2/21 Powell’s WWE Fastlane 2016 live review: Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose in a Triple Threat for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship shot at WrestleMania 32, AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho, Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Title

By Jason Powell

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FastlaneWWE Fastlane 2016
Aired live on WWE Network
Cleveland, Ohio at Quicken Loans Arena

Michael Cole, JBL, and Byron Saxton were on commentary…

1. Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks vs. Naomi and Tamina. A pre-tape with Naomi and Tamina from earlier today was shown. Naomi hit Sasha with the Rearview for a near fall several minutes into the match. Tamina followed up with a kick and went for a pin that was broke up by Lynch. Naomi cleared Lynch from the ring. The heels went for a suplex that Sasha avoided, and then Lynch hit them with a double missile dropkick. Sasha ended up spinning around Tamina and applying the Bank Statement. Lynch applied the Disarmer on Naomi. Banks got the win for her team via submission…

Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks beat Naomi and Tamina.

Powell’s POV: I had some serious wifi and/or streaming issues during the opening match, but things seem to be settling down even if the picture looks like something off of VHS in 1984. Thus, I didn’t get a good feel for the opening match, but hopefully things will go smoothly going forward.

Machine Gun Kelly was at ringside. Here’s hoping Kevin Owens destroys him again… Footage aired from Raw of Kevin Owens winning a Fatal 5-Way to win the Intercontinental Title…

2. Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Title. At 10:15, Owens caught Ziggler and crotched him on the ropes, then performed a cannonball in the corner. Owens barked at Cole about how much he sucked and told him he could hear him in the ring. Owens is right. Anyway, Ziggler came back with a DDT for a two count.

Later, Owens avoided a Zigzag attempt, but he ended up eating a superkick for a good near fall. At ringside, Ziggler tried to powerbomb Owens onto the apron, but Ziggler performed a huracanrana that drove Owens into the ring steps. In the ring, Ziggler performed a Fameasser and went for a cover, but Owens kicked out at two. The fans chanted “this is awesome.” Ziggler went for a superkick, but Owens avoided that, kicked Ziggler, and followed up with the Popup Powerbomb for the clean pin. Owens celebrated his win and stopped at ringside to staredown Cole, who congratulated him and said he’s the champ…

Kevin Owens defeated Dolph Ziggler to retain the Intercontinental Title.

Powell’s POV: A good match as best I could tell with the lousy network feed. I gave up on watching through the PS4 and I’m watching via laptop and the feed is better, so fingers crossed for smooth sailing after an hour and 45 minutes of nonsense. Can we get to the angle where Owens takes out Cole so they have Mauro Ranallo on play-by-play at WrestleMania?

A Tapout commercial aired… An ad aired of the Edge & Christian show that premieres on WWE Network… Backstage, Ryback spoke Big Show about how the Wyatt Family bit off more than they can chew. Kane entered the picture and said tonight they send the Wyatts straight back to hell… The broadcast team set up a video on the six-man tag match…

3. Luke Harper, Erick Rowan, and Braun Strowman (w/Bray Wyatt) vs. Kane, Big Show, and Ryback in a six-man tag. Wyatt sat in a chair next to the broadcast team’s table. Kane sold for the heels and eventually tagged in Ryback, who had the crowd behind him. Show threw Harper onto Strowman and Rowan at ringside, and then speared Harper on the floor. A short time later, Harper went for a powerbomb, but Ryback countered by hoisting up Harper and performing Shellshocked for the win…

Kane, Big Show, and Ryback beat Luke Harper, Erick Rowan, and Braun Strowman.

Powell’s POV: A very surprising finish. I really thought they were setting up the Wyatt Family for something big at WrestleMania. There were early rumors of a Brock Lesnar vs. Bray Wyatt match, and I also thought they might be setting up an eight-man tag match with a bigger name joining the babyfaces, but instead we got a clean finish. Will this lead to the Wyatt Family interfering in the main event? I hope not.

An ad aired for the Vincent J McMahon Award and touted that Vincent J McMahon is immortalized forever with his own award, which will open Raw on Monday… An aired for the WWE website…

Backstage, JoJo interviewed Roman Reigns, who got a mix of cheers and boos. Reigns said his life is on the line when the bell rings and therefore his friendship with Dean Ambrose is out the window. He said a lot of things will change between the two of them. Ambrose entered the picture and said Reigns is damn right that things will change. Reigns told him not to book his travel for the WrestleMania main event. Ambrose said it’s already been booked because he got a great deal on Priceline. JoJo brought up Lesnar. Ambrose said he’s big and he’s scary, but when he envisions the WrestleMania main event it’s not Lesnar facing Triple H, “it’s one of us.” Reigns said “believe that” to close the segment…

Powell’s POV: A good backstage segment. Ambrose gets a little too cute for my taste at times, but the Priceline joke made me chuckle.

A video package on the Divas Championship aired and focussed heavily on Daniel Bryan’s retirement…

4. Charlotte (w/Ric Flair) vs. Brie Bella for the Divas Championship. Lilian Garcia delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Brie wore the furry kick pads that Bryan wore at WrestleMania 30. Brie wore the furry kick pads that Bryan wore at WrestleMania 30. Brie performed an early Flair strut and delivered a woooo” that got a rise out of the crowd. Brie went for Daniel Bryan kicks. Charlotte took one and rolled away. Brie followed, but Charlotte ended up taking her down to ringside. Charlotte performed Yes! taunts before rolling Brie back inside the ring.

Charlotte took offensive control for a couple minutes and then Brie blasted her with a big forearm shot for a two count. Charlotte came back with a big boot to the face. Flair let out a big “woooo” at ringside. Charlotte went for her finisher, but Brie kicked her off and followed up with a dropkick that sent Charlotte to ringside. Brie performed a dropkick through the ropes on Charlotte and rolled her back inside the ring.

Brie went to the top rope and performed a missile dropkick. Brie came up holding her left knee. Brie used her right leg to throw kicks at Charlotte. Brie performed a facebuster for a two near fall. Brie went back to selling her left leg. Brie picked up Charlotte, who shoved her down and went for her finisher, but Brie countered into the Yes! Lock. Brie switched into a single leg Boston crab. Charlotte flung her off and Brie’s face smacked the ropes. Charlotte quickly applied her Figure Eight finisher and Brie tapped out.

Charlotte beat Brie Bella in roughly 12:30 to retain the Divas Championship.

Powell’s POV: An entertaining match with Brie using a lot of her husband’s moves and getting several near falls. Her moves weren’t always crisp, but it was still a fun match. They tried to tell the story on commentary afterward that Brie’s bad leg gave out and that’s why Charlotte was able to kick her off.

A WrestleMania video aired. We are 42 days away… Cole stressed that WrestleMania is six weeks away. Saxton managed to come off like a dork by simply saying that he wishes WrestleMania was tomorrow… A video package on the Chris Jericho vs. AJ Styles match aired…

JoJo interviewed Jericho backstage. Jericho said his one loss to Styles doesn’t tarnish his legacy. He said you are only as good as your last match and he beat Styles the last time they wrestled. Jericho said he doesn’t like Styles, but he respects him. He said he feels sorry for Styles because of the pressure he faces. He explained that Styles could be sent packing if he loses this match.

5. AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho. After some early back and forth action, Jericho charged Jericho in the corner and ended up tumbling the floor. Styles went for a dive over the top, but he leapt into a kick from Jericho, who came up holding his knee briefly. Jericho had offensive control once they returned to the ring.

Later, Styles went for a springboard move, but Jericho saw it coming and performed a springboard dropkick that knocked Jericho off the ropes. Cool spot. Jericho clutched his knee again. A short time later, Styles went for a huracanrana off the ropes. Jericho blocked it, but he couldn’t hold up Styles and they both fell to the mat in what could have been a dangerous slip. Jericho held onto the legs of Styles and applied the Walls of Jericho.

Styles reached the ropes to break the submission hold. Jericho went right at Styles and ended up swinging him head-first into the barricade. Jericho applied the Liontamer at ringside. Back inside the ring, Jericho caught Styles with a Codebreaker as he tried to return to the ring and got a two count. Jericho barked that Styles is a stupid son of a bitch (censored).

Styles came back and performed the Styles Clash for a near fall. Styles applied the Calf Crusher. Jericho screamed in agony and eventually tapped out. After the match, Jericho teased punching Styles, who challenged him to throw the punch. Jericho stuck out his hand instead. Styles shook it. The crowd cheered and AJ’s music played. Jericho patted Styles on the back…

AJ Styles defeated Chris Jericho in 14:45.

The Kickoff Show panel of Renee Young, Booker T, Jerry Lawler, and Corey Graves checked in from ringside…

Powell’s POV: A good match with some good drama down the stretch. I was surprised to see Jericho kick out of the Styles Clash. I’m sure some viewers will freak out. He won the match by submission and WWE personality Kyle Edwards noted on Twitter that it was the first time in nearly four years that Jericho lost a singles match via submission, so that’s more important. Jericho did a really nice job of acting like he was in agony as he sold the Calf Crusher. I kept waiting for the abrupt cut away from the Kickoff Show team for a Jericho attack on Styles, but apparently it ends here with Styles taking the best of three. Here’s hoping that we get Styles challenging Kevin Owens for the Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania. I’d actually love to see Styles face Brock Lesnar, but I’m not holding my breath.

The broadcast team spoke at ringside and set up footage from Smackdown of New Day…

Edge and Christian made their entrance for The Cutting Edge Peep Show segment. Tony Chimel made a rare appearance as the ring announcer (due to his standout Edge introduction). Christian spoke about how the first ever tag team ladder match occurred in the same venue.

New Day interrupted Christian and made their entrance. Edge took jabs at Kofi Kingston dropping his Jamaican accent, and how New Day are ripping them off. Big E worked up the locals with a line about one of the local sports teams failing to win a championship. New Day boasted that they are the best team in WWE and mocked their potential challengers in the tag division.

Edge and Christian played up the idea that Sheamus and Rusev ripped New Day. Christian led a New Day Sucks chant. Xavier Woods accused them of trying to stir the pot, but he said “New Day already done cooked the meal.” He called League of Nations hot garbage. He said they would say all of this to League of Nations if they were actually there.

League of Nations made their entrance. New Day made a quick exit, saying they would turn the other cheek. This left League of Nations to take insults at Edge and Christian. Alberto Del Rio boasted that he retired Edge, who said somehow he accomplished more in five years.

Edge and Christian left and ended up next to New Day on the ramp. Edge said they were going to give a five second pose, but they would leave that up to the “International House of Dumbasses.” New Day said that when they said turn they other cheek they meant “this” and then shook their asses while Christian sang along to Xavier’s trombone by singing “Watch Our Show.” Cole plugged their show as airing after Fastlane…

A WWE Network commercial aired…

Powell’s POV: That was terrible. I didn’t think it would lead to a tag title match, but I thought it would actually serve some purpose. I guess the idea was to promote the Edge & Christian show premiere. It backfired. Adam Rose spoke about how they are four beautiful Prius cars. The others disagreed. R-Truth made his entrance.

The Social Outcasts made their entrance. Heath Slater said they were going to take Fastlane viral. Axel said they were behind the wheel on the road to WrestleMania. R-Truth made his entrance and sang his song…

6. R-Truth vs. Curtis Axel (w/Heath Slater, Bo Dallas, Adam Rose). Truth got the better of Axel and knocked other members of the Outcasts off the apron. Bo Dallas reached in and grabbed the leg of Truth, which led to Axel taking a cheap shot. The rest of the Outcasts took a victory lap.

Goldust came out and roughed up the other Outcasts at ringside. Goldust threw Rose inside the ring. Truth leapt over Rose, but Axel rolled up Truth and pinned him. After the match, Goldust apologized, but R-Truth wasn’t happy and walked out…

Curtis Axel beat R-Truth in 2:30.

Powell’s POV: I watched a pay-per-view and a WWE Superstars match broke out.

A WWE Network commercial aired… A Vincent J McMahon Award video aired and hyped that the ceremony will open the show… The broadcast team spoke about the award. Cole said sources were telling them that no one has ever deserved the award until now, which is the same f’n thing the f’n initial video said. The broadcast team hyped the main event and then a video package set it up…

Dean Ambrose made his entrance and Cole welcomed viewers to the Ambrose Asylum. Roman Reigns made his entrance through the crowd and received more boos than cheers, though the reaction wasn’t very strong or the crowd wasn’t mic’d very well. Lesnar and Heyman were out last, and the crowd roared when Lesnar’s music played…

7. Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship shot at WrestleMania 32. Before the match, Lilian Garcia delivered the in-ring introductions for the title match, er, main event. After Ambrose and Reigns were introduced, Heyman took the mic and introduced himself and then introduced Lesnar.

Lesnar got out to the fast start and dominated Ambrose and then worked over Reigns. Ambrose returned and Lesnar shoved him down and clotheslined him. Lesnar performed a German suplex on Reigns. Ambrose performed a missile dropkick on Lesnar, who responded with kneees to the gut and head.

Ambrose went for a suplex on Lesnar, who blocked it and then performed a suplex on Ambrose. Reigns clotheslined Lesnar via the top rope. Reigns tried to run Lesnar into the barricade at ringside, but Brock reversed it and sent Reigns into the barricade. Ambrose went for a suicide dive, but Lesnar saw it coming and tossed Ambrose at ringside. The fans chanted “Suplex City” for the early Lesnar domination.

Back in the ring, Lesnar performed a German suplex on Reigns. Cole spoke about how Reigns took roughly a dozen of those from Lesnar at WrestleMania 31 and still came back. Lesnar performed another German on Reigns, and JBL noted it was the fourth one Reigns had taken. Lesnar performed an F5 on Reigns and went for a cover, but Ambrose returned to the ring to break up the pin.

Lesnar performed a German suplex on Ambrose. Lesnar picked up Ambrose and performed another German suplex on him. Ambrose got to his knees and smiled. Lesnar performed yet another German. Saxton said Ambrose had taken five suplexes. Lesnar picked up Ambrose and set up for the F5, but Reigns speared Lesnar. Reigns covered Lesnar for a two count.

Reigns threw a Superman Punch at Lesnar, who rolled to ringside. Reigns went to ringside and got a running start and basically leapt off the ring steps and onto Lesnar’s shoulders. Ambrose low-blowed Lesnar. Ambrose cleared off the broadcast team’s table as Cole and JBL spoke about how Reigns and Ambrose were smart to work together. Reigns and Ambrose teamed up for a Shield-like powerbomb that drove Lesnar through the broadcast table at 7:40.

Ambrose kicked Reigns and threw him into the ring apron. Ambrose rolled Reigns inside the ring and performed a running cross body block and then threw punches at him. Ambrose followed up with a bulldog and then his top rope elbow for a near fall. Reigns and Ambrose traded punches and Ambrose got the better of the exchange. Ambrose ran into a boot, but then performed his teetering clothesline that left both men down.

Lesnar stood up at ringside. Ambrose pointed it out to Reigns and they went to ringside together and roughed up Lesnar and ran him into the barricade. JBL said he thinks they realize the only chance they have to go to WrestleMania is to beat Lesnar down. The duo teamed up for another Shield-like powerbomb that drove Lesnar through the other broadcast table at 11:20. There was a “one more time” chant and there was one more broadcast table remaining.

Reigns and Ambrose piled the table pieces onto Lesnar. Reigns threw a punch at Ambrose and there were some boos. Reigns brought the match back to the ring and threw a series of clotheslines at Ambrose. There were boos, but there were also some fans counting along.

At 13:10, Ambrose leapt off the ropes and into a Superman Punch. Reigns let out his war cry and went for a spear, but Ambrose kicked him. Ambrose performed Dirty Deeds a short time later for a good near fall at 13:45. “Good friends, better enemies,” JBL said in a throwback to Shawn Michaels vs. Diesel.

Reigns set up for a Samoan Drop, but Lesnar returned to the ring and performed a German suplex that sent both opponents flying. Reigns came up holding the back of his head. Lesnar got to his feet and Reigns caught him with a spear. Lesnar applied the Kimura. Reigns stood up and picked up Lesnar with him.

Ambrose returned with a chair and struck Lesnar with it to break the hold, then struck Lesnar with it a couple more times. Ambrose struck Reigns with the chair three times. Ambrose hit Lesnar with another chair shot that knocked him out of the ring, then Ambrose turned and ate a spear. Reigns covered Ambrose for the 1-2-3…

Roman Reigns beat Dean Ambrose and Brock Lesnar in a Triple Threat in 16:55 to earn a WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 32.

Pyro went off around the WrestleMania sign. Triple H’s entrance music played and he walked out wearing a suit and carrying the title belt over his shoulder. Hunter headed to the ring where he had a staredown with Reigns. They both looked at the WrestleMania sign and then looked at one another. Triple H held up the title belt as they stared at each other to close the show…

Powell’s POV: A very good main event. It easily could have gone longer, but there was never a dull moment and maybe that’s what they had in mind. The post-match staredown was straight out of a press conference with the main eventers posing for the cameramen. We know we’re getting Triple H vs. Reigns at WrestleMania, and I’m guessing we also get Lesnar vs. Ambrose.

Overall, I was letdown by the overall show until the main event. It’s not that there weren’t some good matches, it’s just that nothing on the undercard left me anxious to see WrestleMania. For that matter, the main event didn’t accomplish that either, as the Hunter vs. Reigns match just doesn’t feel main event worth. Again, though, maybe it won’t be the true main event of the show, as they may have something else up their sleeve such as Taker’s last match. If not, the WrestleMania crowd’s reaction to Reigns vs. Hunter should be very interesting to say the least. Jake Barnett and I will be by later tonight with a member exclusive audio review.


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