3/5 Powell’s WWE Fastlane Live Review: Kevin Owens vs. Goldberg for the WWE Championship, Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman, Bayley vs. Charlotte for the Raw Women’s Championship, Samoa Joe vs. Sami Zayn

By Jason Powell

WWE Fastlane 2017
Aired live on WWE Network and pay-per-view
Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the Bradley Center

A Fastlane video package opened the show. The narrator said that on this road, momentum is everything. The video featured footage of wrestlers in the top matches, including the Kevin Owens vs. Goldberg main event, Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman, and Bayley vs. Charlotte…

Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton checked in on commentary while standing behind their desk. JoJo was the ring announcer…

1. Samoa Joe vs. Sami Zayn. Joe kicked the thigh of Zayn, who then limped a bit. Joe continued to target the leg with kicks and then rolled him into a kneebar. Zayn reached the ropes to break the hold. Zayn managed to catch Joe with a head-scissors for his first meaningful offense. Joe recovered quickly. The next time Zayn showed some life, Joe performed a leg sweep on the bad knee.

At 5:50, Zayn performed the Blue Thunder Bomb on Joe for a two count. Zayn went to the top rope. Joe cut him off, but Zayn was abe to push him down. Zayn leapt over Joe, who then caught him with an inverted atomic drop followed by a boot to the head and a senton for a two count. Saxton pointed out that Joe seemed frustrated.

Joe performed a nice power slam for another two count. Zayn crawled to the ropes. Joe let him get to his knees and then threw punches at his head. Joe ran the ropes for a move, but stopped and rolled his eyes at Zayn, who was sprawled out on the mat. Zayn caught Joe with an inside cradle for a two count.

Joe caught Zayn on the ropes. Graves questioned if Joe was thinking Muscle Buster. Joe caught Zayn with an enzuigiri. Joe went to the ropes. Zayn fought off a superplex. Zayn went for a sunset flip powerbomb, but Joe blocked it. Zayn pulled Joe face first onto the turnbuckle. Zayn went for a Helluva Kick, but Joe avoided it and performed a uranage. Joe applied the Coquina Clutch for the win…

Samoa Joe defeated Sami Zayn in 9:45.

Powell’s POV: The match was what it needed to be with Joe continuing to look dominant. If anything, Zayn got a little more offense than I expected, but Joe looked like a badass and dominated with the exception of some hope spots.

After a commercial, Charly Caruso interviewed Bayley about her match with Charlotte. Bayley spoke about Charlotte’s pay-per-view winning streak. She said that if Charlotte is as good as she says she is, then she should leave Dana Brooke in the locker room so they could find out how the better woman is. Nia Jax showed up and said that if Charlotte doesn’t take the title from Bayley due to some miracle, she will…

2. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. Enzo Amore and Big Cass for the Raw Tag Titles. The crowd was hot for the Enzo and Cass pre-match mic work even before they worked in references to the local sports teams. True to the formula, Enzo ended up selling early. He showed life a couple times and Anderson creatively prevented him from getting to his corner.

Enzo made the hot tag to Cass around 7:15. Cass performed two fallaway slams and two splashes on Anderson. Cass hit a side slam and hit the Empire Elbow on Anderson, then gave Gallows a big boot to knock him off the apron. Anderson rolled up Cass and held the tights for two.

Cass tagged in Enzo and they performed the rocket launcher on Anderson, who was really close to the corner. Enzo had the pin, but Gallows reached in and pulled him off to break the count. Cass wnet after Gallows, who ended up running him into the barricade. Enzo dove onto Gallows. Anderson caught Enzo with a kick as he was returning to the ring. Anderson covered Enzo, who got his foot on the rope, but Gallows knocked it off from the floor…

Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson defeated Enzo Amore and Big Cass to retain the Raw Tag Titles in 8:40.

Powell’s POV: Good work down the stretch in terms of making the fans believe the challengers were about to win the tag titles, only to have Anderson and Gallows cheat to win. The finish with Enzo’s foot being knocked off the ropes gives he and Cass and out.

After a commercial, Foley spoke with Stephanie on the speaker phone. She said she didn’t think she would make it to the show due to issues with her plane. She wanted to make the sure the Raw Womens’ Championship and Universal Championship matches went off without any hitches. Steph said she wanted to talk to Foley about Samoa Joe. She asked if she was on speaker phone. He said no and picked up the receiver. Foley said she knows Steph didn’t want Joe to get involved in the main event because Owens wanted to prove he could do it on his own. She apparently hung up on him…

The broadcast team set up the Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks match and video package…

3. Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax. Jax was dominant early on. At 4:30, she slammed Banks to the mat and then jawed at fans. Jax went for a whip out of hte corner, but Banks held on. Jax slammed her face into the turnbuckle. Jax put Sasha in a Torture Rack and performed squats while keeping her in the hold. Jax went for a twisting move, but Banks caught her in a guillotine. Graves said she couldn’t quite apply the hold.

Banks moved into a sleeper hold. Jax backed her into the corner. Sasha released the hold and then leapt off the ropes and back onto the back and reapplied the hold briefly. Sasha caught Jax with a DDT and then applied the Bank Statement.

Jax got to her feet and put Sasha on her back. Banks broke it and ran the ropes, but Jax performed a one handed slam and then a leg drop onto the back of Banks. Jax put her in Samoan Drop position, but Sasha slipped away and countered into a bridging rollup for the clean pin…

Sasha Banks pinned Nia Jax in 8:15.

Powell’s POV: The broadcast team did a nice job of making this out to be a big win for Sasha. I’m curious to see what they have in mind for WrestleMania and whether this loss keeps Jax out of the title picture.

A WWE Network commercial aired… The broadcast team hyped Raw Talk for after Fastlane. Graves noted Saxton’s orange and black attire and said he reminds him of someone… A recap was shown of Foley setting up Rusev vs. Jinder Mahal on the Kickoff Show…

Scratch that. Cole said Jinder and Rusev would have singles matches, but they didn’t know who they would be facing. Jinder came out first and then Rusev and Lana made their entrances. They bickered about which one of them would get the first match. This led to the two of them fighting. Sheamus and Cesaro made their entrance…

4. Cesaro vs. Jinder Mahal. After some back and forth action, Mahal had a stretch of offense. Cole said he was dominating Cesaro and was impressive. Cesaro sold lower back pain throughout the match. Cesasro powered him up for a suplex, clutched at his lower back, but still performed the move.

Cesaro performed Swiss-1-9 at 7:00 and then followed up with a top rope cross body block for a two count. Jinder came back briefly, but he glared at Rusev, who was at ringside. Cesaro caught him with a popup uppercut and pinned him…

Cesaro defeated Jinder Mahal in 8:20.

After the match, Rusev entered the ring and beat up Mahal. Rusev finished it with a kick to the head and then raised his arms and yelled. Big Show’s music played and he came out for a match with Rusev…

Powell’s POV: I watched WWE Network for a pay-per-view match and a Raw match broke out. At least they could have put a commercial in the middle of the match had this been on Raw. I assumed this was going to be a Cesaro squash win, but it just kept going.

5. Big Show vs. Rusev. Rusev ran into a big boot from Show that didn’t look very good to start the match. Show dominated the next couple minutes. Rusev eventually fired back with punches. Show put him back down with a clothesline. Show ran the ropes and Rusev clipped his knee.

Rusev worked over the knee with a hold and a USA chant broke out. Show kicked his way free, then performed a side slam. Show set up for a chokeslam, but Rusev escaped and clipped the knee again. Rusev caught Show with several kicks to the head and covered him for a two count.

A short time later, Show shoved Rusev to the floor. Rusev ran back in and Show chokeslammed him. Show took his gear straps down and then chokeslammed Rusev again. He picked him up one more time and chokeslammed him for a third time. Show dragged Rusev to the the corner and leaned him against the bottom rope. Show punched his fist, then leaned down and gave Rusev a knockout punch. Show dragged Rusev to the middle of the ring and pinned him…

Big Show pinned Rusev in 8:45.

Powell’s POV: The haircut and breakup with Jinder actually made me think they might do something with Rusev, but instead he was absolutely destroyed by Big Show to the point that if this were a different era I would just assume he was leaving the territory.

After a commercial break, a WrestleMania video aired. The show is 28 days away…

Backstage, Charly Caruso interviewed Kevin Owens. He downplayed the idea that this was the biggest match of his career. He said Goldberg has beaten one man in the last ten years and that does not impress him. Owens said he’s been in the ring with the best in the business and he has beaten them all. Owens said he will outsmart and outwrestle Goldberg and do whatever he wants. Owens said he doesn’t care if it’s Brock Lesnar, Sami Zayn, or The Rock that they put in front of him. “I am the best and not even the mighty Goldberg can change that,” Owens said…

Cole, Graves, and Austin Aries spoke about the cruiserweight title match. Aries said the WWE Universe can’t get enough of his package, so he had them play his video package again…

6. Neville vs. Jack Gallagher for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. Gallagher was willing to do the handshake, but Neville blew it off. Gallagher did his handstand in two corners early on for a good reaction. Gallagher performed two dropkicks and a plancha around 5:50. Cole made a big fuss over it, noting that it’s not typical of Gallagher to perform such a move. Aries called it a wounded duck plancha. Funny.

Neville regained control back inside the ring briefly. Gallagher set him on the top rope and then performed a nice suplex from there for a two count. A short time later, Neville performed a wicked German suplex. Neville performed what Cole labeled a Phoenix Splash from the middle rope for a two count.

Gallagher connected with his headbutt and then delivered a second, which led to a two count. Gallagher went for his running dropkick, but Neville moved. Gallagher managed to spin onto his feet from the dropkick miss int he corner, but Neville caught him with a kick. A short time later, Gallagher put Neville on the top rope and headbutted him again. Gallagher set up for a suplex, but Neville threw him off and hit the Red Arrow before scoring the clean pin…

Neville defeated Jack Gallagher in 12:10 to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.

Powell’s POV: The highlight of the show thus far. They worked really hard and some of the near falls were well received. I also love the way Gallagher sat on the ground with his head down afterward to sell the agony of coming up short in the title match.

After a commercial break, Caruso interviewed Paul Heyman and asked him if his presence means that Brock Lesnar isn’t far behind. Heyman said his client has the right to be at Fastlane. Heyman said whether Lesnar opts to exercise that option or not is privileged information between the two of them.

Heyman said Lesnar wins no matter who wins the main event. Heyman said a Goldberg win means Lesnar gets the title shot at WrestleMania. If Owens wins, he will expose a weakness in Goldberg that they haven’t seen before…

New Day made their entrance with an ice cream cart bike that Kofi Kingston drove. Xavier Woods said the fans made sure their voices were heard. Big E interrupted and sang Randy Orton’s theme song. Kingston spoke about their ice cream dream. E interrupted again. Kingston and Woods accused him of “sipping” and said that’s why he couldn’t drive the bike. Kingston said the fans have a chance to help them make their dreams come true…

Powell’s POV: Well, at least they kept it short. The Milwaukee crowd was far more receptive than the Green Bay crowd was at Raw, which is odd because there’s probably a lot of the same people in attendance. And don’t blame Big E for sipping. The man is in Wisconsin. When in Rome. Here’s hoping he doesn’t piss in the public sink as Packers fans have been arrested for doing at Lambeau Field in the past.

A Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman video aired…

7. Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman. Reigns received more boos than cheers during his entrance. There were “Let’s Go Roman” and “Roman Sucks’ chants during the opening minute. Roman wore new shoes with white bottoms that are sure to drive his detractors mad. Strowman tossed Reigns through the ropes. When Reigns tried to get back in the ring, Strowman punched him in the mouth. Cole noted that Reigns was still standing and Strowman was smiling.

Reigns made another attempt to get back inside the ring. Strowman went at him, but Reigns clotheslined him with the top rope and then got back int eh ring. Reigns ended up clotheslining Strowman over the rope rope, and Strowman landed on his feet at ringside. They fought at ringside and neither man left his feet initially. Reins avoided a charging Strowman, ran ran into the ring steps.

Back inside the ring, Strowman took the first stretch of prolonged offense. Strowman tossed Reigns to ringside and followed him. The live crowd seemed distracted by something happening among them briefly. Strowman took the broadcast table top off and the fans cheered. Strowman tried to pick up Reigns, but Reigns slipped away and shoved Strowman into the ring post.

Reigns tried to go for the Drive By, but Strowman clearly saw his stupid white bottomed shoes coming and blocked it. They returned to the ring. Strowman went for a chokeslam. Reigns avoided it and performed a Samoan Drop for a two count. Reigns went for a Superman Punch. Strowman moved aside and then blasted Reigns with a shot to the chest.

At 12:30, Strowman went for a big boot in the corner. Reigns moved and Strowman tumbled over the top rope and down to the floor. Reigns followed and eventually charged at Strowman, who picked him up and slammed him through the broadcast table. Back inside the ring, Reigns speared Strowman for a two count.

At 15:50, Reigns connected with the first of two Superman Punches. He ran the ropes and ducked up two swings from Strowman, who knocked him down. Strowman climbed to the top rope and went for a splash, but Reigns rolled out of the way. Reigns let out the war cry and speared Strowman for the 1-2-3…

Roman Reigns pinned Braun Strowman in 17:20.

Powell’s POV: The idea is that Strowman would have won the match had Reigns not avoided that top rope splash. So there was some attempt made to protect him, but the bottom line is that Strowman took his first high profile loss. It feels premature and I don’t feel like this was the right stage to do it on. I don’t believe Strowman suffered major damage here, but it’s still disappointing to see him lose in the latest attempt to make Reigns the top babyface. I don’t even mind that Reigns was the guy who beat him as much as it’s too bad it happened so soon. That said, the match was entertaining and the big man performing that splash off the top was quite the visual.

Backstage, Mick Foley told Samoa Joe that Stephanie McMahon wants him to stay out of the title match so that Kevin Owens can prove he is the better man. Foley said the Owens he knows wouldn’t want Joe tainting his victory. Foley said this better be the last time he sees Joe tonight or there would be hell to pay…

Powell’s POV: Owens wouldn’t want Joe to taint his victory? Did he already forget about Chris Jericho interfering in every big Owens’ title defense?

A video package set up the Raw Women’s Championship match…

Charlotte made her entrance with Dana Brooke. Charlotte told Brooke to to backstage. Brooke looked surprised. Cole put over her 16-0 pay-per-view record and said it’s the longest streak of anyone male or female. Bayley made her entrance and gave some hugs to fans along the way…

8. Bayley vs. Charlotte for the Raw Women’s Championship. JoJo delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Graves said Charlotte is just like Tom Brady who never loses in the Super Bowl (even though he actually has). At 3:00, Charlotte performed a cross body block off the top rope for a two count. Bayley went for her finisher, but Charlotte blocked it and headed to ringside.

Bayley followed only to have Charlotte knock her down with a forearm on the floor. Back inside the ring, Charlotte spun Bayley in between the ropes and then used her knee to drive Bayley’s head into the mat. Cool move. Charlotte controlled the next few minutes of offense.

At 9:10, Charlotte performed a moonsault on Bayley and then followed up with a senton for a two count. Bayley came back and performed a nice belly to back suplex for a two count. Bayley shot Charlotte into the corner and Charlotte did a slow version of her father’s flip into the corner. Bayley tied her in a tree of woe and then performed an odd springboard off the bottom rope into a shot with her arm that looked weak enough that the broadcast team had to acknowledge it.

At 13:30, Bayley performed a nice huracanrana from the top rope. She followed up with a top rope elbow drop for a two count. At 14:00, Charlotte grabbed Bayley by the hair and threw her through the ropes to the floor. Back inside the ring, Charlotte performed the Natural Selection for a two count that only Graves reacted to. Charlotte acted shocked even though no one else seemed to be. Bayley rolled her up for a two count.

Charlotte went for her finisher, but Bayley kicked her through the ropes to the floor. Bayley went after her, but Charlotte caught her on the apron and slammed her from it to the floor. Charlotte went to the top rope.

Sasha Banks ran out for no good reason at 16:00. Baley ended up hitting Charlotte with a Bayley To Belly at ringside. Bayley rolled Charlotte into the ring. Charlotte caught BAyley in a small package. Sasha pointed out that Charlotte had the tights. When Charlotte stood up, Bayley performed the Bayley To Belly and scored the pin…

Bayley pinned Charlotte in 16:55 to retain the Raw Women’s Championship.

Powell’s POV: What a strange night. Nia loses a rare match, Strowman’s winning streak ends, and Charlotte’s pay-per-view winning streak ends because the babyface received help after telling the heel to leave her buddy backstage so they could find out who the better woman was. My guess is that they are telling the story that Sasha wants Bayley to win because she thinks she can beat her, but I honestly don’t know what they are going for. This whole storyline is just bizarre and isn’t making anyone look good.

A roller coaster themed WrestleMania commercial aired… The broadcast team set up footage of the Seth Rollins and Triple H segment from Raw… A video package set up the main event…

The fans chanted Goldberg’s name coming out of the video package. Goldberg’s music hit and he made his usual entrance starting backstage with security. Kevin Owens came out by himself and slowly walked to the ring with the championship over his shoulder. Cole said he has held the title for 138 days. Owens jawed at Goldberg once in the ring. JoJo delivered in-ring introductions for the title match…

9. Kevin Owens vs. Goldberg for the WWE Universal Championship. The referee was about to ring the bell to start the match, but Owens ducked out to ringside. Owens teased returning to the ring, but stopped short. Eventually, Owens entered the ring, but he immediately dropped to the mat and rolled back to ringside.

Owens entered the ring and told the referee to ring the bell. Chris Jericho’s music played and he walked onto the stage. Goldberg speared Owens, then gave him a Jackhammer before pinning him. Jericho applauded from the stage. Goldberg celebrated with the title and eventually showed it off to his family at ringside to close the show…

Goldberg defeated Kevin Owens in 0:22 to win the WWE Universal Championship.

Powell’s POV: It would be disappointing that Goldberg won thanks to a distraction if Owens had been positioned stronger than he was during most of his title reign. In a way, it gives Owens an excuse, which is cool if only because of the character shift to he had after the Jericho angle. Overall, this was a really disappointing show with a lot of questionable creative decisions. Perhaps some of those calls will make more sense as we move forward, but it was just sort of an odd night all around. I will have much more to say when I get together with Jake Barnett for our members’ audio review tonight. Join Will Pruett and I for Prowrestling.net Live on Monday at 3CT/4ET at blogtalkradio.com/prowrestlingdotnet


Readers Comments (2)

  1. The majority of the reason why people hate Roman Reigns is so obvious that even a casual fan could immediately tell: he still uses the Shield gear and Shield theme. There is zero separation. And he was by far the least popular member of that trio. Garbage. Strowman deserved to win.

  2. tried watching a WWE PPV for the first time in ages. I screwed up as this was a POS.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.