Andrew drops in some ratings and analysis for Fastlane! How do we get to WrestleMania from here?
Fastlane hasn’t really rattled the imagination on many. It definitely has that nearly house show feeling of the endings are a little obvious, let’s just get through it and onto Mania.
It would be nice if the show impressed, but WWE has a tendency to make the Internet crowd…pessimistic, at best. So I guess we should see where this lands?
- KICKOFF: Xavier Woods & Big E vs Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev: Woods wins via Up Up Down Down @13:20 – *** 1/4
- SmackDown Tag Team Title Match: The Usos (c) vs Shane McMahon & The Miz: Usos retain via Inside Cradle @14:10 – *** 1/4
- SmackDown Women’s Championship: Mandy Rose vs Asuka (c): Asuka retains via Crescent Kick @6:40 – ** 1/2
- Handicap Match: The Bar vs Kofi Kingston: The Bar win via White Noise @5:15 – -* (yup that’s negative)
- Raw Tag Team Triple Threat: The Revival (c) vs Bobby Roode & Chad Gable vs Aleister Black & Ricochet: Revival retain via Shatter Machine @10:50 – *** 1/2
- United States Championship Fatal 4-Way: Andrade vs R-Truth vs Samoa Joe (c) vs Rey Mysterio: Joe retains via Coquina Clutch @10:50 – **** 1/4
- WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles: Sasha Banks & Bayley (c) vs Nia Jax & Tamina: Bayley retains via Hurricanrana @7:05 – *
- WWE Championship Triple Threat: Daniel Bryan (c) vs Kevin Owens vs Mustafa Ali: Bryan retains via Knee Plus @18:45 – *** 3/4
- Charlotte Flair vs Becky Lynch: Becky wins via DQ @8:45 – *
- The Shield vs Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley & Drew McIntyre: The Shield win via Cerberus @24:50- ****
A surprisingly long and competitive match given the fact that Rusev and Shinsuke haven’t been positioned very well. Decent enough match, but I don’t think anyone is surprised or particularly cares. The most interesting thing to come from this was the McMahon’s wanted to see Kofi right before the match.
Miz came out in Browns colors and a Cleveland is Awesome shirt, he was insanely babyfaced. The match told a great story and had a bunch of nice moments including Miz doing more top rope moves since his dad preferred high fliers. Shane had a great Coast to Coast interception on the Uce Splash. Miz went to the top to try and win with a Frog Splash, but knees up and an Inside Cradle stopped that. BUT WAIT-THERE’S MORE! Shane turns heel with the rest of his family and lays into Miz hard, including a Triangle Choke right in front of Miz’s father. It’s an odd time in wrestling when Miz is a believable babyface and that cemented it with the hometown love and the style of beat down. Great stuff, perfect professional wrestling match and aftermath.
This was a decent match, granted nothing spectacular but the swerve at the end with Sonya lifting up the apron to grab a kendo stick, but Mandy slipped on the ring skirt and got caught by a Crescent Kick from Asuka.
So Vinny Mac tells Kofi the Championship match will be a Triple Threat and tells Kofi to go out to the ring. He figures it’s for the WWE Championship, but he gets screwed again and thrown into a Handicap match against the Bar. This just lasted too long. I get the screw Kofi angle, but this was unnecessarily long. The crowd even started chanting boring. I hope we don’t get 3 weeks of misdirection crap. So now the question is, will the beat up Kofi still be involved in the WWE Championship match tonight, or is this just leading down a Vince rabbit hole?
Elias is apparently playing the breaks between matches just to be on the show? A few snarky remarks about previous matches. He’s like exposition no one asked for…AND I LIKE ELIAS.
Raw Triple Threat went mostly as assumed. Spotty and Roode & Gable were thrown in to eat the pin. Car crash moment when Ricochet tried to Frakensteiner Scott Dawson into everyone else on the outside, and Dawson’s foot got caught…so it just looked rough. But the match was fine, just really nothing more than a good match.
Even though it was only announced earlier in the day, this 4 Way was better than the match on SmackDown. Little wrinkles with Carmella, Zelina, Andrade and R-Truth. They kept the heat with Rey and Andrade around, but also proved they have good chemistry working together, even if inadvertently. Joe retaining is fine and came about well. Oh, R-Truth made more John Cena references, so this match was just a treat for people who’ve been watching weekly.
Sloppy match. Numerous screwed up spots and stumbles. Just overall hard to sit through. Oh Nia and Tamina go after Beth Phoenix, Nattie tries to make a save, so I guess we’re gonna get that match. Cause that’s what people have been asking for…yup…
Well it did end up being a Triple Threat, but the third wasn’t Kofi, it was…Mustafa Ali? Oh for Christ’s sake. The crowd started with the “We Want Kofi” chants and took a while for them to engage in the match. It was alright enough, but I honestly checked out of it. A few cool spots but Ali was added to eat the pin, even Helen Keller could see that. So the suspension of disbelief was fractured, the story was awkward when both Owens and Bryan were telling Ali he didn’t deserve the spot, but Owens worked with him occasionally. So yea..bad psychology, but decent enough ring work. The finish was different as well, so that was cool, but not as good as it could’ve been without the shenanigans.
This wasn’t so much a match as a means to an end. Charlotte got cocky and was playing around with Becky the entire match. Then when she’s about to put her away with the Figure 8, Ronda shows up and hits Becky so Charlotte loses by DQ. It all makes sense, and now we get the Triple Threat we expected for WrestleMania.
Elias interlude again…these are really stupid. But at least he hasn’t been interrupted all night. Lacey Evans makes her usual appearance. Renee has a good line for Lacey of “She can knock you out and butter your biscuits”. Corey is confused, but it was funny.
OH! Randy Orton RKOs Elias out of nowhere (but he already said good night so it doesn’t count as being interrupted), but AJ is also there to hit Orton with a Phenomenal Forearm. So I guess this finalizes the Randy vs AJ for Mania angle. People need to stop hiding under the ring though, sheesh.
It started off simple enough, but at some point it breaks down intelligently. Corbin’s team try to split the members of the Shield up. The issue came from having to jump around from in the crowd back to the ring. But hey, as the Swan Song for The Shield, this was a hell of a spectacle. The story went well enough, they hit all the right beats, the crowd was invested and you could tell Ambrose, Reigns and Rollins were enjoying it. Nice moment, Shield winning was never really in question, but it was a fun way to send the Shield home.
Overall Score: 7.5/10
Good show. Aside from the impromptu Handicap match and the awful Women’s Tag, this was a good show. It told the stories it needed to, things were moved along to the WrestleMania angles and the in-ring action wasn’t bad at all. Fastlane goes in the books as a solid last stop before the big show!
Admittedly it did feel a little overbooked at times, especially with all the match tweaks and inventing a match. But that’s neither here nor there since the show and competitors made it work, more or less. Shane turning made complete sense, granted I’m not sure where we go with Roman and the Women’s Tag Titles. IIconics made some noise during the Pre-show, but I’d still prefer the Trish and Lita match. So that gives us reasons to tune in this coming week.