Fastlane 2017

|Date: March 5, 2017
|Venue: Bradley Center |City: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
|Attendance: 15,765

|tweet me: @BastionBlogger

A standard video package kicks us off focusing on the Women’s Championship match, Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman match and the Universal Championship match.

Michael Cole welcomes us to the final PPV on the road to Wrestlemania.

Sami Zayn vs. Samoa Joe

Background: Samoa Joe debuted a few weeks ago, attacking Seth Rollins and then beating Roman Reigns. Joe has said he is not on the Raw roster to be another “Sami Zayn” ie somebody making up the numbers. Zayn would fire back but Joe attacked Sami. A match was then made between the two for Fastlane.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these 2 men. It’s actually a WWE pay per view debut for Samoa Joe.

Fastlane Record: Both men make their Fastlane debut.

Match: Samoa Joe uses strikes in the early going to take the advantage. You can see from the outset the chemistry these two men have. Joe locks on a bow and arrow but Zayn gets out of it. This match is all Joe for the most part. Zayn hits a blue thunder bomb for a two count. Joe hits an inverted atomic drop which you don’t see much of these days. Zayn collapses at one point and Joe shakes his head but Sami then rolls Joe up for a near fall. Zayn heads to the top but Samoa Joe hits an enzeguri and then looks for a superplex but Zayn fights him off and then drops Joe on the top turnbuckle. Joe counters a helluva kick and then locks on the coquina clutch which gets him the submission victory.

Result: Samoa Joe wins by submission.

Review: This was a good match to kick things off. There were no frills, no fighting on the outside or gimmicks, it was just a straight up singles match between two talented members of the roster. Samoa Joe joining the roster opens up a lot of big match possibilities and I’m sure we’ll see him against the likes of Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Chris Jericho in big PPV matches.

Rating: 6.75/10

There’s an ad for Tapout with the likes of Alicia Fox, Dolph Ziggler, Charlotte and John Cena.

There’s a really nice ad for Wrestlemania as “The Ultimate Thrill Ride”.

Charly Caruso is backstage with Bayley. Bayley is nervous and is aware of Charlotte’s PPV record. She challenges Charlotte to leave Dana Brooke in the locker room. Nia Jax then shows up and tells Bayley that if Charlotte doesn’t beat her for the title then Nia will.

Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (c) vs. Enzo Amore & Big Cass – Raw Tag Team Championship match

Background: Enzo & Cass would accidentally help Gallows & Anderson retain their titles before Enzo & Cass managed to defeat Cesaro and Sheamus to become number one contenders to the Raw Tag Team Championships. Since then it’s been a war of words between these two teams.

Previous PPV matches: These two teams have fought on PPV once before, it was Hell In A Cell 2016 and Gallows & Anderson won that one.

Fastlane Record: Both teams make their Fastlane debut tonight.

Match: Big Cass and Karl Anderson kick off the match and Cass takes the early advantage. Big Cass then throws Enzo into their opponents which gets the crowd going. A distraction from Luke Gallows allows Karl Anderson to take the advantage against Enzo. Gallows and Anderson make frequent tags, continuing to lay into Enzo Amore. I like how we have a lot of proper tag teams on the roster at the moment, it adds a lot more legitimacy to the division. Enzo avoids a couple of elbows and then finally makes the hot tag to Big Cass. Cass hits fallaway slams, splashes, a sidewalk slam and the Empire elbow. Cass hits a big boot on Karl Anderson and the challengers hit the rocket launcher but Luke Gallows breaks up the pinfall. Enzo dives out at Gallows but Anderson catches Enzo with a knee to the face as he gets back in the ring. Anderson makes the cover, Enzo’s foot is on the rope but Gallows pushes it off!

Result: Gallows & Anderson win by pinfall.

Review: This was a decent tag team match. Like I said before, I like proper tag teams and I would class these two teams as traditional teams. Gallows & Anderson retain the titles in their first PPV title defence. It’ll be interesting to see where this division is heading for Wrestlemania.

Rating: 6/10

There’s an ad for a new WWE mobile game which looks pretty terrible.

Mick Foley is on the phone to Stephanie McMahon who is stuck on her plane. She tells Mick Foley that the women’s title match and Universal title matches need to go without a hitch. Foley says that Samoa Joe won’t be at ringside for Universal Championship match and then hangs up the phone.

Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax

Background: Nia Jax attacked Sasha Banks and she stood on crutches the night after Roadblock. Nia would defeat Banks on the Royal Rumble kick-off show but with Banks slightly more healthy than before she now gets another opportunity at Jax.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time singles match on PPV between these two girls.

Fastlane Record: Sasha Banks is 1-0 at Fastlane, Nia Jax wrestles at this event for the first time tonight.

Match: Sasha tries to use her speed in the early going but Nia out-powers her smaller opponent. Nia uses holds and throws Banks around the ring. It’s a fairly slow pace but Jax is dominant. Sasha manages to lock on a sleeper but Nia throws her off. Banks hits a spinning DDT and then locks on the Banks Statement but Nia gets to her feet to break it. Nia hits a spinebuster and a legdrop before setting up for a Samoan drop but Sasha counters, rolls Nia up and bridges for the three!

Result: Sasha Banks win by pinfall.

Review: This match was ok. It wasn’t a classic. Nia dominates in a slow pace with Sasha selling and getting thrown around for the most part. Sasha gets the win with a roll-up out of nowhere. Plenty of women who would like to be in the title picture at Wrestlemania. I’m not sure if Nia will be there but Sasha should definitely be.

Rating: 3.75/10

There’s another ad for Wrestlemania.

We’re shown some footage from the Fastlane kick-off show. Mick Foley has to deal with Rusev and Jinder Mahal asking for singles matches. Foley jokes about putting them in a best of 7 series. Foley then says that he’ll put both men in singles matches, they need to go down to the ring together and they’ll find out. Odds on them fighting each other?

Jinder and Rusev with Lana head to the ring for their matches. The two men argue in the ring over who is wrestling first and they come to blows! They fight to the outside where Mahal pushes Rusev into the ringpost and then hits him with a running knee. Mahal then gets into the ring for his match.

Cesaro vs. Jinder Mahal

Background: Well Cesaro is unveiled as the mystery opponent for Jinder!

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.

Fastlane Record: Cesaro is 1-0 at Fastlane, Jinder makes his Fastlane debut.

Match: Jinder Mahal is looking for his first ever PPV victory tonight. Cesaro takes the early advantage, using his power to throw Jinder around. Cesaro looks like he’s hurt his back a little. He looks to suplex Jinder from the apron but his back can’t take it and Jinder takes the advantage. Jinder targets the lower back of Cesaro and the crowd boo him. Cesaro finally hits a suplex but it hurts him as much as it hurts Jinder. Cesaro hits uppercuts and then hits the Swiss-1-9 and a cross body for a near fall. Cesaro looks for a swing but Mahal gets to the ropes and hits a cheap shot. Rusev is now back to his feet and Mahal stares him out. That distracts Jinder long enough for Cesaro to hit an elevated uppercut for the three!

Result: Cesaro wins by pinfall.

Review: This match wasn’t great. Cesaro usually puts on really good matches but maybe Jinder isn’t up to his level. Cesaro wins though and it’s a good win for him.

Rating: 3.5/10

After the match Rusev gets in the ring and lays into Jinder. Rusev clears the ring of Jinder before awaiting his opponent.

The Big Show vs. Rusev

Background: Big Show is revealed as the mystery opponent for Rusev!

Previous PPV matches: These two men battled at Hell In A Cell 2014 and Rusev won that one.

Fastlane Record: Big Show is 2-0 at Fastlane, Rusev is 1-0.

Match: Big Show goes right to work on Rusev which causes Rusev to try and get away but Big Show throws him right back into the ring. Rusev fires back but Big Show takes him down with clotheslines. Rusev does manage to take the advantage with a chop block. Big Show hits a side slam for a very near fall. Rusev counters a chokeslam and hits a chop block and three kicks to the side of the face for a near fall. Rusev motions for the accolade but Big Show shoves him away and then hits a chokeslam! Big Show pulls down the straps and hits a second chokeslam and then a third! Big Show drags Rusev to the corner and hits him with the knockout punch which is enough for the pinfall victory.

Result: The Big Show wins by pinfall.

Review: This was a very slow match. Not a great match at all, sadly. I’m not sure why Rusev needed to be buried like this but hopefully it’s leading somewhere.

Rating: 3/10

There’s a KFC advert featuring Enzo and Cass.

There’s another ad for Wrestlemania. 28 days to go.

Charly Caruso is backstage with her guest, Kevin Owens, who is still suited. Owens says that he will out-wrestle and out-smart Bill Goldberg tonight.

Austin Aries has now joined Michael Cole and Corey Graves on commentary. Austin links to his package. He’s making a return to the ring soon.

Neville (c) vs. Jack Gallagher – WWE Cruiserweight Championship match

Background: Jack Gallagher won a fatal five way match to become number one contender to the Cruiserweight Championship. Gallagher has stuck up for himself against Neville who has tried to belittle his challenger. Two very different British men, Neville claims to be what being English is really about. He was raised very differently to Gallagher.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.

Fastlane Record: Both men make their Fastlane debut tonight.

Match: Jack Gallagher offers a handshake but Neville laughs in his face. Gallagher out-smarts Neville in the early going. Gallagher does a handstand in the corner which frustrates Neville. The fight goes to the outside where Neville throws Jack into the barricade. Neville goes to the top and hits a missile dropkick for a two count. Neville has been so good as a heel. Neville dominates for a while but Gallagher fires back with forearms and a dropkick and then a suicide dive. Gallagher hits a side superplex for a near fall. Neville hits an explosive German suplex and then heads to the middle rope and hits a phoenix splash for a near fall. Neville hits some stiff kicks, he reminds me of Tajiri in some ways. Jack hits a couple of headbutts and gets a near fall. Gallagher looks for a superplex but Neville shoves him down and hits the red arrow for the three!

Result: Neville wins by pinfall.

Review: This was a good match between these two. It picked the pace back up after a few slow matches and it woke the crowd back up. Jack Gallagher is unique and has some great offence. He’ll be a Cruiserweight Champion one day. Neville is so good though, so ridiculously good. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him vs. Austin Aries at Wrestlemania and it’s a match I look forward to.

Rating: 7/10

Charly Caruso is backstage with her guest, Paul Heyman. Heyman says that maybe Brock Lesnar is also here, maybe he’s not. Either way, whoever wins the Universal Championship match tonight, Brock Lesnar wins. If Goldberg wins then he defends against Lesnar at Wrestlemania but if Kevin Owens wins then it will expose a weakness in Goldberg.

The New Day are out next and they have an ice cream freezer on wheels! I have no idea what to call it. Xavier Woods says that they will ride the ice cream bike to Wrestlemania.

There’s a video package next showing the history between Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman.

Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman

Background: This all began when Kevin Owens promised Braun Strowman a shot at the Universal Championship if Braun could help KO beat Roman Reigns. Strowman would cost Reigns the Universal Championship match at the Royal Rumble so Mick foley made the match between the two men for Fastlane.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first PPV match between these two men.

Fastlane Record: Roman Reigns is 2-0 at this event, Braun Strowman is 0-1.

Match: Strowman throws Roman Reigns around in the early going. Reigns drops Strowman on the top rope and then lays in some right hands. Reigns appears to be wearing trainers tonight. The fight goes to the outside where Braun attempts to throw Roman into the ring steps but Roman dives over them and then hits a clothesline. Braun gains the advantage and keeps it, mostly by throwing Reigns across the ring. Braun hits a Samoan drop and then applies a chinlock. Braun does an odd thing where he throws Reigns into the ropes and then looks away so gets hit by a clothesline. Bit strange that. Strowman takes one of the announce desks apart but Reigns fights him off when he attempts a powerslam. Reigns hits a Samoan drop for a near fall. Back on the outside and Strowman hits a big powerslam through the announce desk! Reigns hits a spear in the ring and Braun kicks out. Roman then hits two superman punches and looks for a spear but Strowman takes him down. Braun Strowman heads up to the top rope and dives off looking for a splash but Reigns rolls out of the way! Reigns then hits a spear and that’s enough for the three!

Result: Roman Reigns wins by pinfall.

Review: This match was ok. It felt like a heavyweight clash and they did a good job of making Strowman look really strong but this match was about giving Reigns a huge win on the road to Wrestlemania. At this point I have no idea what either man will be up to at Wrestlemania as Kevin Owens looks pre-occupied with Chris Jericho, Brock Lesnar and Goldberg and Triple H and Seth Rollins. So maybe these guys will be involved together somehow? They have hinted at Braun Strowman and Mick Foley which would be very cool.

Rating: 5/10

There’s an ad for Ride Along on the WWE Network.

Mick Foley is backstage calling after Samoa Joe. Foley tells Joe not to get involved in the Universal Championship match tonight or there will be hell to pay.

There’s a video package next for Charlotte and Bayley.

Bayley (c) vs. Charlotte – Raw Women’s Championship match

Background: On Raw a few weeks ago Bayley defeated Charlotte for the Raw Women’s Championship. It wasn’t without controversy as Dana Brooke came out to get involved and then Sasha Banks hit Charlotte with her crutch. Charlotte, supported by Stephanie McMahon, asked Bayley to hand back the women’s title due to how she won it but Bayley refused. Tonight Charlotte gets her rematch for the title.

Previous PPV matches: This is a second PPV singles match between these girls, Charlotte previously beat Bayley at the Royal Rumble PPV.

Fastlane Record: Charlotte is 1-0 at Fastlane, she beat Brie Bella at last years event. Bayley wrestled at Fastlane for the first time.

Match: Charlotte is 15-0 in PPV championship matches. She’s accompanied by Dana Brooke. Charlotte then sends Dana to the back! both girls go for quick covers in the early going. Bayley hits a hurricanrana off the apron and then a cross body for a two count. Charlotte blocks a Bayley to belly attempt. Charlotte then dominates for a while using a mix of strikes and submissions. Charlotte talks a lot of smack as she lays into the champion. Charlotte hits a moonsault and a senton for a near fall. Bayley picks up the pace as she fires up a comeback. Bayley ties Charlotte up in a tree of woe and doesn’t really look like she knows what to do. She ends up untying her after a weird springboard elbow. Bayley hits a hurricanrana off the top rope and then a flying elbow drop for a near fall. Charlotte hits natural selection for a near fall and then looks for the figure four but Bayley kicks her out of the ring.

The fight goes to the outside where Charlotte goes to the top but then out comes Sasha Banks! Sasha distracts Charlotte and I’m not sure why this isn’t a disqualification. Bayley hits a Bayley to belly on the outside and then rolls Charlotte back into the ring. Charlotte rolls up Bayley and pulls the tights which Sasha Banks points out to the referee! The referee stops the count, Bayley hits the Bayley to belly and hook the leg for the win!

Result: Bayley wins by pinfall.

Review: This was a good match. Both girls are very talented but it probably went on a little too long. Sasha Banks coming out is very interesting and could lead to dissension between Sasha and Bayley. Charlotte loses a PPV singles match for the first ever time. I wouldn’t be surprised to see all three girls in the mix for the title at Wrestlemania.

Rating: 6.75/10

There’s another ad for Wrestlemania. How many times are we going to hear it referred to as “The Ultimate Thrill Ride”?

We’re shown some footage from Raw with Seth Rollins telling Triple H that he will be at Wrestlemania.

Next up is a video package showing Goldberg’s journey to the Universal Championship match tonight.

Kevin Owens (c) vs. Goldberg – Universal Championship match

Background: It was Chris Jericho that thought ht was helping Kevin Owens out by making a match between Goldberg and Owens for the Universal Championship at Fastlane. Owens would go on to attack Jericho during their Festival Of Friendship. Goldberg now gets his shot knowing that whatever happens he goes on to face Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time match between these two men.

Fastlane Record: Kevin Owens is 1-0 at Fastlane, Goldberg wrestles at Fastlane for the first time tonight.

Match: This is Goldberg’s first WWE title match since Armageddon 2003. Plenty of Goldberg chants tonight. The referee looks to get the bell rung but Owens exits the ring. Owens hangs outside of the ring for a while, teasing getting back in. He does get into the ring but then immediately rolls back out. Goldberg paces around the ring waiting for Owens to get into the ring. Owens gets in the ring and demands that the referee rings the bell! As the bell rings, Chris Jericho’s music hits and out walks Kevin Owens former best friend! KO gets distracted and Goldberg hits the Universal Champion with a spear and then a jackhammer! Goldberg hooks the leg and wins the match and the Universal Championship!

Result: Goldberg wins by pinfall.

Review: Well, this was less of a match that I expected. It basically lasted about 30 seconds. Jericho causes the distraction which allows Goldberg to win the title which is somewhat ironic considering their history. Goldberg goes on to Wrestlemania to defend the Universal Championship against Brock Lesnar.

Rating: N/A

And that was Fastlane 2017, the final stop before Wrestlemania. It was an interesting show, there were a few highlights but a lot of the matches were not memorable. I enjoyed the first couple of matches, Samoa Joe and Sami Zayn put on a good match but I honestly think they have the potential to put on a very good match. The tag team title match was good too, they’ve had plenty of matches in the past so do have chemistry. Then the show dipped a little with Sasha Banks beating Nia Jax and then a couple of impromptu matches with Cesaro and Big Show beating Jinder Mahal and Rusev respectively. Neville beat Jack Gallagher in a good match, the cruiserweight division is producing some gems. The Roman Reigns/Braun Strowman match was ok but the Charlotte/Bayley match was better. The women’s division on Raw has been booked really well and is stronger because of it. And in the main event Goldberg beat Kevin Owens in 22 seconds to become Universal Champion. I’m not sure how I feel about that but it looks like we’ll have a rematch between Goldberg and Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania. Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho looks to be the much anticipated United States Championship match. Overall, a passable show with a few good matches on.

Overall Rating: 52.18/100 (ranked 284th out of 341)

Match Of The Night: Neville vs. Jack Gallagher
Worst Match Of The Night: The Big Show vs. Rusev
Surprise Of The Night: Charlotte loses her first ever singles match on PPV
Worst Booking Of The Night: N/A
Superstar Of The Night: Goldberg
Fastlane 2017 Will Be Remembered For: Goldberg winning the Universal Championship

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