The Road to Wrestlemania, Episode Eighteen

This is the eighteenth episode in a series, retelling the Road to Wrestlemania 2016. This episode covers Monday Night Raw, originally televised on March 14, 2016.

Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman come out to gloat about Roadblock, and how they ended Dean Ambrose and the Wyatt Family. Vengeance served, sayeth the Beast. Now, Jack Swagger.

Paul Heyman says that, if Swagger wants to serve himself up as the sacrifice, fine. Lesnar has earned a walk in the park. He’ll take the paycheck, end Swagger’s career, and then he’ll take back his title.

The Beast was unleashed at WWE Roadblock in Episode 17, clearing house of all those that had prevented him from taking back his championship. Now, he’ll bide his time, and wait for the chance to take it from whoever holds it after Wrestlemania.

Match #1: Goldust vs Tyler Breeze

With the United States Championship Ladder Match announced at WWE Roadblock, Goldust and Tyler Breeze go head to head for one of the four remaining spots. The wily veteran keeps Breeze as grounded as possible, grinding him down, even tying him up in the corner ropes ready to hit Shattered Dreams. But Breeze slips out through the ropes, catches Goldust in the head with a kick, and uses the top rope to hit a Super Beauty Shot for the three count, and the spot on the Wrestlemania card.

Tyler Breeze has been on a bit of a roll, and now he gets another chance at the title. Goldust has a solid role in the company as someone who can put young talent over, but as a main card title contender, his time has passed.

Match #2: Natalya vs Alicia Fox

Having lost her chance to steal Charlotte’s spot in the Wrestlemania Triple Threat, Natalya looks to get back on the Road to Wrestlemania against Alicia Fox. Venting her frustration from the last few weeks, she dominates from start to finish, forcing Fox to tap out to the Sharpshooter.

Natalya’s music never plays though, as Naomi and Tamina arrive and make their way down the ramp. Natalya prepares for the attack, helping Fox to her feet in the hopes of finding an ally. But Fox pushes her away, rolling out of the ring and escaping into the crowd; hurt by the loss, she is unwilling to get involved in someone else’s fight.

As a result, Natalya is left alone to face the two on one assault, which only ends once Naomi has locked in a Sharpshooter and Tamina has kicked the tapping Natalya in the head.

Naomi and Tamina are the dominant heels in the Women’s division. They continue to make statement attacks on wrestlers, particularly Natalya, building their reputation within the ring, and cutting off any allies Natalya might hope to rely on.

Jack Swagger is seen backstage, drinking from a water bottle. Bo Dallas appears in frame, a concerned look on his face.

“You see Lesnar earlier?”

Swagger nods.

Dallas grimaces. “Look, you know you can do this. Just got to Bo-lieve! And besides, I’ve organised a match to help prepare you for Wrestlemania.”

“You organised a match.”

Dallas nods, a smile on his face. “Trust me, big guy. I’m going to get you ready for this fight, and you’re going to win. THAT is what I Bo-lieve. So grab your bag and get moving.”

Dallas heads off screen, leaving Swagger to finish drinking from his water bottle. He reached for his bag, then frowns. Reaches inside, and pulls out a card. Looks around, turning it over in his hand. Stares at it a moment. Then he nods once, grabs his bag, and tosses the card onto a nearby table.

As he walks away, the camera pans in on the card. “You will rise to the Beast.”

Bo Dallas continues to split his attention between his own rivalry with the League of Nations, and his attempt to train Jack Swagger in preparation for his match against Brock Lesnar. While it hasn’t affected his focus yet, his return to his Bo-lieve Training mentality could push the unity of the Social Outcasts to the edge…

Match #3: Jack Swagger vs The Social Outcasts

Jack Swagger comes to the ring, accompanied by Bo Dallas. Dallas grabs a mic, and announces that today’s main attraction will be a handicap match.

When Swagger is confused, Dallas explains. “Brock Lesnar is a crazy mix of speed and strength. He keeps coming no matter how hard you hit him. So you need to get used to being constantly under attack. Hence, your opponents.”

The Social Outcasts music hits, and the three remaining members make their way to the ring. When all five wrestlers are in the ring, there are a few moments of confusion. Eventually, Dallas points out that the three members of the Social Outcasts are all talented wrestlers, but together, they can keep attacking and attacking the same way Lesnar does. So even with the odds stacked against him, Swagger will get a feel for what being in the ring with Lesnar is really like.

He heads to commentary, and the bell rings.

The Social Outcasts swarm their opponent, using the numbers advantage to great affect, as Swagger struggles to fight them off. Multiple tag attacks leave him slumped against the turnbuckle, held in place by Adam Rose and Curtis Axel, while Heath Slater brags and taunts their opponent.

Slater’s taunting provides an opening for Swagger though, and the early advantage shifts. Swagger goes on a tear; the Outcasts are caught offguard, and Swagger is almost able to pin Rose.

But the sheer numbers overwhelm him, and eventually a double submission forces him to tap out.

After the match, Bo Dallas gets on the mic and tries to lift Swagger’s spirits. He did much better against three opponents than expected. And now he knows he can’t ease up against the Beast…

Bo Dallas’ plans for building Jack Swagger up and preparing him for Brock Lesnar continues on its rocky road, though the lessons for Paul Heyman’s “sacrifice” are present.

Emma is being interviewed backstage about her return to the WWE main roster, when she is blindsided by Paige. The former Women’s Champion beats Emma into the ground, locking in the PTO and refusing to break the hold until several backstage officials are forced to intercede.

Shortly after this attack, word begins to spread that Emma and Paige’s long standing rivalry, stemming back to NXT, would be settled in the ring at Wrestlemania, in a Submission Match.

The Women’s Championship contract signing takes place next, as Charlotte is forced to confront both of her Wrestlemania opponents. The Women’s Champion takes the opportunity to gloat about her accomplishments, belittling both Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks as wrestlers and as “Horsewomen”. She signs the contract, and tosses it in the face of Sasha Banks before leaving the ring, showing herself to be completely dismissive of her challengers.

Lynch passes Banks a pen, and a brief moment of calm before the storm allows them to each sign the contract without issue.

Having the Women’s Championship Triple Threat contract signing in the centre of the ring elevates the title to the place it should be - as the equal highest championship in the company. While there is no physical violence during the signing, Charlotte has set the tone, while Lynch and Banks’ previous alliance shows through for one more day… which could play a role later down the line…

Match #4: The League of Nations vs The Ascension

In their first match since kicking King Barrett out, the League of Nations work like a well-oiled machine, as Alberto Del Rio and Rusev punish The Ascension, while Sheamus paces at ringside, assisting and distracting whenever the referee’s attention shifts. Rusev locks in the accolade on Konnor, and Del Rio kicks Viktor in the head to claim the victory.

Sheamus then gets on the microphone, and declares himself for the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. But more importantly, he challenges the Social Outcasts to a Tag Team Match at Wrestlemania…

With the League stronger than ever, they intend to take Wrestlemania by storm. While Sheamus considers a possible United States Championship attempt a possibility, as a former King of the Ring, he understands the power that can come with winning a Battle Royal or tournament. An opportunity to fight that many other wrestlers isn’t something he is likely to pass up. Meanwhile, Del Rio and Rusev are a tightly knit tag team, and the Social Outcasts will have their work cut out for them at the Show of Shows.

Match #5: Chris Jericho vs Neville

This match is exactly the same as the televised version, as Neville was injured and Chris Jericho was disqualified.

It is a shame that Neville was injured here. He would have been a perfect contender for the United States Championship, and there are a number of wrestlers who could provide him with quality mid-upper card feuds.

Shane McMahon emerges to talk about the Undertaker accepting his father’s demands. He says that he understands why Undertaker had to accept. That he doesn’t want to retire the Deadman. But that, to protect his family’s legacy, he’d do what only Brock Lesnar could do. He’d beat the Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Something not even Triple H could do, in three attempts.

Behold the King. Triple H’s music sounds, and the Game stalks out to the top of the ramp. Carrying the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on his shoulder, dressed in a suit and tie, he looks as if he is ready to unleash hell. He paces back and forth, venting at Shane about how much effort and dedication he has put into this industry. Things Shane knows nothing about when it comes to the business. His business. He talks about how Shane left because he doesn’t care about the business anymore. How his family moved on without him. Got stronger, without him.

“But you think you’ll beat the Undertaker? You’ll be lucky to survive the night. It’s not like it used to be, Shane. The locker room isn’t yours, anymore. The boys aren’t back there to protect you. There is no loyalty to you.”

Triple H stalks closer. “You aren’t the golden child anymore, brother dear.”

He gestures to the back, and six security officials head to the ring. “This place isn’t for you anymore. And you won’t steal my legacy from me.”

The security officials rush the ring, and while Shane successfully fights them off for a time, the numbers overwhelm, and soon he is beaten to his knees and held in place. Triple H gets in the ring, and slaps Shane several times. Screams in his face that it is over.

Until a hooded figure slips over the barricade, slides into the ring, and attacks the officials. Triple H gets knocked from the ring, while the new arrival and a recovering Shane deal with the six security guards.

As the chaos clears, Shane and his saviour stand face to face in the ring. The hooded figure takes up a mic, cocks his head slightly, and says two simple words.

“You’re welcome.”

As the crowd goes wild, the hooded figure drops the mic, climbs the turnbuckle, unzips his hoodie and pulls back the hood.

The show ends with Damien Sandow, dressed in civilian clothes, raises a fist to the audience, looking down at a stunned Triple H.

I have been looking forward to this one for a while. The return of Damien Sandow, after having no presence whatsoever in the previous seventeen episodes, provides a shift in momentum heading into Wrestlemania. But more importantly than that, Sandow represents everything that Shane could be for the company. A highly loved, talented star, who has been wasted by a poor creative team and bad bookings. Now if only there were a few others like that on the roster…

Summary

Another twist in the tale of The Authority, as Damien Sandow, belittled and ignored for so long, sides with Shane McMahon in the fight for control of WWE. Will that swing the fight in Shane’s favour? And how will Vince and Stephanie respond…

In the next episode, Triple H unleashes his hounds, and there is a twist in the tale of the Intercontinental Championship…

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

Episode Card
Original Schedule Revised Schedule
The New Day def. The League of Nations Brock Lesnar Promo
Brock Lesnar Promo Tyler Breeze def. Goldust
Ryback def. Sin Cara Natalya def. Alicia Fox
Dolph Ziggler Promo Jack Swagger Promo
Sami Zayn def. The Miz The Social Outcasts def. Jack Swagger
Naomi and Tamina def. Brie Bella and Alicia Fox Emma Promo
The Usos def. The Social Outcasts Women’s Championship Contract Signing
Triple H def. Dolph Ziggler The League of Nations def. The Ascension
Neville def. Chris Jericho via Disqualification Neville def. Chris Jericho via Disqualification
Hell in a Cell Promo Hell in a Cell Promo

The Road to Wrestlemania, Part Two Summary

I’ll be honest: I haven’t really been looking forward to writing this post.

It isn’t that there aren’t some things I’d like to discuss about the storylines that I’m building, or the way some of the changes have affected wrestlers, or even how this platform will allow the stories to be pushed towards Wrestlemania.

No, the reason is fairly simple: It means I have to talk about WWE Roadblock.

The televised version was not a pay-per-view. It was a glorified house show, with barely any thematic structure to it, and numerous holes in the card filled in by random matches that made little sense, or were there for cheap pops. Exactly what you would expect from a house show. Jericho vs Swagger with no build up? The NXT championship being defended just to remove Enzo and Cass from the title picture?

Essentially what I’m saying is that this version of Roadblock completely undermined future attempts to make “WWE Roadblock” a legitimate pay per view. And because of that, only one match (!) was kept from the original televised version for the rewrite.

The New Day and The League of Nations (continued)

I said it in the review of part one: the League need purpose before they can take on The New Day in a compelling way. This isn’t it, and neither is the match they televised at Wrestlemania. The tag team division is stagnant, and so are the League of Nations. So we need to give them drive and purpose (or end them entirely), before they can step up to the champions.

Chris Jericho and Jack Swagger

Why? Just… why? You are trying to drag on a feud with AJ Styles that has been going on for too long, you’ve shown little interest in pushing Swagger in recent months, and now you use a… yeah. No. I’m sorry, but this was just pointless.

The Revival vs Enzo and Cass (NXT Tag Team Championship

Ending the rivalry in NXT between these two teams, this match’s purpose is purely to move Enzo and Cass on to the main roster, to allow for American Alpha to have their run. And while that is fine… Enzo and Cass should have moved on from NXT to the main roster much earlier, and it wasted a spot on this card. It was a solid match, but again. Lots could have been done better about this show.

Sami Zayn and Stardust

Why is this the only real time we got Sami Zayn/Cody Rhodes time?

Because nothing you like matters in WWE.

Dean Ambrose and Triple H

As I’ve discussed previously, this match was flipped with the Brock Lesnar storyline, so while the match will happen at Wrestlemania, it has been dropped here. I liked a lot about the match. They did a great job selling the potential win (even though we knew how it was going to end). But losing didn’t cost Ambrose anything, so it wasn’t really a Roadblock for him, which makes it a “Roadblock” for Triple H… and why would you choose to have one of those?

Basically, it was a drawcard match, not a storyline one.

Next up is the one and only match I kept:

Charlotte and Natalya

This match is pretty close to the same one televised. The difference here though is in the lead up. There was no lead up in the televised version, as all the focus was on the Wrestlemania triple threat. Instead, I used the continued interference by Ric Flair, and the general chaos that has been swamping the cards, to create a scenario where Charlotte caused this match to happen as punishment for her actions, furthering two aspects of the story - building a wedge between Ric and Charlotte, and setting her up as a stronger champion going into Wrestlemania.

So… well… If you read the original card, you might have noticed that there is a match missing from the list above.

So yeah. Let’s talk about that match.

Brock Lesnar and the Wyatt Family

Sigh.

Don’t get me wrong. We all want this match. We want a fantastic storyline between Bray Wyatt and Paul Heyman on the mic, and a final blow off match at Wrestlmania or Survivor Series that establishes Bray Wyatt as the true monster of WWE, and the natural successor for The Undertaker.

But no build up? Just as/after Bray Wyatt gets injured? And the match ends up being Luke Harper vs Brock Lesnar, with the match changed at the last minute to a handicap match so that Bray doesn’t actually have to participate?

Please. Would you like me to write the stories for you?

This match was a pointless waste of time, that did nothing for build up. And if you ever had any questions as to whether WWE Roadblock was a glorified house show, I have four words for you:

“Card subject to change.”

So now that we have all that out of the way, let’s talk about all of the stuff I added to make this an actual pay per view.

Andre the Giant Battle Royal Qualifiers

Wrestlemania matches should have meaning. They shouldn’t just be gifted to wrestlers. Granted, some wrestlers earn a spot because they don’t have another match and they’ve done well throughout the year, but why fill the space with a few celebrity spots when you can give some younger talent a moment in the sun.

There will be more later in the series, but for now, four spots have been earned: Tye Dillinger, Murphy, and the Ascension. Now it is starting to feel like maybe it isn’t just a “and everyone else” match. Cause someone is going to miss out on a Wrestlemania spot…

The United States Championship

I always felt that there was something wrong with having two mid card belts that were essentially the same. There is no definitive line between the Intercontinental Championship and the United States Championship, as we’ve seen wrestlers move between the two plenty of times before. While my approach would be different were the brand split to take place, in this rewrite, I’m moving the United Championship belt to be a little more aerobatic and Lucha style, while the Intercontinental Championship shifts into the old school/technical division. The United States Championship loses some of the logic behind its name (not that there is any right now anyway), but it will provide a clearer delineation between the halves of the mid card.

Announcing the Ladder Match for Wrestlemania, and bringing both Usos in to compete as individuals, makes it a compelling story from the beginning. Now we know where the end goal is, but there are still four spots to be earned. Meanwhile, The Ascension are in the Battle Royal, but the real question is what will The Dudley Boyz do now…

Sheamus and Heath Slater

League of Nations vs Social Outcasts. The elite vs the commoners. This matchup is so perfectly set up… and yet it needed a little twist. Kicking the Englishman out of the group, a month earlier than he was on the televised version, after a series of losses that provided plenty of division within the group, makes sense. The League was unbalanced, with no real direction. Now for the moment we have a clear leader (Sheamus), and a belief that they are the elite of the company.

King Barrett is gone, the League is outnumbered, and they believe that they are better regardless. Now we have a story to build upon to Wrestlemania.

Brock Lesnar and Dean Ambrose

Bringing an end to a rivalry that doesn’t help either wrestler (as fun as it has been at times), Brock Lesnar and Dean Ambrose go to war, and now it is settled. Ambrose took Lesnar as far as anyone else has, if not further, proved that he was the heir to Mick Foley/Stone Cold Steve Austin, and elevated his presence in the ring and on the mic to match the quality of Paul Heyman.

Even with the loss, a successful story.

Enzo and Cass and the Wyatt Family

Vengeance is a dish best served with a rampaging Beast.

Enzo and Cass are the heart and soul of the NXT tag team division. Now, on the main roster, they have a chance to help build a strong division with far more variety than has been present in the last year or so. The New Day is incredibly popular, whether as Faces or Heels, but their opponents have made them stale. New opponents, and better story arcs, will drag the division into a better place (a place where we don’t end up with the titles not being defended at Wrestlemania for one).

On the other side of things, the Wyatt Family have reaped what they sowed. Going after the Beast for little reason than to make a statement at the Royal Rumble has cost them a title opportunity at Wrestlemania, and left them in tatters. How they will rebuild themselves, we will have to wait and see. But Lesnar has made his mark, and can now move on.

And with that, part two is complete. Part three is coming soon, with a fan favourite coming to the rescue, and a new twist on a former hero…

Let me know what you think so far, or tweet me @kayfabecreative.

The Road to Wrestlemania, Episode Seventeen

This is the seventeenth episode in a series, retelling the Road to Wrestlemania 2016. This episode covers WWE Roadblock, originally aired on the WWE Network on Saturday March 12, 2016.

During the pre-show commentary, it is revealed that the card has changed slightly. Not the matches, but the order. Dean Ambrose and Brock Lesnar almost came to blows backstage, and after some debate, the match has been moved to the start of the card, before they disrupt the rest of the show.

Match #1: Brock Lesnar vs Dean Ambrose

The opening match of the night is very similar to the televised Wrestlemania Street Fight, with a couple of very important differences.

Firstly, Barbie is absolutely used, on Brock Lesnar, and if the opportunity arises, Paul Heyman. Lesnar’s Hell in a Cell match showed he was willing to put it on the line, and Ambrose swinging Barbie with true anger and frustration is exactly what everyone wants to see.

Secondly, while Ambrose fails to hit his finisher, there is far more back and forth in the match, as Ambrose refuses to lie down, and Lesnar’s frustration provides opportunities for Ambrose to counter attack.

Finally, the finish. After retrieving Barbie from under the ring, and beating down on Heyman and Lesnar, Ambrose stands face to face with Lesnar. He swings Barbie at him, but Lesnar ducks beneath it, and as Ambrose turns, Lesnar wraps him AND Barbie up in his arms, pinning the bat to his chest between them. He throws Ambrose over his head, tosses Barbie from the ring, and finishes the Lunatic Fringe off with an F5.

Ambrose is left a mess in the centre of the ring, while Lesnar stalks off, bloodier than ever.

Unlike in the televised version, the handful of changes made here turn this match from a let down to a true rivalry ender. Despite losing the match, Dean Ambrose comes out looking like a true beast, standing toe to toe with the most dominant force in WWE, and almost getting the job done. Meanwhile, Lesnar looks like a true monster, and is ready to move on.

Match #2: Bull Dempsey vs Tye Dillinger

In the first Andre the Giant Battle Royal NXT qualifier, Bull Dempsey takes on the Perfect 10, Tye Dillinger. Despite dominating the majority of the match, Dempsey misses an attempted clothesline, and Dillinger reacts with a quick rollup, stealing the victory and the first spot in the Battle Royal.

Match #3: Heath Slater vs Sheamus

Before the break, footage of the Social Outcasts arguing is played. Despite Bo Dallas’ concerns that this is a trap, Heath Slater demands to be the one to face the League of Nations, as he is clearly the leader. He marches off, while the other two glance at Dallas. He shakes his head in disappointment. “We have to help our brother. For all of us”…

The Social Outcasts come down to the ring, and Heath Slater steps inside. He is his usual, over-confident self. Sheamus leads the League out, and they head to the ring with a quiet determination.

The two teams pace at ringside as the match begins.

When the bell rings, Sheamus goes right after Slater, overpowering him and driving him into a corner. Slater slips away, landing a couple of quick shots before Sheamus swarms him again. And that is the story of the match. Until Rusev attempts to charge the Outcasts, leading to a brawl at ringside.

The brawl distracts Sheamus and the referee long enough for Slater to cheap shot Sheamus. Bo Dallas gets up on the apron, seeing a brief opportunity to assist Slater. But the One Man Band has no interest in an assist, ignoring Dallas’ gestures to instead taunt his opponent.

Alberto Del Rio grabs Dallas by the foot, pulling him off the apron and into a Bull Hammer Elbow from King Barrett.

The sudden numbers advantage is all the League needs, and The Social Outcasts are overwhelmed. Slater, now surrounded, turns straight into a Brogue Kick for the victory.

With The Social Outcasts slumped around the ring, Sheamus tosses Heath Slater to the floor and demands a microphone.

He declares that the League will always be better than the WWE’s trash when they are united. He gestures to the others, and they drag Bo Dallas into the ring.

Barrett and Del Rio hold him up. Rusev slaps him, laughing in his face. Sheamus goes on and on about how he is sick of Mr “I Bolieve”, and couldn’t wait to make this choice. It fact, it was unanimous.

Rusev steps out of the way, and Sheamus Brogue Kicks King Barrett.

While the crowd try to come to terms with it, Dallas is thrown dismissively from the ring, where he tries to check on his teammates.

In the ring thoguh, Sheamus, Rusev, and Del Rio beat down on Barrett. As Rusev locks in The Accolade, Sheamus kneels down, mic in hand, and slaps Barrett.

“You’re done, Wade. Every time we lose it’s been your fault. Bloody English boy. The League doesn’t need you, and them? They don’t want you. So guess what: You’re. Fired. Boyo.”

Stretching his head up, Rusev holds him in The Accolade, as Sheamus makes way for Del Rio, who delivers a Snap Kick to Barrett’s head.

Barrett collapses to the floor, while the new League stand united, arms raised.

There is obviously a lot going on here. The rivalry has not been resolved, but instead there was a swerve in the betrayal and excommunication of King Barrett. This has been being built to for some time, with each failure on the League’s part sowing more discord as they tried to hold onto what little advantage the group provided them. Now they are outnumbered in their fight with the Outcasts, but believe themselves stronger. Meanwhile, Heath Slater has once again been proven lesser to Bo Dallas. How he responds may shape the future of the One Man Band, and the Social Outcasts as well…

Match #4: The Ascension vs The Dudley Boyz vs The Usos

With a championship opportunity on the line, an all in brawl erupts between the three tag teams. Viktor and Konnor look to take D-Von Dudley out of the match entirely, leaving Bubba Ray Dudley facing both of the Usos alone.

As the match reaches its peak, the Ascension set Bubba Ray up for the Fall of Man, but The Usos return to hit each of them with Superkicks. D-Von climbs the turnbuckle to leap high, taking Jey Uso and himself out of the ring, leaving Bubba Ray free to knock Jimmy Uso down, setting him up for a Bubba Bomb.

He hits it, and goes for the pin. But Jey Uso, having sent D-Von crashing into the barricade, scrambles to the top of the turnbuckle and leaps high, hitting Bubba Ray and his brother with a Splash. He then drags his brother over Bubba Ray, and cuts off a surging Viktor before he can stop the pin.

Match #5: Blake vs Murphy

In the second NXT qualifier, former tag champions Blake and Murphy come to blows. With so much knowledge about their opponent, very few openings are available. Murphy resorts to a thumb to the eye, catching Blake off guard and leaving him open for a DDT. With his former tag partner on the ground, Murphy hits a Frog Splash for the victory.

Having qualifying matches for the Battle Royal gives it real meaning. It gives wrestlers who would not otherwise get some time in front of the cameras a chance to shine, and helps build some rivalries and stories into it, rather than just having whoever doesn’t have a different match thrown into it.

The Usos celebrate their victory backstage, excited that they have once again earned a Tag Team Championship shot. They are interrupted by The Ascension, who tell them they got lucky, and don’t deserve a shot at the Tag Titles.

“Who said anything about a tag team title shot?”

Stephanie steps in between them, as they all go silent. She turns to The Ascension and tells them that, as they weren’t pinned tonight, she would add them both to the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. So they could still get their Wrestlemania moment.

As for the Usos, well. Congratulations. She looks forward to seeing them compete against each other.

Confused, the Usos declare they won’t ever fight each other. They want the tag team title shot they were promised.

“You were promised a title shot if you won. I never specified which title. No, The New Day will face the winner of tonight’s main even for that. But you will get a title shot. In a seven man ladder match for the United States Championship.

“Good luck.”

Stephanie walks off, leaving the Usos dumbstruck.

A Wrestlemania match and a swerve. The Usos, believing they were fighting for another Tag Team Championship opportunity, now find themselves facing each other on the grandest stage of them all…

Match #6: Charlotte vs Natalya (Women’s Championship)

This match is the same match as was televised on WWE Roadblock, with one exception. Charlotte has an opportunity to look strong against a quality opponent, so Ric Flair’s interference once again almost costs her the match, rather than assisting.

As Natalya locks in the Sharpshooter, Ric Flair starts panicking. Charlotte reverses the hold, but Flair is already up on the apron, and distracts the referee as Natalya starts tapping. Charlotte releases the hold and yells at her father, then turns, ducks underneath a clothesline attempt from Natalya, who crashes into Ric Flair, and taking two steps before kicking Natalya in the head with a Big Boot.

Dismissively glancing at her father collapsed at ringside, Charlotte locks in the Figure Eight, wrenching Natalya until she taps out a second time.

Rather than the continued weak finishes for Charlotte, now we start really building her towards Wrestlemania. She is going to be facing two of the best wrestlers in the division, so having a strong champion is absolutely necessary. Ric Flair almost costs her the match once again, furthering the discord between them, but for now they are united.

Match #7: Enzo and Cass vs The Wyatt Family

Four versus Two. No Holds Barred.

The Realest Guys in the Room may not have been afraid, but Stephanie McMahon’s definition of an opportunity may need a little work.

Enzo and Cass stand waiting in the ring, chairs in hand, as The Wyatt Family descend. Bray Wyatt, amused as much as anything, takes a seat at commentary as the rest of the family rush the ring, overwhelming Enzo and Cass despite the chairs, and soon no matter how many punches Enzo and Cass throw, they quickly find themselves covering their heads, opening themselves up for more powerful moves.

Big Cass is hit by a thunderous Bicycle Kick from Erick Rowan, as Luke Harper directs traffic. But as Braun Strowman is about to pick Enzo up to toss him over the ropes, entrance music blares.

Brock. Lesnar.

The Beast stalks to the ring, Paul Heyman at his side. He charges the Wyatts, a ball of furious energy. Bray remains calmly seated at commentary, silent now as Lesnar systematically destroys his disciples. Rowan is sent flying by a clothesline. Strowman crashes to the mat after being caught in a German Suplex. Harper goes toe to toe with Lesnar for a moment, but the Beast hits an F5 and Harper is motionless.

Enzo, barely conscious, sees the fallen Harper and drags himself close enough to drape an arm over him.

The referee counts, as Lesnar stands guard. 1, 2, 3.

Lesnar stares at Bray, who smiles a sad, reflective smile, then chuckles. The message is clear: You took Wrestlemania gold from me. Now I took it from you.

Retribution. Lesnar takes a running step forward towards Bray, and the lights go out.

Several weeks ago, Paul Heyman said that Roadblock would ensure that his client got retribution. While most thought he meant Dean Ambrose, he really meant both Ambrose and The Wyatt Family. Two birds, one very angry stone.

Summary

And with that, part two comes to an end. The Wrestlemania card is starting to take shape, and the pieces are in place to reveal the rest of the card over the next six episodes.

But what about the now fired King Barrett? How will Dean Ambrose rebound from Brock Lesnar’s beating? And where do the Wyatt Family go from here…

The next post will be a summary of the storylines I’ve created, the ones that I’ve removed from development, or moved, and an overall look at the creative platform leading into Part Three.

Part three will start with Episode Eighteen. Time to play the game…

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

Episode Card
Original Schedule Revised Schedule
The New Day def. The League of Nations Brock Lesnar def. Dean Ambrose
Chris Jericho def. Jack Swagger Tye Dillinger def. Bull Dempsey
The Revival def. Enzo and Cass Sheamus def. Heath Slater
Charlotte def. Natalya The Usos def. The Dudley Boyz and The Ascension
Brock Lesnar def. Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper Murphy def. Blake
Sami Zayn def. Stardust US Championship Promo
Triple H def. Dean Ambrose Charlotte def. Natalya
  Enzo and Cass def. The Wyatt Family

The Road to Wrestlemania, Episode Sixteen

This is the sixteenth episode in a series, retelling the Road to Wrestlemania 2016. This episode covers Thursday Night Smackdown, originally televised on March 10, 2016.

Before the episode, two more matches for Roadblock are announced. Building on the theme, four wildcard NXT wrestlers get a chance to enter the Andre the Giant Battle Royal.

At the start of the show, footage of the attack on Dean Ambrose and Jack Swagger is shown. It includes the aftermath, during which Bo Dallas is clearly seen with the Social Outcasts watching over Jack Swagger as he is stretchered out…

Match #1: Becky Lynch vs Sasha Banks

The opening match of the night is the rematch between Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks for the #1 Contender spot. With the first match ending in a draw, Charlotte and Ric Flair come down to commentary to watch events unfold.

As the two wrestlers trade punches and attempted submission holds, the action rolls out to ringside. Charlotte remains seated at commentary, but her father bounces around the action, just out of arms reach as the Lynch and Banks struggle for control. Mocking, taunting, until an attempted clothesline by each wrestler leaves them both on the ground.

Ric Flair laughs at this, standing over them gloating. Until they get to their feet, and turn their attention on him…

… which ensures their backs are to Charlotte, who rises from commentary and attacks them both from behind, ending the match in a double disqualification.

Charlotte continues to attack Banks and Lynch until the referees force her away, leaving her to strut away holding her title high.

Exactly the same match as the televised version, this match finalises the scenario that will lead to a triple threat match at Wrestlemania. Ric Flair’s constant involvement in Charlotte’s affairs continues to cause her problems, and now she will see those problems come home to roost.

Match #2: AJ Styles vs Kevin Owens

In the rematch from Monday Night Raw, Kevin Owens comes to the ring more focused and determined than he has been in weeks. The bell barely rings before Owens rushes Styles, pummelling him down with a concerted, methodical, dominant attack.

Styles’ veteran instincts allow him to turn the attack around briefly, but Owens’ near obliviousness to the rules prevents him getting any momentum going.

A deft move allows Styles to avoid a Cannonball, a brief respite, long enough to drive Owens back and then to connect with a Pele Kick when Owens tries to counter.

A couple of moves later, and Styles climbes out onto the apron, looking for a Phenomenal Forearm. But Owens pulls the ref towards Styles as he gets up, and uses the distraction to hit him with a super kick. After that, Styles is dragged back into the ring and one Pop Up Powerbomb later, KO has the win.

As soon as the match is over, and KO has his title, he decides it wasn’t enough, and lays into Styles, hitting him with a second super kick and Pop Up Powerbomb. He then drags him to the floor, and sets him up for a powerbomb on the apron.

But before he can, Sami Zayn returns, charging to the ring to attack his former best friend. The two wrestlers go toe to toe, throwing punch after punch before Zayn chases Owens back into the ring. The Prizefighter catches Zayn with a clothesline when he tries to follow him, and sets him up for what appears to be a Package Piledriver.

Only for AJ Styles to return to the ring with a Phenomenal Forearm.

Owens scrambles from the ring to the floor, and the show goes to a break with Owens glaring up at Styles and Sayn, shaken but still standing in the ring, the Intercontinental Championship belt at their feet.

Owens picks up the victory, but his path to retaining the Intercontinental Championship at Wrestlemania just got a lot murkier, with AJ Styles breaking his winning streak, and the return of his old foe Sami Zayn. Now who will face #KOMania?

Dean Ambrose, drinking a beer and nursing a sore head, rants quietly at a bar to whoever will listen about what he plans to do to Brock Lesnar and The Game.

He is interrupted by Terry Funk, who sees in Ambrose a kindred spirit.

As such, he wants to give Dean something to help him in the coming battle: his famed chainsaw.

Ambrose geeks out as Funk leaves, and even tests out the chainsaw a couple of times on the bar table. He stops though, when he glances up and sees someone out of shot.

“What?”

The camera pans, and Shane McMahon is standing there with two drinks, eyebrow raised.

“Bit much, maybe?”

Dean disappointedly looks at the chainsaw, then drops it on the table. Shane passes him a drink.

“I’m keeping the baseball bat.”

Shane raises his free hand. “Did I say anything about that?”

Once again, this is basically the exact same promo as the televised Ambrose/Funk version, with one addition: Shane McMahon. The only real issue with this promo (and the Mick Foley one) was that there was never a scenario where Ambrose would be able to use the chainsaw. Not in this era. And because of that, the promo fell flat and was largely pointless. But now, with the addition of Shane McMahon to ensure everyone understands it won’t actually be used, the chainsaw can have a presence without undermining Ambrose or the build up to the story. Terry Funk giving him the chainsaw makes sense. Shane McMahon telling Ambrose it might be a bit much makes sense. And on top o fthat, it adds a level of intrigue: Why was Ambrose drinking with Shane in a pub?

Match #3: The Ascension vs Enzo and Cass

Looking to gain some momentum before their match at WWE Roadblock, Enzo and Cass take on the revitalised Ascension. The Realest Guys in the Room attempt to get a quick victory over their former adversaries. But The Ascension are fast returning to the title picture, and aren’t about to let Enzo and Cass off easy. In fact, a fast tag and a boot to Cass’ jaw sets Enzo up for the Fall of Man, but Cass scrambles back into the ring to cut them off, and for a moment, Enzo and Cass find themselves back to back, facing Viktor and Konnor.

Blackout.

The lights come back and The Ascension are gone. The Wyatt Family stands in their place. The Wyatts rush them, though Wyatt watches, disinterested. Instead, he turns to the crowd, microphone in hand, and leads a small prayer, declaring the people to be sheep ruled by words and false prophets, and that the sun would burn it all away.

Behind him, Braun Strowman and Erick Rowan hold Cass in place while Luke Harper demolishes Enzo. After a Discus Clothesline, Harper steps back from Enzo, while the others let go of Cass. He rushes to his partner’s side, waiting for the next attack, but Wyatt finishes his speech, places the mic on the mat, and the Wyatts depart, leaving Cass nursing his partner in the ring.

After weeks without using it, the Wyatts’ blackout entrance is, while perhaps not shocking, not quite expected. While this attack is similar to their others over the last few weeks, there is one point to note: Bray does not take part. This is because he is injured in real life at this moment, and unable to wrestle (hence his lack of involvement in the televised Roadblock). However the promo he delivers instead covers this up as dismissive of Enzo and Cass, and a lack of interest in their challenge.

Stephanie is seen marching through the halls, looking like she is ready to set everyone on fire. Renee Young tries to stick a mic in front of her, asking questions about how things are going. Stephanie shoves past her, almost knocking her over. Wrestlers scramble to get out of her way. She rounds the corner, and comes face to face with a gloating Charlotte, still enjoying her attack on Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks.

Stephanie unloads her frustration and anger about the finishes of every match so far, and blames Charlotte for starting it all.

Charlotte smirks, which only enrages Stephanie further. Stephanie snaps at her, saying that if she won’t let Banks and Lynch fight it out to be #1 Contender, then they’ll both get a shot.

“The Women’s Championship Match will now be a Triple Threat Match.”

The crowd roars. Ric Flair curses. Charlotte’s eyes darken, but she tightens her grip on the title. “It doesn’t matter. When all is said and done, I’ll still be the champion after Wrestlemania.”

“Well good luck at Roadblock,” Stephanie smirks.

“What?!”

“You screwed up my whole show. Wrestlemania isn’t your punishment for that. I’m making a new main event tonight. Natalya is going to take on Paige.”

“No.”

“And the winner? Gets a shot at that title of yours at Roadblock.”

Now we have some real repercussions for all the DQ finishes of late. A new main event added to the card, a Women’s Championship match at Roadblock, and the Triple Threat announcement has some real drive behind it now. And there is still one spot on the Roadblock card available…

Match #4: The League of Nations vs The Social Outcasts

The League of Nations comes to the ring to gloat before their match, after successfully beating down on The Social Outcasts in the previous episodes.

Sheamus begins ranting about how they are all former champions, how the Outcasts are nothing but classless scum. Poor needy people.

Bo Dallas comes out with the Outcasts and walks slowly to the ring. He preaches that they were Social Outcasts because they accepted everyone that believed in themselves. All four wrestlers in the ring received opportunities from the WWE, and squandered them. The Outcasts would not waste talent and opportunity.

“You think you’re better than us because you got chances we didn’t. So let’s see how you do looking us in the face.”

The Outcasts charge the ring, and despite the referees best attempts to organise or separate them, the eight men brawl in and outside the ring, tearing it apart as wrestlers are thrown into the commentary teams and out to the ring floor.

The locker room empties as Stephanie storms out screaming into a mic about how the show is going to hell, and how they are ruining everything.

When the two groups have finally been separated, Stephanie all but shouts into the microphone that she was just about ready to fire someone. “So you all want to fight? Fine. Pick someone to fight at Roadblock. Winner’s team gets to choose who from the other team gets fired.”

Mic drop.

Stephanie is desperate to regain control, but this is something else. Now, the Social Outcasts and League of Nations will be fighting for somebody’s career. Someone is getting fired…

Match #5: Natalya vs Paige

The new main event, a surprise #1 Contender match for Roadblock, has the potential to throw the entire Women’s division for a loop. Natalya and Paige, recent allies in their fight against Naomi and Tamina, find themselves competing for a shot at Charlotte’s championship, and a place in the Wrestlemania Triple Threat Match.

With their recent shared history, the two wrestlers are comfortable enough with their opponent that any early attempt at submission is quickly reversed. Natalya attempts to overpower Paige, switching tactics only when she knows Paige is not expecting a technical move.

Paige meanwhile defends everything Natalya throws at her, countering attacks and reversing holds, giving Natalya no openings to work with.

With the match reaching its climax, Natalya and Paige fight at the top of the turnbuckle. As the referee attempts to get them down, Emma slides into the ring from the crowd in civilian clothes. She dropkicks the referee in the back, sending him crashing into Paige. Paige slumps forward, while Natalya is sent crashing to the floor.

With the referee out of commission, Emma takes advantage of Paige’s precarious position to slip underneath, lift her up off the turnbuckle, and hits a bone-crunching Sit Out Powerbomb.

Her work done, she rolls from the ring, tossing Natalya back in. The Queen of Harts, still recovering from her fall, is confused, but seeing Paige down and the referee stirring, drags herself up to lock in the Sharpshooter.

Paige, disoriented, cries out, tapping almost immediately, drawing the attention of the referee, who calls for the bell.

Dazed, Natalya stumbles out of the ring. The referee goes after her to raise her hand, leaving Paige in the ring.

Emma saunters back in, mic in hand. She looks down at her fallen adversary. Crouches, grins, and says “Did you miss me?” Then she drops the mic, pulls Paige to her feet, and hits her with a RamPaige, before twisting her into the Emma-Loc.

It takes three referees to break the hold.

Emma’s return reveals another piece of the Road to Wrestlemania, and, while granting Natalya a title shot, may have cost her a partner in her battles with Naomi and Tamina.

Summary

A surprise return from Emma, sneak attacks galore, and an owner that is losing control of her roster. With the Road to Wrestlemania picking up pace, the storylines are coming to a head, and its almost time for the card to be set.

In the next episode, WWE Roadblock takes place. With a Women’s Championship match, two #1 Contender Matches, a Somebody is Getting Fired Match, and a Street Fight, Roadblock finally feels like a real Pay Per View…

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

Episode Card
Original Schedule Revised Schedule
MizTV Becky Lynch vs Sasha Banks
Sami Zayn and Neville def. Kevin Owens and The Miz Kevin Owens def. AJ Styles
Golden Truth Promo Dean Ambrose Promo
Brie Bella def. Summer Rae Enzo and Cass def. The Ascension by DQ
Y2AJ Promo Women’s Championship Promo
The League of Nations def. The Lucha Dragons The League of Nations vs The Social Outcasts
Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, and The Usos def. The Wyatt Family Natalya def. Paige

The Road to Wrestlemania, Episode Fifteen

This is the fifteenth episode in a series, retelling the Road to Wrestlemania 2016. This episode covers Monday Night Raw, originally televised on March 7, 2016.

The show opens with Vince McMahon strutting his way to the ring, confidence back after regaining the upper hand in episode thirteen. He tells the crowd that he hoped they enjoyed the brief return of his soon to be former son, Shane, but that they had better get something through their heads: The Authority was here to stay. Their legacy was built upon more than blood. And Stephanie McMahon and Triple H will take the company to places Shane isn’t even worthy of thinking about. And to ensure that, well. Vince has chosen his own personal champion to face the challenger. A champion he created, and who serves-

Unsurprisingly, this is where the Undertaker’s Bell rings once. And the lights go dark.

Lightning hits all four turnbuckles.

The lights come up, and Undertaker is standing in the ring, holding Vince by his throat. He leans in close, and says “I am not your lapdog, Vincent.”

The Deadman walks Vince back into the corner, until he is all but crushed against the ropes. “I will not fight your battles for you, old man. Find another. Make your lap dog give up the title so he can fight for you. He can always steal it back later. That’s what you do best.”

Vince shoves Undertaker back a little, clearing some space for himself and trying to regain some composure. “You’ll do what I tell you to do, Taker.”

Lightning hits the turnbuckle to Vince’s left.

“I am not yours to command.”

Vince takes a moment to settle himself, and then squares up to the Undertaker. The two men stare each other down for several quiet moments, and it almost seems as if they may come to blows. Finally, Vince raises the microphone. “You’ll fight for me Undertaker, and I’ll tell you why. I know what you want.”

The Undertaker’s eyes darken, but he says nothing.

“You’ll be my champion, Deadman. And you will win. Or you will never set foot in a Wrestlemania ring again.”

Vince waits for the boos to ease. “And you don’t want that, do you, Undertaker. No, you want John.”

Undertaker scowls, but Vince keeps pushing. “I promise you, Undertaker, that if you champion me at Wrestlemania, and end Shane McMahon for good, I will give you that match. Undertaker vs John Cena, main eventing Wrestlemania 33. But if you fail me, or if you don’t fight at all, I guaran-damn-tee that while the champ may be here… you won’t be.”

There are a number of things this promo corrects from the originally televised version. Firstly, we now understand Undertaker’s reasoning for fighting Shane McMahon at Wrestlemania. Whereas before, there was no logical reason until very late in the process, now it has been laid out. Undertaker has no interest in doing it, until Vince forces him with an ultimatum - fight and win, or lose the chance to face John Cena in a year. Secondly, it clarifies that this is not a loyalty decision. Vince is choosing Undertaker because it is Wrestlemania, and Shane McMahon can’t beat him. Undertaker is fighting because he has no choice. And finally, it adds a little more heat where there should have been plenty, but there was none - Triple H. Undertaker referring to The Game as Vince’s lap dog won’t go over well at all, yet Triple H will want Undertaker to win…

Match #1: AJ Styles vs Kevin Owens

AJ Styles returns to the ring to face the on-fire Kevin Owens in the first match of the night. The Prizefighter has been on a tear, but his close call victories against Chris Jericho and The Miz have inflated his ego, and his desire to continue beating Styles out of the WWE costs him. A little too much taunting gives Styles time to revover, and when KO goes for a Pop Up Powerbomb, Styles rolls him up for the victory.

KO is enraged, all but trashing the ring as Styles celebrates up the ramp.

Kevin Owens’ run comes to a crashing halt against The Phenomenal One. Pissed off and seeking retribution, word spreads soon after the match that KO has demanded a rematch on Smackdown…

Match #2: Adam Rose vs Rusev

Rusev comes to the ring alone, demanding the Social Outcasts send someone to face him. All four emerge, though while the others are eager to run down, Bo Dallas is wary of the missing League of Nations members. Eventually though, Heath Slater wins out, encouraging Adam Rose to take on the Bulgarian. The rest of the Outcasts head to ringside, though Dallas is far more hesitant than the rest.

The match progresses quickly, with Rusev re-establishing himself as a monster. But every time he builds momentum, the Outcasts cut him off.

But they never see the rest of the League arrive through the crowd.

The League crush Dallas and Curtis Axel before they know what is happening, before swarming Slater and Rose. The match ends immediately in disqualification, but the beating doesn’t end until all four Outcasts are slumped on the floor with the League of Nations standing arms raised in the centre of the ring.

This rivalry has now started to peak, but we haven’t gotten to the climax quite yet. The attack provides the League with a moment of unity, reminding the Outcasts that the former champions are not to be trifled with, while shaking the structure of the Outcasts just a little…

Backstage, Dean Ambrose finds himself contemplating a crow bar, when Mick Foley arrives to talk to him. The two discuss the upcoming Street Fight against Brock Lesnar, and why Ambrose is doing something so insane as to take on Lesnar in a Street Fight. Ambrose, smiling, asks Foley if he was scared before the Undertaker/Mankind match. Foley says he was, but that is what he did.

“I’m Dean Ambrose. And this is what I do.”

With a grin, Foley takes the crowbar, and offers him something better - Barbie, Foley’s barbed wire baseball bat.

This is exactly the same promo that occured on the televised Monday Night Raw, because it was brilliant. There will be changes to how it pays off in the actual match, but this promo was everything needed to build up Ambrose as Foley’s natural successor, and to enforce Ambrose’s gimmick.

Match #3: Becky Lynch vs Sasha Banks

With a shot at Charlotte’s title on the line, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch put aside their recent alliance and throw down in the centre of the ring.

After as even a match as Monday Night Raw has ever seen, with each wrestler having an answer for everything her opponent tried, Banks manages to hit a sunset flip off the turnbuckle for the pin… except she slumps to the ground, shoulders on the mat; leading to a double pin, a draw, and a scheduled rematch in the next episode…

The build up to the Women’s championship match at Wrestlemania was almost perfect, so this match remains exactly the same as the televised version, down to the double pin draw from a sunset flip. Banks and Lynch sold it very well, so no need to change anything.

Match #4: The Ascension vs The Lucha Dragons

A rivalry that reaches back to WWE NXT explodes onto Monday Night Raw, as the two teams reach back into their history to steal the show. Sin Cara and Kalisto fly high, despite Viktor and Konnor’s attempts to ground them.

As Kalisto charges in, building momentum towards a Salida Del Sol, Sin Cara tags himself in, only to run into a devastating boot to the face from Konnor. Kalisto is taken out by a sneak attack from Viktor, and one Fall of Man later and the Ascension are back.

Sin Cara cannot get a break. And no matter what he does, Kalisto still has the US Championship…

Stephanie McMahon comes to the ring to brag about the Undertaker being her father’s champion, how her brother will be rightfully destroyed at Wrestlemania, and to discuss what the card would look like for Roadblock (since it is now less than a week away, and most of the card has yet to be filled). Before she can really get going about Roadblock though, she gets interrupted.

S.A.W.F.T. Enzo and Cass have returned.

The two wrestlers make their way to the ring, clearly in no mood to joke around. Enzo rips into The Authority for gifting the Wyatt Family the #1 Contender shot, when they had all but sewn it up, and when the Wyatts hadn’t even been included in the tournament. Ain’t nobody better than Enzo and Cass.

Stephanie, put off that she’s been interrupted, and still fuming about the continuing run of matches and promos ending without a clean finish, decides to give them what they clearly want: a match at Roadblock. Against The Wyatts for the #1 Contender slot. And since they are so confident, and given the burgeoning theme of the evening, and hell, just because they interrupted her, it will be No. Holds. Barred.

Stephanie McMahon is losing control of the talent, and Enzo and Cass returning hasn’t helped matters. She has started to spitefully lash out, which will carry on into Roadblock and beyond, severely impacting the cards. Meanwhile, with the return of Enzo and Cass, the tag team division suddenly looks a little less clear all of a sudden…

Stephanie storms backstage after being interrupted, brushing off a backstage interviewer and several others; as she reaches her office, she is confronted by The Usos. Jimmy is furious that Enzo and Cass get a contender shot just like that, yet The Usos don’t get a title shot.

Stephanie glares them down, pointing out that they got their asses handed to them by the Wyatt Family. “But fine. You want a title shot?” She nods to herself. “Well then fine.”

At Roadblock, the Usos will face the Dudley Boyz and The Ascension in a triple threat tag team match. And if they win, they’ll get a title shot. But if they lose, they are out of Wrestlemania…

Stephanie is on a rampage, lashing out at anyone and anything that impedes her. In doing so though, the Roadblock card is starting to take shape as a real pay-per-view; where you have to get through this event to go to Wrestlemania. And there are still a couple more spots left…

Match #5: D-Von Dudley vs Jack Swagger

On a serious run of late, Jack Swagger finds himself once again in the main event, this time against D-Von Dudley. By all appearances, payment for their assault of Dean Ambrose, D-Von looks to insert himself into the title conversation by knocking off the in form Swagger. It doesn’t go to plan at all though, as Swagger hits a powerful running clothesline to pick up the victory.

Bubba Ray Dudley rushes the ring, and attacks a celebrating Swagger from behind. Swagger counters, almost hitting a Gutwrench Powerbomb, only for D-Von to recover and take him out.

The beatdown barely gets going though, as Ambrose charges the ring, music playing, Barbie in hand. The Dudley Boyz scatter, unwilling to tangle with the Lunatic Fringe now that he has Mick Foley’s equalizer.

Ambrose gestures to them and tosses Barbie to the side, beckoning for them to join him and Swagger in the ring.

Word comes down from management: the show will be extended, and a new main event will occur…

Match #6: Dean Ambrose and Jack Swagger vs The Dudley Boyz

At the height of the new main event, Dean Ambrose dives out of the ring to take out Bubba Ray Dudley, before scrambling back in, tagging in Jack Swagger and executing a Gutwrench Powerbomb / Diving Elbow tag team finisher.

Just as Brock Lesnar’s music hits.

The Beast paces to the ring, as Swagger and Ambrose stand side by side, raring to try their luck.

Bubba Ray returns to the ring with a chair and cracks both Ambrose and Swagger in the back multiple times.

And then Triple H’s music hits, and the trap is sprung.

The Dudley Boyz roll out of the ring as Lesnar attacks Ambrose, hitting him with a pair of German Suplexes. Swagger gets to his feet, and the Wrestlemania opponents come face to face.

The Game slides into the ring and, almost gloatingly, stands over Ambrose, before laying into him with punch after punch. Lesnar turns as if to reclaim his prize. Swagger swings. Lesnar ducks beneath it, coming up behind him and crushing him with a German Suplex. Drags him up and hits him again. And again.

The Dudleys toss a couple of tables into the ring, as The Game pedigrees Ambrose, and Lesnar hits both Swagger and Ambrose with crushing F5s through the tables.

The show ends with Triple H and Brock Lesnar standing tall, Triple H with his arms raised, Lesnar simply walking away. Statement made. Job done.

Two episodes in a row, and less than a week from Roadblock, Dean Ambrose has been left a beaten pile by the Dudleys, and now Triple H and Brock Lesnar. With Jack Swagger in a heap beside him, any momentum they had been carrying into their respective matches with Lesnar is gone. Time to start again…

Summary

Jack Swagger has been dragged down with Dean Ambrose, but now they both now what it is to play The Game. Will they get through? Will they find the answers? Or will they fall to The Beast and the Cerebral Assassin. Time will tell.

In the next episode, the Roadblock card will be finalised. Who else will feel Stephanie’s wrath?

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

Episode Card
Original Schedule Revised Schedule
Vince McMahon Promo Vince McMahon Promo
Kevin Owens def. Neville AJ Styles def. Kevin Owens
Summer Rae def. Brie Bella Adam Rose def. Rusev by DQ
Triple H Promo Dean Ambrose Promo
The League of Nations def. Dolph Ziggler Becky Lynch vs Sasha Banks
Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks def. Naomi and Tamina The Ascension def. The Lucha Dragons
The New Day def. Y2AJ Enzo and Cass Promo
Kalisto def. Tyler Breeze The Usos Promo
Ryback def. Curtis Axel Jack Swagger def. D-Von Dudley
Dean Ambrose def. Bray Wyatt by DQ Dean Ambrose and Jack Swagger def. The Dudley Boyz by DQ