Here we are, the final stop on the road to WrestleMania, Fastlane. Every Fastlane pay-per-view usually offers the final bit of story progression and one or two really memorable matches. It is the B-show of B-shows.
However, this year’s event looked pretty stacked, so I decided to watch it and review it for you.
Will it be anything more than just an extended episode of Raw? Let’s find out!
Also, if you’ve read some of my previous reviews, I changed the ratings from five possible points to 10, because half stars are dumb.
Smackdown Tag Team Championships: McMiz vs The Usos
The show starts off with Miz repping Cleveland colors, as his dad George watches from ringside.
We get a lot of back and forth to start, and eventually, Shane gets isolated by the Samoan twins and they beat him for a while. Shane rallies and Miz gets the hot tag, as he cleans house and even hits a crossbody to both Usos on the outside (Truly new territory for Miz).
The two teams trade huge moves, with Miz hitting the Skull Crushing Finale, though the ref is too busy checking on Shane to count the pin. Later, Shane hits a huge top rope dropkick on an Uso, a very cool spot.
In the end, The Miz goes for a frog splash after insistence from his father and his hometown crowd, but the Uso counters and pins him for the win. Overall a solid, if average, match.
Then, in a heartbreaking moment, while Miz and Shane are licking their wounds, “The Money” brutally attacks Miz from behind, elbowing, punching and choking him out.
He puts his hands on George and saunters away. I’m honestly shocked. I knew one of them would turn on the other, but I didn’t think it’d be Shane.
I’ve really been enjoying this story, and for a split second I legit got mad that this team broke up. If nothing else, I’m looking forward to their eventual match at WrestleMania, and that’s the point of this show right?
Rating: 6 George Mizanin haircuts out of 10
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Mandy Rose vs Asuka
While most of the focus surrounding the women of WWE has been around the Becky, Charlotte and Ronda nonsense, Asuka has been left behind. I’d argue the best women’s wrestlers in WWE is an afterthought.
The match begins with “The Empress” giving Rose a wrestling lesson until Sonya Deville distracts her three times in a row, which gives Rose the advantage.
However, it doesn’t last long and Asuka’s able to continue the beating. Throughout the match, Deville looks under the ring to find goodies to give Rose, but it ultimately bites them as Rose slips on the ring apron, allowing Asuka to hit a spin kick and retain her title.
We will not get WrestleMandy after all, much to Corey Garves’ chagrin. In the aftermath, Rose ignores Deville’s apologize and they tease dissension. This was a really basic match that kept Asuka looking strong.
Rating: 4 Corey Graves freakouts out of 10
Handicap Match: The Bar vs Kofi Kingston
In another example of Vince McMahon being a nasty old man, he added Kingston to the WWE Championship triple threat match, but it was a ruse, as it was really a two on one tornado handicap match, where The New Day was barred (get it?) from ringside.
The first part of this match is a slaughter, as The Bar do what they do best. However, the Iron Man shows some life and fights off both members of the team.
However, it’s not enough, as Kofi can’t fight off the numbers game. Big E and Xavier Woods come out to help him but are cut off by Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura. The Bar hits a top rope white noise to send Kofi home with a loss.
This was a message sent to The New Day by McMahon and hopefully the Pancake Professors get a chance to earn some justice next week.
Rating: 2 Brogue Kicks out of 10
Raw Tag Team Championships: Aleister Black & Ricochet vs Rooble vs The Revival
Next, we get some more tag team action. All three teams bring something different to the table, and this mesh of styles should be interesting.
Chad Gable and Ricochet start off the action with some nice feats of athleticism. A lot of the early portion of the match involved The Revival tagging in to stay in control of their own destiny, as the titles can change hands without them being part of the decision.
Eventually, after taking a beating Ricochet hits Black with the hot tag and he cleans house. From then on it’s just madness, as everyone gets their time to hit big moves, and several pin attempts are barely broken up.
After several minutes of high octane action, including Ricochet nailing Roode with a dive from over the ringpost, The Revival manage to hit the Shatter Machine on Gable to sneak out the victory.
A melee soon breaks out and Black takes everyone out as Ricochet hits the 630 on Dash Wilder. These teams still have some issues to work out. Overall a really fun match that I wish would’ve gotten some more time.
Rating: 7 FTRs out of 10
U.S. Championship Fatal Four Way: R-Truth vs Andrade “Cien” Almas vs Rey Mysterio vs Samoa Joe
So we got a bonus match, which is basically a rematch from last week’s Smackdown. This match starts fast and furious, as Joe hits all three men with the best suicide dive in the business.
There is never a dull moment in this match, as none of the four men were given time to breathe. The biggest story in the match focused on the never-ending rivalry between Almas and Mysterio.
Every man got a chance to shine and the match was filled with memorable moments such as Carmella and Zelina Vega fighting outside the ring and R-Truth doing his best John Cena impression. It also featured plenty of callbacks to their previous bout.
In the end, Joe caught Mysterio out of nowhere into the Coquina Clutch, making him pass out, and retaining his title.
This match was awesome, with non-stop action and a successful defense for the man who should’ve held a main roster title a long, long time ago.
Rating: 8 Five-Knuckle Shuffles out of 10
To be honest with you, it was getting late, so I skipped the Women’s Tag Team Championship match. Bayley and Sasha won (thank God) and Tamina and Nia Jax got mad and beat up the champs.
They then beat up Beth Phoenix and Natalya came out to make the save. But she gets taken down as well. So we’ll probably see these two teams fight each other at WrestleMania. Joy. Let’s hope Phoenix doesn’t get injured by them.
WWE Championship Match: Kevin Owens vs Daniel Bryan vs Mustafa Ali
This match ended up being a triple threat as Vince McMahon said, though the third man was Ali, instead of Kofi Kingston. Interestingly, Ali got booed and shortly after huge “We want Kofi” chants broke out. It’s clear that we’re building to a WrestleMania 30 moment with Kofi in the place of, ironically, Daniel Bryan.
I didn’t write anything during this match, because I couldn’t look away from my screen. The match was incredible.
Kevin Owens looked like a returning hero and was arguably more loved by the crowd than Ali. He also almost killed himself after almost snapping his neck on the announce table during a suicide dive (taking the move’s name too literally).
To Ali’s credit, he showed why he belonged in the title picture and eventually got the fans on his side.
And Daniel Bryan was the desperate, maniacal champion willing to do anything to keep his title. Rowan even got some time to shine as he gave the champion many assists.
This was a great back and forth affair that saw Bryan retain the title by the skin of his teeth against some tough competition. They even managed to get an angry crowd behind them toward the middle of the match. It’ll be interesting to see where Owens and Ali go from here. Check this match out.
Rating: 8 “Kofi” chants out of 10
Becky Lynch vs Charlotte
If Lynch wins this match, she’ll be added to the Charlotte-Ronda Rousey match at WrestleMania. The stakes are high for The Man.
The match starts out with Flair dominating Lynch, beating on the injured knee of The Man. Charlotte does a perfect job playing the role of a bully, as she loves every second of pain she causes Lynch.
After a long time, Becky gains some momentum after pushing Flair off of the top rope into the barricade and manages to get the Dis-arm-her locked on her for a short time.
However, Charlotte reverses it into the figure 8. Before it can have any effect, Ronda Rousey came out and stomped on Lynch, causing her to be the victor. Rousey then heads off, and the Raw Women’s Championship match for WrestleMania is set.
Match wise, not a lot to talk about here.
Rating: 2 times Ronda pulled up her pants out of 10
Three times tonight Elias serenaded the Cleveland faithful, trash talking the city and making fun of the babyfaces, particular the Miz. Each performance was pretty great and got a chuckle out of me, but all hell broke loose during his third act.
First, Lacey Evans did her weird walk thing, and then Randy Orton showed up out of nowhere for reasons and RKO’d the former drifter.
Right after, AJ Styles hit Orton with a phenomenal forearm, as a measure of revenge. These were nice little breaks from the action.
The Shield vs Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre
Well, this was a damn good match. The Shield has a definite formula and style to their 6-man matches, and we haven’t hit the point of diminishing returns yet.
The match built well, starting off with a melee, and each member of the team getting some time to shine.
Ambrose took a long beating and finally made the hot tag to Roman, who cleaned house. He looks really good and hasn’t lost a step. We got brawling into the crowd, including a huge dive from the concourse from Rollins.
This was a very back and forth affair, but in the end, the Hounds of Justice hit the triple powerbomb on Corbin and won their last match. I hesitate to call it that, as you can never be sure about “last time ever” in wrestling.
Overall, this was a really good brawl with a feel good ending. Now we’re on to WrestleMania, and I’m intrigued to see where Ambrose and Reigns fit into the picture.
Rating: 8 weird Dean Ambrose mannerisms out of 10
This was a shockingly solid event. There were really zero matches that were offensively bad to me, and there was some real story progression that happened throughout the night.
The Kofi Kingston saga got a little more interesting, and I can’t wait to see how we get the inevitable match between him and Bryan at WrestleMania.
With Becky winning and being added to the WWE Women’s Championship match, maybe now the build can be focused on the rivalry between these three superstars and the McMahons won’t have to involve themselves in it.
And the end of McMiz was really well done and left me kinda sad and angry at Shane. It builds a lot more intrigue toward their match, and I can really buy Miz as a good guy here.
In the middle of it all, we got some really solid matches. I would check this out to see the U.S. Title match, the WWE Championship triple threat, the Raw Tag Team Championship match, and the main event, as all of those delivered.
For a show that has a history of being lackluster, Fastlane 2019 was a good way to spend my time and managed to get me excited for WrestleMania.
PPV Rating: 7 chaotic booking decisions out of 10