I hate to say this going into any PPV, but especially on the Road to WM, but Fastlane is such a throwaway show! The build hasn’t been great, I couldn’t tell you most of the matches on the card, and I’m not at all excited to watch it, beyond being a wrestling show.
The End Of It All!
Some of the things Ali and Riddle did in this match were shocking! Riddle hitting his series of moves was beautiful, and the power work between them both was sick. The strength it took both of them to hit some of those moves blew me away. I didn’t know we were going to see this match, because I haven’t paid enough attention to the card, but dang they worked that ring hard. The match was a bit short, but it told a story.
The story that happened after the match also added to the grade. I love that my girl Mia was first to walk away. Still wish we’d seen her face Woods, but they needed to break up Retribution after McMahon just threw it aside when he got bored with it. I’m so over McMahon’s whims, and because of his daft whims that truly have nothing to do with the fans, I can’t wait for him to be out of Creative for good. He’s too out of the loop of the world to get it any longer, but he won’t let go because he knows he went against his own father’s wished when he took over, so he’s afraid of what his kids (Trip included) will do to the company, but from where I’m sitting, it will only get better – after a time of finding themselves and the growing pains they will go through.
You’re The Rookie!
I’ll fully admit that I was in awe of the ring gear from the moment they came out. The blue and red on Sasha and Bianca were fantastic. They looked like a solid team, but still very much in their own traditional looks. Sasha’s straps were a bit different, but her husband changes those up from time to time. Shayna’s ring gear is cut the same way her gear normally is, but so much more interesting. The linework on the fabric, the color face from red to white on both her top and bottoms. This exciting new gear makes me that much more excited to see what she’s going to wear at WM. Nia’s gear looked a little better than some we’ve seen her in lately, but she still has those horrible hip shovels, and her gear was almost too busy this time around. Now, I’m all about clashing patterns, fabrics, and craziness, but I think this particular piece of gear was just a tiny bit too much. If she had a huge personality to go with her busy gear it would work, but she doesn’t. Honestly, I find Nia rather boring most of the time.
Now, the ring work. Of course, they all went out there to give us the best match they could. They have done this each and every time they’re in the ring together, which is why this feud has worked. Both teams were on point through the whole match, until Reginald got involved. Then, as expected, it all fell apart. Sasha had to pieface Bianca and they won’t be going to WM as Tag Team Champs. I’d hoped they would win so Shayna would be freed up from the straps to go after Asuka, who still doesn’t have a feud or anything lined up heading for WM. That slap from Sasha was amazing, but Bianca handled it well as she looked up at the WM and talked smack the whole time. It was a solid match with solid storytelling, but not stellar.
What a mess of a match. They both struggled to make that match work. I know they’re both better than this, and I hope that this doesn’t affect Big E moving forward. What a mess, and I can’t say if one threw the other off, as Big E looked good from the start, but it devolved into a total mess. The ending was a cluster, and probably should garner it a skull, but the start was so good that I couldn’t do that to Big E.
Shane Screws All!
Of course, Shane wasn’t going to face Strowman tonight! I thought that was a given when Shane was suddenly ‘injured’ and couldn’t face Strowman himself. I honestly feel bad for Elias. He’s been given less than nothing, keeps getting stuck facing Strowman when there’s nothing else for either, and he’s sidled with the tattooed racist who follows him around and does less than nothing. Heck, all he does is suck up air. I liked him and was behind him until he showed his true colors. Many thought he should have been released, but any man who would bring in Hogan to host WM and be nasty enough to make Titus O’Neil work with him is the type who would keep another openly racist man on the roster. No issue at all with Elias and Strowman, they’re just caught in the crossfire.
So Much Better!
I was feeling as though nothing would ever be good again, at least not on Fastlane, but then came Naka and Rollins. Naka went all out in this match, being great and absurd in the ring. So much of his silliness that it feels like forever since we’ve seen, as he’s been heel for so long. It’s great to see him back to the Naka I fell in love with when he came to WWE. Naka emotes in the ring like so few others. He’s all over the place with crazy moves, sounds, and amazing moves. This match was such a natural for both of them, and a breath of fresh air after the two clusters that came before it. The back and forth between them was a beautiful thing.
This was exactly as it should be. Both looked great, neither lost any clout and brought the PPV back to something that wasn’t total ick. This was a PPV match through and through, which was needed after how the show had been going.
Diet Pepsi, Anyone?
I make the header for each match the color of the show the wrestler is on, but with McIntyre’s blue face, it was hard to make the title red for this one. I couldn’t help myself with the Pepsi comment. I think it’s my first Pepsi comment since Punk left, which has been a number of years! The Pepsi comment came from Paul in the DD and I couldn’t help myself, I had to abscond with it. Sadly, Drew’s blue didn’t last as well as I’d hoped.
Okay, what is the deal with going after people’s eyes in wrestling over the past year? I know I’m more tweaked about it because a dear friend lost an eye in October, but he has his new prosthetic and looks as dashing as ever. I just don’t get why they feel the need to go for the eyes. One wrong move and really bad things can happen. Luckily it hasn’t happened to anyone – yet!
We knew Sheamus would look rough by the time this match was over. His alabaster skin shows every bump and bruise more than most other people, and his torso hurt just looking at it. I know it’s what they do for a living, but wow he looks a mess. In the end they both looked a mess and earned every bit of the grade I gave them. Best match of the night so far.
Kane? Nope, The Other Crispy Critter!
I was hoping they would have a blast with this one as there was no way Bliss and Orton could have a real match. Not just because McMahon doesn’t like them, but Bliss is so small compared to Orton. This was the perfect time to bring back Wyatt, but the lead-up to it was wonderful. Bliss toyed with Orton in the best of ways. Obviously, everything was perfectly timed, and I’ll be shocked if it wasn’t taped at a separate time, just so they didn’t have to rush to get the ring fixed and everything ringside cleaned up from it. I think we were all waiting to see what The Fiend would look like in his return, and the melted hand coming up from under the ring was perfect.
I know some will have issue with the way Bliss pinned Orton, but she’s playing a little girl. Only our adult brains see it as anything sexual.
Dirtiest Player Or Ultimate Opportunist?
This was a good match between two really great guys, but coming off the previous match, it was a bit boring for me through much of it. It wasn’t until they really got warmed up that things really started to get good. Bry is a favorite of mine, and while Reigns can put on a really great match with the right people, I wasn’t sure this would be as good as I wanted it to be. I will say I expected Edge’s involvement earlier in the match, or him stopping Jey from doing something, but he stayed well out of the way and let them really tell a story in the ring.
It was when they went outside the ring that things really started to get good. Even better after the ref bump. I have been one of the people who hasn’t been phased by no fans in the stands, but this match would have been so much better with fans in the arena. The love of Bry, the anger at Reigns, and the “This is awesome!” chants would have made this a six-crown match. Jey cutting in would have about brought the house down. Then Reigns tapping out. The fans would have eviscerated him for it. Last, Edge with the chair on both Bry and Reigns, the place would have been ready to riot at him. I find it so interesting that it’s been almost a year and I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve truly wanted fans in the seats, and other than McIntyre winning at WM last year, this is the only other time that I truly feel it would have been leaps and bounds better for everything that happened in the ring. I can’t wait to see what happens on SD!
Shut UP Announce And Learn What Decimate Means!
I know that decimate, like literally, doesn’t literally mean what it originally meant, but the use of the word decimate over and over on announce (specifically during Sheamus vs McIntyre) completely pulled me out of the match. It wasn’t Joe who was saying it, it was either Tom or Byron who kept saying it. But, for those who don’t know, deci means ten, and to pull the direct definition –
Decimate – (verb) kill one in every ten of (a group of soldiers or others) as a punishment for the whole group.
Because of the horrible misuse of the word a new definition has been added, and it literally makes me mad enough to make nasty comments.
Decimate – (verb) kill, destroy, or remove a large percentage or part of.
I have serious issue with this, and I don’t see it changing any time soon. Sadly, I don’t see McMahon changing his announcers misuse of the word changing any time soon either.