By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Dot Net reader Bryan Metro attended WWE Fastlane in Cleveland, Ohio on Sunday and sent the following report.
I am from the Detroit area and made the drive to Cleveland (avoiding any state troopers). The arena was about 95 percent full will only a few scattered seats in the upper levels. As I Michigander, I naturally despise anything Ohio, especially Cleveland, but I have to hand it to the crowd, they were on fire most of the night which greatly enhanced the show.
-We were right next to the Kickoff Show panel so it was interesting to see them interact during video packages and commercials. Sam Roberts got the most chants. Christian surprisingly didn’t get much of a reaction. The New Day vs. Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura match was solid with the crowd solidly behind New Day but still some chants for the heel team.
-The crowd was on fire the entire Smackdown Tag Title match for Miz (and his dad). The match was decent, although a little short. The Shane McMahon heel turned played out exactly how they wanted it to. I wanted Miz’s Dad to give Shane the Lawrence Taylor shove.
-Asuka vs. Mandy Rose was just there. A lot of the crowd went for a food/beer run. This was obviously a cool down match, and it showed.
-The Kofi Kingston and Vince McMahon backstage segment and subsequent handicap match with The Bar played out exactly how I think WWE wanted it to. There was a huge pop for the Triple Threat announcement and huge heat when The Bar came out. Actually, the heat was for the announcement, and The Bar received little reaction. And, yes, a “this is boring” chant broke out, which surprised me. My favorite moment was a little kid in front of me yelling for Kofi to just tap out during the double leg submission because “This match means nothing. Save your energy!”
-The Revival vs. Aleister Black and Ricochet vs. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable match was decent with a few good spots. The right team won and the right team lost. Hopefully the Revival get a few more signature wins. Then again, they could lose the titles on the next Raw.
-The U.S. Title match was pretty good with each guy getting a few signature spots. Samoa Joe had a lot of babyface cheers so it’ll be interesting to see if he faces John Cena at WrestleMania. I was surprised to see Rey take another loss.
-The women’s tag match had little crowd reaction aside from Bayley’s entrance. Tamina did not have a good night. They did wake up once Beth Phoenix got involved.
-The Daniel Bryan vs. Kevin Owens vs. Mustafa Ali match was good, probably my favorite of the night. The announcement of Ali was met with crickets, not exactly Rey Mysterio as #30 in the Rumble heat, but silence. Everyone in the arena thought Kofi was still going to fight for the title. All three worked hard to get the crowd back into it including some nasty apron bumps.
-As JP alluded to in his Hit List, the Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch match was such a let down. They have to be careful using Becky’s injury as a “crutch” (zing) to have it be the story of every match. It reminds me when they did that with Bret and Owen Hart and the crowd started to turn on Bret.
-The main event with The Shield vs. Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, and Baron Corbin was what was expected. This was the match that made me want to drive in from Ohio. All six guys worked hard, especially Dean Ambrose, who seemed energized. It kind of had a multi-man house show feel to it, but the crowd was on their feet for most of it. After the match, Dean and Roman hugged and shared some words. Too bad they didn’t turn the ring mics up higher.
-Overall a fun show with only a few clunkers. The arena is next to a casino so you can image what happened next. I can’t remember. Thanks for reading!
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The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Jake Barnett co-hosting the Boom and Dot Net Weekly combo show. Jason and Jake discuss Becky Lynch announcing her pregnancy, Alberto Del Rio being accused of sexual assault, WWE's IC Title tournament, Mike Tyson appearing at AEW Double Or Nothing, Undertaker's Last Ride documentary, AEW Dynamite and NXT TV thoughts, and more...