Fastlane 2018 Review and Match Ratings

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They should have all just jumped Shane from the get-go.

I used to be a fan of multi-man matches but then it grew on me because of how formulaic and obvious the pacing would be. It used to be everybody just fighting everywhere, but nowadays, it’s like the match always starts with two guys in the ring and the other guys taking a nap on the outside until a specific spot in the match. First, we started with Cena hitting an AA on everybody in sight before we got down to Cena and Styles. I was interested to see how long the match was going to be and what everyone’s role was. Styles had to survive consistent outside threats, the KO and Sami dynamic came back to the crowd’s delight, Ziggler was looking to be somewhat of a scavenger, and Cena was looking to assert his dominance. At least that’s how I saw it.

Overall, I actually enjoyed this muli-man match. I like my six-packs chaotic, fun and dramatic and the match featured all of that. We had Styles bump like a cow on the outside, the Kevin/Sami drama was very well done and we also had Corbin and Ziggler get into it in the crowd area (which doesn’t make a lot of sense considering how far they were away from the ring), but this is pro wrestling. Not a lot of things have to make sense here. However, a couple of beefs. One. Shane McMahon. He needs to go. First of all, he shouldn’t have even been ringside to begin with. Why would he want to be there? Are there not any monitors streaming the match backstage? I am so sick and tired of seeing a, I guess you can’t even say part-time, in-ring performer consistently is the main figure in the main event matches of Smackdown PPV’s. His beef with Sami and Kevin should be long over. He needs to let go of grudges and let the performers perform. Shane is not a good in-ring performer. He should not be competing with any of these superstars. He does not have credibility. He does not elevate anyone. Why do we keep building to matches with him? It’s ridiculous.

Shane blatantly costing Sami and Kevin the WWE Title each after all the crap they take from him each week is just so unnecessary. Just let them tell the story. Shane took offense to Kevin kicking him in the face when he was literally right in front of the action and saw that it was an accident but he chose to be petty anyway. He’s still being portrayed as on-screen face. He should be a bonafide heel at this point if anything. Another beef I have. All the announcers were only concerned about John Cena’s Road to WrestleMania. After Styles won, the camera only panned to Cena and his facial reaction. Were there not four people in the match as well? They all lost too. Where’s their road to WrestleMania? Do they have any matches set in stone? Hell, for that matter, where’s the Road to WrestleMania for half the damn roster? This Cena no Road to WrestleMania narrative is one of the most logic-averse storylines WWE has put out in some time because it’s so unreasonable. And where the hell is the AJ/Nakamura faceoff with both of them pointing at the WrestleMania sign to send us away?

That said, the good far outweighed the bad in this match, as the in-ring action was solid, the stuff outside was chaotic in a good way, and most importantly, the right guy one. A part of me assumed for a minute that they may very well give the title to Cena, but AJ came flying in like a Greek god to retain. Overall, a very well done main event that would have been much better had it not been for the Shane nonsense. ****


Conclusion:


I had this being much worse, but thankfully, I was wrong.

Put it this way. Some of the matches I thought wouldn’t deliver surprised me, and some matches I thought would deliver underwhelmed. I guess it’s just a balance that’s needed here. Overall, I think there was more good than bad on this show, but a lot of stuff wasn’t needed and didn’t add to the show. The opener was very well done, the undercard was inoffensive and solid and the main event indeed delivered. I guess I have no good reason to not give this PPV a thumbs up unless I was petty. Since I want to be positive and always look for the good, I’m not going to complain here. While of course this PPV wasn’t amazing or anything and I probably wouldn’t watch it start to finish again, this was a show that was better than I had envisioned it. So good on WWE for tonight anyway, but let’s all rejoice for now that this ends the brand-exclusive PPV era until it comes back late next year. Until next time.

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