WWE Fastlane 2017 Review
They did it.
They actually did it.
It’s the year 2017 and 300-year-old Goldberg just beat Kevin Owens in 21 seconds to become a world champion in the WWE.
It’s so bizarre.
Remember how Vince buried WCW during the invasion?
Remember how Sting finally came to the WWE and then proceeded to lose all of his matches?
Vince takes every chance to bury the legacy of WCW.
So why the heck have they built up Goldberg to look like the greatest superstar in history?
Nobody can answer that because Vince McMahon is a crazy person.
This Pay-Per-View had potential to be solid, even if the main event’s finish was obvious from a mile away, but it ultimately was a shit-show.
Sami Zayn vs. Samoa Joe
This was a really solid way to kick-off the PPV.
Sami Zayn and Samoa Joe isn’t exactly the freshest matchup in the WWE considering they had a run-in quite recently in NXT, however it still felt like a breath of fresh air.
And while it was obvious that Joe was going to win, Sami was still made to look like a legitimate threat at times throughout the match.
However, there were some sloppy moments throughout the match and the finish was poorly executed.
Joe hitting the Urinagi came from left-field and seconds later he had the Coquina Clutch locked in and the match was over.
On a night where Vince was clearly stalling for time, this match seemed like it was at least five minutes too short.
Having said that, it was still the second-best match of the night.
Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson — RAW Tag Team Championship Match
This match had a very similar feeling to the opening contest.
It was a solid match that unfortunately suffered from a few sloppy moments, most of which came from Enzo & Cass.
Gallows & Anderson were put over as dominant for the majority of the match, a far cry from them being made to look ridiculously weak for two weeks straight against Roman Reigns.
When Cass received the hot tag it legitimately felt like the titles could be changing hands.
The ending with Gallows knocking Enzo’s foot off the rope before the referee could notice really helps to put over Gallows & Anderson as the veteran, world-travelled tag team that they keep being labelled as too.
If Enzo & Cass are able to continue growing, they’ll end up turning these three-star matches into four-star matches.
Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks
This match played out like every face vs. dominant super-heavyweight match ever.
Nia Jax spent the whole match beating down Sasha, but in the end she managed to sneak a pin and get a victory “out of nowhere”.
It’s hard to get excited and invested in a match when it seems like they’re just following everything that’s been done before, without adding anything new to the formula.
The result also didn’t make much sense.
Clearly they’re building towards a fatal-four-way at WrestleMania, but what’s Nia’s claim for being in that match now?
She’s done nothing of note to warrant a title shot, whereas if she’d beaten Sasha again tonight she’d have a claim, while Sasha could sneak her way in due to her interferences in Charlotte’s matches.
Cesaro vs. Jinder Mahal
When this match was announced it became incredibly clear they were padding for time to compensate for the Universal Championship match lasting less than a minute.
Despite that, Cesaro and Jinder managed to have a servicable match.
It wasn’t exactly something you’d want to see on PPV, but for a thrown together match featuring a perennial jobber it was actually not that bad.
Any singles match on PPV that Cesaro wins is a good match.
Hopefully this signifies the end of Rusev having anything to do with Jinder, as he deserves so much better.
The Big Show vs. Rusev
Remember how I said Rusev deserves so much better?
Yeah, he deserves so much better than to be jobbing to The Big Show in 2017?
I have no idea why this match was even necessary.
It made Rusev look weak and what was the point of building The Big Show up like this?
It’s becoming increasingly clear that the match with Shaq is not going to happen, so why even keep featuring The Big Show?
This match was just flat-out boring.
It’s time for The Big Show to retire and take Mark Henry with him on the way out.
Jack Gallagher vs. Neville — Cruiserweight Championship Match
This match will go down in history as the moment where the Cruiserweight Division was resuscitated.
Who would have thought that on the final PPV before WrestleMania the Cruiserweights would be the highlight of the show?
Gallagher and Neville crafted a beautiful and unique match that didn’t have to resort to just being a spot-fest, which is what most people immediately think of when they hear “great cruiserweight match”.
There were plenty of jaw-dropping moments though (Gallagher’s dive through the ropes, Neville’s German suplex) that were scattered throughout the match.
Gallagher came away looking legit too.
While I wasn’t exactly thrilled that he kicked out of a second-rope Phoenix Splash, it showed just how deep Neville had to dig, which was further emphasised by him pulling out the Red Arrow, something that has been shelved during his heel run.
Most importantly; the crowd loved it.
The division seemed DOA at first, but slowly guys like Neville, Gallagher, Swan and Tozawa have been eliciting reactions from the crowd and tonight was the culmination.
To put it in perspective, there was a “this is awesome” chant during the match.
This was the only “this is awesome” chant during the show.
Match of the night.
Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns
Things started to fly off the rails here.
While this match was good, the finish was bizarre.
Braun has been booked so strongly since he debuted, only to have his first pinfall loss to come at the hands of Roman Reigns at FASTLANE.
The problem isn’t that Roman beat Braun (although that wasn’t ideal).
The problem is that they gave away this moment at Fast fucking Lane.
Why not wait until WrestleMania for somebody to finally beat Braun in a decisive way?
These are moments you build for WrestleMania, but when it’s thrown away on someone the fans don’t particularly like and at a show that’s mostly meaningless it takes away from the spectacle.
Imagine how big a clean victory here would have been for Braun and how much bigger Roman’s win would have felt at WrestleMania?
Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair — RAW Women’s Championship Match
This match was the absolute pits.
The problem with so many of the women in WWE on the main roster right now is that they fumble through so much of the match and nothing looks natural.
Bayley is one of those women who fumbles through matches.
Charlotte on the other hand looks every bit the daughter of Ric Flair, but she can only do so much with the person she’s standing across the ring from.
Bayley looked incredibly awkward throughout the entire match, but that paled in comparison to the terrible finish.
Sasha Banks ran out for absolutely no reason and attempted to attack Charlotte.
Had Dana Brooke come out and tried to interfere?
Was Charlotte attempting to cheat?
Sasha just decided to run out.
This distraction leads to Bayley winning the match and was the shit-cherry on top of the shit-sundae that was this match.
Why on earth would you end Charlotte’s undefeated championship PPV match streak on Fastlane?
WrestleMania is literally less than a month away.
Kevin Owens vs. Goldberg — Universal Championship Match
Rating: zero stars
Fuck. This. Company.
I knew this was going to happen and I was still pissed off.
The match consisted of Owens rolling out of the ring for 5 minutes before the bell could ring, before getting in and telling the referee to ring the bell.
Chris Jericho’s music then hits and the referee rings the ball, allowing Goldberg to hit the spear, Jackhammer Owens and win.
Why did the referee ring the ball when Jericho was clearly coming to the ring?
It makes absolutely no sense.
The only thing that made sense was that there was no interference by Triple H or Samoa Joe, as Triple H was kayfabe unable to make it to the show, while Foley had threatened ramifications if Joe interfered.
We now know that Brock Lesnar is going to win the championship at WrestleMania and then hold the belt hostage again thanks to his part-time schedule.
Thank God I started watching New Japan.
The problem with this show is that it blew all of the great payoffs early.
Nia Jax losing by pinfall?
Would have been better at WrestleMania.
Braun finally losing?
Would have been better at WrestleMania.
Charlotte’s PPV streak ending?
Would have been better at WrestleMania.
And to top everything off we’re heading dead-on for another awful Lesnar world championship reign.
If it wasn’t for Jack Gallagher and Neville this may have challenged December to Dismember as the worst WWE PPV of all time.
Average Match Rating: 2.27