WWE ROADBLOCK: END OF THE LINE
FROM PITTSBURGH AT 7:30 P.M. EASTERN
There were major odds shifts right at press time, so smart money looks to have come in at about 5:45 p.m.
- Big Cass vs Rusev (pre-show match) -- The two worked in Europe and didn't get great reviews. Cass went over in those matches. It just depends if Rusev is being slated for a big match soon or not. If he is, he should win, if not, Cass should win. Rusev is -2300.
- Sami Zayn vs. Braun Strowman (10:00 time limit) -- This is up to Zayn to sell and survive. Zayn is a -350 favorite.
- Rich Swann vs. Brian Kendrick vs. TJ Perkins for cruiserweight title. Swann is a -1790 favorite -- Technically I expect this to be good, but given the push and all, they've had trouble getting crowd heat and Pittsburgh has a rep for being a tough audience.
- New Day vs. Cesaro & Sheamus for tag team titles -- To me, it's time for the titles to change hands since the title was kept on New Day to break the record and Sheamus & Cesaro are really due for the belts very soon or their act will start getting stale. Sheamus & Cesaro are -5500 favorites.
- Seth Rollins vs. Chris Jericho -- Jericho usually doesn't win matches like this. That's backed up by Rollins being a -6000 favorite.
- Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte in an Iron Man match for women's title. I sense more people are interested in this match than anything else on the show. The Raw match was great, which was their last meeting. Banks has done an Iron Man match with Bayley at Full Sail that was great and that may be the pattern of sorts. Charlotte is a -- 1125 favorite.
- Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns for Universal title -- Owens is a -1050 favorite. To me, this seems like the wrong show to change the title, which doesn't mean it won't happen, just I'd have saved it for a higher profile show if they are going to pull the trigger on Reigns. Then again, Jericho could cost Owens the title, or cost him a title saving DQ loss to further build their program.
For the most part, the show looks good on paper. The keys are the crowd and the women's match. Reigns vs. Owens we've seen many times and it's almost always god. Ric Flair being involved in the women's match in some form wouldn't be a surprise since he was put in the storyline.
Up until the smart money came in, Reigns, Rollins, Banks, Swann, Strowman and Sheamus & Cesaro were favored and Rusev-Cass was even odds.
We're looking for your thoughts on WWE Roadblock tonight, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday also has as WWE Smackdown house show in Barrie, ONT.
Raw will be Monday night in Columbus, OH. There is a Smackdown Monday night house show in Hamilton, ONT.
Smackdown & 205 Live will air on Tuesday night from Detroit.
FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: 12/12/2016 The Paige/Alberto Del Rio relationship isn't funny anymore
International Wrestling Revolution Group, or IWRG, has been one of Mexico's top independent promotions for over two decades. Yet aside from the period where it was the Mexican home of Ultimo Dragon's students when Toryumon was getting off the ground, the promotion rarely got much international attention... Subscribers click here to continue.
WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: December 19, 2016 Vice article on WWE behind the scenes, Wrestlekingdom 11 card, more
A look at the inner workings of WWE and the latest change in creative is the lead story of a double-issue this week of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Also, a look at the greatest tag teams of all-time, New Japan's Tokyo Dome show, WWE house show rules, Japanese awards, American awards and what exactly happened in incidents with Alberto Del Rio and Shad Gaspard over the past week.
The lead story covers the major Vice story on the WWE, including Shane McMahon's attempt to get control of creative, the situation with Kevin Dunn, Paul Levesque and Stephanie McMahon, when Stephanie McMahon was in creative, insiders talk Vince McMahon's philosophy, the firing of the No. 3 guy in creative and how it went down, and updated notes about the WWE Network, the current audience and the company's future.
This issue has a look at the ratings John Cena drew for Saturday Night Live, an update on A.J. Styles' ankle injury, Zack Ryder injury, Jerry Lawler talks being let go, Finn Balor's return, WWE looking to get outside funding and why stockholders are concerned, more on the WWE Network, projections for WWE business in 20-16 and network numbers, Chris Hero and WWE update, legend to do a coaching gig with WWE, and notes on a lot of new talent signing and new talent trying out.
Finally, this issue has coverage of UFC 206, including what's next for the various stars of the show, business notes on the show, early PPV estimates, ratings news, plus match-by-match coverage and poll results from the show.
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WON BACK ISSUE:November 22, 1999 WWF Survivor Series review, Austin neck trouble, more - In an industry with no rules, regulations or morals, there is nothing that happened this week that was out of the ordinary. And that's sad. The big story this week should have been that the biggest star in wrestling today, has his career in jeopardy due to finding out just how badly thrashed his neck is... Subscribers click here to continue.
SUNDAY NEWS UPDATE
Bryan and I will be talking WWE Roadblock tonight after the show on Wrestling Observer Radio. We have a show up right now covering UFC, PWG, TNA, previewing WWE and other notes from the last few days.
People on Twitter yesterday were raving about the Ricochet vs. Will Ospreay match in Dublin. It's not available for viewing until 12/28, but there were people live who I know and who I trust who were talking about it as if it was something special.
As far as the UFC rating last night being much higher than expected, by close to 20 percent, as noted on the front page, it told a lesson. Google searches may indicate the keys as Paige VanZant was the sixth most searched for term in the U.S. yesterday with more than 200,000, while Urijah Faber (50,000) and Sage Northcutt (20,000) were also in the top 20 for yesterday.
Besides Matt Sydal returning on Friday, Michael Elgin returned on Saturday night in Austin TX for WrestleCircus wrestling.
We got so many great correspondent reports the past few days and want to thank: Shin Blade, Matt Prentice, Josh Weed, Daniel Kelly,Carter Cole, Mike Trask, John Tovar, Jamie Adams, David Anderson, Guillermo Monti, Shannon Delong, Steven Conway, Leslie Lewis and DJ Marshall.
- Mick Foley won't be on the show today. He's been given time off until Jan. 2 per his request.
- WWE debuts a new Table for 3 on Wednesday night with Jim Duggan, Sgt Slaughter and Nikolai Volkoff.
- The Dominick Cruz vs. Cody Garbrandt thing from last night is here.
Picks from last night's show:
- 5-0 - David Bixenspan
- 4-1 - John Pollock
- 3-2 - Dave Meltzer, Mike Sawyer, Frontrow Brian, Paul Fontaine
- 2-3 - Mike Sempervive, Josh Nason, Steve Juon and Ryan Frederick
- A piece about Sinclair Broadcasting, the ROH parent company, and Donald Trump is here. (thanks to Alex Marvez)
- House of Hardcore from Friday night in Philadelphia at the 2300 Arena: Steve Lombardi b Alex Reynolds, Taya b Jessicka Havok, Tony Nese b Lio Rush in his final indie match, Dan Barry & Conor Braxton & Kikutaro b Vik Dalishus & Eddie Kingston & TJ Marconi, Sami Callihan b Brian Cage, Moose b Colt Cabana, John Hennigan b Rey Fenix, Matt Hardy b Tommy Dreamer in a cage match. The show started 45 minutes late due to technical issues with the broadcast. The crowd was pretty brutal. Steve Lombardi took off his Yankees jersey and had on a Flyers shirt and said that for one night he would be the Broad Street Brawler. Crowd was hot for Taya, who used Lance Storm's rolling half crab finisher. Storm trained her. Nese was given the farewell celebration which ended in an angle as Alex Reynolds superkicked him and told the crowd that WWE settled for Marty when they could have had Shawn. Dalishus has lost 100 pounds since January. The six-man tag stip is Barry would have to leave if he lost, but Bill Carr returned and helped Barry win. Crowd was hot for Fenix & Hennigan in a great match but somewhat short. Dreamer vs. Matt was a short match where Brother Nero came out and hit Sandman (who came out earlier) with a cane. Matt won with a side effect into thumbtacks. The Hardys worked as heels here. (thanks to Daniel Kelly and Shin Blade)
- House of Hardcore from last night in Joppa, MD: Jessicka Havok b Taya, Eddie Kingston b Lance Anoa'i, Matt Striker & Conor Braxton & Kikutaro b Vik Dalishus & Benjamin Boone & Hale Collins, Moose b Brian Cage, Alex Reynolds won four-way over Dan Barry, Sonjay Dutt and Brandon Scott, Tommy Dreamer & Sandman (replacing James Ellsworth who was on tour with WWE) b Spirit Squad, Fenix b John Hennigan. (thanks to Shin Blade)
- WrestleCircus from Saturday night in Austin, TX before a sellout 500 fans: Lance Hoyt b Hangman Page, Carson b Jax Dane, Rachel Ellering b Christi Jayne, Sammy Guevara b Colt Cabana, Jade b Joey Ryan, Scorpio Sky & Laredo Kid & Serpentico b Ricky Starks & Jordan Len X & Aaron Solow, Jervis Cottonbelly & Dick Justice b Gregory James & Kody Lane, Keith Lee & Shane Taylor b The Boys, ACH b Chris Hero, War Machine b Chuck Taylor & Trent Baretta, Dijak b Tessa Blanchard, Michael Elgin b Jeff Cobb, Ethan Carter III b Pentagon Jr. The next show on 1/14 has EC 3 vs. Elgin for their championship (thanks to John Tovar and Steven Conway). Leva Bates cosplayed Shinsuke Nakamura and interfered in the Jade vs. Ryan match. Guevara vs. Cabana was said to be the best match. Lee & Taylor vs Boyz said to be very good and crowd was into it. Crowd loved ACH vs. Hero. Crowd got tired and weren't into some of the latter bouts. EC 3 beat Pentagon Jr. with help from Trashman, who came across like a James Ellsworth knock off and the crowd was annoyed by that.
- A match last night with Team 3-D vs. Hardys vs. EYFBO (who won the HOG tag titles) vs. Private Party sold out Club Amazura in Jamaica, NY with 1500 fans. The Tribunal was also on the show, as was Eddie Edwards and Lio Rush. EYFBO attcked the Dudleys and Hardys, who came back with the Bubba bomb off the ropes putting two guys through a table. Jeff Hardy sang Obsolete. Matt Hardy thanked the promotion for what may be their last-ever match with the Dudleys.
- The Team Vision Dojo in Orlando will be open for seminars, live events, lodging and more during WrestleMania week. They are opening their doors to any indie group who wants to run a small building show. The building holds 60 seated and more than 100 for standing room. They can be contacted at 407-334-2200 or TeamVisionDojo@gmail.com.
- A trailer for the NWA Detonation TV show is here.
- Inside Edition covered the Shad Gaspard story.
Today in Professional Wrestling History (12/18): WWE TLC 2011
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