Demarus Dye| BKD TV Insiders
The Road to WrestleMania rolls into Cleveland for WWE Fastlane & the PPV/WWE Network show had it ups & downs as you will see below. Thanks to WWE.com for photos of both events & Wrestling inc for help in this article.
Pre-Show Match: UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP 2 out of 3 Falls Match
Kalisto (c) def Alberto Del Rio 2 falls to 1
Rating: 7 out 10
Analysis– Pretty good match going into the Event with Kalisto getting the 1st Fall via DQ when Del Rio hit Kalisto with a chair, Del Rio got the 2nd fall by taking advantage of the injured Kalisto & really playing up the role of underdog. For the Final Fall Kalisto dropping Del Rio into the turnbuckles and rolling him up for the win. Now the pace of the match was good & Kalisto has gotten over being the Underdog Champion, also Del Rio being a extreme heel mad that the Underdog has got the best of him. Very good way to open the show & having Mauro Ranallo doing play by play was good also.
Becky Lynch & Sasha Banks def Team BAD
Rating: 7 out of 10
Analysis– Good match with all 4 ladies getting time & doing well in the ring. I thought for Naomi with her struggle with being a heel was her best work to me. I feel that A Triple Threat for the Divas Title will be coming & hopefully a 2nd match also for WM 32 in Dallas for the Divas. It was great to see both Divas place both members of Team BAD in there finisher moves also.
WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Kevin Owens (c) def Dolph Ziggler
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Analysis– Once again both guys went out & stole the show, as both Owens & Ziggler brought it. It also looked like right before the end of the match outside of the ring Ziggler has dislocated his shoulder. For Ziggler tho he is in the label as a hard luck loser, wrestles well but comes up short more times than not. Hopefully Ziggler will be in another beef that he can get over while for Owens he should face one of the loser from the Main Event not named Brock Lensar. Look forward to see what both do at Mania.
Kane, Ryback and Big Show def The Wyatt Family w/Bray Wyatt in there corner
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
Analysis– This pretty much became a Ryback get over match as I thought the Wyatt Family was a big loser tonight at Fastlane, Hopefully Ryback is use in a better way going into Mania while Kane & Big Show along with some of the Wyatt’s should be in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. At some point the Wyatt Family have to get wins to be taking more seriously in bigger matches. Outside of getting Ryback over, just didn’t see the reason why the Wyatt Family loss.
WWE DIVAS CHAMPIONSHIP
Charlotte (c) (w/ Ric Flair) def Brie Bella
Rating: 7 out of 10
Analysis– Another good match between Brie & Charlotte. One thing about Charlotte she can get over in the ring, but also Brie Bella can show he can do well in the ring & also get over her opponent. Slick Ric outside the ring gets Charlotte over as a Heel. Hopefully Brie also with Alicia Fox will be a good way to be on the card for WrestleMania. Again it does well to have a heel vs. Face mainly withe the Divas, it helps gets everyone over.
AJ Styles def Chris Jericho
Rating: 9 out of 10
Analysis– These 2 have being in the ring twice could they top having a better match & they did big time. A lot of people say Jericho is not in full wrestling shape, but Jericho can still hang & AJ Styles can make himself & his opponent better. Jericho got over the Calf Cusher move by the Tap plus Jericho did not go heel but Shake his hand. By far the best match of the night. Styles vs. Owens could be coming & maybe Ambrose vs. Jericho also for Wrestlemania maybe?
Segment with Edge & Christian interviewing Tag Team Champions The New Day
Rating: 5 out of 10
Analysis– It was high points with Big E proclaiming “Out with the old, that’s you [Edge and Christian], and in with The New Day” as well as The Rated-R Superstar telling the reigning WWE Tag Team Champions he had “never seen so much chocolate act so vanilla.” But the New Day could have tweened here with Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods veered into putting down The League of Nations, which prompted the four Superstars to emerge from backstage. The LON was dry coming in the ring & they really did much good verbal jabs back in. The New Day and Edge and Christian eventually exited up the ramp, where both groups lobbed a few choice put-downs at, in the words of Edge, “The International House of Dumbasses.” Clearly with Edge & Christian show debuting after the Show, the segment was mainly to get you to watch there show, after what we seen afterward the best thing could have been a skit in the back & then a tag match No.1 contender match for the Tag Team Titles maybe.
Curtis Axel def R-Truth
Rating: 1 out of 10
Analysis– Stinked up the joint. Clearly with 2 acts that suck. Clearly this filled time & made sure the main event could be 15 stars compared to this restroom, also at some point either Goldust & R-Truth team up or not. This has drawen on too match, a match that should have been on Superstars instead of on a PPV. The Social Jobbers vs. the floundering Truth, Goldust can be used better at this in my opinion.
NUMBER ONE CONTENDER’S MATCH for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Roman Reigns def Dean Ambrose & Brock Lesnar
Rating: 8 out of 10
Analysis– Normally Brock Lensar brings the pain, but even the Beast can go thru tables, how about 2 Announce tables. Brock early controlled the match early, but after Lensar went thru the 1st Announce table by the 2 former Shield member, Ambrose attack Reigns by throw him into the Steel Steps. After the 2nd time Lensar was sent throw the Announce table & buried, Reigns turned on Ambrose & attacked him. This is the end of the match- Ambrose goes for Dirty Deeds but it’s blocked. Ambrose is on Reigns’ shoulders when Lesnar runs in and hits a German on both of them at the same time. Fans pop big time again. Reigns spears Lesnar when he gets up. Lesnar pulls Reigns into the Kimura Lock in the middle of the ring. Reigns powers to his feet while Lesnar still has the hold locked. Ambrose comes in with three chair shots to Lesnar, breaking the hold. Ambrose unloads with the chair on Lesnar. He turns to Reigns and beats on him with the chair. Back to Lesnar with chair shots. Lesnar rolls to the floor. Ambrose turns around to a spear from Reigns for the win.
I kind was hoping the Wyatt Family would attack Lensar & get back some wind from after losing tonight, but that can be set up later. The Storytelling in this match was a 10 until the end, I would have like to see Reigns sell the chair shots he got more since the PPV pretty much went off 10 mins early. I think Triple H vs. Roman Reigns will be well for Mania but hopefully both Lensar & Mainly Ambrose get good rubs & go into WrestleMania strong. Solid match, maybe not the Finish most wanted but storyline wise right call.
Overall– A good B Level PPV, 2 changes I would make going forward outside of getting the WWE Network feed right. 1st: Maybe during the 1st Half of PPV Have Maruo Ranallo, Booker T & Jerry Lawler call matches & maybe at 9:30pm(2nd Half) have Cole, JBL & Sexton finish it plus you can have the color guys do half & half of the Pre-Show. 2nd: Raw should not run longer than PPV’s in general, seen it several times now just don’t make sense to me period & it would help time the pace of the matches so we don’t end up with a Jobber/Enhancement match on a PPV. I would give the PPV a soild 7 out of 10 but could have been a little better.