WWE were nice enough to air Fastlane on a public holiday which means I got to watch the PPV live. Let’s break it down and take an in-depth look at how the night went.
1) Shinsuke Nakamura def. Rusev. Real solid opener for the PPV. The two worked well together and fired up the crowd for the rest of the night. I’d like to see Nakamura and Rusev have a few more matches together down the road. Nakamura winning wasn’t much of a surprise since WWE would want to give him as much momentum as possible going into WrestleMania.
2) Randy Orton def. Bobby Roode to win the WWE US Title. A second solid match in a row? Damn, Fastlane is actually producing some good stuff! Roode and Orton worked well together. I was a bit annoyed about Orton winning since he didn’t need the win. Jinder Mahal comes out after the match to beat down Orton. Roode hits a Glorious DDT to Jinder, then delivers one to Orton outta nowhere! Heel turn for Roode? I hope so. He’ll be able to excel more on the main roster as the arrogant heel we all loved in NXT.
4) The Usos vs The New Day for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship went to a no contest. Everyone was excited to see this match happen again, even if it’s like the tenth time we’ve seen it. While it might sound like I’m being sarcastic, I’m not. The chemistry between these guys is always on point and they always deliver a show-stealing performance. Everyone was watching this match wondering how these guys will outdo themselves again. This happened in the form of the Bludgeon Brothers.
Harper and Rowan crushed, killed, and destroyed EVERYONE. It was brutal. It was bad ass. It was a bludgeoning. The cherry on top was the sick powerbomb they delivered to Xavier Woods on the steel steps. It was later announced Woods was taken to a medical centre for potential spinal injury. Though it’s most likely just a fake injury for storyline purposes, I hope Woods isn’t being written off due to a legitimate injury. In any case, it looks like we might be getting ourselves a solid triple threat match at WrestleMania between The Usos, The New Day, and The Bludgeon Brothers. TLC please WWE? Thanks.
5) Charlotte Flair def Ruby Riott to retain the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship. Before I break this down, I need to quote what House Mate (my housemate) and Big T (our full-time wrestling fan friend) predicted:
Big T: “They’ll be some form of shenanigans from the Riott Squad.”
House Mate: “It would be perfect if Asuka comes down to the ring after the match to challenge Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania.”
And now for the match. This was easily one of the best matches of the night, and one of the best women’s matches I’ve seen for a long time. I knew these two were going to put on a hell of a match and it didn’t disappoint. The Riott Squad did get involved (good guess, Big T) but they weren’t overly featured which was good. The focus was always on Charlotte and Ruby.
And when the match was done… the Women’s Royal Rumble winner Asuka came out to point at the WrestleMania sign (good guess, House Mate). That’s right people – we’re getting Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka at WrestleMania!
Before the main event of the night, SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon headed down to the ring to most likely get involved in yet another main event. At this point, House Mate and Big T made correct predications, so now I was under pressure to predict something.
W.F. Thorne: “Shane’s going to interfere in the match. I’m thinking he’ll interrupt John Cena’s pinfall attempt to protect AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura at WrestleMania.”
6) AJ Styles def. John Cena, Baron Corbin, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Dolph Ziggler to retain the WWE Championship. What a match! It was solid and fast paced from start to finish with not a dull moment to be found. There was a lot riding on this match for everyone, especially the fans. You had five people gunning for the WWE Championship, which means we would all lose the dream match between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura.
Everyone played their roles well. One of the highlights was when Zayn and Owens finally had the ring to themselves. Zayn laid down for Owens like he promised, but Owens didn’t believe him. After a failed roll up attempt by Zayn, the two brawled much to the delight of the crowd.
During the match Shane took an unintentional superkick from Owens, who was aiming at Zayn. Shane would proceed to interrupt Owens’ pinfall attempt to Ziggler, then Shane would interrupt Zayn’s pinfall attempt on Owens. This confused everyone and annoyed the hell out of us. Even Corey Graves and Byron Saxton, who are always arguing on commentary, agreed it made no sense at all.
The match would later end with AJ Styles picking up the win. While it was a monstrous sigh of relief, the win felt a bit cheap. AJ got put through an announce table half way during the match and was out of it from that point onwards. AJ coming in just to pick up the quick win felt a bit dirty and there wasn’t a real sense of him desperately trying to defend his title. We immediately forgot about this once this graphic appeared:
And with that, the entire wrestling community collectively splooshed for the second time tonight. Looking back on the match it makes sense while AJ Styles didn’t do much in this match – he needed to save his energy for the masterpiece that’s going to happen at WrestleMania.
So how did my predication go? Was I right? Let’s break it down:
“Shane’s going to interfere in the match…” Correct. That’s 1-0.
“I’m thinking he’ll interrupt John Cena’s pinfall…” Incorrect. 1-1.
“…to protect AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura at WrestleMania.” AJ successfully defended his title, so this part is true. That’s 2-1, giving me a correct predication via split decision!
In all, Fastlane was a lot better than what I thought it was going to be. I had no expectations, but it delivered. I think the Six-Pack Challenge for the WWE Championship just edged out the SmackDown Women’s Championship match for being the best match of the night. I’d like to hear your thoughts on the show so leave your comments below!
See you all in a month’s time for my next WWE PPV review – WrestleMania!