I thought that this was a solid power outing between two powerhouses that had a lot riding for them. Roman has a likely impending feud with The Undertaker at WrestleMania and he needed a strong showing here at Fastlane. Meanwhile, Braun had been running roughshod over the entire roster, especially Roman, and there was pressure for him to keep up his performance. I thought the two worked well together, with some good kick-outs and solid action outside the ring. Though I didn’t like the finish because it just seemed kind of lazy and out of nowhere, I understand why Roman won, and to be honest, there really wasn’t anyone else who Braun was going to lose to in his first match. Besides, he can pick up a victory sometime down the line in the future. For what we got, it was solid, though it didn’t reach that second gear that I hoped that it would get to. The Undertaker not making an apperance also midly upsetted me as well.***1/4
Bayley (C) def. Charlotte – RAW Women’s Championship
Can someone explain to me that finish? Like, when Sasha came down and attacked Charlotte, did that not warrant a DQ? Maybe I’m overthinking things. Despite that, it’s clear that the heel turn by Sasha is coming, perhaps as soon as tomorrow. She’s likely going to claim that Bayley can’t accomplish anything without her. This was also one terrible way to end Charlotte’s undefeated PPV streak. Yes, she’s protected in defeat, but you really have her lose on a PPV leading up to WrestleMania? I don’t like it. As for the actual match, it was fine, but we have seen these two do much better work with each other, as exhibited by their match a couple of weeks ago. It got plodding at times, especially with the tree of woe spot which I’m convinced didn’t go as planned, and the match sort of just kept dragging on and on and didn’t reach the exciting climax that we know these two can put on. With the way this ended, it’s probably likely we are getting the fatal four way, but to be honest, Bayley and Sasha is the money match. They’re not going to take Charlotte out of the title picture for obvious reasons, and Nia hasn’t had her chance in the women’s division yet, so we shall see. This was a passable all in all, but so many things went wrong that hampered its potential. ***
Goldberg def. Kevin Owens (C) – WWE Universal Championship
Welp, it looks like Paul Heyman found the kink in Goldberg’s armor that he was looking for. All you have to do is not get distracted and make Goldberg have to fight for over two minutes. When Kevin Owens got outisde of the ring (and I fail to understand why they never rang the bell sooner), it looked as though Kevin was walking around pondering the times that he had with the Universal Championship knowing that he’d have to drop it to a man who likely won’t be on RaW until the final couple weeks leading up to WrestleMania. In spite of that, I loved the mind games he played, and of course, we all shouldn’t be surprised at the finish. Goldberg has been in the ring for a total of about four and a half minutes since he returned to WWE, so hopefully, you weren’t expecting so much as even a five-minute match or an extended squash. They didn’t even wait for Jericho to come out and distract Kevin. As soon as the match started, he appeared, KO gets distracted, and the rest is history. It’s not that Kevin Owens lost so much as they showed blatant disrespect to the man that held RAW’s top title for about half a year. I wasn’t his biggest fan, but jobbing him out like that isn’t something I’m a fan of. What’s even worse is that now looking towards WrestleMania, the winner of that match will be guaranteed to be a part-time champion. What’s the endgame for all of this? Goldberg gets distracted and Brock jobs him out at WrestleMania? It was predictable and it was deflating. What more do you want me to say about a 30-second main event? DUD
Anyone who knows me knows that I try to find the positive in any WWE PPV, and on most occasions, WWE puts out PPV’s that are watchable, and sometimes enjoyable. Problem is, there is a few stinkers every now and again, and this was certainly one of them. Oh my goodness, I have rarely seen a show that lacked heat, energy, and urgency as this one did tonight. The only title change of the night came in predictable and non-dramatic fashion, there wasn’t any good build to WrestleMania, appearances by Undertaker and Brock Lesnar were scarce, and the matches for the most part, were RAW quality. When the Cruiserweights are what gives you the best action of the night, that should send off a lot of red flags. That also leads me to believe why WWE didn’t just call this Sunday Night RAW. Because if it was that, then I could understand why most of the night went the way it did. However, in spite of this show being called Fastlane, it was more like Pit Stop. I thought the show was headed in a good direction after the first couple of matches, but then we got to the fluff and useless segments with The New Day and the Jinder/Rusev bromance divorce. The main event was a 30-second squash, Bayley/Charlotte didn’t perform like we know they can and everything else was either average or just plain bad. For all the advantages RAW has over Smackdown, SD has been kicking their ass with the exclusive PPV’s. Certainly a PPV you’d be better off skipping. Thumbs down for sure. Until next time.