2/21 Powell’s WWE Fastlane Kickoff Show coverage – Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio for the U.S. Championship

FastlaneBy Jason Powell

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

Renee Young, Jerry Lawler, Booker, T, and Corey Graves were the hosts of the Kickoff Show… Rich Brennan checked in from the masturbation den, er, social media lounge and hyped that AJ Styles would be joining him… A Charlotte vs. Brie Bella video package aired… A video package aired on the main event…

Paul Heyman joined the pre-show panel and spoke about how Brock Lesnar will conquer in the main event. He said the spotlight is on Lesnar and it’s up to Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose to deal with him. Young asked if he’s worried it will become a handicap match, which is clearly something that should have been brought up before now. Heyman said he hopes it does. He said it will eventually become a scenario where either Reigns or Ambrose will need to turn on the other to win the match, an then Lesnar will divide and conquer.

Heyman asked asked who the bigger threat is. “Brock Lesnar,” Heyman replied. He said the focus should be on Lesnar vs. Triple H at WreslteMania, not on Fastlane at this point. He said Lesnar will go on to WrestleMania and defeat Triple H to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Booker took that to mean that Lesnar is looking past this match. Heyman disagreed. Heyman said he is looking past the match, not Lesnar. Heyman emphasized that he has great respect for Reigns in the process of speaking of how Lesnar is going to win..,

After Heyman departed, the Heyman spoke about the Edge & Christian interview with New Day, and hyped the E&C show that will premiere on WWE Network after Fastlane…

Backstage, JoJo interviewed Dolph Ziggler, who spoke about beating Kevin Owens twice. He said Owens stole the match. Ziggler said Kevin will be Kevin and now Dolph is going to go back to being Dolph. He said he is going to win the Intercontinental Championship and go on to WrestleMania…

Young spoke about how Fastlane is in Dolph’s hometown and his history at Kent State University. She noted that Ziggler has friends and family in attendance. Lawler said that wouldn’t work against Dolph because he’s a pro. Lawler said Kevin Owens has a body that says he just ate donuts for breakfast. Mmm, donuts. Lawler said an opportunity will arise during the match and Owens will retain…

Mauro Ranallo, JBL, and Byron Saxton checked in on commentary…

1. Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio in a best of three falls match for the U.S. Championship. Del Rio went right after Kalisto’s arm to start the match as the broadcast team spoke about how he was setting him up for his Cross Arm Breaker. They fought to ringside and Del Rio struck Kalisto’s arm with a chair for the DQ, giving Kalisto the first fall. Kalisto led the match 1-0.

Ranallo questioned Del Rio’s decision to give up the first fall. JBL said sometimes you have to lose a battle to win a war. Del Rio went after Kalisto aggressively following the end of the first fall and they cut to break for a WWE Network commercial. [C]

Del Rio remained the aggressor and spun Kalisto in the ropes and performed a nice double stomp to win the second fall. Kalisto and Del Rio were tied at 1-1.

Powell’s POV: Del Rio followed up the most embarrassing double stomp finisher ever on Raw with his best execution of the move to win the second fall.

Del Rio tied up Kalisto in the ropes a short time into the third fall, but Kalisto freed himself from the tree of woe and performed a huracanrana from that position to pull Del Rio from the ropes and down to the mat. Kalisto performed a DDT for a good near fall at 12:45. Ranallo labelled the third fall overtime of game seven.

They went to ringside and Del Rio performed another innovative version of the double stomp. However, he was way too content as Kalisto was nearly counted out. Back in the ring, Del Rio went for another double stomp, but Kalisto avoided it and went for his finisher. Del Rio blocked the finisher, but Kalisto shoved Del Rio into the ropes and rolled him up for the win…

Kalisto beat Alberto Del Rio in 16:10 in a best of three falls to retain the U.S. Championship.

AJ Styles joined Tom Phillips in the social media lounge. Styles spoke about how mind blowing the crowd reaction was when he debuted at the Royal Rumble. He said Barry Sanders of the Detroit Lions was his inspiration because he wasn’t the biggest guy. Styles said phenomenal things happened when Sanders got on the football field, just as phenomenal things happen when he gets in the ring. Styles said there were several wrestlers who inspired him, but Sting was the biggest if he picked just one. Styles spoke about how he wrestled in the minor leagues and went to Japan, but nothing compares to WWE…

Powell’s POV: Styles was really laid back in that setting. He came across really well. Meanwhile, I liked the best of three falls match and I was pleasantly surprised to see Kalisto retain.

A video package hyped the main event… Young said the Vincent J McMahon Award would open Monday’s Raw. She and the rest of the panel spoke about Fastlane to close the Kickoff Show… Join me on the main page for live coverage of WWE Fastlane…


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