WWE: Fastlane - Results
Well that was a PPV, huh? I guess, that's what WWE is calling it, but it felt more like an over-glorified episode of Raw. Things happened, a single belt exchanged hands, possibly not the one you were expecting. Read on sweet child 'o mine.
Rich Swann and Akira Tozawa vs The Brian Kendrick and Noam Dar
Predictions: Pink - Swann and Tozawa ----- Alex - Swann and Tozawa
I'll be honest, I didn't watch the Kickoff for this PPV. I was already behind, my DVR was getting full, and this match was only half built between Tozawa and Kendrick. Dar and Swann were thrown in for some reason. In any case, I haven't heard anything positive or negative about the match, so I assume it was standard fare. The faces won, as is the trend of kickoff matches.
Winners: Rich Swann and Akira Tozawa (Pink and Double A)
Sami Zayn vs Samoa Joe
Predictions - Pink - Samoa Joe ----- Double A - Samoa Joe
This was a good match to start the proper PPV, it involves a story that was built over the few weeks that Joe has been around and a reliable talent in Zayn. They put on a predictably good show during the bout, and even though everyone knew Joe was going to win, Sami stuck it out making it an enjoyable watch.
Winner: Samoa Joe (Pink and Double A)
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (c) vs Enzo Amore and Big Cass (Raw Tag Team Championship match)
Predictions: Pink - Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson ----- Double A - Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
I'll be the first to admit that I had low expectations for this match, but the four gentlemen did better than I thought they would. That's not to say I think these are bad wrestlers, but the match felt forced. They told a good story, and I'm glad the Good Brothers retained the belts, but I believe they should have done so in a more convincing/dominate fashion. Gallows & Anderson haven't been the force that the announcers have been touting them as. Either way, it was good to see them retain the belts.
Winners: Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson (Pink and Double A)
Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax
Predictions: Pink - Nia Jax ----- Double A - Sasha Banks
I incorrectly thought this was a pre-show match, and that was my reasoning from changing my initial vote of Nia Jax to the face Sasha Banks. When I learned of my mistake, I was worried Sasha was ready to lose. The match was rather lackluster, and the ending was surprising but not in a good way. Nia has been built as a monster heel and for her to lose clean on a throwaway PPV feels like a throwaway for what could have, and should have, had a bigger pay off. But with my misinformed vote, I'll take it.
Winner: Sasha Banks (Double A)
I don't even know what to say about the next two matches. Unannounced matches during a PPV are rarely a good thing, take The Rock vs Erick Rowan at Wrestlemania 32 as an example. Here we have two thrown together throw away matches. Cesaro vs Jinder Mahal and Big Show vs Rusev. Here are a few takeaways that I have; do people really care about the dissolution of Handsome Rusev and Hardbody Mahal? This initially felt like WWE forgot about these wrestlers, until you remember what the main event is and realize they are trying to fill time. At least Cesaro won, even though I believe Rusev should have won.
Neville (c) vs Jack Gallagher (Cruiserweight Championship match)
Predictions: Pink - Jack Gallagher ----- Double A - Neville
Match of the night. I don't know if this is surprising or not considering the men involved and the rest of the matches on the card involved. Either way, these two wrestlers put on an amazing show. What is surprising is that this was probably the best cruiserweight match since the CWC last summer. It's even more of a surprise when you consider the men involved. Gallagher has proven himself a fun, yet reliable, talent, but he isn't a high flyer, a staple of the cruiserweight division. He works a stiffer style than the rest of the division, and mostly stays grounded. Neville, on the other hand, is one of the better highfliers the WWE has ever had, however since his heel turn, he hasn't been showing that recently. Despite all of this, the match was perfectly paced, and played to each man's strengths, even forcing Neville to break out the Red Arrow for the first time (I think) since he turned heel to secure the win.
Winner: Neville (Double A)
Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman
Predictions: Pink - Braun Strowman ----- Double A - No Contest
I feel like I have to say this every PPV review, but here it is again, the match that no one wanted to see happen. Everyone that I've talked to and read online are sick of Roman getting main event matches. Of the four things that every wrestler should have to succeed, he looks the part, is decent (at best) in the ring, sucks on the mic, and hasn't proven to anyone but Vince that he's got the "it" factor. Braun, however has grown leaps and bounds since debuting on the main roster. Every week the question is who will slay the monster among men (stupid name), and the answer should not have been Roman Reigns. I will say it was a good match, and Braun looked good in defeat, but he shouldn't have been put in that position. My gut was telling me thta Reigns would win, but my heart didn't want Strowman to lose, forcing me to change my vote, resulting in a duel lose for Pink and I.
Charlotte Flair (c) vs Bayley (Raw Women's Chapionship match)
Predictions: Pink - Charlotte Flair ----- Double A - Charlotte Flair
Bayley won the belt on a Raw making it feel less special than it should have. Charlotte has had a 16 PPV win streak. This match felt unimportant going into, and the execution feels even worse. I'm still waiting for the match I know these two women can put on, because this wasn't it. To make it even worse, the ending made no sense. Sasha Banks interfered and attacked Charlotte in plain view of the ref. This should have caused a DQ, keeping the belt on Bayley, and keeping Charlotte's streak intact. This wasn't done, and instead after Sasha interfering again, Bayley breaks the streak on a throwaway PPV.
Winner: Bayley (No One)
Kevin Owens (c) vs Goldberg (Universal Championship match)
Predictions: Pink - Goldberg (winning belt) ----- Double A - Goldberg (via DQ)
Two minutes. That is not how long this match was, no no. Two minutes is how long Goldberg has wrestled since his return (not counting the Rumble), In my predictions post, I asked if even Goldberg's fans wanted to see him with the belt, and although all signs point to 'no' Vince and Co. see it differently. The Mania match between Goldberg and Lesnar was going to sell as many tickets as it will without the belt. Jericho interfered distracting Kevin Owens as the bell rang, allowing Goldberg to hit his two moves. My question; why would Jericho want Owens to lose the belt if he's going to challenge him? Wouldn't it be more logical to have a title vs title match at Mania? I've already written longer than the match lasted. I'm done.
Winner: Goldberg (winning belt) (Pink)
I'm really disappointed that WWE broke Charlotte's PPV streak, broke the monster among men (without progressing the inevitable Taker/Reigns Mania match) and ending Owens' reign giving the belt to Goldberg. Overall this was a depressing PPV and did little to get me excited for Wrestlemania. Not a good showing for the go home PPV.
But good news is to be found, I tied it up! Let's see if I can keep this two PPV win streak through to Wrestlemania.
All images courtesy of WW