WWE Fastlane 2017 is in the bag, which means its time for another 3-Count review and post-show podcast recap.
For this edition, I figured I’d go with the theme of balance for the future by mentioning a Good, a Bad, and an Ugly of what WWE set themselves up for in regards to WrestleMania 33 based on the events from Fastlane.
Be sure to check out a more thorough and detailed perspective of the pay-per-view as a whole at the end of this post!
What will probably be overlooked to a certain extent, but will play a big factor for the next few weeks, is the storyline with Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon.
WWE did a good job expressing at the beginning of the night during the pre-show that Stephanie’s flight had run into problems and she might not be there, but it was adamant that Samoa Joe would not interfere in the main event. This was, of course, a red herring as it was Chris Jericho who would cause the distraction, leading to the opposite outcome.
Most wrestling fans saw that coming from a mile away, but just because the execution is predictable doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad, and now that Triple H’s handpicked guy isn’t the champion anymore, we should expect to see Foley’s world crumble tonight on Raw.
Since he’s leaving for surgery and will be replaced as Raw General Manager, something needed to be the catalyst for that, and this will do just fine. He goes out as a babyface who pissed off The Authority, but not in a way that taints his credibility as an impartial figurehead. Foley didn’t actually get involved in a match and become hypocritical—he did his best in trying to keep Samoa Joe away, and just so happened to ignore Chris Jericho in the process.
Don’t want the tag titles to change hands, but want the feud to keep going? Have the heels cheat win. Book yourself into a corner with Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman? Screw it, the fans won’t be annoyed with Reigns winning again, right? Can’t figure out a way to keep Nia Jax looking strong but don’t want her to win a match she clearly is overqualified to dominate? Have Sasha Banks win with an awkward pin that really looks fake.
Many writers subscribe to the theory that you should put your protagonist in a no-win situation and then you’re forced to figure out a creative way for them to win, as that keeps things unpredictable and suspenseful. The benefits for that is how it avoids making things easy and repetitive. However, there are downsides if you simply aren’t a good enough writer, as you’ll bend over backwards (literally in Sasha’s case) and still come out looking lazy.
If you can’t think of a good way for things to finish, change it up before you’ve forced it upon yourself. A pay-per-view like this comes off more like an elongated episode of Raw where it’s all hooks to try to convince you to see the real finish to multiple things at WrestleMania, but the problem is that hooks only work if they’re interesting.
Who shot Mr. Burns? I don’t know, and something like this has never been done before on a cartoon like The Simpsons, so let’s spend the whole summer speculating as it could go in a lot of ways! What will happen now that Enzo and Cass didn’t win that match? I don’t know, how about a generic promo where they talk about how they want another, and then they get one?
When so much in WWE is structured around building something up to a pay-per-view and then the pay-per-view’s resolution is “this is just another way to build up to the NEXT pay-per-view” and more often than not, that next event doesn’t fully deliver, it makes it hard to get invested in shenanigans that aren’t at least innovative and fun.
What the hell was going on with that Sasha Banks interference with Bayley? It definitely wasn’t supposed to be that awkward and clumsy. If it was, someone needs to get their head examined.
Right off the bat, this should have been a disqualification. The fact that it wasn’t screamed “oh, this is one of those instances where the rules don’t matter because that isn’t in the script” rather than giving us a reason to believe the referee didn’t call for the bell right there. Then, everything that followed it was just haphazard and sloppy.
The three women involved (Bayley, Sasha and Charlotte) are all much better in the ring than they are on the mic, and the outcome of this match signifies that we’re going to be in for a long promo on Raw, which will probably be one of the worst segments of the night. The last thing we needed is another 15 minutes dedicated to the same exact speeches we’ve heard for months, particularly when what prompts them will be recap footage of this mess.
Sure, there’s been worse, but the existence of things lower on the scale doesn’t make this good. You can cover a turd with the best ice cream in the world and it’s still a shitty sundae.
For more opinions on the show as a whole, check out the latest edition of the Smark Out Moment wrestling podcast SMACK TALK as the panel reviews Fastlane with our immediate reactions following the event before the dust has fully settled.
Hosted by Anthony Mango along with Shaun Walker
Make sure to subscribe and leave your comments and ratings!