With the Royal Rumble out of the way we’re truly on the road to Wrestlemania, and what better way to get there than on the ‘FastLane’. Yes.. So here we are on the 2nd PPV of the year with the debut of a new PPV in Fastlane replacing the yearly Elimination Chamber. On paper the card for this looked pretty good. Would it live up to the hype?
6 Man Tag Team Match – Ziggler, Rowan & Ryback vs Seth Rollins, Kane & BigShow
The match started off with the 2 guys that people actually enjoy and like to see wrestling in Ziggler and Rollins. It’s all fairly standard. Rowan is tagged in but finds himself in trouble soon after receiving a blow to the leg on the ring post. The heel team of the authority pick on this. Rowan finally gets Ryback involved and the match really picked up from here with Ryback looking really impressive. Ziggler is reintroduced to the match and zig zags and famassers delivered, but the end of the match is massively disappointing and Ziggler is knocked out by BigShow’s knockout punch while hanging over the rope. The heel team then beat down on the fallen face team until the music of a missing superstar comes on. Randy Orton rushes out and dishes out RKO’s while Rollins escapes and slides into the crowd to escape. Not a great way to kick off the PPV. When Ryback is one of the more impressive parts of the show you know there could be a slow night ahead.
Singles Match – Goldust vs Stardust
All good things come to an end, and the Dust’s tag team is on the final leg. The point of this match being Goldust wants to get Stardust out of his mental phase and back to Cody Rhodes. But Stardust is too far gone into the character and not wanting to return to his normal character. The fight itself in ring was standard. Goldust dishing the damage to start with, the crowd chanting “Cody” which causes Stardust to look around in confusion. Stardust then takes the lead in the match dishing damage back to Goldust. The match is won by a rollup by Goldust. The feud continues backstage with Stardust attacking Goldust and proclaiming Rhodes will never return. Fair dues to Stardust/Cody Rhodes, He’s bought into this character incredibly and is more and more convincing of his decent to madness each week. It looks like this family feud will reach it’s climax at Wrestlemania.
Tag Team Championship – The Uso’s vs Tyson Kidd & Cesaro
Cesaro and Kidd begin the match isolating Jimmy away from his partner and continue to damage his legs making it difficult for him to move about. The tag is finally made and the pace kicks up again as a fresh Jay Uso clears house. Cesaro gets a great spot picking up an Uso (sorry couldn’t make out which one) and does his now famous swing move, but this occasion it’s by one leg. Another decent looking moment when Tyson Kidd is Samoan dropped into the guard rails. Cesaro hits a superplex followed by Kidd elbow dropping. An entertaining tag team match, and nice to see Cesaro with some gold again. Keep going for that brass ring Cesaro.
Sting Confronts HHH
Not a match, but a final confirmation that Sting will fight at Wrestlemania against the game. They’re turning this into a WWE vs WCW angle, so I can’t tell where the victory will go next month. Would WWE really want someone that’s branded as fighting for WCW to walk away victorious? But it’s Sting first and possibly only match in WWE, so maybe they’ll give him the win? The confrontation ended in a brawl with HHH grabbing his trusty hammer and Sting replying with his trademark baseball bat.
WWE Diva’s Championship – Paige vs Nikki Bella
While Paige started the match off looking the more aggressive laying punches to Nikki, it was Nikki that ended up looking the better wrestler here landing some painful looking power moves on Paige. Hitting a couple of power bombs. The match ended rather quickly with Nikki rolling Paige up and appearing to hold her shorts to cheat the win. No doubt this will also be on the Mania card. Better from Nikki though, but she needed to look strong being the champion.
WWE Intercontinental Championship – Dean Ambrose vs Bad News Barrett
This will be the first of long feud in between these 2. BNB Started the match stronger and delivering a lot of hits to Ambrose in the early exchanges. As the match went on and Ambrose came back into it, BNB tried to take his gold and leave the match only for Ambrose to dive out of the ring at him. Ambrose later then had BNB in the corner and wouldn’t let off kicking him continuously in his stomach. The ref stopped the match and BNB kept his title. Well, He’s still officially the champion but Dean Ambrose left the ring with the belt. I’m glad this happened. Well I’m sour that the match ended the way it did. It’s ridiculous for a title match to finish this way. But a character like Ambrose stealing the belt in loss is something the IC title needs to give it some much needed attention. Ambrose is the type of guy that’ll frustrate BNB over the coming weeks to Mania and I look forward to the teasing that’ll be done on Raw and possibly Smackdown’s. It’ll be nice to see the IC title get some elevation and people actually giving a damn about winning or retaining it.
Bray Wyatt challenges the Undertaker
Undertaker’s music hits, the crowd pop is huge, the biggest of the night. A coffin is brought to the ring. It’s opened and laying inside is Bray Wyatt. He cuts a promo about how he was once fearful of the Undertaker, but since last Wrestlemania he’s no longer scared. He promised to take the Undertaker’s soul. Now could there be a double meaning for this. The obvious being beating him at Mania, but by taking his soul, could this be the Undertakers final WWE appearance? Passing his soul and powers onto Bray? There’s always been the suspicion that Bray would be around as a character similar to Takers, and with this taking his soul angle could they really be going for it? Here’s hoping that the future hall of famer Undertaker has it in him for one more great Mania moment.
United States Championship – John Cena vs Rusev
The match looked just as aggressive as you would have liked from this rivalry. Cena and Rusev exchanging massive punches. Rusev very much a brick wall that Cena had to break down brick by brick. There were finishers applied by both with Rusev breaking out of the STF, and Cena on first attempt breaking out of the Accolade. Rusev kicked out of an AA too, to the disbelief of Cena. He was then put into another Accolade again breaking out of it but Lana distracted the ref resulting in Rusev delivering a low blow and reapplying the Accolade to which Cena passed out. A very heel finish for the Russian (Bulgarian), and another way to protect Cena in not losing clean. Again another match that’ll go onto Mania and another I’m happy about as it’s nice to again see 2 wrestlers actually appear to give a damn about a lesser title in the WWE. With Ambrose hopefully causing shenanigans in the IC division and now Rusev able to gloat this victory for the US title, they’re both shaping up to make these belts look worth some TV time.
Wrestlemania Main Event Spot – Daniel Bryan vs Roman Reigns
The match started off as Bryan would like keeping it an actual wrestling match and playing the mat game. But Reigns eventually brought power to the match. Bryan began to focus his attacks on Reigns legs to slow him down. After Reigns had surgery not too long ago, Bryan switched focus to body shots trying to aggravate the area in which Reigns had his surgery. This appeared to work as Reigns slowed down considerably holding his stomach each rest break he got. Bryan unleashed his kicks making hard contact on Reigns chest on a number of occasions and continued the wrestling game trying to put Reigns in a number of submission maneuvers.He finally tried to end things with a flying knee but Reigns countered with a massive spear. A sad end to the feud. Is there still any chance that Mania will be a triple threat?
The end sees Bryan push Reigns, shake his hand and the sternly encourage Reigns to ‘Beat him’ at Mania. Your Mania headline event will be Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns for the WWE title, for now unless they cave and throw Bryan in regardless. You can’t say Reigns doesn’t deserve this shot after winning the rumble and putting on one of his best performances in 1 on 1 in this match against Bryan.
Now it’s down to WWE creative to get the fans behind Reigns as unfortunately it still looks like the Mania main event will be “boo’d”.