Fastlane 2021

|Date: March 21, 2021
|Venue: Tropicana Field |City: Orlando, Florida
|Attendance: 0

|tweet me: @bastionblogger

The opening package focuses on the likes of Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan, Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair teaming up, Shane McMahon and Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus, and Randy Orton and Alexa Bliss.

Michael Cole welcomes us to the final PPV event on the road to Wrestlemania. It’s a first PPV on the exclusive home of WWE, Peacock.

Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Bianca Belair & Sasha Banks – Womens Tag Team Championship match

Background: Bianca Belair has chosen to face Sasha Banks at Wrestlemania. However, the two girls destined to meet get another shot at the women’s tag team championships tonight.

Previous PPV matches: This is a rematch from Elimination Chamber where Shayna and Nia defeated Sasha and Bianca.

Fastlane PPV Record: Sasha Banks is 3-0, Nia Jax is 0-2 and both Shayna and Bianca wrestle at this event for the first time tonight. Both of Nia’s losses came at the hands of Sasha Banks.

Match: Both teams argue over who should start the match. Sasha and Shayna start the match and exchange right hands but Bianca is quickly tagged in. Bianca picks up the pace whilst Corey Graves points out her flaws. Nia and Shayna have Reggie in their corner, there’s a weird love story going on with Reggie and Nia Jax. Jax tags in and I do like the chemistry between Nia and Shayna, they’re always talking smack to each other. Nia overpowers Sasha and gets the first near fall of the night. Nia and Shayna make quick tags and keep Bianca away from her corner. Belair finally manages to outsmart the champions and tag in Sasha who picks up the pace. Belair tags back in and hits a 450 splash on Shayna but Reggie gets up on the apron, causing a distraction. Sasha hits a big knee to the face of Baszler and then locks on the Banks statement but Nia throws Bianca into Sasha to break it up. Sasha gets in the face of Bianca, calling her a rookie and Shayna then rolls up Banks for the three!

Result: Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler retain the WWE women’s tag team championships by pinfall.

Review: This was ok, nothing special here but it wasn’t terrible. Pretty average tag team match really. The purpose was to cause a rift between Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair and it certainly achieved that. I’m glad they didn’t go down the direction of Wrestlemania opponents as tag team champions.

Rating: 4/10

After the match Sasha and Bianca get in each others faces and Sasha berates Belair, calling her a rookie and then slapping her hard in the face before leaving.

There’s an ad for WWE Shop. and an ad for WWE on Hulu.

We’re shown Shane McMahon selling an injury from earlier today which could jeopordise his match with Braun Strowman tonight.

Shane McMahon is shown limping backstage on a crutch. Elias and Jaxson Ryker show up where Elias tries to sell Shane on his Wrestlemania plans. He tells Shane that he will do anything for a spot at Wrestlemania. Shane has an idea.

There’s a video package next for Big E and Apollo Crews.

Big E (c) vs. Apollo Crews – Intercontinental Championship match

Background: After failing to defeat Big E for the Intercontinental Championship in January, Apollo Crews turned heel and began to embrace his royal Nigerian roots, including speaking with a Nigerian accent. On the February 19 episode of SmackDown, after Crews’ loss against Shinsuke Nakamura where Big E was on commentary, Crews attacked Nakamura after the match. Big E aided Nakamura, however, Crews attacked Big E with the steel steps, taking him out of action for a couple of weeks. Big E returned on the March 12 episode and called out Crews, who did not answer. Big E then issued an open challenge for the Intercontinental Championship where he retained the title against Sami Zayn. After the match, Crews blindsided Big E and attacked him with the steel steps once again. Big E was subsequently scheduled to defend the Intercontinental Championship against Crews at Fastlane.

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

Fastlane PPV Record: Both men wrestle at Fastlane for the first time tonight.

Match: The bell rings and both men get right into it. Michael Cole tells us early that Crews needed to pin or submit Big E to win the Intercontinental Champion so expect a count out or disqualification. Big E hits a big spear off the apron as the match starts at a quick pace. Big E hits two big splashes on the apron, talking smack to his challenger the whole time. Apollo takes control with a low dropkick and then hits three German suplexes, a spinebuster and a frog splash for a near fall. It’s a little back and forth and the two men exchange pinfalls to which the referee counts to 3. Big E’s music hits but it’s unclean who won. Apollo lays into Big E after the match, telling him it’s not over.

Result: Big E retains the Intercontinental Championship by pinfall.

Review: This wasn’t a terrible match but it didn’t really feel like it got going. The offence from both men was good but it just ended out if nowhere. The finish was really unclear as to who was getting pinned. I would assume that the two men will continue on to Wrestlemania. I’m guessing by the lack of replay that there was a botch.

Rating: 4/10

There’s an Old Spice ad involving the 24/7 division.

We’re shown how Shane McMahon injured himself, training backstage and hitting a jumping knee strike.

Shane McMahon, Elias and Jaxson Ryker are in the ring. Elias wants to sing but shane informs Elias that he is replacing him in his match against Braun Strowman tonight.

Braun Strowman vs. Elias

Background: This was scheduled to be Shane McMahon vs. Bruan Strowman tonight but due to Shane “injuring himself” Shane has ordered Elias to replace him.

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

Fastlane PPV Record: Braun Strowman is 0-2 at this event, Elias wrestles at Fastlane for the first time tonight.

Match: The bell rings and Elias tries to keep some distance between he and Strowman. Braun lays in some elbows and throws Elias across the ring. Strowman dominates Elias with clubbing blows until Ryker pulls Elias out of the ring. Strowman then hits Elias with a shoulder charge on the outside. Ryker throws Elias back into the ring and then distracts Strowman which allows Elias to hit a chop block, a DDT and a flying elbow drop for a one count. Strowman hits a clothesline and a chokeslam before hitting a running powerslam for the win.

Result: Braun Strowman wins by pinfall.

Review: This match was what it was, it was a glorified squash essentially. Elias was good foil for Strowman and it’ll keep the programme with Shane going until Wrestlemania.

Rating: 3.75/10

There’s an ad for an Austin interview with Randy Orton on the WWE Network.

Promo for Wrestlemania.

We’re shown some footage from the Fastlane kickoff with Riddle beating Mustafa Ali to retain the United States Championship. This then led to Retribution turning their back on Ali.

Riddle is scooting backstage when Shinsuke Nakamura congratulates him on retaining. Riddle wishes Shinsuke good luck against Seth Rollins and then tells him about his business idea involving scooters.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Seth Rollins

Previous PPV matches: These two men have met on PPV once before and Seth Rollins beat Shinsuke Nakamura that night.

Fastlane PPV Record: Seth Rollins is 2-0, Shinsuke Nakamura is 1-0.

Match: It’s a back and forth start to the match but Seth soon takes a prolonged advantage. Seths offence is a lot of submissions, keeping Nakamura grounded. Rollins seems angry about getting swung by Cesaro as he screams into the camera whilst laying into Shinsuke. Seth then looks to swing Nakamura but Shinsuke counters. Shinsuke takes control until Seth throws him off the top rope to the outside and then hits a suicide dive. The two men go toe to toe in the ring, back and forth, countering each others moves. Seth hits a buckle bomb and a falcon arrow for a two count. Nakamura counters a stomp attempt, Rollins counters a kinshasa. Seth then hitd the stomp for the three.

Result: Seth Rollins wins by pinfall.

Review: This was a decent match. It’s one that could have been amazing but it wasn’t. It was good though. It feels like a win for Seth so he can go on to face Cesaro at Wrestlemania. A good win for Rollins tonight.

Rating: 6.5/10

There’s a promo for Rhea Ripley who comes to Raw tomorrow night.

Video package next for Drew McIntyre and Sheamus.

Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus – No holds barred match

Background: On the February 1 episode of Raw, Sheamus turned on his friend Drew McIntyre, declaring that he was not his friend anymore and wanted the WWE Championship. Later that same night, McIntyre accepted Sheamus’ challenge for a one-on-one match. McIntyre was then scheduled to defend the title in Raw’s Elimination Chamber match at Elimination Chamber in which Sheamus was also a participant; McIntyre retained the championship but then lost it to The Miz, who cashed in his Money in the Bank contract after McIntyre was attacked by Bobby Lashley. McIntyre returned on the March 1 episode of Raw, where he finally faced Sheamus in their promised one-on-one match that McIntyre won. A rematch the following week was contested as a No Disqualification match; however, it ended by referee stoppage. Another match between the two was scheduled for Fastlane as a No Holds Barred match.

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

Fastlane PPV Record: Drew McIntyre is 0-1, Sheamus is 1-0.

Match: The fight almost immediatly goes to the outside where Sheamus throws McIntyre into the barricade. Drew hits two belly to belly suplexes on the outside and throws Sheamus into the ring steps. Back in the ring and Sheamus hits a brogue kick for a two count. Sheamus then lays into Drew with a kendo stick before McIntyre fires back with a Glasgow kiss. McIntyre lays into Sheamus with the kendo stick until the two men go back to the outside and Sheamus takes control with a drop toe hold onto the ring steps. The two men fight into the Thunderdome where they go back and forth in an open area. They fight onto some scaffolding where Sheamus hits a rolling senton. Drew then tosses Sheamus through a couple of the screens which sends sparks flying. Drew wheels Sheamus back to ringside on a flight case and then suplexes him off it. Sheamus hits a brogue kick from nowhere, sending McIntyre over the barricade. Sheamus screams at McIntyre and then climbs on top of the barricade and hits white noise through the announce desk. Sheamus rolls McIntyre back in the ring with a piece of the announce desk but Drew ends up hitting the futureshock DDT on Sheamus onto the piece of desk before hitting the claymore for the three.

Result: Drew McIntyre wins by pinfall.

Review: This was a good match. I like that they went up in the stands and there were a few nice spots. Drew was the right winner and he goes on to Wrestlemania to face Bobby Lashley. This was the right way to end this rivalry.

Rating: 7/10

There is a video package next for Randy Orton and Alexa Bliss.

Randy Orton vs. Alexa Bliss

Background: At TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs in December 2020, Randy Orton defeated “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt in a Firefly Inferno match. After the match, Orton doused The Fiend’s lifeless body in gasoline and set him on fire. Following this incident, Alexa Bliss, who had aligned with The Fiend months earlier, began to haunt Orton on a weekly basis, including causing him to lose multiple matches. On the March 15 episode of Raw, Bliss challenged Orton to an intergender match at Fastlane, and Orton accepted in the hopes of ridding Bliss from his life.

Previous PPV matches: This is certainly a first.

Fastlane PPV Record: Randy Orton is 1-0 at this event, Liv Morgan wrestles at Fastlane for the first time.

Match: Randy is out first and looks to perform his signature pose but black liquid spews from his mouth. Alexa comes out and as the bell rings some fire comes up from somewhere. Alexa avoids a shoulder charge in the corner and Randy slowly followed her around the ring. Some lights fall down at the feet on Orton, that was awful. Alexa throws a firebacll at Orton who manages to avoid it. A weird burnt hand then comes up through the ring and grabs Ortons foot. The Fiend then emerges through the ring and it’s a weird, creepy burnt version of the fiend. Alexa pushes Orton into Wyatt who hits Sister Abigail. Alexa then sits on top of Orton and the referee counts the 3!

Result: Alexa Bliss wins by pinfall.

Review: I can’t rate this strange match. It was basically a segment to get Bray Wyatt back but I was not expecting what came through the ring. The Fiend looks creepier than ever! I’m assuming we’ll get Orton and Wyatt at Wrestlemania.

Rating: N/A

There’s an ad for Wrestlemania. Hulk Hogan and Titus O’Neil will be hosting. Michael Cole and Corey Graves then run down some of the card including Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre, Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair, The New Day vs. AJ Styles & Omos, and Edge against either Roman Reigns or Daniel Bryan.

Video package next for Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan.

Roman Reigns (c) vs. Daniel Bryan – Universal Championship match with Edge as special guest enforcer

Background: At Elimination Chamber, Daniel Bryan won SmackDown’s Elimination Chamber match, which earned him an immediate Universal Championship match against Roman Reigns, who quickly defeated Bryan to retain the title. Following the match, men’s Royal Rumble winner Edge appeared and performed a Spear on Reigns, indicating his choice to challenge Reigns for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania 37. On the following SmackDown, Reigns, accompanied by his special counsel Paul Heyman and cousin Jey Uso, claimed that Edge ruined his win over Bryan, who interrupted. Bryan mocked Reigns for defending his championship against him right after he had won the Elimination Chamber match, and was confused as to why Reigns wanted to defend the title in the second match of the event instead of in the main event. Bryan then challenged Reigns to another championship match at Fastlane. Jey interjected and stated that Bryan lost and would have to earn another opportunity like everyone else and then challenged Bryan to a match. Backstage, Edge confronted WWE official Adam Pearce and took issue that Bryan may receive a title shot before him, even though he had won the Royal Rumble match that Bryan also competed in. Pearce decided that Bryan would only get a Universal Championship match at Fastlane if he could defeat Jey in their match that night. In the main event, however, Bryan and Jey’s match ended in a double countout. A rematch the following week was contested in a steel cage match where if Bryan won, he would receive the title match, but if Jey won, Bryan would have to acknowledge Reigns as the Tribal Chief and Head of the Table; Bryan defeated Jey to earn the Universal Championship match against Reigns at Fastlane. After the official contract signing for the match on the March 12 episode, a match between Edge and Jey was scheduled for the following week to determine who would be the special guest enforcer during the championship match, which was won by Edge.

Previous PPV matches: This is a third PPV match between these two men, Roman Reigns won the last two.

Fastlane PPV Record: Roman Reigns actually beat Daniel Bryan on the very first Fastlane PPV. Roman Reigns is 4-0, Daniel Bryan is 1-1.

Match: It’s a cagey start to the match. Daniel Bryan wrestles with a smile on his face as he tries to lock on submission holds to a frustrated Roman Reigns. Reigns uses his power but can’t keep an advantage for long. I love the psychology in the early stages of this match, it’s the best use of mismatched style I have seen in a very long time. Roman finally establishes control and slowly picks apart Bryan with power moves. Reigns applies a rear chin lock and talks smack to his challenger. Reigns then lays into Bryan on the outside of the ring before rolling him back into the ring and continuing the domination. Bryan gets back into the match with a low-bridge and then a flying knee off the apron. Corey and Cole have both reminded us how the title can be won tonight. Bryan hits kicks until Reigns counters and goes back to his power game. Bryan applies the yes lock but Reigns powers out with some big right hands. Daniel Bryan accidentally wipes out the referee with a running knee. Reigns then hits a spear and Edge gets in the ring and counts the two. Bryan applies a triangle and then a yes lock but in comes Jey Uso who hits superkicks on Edge and Daniel Bryan. Bryan fights off Jey Uso and picks up the chair that Jey bought into the ring before nailing Uso with it. Bryan then swings the chair at Reigns who moves and Bryan nails Edge! Reigns looks for a spear but Bryan counters, locking on the yes lock and eventually Reigns taps out! But the referee is still down and Edge smashes Bryan with the chair! Reigns crawls over and pins Bryan and the referee counts the 3!

Result: Roman Reigns wins by pinfall.

Review: This was a really good match. I loved the psychology in the match, especially in the early going. In the end Edge costs Daniel Bryan the match which makes things really interesting going into Wrestlemania. Will Bryan make his way to the main event or will he face off against Jey Uso? Really good main event here, I look forward to Edge vs. Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania.

Rating: 8/10

This was a show of two halves. The first half was pretty weak really but the second half (minus the Randy Orton vs. Alexa Bliss match) was very good. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler beat Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair in an unnecessary rematch. We finally got the implosion of Banks and Belair which was what this match was all about really. Big E beat Apollo Crews to retain the Intercontinental Championship in a match with a botchy finish. It was really confusion as to who had won. I like this new side of Apollo Crews though. He really had a chance to showcase his ability last year he just needed a better gimmick which he seems to have now. It would appear that this rivalry isn’t over. Braun Strowman beat Elias in a glorified squash match which means the rivalry between Strowman and Shane McMahon can continue until Wrestlemania.

Seth Rollins and Shinsuke Nakamura put on a good match but this one was all about Rollins. I would like to see a competitive rivalry between the two men who are two of the best workers on the roster. Rollins will presuably go on to face Cesaro at Wrestlemania. Drew McIntyre beat Sheamus to put a bow on their rivalry. At one point I did wonder whether Drew McIntyre would be defending the WWE Championship against Sheamus at Wrestlemania but it would seem not. I’m glad these two were able to put on a match on a big show though. Alexa Bliss beat Randy Orton in one of the strangest matches we’ll ever see. This was all for the return of The Fied who is wearing some ridiculous outfit and has been burnt. I guess we’ll get Orton and Wyatt at Wrestlemania. Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan then put on a really solid main event. In the end it was Edge that costed Daniel Bryan the match. Are we going to get a triple threat match at Wrestlemania? We’ll have to wait and see but this was a really good match tonight. Overall not a great show but it did get better as the show went on.

Overall Rating: 55.41/100 (ranked joint 282 out of 399)

Match Of The Night: Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan
Worst Match Of The Night: Braun Strowman vs. Elias
Surprise Of The Night: Bray Wyatt returns burnt as a crisp
Worst Booking Of The Night: N/A
Superstar Of The Night: Roman Reigns
Fastlane 2021 Will Be Remembered For: The return of Bray Wyatt

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