Zack Ryder def. Tyler Breeze by pinfall
Yes, you read that correctly. Breeze’s descent into jobber hell continues; boy, does that season finale of Breaking Ground look ill-judged now.
Rich Brennan proclaims that his opponent, Zack Ryder, has been “on a roll” lately. Sure he is! If you call pinning Stardust on Superstars over a month ago a “roll” - Ryder’s only televised singles victory of the year. He truly is on a tear and no mistake.
These two got a lot of time here and they used it well, turning in a very good match (of which roughly ten minutes aired). The announcers gabbed about Shane McMahon throughout however, including Jerry Lawler pointing out that Vince’s baby boy has been a mere waiter for the last seven years - “Yeah, waiting for his old man to die!”.
Line of the night goes to Brennan though, who produced a piece of philosophical bullshit in reference to Breeze’s appearance that demanded transcription: “The art of combat requires artful deception to create a misleading perception of what’s to come”. He went full Striker, folks. Never go full Striker.
Back to the actual match (oh, the irony!) and both men deserve credit for some innovative spots, particularly in the near-falls section of the match. Highlights included Breeze using the ring apron to crotch Ryder off a plancha attempt and a package rib-breaker from Breeze. Ryder also busted out Big Show’s old short-lived Final Cut finisher for a two count.
The finish saw Zack bust out a new one, which he has dubbed the Elbro Drop; a close-range diving elbow drop from the top rope, would you believe. It looked pretty cool; well-executed and a big step up on the Rough Ryder.
- Renee Young was slumming it on Main Event this week. She was backstage with Paige and Natalya who assured her that their historically “rocky relationship” was behind them. Keen viewers of the product will remember that Paige once beat the tar out of Nattie backstage only for the latter to completely forget about that upon her return to TV.
Poor “Nah-eeee”, as Paige would call her, was given the task of plugging Total Divas, pointing out that her partner’s “Miley Cyrus” style antics could be perused on that show. Does Miley like to move in with bearded emos after five minutes, before freaking out and claiming that she doesn’t “do relationships” too? Naomina interrupt to tell their opponents for tonight that they’re going to step on them on the road to Wrestlemania. Best of luck with that. Oh, and they did another awkward pause at the end too, where the heels had to try not to look uncomfortable as the camera lingered on their faces.
Ryback def. Bo Dallas via pinfall
Ryback completes a full house of victories over the Social Geeks. I audibly groan when I see the latter emerge on the ramp with microphones again.
All four sit on the apron and flap their gums before Ryback’s arrival. Axel and Rose both claim that they would have beaten Ryback if they had more help. Bo tells Rose that he loves his nicknames and tells Axel that he loves his stupid chop/scream gimmick to defuse the tension.
Ryback saves the day by interrupting and finishing Bo in under three minutes with the Shellshock. My only gripe is that he did the ground-and-pound spot again, where the referee doesn’t act despite the fact that his opponent is not defending himself. If they’re going to borrow from MMA, do it properly. Ref stoppage isn’t unprecedented in wrestling and there’s nothing wrong with it. Plus, the Shellshock is a sucky finisher anyway.
Naomina def. Paige and Natalya by pinfall
I’m guessing this was booked before Nattie’s title match with Charlotte was added to Roadblock. The faces try to top “Unity!” In the dreadful stakes by nose kissing each other before the bell. Lawler, disgusted, says you should never trust anyone with cats, conveniently forgetting that he revealed he owned three earlier in the show. Rich, to his credit, reminds him of this.
Not a bad 10+ minute match here, but it was pretty boring when the heels were getting the heat on Paige. There was a very strangely executed spot to set up the heat portion of the match, when Paige chased a cowering Naomi outside, only to turn away for no reason and get nailed with a superkick from Tamina.
Naomi’s showboating eventually allows Paige to hot tag Nattie and set up the finish. Nattie runs through her usual spots, before Tamina breaks up a Sharpshooter attempt on Naomi. Nattie discus clotheslines Tamina out of the equation, only to fall victim to the Naomi Calls That The Rear View for the pinfall victory. Charlotte better watch her back! Natalya is “on a roll”!
Breeze vs. Ryder is worth a watch, for sure. Great to see Zack looking so motivated and the new finish is a good fit too. Perhaps it’s the experience of interacting with human puppy Mojo Rawley that has made him realise the grass isn’t always greener. The rest is very skippable, with the featured contest only notable for the fact that Natalya, your challenger for the Divas title at Roadblock, takes the fall. Hopefully she and Charlotte can rekindle some of the magic of their May 2014 classic regardless.