Monday, February 22, 2016

Fastlane Review

Well, I was at Fastlane live so part of my review will be about the matches themselves and some will be about the live report. The show opened with Kalisto defending the US Title on the Pre-Show against Alberto Del Rio. This was their fourth televised match that I can recall, with Kalisto holding a 2-1 advantage. The fans were into Kalisto but Del Rio got an apathetic response. They worked a really good match actually. It was their best effort besides the title change on Raw last month. Del Rio got DQed early on, weakening Kalisto and scoring a fall to even it. For some reason, he tried to win via countout. You can't win the belt like that so why even tease that? That hurt the match for me. Kalisto scored with a rollup to retain, cementing Del Rio as the highest paid Kickoff Show loser in history. Seriously, they're paying him about a million dollars for this. He has good matches but mostly nobody ends up caring. And this is from someone who really likes him. ***1/4

In a surprising, but very deserving move, the women were given the PPV opening. This is the first time that's happened since a UK only PPV in 2003 if I'm right. Crowd was hugely into Sasha and Becky and they made it work for them. This was EASILY the best match I've ever seen Naomi or Tamina have. Sasha and Becky worked great as a unit and built to the hot tag perfectly. The fans wanted to see Sasha get it and Becky is a fantastic sympathetic babyface. Sasha got the tag and both girls killed it en route to a victory. Strong opener and once again showcased why these two belong in the big Divas match at Mania. ***1/2

            In a match that didn't feel like it should be on a Pay-Per-View, we got Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler for about the 15th time in the past few weeks. Like most of their previous matches, it was good but something was missing. Add in the fact that we've seen it a ton and you have given the fans next to no reason to care about it. Surprisingly, they billed Ziggler from Hollywood, Florida which they usually avoid when he's home in Cleveland. The fans finally got into it thanks to some near falls in the end. Owens scored with the popup powerbomb, I think, I did look away for a minute. Solid enough match with the right guy going over. Just please, for the love of everything, end this feud. **3/4

At this point, we'd had three pretty good matches and I was thinking this show was already better than the last PPV I attended, TLC 2014. Then the guys that sucked the hardest at TLC (Show, Rowan, Ryback and Kane) reared their ugly heads. This was a six man tag not involving Bray Wyatt and it pretty much blew. It was dull, I could not get interested in anything that anybody did. The best thing about this was a sign that someone had saying "Big Show is a Vapegod". Then, to make matter worse, the babyfaces won after Ryback Shellshocked Luke Harper. Why? The Wyatts are just no a viable threat in any conceivable way at this point. *3/4

Playing off the Daniel Bryan sympathy train came the WWE Divas Championship match. Being there live, I wasn't feeling this match at all. It felt like it dragged and I just couldn't get invested. The crowd was pretty hot for Brie. She kept going for the Yes Lock and did some of Bryan's trademark kicks. Charlotte continually looked for the heat she can't get on her own by doing the Yes taunt. Ric Flair got involved but Brie transitioned into a single leg crab when he interrupted her Yes Lock, which was cool. Charlotte survived and made her tap. I've heard people say really good things about this so I may need to give it a second watch. **

After a good first match on Raw and a great second match on Smackdown, we had the rubber match between AJ Styles and Chris Jericho. I was more into this match than any other because I had never seen AJ live. They had a damn fine match that was better than the first one on Raw, but not as good as the Smackdown one. For some reason, Jericho kicked out of the Styles Clash. Why kill that move's credibility for the sake of a near fall? Yoshi Tatsu died for that move. Anyway, Styles won with the poorly renamed Calf Crusher. They shook hands after the bell. ***1/2

                        Edge and Christian came out for the Cutting Edge Peep Show to promote their new show and have New Day as their guests. New Day came out and made some jokes while E&C said they basically ripped off their style to get over. For some reason, they brought up the League of Nations and apparently, New Day has issues with them now. Yes, even though they've hung out with them in the past. There was no setup for this or anything. LON came out to trade barbs, New Day left and E&C cracked one final joke on LON that had the New Day in stitches. It didn't work nearly as good as they wanted and it completely came from out of nowhere. Oddly, the new segment saw the Social Outcasts come out and there was a random match between Curtis Axel and R-Truth. It's like I went to a PPV and Superstars started happening. Goldust showed up but Axel still won. I didn't get it. 1/2*

The extremely predictable main event was next. I knew the crowd would be more into both Brock and Dean but man, it was overwhelming negative towards Reigns. Much more so than I thought it would be. The match itself was a really fun brawl. Brock suplexed the world, while Reigns and Ambrose worked together to neutralize him. They put him through two tables even. The finish came when Ambrose lit up both men with a chair, sending Brock outside. Reigns no sold all of that, hit a Spear and won. The crowd hated that. It was like, the worst kind of Superman finish. It really hurt the overall score of the match. Triple H came out after to do the WrestleMania sign staredown with Reigns. Fans were very positive towards HHH. ***3/4

Overall, I found this show to be very middle of the pack. There were some good things, like most of the main event, the Divas tag and the AJ Styles/Chris Jericho match. There were some bad things like the Superstars thrown together match an the awful Wyatts jobbing situation. At least the crowd was hot. 5.5/10.