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WWE Roadblock: End of the Line match preview: The New Day vs. Sheamus & Cesaro

Funny how two years can change the calculus of everything.

Two years ago, Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods debuted their new gimmick. Known collectively as The New Day, the trio were presented as a group of overly positive African-Americans with a gospel choir singing their theme.

Not everyone was sold on it, and let’s be honest, I can’t blame you if you weren’t sold on it either. History has shown that "overly positive African-American" doesn’t go over well long-term with a wrestling audience. WWE audiences certainly weren’t sold on it. "New Day sucks!" chants followed the trio everywhere they went through early 2015. The crowd was going to inject some negativity into them, consequences be damned. And…it worked. They became ironically upbeat, and the trio—yes, trio—became the Double U. Double U. E. World. Tag. Team. Champions. (of the world). It’s a distinction they would hold for, as of today, 76 of the last 86 weeks.

Two years ago, Sheamus had just ended a five-month run as the WWE United States Champion. His title reign ended in a match that, unless you had $9.99 or were in the building for that night, you never saw. He was gone from television soon after, returning the night after Wrestlemania 31 looking… dare I say it, stupid. For the next few months, he was in a dead-end feud with Dolph Ziggler (is there any other kind, really?) before he shockingly won the Money in the Bank ladder match. He would win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at the end of Survivor Series, then proceed to have one of the worst title runs in company history, and that’s saying something. And let’s not even get into that whole League of Nations thing.

Two years ago, Cesaro’s career was at a crossroads. Six months removed from winning the first ever Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania XXX, Cesaro went on a losing skid. Complicating matters, Vince McMahon more or less made it clear in an interview with Steve Austin that Cesaro didn’t have the charisma or "it" factor to receive a sustained push. Though he would be one half of the WWE tag team champions in February 2015, he was sans gold again by the end of April (to The New Day, no less). Without a tag team partner, Cesaro twisted in the wind yet again. One start-stop push after another. The story of Cesaro’s life.

That was until the 2016 WWE Draft. Cesaro expected to land on Smackdown, but was drafted to RAW instead. He was soon tied in a dead-end feud with Sheamus (is there any other kind, really?). In true WWE fashion, the best-of-seven series not only didn’t produce a winner, but it produced a tag team that appeared to hate one another… until a bar fight inexplicably brought the Euros together. Surely a breakup is around the corner, isn’t it?

So… here’s something interesting: this will be Sheamus and Cesaro’s third attempt to take the tag titles from New Day in less than a month. Let’s see how the first two went, shall we?

Oh yeah, they lost. With the Days of the New finally… finally…

finally unseating Demolition as the longest reigning tag team champions in WWE history (something I’m almost certain wasn’t intended when they had won the titles over a year ago), maybe Sunday is the day Sheamus and Cesaro get it right.

So how did Sheamus and Cesaro earn YET ANOTHER TITLE MATCH?

They won a four-way match on a show that matters less than the NFL’s Pro Bowl (unless you’re a member of the military, in which case, thanks for all you do. Seriously).

But as I was saying, Sunday will likely be the day Sheamus and Cesaro break through and win the titles now that the record’s in the bank. I mean, it’s WWE’s modus operandi.

Oh, you… you don’t believe me, do you?

Six days after Nikki Bella surpassed AJ Lee as the longest reigning Divas champion (remember that whole deal?) in WWE history, she lost. Six days after Charlotte surpassed Nikki Bella’s run as women’s/Divas champion, she lost. Just over a week Dean Ambrose surpassed MVP as the longest reigning WWE United States champion ever, he lost. The first PPV after CM Punk surpassed John Cena as the longest-reigning WWE Champion of the modern era, he lost.

This is their move. Don’t be surprised. I’m just saying.

Join the best wrestling community in this or any other galaxy beginning at 7pm Sunday to see if it’s the end of the line for The New Day, or if Sheamus and Cesaro is another Roadblock they’ll stampede through.

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