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WWE Roadblock: End of the Line: Braun Strowman vs. Sami Zayn full match preview

Let me talk to you folks about lucha libre for a minute.

In CMLL (Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre, Mexico’s oldest pro wrestling promotion), they have a match they run regularly, called Match Relampago, or Lightning Match.

The concept is simple— two wrestlers who have had issue with each other in the usual two out of three falls trios matches face off one-on-one with a ten minute time limit. If the match finishes with the expected winner victorious, it’s usually a settled issue, but if the match goes the distance or the underdog wins, things may escalate to a championship opportunity or a lucha de apuestas for mask or hair.

Sound familiar?

Indeed, wrestling has a rich history of matches with short time limits made to act as proving grounds for unlikely heroes. That Sami Zayn finds himself opposite Braun Strowman, in the veritable Man Event of Roadblock, in just such a match after being beaten down by the big man so violently that hardcore legend Mick Foley felt he had to put a stop to the proceedings, well it only makes sense. Maybe Mick isn’t such a bad general manager after all!

But Foley had good reason to worry.

Braun has been dominant in a way that few superstars have managed. He has bowled over every obstacle put in his path, and his only significant defeat came at the hands of nearly the entirety of Team SmackDown, right down to their mascot, at Survivor Series. He took a southern indie standout like Corey Hollis and manhandled him, breaking him down in just over a minute. This is a man I’ve seen go toe-to-toe with Matt Riddle, twice, and Strowman cast him aside like he was nothing.

And somehow, it gets worse for Sami. Braun finished Curtis Axel off with a new finishing maneuver on Raw this Sunday, a wheelbarrow facebuster that planted the Axe-man’s face into the mat. That’s not a move created out of whole cloth, no sir. That’s a move associated with one of the most feared big men of the past thirty years, Vader. When the Mastodon did it, he called it the Face Eraser, and if you want to see just how terrifying it was, well...

It’s Vader Time!

From lucha libre to shoot-style, folks, this preview’s taking you on a hell of a ride, but bear with me.

It’s Japan, the year is 1994, and Vader (billed as Super Vader) is on a wild tear through UWFi (Union of Wrestling Forces International), one of the premier shoot-style pro wrestling organizations of the time. He’s entered the Best of the World tournament, and in the first round, he defeated Russian four-time freestyle wrestling world champion Salman Hashimikov. His opponent for the second round is Masahito Kakihara.

Now, Kakihara isn’t a man to be trifled with either. In his first round match, he beat Dan Severn, a certified MMA / pro wrestling crossover legend and the man who would, in a year’s time, hold the NWA World Heavyweight Championship longest in the modern era, holding those ten pounds of gold for over four years. So Kakihara is certainly a credible opponent, someone who should be able to give Vader a real fight.

Well... go ahead and see for yourselves.

Vader absolutely mauls poor Kakihara. Sure, Masahito gets a few licks of his own in return, but it ain’t pretty. And, in the end, Super Vader puts him away with the Face Eraser. Not even a pinfall victory, but a straight knockout. The stated time of this match? Three minutes and forty seconds.

The analogy isn’t hard to draw, and it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to see that things don’t look great for Sami Zayn, folks.

Can the Underdog From the Underground go the distance or will Braun Strowman continue ruling the Man Event with an iron fist?


Who will win?

This poll is closed

  • 68%
    Braun Strowman
    (187 votes)
  • 31%
    Sami Zayn
    (86 votes)
273 votes total Vote Now

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