Fastlane 2017 Review and Match Ratings

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Samoa Joe def. Sami Zayn

Solid opener, all things considered.

The winner of this match, of course, was never in question, so what I wanted to see was the chemistry that these two NXT alumni developed. This was a wise choice as the opening match, because it was arguably the best match in-ring wise that wasn’t the main event. The two worked a very solid outing with a simple formula. Joe was the monster heel who dominated Sami in numerous facets of the match. Sami played the babyface in peril and was able to hit some of his big moves in key moments of the match as well. Joe performed well in his WWE PPV debut, as he didn’t have too long of a match to make people question his monster heel-dom and was still able to get a dominant win over a formidable adversary. Sami wasn’t doing anything so it made sense for him to take the loss, but he wasn’t pushed over like a chump as he had his moments in the match as well. Overall, it was a very solid opener for the crowd. It went a little shorter than I wanted it, but nothing bad here. ***

Sasha Banks def. Nia Jax

An okay build for the fatal four way at Mania.

Many people seemed to be shocked that Sasha went over, and although I can see why not many should be surprised. Like I mentioned in my predictions piece, I had Sasha winning because if they are building towards the likely fatal four way we will see between these two, Charlotte and Bayley at WrestleMania, Sasha needs momentum, and there’s no bigger momentum than pinning Nia in the ring, fluke or not. Nia has had momentum since she was brought to the main roster and already has multiple pinfall victories against Sasha. As for the actual match, it was a nothing special, basic match amped up by a Milwaukee crowd that seemed easily amused by anything. Nia dominated the majority of the match and Sasha won by a fluke which was actually botched. There was some good teases throughout, but nothing worth remembering or watching again, really. **


Luke Gallows (C) and Karl Anderson (C) def. Enzo Amore and Big Cass – RAW Tag Team Championships


They had a match, and they did some stuff. Yipee.

This was another match that wasn’t in doubt, but this was also another inoffensive match. This was basically your standard RAW tag team match. Gallows and Anderson was able to isolate Enzo for most of the match, and then Enzo got a brief bring of daylight before he got the hot tag to Enzo and wrecked havoc everywhere. I also liked the false finishes towards the end as for a brief moment, I thought Enzo and Cass had it before Gallows came out and interrupted the count at the end. And of course, Enzo took the pin as he always does. Like I said in my predictions video, this was a match simply for the sake of having a match because there was no real build-up, and no reason to care who wins the match. Despite that, for what we got, it wasn’t too long, and it was okay for what it was. **1/4

Cesaro def. Jinder Mahal

This was one giant pile of you know what.

I’m assuming the only reason why they are focusing a chunk of PPV time on these two is either because they had very bad timing issues and had to allow half an hour to these two, or they just want to remind us that there were more RAW superstars that we had forgotten about. Well, it is a match that went over five minutes, so I suppose I have to review it. There really wasn’t anything special here, as Jinder came out and got the better of Rusev in a spat, fought Cesaro to a draw basically, and Rusev came out for the distraction finish. I fell in and out of consciousness watching it, but I suppose that doesn’t mean it was bad. I just got bored. But from what I saw, it was, well, whatever. It lacked a ton of heat, and Cesaro was made to look very boring because of this. *


The Big Show def. Rusev


Goodness, who the hell did Rusev piss off?

Might as well just call this Monday Night RAW. I was hoping for a Finn Balor appearance, because that would be the only reason to have something that should have been on the pre-show be on the main card. But, whatever. Rusev has a new look that makes him look like a college student, by the way. Not sure what happened. The Big Show seems to have also slimmed down a bit as well. I personally didn’t care for this match either, because it didn’t matter who wins and I had no care as to why this match had to take place. However, the crowd didn’t seem to trash it or mind, so I suppose that I won’t harp on it too much, but this went a little longer than I had wanted. They should have just gotten to the point because there wasn’t any way Rusev was winning. But again, a whatever match to burn time. Big Show laying waste to Rusev was absolutely unnecessary as well. One chokeslam should have done the trick, but doing it three times, and KO’ing him in the corner was massive overkill If you want to see how someone is buried, watch this. *1/4

Neville (C) def. Jack Gallagher – WWE Cruiserweight Championship

For once, my bladder didn’t go off when the rings turned purple.

WWE Cruiserweight Championship I admit, I bypassed this match, but this turned out to be a good watch. This was probably the most physical Cruiserweight match I’ve seen since the Cruiserweights came to RAW. The two went back and forth with very hard hitting moves. It’s almost as if you could feel your own head hurt when Jack headbutted Neville. Meanwhile, Neville dropped Jack on his head a few times and had some vintage Cruiserweight moves. The psychology early on featured Jack playing some basic mind games on Neville, and Neville’s frustration showed early. I also like the fact that the two had to pull out moves they don’t usually do because the recognized the stakes and they knew they had to do certain things in order to win. Jack had to do an outside dive and Neville had to bring back the Red Arrow in order to put Jack away. While I didn’t agree with the crowd that the match was “awesome” (they seemed easily amused), both men put in a very valiant effort and I’ll give them the benefit of any doubt. This was a good showing for the CW’s, and more so for Jack, because Neville has a credible challenger now. This match also brought the energy the show desperately needed. ***1/4

Roman Reigns def. Braun Strowman

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