NoDQ.com > Columns > ViRTUE's RAGE: WWE FastLane Preview
Posted by ViRTUE on 02/26/2017 at 08:42 PM
February 26, 2017
I normally do not post PPV Previews; however, this time I will make an exception because I actually thought the PPV was tonight and said I would have a Review posted later on. Obviously, I will still post my WWE FastLane Review after the event next Sunday March 5th. But for now, here are my thoughts and predictions for the show. I say predictions with some hesitation because FastLane is a scripted event. Nonetheless, I will state who I believe is most likely to go over in the matches. As always, I will give more input and match grades in next week’s Review.
First, let’s take a look back at my Review for last year’s FastLane PPV (excluding the Pre-Show)…
Sasha Banks/Becky Lynch Vs Naomi/Tamina: What is it with almost getting counted out tonight? Early in the match, Becky barely made it back into the ring after Naomi pulled her down from the top turnbuckle and Becky crashed to the floor. WWE must be milking the clock more than normal for some reason. Speaking of Naomi, she really reminds me of Miss Jaqueline from the Attitude Era. After Sasha Banks got tagged in, she executed a great double knee stomp to Naomi’s face. There was a huge pop for Sasha’s offensive flurry. Sasha soon locked on the Bank Statement to Tamina who tapped out. Your winners are Sasha and Becky. I wonder if WWE is selling orange and pink wigs at the merchandise stands? This match was decent, but definitely nothing to rave about. I am now 0-2 on my fantasy booking! Oh well! Match Grade = B-
Intercontinental Championship- Dolph Ziggler Vs Kevin Owens: Why does WWE often make champions come to the ring first? Stupid! The first noteworthy thing from this match was the announcers mentioning the Cleveland Sports’ “Curse”. Obviously that was putting Cleveland area native Dolph Ziggler into the same category. Kudos to Ziggler for running hard into the corner turnbuckles early in the match like Owen and Bret Hart used to always do. Yeah, I popped for that! Then Owens landed his corner cannonball on Ziggler. I immediately visualized all the Kevin Owen’s haters rolling their eyes. I personally think that move is not bad and I am fine with it being one of Owen’s trademark moves. A lot of back and forth and then the crowd started chanting “This is Awesome”. Cleveland fans definitely love their pro wrasslin’. Owens would eventually catch Ziggler in a pop-up power bomb and retained the IC Championship via pinfall. Very, very solid match overall, as expected from Owens and Ziggler. I am now 1-2. Match Grade = B+
Big Show/Kane/Ryback Vs The Wyatt Family (Harper, Rowan, Strowman) w/Bray Wyatt: The Fireflies are absolutely amazing to watch on television. I cannot wait to watch Bray’s entrance at WM32. The Big Show’s chop to the chest of Rowan was loud as hell. That has to sting like an SOB! It seemed like Ryback (who is in the best shape) took most of the punishment during the match. I absolutely loved the Luke Harper dropkick to Ryback. I had to laugh at the Big Show when he tried to get the crowd to chant “Feed Me More”, which they eventually did. I think Cleveland was a bit tuckered out for this one. The action surprisingly picked up late in the match which caught me off guard with the wrestlers involved. In the end, Bray tried to distract Ryback and it backfired as Ryback was able to catch Harper in the Shellshock for the pinfall. The Wyatt Family just cannot catch a break from WWE Creative, but at least Bray was NOT technically in the match. I am now 2-2, even though Show/Kane/Ryback won by pinfall and not DQ. Match Grade = C++
Divas’ Championship- Brie Bella Vs Charlotte w/Ric Flair: Who actually likes Brie’s entrance music? It sucks. Then out comes Charlotte with Ric who is dancing by her side. That is funny every single time. The match immediately became an old school wrestling match with many back and forth sequences, holds, and reversals. I think Charlotte is a fantastic heel and I loved her taunting Brie with the “YES” chants. I think most male fans were digging that head scissors leg lock sequence Charlotte had on Brie. They definitely teased Brie winning the match, but in the end, Charlotte retains the Divas’ Championship by submission. THANK YOU WWE! That was a decent match considering Brie Bella was in it. I am now 3-2. Match Grade = B-
Chris Jericho Vs AJ Styles III: Despite being 45 years old, Chris Jericho still looks like he is in his thirties and it is 2008. He has one of the best entrances in wrestling today and his theme music is timeless. I really wish good ol’ Jim Ross would have been calling this match. There were multiple AJ Styles and Y2J chants throughout the match, as there should have been! You have a guy in his late thirties and a guy in his mid-forties wrestling circles around a lot of the younger talent. I hope the boys in the back have been watching and learning. Wow! I cannot believe Jericho pulled that dropkick off as AJ was jumping over the top rope to the outside of the ring. Both AJ and Y2J have attempted some very difficult maneuvers. Yet another near count out tonight, but AJ was able to climb back into the ring and got hit with the Codebreaker. Luckily for AJ, his arm was under the rope. Wow! Jericho kicked out of the Styles Clash, but ended up tapping out to the Calf Crusher. AJ got the win by submission. It may not have been perfect, but what a helluva match! Kudos to Jericho for the sportsmanship spot after the mach. Now I hope he turns heel on Raw!!! I am now 4-2, even though AJ won by submission rather than pinfall. Match Grade = A-
Curtis Axel Vs R-Truth- At least this match meant that the Social Outcasts were on the PPV, but one segment too late. Yay! Since this was an impromptu match, I will not be counting it or grading it. I do like Curtis Axel, but not in this meaningless bullshit. Axel won by pinfall and Goldust made an appearance, the end!
#1 Contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat Match- Dean Ambrose Vs Roman Reigns Vs Brock Lesnar- Here we go! I am not quite sure why they had Lilian Garcia announce it as if the match was a title match, but when Paul Heyman grabbed the microphone, well, that was classic. Brock Lesnar came out on a mission and dominated the early part of the match, that is until he was power bombed through two different tables on the outside of the ring. This match was really exciting and it escalated as it progressed to the finish. The German suplex to Reigns with Ambrose on Reigns’ shoulders was awesome! Ambrose brought a chair into the ring and used it on Lesnar, but then Ambrose got caught by a spear from Reigns who won by pinfall. Pretty darn good match! So there you have it, Roman Reigns Vs Triple H for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WM32. Triple H came to the ring and he and Reigns had the classic pose underneath the WM32 logo. My FASTLANE fantasy booking record ended up 5-2 based on wins/losses, and the Social Outcasts at least made an appearance. Not too bad for playing Fantasy WWE Creative! Match Grade = B++
Overall FASTLANE (2016) event Grade = B
Looking back at the card above, it is interesting to note that Dean Ambrose was given a decent push into the Main Event scene. This probably had a lot to do with Seth Rollins being injured at the time. Chris Jericho was in the midst of a very solid feud with AJ Styles. In hindsight, it was one helluva debut feud for AJ in WWE. Also noteworthy, Ryback is no longer with WWE, Brie Bella is retired, Ric Flair is no longer by Charlotte’s side, and the Wyatt Family is drastically different. Now, here are my official predictions for this year’s FastLane, excluding anything that is for the Pre-Show…
Nia Jax Vs Sasha Banks: This match was a late addition to the card on Raw 2/27. I am going to go with Sasha Banks winning by count out.
Samoa Joe Vs Sami Zain: This was another match made official on Raw 2/27. I am going with Joe over Zayn via DQ (perhaps interference by Seth Rollins or Finn Balor).
Raw Tag Team Championship: Enzo Amore & Big Cass Vs Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (Champs)- It is about time Enzo/Cass get a legit crack at the Tag Team titles. I believe this can be a very nice and lengthy feud if done properly. The obvious payoff would be to have Enzo/Cass win the titles; however, in the meantime, they should keep chasing. Gallows and Anderson deserve a decent run with the titles, at least until after WM33. The winners will be Gallows and Anderson via pinfall to Enzo.
Raw Women’s Championship: Charlotte Vs Bayley (Champ)- So will Charlotte’s PPV winning streak finally end? I think WWE should have actually made Bayley hand the belt back over to Charlotte on last week’s Raw, so she can keep chasing, and then win it clean at WM33 to end Charlotte’s PPV winning streak. Perhaps Charlotte should have had the PPV off and watched on as Bayley/Sasha/Nia all competed to be #1 Contender. However, I still feel WWE will get to that WM33 bout, and thus Charlotte will defeat Bayley at FastLane via submission to once again become Raw Women’s Champion and keep her PPV streak alive. I suppose this would force the odds to be stacked against Bayley at WM33, ultimately making her the major underdog to Charlotte.
Cruiserweight Championship: Jack Gallagher Vs Neville (Champ)- Ugh for this match. But hey, I still like Neville. I would just rather see him competing against guys like Sami Zayn or Chris Jericho outside of the Cruiserweight Division. Nonetheless, Neville’s mean streak will continue, and he will retain the Cruiserweight Championship by pinning Gallagher.
Roman Reigns Vs Braun Strowman: Look, I know I am going to get flack for this, but both Reigns and Strowman have impressed me in the early part of 2017. With the questionable tag on Shaq actually facing Show at WM33, I think Strowman should face Show in a rematch on the big stage, but both will probably end up in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. If so, Strowman should win it. As for Reigns, I am very confident he will face Undertaker at WM33. Therefore, in a shocking turn of events at FastLane, Strowman will pin Reigns after Reigns is distracted from the lights going out and Undertaker’s bell tolling. This protects both guys.
Universal Championship: Goldberg Vs Kevin Owens (Champ)- So will we see Brock Lesnar and/or Chris Jericho? Perhaps. I definitely think this PPV is going to be too thin and short for another Goldberg squash match. Lesnar may indeed attack Goldberg during his entrance (before the match), allowing Owens to last awhile with Goldberg. Security will then escort Lesnar out of the arena. I really do not think Jericho will interfere in this match because it would look silly for Goldberg to have an assist from Y2J. I think Goldberg will come back from the early attack from Lesnar and will defeat Owens to become the new Universal Champion. Do not get me wrong. I would absolutely love to see Jericho Vs Owens for the Universal Championship at WM33, but I just cannot see WWE doing that with the money they have invested in Goldberg and Lesnar. The Jericho/Owens drama should then commence on Raw the next night.
Final Picks for the 7 official matches:
Sasha Banks over Nia Jax by count out
Samoa Joe over Sami Zayn by DQ thanks to Rollins or Balor
Gallows/Anderson over Enzo/Cass by pinfall
Charlotte over Bayley by submission
Neville over Gallagher by pinfall
Braun Strowman over Roman Reigns by pinfall
Goldberg over Kevin Owens by pinfall
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