by Elliot Dyson
I don’t know if you’ve heard, because it’s quite a well-kept secret, but WWE Fastlane is the last stop on the road to Wrestlemania.
With that in mind, this PPV should feature some tasty swerves and turns, building excitement for the show of shows/the showcase of the immortals/the Superbowl of sports entertainment/the inevitable disappointment.
Okay, let’s take a look at what happened at
Roadblock 6: Expect Delays Fastlane.
WWE don’t seem to care about the Raw Tag Team Titles, so why should I? So here’s the briefest of recaps of that title defence (and some Enzo & Cass bashing). There’s only one word to describe Enzo & Cass and it’s “tired”. Actually there are several other words I could use to describe them, but I can only swear so many times in an article before my renegade editor, Bradley Tiernan, tells my da’ and gets me grounded.
The end of the match saw Enzo be pinned by Karl Anderson, though the former had his foot on the rope. Gallows noticed and rectified the situation, pushing away Amore’s size threes, allowing the heels to pick up the win. The problem with this is that regardless of Enzo’s foot placement, his arm was still under the rope, so really, the pin shouldn’t have counted. More importantly, who gives a fuck? Sorry Brad.
The Cruiserweight Championship match provided some great spots, as expected, including a particularly brutal snap German Suplex from Neville, followed by a second rope Phoenix Splash. It seems like the cruiserweight division is finally gaining some steam and fan support, though the intentional separation from the rest of the Raw roster is still troubling to me. Like, why are we dicking around with purple ropes still? Anyway, the match crescendoed with some hot headbutts from Gallagher, before he succumbed to the Red Arrow, allowing Neville to retain the title.
OTHER SHIT WORTH NOTING, I GUESS:
– Bayley/Charlotte, Reigns/Strowman and Goldberg/Owens were the only matches hyped in the video package kicking off the show.
– Samoa Joe submitted Sami Zayn, who passed out instead of tapping, in-keeping with his “never-give-up” character.
– WWE debuted a really shitty Wrestlemania advert, equating the event to a rollercoaster. Because it’s the “ultimate thrill ride…” Keep up the good work, WWE tagline department!
– Steph thinks she knows more about aeroplane engineering than actual aeroplane engineers.
– Sasha Banks defeated Nia Jax with a cheeky roll-up.
– Did you know “Raw Talk” still exists?
– Handsome Rusev has had a sharp haircut.
– Foley set up some unannounced singles matches for Jinder Mahal and handsome Rusev, which began as a brawl between the two and ended with Mahal losing to Cesaro and Rusev losing to Big Show.
– You guys seen the trailer for this Jetsons/WWE crossover special? Shit looks dope!
– Paul Heyman turned up to fill time.
– Big E changed the New Day intro to “Your Wrestlemania hosts” and everyone in the crowd probably felt like huge idiots.
– Are the New Day doing this ice cream thing just to sell concessions at ‘Mania?
When Roman Reigns enters the arena, he tends to look around with disbelief plastered over his face, and I like to think he’s simply blown away by how hated he is. He’s like “Shit, seriously guys? But I’m such a big dog!” Anyway, Braun Strowman sauntered out to a far more positive reaction from the crowd, though he still garnered some of the boos of a heel.
Strowman dominated throughout the majority of the bout, several times reversing some of Reigns’ classic moves, the most impressive of which was when Braun caught Roman mid-Spear, turning the momentum into a Running Powerslam through the announce table. Shortly afterwards, Strowman kicked out of a Spear and remained on his feet after 2 Superman Punches, much to the delight of the smarks in the audience. BUT, because this is the WWE, Reigns recuperated and won the match with a second Spear.
I sure am glad I sat through all of those Strowman squash matches and main roster sacrifices just for Roman to look strong at B-level Pay-Per-View.
In one of the biggest surprises of the night, Bayley retained the Women’s Championship in a match against Charlotte, who famously had previously not lost a singles match on a PPV ruddy ages. While most expected Charlotte’s streak to be broken at Wrestlemania, much like Braun Strowman’s streak, we saw it end at Fastlane, but with an asterisk.
While lining up a Moonsault to Bayley on the outside of the ring, Charlotte fell victim to the interference of Sasha Banks, who admittedly got a bit merked. The whole ordeal set up a couple of Bayley-To-Bellies for Charlotte and a 3-count for The Hugger. Should a face be interfering with a match, unprompted? Maybe we’ll be getting a bit of change in the women’s division in the coming weeks.
How did we get here? How is Goldberg challenging for the Universal Championship a storyline in 2017? Just like Moby, Kellogg’s Fruit Winders and Sam Raimi’s Spiderman series, Goldberg belongs in the past. Unfortunately for people like me, WWE are big fans of money and fan nostalgia carries a hefty price tag these days.
Just as Kevin Owens and Goldberg were in the ring and ready to begin the
squash well-matched combat, before the bell rang, the former decided to take a walk. After his brief cardio, Owens climbed back in the ring and immediately ducked out again. He did this 3 times, garnering quite the reaction (laughs and boos) from the crowd. Once he was nice and fired up, KO demanded the match begin, but a split second before it did, we witnessed the return of Chris Jericho, who simply grinned menacingly at the top of the ramp. The distraction was enough for old Bill to get the jump on Owens, landing a Spear and a Jackhammer, followed by a 3-count and a lot of child kissing (not in a Woody Allen way).
Well, Fastlane has left us with a lot to think about, namely: “How did we get here?” “How is Bill Goldberg the current Universal Champion in 2017?” and “Why do I still watch wrestling?”