Monday, February 23, 2015

WWE Fastlane Review

WWE Fastlane was a somewhat surprising success in my opinion.  It also had a couple of surprising results in the two biggest matches.  Fortunately these were what I would call pleasant surprises, but they were surprises nonetheless.  

I'm going to review the show in reverse match order.  For an alternative perspective on the show check out Powell's WWE Fastlane PPV Results and Review from DOT NET
  • Roman Reigns vs Daniel Bryan--As I already mentioned this one surprised me.  I thought for sure we were destined for a three-way match for the WWE World  Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania.  It was not to be though as Roman Reigns hit a really nice looking Spear on Bryan to win this one clean and in the middle.  I would have loved it if the crowd popped harder for it, but I am personally glad to see Roman get the win here.  I really like that dude especially since they rebooted his character after the Royal Rumble disaster.  They've got him back into that Shield mode and away from John Cena-esque material on the mic for example.  The match itself was good as you would expect when Daniel Bryan steps in the ring.
  • John Cena vs US Champion Rusev w/ Lana--Rusev winning here also surprised me as I thought we would get some sort of non-finish or something where Cena would look good, but Rusev would get to keep the US Title.  Instead we get Rusev winning.  I saw some complaints about the finish and how it wasn't decisive enough for Rusev.  To me, that was about as clean a win as you were going to see there.  Really it wasn't all that much in the way of protecting Cena either.  They did right by Rusev tonight at Fastlane.  I wish they had done the same for Bray Wyatt last year when he crossed paths with John.  JBL's comment at the end was the most interesting, "Does a younger John Cena win that match when he hits him with the AA?"  Speaking of Bray Wyatt though...
  • Bray Wyatt Promo--This was a hilarious troll job with Bray entering in a casket along with the Undertaker's Druids.  It looked like a legit Undertaker entrance (event though the fans in the arena didn't seem to buy it for obvious reasons) and it was a nice visual seeing Bray sit up in the casket.  I enjoyed his promo as well.  Some think this match will be awful, but I'm not so sure.  We will see in about five weeks I suppose.
  • Dean Ambrose vs IC Champion Bad News Barrett--I was tied up with something else so to be completely honest I saw none of this.  I like both guys, but I read up on the finish and that is just lousy.  Can't say much else since I didn't see it, but that is a lame finish.  I saw the replay of it and it just didn't work. UPDATE: I did see the match on the replay.  I actually liked Barrett trying to leave with the title.  If you were going to have him keep the belt they should have had him hit Ambrose with title on the dive attempt as Barrett tried to leave ringside and gone with him losing via DQ, but keeping the strap.  That would have been better than a poorly executed DQ of Ambrose for "losing control" that didn't even come across like that match was really ending.  Ambrose leaving with the belt was a nice touch as was the shot of BNB complaining about that.  Lawler's "Maybe he's just borrowing it" actually amused me as well. 
  • Paige vs Divas Champion Nikki Bella w/ Brie--It was a Divas Championship match.  I like Paige, but I'm glad to see Nikki retain.  I like The Bellas as a heel tandem a lot. 
  • Sting confronts Triple H--When the biggest complaint I have is "They made Sting look too strong" then that was a successful segment from this WCW mark.  The visual of Sting pointing at the Mania sign with the bat was excellent.  Triple H trying to make a deal with Sting before things got physical was excellent.  The fact that Sting didn't utter a word so far as I recalled was an even better decision.  I would have been fine with Triple H getting over on Sting tonight to setup Mania.  They didn't go that way though and it made for an excellent addition to Fastlane.
  • Cesaro & Kidd w/ Natalya vs Tag Champs The Usos--Good match, glad the Cesaro/Kidd team won. 
  • Goldust vs Stardust--Didn't grab me the way I had hoped it would.  Goldust's pre-match promise to basically beat the Stardust out of Cody made a lot of sense as did Dusty Rhodes' desire to not see Cody/Stardust get hurt.  The rollup victory for Goldust just didn't really seem to accomplish much especially once Stardust destroyed Goldust backstage.  It was the epitome of the old "if that's what a winner looks like then I don't want to be one" deal.  The mic work out of all three was excellent though.  I'm hoping a Mania rematch is in the cards.  I dug Stardust's new look and kind of hope it continues to evolve a bit.  It's always good to see "The American Dream" on WWE TV by the way.
  • Dolph Ziggler/Ryback/Erick Rowan vs Seth Rollins/Kane/Big Show--I flat out didn't care for the matchup in theory or execution.  It was fine, but Kane and Show are just weighing Rollins down at this point.  I would have much rather seen them split this into Ziggler vs Rollins, and Rowan/Ryback vs Kane/Show or three singles matches.  What made this a worthwhile endeavor was the big return of Randy Orton.  Randy dealt a bunch of RKOs and caught Rollins in the DDT from the middle rope which Show managed to save Rollins from.  It was a cool spot.  Even better was Seth Rollins running from the arena.  The one thing that looked odd to me was that Orton did the run-in wearing full wrestling attire.  I didn't really get that and it struck me as kind of funny, but it was good to see "The Apex Predator" again.
WWE Fastlane was a really good show I thought.  It may very well have been in part a result of low expectations and the fact that I was happy to see Roman Reigns get the clean win over Daniel Bryan.  It may have been that I got to see Sting in a WWE ring again or it could have been that I got to see Rusev "CRUSH!" John Cena.  Maybe those things have put this show in a better light for me than it deserved.  Whatever it was, I liked it and thought it was a really good show.