Fastlane is the final stop on the Road to WrestleMania and tonight will have some major implications. The big story is whether the fans will be screwed out of the World Title Match they want to see at Mania, but the Usos, United States Championship, and Charlotte are all involved in important matches tonight.
- Hosts are Renee Young, Booker T, Sam Roberts, and David Otunga.
- Booker quickly removes any lingering doubts about whether he is a mark. After Renee mistakenly calls Booker the first United States Champion they correctly state it was Harley Race. Booker angrily says he was the first in the modern era.
- Selfie promos are awful. I know they are targeted for the audience they wish were watching, but they are the exact opposite of what that demographic likes.
- Breezango and Tye Dillenger defeated American Beta and Mojo Rawley after Dillenger pinned Rawley.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Rusev
Nakamura would seem to be the favorite, but today is Rusev Day. Dueling chants for both men during the match. Good back and forth with no slow spots. Nakamura pins Rusev in one Nakamura’s better matches since being called up to the main roster.
Bobby Roode vs. Randy Orton for the United State Championship
The main selling point to this match was Orton going after the only title he has never held in the WWE, but Booker ruined that story during the pre-show when he said a man with Orton’s accomplishments does not really care about winning the U.S Title. Corey Graves points out that Roode will not take a countout victory since the great ones are never satisfied with escaping with their titles. Guess he’s not a fan of Ric Flair.
The match had less chinlocks than expected and was actually pretty good. Orton wins after an RKO out of nowhere. Jinder Mahal jumps Orton after the match, then Roode lays out both men. Just like that we have a new U.S . Champion and a match set for WrestleMania. Not a big fan of multiple three ways on one card, but I doubt they will add any more. Right?
Ronda Rousey segment going over everything that has happened starting with her Royal Rumble debut. Cool package that gets over the big moments.
Backstage an angry Kevin Owens says he is going to win the WWF Title. Zayn says he pinned Owens on SmackDown but tonight was different and he will lay down for his best friend.
Becky Lynch & Naomi vs. Carmella and Natalya
The announcers state that Carmella has held the Money in the Bank briefcase for 267 days and wonder when she will cash it in. No s--t.
Sloppy match at times, but they kept the crowd in it. Becky was the most over in the match and the crowd chanted, “We want Becky” whenever she was not in. Naturally, she got pinned clean following a superkick from Natalya.
The Usos (C) vs. The New Day for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships
The announcers have been pushing this as a long time rivalry all night. Before the match they show clips of their matches from 2017. Did you know since 2001 a WWE announcer has won the Wrestling Observer Worst Announcer of the Year award fourteen times?
These two teams had so many matches last year that the psychology in this match is that they are doing each other’s moves. The match was going along fine until the Bludgeon Brothers interfered. Another three way? The beating goes on too long.
AJ Styles comes out and says he will overcome the obstacles to keep his title before Nakamura comes outs. Nothing of note here.
They are still helping The Usos and The New Day to the back. They are really trying to get the 2Bs over here.
Charlotte (C) vs. Ruby Riott for the SmackDown Women’s Championship
Ruby initially comes to the ring on her own, but the Riott Squad soon join her. This brings out Becky and Naomi. All four eventually end up being tossed by the referee. Charlotte wins a good match by submission with the Figure Eight. Charlotte is reaching the broomstick levels of excellence her father got to.
Charlotte begins to celebrate and Asuka’s music hits. Asuka enters the ring and points to the WrestleMania sign, setting up an awesome match and what should be a great promo on Raw tomorrow when Alexa Bliss talks about how Asuka was too scared to face her.
Typically great promo package before the main event. Couple of things:
- Couldn’t the team of writers they employ just have gone with Cena wants to have the greatest WrestleMania Moment ever?
- Dolph Ziggler can’t claim to steal the show every night when he works in the same company as Seth Rollins and on the same brand as AJ Styles.
AJ Styles (C) vs. John Cena vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler (Six Pack Challenge for the WWE Championship)
Match starts fast with Cena AAing everyone except Styles. Everyone eventually come to and a group beatdown on Cena ensues. Fast paced match that was non stop action. After a series of teases, Cena AA Styles through an announce table. It comes down to KO and Zayn, who lays down as promised. This turns out to be a trick and the two brawl. Zayn begins arguing with Shane and Owens accidentally superkicks McMahon. Shane prevents Owens and Zayn from winning (yet another three way?) and Cena gets a looooong two count on Corbin. Owens looks like he is going to win before Styles hits the Phenomenal Forearm for the pin. Easily match of the night.
Overall Thoughts: For a card that looked like a lame duck PPV, Fastlane was a fun card. While there is nothing to go out of you way to see, AJ-Nakamura and Charlotte-Asuka were confirmed for WrestleMania. Now if they can only add a couple more three ways…