WWE Fastlane 2017 Review
With WrestleMania four weeks away the final pay per view before the biggest show of the year took place and it felt like a very bad pit stop. Fastlane felt like a real bad show that could’ve happened five years ago, especially with the string of pretty good pay per views they have had as of late. Not all of the show was real bad as the Cruiserweights might have had the best night of action since coming to Raw and two of the strongest men in WWE put on a match that some people felt was the match of the night.
Rich Swann & Akira Tozawa vs. Brian Kendrick & Noam Dar: The kickoff tag team match was a good way to start the night and when given the time, they can deliver a very good match which is what we got in this match. Tozawa is already becoming one of the more popular wrestlers in the Cruiserweight division and keeps people into a match the entire time. His situation with Kendrick at the moment is a pretty good story line that has potential to become something special. Noam Dar on the other hand is just in a bad situation. While only twenty-three years old from day one he has been the arrogant guy who thinks he is the ladies man when a lot of fans know he can be so much more. Rich Swann is still in a very good position despite not holding the championship and it showed in this match. Not a lot of high diving moves which is fine and some good wrestling from all four men that got this crowd into the show and hoped it would for the remainder of the night. Swann got the win after hitting a Phoenix Splash onto Dar. Match Grade: B-
Sami Zayn vs. Samoa Joe: This was the opening match of the pay per view and this had the chance to be a very good bout. While it was at best alright it seemed as if both men were holding back a little bit. I’m not sure if it was because it was Samoa Joe’s pay per view debut or what but I know that these guys can have very good matches with each other. We shouldn’t punish these guys because the match wasn’t good it was good for what it was with Samoa Joe being showcased as this dominating bad ass who can take you out by any means. Samoa Joe got the win with the clutch but I have a feeling that these two men will be seeing each other again down the road real soon. Match Grade: C
Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows: A good story going into this match was the fact that Enzo and Cass had never won tag team championships before. They never won the titles while in NXT and this match was a good chance for them to finally taste the gold. But Anderson and Gallows recently won the titles and were in a weird situation where if they lost the titles people would say how there time in WWE was nothing more then a waste of time. This match was what I expected it to be but it could’ve been so much better. I don’t know if these guys don’t have the chemistry together down right now but hopefully they will if they face each other again by the time of WrestleMania. The end of the match saw Enzo coming into the ring but got knocked out by Anderson and got the pin, meanwhile Gallows took Enzo Amore’s foot off the bottom rope so the referee couldn’t see the foot on the rope. Match Grade: C-
Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks: If what they are doing with Braun Strowman is everything right, then what they are doing with Nia Jax is everything wrong. While she has the appearance of a dominating monster, I can’t really take her seriously with her promos. They aren’t that good and she comes off as nothing more then a spoiled brat who if she doesn’t get her way would just start destroying everything in her way. Sasha did her best to make this a match and the difference of size was noted a lot in the match but it just didn’t connect for me. However, I enjoyed the ending with Nia Jax being so confident that she has Sasha beat that when she goes for a move, Sasha wiggles her way out and gets a quick roll up to get the win. While not the best match for either woman, you had the enjoyment of Sasha Banks winning against a woman who could be twice her size and in such a quick fashion. Match Grade: C-
Jinder Mahal vs. Cesaro: Earlier in the night, Mick Foley told both Jinder Mahal and Rusev that they would each have singles matches on the show against opponents to be determined. Before the first match even began Mahal and Rusev were fighting each other all over ringside until Mahal got the upper hand when he knocked Rusev into the time keeper area. When Mahal returned to the ring Cesaro’s music played and we have our match. This is a very hard match to describe because while Cesaro is very good, Mahal has the ability to be a very good wrestler but like the tag team title match these two just didn’t click. The crowd wasn’t really into this match and the main focus was the recent break up of Mahal and Rusev. Towards the end of the match as Mahal had the advantage, Rusev got up and was standing at the Spanish announce table as he and Mahal had a stare down and that was long enough of a distraction for Cesaro to hit an uppercut to get the win. After the match Rusev and Mahal would fight some more with Rusev throwing Mahal out of the ring. Match Grade: C-
Rusev vs. Big Show: As a fan, I think it’s bad when you forget something that just happened and you have that sudden moment of oh yes this is happening. I had that when Rusev was going to face Big Show. I completely forgot that Rusev was going to have a match as well, that is not a very good sign. This match was not a very good match at all. It was all Big Show and while Rusev might have had three or four offensive moves going this crowd was just not into it and could care less about who won this match. It is surprising too since Big Show had a very entertaining match two weeks ago with Braun Strowman, again the chemistry just didn’t fit. Big Show won after three chokeslams and a knock out punch. Match Grade: D
Jack Gallagher vs. Neville: This was my favorite match of the night and could’ve helped the stock of both men a lot. Something that was noted during this match is how Jack Gallagher is not a high flying Cruiserweight like a lot of the other wrestlers but on this night, he did break out a nice dive through the middle and top rope onto Neville. The moves both men were hitting on each other were amazing. Gallagher was giving some of the loudest, stiffest head butts I think anybody here in the United States have ever heard of. You really didn’t know at one point who was going to win the match as both men were trading blows. But in the end Neville pulled out his high flying signature move Red Arrow for the first time in a very long time which got him the three count and the victory, but both men looked great in this match. Match Grade: B
Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman: Like I said earlier with Nia Jax, the way that Braun Strowman has been pushed since going it alone on Raw has been nothing short of incredible and again he proved it here in this match against Roman Reigns. While not the most scientific match, it was a very fun brawl to see between two of the strongest men in all of WWE. The crowd was really into it and both men did the very best they could to keep the pace going and for the most part did an alright job. Seeing Braun Strowman going to the top rope was a site in itself and would’ve been amazing if he was able to hit the splash. He missed as Reigns hit him with the spear to get the victory, while this is Strowman’s first pinfall loss here it doesn’t ruin the character one bit. It had to take everything that Reigns had and some more to win this match. The push of Braun Strowman will get better as much as he can get better and I have a real good feeling he is going to get better. Match Grade: C
Bayley vs. Charlotte: It’s so weird with the women of Raw especially when they have a title match on a pay per view. When they have title matches and title changes on Raw they are very good matches, but when they have title matches on a pay per view for the most part it’s like they lose a step or two. I’m not sure if it’s because the fans know what already happened or what is going to happen or not but it is a very weird thing. While this wasn’t the best match, both women did the best they could to give a good quality match. I liked that this match was for the majority of the bout straight up one on one, until Sasha Banks came out to interfere. While this did make a lot of the internet fans angry, it did set up to a good moment when Bayley hit her finishing move and giving Charlotte her first singles loss on a pay per view. At some point that streak was going to come to an end and while a lot of people would’ve preferred it to be at WrestleMania it happened one pay per view early and we should appreciate that we did see history. Match Grade: C
Kevin Owens vs. Goldberg: The story of this match was actually enjoyable. Before the match would start Owens would go to the outside as he “wasn’t ready” for the bout to begin. He would do this three times and then as he was ready for the match to begin, Chris Jericho made his return to the shock of Owens. Which was enough of a distraction for Goldberg to hit the spear and the jackhammer to become the new WWE Universal champion. While this was the end of Owens as champion, he did a lot to make that belt something and had some very good title matches, will he get another run at the title down the line? I don’t see why not he made Raw watchable every single week. As far as Goldberg goes, it is a nice little trophy to add to his collection as the legend of Goldberg continues as he now goes to WrestleMania as the Universal champion. Match Grade: C-
This was not the best pay per view in the world, was it the worst show of the year? Right now it is but we have a long way to go before this year is over. While we are on the road to WrestleMania every once in a while we are allowed to hit a bad bump on that road and this show is a very good example of hitting a bad bump. While not a disaster of a show, it was a bit hard to watch but if you’ve been a fan of wrestling like I have for many years, the final product will be seen at WrestleMania and most people will probably talk about how great of a show it is. The only thing I have to say is stay tuned for the final outcome.