Fastlane is behind us and despite WWE’s reported resolve to turn it into a big show, it managed to feel like nothing of the sort. If you were the kind to predict things – like me – you should have been able to get 99% of the results spot on and the in-ring action rarely got above good. One or two matches aside, this was a bit of a dud. With that in mind, please read my review.
Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks defeated Team BAD by submission
This match did everything that it had to. Becky and Sasha look strong, and it showed the babyfaces coming together when they had to, but also cemented the idea that they aren’t the best of friends. It will by no means go down as a classic, but the action was entertaining while it lasted.
Kevin Owens defeated Dolph Ziggler
This match started a bit slow, but when it got going, it delivered. Ziggler makes everyone look good but his bumping style seems a perfect fit for Owens. As usual, Owens lives and breathes being a heel and I loved him berating Cole from the ring. Although that may be verging on a face move. This was another match that finished the way it needed to finish. Owens cheats a bit but ultimately pins Ziggler in the middle of the ring to get the victory when it matters.
The Big Show, Kane and Ryback defeated The Wyatt Family
Why? I mean why did this match exist, but even more so, why put this thrown together team of irrelevant wrestlers over? The Wyatt Family could be so good but for reasons I don’t understand, WWE seems determined not to allow that to be the case. What this means for them going into WrestleMania I don’t know and I’m not sure I care anymore.
Charlotte defeated Brie Bella by submission
WWE avoided going down the sentimental route and as nice as that could have been, it was the right decision. I get what they were going for with Brie here but if she really wants to be taken seriously as a wrestler, she needs to move away from Bryan and Nikki to be her own person. This match felt like it was more about them than her. She kept up with Charlotte here and while she doesn’t have the crispness that the best women have, she is improving. Charlotte continues to be a good champion; she is obviously more comfortable as a heel and she goes into ‘Mania looking like a tough champ.
AJ Styles defeated Chris Jericho by submission
Another great match from two talented wrestlers. Jericho may now act a bit like your auld da, but having him do what he’s done with Styles was great booking from WWE. They raised their level for PPV and it felt important because of it. The springboard elbow being reversed by the springboard dropkick was particularly nice. It was a real surprise to see Jericho kick out of the Clash after they teased it for so long, but it helped get the Calf Killer (still a stupid name) over as well so I guess it was a 50/50 situation.
Cutting Edge Peep Show
I like Edge and Christian. I like New Day. I don’t care about League of Nations, to be honest, but the point stands. This should have been fun. It was awful and at best made me cringe. Never again, please. Never again.
Curtis Axel defeated R-Truth
lDid this turn into Superstars?
Roman Reigns defeated Dean Ambrose and Brock Lesnar
What we all kind of hoped wouldn’t happen, but knew would come to be, did. Reigns will face Triple H at WrestleMania. The match, however, was very entertaining. Lesnar seems to shine in the Triple Threat format. It allows him to deliver his signature offence but at the same time have moments of high paced action. While the two on one attacks give him an excuse for being taken out of the action. Likewise, Ambrose is best in this kind of chaos. His facial expressions are brilliant and his unique brand of lunacy fits this format. I may not have agreed with the result, but I enjoyed getting there.
This PPV left me cold; there were some good matches but as a show that should be about setting up WrestleMania, it did nothing of the sort. At the moment outside of Reigns vs. Triple H, I honestly can’t think of a single match that feels like a natural fit. Lesnar Ambrose would make sense and I hope the lack of Wyatt interference in the main event means they are going that way but who knows. All in all, this felt like another dud event from WWE and with WrestleMania just around the corner, excitement still feels a long way away.