wrestling / TV Reports

Csonka’s WWE Fastlane Review 3.05.17

March 5, 2017 | Posted by Larry Csonka
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
Csonka’s WWE Fastlane Review 3.05.17  

Csonka’s WWE Fastlane Review 3.05.17

Kickoff Match: Akira Tozawa and Rich Swann defeated Noam Dar and Brian Kendrick @ 9:20 via pin [**¾]
– Samoa Joe defeated Sami Zayn @ 9:52 via submission [***]
RAW Tag Team Championship Match: Champions Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson defeated Enzo Amore and Big Cass @ 8:35 via pin [**]
– Sasha Banks defeated Nia Jax @ 8:35 via pin [**]
– Cesaro defeated Jinder Mahal @ 8:20 via pin [*]
– The Big Show defeated Rusev @ 8:37 via pin [*]
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match: Champion Neville vs. Jack Gallagher @ 12:30 via pin [***½]
– Roman Reigns defeated BRAUN Strowman @ 17:10 via pin [**¾]
RAW Women’s Championship Match: Champion Bayley defeated Charlotte @ 16:50 via pin [**¾]
WWE Universal Championship Match: Goldberg defeated Champion Kevin Owens @ 0:22 via pin [NR]

– Stephanie’s flight is delayed, so she calls in to cut off Foley’s balls off via phone…

 photo download_zpskwqtvvxo.jpg

– Mahal arrives and claims that he and Rusev are no longer a tag team. They will be in action tonight in singles matches.

– Austin Aries claimed we were starting with the main event, and shot to his own video package.

Kickoff Match: Noam Dar and Brian Kendrick vs. Akira Tozawa and Rich Swann: Kendrick tried to stay away from Tozawa early, looking to allow Dar to do all of the work. Kendrick & Dar took the heat and worked over Tozawa for bit, but he got the tag to Swann, but the heels quickly posted Swann and worked him over for a while. Swann would get the hot tag back to Tozawa, the faces hit dives, it broke down, superkicks by Swann and then a snap German from Tozawa followed; Swann hit the phoenix splash on Dar and the former Dragon Gate lads pick up the win. Akira Tozawa and Rich Swann defeated Noam Dar and Brian Kendrick @ 9:20 via pin [**¾] Pretty good match overall with a fun homestretch, it was fine for the pre-show, but it was another cruiserweight match that threatened to be a bit too fun for WWE’s liking. Stop grabbing a fucking hold and working like small versions of every other WWE guy and dare to be exciting and get the fans to care. This was roughly what you’d see on a random 205 Live tag on any week. That’s not really a compliment; it’s just that 90% of WWE cruiserweight matches fit into one of three categories; “solid,” “average” or “pretty good.”

Sami Zayn vs. Samoa Joe: Joe controlled early, using his power advantage and staying a step ahead of Zayn, working his strikes. Joe is in that great gives no fucks mode, completely not caring about Zayn. Joe is extremely casual here, strolling around and jabbing away at Zayn as he keeps cutting him off with ease. Possibly the best thing about Joe at this stage is the aura that he creates he may not be the Joe of old, but he creates a great vibe in the ring. Zayn managed to hit the blue thunder bomb, but Joe quickly cut off the attack, hitting the atomic drop and senton for the near fall. Zayn dropped to the mat one point, following all of Joe’s punishment, but he managed to score with a desperation roll up for 2. Joe avoided the helluva with an STJOE, locked in the choke and that was that. Samoa Joe defeated Sami Zayn @ 9:52 via submission [***] I think that this was largely what it needed to be, Joe dominating, Sami getting some hope spots, but Joe winning clean and in a dominating fashion. Considering their positions in the company right now, this was not the setting for a 15-minute back and forth match. I feel that this was another step in establishing Joe as a threat on the main roster. Sami was a good guy to do that with, he gets good sympathy, and is just such an easy babyface to root for.

– Enzo & Cass do their usual shtick.

– Bayley cut a promo about tonight’s match with Charlotte, and said if Charlotte was so dominating that she’s leave Dana Brooke in the back. Nia Jax arrived, promised to destroy Banks and then come for the title.

RAW Tag Team Championship Match: Champions Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. Enzo Amore and Big Cass: Enzo & Cass took the early shine, sending the champions to the floor; Cass then tossed Enzo onto them. Anderson and Gallows made their way back into the ring and predictably took the heat on Enzo, which was fine but a bit bland. Part of that was the attack choice by the champion, and part of that was the lack of fire in the fight from Enzo. They did the spot where Enzo dives for a tag but gets cut off in mid-air, this time it was a running kick that stopped it instead of a pounce. Anderson would miss a charge, allowing Enzo to finally tag Cass in to run wild. Enzo and Cass hit a sloppy rocket launcher, but Gallows made the save. Anderson finished Enzo off with the running boot of doom as Gallows took out Cass and then shoved Enzo’s foot off the ropes. Champions Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson defeated Enzo Amore and Big Cass @ 8:35 via pin [**] This was fine, but I never really got into it.

– Stephanie is complaining about her plane issues and watching the PPV on her phone. She wants the title matches to go off with no issues. She plans to stay on the phone with Foley for the rest of the show. She then claims to not know she was on speakerphone, but she’s watching on her phone…

 photo download_zpskwqtvvxo.jpg

Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax: Banks tries to fire up right away with strikes, but Jax keeps shoving her away and then starts to beat her down. Banks tries to use her speed, but quickly gets cut off and works her over in the corner. Jax again tosses her across the ring, works the back and covers for 2. Jax continues the heat, and works the torture rack. Banks counters into the hanging guillotine and then into the sleeper, but Jax slams her to the mat to escape. Banks then hits a tilt a whirl into a DDT and then transitions into the Banks statement. Jax powers to her feet, and hits a spinebuster and leg drop. She picks up Banks, yells at her and rag dolls her a bit; Banks escapes the Samoan drop into a prawn hold and picks up the win. Sasha Banks defeated Nia Jax @ 8:35 via pin [**] I felt that this was a bit better than their first singles match earlier this year, with an invested crowd. But it was a bit clunky down the stretch and they telegraphed the fluke win as Jax dominated so much of the match.

Cesaro vs. Jinder Mahal: Mahal & Rusev brawled to the floor, where Mahal posted Rusev. Cesaro and Sheamus arrived and we’re getting Cesaro vs. Mahal. They did some back and forth, trading strikes but Cesaro battled back and hit the double stomp and gut wrench suplex for 2. Mahal to the apron, Cesaro looked for the dead lift superplex, but Mahal cut him off and attacked the back. Mahal then worked a bland heat as this already feels as if it’s gone on way too long. Cesaro finally hit a suplex after Mahal worked the back seemingly forever. Uppercuts followed, and then the uppercut train. Cesaro then did his 619, went up top and hit a high cross for the near fall. Mahal avoided the swing, stared down with Rusev and ate a springboard uppercut and Cesaro won. Cesaro defeated Jinder Mahal @ 8:20 via pin [*] Mahal did something truly amazing here, and made Cesaro completely boring. To say that this was an uninspired match that no one cared about would be an understatement.

– Post match, Rusev kicked the shit out of Mahal.

Rusev vs. The Big Show: Show attacks right away to the chants of USA. Show dominated, beating down Rusev and choking him out in the ropes. Show then hit the final cut for a near fall. Rusev tried to fight back, but Show basically no sold his offense until Rusev clipped Show’s knee. Rusev then grounded Show, working the knee. Show fought back, escaped and hit a side slam for the near fall. Rusev took a powder to the floor, but Show dragged him to the apron, where Rusev stunned him off the ropes. Rusev avoided the chokeslam, clipped the knee and hit a pair of superkicks. He then hit a third, but Show kicked out. Rusev looked for the accolade, but Show escaped, hit the chokeslam, another, a third and then the KO punch to pick up the win. The Big Show defeated Rusev @ 8:37 via pin [*] This was another bad match, and similar to the previous match, it felt as if it lasted an hour as Show made Rusev his bitch. I guess Vince didn’t dig the new haircut. This show has gone off a cliff.

– Owens cut a promo, noting that this would be the Kevin Owens show as long as he wanted it to be.

-Austin Aries shows us his package again, he seems proud of it.

WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match: Champion Neville vs. Jack Gallagher: Neville talked shit and looked to outsmart Gallagher early. Gallagher then did his corner headstand, confusing the champion. He then lit up Neville with uppercuts, Neville cut off a dropkick but almost fell. Gallagher would send Neville to the floor, but Neville cut off the attack, and hit a missile dropkick. That allowed Neville to take the heat, where he was generally a cocky asshole as he beat on Gallagher. Gallagher hit a few dropkicks and a dive to surprise Neville. Back in and Gallagher sets Neville up top, follows and hits the belly to back superplex or the near fall. Neville quickly cuts off Gallagher, slams him face first to the mat and then nearly ended him with a snap German suplex. Neville then hit a phoenix splash from the second rope for a near fall. Neville then laid in a series of kicks, but Gallagher hits head butts and drops Neville, covering for 2. Neville avoided the shotgun dropkick, and Neville then looked for the superplex. Gallagher fought him off, and hit another head butt and Neville is rocked. Gallagher follows Neville up top, but Neville dumps him off the ropes and has to go deep into the playbook to hit the red arrow (which he hasn’t been using) to retain. Champion Neville vs. Jack Gallagher @ 12:30 via pin [***½] That was a very good match, and it felt very different style wise than anything else on the shoe, in a good way. It stared slow, built up some great intensity and then delivered a great back and forth homestretch. Where the Cruiserweight tag match needed energy and some fun spots, this didn’t need that as much due to the tone and style they worked. I really enjoyed this.

– Paul Heyman is interviewed, noting that Lesnar has the right to be here tonight, but won’t reveal if he is or not.

– New Day is here for ice cream related shenanigans. Complete filler.

BRAUN Strowman vs. Roman Reigns: BRAUN tosses Reigns across the ring to begin things. Reigns is being cautious and looking for his chances, but gets tossed to the floor. Reigns back in and they trade strikes, and Reigns starts to gain an advantage, sending BRAUN to the floor. BRAUN pulls him to the floor, and Reigns hits a clothesline off the steps; BRAUN then crashes into the steps as Reigns sidesteps him. Back in and Reigns continues to work over BRAUN. BRAUN then powers out and hits a spinebuster. BRAUN takes control back, tossing Reigns around and then working the neck crank and then the nerve pinch. BRAUN then hits the Samoan drop, and keeps Reigns grounded and delivers clubbing blows to the chest of Reigns. Reigns fires back with clotheslines but BRAUN hits the face plant chokeslam for 2. BRAUN tosses Reigns to the floor, follows and just beats down Reigns and starts to dismantle the announce table. Reigns fights back, posting BRAUN. BRAUN catches him as he tries the drive by and slams Reigns to the post. But BRAUN misses the spear in the ring, posting himself. Reigns fires up with corner clotheslines, and then hits the Samoan drop for 2. BRAUN then cuts off Reigns and hits a version of the big ending for the near fall. BRAUN then misses a corner boot, bumping all the way to the floor. Reigns to the floor, hits the drive by kick, but BRAUN snatches him up and plants him through the announce table with the powerslam. Back in the ring and reigns hits the spear, but BRAUN kicks out at 2. Reigns was shocked. Reigns looks to finish off the big guy, but BRAUN stops the spear and misses a corner charge and hits the post. Reigns hits twp superman punches, but then gets cut off as he goes for the spear. BRAUN up top now, MISSES the big splash; reigns then hits the spear and wins. Roman Reigns defeated BRAUN Strowman @ 17:10 via pin [**¾] With Reigns being programmed against taker for Mania, you knew that he was winning clean here. With that being said, I feel that they did their best to protect BRAUN, who even in loss looked really good, repeatedly surviving Reigns’ best shots. Reigns got to slay the beast ahead of his Clash with Taker, gaining momentum. I think that they had a lot of good ideas here, but simply went too long, and like a lot of things on the show, it felt like it. The ending stretch was well done, overall, this was pretty good; I liked Show vs. BRAUN more. I think that if they rematch and if it is booked as a shorter and more energetic back and forth brawl, it would come off much better.

– Foley meets with Joe backstage, and tells him to not get involved in the main event, or there will be hell to pay.

RAW Women’s Championship Match: Charlotte Flair vs. Champion Bayley: Dana Brooke is out with Charlotte, but Charlotte sends her to the back. The first few minutes was filled with a very even back and forth, with both looking for pinning combos. Bayley started to pick up some momentum, but as they went to the floor, Charlotte cut her off with a clothesline and then took her back in the ring, delivering ground and pound. Charlotte then works the heat, delivering knees to the head and then using her rolling head scissors. Charlotte then talks shit, calling Bayley a cheater and asking where Banks is to help. Bayley got a quick hope spot, but was immediately cut off as Charlotte slammed her to the apron. Charlotte worked the dragon sleeper, but Bayley escapes as Charlotte begins to look frustrated. Charlotte up top now, MOONSAULT connects. She then hits a standing senton for the near fall. Charlotte then works over Bayley with chops, but Bayley hits the clothesline out of the corner. Bayley runs wild, working her over with strikes and then the stunner in the ropes. Corner elbows by Bayley and then the belly to back suplex for a near fall. Charlotte set up top now, into the tree of WHOA and Bayley lays the boots to her, Charlotte tries to pull herself up, and Bayley misses the corner elbow. Not good. Charlotte finally out of the ropes, Bayley up top and they battle on the apron in the corner, Charlotte stuns Bayley off the ropes and heads up top. Bayley stops that, follows her up and hits the RANA. Bayley up top, elbow drop connects, but Charlotte kicks out at 2. Charlotte then tosses Bayley to the floor, Bayley to the apron and eats a big boot from Charlotte. Back in and Charlotte hits natural selection for the near fall. Bayley kicks Charlotte to the floor to stop the figure four; Bayley to the apron and Charlotte slams her to the floor. Charlotte up top, but Banks runs out and they brawl. Bayley to belly on the floor as banks scampers away. Back in the ring, Charlotte rolls up Bayley with the tights and Banks distracts the ref. Bayley to belly again and Bayley retains. Champion Bayley defeated Charlotte @ 16:50 via pin [**¾] So the babyfaces essentially screwed Charlotte out of the title win here. In theory this could lead to a great story leading to the rumored Mania four-way, as Bayley should be upset and accuse Banks of thinking that she can’t win on her own and that she isn’t a deserving champion. I really have no desire to see the four-way, because the Bayley/Banks angle is way more interesting, but they aren’t keeping Charlotte out of the title match. As for the match, it was pretty good, but far from their best. It felt off a few times, including around that tree of WHOA spot; they’ve had better and are capable of way better as we have seen. This also felt like a poor way to end Charlotte’s streak, which should have been a bigger moment, instead it was lost in the overbooked finish.

– Tomorrow on Raw…

WWE Universal Championship Match: Champion Kevin Owens vs. Goldberg: Owens takes a powder before the bell, heckled some fans and teased coming in the ring several times. Jericho’s music hit, spear, jackhammer; ~fin~ Goldberg defeated Champion Kevin Owens @ 0:22 via pin [NR] I do not like it, but Goldberg vs. Lesnar for the title was the path so they accomplished what they needed to; what I did like was that Jericho, the guy that repeatedly gave himself up to allow Owens to retain his title got payback for the Festival of Friendship beating and ended up being the guy that cost Owens the title. This should also give us Owens vs. Jericho for the US Title at Mania.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

 photo fe36ffd0-0da4-4e3b-a2d3-b026b341dd87_zps41ef5d61.jpg
“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Bad
The 411
WWE Fastlane 2017 was not a good show. A lot of things felt just there, things that I thought would deliver really didn’t and the show not only dragged on, but personally did nothing to get me excited for WrestleMania. Instead of the “Fastlane” to WrestleMania, this felt like a prolonged rest stop before Mania.