Live is helping the Cruiserweight Division but hurting Raw. It makes the Cruiserweight presence on the three-hour flagship seem even more like blatant time filler.

Levin: I do not watch enough of the cruiserweights to know if this helps or hurts. WWE seems to be involved in many projects to make the product better, but still falls short of making the current packaging of angles better. I talked about this a bit this week. I like the idea of the cruiserweights being a viable part of the Raw broadcast and think they serve a purpose. There needs to be more planning and more emphasis on the uniqueness of this brand for it to shine. It also needs to be part of the blue team’s package.