WWE Fastlane 2017 Thoughts and Results
Holy crap….was this a regular Raw show without commercials and a special attraction or was this supposed to be a PPV hyping the “road to Wrestlemania?” This show, besides two matches and some of the action in the ring, was a disappointment and full of lazy, lazy booking/storytelling.
Sami Zayn vs. Samoa Joe
This match started the show off strong. Zayn did get some offense in but it was Joe that looked the most dominant here. When Joe attacked Zayn in the corner with a kick to the head, it was the first time in a long time that I saw a referee actually open his mouth like he was saying “holy shit!”
In the end, Joe did what was expected and got Zayn to tap out. I don’t think Zayn looked bad at all in the match and I can see us getting a rematch on Raw in the next few weeks.
Winner: Samoa Joe
Gallows and Anderson (Champs) vs. Enzo & Cass – Raw Tag Team Championship Match
This was paint by numbers match that would have fit perfectly on TV. Both teams did well but there wasn’t anything that stood out about the match. Enzo & Cass have an out here with Enzo’s foot being on the rope during the three-count not being seen by the ref and being knocked off by Gallows. I’m sure a rematch is also going to happen on Raw sooner than later.
Winners: Gallows and Anderson
Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks
WWE was building up Jax as an unstoppable force. Jax did look like that for most of this match except a few instances where Banks got some offense in. The whole ending where Banks rolled Jax up for the win blew my mind. There is no way that Banks could do such a thing and keep her down. There was no reason for Banks to win and to put a halt in Jax’s monster push. I mean, I don’t find Nia Jax entertaining at all – she’s limited, slow, and horrible on the mic, but it seems like the let all the air out of the balloon by doing this. Jax getting pinned clean defied logic for me and it was the start of the head-scratching decisions this PPV delivered.
Winner: Sasha Banks
Jinder Mahal vs. Cesaro
One of two impromptu matches made due to Mahal and Rusev fighting with each other. Why in the hell would Foley create two separate matches featuring two people who want to fight each other instead of a single match between those two individuals? It was nice to see Mahal get some much needed spotlight in WWE as well as Cesaro getting some PPV time, but in the end this was nothing more than a standard Raw match that featured Mahal as a loser. Rusev beat down Mahal at the end to add insult to injury. Whoopie.
The Big Show vs. Rusev
What year are we in? Why on earth did we have a match with The Big Show making Rusev look weak, when only a few years ago we had a fear Rusev riding in on a tank for Wrestlemania as one of the most feared and dominant men in WWE? The Big Show has wallowed in obscurity for almost two years so why did WWE decide to have him come in to defeat someone they should be continuing to build on? I shake my head. Bad. Bad. Bad.
Winner: The Big Show
Neville vs. Jack Gallagher
We all know how good Neville is but I think this match solidified how good Gallagher is in the ring and that he’s not just around for comedy. This match was pretty damn good and the crowd really seemed into it – which is a plus for the Cruiserweight division. In the end Neville hit the Red Arrow on Gallagher to score the win. It was great to hear the announcers acknowledge that we hadn’t seen that move in a while because it makes it seem like Neville needed to break it out to make sure he keep Gallagher down. I’m down for a rematch!
Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns
This match was better than I had anticipated, but there was still a lot of holds used that slowed down the match for me. The crowd was still more against Reigns from what I could hear on TV without it blasting (due to a cold, I can barely hear out of my right ear). The match picked up more when both men were out of the ring and Strowman power-slammed Reigns through the announce table. Close to the end of the match Strowman tried to jump off the top rope to nail Reigns with a flying headbutt, but Reigns moved and Reigns speared him to pin Strowman clean in the middle of the ring.
So….a monster that has been built up since the draft just lost clean to someone the majority of the fan base is still rejecting? Right. What a great decision by WWE Creative here (sarcastic, of course). If the plan is for Reigns to go against The Undertaker and Wrestlemania, why wouldn’t they start it off with The Undertaker costing Reigns the match? It protects Reigns, keeps Strowman on the monster push course and the story writes itself. I just don’t get it sometimes. Reigns acting all casual and cool on Talking Raw like the match didn’t affect him after the PPV was really disengaging for me. Same goes for the announces putting over Reigns at the end of the match, trying us to drink the Kool-Aid.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Bayley (Champ) vs. Charlotte – Raw Women’s Championship
While this match was probably the best of the night, it was ruined by more head-scratching booking. I just don’t understand a few things with the outcomes. Why end Charlotte’s Queen of PPV streak on this PPV and not something more major like Wrestlemania? Why is Sasha Banks interfering and Bayley picking up wins through all of these heel tactics? It makes Banks look like a heel and Bayley continue on looking like she’s not the kind of champ she’s touting herself to be. Hell, even on Talking Raw after the PPV, both ladies came across like BFFs and didn’t seem to have any issue with how things went down.
The ONLY thing that I can see happen with all of this is Stephanie McMahon come out to rule that the match is null and void and strips Bayley of the championship, leading up to a four way match at Wrestlemania. Either that or she’ll announce that Bayley will be defending her title at Wrestlemania in a fatal four-way match.
There’s no reason for Bayley to be winning this way, no reason to end Charlotte’s streak, and no reason to have Sasha interfere in matches when they are not heels. WWE should have let Charlotte keep the belt up to Wrestlemania and drop it and the streak then in a feel good moment for Bayley. Oh no. That would be decent storytelling, right?
Kevin Owens (Champ) vs. Goldberg – WWE Universal Championship Match
Once again, it took Goldberg longer to get to the ring than his actual performance in it. Kevin Owens playing cat and mouse with Goldberg by getting in and out of the ring so the match wouldn’t officially start led me to believe my heartfelt prediction would come true! Maybe Owens really WAS going to leave with the belt due to Lesnar interfering or some other scheme. Maybe we wouldn’t see WWE once again rely on part timers or nostalgia acts for their biggest show of the year. Maybe they would reward someone that works all year round by having them defend their belt at Wrestlemania while the two part timers could focus on their feud. No. I was wrong.
Chris Jericho’s music hit and distracted Owens. The bell rang, Goldberg hit a spear then a jackhammer and got the pin on Owens. Even my wife said it was the stupidest thing she’s seen in a long time.
If I was in the arena, I’d actually be throwing shit into the ring. Why in the hell are we seeing this in 2017?!?! Why does Vince think Goldberg having the belt is good for business? Why does the Lesnar/Goldberg feud need the championship??? It doesn’t. It wouldn’t matter and I actually think the interference from Lesnar to prevent Goldberg winning it would have made the story better. I guess Lesnar was too lazy to actually work last night, right?
Winner: ugh, Goldberg
This PPV left a bad taste in my mouth. Now we are four weeks away from Wrestlemania, so you’re going to see things pick up fast and matches announced on both shows in the next two weeks. Tonight’s Raw better right some wrongs, but then again, if that’s the case for shitty booking, why have the PPV the night before anyway? Oh yeah. WWE is a business and needs money.