Going into Fastlane my expectations were very low for this show. I believe Fastlane is an unnecessary pay-per-view and is just a filler going into Wrestlemania. I know the WWE’s goal is to have one pay-per-view a month, but that’s when you move Elimination Chamber to late February or early March. That way you have four to five weeks from Rumble to Chamber and then four to five weeks from Chamber to Mania. As I said my expectations going were low so before I begin with how this show went down here are the results of Fastlane:
-Preshow: The New Day defeated Rusev and Nakamura
-The Uso’s defeated The Miz and Shane McMahon to retain the Smackdown Tag Team Championships
-Asuka defeated Mandy Rose to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship
-The Bar defeated Kofi Kingston
-The Revival defeated Chad Gable/Bobby Roode and Aleister Black/Ricochet to retain the Raw Tag Team Championships
-Samoa Joe defeated Rey Mysterio, Andrade and R-Truth to retain the WWE United States Championship
-Boss N Hug Connection defeated Nia Jax and Tamina to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship
-Daniel Bryan defeated Mustafa Ali and Kevin Owens to retain the WWE Championship
-Becky Lynch defeated Charlotte Flair by DQ.
-The Shield defeated Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley
The opening match of the night was for the Smackdown Tag Team Championships with Shane McMahon and The Miz challenging The Uso’s. As predictable as this match was, it was a very good match for both teams. At the conclusion of the match the inevitable happened, but not the way I thought it would. Shane McMahon attacked Miz after the match in-front of his father. I thought for sure The Miz would go heel again, but for the first time in nearly seventeen years Shane O’Mac is heel. Going into Wrestlemania I will be curious to see how a heel Shane and a face Miz matchup at Mania. The other inevitable and predictable match was Asuka and Mandy Rose. I knew going into this match that there was no way that Asuka was going to lose going into Wrestlemania. I will say that Mandy had a great effort and her stock went up because of this match. I do believe big things are coming for Mandy Rose but I think they will happen later this year. For now, we have Asuka going to Wrestlemania as Smackdown Women’s Champion.
Earlier in the night, WWE staff notified Kofi Kingston that the McMahon’s wanted to talk about the WWE Championship match. McMahon tricked Kofi into believing he had been added to the championship match. Instead, he was put into a Handicap Match against The Bar where it was a one-sided affair. One match that was anything but one sided was the Triple Threat Raw Tag Team Championship Match. The Revival has been on top of their game lately and it continues to show in their matches. It was good to see the team of Black and Ricochet being showcased in this match. I think with how they have been performing they will find themselves on the biggest show of the year in four weeks. Originally Andrade and Rey Mysterio were suppose to go one on one on the preshow, but that was changed into a rematch that took place from this past Thursday. Samoa Joe defended his title against former champion R-Truth, Andrade and Rey Mysterio. These four have had two great matches back to back, which means they are all headed to Wrestlemania in a major capacity.
Last month we crowned new Women’s Tag Team Champions in the form of the Boss N Hug Connection. I hate to sound repetitive but the inevitable outcome happened because there was no way Bayley and Sasha weren’t going to walk into Wrestlemania as the champions. The real story happened after the match when Nia and Tamina destroyed the champions. Beth Phoenix who was on commentary took exception to their actions and she received a beat down until Natalya came down and tried to save her. I am not sure what direction this is going, but consider me really intrigued. Earlier in the night, Mr. McMahon promised a triple threat WWE Championship match, which we all assumed would be Kofi Kingston. Instead we were graced with Mustafa Ali and the crowd was not to happy about it. I feel like Vince is his own worst enemy when it comes to his booking decisions. There’s nothing worse then losing a crowd in the middle of a show because of bad booking decisions. All three competitors did the best they could to get the crowd into it, but Cleveland wasn’t having any of it. Now that Bryan successfully retained, the WWE has four weeks to get it right heading into Wrestlemania.
This whole Becky Lynch fighting on one leg is really ridiculous. When I watch matches and stories I want them to be somewhat believable. If this was a real life situation there is no way Lynch would have made it to the ring after what Ronda and Charlotte have done to her in the last week. I guess it’s a good thing that Ronda Rousey came out and caused a DQ to allow Becky Lynch into the match at Wrestlemania. Throughout the night, Elias came out to insult Cleveland. I really feel like WWE dropped the ball on this segment, because he could have been interrupted by Dolph Ziggler or Johnny Gargano who are from Cleveland. Instead, Randy Orton RKO’d Elias out of nowhere and then he was hit with a phenomenal forearm by AJ Styles. I understand they are trying to setup for their match at Wrestlemania, but they should have given the crowd something to be happy with after the cluster of decisions that were made tonight. The Main Event was the team of Lashley, Corbin and McIntyre taking on The Shield. A lot of emphasis was put on the emotion of Ambrose leaving, Rollins going after Lesnar and Reigns coming back from battling leukemia. It made for a good match and a good little story, but should have been the main event? Initially no, but the out of control chaos is what made the match really fun to watch.
At the end of the night, I will still stand by my belief that this show was completely unnecessary and the bad booking decisions furthered my standpoint on it. I have to give Fastlane a 6 out of 10. All the matches were solid, but the show lacked direction and excitement. Fastlane is a ride I’d like to forget, but the good news is the road is not over. We still have four weeks travel on to MetLife Stadium. It’s either going to be an exciting fast pace thrill ride or it’s going to be an out of control train wreck. In four weeks, we will see the result of this three month road course on the Road to Wrestlemania.