Wrestling Review: WWE Fastlane (2017)

With Wrestlemania looming in the distance, this is the final stop on the Road to Wrestlemania. The Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is sold out for WWE Fastlane, which will play host to a huge number of matchups which may well change the entire complexion of the fast-aproaching show-of-shows. At the top of the card, Kevin Owens looks to end the dream comeback of Goldberg when Goldberg looks to take the prize fighter Owens’ Universal Championship, but with a huge match against Brock Lesnar on the horizon, will Goldberg be able to concentrate on the present, or will the ruthless Kevin Owens prove why he was hand-chosen as the future of the WWE? Also in the cards is a massive collision, as ‘The Big Dog’ Roman Reigns looks to take on ‘The Mountain Among Men’ Braun Strowman. Following the literally ring-destroying brawl these two had on Raw last week, this is set to be a huge meeting, and who knows who is going to come out on top. And that is not even mentioning three other huge title matches, including the Cruiserweight title on the line as the English pair of “The King of the Cruiserweights” Neville and Gentleman Jack Gallagher face each other, and Charlotte Flair looks to reclaim the Raw Women’s Championship, as well as continue her unbroken win streak on pay per views as she battles the bubbly Bayley. All this and more on the final stop before Wrestlemania, as WWE Raw presents Fastlane.

+ Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman: this was the match I was most looking forward to, and thankfully these two kept it as a slug-out brawl, rather than attempt anything technical. Some massive slams and kicks that sounded like lightning strikes made for a very enjoyable watch
+ Neville (c) vs Gentleman Jack Gallagher (WWE Cruiserweight Championship): following three bad matches, and one overly long segment, this felt like a six star match. Neville is incredible as his new ruthless King persona, and Gallagher is one of, if not the most enjoyable cruiserweight to watch, both in ring and on the mic. This was a really, really good match between the two, and I certainly want to see more of it in the future
+ Bayley (c) vs Charlotte Flair (WWE Raw Women’s Championship): overall, this was a good match. However, much like most other matches on this show, it was nothing we have not seen before. Bayley/Charlotte happened on Bayley’s first night on Raw, and it has happened countless time since, so as good as this was, it was entirely nothing new. Even still, it was more enjoyable than most other matches
+ The Brian Kendrick & Noam Dar (w/ Alicia Fox) vs Rich Swann & Akira Tozawa: once again the cruiserweights were relegated to the pre-show, and once again they delivered a far more entertaining match than at least half of the main card. Both teams were fantastic pairings, as the charismatic and explosive Swann and Tozawa looked to overcome to sleazy and slimy Kendrick and Dar, and these combinations made for a fantastic warm-up match to get the crowd pumping right as the main show began

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Goldberg competes for a WWE championship for the first time since 2003 (image via WWE Network)

– Kevin Owens (c) vs Goldberg (WWE Universal Championship): if this really needs a recap, you haven’t been paying attention. It is not the result that bothers me, but I have to say the way it happened left much to be desired. Oh well
– Jinder Mahal and Rusev demanded singles competition, and the resulting matches were surprisingly good. Jinder has changes his physique so dramatically of late, and he has obviously worked on his in-ring prowess. Although, when you’re in the ring with one of the best wrestlers in the world (hint hint), it is not too surprising the match was as good as it was. This was probably the best segment to this point (roughly the half way mark), but overall this was also just something you’d expect from a regular episode of Raw
– Samoa Joe vs Sami Zayn: this, the first match on the main card was somewhat underdone; maybe I just expected more from these two fantastic athletes, and maybe they were just saving some of the big stuff for future matches, but when it was all said and done I can’t help but feel this was underwhelming
– The Club (Luke ‘DOC’ Gallows & Karl Anderson) (c) vs Enzo & Big Cass (WWE Raw Tag Team Championships): this just felt like any of their standard Raw matches, up to and including a standard ending. Karl Anderson deserves so much better, and Enzo should never be in the ring
– Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax: I’m not entirely sure why this match had to happen, considering Jax absolutely obliterated Banks not a month ago on free TV. And much like the Tag title match before, this was nothing more than a standard TV match. Nia Jax is not ready to be putting on long(ish) matches. Another flat match, the third in a row to start the show

Should you watch this event: From start to finish, with all the ups and downs, this was basically just a regular episode of Raw. Until the main event, the matches on show were ones we have seen on free TV. There was no surprises, no twists or turns, and when it was all said and done, only the main event meant anything, and it might not take a genius to know where that match was going to end. Don’t bother watching this show.

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