It’s WWE Fastlane, the PPV that never feels quite necessary on the road to Wrestlemania but can still produce some good stuff. Featuring perhaps the last ever Shield match and Becky Lynch facing Charlotte to get her spot back at Wrestlemania.
Kick off match – New day vs. Rusev/Nakamura
Good match. Starts pretty standard and formulaic with Rusev/Nakamura getting some control but then picks up well and gets a little more exciting leading into the finishing stretch. Rusev/Nakamura are an odd team but they make it work pretty well and do some good double teaming. In the end though New Day hit the up up Down down to get the victory.
Winners: New Day (via up up Dow down) ***
Match 1 – Smackdown Tag Title Match: Shane O’Mcmahon/The Miz vs. the Usos (c)
Very solid match. Usos have control like their previous match but it again has a pretty fun finishing stretch including Shane catching an Uso mid-air with the coast to coast dropkick.
Miz’s hometown crowd is of course completely behind him and he soaks up all their energy as well as trying to impress his dad, which leads to him doing a couple of things out of the ordinary like a dive off the top to the outside.
However this attitude ends up being a big mistake for the Miz and costs him the match as at end he decides to try a frog splash but it gets countered right into a pin which gives the Usos the win.
Winners: Usos (via counter pin) ***1/4
– After the match Shane turns on the Miz and attacks him, getting great heat from the crowd…Very well done turn, been ages since we’ve seen a proper heel Shane so that’ll be a nice to see.
-Corbin/Lashley/McIntyre do a shield style promo.
-Elias gets a segment to sing and…..that’s it.
Match 2 – Smackdown women’s title match: Asuka (c) vs. Mandy Rose
This was ok, Mandy works in small amounts but certainly had a few problems here keeping up with Asuka so it was all a little rough, at least she has a good bicycle knee though.
Ending was a little confusing at first too, but I guess Sonya lifts the apron up and grabs a kendo stick but in doing so when Mandy runs into the ropes she ends up slipping on the apron cover allowing Asuka to knock her out with a lovely spin kick to successfully retain.
Winner: Asuka (via spin kick) **1/4
– Backstage Kofi and New Day ask Vince to make WWE title match a three way and he agrees and he agrees but bans Big E and Xavier from ringside before announcing that thematch is next.
Match 3 –
WWE Title mat The Bar vs. Kofi Kingston
Vince be trolling all along and Kofi is instead in a handicap with the Bar much to the crowds dismay.
Kofi manages to stay in the fight a couple of times but ends up getting beat up and pinned. Rest of New Day do try to run down and help but Rusev/Nakamura take them out too. Pretty good way to get Kofi out of the picture for the night, ready for the crowd to rally even more behind him for the ‘mania match, though I’m not sure the angle was 100% successful.
Winners: The Bar (via assisted white noise) NR
– Elias has another segment of singing and…nothing more.
Match 4 – Raw tag team title match: The Revival (c) vs. Bobby Roode/Chad Gable vs. Ricochet/Aleister Black
Really good match.Both Revival and Roode/Gable share control of the match, though it’s much more Revival than Roode/Gable who have a glimpse. After that things get more frantic with some real fun action on the go until Revival finally hit the Shatter Machine on Gable to successfully retain. Very nice first PPV showing for Black and Ricochet, after the match the fighting continues with them coming out on top as Ricochet hits a 630 as the final move.
Winners: Revival (via shatter machine) ***3/4
Match 5 – U.S title match: Andrade vs. Rey Mysterio vs. R-truth vs. Samoa Joe (c)
Really good match much like the one they had on Smackdown. Action was kept flowing and constant with a good number of fun spots on the go mostly involving Mysterio and Andrade of course.
Joe wins the match after dodging Mysterio’s frog splash and locking in the Coquina clutch. Glad this got added last minute very enjoyable and allows them to keep the Mysterio/Andrade PPV singles for hopefully ‘mania.
Winner: Joe (via coquina clutch) ***3/4
Match 6 – Women’s tag title match: boss ‘n hug connection vs. Nia Jax/Tamina
Good match. Jax/Tamina get a bit of control but it’s over with quite quickly and the whole match seems to run at quite a breezy pace with a couple of things going a bit iffy but it’s mostly well worked and enjoyable. At the end Nia goes for a powerbomb but Bayley manages to counter it into a ‘rana pin to get the win.
Winners: Banks/Bayley (via ‘rana pin) ***
-After the match Jax/Tamina are pissed and attack Banks and Bayley. Beth Phoenix who is guesting on commentary is not happy about it and ends up getting involved only to be beaten up herself. Natalya also tries to help but also gets beaten up too….that’s another ‘Mania match setup, will be nice to see Beth competing again.
Match 7 – WWE title match: Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Kevin Owens vs. Mustafa Ali?
So yeah the match is still a triple threat but Ali gets added instead, crowd were of course not happy about with chants for Kofi coming left right and centre, but you know what these guys worked their assed off and won the crowd back over in a great triple threat match.
There was a lot of real good action on the go including a some big spots with Ali doing a few risky bumps and moves. At the end Rowan after failing to get involved the first time manages to take Owens out of the picture leaving Bryan alone with Ali where he ends up catching Ali with the running knee during a twisting crossbody attempt to successfully retain. Great little finish and really good stuff overall and the fact they managed to invest the crowd after the whole Kofi debacle is a true testament to their talents.
Winner: Bryan (via running knee) ****
Match 8 – Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch
So of course most of the match is Charlotte taking out becky’s injured leg and it’s going pretty decent with good selling and leg work.
Then as Charlotte locks in the figure four, Ronda Rousey comes out and punches Becky in the stomach so that the ref disqualifies Charlotte and makes Becky the winner so the ‘mania match becomes a triple threat.
Finish makes sense as Ronda really wanted Becky in the match and it keeps Charlotte looking strong, though I feel it would have been more impactful to see Becky overcome Charlotte herself. But I guess she’s already done that the last few times they’ve faced off so it works to do something different and I was fine with it.
Winner: Becky (via DQ) **3/4
– Elias is out one more time and after finishing his song Lacey Evans does her usual strut out and leaves beforeOrton RKO’s Elias outta nowhere and then Styles phenomenal forearms Orton…fun little recurring bit and helps really kick off the Orton/Styles feud that’s been steadily brewing the last few weeks.
Main Event – The Shield vs. Corbin/Mcintyre/Lashley
Great main event to end the show. Corbin’s team get control twice, once over Ambrose and once of Seth, and they do solid work of it too. Once that’s done the match descends into the usual fun Shield chaos that you’d expect including some brawling into the crowd with Seth jumping off one of the stands.
It then of course ends with Lashley getting curb stomped on an announce table, Mcintyre getting a triple powerbombed through one and then Corbin getting triple powerbombed in the ring and pinned for the 3 count. A very fitting end to perhaps Shield’s final match-up and a damn good one at that.
The Shield were one of the best things produced this decade and one of the best factions WWE ever had, will be sad to know that we may not see them wrestle together again but I’m thankful for their presence.
Winners: The Shield (via Triple Powerbomb) ****
For a PPV that doesn’t feel necessary on the road to Wrestlemania this was a very solid show overall.
Yeah nearly all the results were pretty obvious but most of the matches were good to great and there was a lot of story progression going on and things being set-up and continued for ‘mania which was real nice too see. Best matches were certainly the main event and WWE title match followed very closely by the U.S one.
Definitely not the throwaway show it could have been, next stop Wrestlemania and boy am I excited for it.
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