Styles retains, Asuka challenges Charlotte at Wrestlemania as Fastlane (surprisingly) delivers
Robert O’Neill: Here we are on the final PPV stop on the Road to Wrestlemania: Fastlane!
Chris Novak: I get the sense this PPV will be better than people expect it to.
Robert O’Neill: Starting with Rusev Day v. Nakamura Day? Fantastic!
Chris Novak: Might as well have the crowds be as hot as they can be for these two. Okay, that match was a great start to the show.
Robert O’Neill: Yup that’s all you need to do to get the crowd going. Both guys looked strong and the needed result happened, as Shinsuke won.
Chris Novak: Alright. It’s on to the US Championship Match. This was a dead heat on the betting odds… so it really, truly could go either way.
Robert O’Neill: I hope it’s better than I think it will be.
Chris Novak: Really was a pretty good match. I like the title change. It was a dead heat going in, so you had to figure they might pull the trigger. And, well, they did. I dug it, and I’ve dug this show so far.
Robert O’Neill: Well, it wasn’t better than I thought it would be. But their style just isn’t for me. It was fine for what it was and the ending was fine and it’s neat that Orton has the one title he was missing in his career.
Chris Novak: Alright, here we go with women’s tag action. Hopefully this works well.
Robert O’Neill: That was fine. As good as you can hope for in a match with very little story behind it.
Chris Novak: Yeah, that was solid. Natalya is a very bad wrestler, but the other three more than made up for that.
Robert O’Neill: The New Day Kids Choice Awards commercial was hilarious.
Chris Novak: Alright. Time to let ‘er rip here with The New Day and The Usos.
Robert O’Neill: That was a fine New Day/Usos match. It didn’t go as long as the other ones they’ve had and didn’t really ever get started before the Bludgeon Brothers came out and beat down both teams to set up a triple threat (likely) at Wrestlemania. It was a great beatdown, too.
Chris Novak: Sucks we didn’t get a clean finish. But, it was the right decision. Oh hey… we get Nakamura-Styles hype. Fun! Very fun and exciting! Here comes Charlotte-Ruby Riott, which should be a hoot. Especially if they take the kid gloves off Ruby.
Robert O’Neill: Hoping they give Charlotte and Ruby a lot of time here.
Chris Novak: That was fun! And good!
Robert O’Neill: Well that was fun, I guess! I like Naomi and Becky getting ejected along with the Riott Squad. You don’t usually see faces getting ejected. Charlotte had a pretty brutal spot for the ending and ASUKA CAME OUT, so there’s a lot of hype for that now.
Chris Novak: Hell. YES. I am all for this. There was nothing really left for Asuka to do on RAW. And while it was somewhat intriguing to see Alexa build up a faction of sort to face Asuka, it’s for the best that she goes to SDL. She immediately gives that division star power. We’ll now get Charlotte-Asuka, and we’ll also get Nia-Alexa.
Robert O’Neill: I thought the main event was going to be chaotic and overbooked, and at some points it was. But overall, I loved it. Everyone looked pretty good, Cena’s story of having nothing at Wrestlemania continues, and we’re locked into Styles/Nakamura which will kick ass. The continuation of the Zayn/Owens/Shane saga is annoying, but I’m pretty sure that’s going to just last forever at this point. Whatever.
Chris Novak: That main event was crazy and chaotic and awesome. Way better than the RAW men’s Elimination Chamber match from a few weeks ago. Everyone had their moments. Baron continues to be AWESOME in multi-man matches. Dolph bumped like it was 2013. Cena had a strong performance. The dynamic between Owens and Zayn was great, although the Shane inclusion is just… barf. And, of course, Styles was great, too. Right decision, right call to have him win, obviously.
- Shinsuke Nakamura d. Rusev
- Randy Orton d. Bobby Roode to win the United States Championship
- Natalya and Carmella d. Becky Lynch and Naomi
- New Day and Usos fight to no contest due to Bludgeon Brothers interference
- Charlotte Flair d. Ruby Riott to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship
- AJ Styles d. John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbin, Sami Zayn, and Kevin Owens to retain the WWE Championship
Robert O’Neill: Off the bat, I want to say that I really liked this show. The Orton/Roode match wasn’t for me, but everything else worked really well, and it wound up being pretty perfect for the last PPV before Wrestlemania. Those types of shows are always hard to book, because very rarely does something of importance happen, so WWE has to get creative in their efforts. I think the Bludgeon Brothers’ beatdown of both the New Day and Usos was wonderfully executed, and the main event was better than I expected. Overall, I was entertained throughout: B
Chris Novak: This was a very, very good show. Better than expected, as I predicted! Rusev-Nakamura was great fun. The US TItle Match was pretty solid. It was unfortunate, again, that the Tag Titles Match was cut short, but the booking around it was executed very well. The women’s tag match was fine. The Women’s Championship Match was good to very good. The moment when Asuka came out was great and done well. And, as mentioned, the WWE Title Match was chaotic greatness. SDL needed to hit it out of the park, and honestly? I think they did. B+ is the grade for me. Just a touch below an A-minus.