The Road to Wrestlemania, Episode Twenty-Five

*This is the twenty-fifth episode in a series, retelling the Road to Wrestlemania 2016. This episode covers part two of Wrestlemania 32, originally televised April 3, 2016.

Match #1: United States Championship Ladder Match

With no obvious favourite heading into the ladder match, Jey and Jimmy Uso, Fandango, Tyler Breeze, Stardust, Kalisto, and Sin Cara throw themselves into the frey, scrambling for a ladder and the space to climb it. The Usos work in tandem, taking down their opponents before throwing themselves over the ropes into a crowd of wrestlers. Kalisto flies high, crashing down onto the fallen wrestlers.

The Usos slide a ladder into the ring, setting it up and starting to climb either side.

But they argue over who will claim the belt, allowing Stardust and Sin Cara to pull them down.

The wrestlers trade signature moves, as more ladders are added to the mix, resulting in a beautiful spot where Kalisto hits a Salida Del Sol on Fandango off the top of a collapsed ladder, held up by the rest of the competitors.

Before he can recover, Sin Cara throws Kalisto from the ring, taking the opportunity to attack his former tag team partner, throwing him into the barricade and briefly trying to rip his mask off, before choosing instead to throw the ring steps at him, crushing him against the barricade.

In the ring, Jimmy Uso pulls Jey Uso off a ladder, causing the brothers to get in each other’s faces, ensuring they miss Stardust leaping high, taking them both out with a Beautiful Disaster, leaving Stardust and Tyler Breeze in the ring. The two reverse move after move, before an attempted Beautiful Disaster is reversed into a Beauty Shot, sending Stardust crashing to the arena floor.

Tyler Breeze sets up a ladder. But the Usos rush him…

Only for Fandango to return to the ring, climbing a ladder outside the ring and hitting an enormous Leg Drop over the ropes onto Jey Uso. Breeze hits a Beauty Shot on the stunned Jimmy Uso, and Fandango and Breeze are left standing face to face in the centre of the ring.

At which moment, they smile, nod, and set up the ladder. Breeze gestures to Fandango, who climbs the ladder. Sin Cara slides back into the ring, but Breeze Superkicks him, providing Fandango the time needed to take the belt, and the victory.

Match #2: Emma vs Paige

As they have done since their time in NXT, Emma and Paige set about putting on a technical masterclass. Far more a grounded counter match than one filled with high energy spots, the two wrestlers trade holds and attempted submissions, each hoping to finish the other off. Paige attacks Emma’s neck and arms, while Emma focuses on Paige’s lower back, hoping to set up the Emma Lock.

The action moves around the ring, rarely leaving it; Emma does tangle Paige in the bottom rope and leave the ring in order to attack her further, but for the most part this match is entirely within the ropes.

As Paige starts to take control, she shifts gears, hitting suplex after suplex, and setting Emma up for a Rampaige. But Emma uses leverage to kick out Paige’s knee, causing her to scramble away in pain. Emma hits a running dropkick on Paige, and drags her into the centre of the ring to lock in the Emma Lock.

But Paige breaks the hold, reverseing it into a Boston Crab; she can’t lock it in though, and Emma makes it to the ropes.

Clearly limping, Paige tries to go after Emma to keep the pressure on, but Emma kicks at Paige’s good leg, forcing her weight onto the bad knee until she collapses.

Stuck in the middle of the ring, Emma locks in a Kneebar, twisting Paige into a defenseless position and hitting her again and again until she is forced to submit to the pain.

Match #3: Intercontinental Championship Fatal Four Way Match

Kevin Owens. Dolph Ziggler. AJ Styles. Sami Zayn.

A war breaks out in the centre of the ring, as all four wrestlers attempt signature moves in the opening moments. Sami Zayn rushes Dolph Ziggler, attempting a Helluva Kick, only to be hit by Superkicks from both Ziggler and Owens, who then turns into a Phenomenal Forearm from AJ Styles, leaving Ziggler as the only wrestler standing less than a minute in.

Momentum shifts back and forth as Styles and Ziggler look to outwrestle each other, while Zayn and Owens attempt at times to bloody each others faces until no longer conscious. Brief alliances last no more than a move or two. Zayn connects with a Helluva Kick on Dolph Ziggler, throwing him back into a Phenomenal Forearm from Styles, only for Zayn to break up the pin. Owens relaxes patiently in the corner as he watches all three opponents trade blows, only for all three to rush him at the same moment, leaving him crumpled in the corner as punches and kicks rain down.

As the match reaches its climax, Ziggler finds himself locked into a Koji Clutch from Zayn and a Calf Crusher from Styles, only for Owens to hit a running Senton to break both holds. Ziggler squirms in pain, reaching for the ring ropes. Zayn catches Owens with an Exploder Suplex, and sets him up for a Helluva Kick.

But Styles flies high, hitting a Phenomenal Forearm on the charging Zayn.

Only to be hit by a Superkick from Owens when he gets to his feet. Owens throws Styles from the ring, pinning Zayn. Ziggler attempts to break the pin, but his leg collapses, leaving him just out of reach as the referee counts three.

Summary

While Kevin Owens retained his Intercontinental Championship, a new United States Champion was crowned, and a new tag team may well have emerged. Meanwhile, Emma rose to the occasion, forcing Paige to submit, and perhaps throwing herself into the championship discussion post Wrestlemania.

In the next episode, the tag team champions The New Day will take on Enzo and Cass, the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal will offer a few surprises, and the Beast will take on the All-American American.

Let me know what you think in the comments down below.

Episode Card
Original Schedule Revised Schedule
Zack Ryder wins Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match Fandango wins United States Championship Ladder Match
Chris Jericho def. AJ Styles Emma def. Paige
The League of Nations def. The New Day Kevin Owens wins the Intercontinental Championship Fatal Four Way Match