Cleat Geeks

WWE Fastlane Review

WWE Fastlane went down last evening in Memphis, Tennessee and a lot of storylines began to take shape as Wrestlemania 31 quickly approaches. We saw the big return of a WWE Superstar, Bray Wyatt shed some light on his next opponent, WWE Titles changed hands and that’s just a portion of what took place. So let’s get to it and go over all the exciting action!

Fastlane led off with a six man tag team matchup between The Big Show, Kane and Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan and Ryback.

The Viper Randy Orton

The Viper Randy Orton

The match was filled with ups and downs, twists and turns as The Authority used their typical rule bending tactics to gain a victory. In the aftermath of the match, as The Authority continued to assault Ziggler, we hear the music hit and The Viper rushes the ring to make the save! Orton delivers RKO’s all around and sets his sights on Rollins, who manages to barely escape thanks to the help of The Big Show pulling him out of the ring. Randy Orton is back and has his sights lasered in on Rollins which should lead to their long awaited match at WM31.

Goldust and Stardust continued their strange storyline with a decent match that saw Goldust pull out a victory only to have Stardust viciously attack him backstage in front of their father, Dusty Rhodes. This should lead to another confrontation at Raw, as Stardust continues to distance himself from his Cody Rhodes identity. I’m not sure if this angle will continue on to WM31, but it should help us to delve further into the the motives of Cody’s alter ego.

Tyson Kidd and Cesaro

Tyson Kidd and Cesaro

Tyson Kidd and Cesaro continued to take advantage of their recent push and parlayed it into a victory over The Uso’s to win the WWE Tag Team Titles. The match provided us with a clean pinfall and hopefully the beginning of a long run for the new Champions as they have a tremendous combination of athleticism, technical wrestling and work ethic. The WWE Tag Team Titles should gain some added significance with an extended reign, and Cesaro and Kidd fans should be excited about their immediate future.

Triple H, taped fists and all,  finally got his long awaited face to face confrontation with Sting and it provided us with the match that everyone was hoping for for WM31. While Sting continued to give Triple H the silent treatment he most certainly delivered his message loud and clear, with a little help from his baseball bat.

Sting will finally make his highly anticipated Wrestlemania debut

Sting will finally make his highly anticipated Wrestlemania debut

Just as Triple H appeared to gain the advantage, sledge hammer in hand after a brief altercation between the two, Sting produced his infamous bat and proceeded to push the WWE COO into a corner wth the bat against his throat. Sting then pointed the bat at the Wrestlemania Banner several times, making his intent clear to Triple H that he would like to further the discussion at the biggest pay-per-view of the year.

Nikki Bella continued her run as The Divas Champion by defeating Paige after a pretty decent match between the two. Paige was on the verge of regaining the Divas Championship only to have Nikki gain a pinfall, with perhaps a little help from a handful of tights. Will this lead to a rematch at WM31, will Brie finally decide to stand up to her sister or will AJ Lee make her return to try and reclaim The Divas Championship? While The Divas division does have its fair share of ups and downs, Nikki, Brie, Paige and AJ have at least provided WWE Brass with some reliable and capable stars to build the future around. With the addition of a few NXT Diva Superstars into the mix the future of The Divas division appears to have a bright future.

The lunatic fringe Dean Ambrose.

The lunatic fringe Dean Ambrose.

Bad News Barrett managed to hang onto The Intercontinental Championship after The Lunatic Fringe lost it and was DQ’d. This was a decent match, as I expected, between two very solid workers and I anticipate that we will see them continue to battle through WM31. Ambrose has gained quite a following from the WWE Universe and I would love to see a long term IC Championship reign from him that could help to re-establish the importance of this title.

Bray Wyatt has officially called out his next foe

Bray Wyatt has officially called out his next foe

Next we saw a huge spectacle as The Undertaker’s music hits and a coffin, druids with torches and all, is wheeled out to ringside. The crowd popped huge for this only to be dismayed at the sight of a laughing Bray Wyatt as the coffin is opened. Wyatt says that he is “the new face of fear” and needs to take the Undertaker’s soul at WM31. How will The Deadman respond as WM nears, and what else does Wyatt have in store to lure The Undertaker back to the ring for another appearance? The Undertaker has not been seen since WM30, where he suffered his first Wrestlemania defeat at the hands of Brock Lesnar. I cannot wait to see the rebuttal that The Undertaker has in store for the young Wyatt, and am also curious to see the type of physical condition that The Undertaker is in after being off for so long.

John Cena did everything he could do to take the U.S. Championship from Rusev last evening but came up a little bit short in suffering the first defeat by submission in his illustrious WWE career. Of course we must point out that Rusev did not manage this without a little help from his Manager Lana. I for one am glad that we finally got to see Lana become more involved in the outcome of a match, as it will certainly help gain even more heat for Rusev.

Rusev and Lana escaped this time

Rusev and Lana escaped this time

As Cena had just escaped from The Accolade, Lana climbed into the ring and drew the attention of the referee. In the mean time, Rusev  kicked Cena below the belt and then delivered a huge kick to the head of Cena rendering him unconscious. When the referee turned around, Rusev had already applied a second Accolade to an already unconscious Cena leaving the referee no choice but to call for the bell. I was very impressed by both wrestlers in this match and am very excited at the prospect of these two rematching at WM31, where I forsee Cena putting an end to Rusev’s streak and giving some much needed credibility to the importance of the U.S. Championship.

Finally, we saw a very well crafted and spirited match between Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns. Both men gave their all in what turned out to be a much better match than I anticipated. Bryan threw everything he had at Reigns, who showed his resiliency numerous times, including his running knee and a Yes! Lock only for Reigns to survive each time. With Bryan desperate and looking for his second flying knee finisher, Reigns counters with a HUGE spear to gain the clean pinfall victory. We all knew that Bryan can deliver in the ring, but Reigns had what I believe to be his best match at this point in his young career which can hopefully be a stepping stone to even bigger and better matches as he continues to ascend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship ladder.

Daniel Bryan & Roman Reigns delivered at Fastlane

Daniel Bryan & Roman Reigns delivered at Fastlane

I like the fact that Bryan showed his respect to Reigns after the match, as we over hear him telling Reigns that he had better win the Title at WM31. Bryan did a fantastic job of putting Reigns over with the fans again, but time will tell how they respond to their underdog hero coming up short. I feel that at this point it is time to stop criticizing Reigns and accept him for what he is and what he indeed could become which is the next dominant force in this era of the company.

 

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