WWE Fastlane 2019: Recap, results, analysis, match grades
The New Day vs. Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura
Chris Novak: This wound up being the only Kickoff Show match. They made Rey vs. Andrade a Fatal 4-Way for the US Title, featuring the same four who were in the match on Tuesday. This tag was a fun way to get the night started, unsurprisingly. Lot of near falls and a pretty solid pace to this one. Some unique double team maneuvers utilized by the newer tag team, as well. New Day won after hitting the Midnight Hour on Rusev. I’m giving this a very high ***¾. It ruled something fierce
Robert O’Neill: I came into this match not knowing about the long-term sustainability of a Rusev/Shinsuke team, but holy hell this was a lot of fun. They looked like a team that had been together for years, and I would like them to team forever. ****
Miz and Shane McMahon vs. The Usos - SmackDown Tag Team Championships
Robert O’Neill: Wow. This was so much better than their match at the Royal Rumble. Miz delivered an all-time great performance. The Usos played a big part as well but Miz pulled out all the stops and there was a part where Shane and one of the Usos collided in mid-air as they both tried to do top rope moves, I’ve never seen anything like it. Usos retaining was the right call, as well. Shane embraced with Miz and Miz’s dad after the match AND THEN HIT MIZ FROM BEHIND AND BEAT HIM UP. WHAT THE HELL MAN? ****
Chris Novak: I need more babyface Miz and I need it now. What an effort. Obviously, The Usos’ greatness has been stated quite enough. And they really did the damn thing here. But my goodness, Miz put in work. Crowd was hot the entire way for Miz as well. The Usos retained after Miz’s attempt at a Frog Splash went awry. Shane cut one of The Usos’ off earlier when he went off the top rope. ****¼ here for me. Just terrific.
Mandy Rose vs. Asuka - Smackdown Women’s Championship
Chris Novak: Asuka won rather decisively after Sonya attempted to get involved. But, unfortunately for Deville, she didn’t get the job done right, and neither did Mandy. So Asuka retains as she heads into WrestleMania. *** for me. Did more than enough to work for me but, obviously, it wasn’t enough for her to win.
Robert O’Neill: Yeah, the match was fine. The ending is going to be something to remember because Sonya pulled the ring apron up to get a kendo stick and then Mandy slipped on it and allowed Asuka to get the victory. **½
We head backstage as The New Day have made their way into Vince McMahon’s office to plead their case for Kofi to be in the title match. And Vince relents and lets Kofi in! But The New Day are barred from ringside and the match is right now!
Well. Uh. Greg Hamilton said he was informed that the WWE Championship match was later and instead Kofi will be facing The Bar right now.
Kofi Kingston vs. The Bar
Robert O’Neill: The Bar beat the hell out of Kofi for about five minutes and won. What did you expect? *
Chris Novak: Masterfully done here. Kofi is so obviously doing big things eventually and it’s going to be so good. ** here obviously, as it wasn’t much of a match, but it was at least a solid story to tell.
The Revival vs. Aleister Black and Ricochet vs. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable -- Raw Tag Team Championships
Chris Novak: This match was a super fun one. As was to be expected. The Revival retained after hitting the Shatter Machine on Chad Gable. That will probably do it for he and Roode in the title picture for now, but it’s pretty obvious that Ricochet and Aleister Black have big things coming their way. They both got in great spots in this one. ***¾ and I am admittedly giving that a very HIGH ***¾ like I did with one of the other tag matches on this show. This was some good shit.
Robert O’Neill: Thank the lord, The Revival retained. I was worried for a little bit! It’s amazing how adding two guys who weren’t even an actual tag team in Ricochet and Black has propped up the tag division so much. Excited to see what comes next. ***½
Samoa Joe vs. Andrade vs. Rey Mysterio vs. R-Truth - United States Championship
Chris Novak: They did it again. After a banger on Tuesday, these four delivered ANOTHER banger tonight, and it was arguably even better. Joe retained after choking Rey out with the Coquina Clutch. Naturally, everybody got their shine on, with Andrade looking awesome, of course, as he is to do. SmackDown’s midcard/upper-midcard is just INSANE right now, probably up to 2003 levels right now if we’re being honest. ****¼ for me here. MOTN so far.
Robert O’Neill: I think I liked the one of Tuesday a little more but I’m splitting hairs. That was awesome. Add Mustafa Ali and Luke Harper and made it your Wrestlemania opener in a ladder match. ****¼ here as well.
The Boss and Hug Connection vs. Nia Jax and Tamina - Women’s Tag Team Championships
Chris Novak: Good match, great booking. Boss and Hug retained after Bayley hit Nia with a hurricanrana and turned into a pinning combination. The match had a lot of energy and, once again, Bayley looked like The Ace that I know she is. ***¼ for me. Nia and Tamina beat them both down afterwards. Then we got BETH PHOENIX getting involved, as she stood up for them both and caught a beating for it. NATALYA then came down to save her friend and former DIVAS OF DOOM tag team partner, but she too got beat up. So Nia and Tamina stand tall after all that. That was a real hot angle.
Robert O’Neill: Unfortunately, I had to step out during most of this match so I’m deferring to Chris here. Pretty interested in a potential Divas of Doom reunion, though!
Daniel Bryan vs. Kevin Owens vs. Mustafa Ali - WWE Championship Match
Chris Novak: There are some matches that take your breath away. This was one of them. Daniel Bryan retained his WWE Championship in a Triple Threat against Kevin Owens and Mustafa Ali. Mustafa, of course, was a late add to the match, an add that many thought would go to Kofi Kingston. The crowd wasn’t happy at first, but because Ali is so good, the won them back over anyway. Owens was phenomenal in his first lengthy match back. And Daniel Bryan? Well, Bryan’s the GOAT. So you already know. ****¾, and the MOTY so far in this man’s opinion. Holy shit. I need a cigarette.
Robert O’Neill: That was amazing. All three guys clicked so well, and some of the spots in this match were INSANE, including Bryan hitting the knee on Ali in mid-air to win, which got me to audibly gasp. It’s so nice to have all three of these guys back healthy and putting on matches like this. Instant classic. ****¾ from me as well.
Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair
Chris Novak: RONDA ROUSEY intervened and caused the disqualification that allowed Becky Lynch to go on to WrestleMania. That was not a surprising result at all here. I think the match could’ve probably went longer. But, if the idea was to do that, I don’t necessarily mind it at all. Will go *** from what we got. Let’s just go into overdrive now.
Robert O’Neill: That’s very smart storytelling. It wasn’t as good as the match at Evolution but it didn’t need to be, because it told a story like everything else tonight. **
Chris Novak: Randy Orton hit Elias with an RKO #FROMOUTTANOWHERE. Then AJ Styles came out to hit him with a Phenomenal Forearm. STORYTELLING!
The Shield vs. Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre
Robert O’Neill: If Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins wanted to “get the band back together” this was a live and in-person greatest hits album from the Hounds of Justice. The fight spilled all over the arena, Rollins did a dive from the balcony in a callback to the match against Evolution at Extreme Rules 2014, Drew Mcintyre got triple powerbombed through a table, and then when the numbers were in their favor, the three took turns hitting finishers on Baron Corbin in the ring before another triple powerbomb for the win. It was the performance we have grown to love from The Shield, and if it’s indeed their last match, it’s a hell of a way to end things. ****
Chris Novak: You nailed everything Rob. They played the hits. It was SO fun too. **** for me as well.
Robert O’Neill: I’m on the record as saying this PPV was largely unnecessary because we knew everything that was going to happen and there didn’t need to be two shows between the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania. I stand by that, but I was also surprised with how they were still able to pull off great storytelling and start the build for Wrestlemania instead of waiting until TV this week. It had a different feel than WWE PPVs of the past few years, thanks largely to creative shakeups of late, and I enjoyed it immensely. A+
Chris Novak: This was, in my opinion, an all-time great ‘B’ PPV. A+ for me, as well. Let’s get on the road to Mania now!