Welcome to The Wrestling Kennection's LIVE PPV Coverage of WWE Fastlane 2017!
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Enjoy the Show!
Kickoff Tag Team Match Rich Swann & Akira Tozawa vs. The Brian Kendrick & Noam Dar w/Alicia Fox
RESULT: Swann and Tozawa win via pinfall; Swann pinned Dar following the Phoenix Splash.
THOUGHTS: A fun and energetic little match to start off Fastlane. Great energy from Swann and Tozawa, and I wouldn't mind seeing them team up again in the future. Swann getting the duke for his team works here; it gives Tozawa a win in his first PPV match and keeps his feud with Kendrick on ice until the eventual one-on-one match.
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 1/9 Stan - 1/9 Brian - 1/9 Greg - 1/9 Nick - 0/9 Julie - 1/9
Singles Match Sami Zayn vs. Samoa Joe
RESULT: Samoa Joe wins via submission; Sami Zayn passed out in the Coquina Clutch and the ref called for the bell.
THOUGHTS: Great call to have this match open Fastlane. You can tell Zayn and Joe have great chemistry in the ring just by how crisp and fluid their exchanges were. I also liked Zayn showing a little bit of guile and didn't just let Joe roll over him by suckering him in a couple times during the match.
In the end, though, Joe secured a effectively dominant victory in his first PPV match, as was to be expected. Joe's opaque comments earlier on the kickoff show imply that he's going to be a big part of WM 33; should be interesting to see just what WWE has in mind for him.
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 2/9 Stan - 2/9 Brian - 3/9 (LOCK) Greg - 2/9 Nick - 0/9 Julie - 2/9
WWE RAW Tag Team Championship The Club (c) vs. Enzo & Cass
RESULT: The Club wins via pinfall; Karl Anderson pinned Enzo Amore after a running single-leg dropkick (and Gallows knocks Enzo's leg off the ropes).
THOUGHTS: Pretty standard fare all around, and while there were a couple moments where you'd think Enzo and Cass might pull it off, it never really felt like Anderson and Gallows were in danger of losing the tag straps. The somewhat controversial ending with Gallows knocking Enzo's foot off the ropes implies that this feud MUST continue.
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 4/9 (LOCK) Stan - 3/9 Brian - 4/9 Greg - 2/9 Nick - 0/9 Julie - 2/9
Women's Singles Match Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax
RESULT: Sasha Banks wins via pinfall; Sasha rolled up Nia with a bridging pin for the three count.
THOUGHTS: Nothing about this match blew me away, but it was solidly well done; Jax looked dominant throughout and Banks proved resilient, finding ways to wear down the bigger opponent in Jax by transitioning from one submission to the next.
Some critics will say that Sasha winning takes away from Nia's monster momentum, but the fact that it took a desperate-looking roll-up by Sasha to pin her should temper that notion; it wasn't a clean-cut victory, and thus shouldn't take a whole lot away from Nia going into WM 33.
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 4/9 (LOCK) Stan - 3/9 Brian - 4/9 Greg - 3/9 Nick - 0/9 Julie - 2/9
Singles Match Cesaro vs. Jinder Mahal
RESULT: Cesaro wins via pinfall; Cesaro pinned Mahla following a pop-up Swiss Uppercut.
THOUGHTS: Always good to see Cesaro in action, even if it's a throwaway match such as this. I was never really into the Rusev-Jinder tandem to begin with, so their split doesn't really do anything for me. Jinder has certainly physically improved himself, but nothing about his in-ring acumen signifies being an effective competitor.
Singles Match Rusev w/Lana vs. The Big Show
RESULT: Big Show wins via pinfall; Big Show pinned Rusev after three chokeslams and a KO Punch.
THOUGHTS: Great to see that Big Show kid getting a big time rub over such a dominant athlete like "Handsome" Rusev *eyeroll*. Seems to be a yearly trend with Rusev's stock dipping lower and lower simply because WWE doesn't see a long-term prospect in him as a main-eventer. It seems like he'll have a worthwhile push, like with his two runs as US Champion, only to get knocked down a few rungs after losing the title. What's WWE's ultimate endgame for the Bulgarian Brute?
WWE Cruiserweight Championship "King" Neville (c) vs. "Gentleman" Jack Gallagher
RESULT: Neville wins via pinfall; Neville pinned Gallagher after a Red Arrow.
THOUGHTS: A great match for the CW Title between these two Englishmen. The commentary actually made a good point in that Gallagher refused to be undermined by Neville's verbal and mental mind games, competing with him on a more even keel than Swann and others have; it showed here, as it never felt like Neville truly had things in hand, and created a more excitable atmosphere for a Cruiserweight match than what we've seen since the division's debut on RAW.
Gallagher made a big-time presence here in his first solo opportunity on pay-per-view; he did an effective job of mixing his comedic stylings with his technical savvy, even busting out a couple aerial maneuvers to keep Neville guessing (as well as those EXTREMELY stiff headbutts, ouch!). Neville ultimately would only be able to put Gallagher away by pulling out an almost-desperate Red Arrow, since his more methodical, physical style wasn't enough to keep Jack down for good.
A smashing good exchange between these two men, and I certainly wouldn't mind seeing them mix it up again at or going into WM 33.
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 5/9 Stan - 4/9 Brian - 5/9 Greg - 3/9 Nick - 0/9 Julie - 3/9
Singles Match Roman Reigns vs. BRAUN Strowman
RESULT: Roman Reigns wins via pinfall; Reigns pinned Strowman after a Spear, following a missed top-rope splash by Strowman.
THOUGHTS: An awesomely brutal exchange between Roman and Strowman. (A rhyme, how sublime!) BRAUN looked every bit the tour-DE-force he's been built up as over the last few months, as well as showing effective counter-technique for many of Roman's signature maneuvers, stonewalling Roman's offense at times, and even kicking out of a Spear, so I'm not at all bothered that Roman pick up the win here.
Like with Sasha eking out a win over Nia Jax, Roman's win came out of desperation and capitalizing on a miscalculation by his bigger opponent rather than anything cut and dry like we've seen with a lot of his matches. That's a key aspect of what makes this an effective win for Roman, as well as the improvement on expressing himself during a match; this was a situation where he knew he WAS an touted underdog, and Roman pulled it off by not acting as someone who knew he was going to win, but by showing disbelief and just being thankful he came out of it in one piece.
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 6/9 Stan - 4/9 Brian - 5/9 Greg - 3/9 Nick - 1/9 Julie - 4/9
WWE RAW Women's Championship Bayley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
RESULT: Bayley wins via pinfall; Bayley pinned Charlotte following a Bayley-to-Belly.
THOUGHTS: Not really sure where WWE's going with this; on the one hand, I'm glad they didn't hotshot the title back to Charlotte like what happened a lot throughout her feud with Sasha, and the match itself (minus a couple miscommunications in the middle) was fine.
However, I was not a big fan of the ending. Charlotte actually did keep to her word by keeping Dana Brooke in the back, which makes Sasha's involvement this time around entirely unjustified and doesn't do Bayley any justice either, considering it was her first title defense. Also, Sasha clearly hit Charlotte in front of the ref, which should've constituted a DQ, yet the ref didn't call it, so there's that glaring plot hole as well.
So Charlotte will have a legitimate gripe coming out of this match, and Sasha gets a win over Nia, who herself had a win over Bayley last Monday. Ladies and gentleman, here's your Fatal Four Way for WM 33.
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 6/9 Stan - 4/9 Brian - 5/9 Greg - 5/9 (LOCK) Nick - 1/9 Julie - 4/9
WWE Universal Championship Kevin Owens (c) vs. Goldberg
RESULT: NEW CHAMPION Goldberg wins via pinfall; Goldberg pinned Owens following a spear and a jackhammer.
THOUGHTS: I needed the time to properly process all of this, to understand just why they went the straight and narrow route by having Goldberg steamroll Owens, thanks to Jericho's return, creating the ironic twist many wrestling pundits, including myself, were expecting.
I get it. I don't like it, but I get it. Business comes first in WWE, especially around WrestleMania time, and that means putting on the biggest spectacle possible, even if that spectacle (Brock vs. Goldberg 3) doesn't truly need a championship.
What gets to me is that this "main event" just continues the trend of part-timers like Goldberg and Lesnar lording over full-timers like Owens. While it certainly doesn't hurt someone like KO getting a rub being in the ring with a Goldberg or a Lesnar, it certainly doesn't help their standing in the eyes of regular fans by looking completely helpless. I was well aware that Goldberg squashing Owens was the most likely possibility, but if WWE had given Owens three, maybe even four minutes "outwitting" Goldberg en route to the eventual finish, I feel like it would've done more to boost Owens in the eyes of viewers than a lot of his run as "longest-reigning Universal Champion" did.
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 6/9 Stan - 4/9 Brian - 6/9 Greg - 6/9 Nick - 3/9 (LOCK) Julie - 4/9
MAIN EVENT "TIME-BREAKER: Kevin Owens vs. Goldberg (00:20)