Sunday, February 21, 2016

WWE Fastlane 2016 Results and Review

Trying something a little different here tonight.  I am going to do real-time results and review for WWE Fastlane.  Keep checking back here for updates.  I like having the main event as my top bullet point so I will add the latest match at the top.  It is also worth mentioning that WWE Network seems to have serious buffering issues across all platforms tonight.

  • Brock Lesnar v Dean Ambrose v Roman Reigns for the WWE World Championship shot at WrestleMania 32--I enjoyed the main event.  It was an excellent car crash type of match with the Shield Boys putting Brock Lesnar through not one, but two announce tables.  The crowd's reactions were disappointing to me in general, but I wasn't surprised at all.  Had WWE gone with Dean here I would not have had an issue with it at all.  He would have gotten a great reaction and it would have put some of the negativity surrounding WWE and Roman Reigns aside.  The problem is that the story they've been pushing here has to have some closure between Reigns and The Authority.  Anyhow, I'm getting off track here as like I said I really enjoyed the match.  It was a brutal slugfest and Reigns reversing the Kimura Lock was a pretty impressive feat of strength I thought.  Ambrose waffling both with a chair was pretty money.  It felt like they left some meat on the bone there as I was surprised that Spear finished Dean.  I was also surprised we didn't get Wyatt shenanigans to eliminate Lesnar.  Good match in a vacuum, but you do have to grapple with the crowd's reaction and what that means for the main event of WrestleMania now though.  That is, as they say, problematic.  Winner: Roman Reigns
  • R-Truth v Curtis Axel w/ Social Outcasts--This unannounced nonsense was put here to advance the Golden Truth deal between Goldust and R-Truth.  Goldy threw Adam Rose into the ring which led to R-Truth getting distracted and losing to Curtis Axel.  I like Social Outcasts, I like R-Truth just fine too, but the only redeeming value in this was it was short.  Winner: Curtis Axel 
  • Cutting Edge Peep Show--This wasn't great, but the gist of it is that by the end of it Edge & Christian were on New Day's side. It looked like some sort of face turn for New Day as they were playing off the League of Nations who is always heel in every situation.  I have no issue with that as I think New Day's novelty was starting to wear off  as a heel faction and their reactions were problematic.  If you're going to be heels you need to get heel reactions, but everyone likes them so it screws up the dynamic.  
  • AJ Styles v Chris Jericho--This match is sloppy as all hell.  It also reminds me that I have zero idea why some were excited about AJ working Chris Jericho in 2016.  This match is way more clunky and awkward than the Divas Championship match and has actually been dangerous as well.  It was far worse than I ever thought it would be and that's really disappointing for AJ Styles' first WWE PPV/Special Show singles match.  AJ does get the win, but this all goes back to the issue with Jericho.  They treat it like he's giving guys a rub in these situations when the truth is he doesn't have that value any longer.  I am ready to see AJ move on to something better, and I count The Miz as something better as many others do, but it looks like we are still getting another round of this at Mania.  The post-match stuff was fine, but again Jericho stinks and this just flat doesn't mean what they think it does anymore.  Winner: AJ Styles
  • Charlotte (c) w/ Ric Flair v Brie Bella for the Divas Championship--A couple of thoughts before we even get started here.  I would have never thought that I'd care so little about having Ric Flair on my TV in 2016, but here we are.  Charlotte does absolutely nothing for me and that whole deal with Reid Flair really destroyed my interest in her.  Brie is decent and all that, but I was a much bigger fan of Nikki.  I say all of this to say, I'm probably not going to give this match a fair shake and I fully recognize that.  Also I just noticed that Brie is wearing those fuzzy boot deals like Daniel Bryan wore at Mania 31.  That's pretty cool as is Brie mocking Ric Flair's strut.  This match had the most clunky/awkward spots of the night so far including Ric Flair's attempted interference.  Brie worked a submission which Charlotte powered out of and went for the Figure 8.  I thought this was a dud of a match, but look at my disclaimer again.  Winner: Charlotte (and still Divas Champion) 
  • Titans of WWE (Big Show/Kane/Ryback) v Wyatt Family (Braun Strowman/Luke Harper/Erick Rowan)--This may sound corny, but I strongly suggest you see the Wyatt Family entrance in person.  It is incredible live.  Considering we still believe that the Wyatt Family is going after Brock Lesnar there is next to no reason to believe the Titans win this thing.  Crowd gives Ryback a hearty Goldberg chant to start out and with that new ring gear you're kind of inviting that.  Also the Wyatts took Byron Saxton's chair from his as his perpetual humiliation continues.  Big Show pipes up with a "FEED ME MORE!" chant to fire up Ryback which takes the crowd forever to get into at all.  It was kind of sad honestly.  This ends up being the kind of brawl you'd expect, but the Titans win after Ryback hits Shell Shocked on Luke Harper.  There seems to be some concern that Harper landed badly on his shoulder.  I have less than zero idea what they are doing with the Wyatts aside from wasting them.  Winners: Titans of WWE  
  • Kevin Owens (c) v Dolph Ziggler for the IC Championship--This was exactly what you would expect out of these two.  Part of the problem is you know exactly what to expect because you've seen it a thousand times.  The live crowd went with a "THIS IS AWESOME!" chant late.  I couldn't get into it to that level.  Part of it is just my complete and utter lack of interest in Dolph Ziggler.  If you haven't seen his hair tonight then you need to track that down because it was awful.  Anyhow, they teased a ref bump which allowed KO to hit the Pop-up powerbomb for the win.  Winner: Kevin Owens (and still IC Champion)
  • Sasha Banks/Becky Lynch v Tamina/Naomi--Sasha and Becky both have tremendous music.  I hate, hate, hate Naomi's rapid kick spot.  It looks goofy as heck to me.  Highlights here were Sasha catching a kick and screaming "Don't think so."  Her hot tag rally was excellent as well.  Match ends with Tamina tapping to Banks Statement while Becky caught Naomi in Dis-arm-her.  Crowd was into this and way into Sasha.  Winners: Sasha Banks/Becky Lynch  
  • Pre-Show: Kalisto (c) v Alberto Del Rio for the US Championship--This is a two out of three falls match much to my surprise.  Things broke down outside and ADR waffled Kalisto with a chair to lose the first fall.  The announcers discussed why you'd put yourself "behind the 8 ball" like that, but one of them (JBL I think) pointed out that you sometimes lose the battle to win the war.  As I was recapping all this ADR hits that corner stomp finisher of his to even it at two falls.  JBL pointed out how brilliant the strategy was.  Eventually ADR hit a nice inverted superplex and they played it as if that should finish the match except Kalisto instinctively rolled out of the ring.  ADR hit a wicked looking stomp from the announce area to Kalisto, but is unable to get the countout victory which would have given him the US Championship.  Kalisto went on to reverse Del Rio's turnbuckle move into a Salida Del Sol, ADR blocks that, but gets thrown into the turnbuckle.  Kalisto is able to roll him up for the victory.  Really enjoyed this match.  Winner: Kalisto (and still US Champion)
In short, I thought Fastlane was a successful show. AJ/Jericho was a huge disappointment, Divas Championship match was clunky and awkward, and Curtis Axel/R-Truth shouldn't have been there. Other than that I liked most everything and thought for a "B show" it was really solid.

As it relates to the main event at WrestleMania, it will be fascinating to see how they try to fix that on Raw tomorrow.  For that matter it will be interesting to see how the card takes shape in general as we are now hurtling towards WrestleMania 32 in Dallas with nothing else in the way.