Fastlane 2016

|Date: February 21, 2016
|Venue: Quicken Loans Arena |City: Cleveland, Ohio,
|Attendance: 14,446

|tweet me: @BastionBlogger

A video package kicks us off making it very clear that this show is a stop on the road to Wrestlemania. The focus is on the main event, a triple threat match between Brock Lesnar, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns where the winner will go on to main event Wrestlemania 32 against Triple H.

Michael Cole welcomes us to Fastlane!

Becky Lynch & Sasha Banks vs. Naomi & Tamina

Background: Naomi and Tamina have cut their ties with Sasha Banks as they take offence by her targeting the Divas Championship. Naomi and Tamina would attacks Sasha and it was Becky Lynch that made the save. Since then Tamina and Naomi have taken cheap shots at Sasha and Becky and although Banks and Lynch are not the best of friends, they must team up tonight to take on Naomi and Tamina.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time tag team match between these two teams.

Fastlane Record: All four girls make their TLC debut tonight.

Match: Becky Lynch looks to start the match for her team but Sasha Banks tags herself in. This looks to be the theme of the match as Becky Lynch tags herself in not long after. After a brief flurry it’s Naomi and Tamina that take the advantage. Tamina’s offence is very slow and even Naomi is working a slower pace to usual. Becky Lynch is the girl that takes most of the offence and just as she looks to make the hot tag Naomi pulls Sasha off the apron. Becky finally makes the hot tag, tagging in Sasha Banks who has soared in popularity over the past few months. A distraction from Tamina allows Naomi to hit the rear view which gets a near fall. There’s another false finish with Tamina hitting Banks with a superkick. Eventually Becky disposes of Naomi, Sasha locks the Banks Statement on Tamina who taps out as Becky submits Naomi to the disarm-her. A big win for Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks who build momentum towards Wrestlemania.

Result: Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch win by submission.

Review: This was a decent enough match. Nothing spectacular but it did the job. Becky and Sasha get a big win as they look to be in the Divas Championship picture for Wrestlemania. It was a fairly basic match with basic psychology but it was performed well.

Rating: 5.75/10

There’s an ad for Wrestlemania.

Machine Gun Kelly is at ringside tonight.

We’re shown some footage from Raw last week with Kevin Owens winning the Intercontinental Championship in a fatal five way match.

Kevin Owens (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler – Intercontinental Championship match

Background: Dolph Ziggler and Kevin Owens have been going back and forth in matches over the past few weeks. On Raw last week Kevin Owens won the Intercontinental Championship in a fatal five way match. Dolph Ziggler asked for a title shot at Fastlane as he has beaten Owens twice in recent weeks and although KO denied him the match, it was made anyway.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.

Fastlane Record: Dolph Ziggler is 0-1 at Fastlane, Kevin Owens makes his debut at this event tonight.

Match: Kevin Owens takes the advantage in the early going and the crowd are behind him which he relays to Ziggler, being that they are in Dolph’s home town. Ziggler tries for a comeback but Owens Irish whips him hard, torso first into the corner. Owens talks a lot of smack in the ring. He hits a senton to the spine at one point which looked pretty brutal. The crowd have died down a bit in this match. KO has led a slow pace in this match, plenty of chinlocks. Ziggler takes the advantage, avoiding an attack in the corner and then hits four consecutive elbow drops, which is down from ten consecutive elbow drops that he used to hit. Owens gets a near fall off a bowling ball. He also hits a big fishermans superplex but Dolph rolls to the outside. The two men exchange superkicks and near falls. On the outside KO attempts a powerbomb into the ring apron but Ziggler counters and hits a hurricanrana into the steps. Ziggler looks for a superkick in the ring but KO hides behind the referee, hits a superkick of his own and then the pop-up powerbomb for the three.

Result: Kevin Owens retains the Intercontinental Championship by pinfall.

Review: This was a good match for the IC Championship. It started slowly but picked up and became an entertaining match. These are two talented workers who put on a solid match. I like KO as Intercontinental Champion, it’ll be interesting to see who challenges for the title at Wrestlemania.

Rating: 6.75/10

There’s ads for Under Armor and then the Edge & Christian show on the WWE Network.

Big Show is backstage with Ryback, discussing how the Wyatt Family have bitten off more than they can chew. Kane shows up and says they will send the Wyatt’s to hell.

There’s a video package next about The Wyatt Family and their path of destruction recently.

The Big Show, Kane & Ryback vs. The Wyatt Family (Luke Harper, Erick Rowan & Braun Strowman)

Background: Over the past few weeks The Wyatt Family have been on a tear, taking out the “titans of the WWE”. The Big Show, Kane and Ryback have all been taken out one by one but now they have returned and the titans will take on the Wyatt’s tonight.

Previous PPV matches: It’s a first time six man tag between these men tonight.

Fastlane Record: The Big Show and Kane are 1-0 at Fastlane. Last year they were part of Team Authority that beat a team involving Ryback and Erick Rowan, so they are 0-1. The rest of The Wyatt Family wrestle at Fastlane for the first time tonight.

Match: Marek Henry would have been a good addition to this match, making it an 8 man tag with Bray Wyatt. Ryback has changed his gear up, he’s in trunks these days rather than a singlet. Ryback and Erick Rowan are the two men to start things off. These are six big heavyweights and it should be a good fight. The titans start well but it’s not long until the Wyatt Family take the advantage at the expense of Ryback. Kane has been feuding with the Wyatt’s for the last few months, he battled them at Survivor Series. Ryback is the first man to get a hot tag and he quickens the pace. All hell eventually breaks loose and all six men go at it. Big Show actually gorilla press slams Luke Harper to the outside which, taking out everyone else which was pretty impressive. Bray Wyatt gets involved which allows Luke Harper to take the advantage but Kane takes out Wyatt and Ryback hits Harper with shellshock for the three!

Result: Kane, Big Show and Ryback win by pinfall when Ryback pins Luke Harper.

Review: I enjoyed this match more than I thought I would. It wasn’t the best showcase for some of the guys in it but Ryback looked really impressive. I’ve seen better matches from Harper and Rowan and I’m actually a little surprised they didn’t pick up the victory but with Ryback getting the pinfall it makes you wonder if he will play a big part at Wrestlemania.

Rating: 6/10

Jojo is backstage with Roman Reigns who gets boo’d. Reigns says that things will never be the same again after tonight. Especially between he and Dean Ambrose. Ambrose turns up and wants to know what life if like in the fastlane. They bicker about who is going to win tonight before turning their attention to Brock Lesnar. Ambrose says it won’t be Lesnar winning tonight, it’ll be him or Reigns.

There’s a VT next showing the recent history between Charlotte and Brie Bella. And it also touches on Daniel Bryan’s retirement.

Charlotte (c) vs. Brie Bella – WWE Divas Championship match

Background: Brie Bella beat Charlotte in a non-title match and so a match for the title was announced for Fastlane. charlotte has since told Brie she should step back, much like her injured sister and retired husband have. Brie won’t be stepping back and gets her shot at the title tonight.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time singles match between these two girls on pay per view.

Fastlane Record: Both girls make their Fastlane debut tonight.

Match: Charlotte is accompanied by her father, Ric Flair. It’s a pretty back and forth match to begin with. Brie is wearing the hairy kickpads that Daniel Bryan wore at Wrestlemania 30 where he became WWE Champion. Brie takes the advantage and mocks Charlotte/Ric with a strut. Charlotte is unbeaten on PPV going into this match. Charlotte looks for an Alabama slam, which is a move used by Nikki Bella but Brie counters. Charlotte works the back of Brie’s neck. Charlotte has a little blood on her nose but I didn’t see what caused that. Brie actually looks like she’s struggling with something. Possibly her nose. She hits a big forearm for a near fall. Charlotte hits a stiff big boot to the face which won’t help Brie’s nose issue. Brie kicks Charlotte out to the apron and then dropkicks her off it before hitting a baseball slide. Brie hits the facebuster, which she uses as her finisher, for a near fall. Charlotte looks for the figure 8 but Brie counters it into the Yes Lock. Ric Flair gets in the ring and Brie manages to transition the move into a single leg crab but Charlotte manages to counter and lock on the figure 8 for the victory.

Result: Charlotte wins by submission.

Review: This was a good match from these two girls. They were given plenty of time and it’s a massive improvement on divas matches from the past. Charlotte wins the match and continues her monumental PPV streak. I’m guessing she’ll go on to Wrestlemania against Sasha Banks. It was good to capitalise on Brie’s popularity following her husbands retirement but she has mostly been used as a jobber in the women’s division as of late.

Rating: 6.5/10

There’s an ad next for Wrestlemania 32.

There’s a video package next showing the rivalry between AJ Styles and Chris Jericho.

Jojo interviews Chris Jericho backstage and Jericho is confident, feeling that he has the upper hand following his latest victory over AJ.

AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho

Background: AJ Styles made his WWE debut in the Royal Rumble match last month and since then Chris Jericho has taken it upon himself to welcome Styles to the big leagues. AJ beat Jericho in his Raw debut but in the rematch Jericho beat Styles. AJ Styles made the challenge for the rubber match at Fastlane and Jericho agreed.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.

Fastlane Record: Both men make their Fastlane debut tonight.

Match: There’s some nice wrestling between the two in the early going. There’s duelling chants from the crowd. AJ has a really unique knee drop, he gets a lot of height. It’s a really back and forth start to the match with neither man getting the advantage for too long. Jericho takes the fight to the outside and throws AJ into the barricade. AJ Styles is looking for his first PPV victory tonight in his first PPV singles match. Both men counter each others finishers. Jericho hits a lionsault for a near fall. AJ looks for the springboard forearm but Jericho counters with a springboard dropkick. Jericho heads to the top and AJ looks for a hurricanrana but Jericho counters and locks on the walls of Jericho. AJ gets to the ropes that time. Jericho locks the walls of Jericho on the outside and then hits a codebreaker as he gets back into the ring but AJ has his arm under the rope so there’s no pinfall. AJ hits a Styles Clash and Jericho kicks out which is surprising. Styles then locks on the calf crusher and Jericho taps out! After the match Chris Jericho looks like he’s going to take a cheap shot at Styles but instead offers his hand and they shake hands.

Result: AJ Styles wins by submission.

Review: This was a good match. AJ Styles got the big win which probably puts this feud to an end. AJ Styles wins his first singles PPV match. It was back and forth and both men looked like they could win but in the end AJ was the right man to win.

Rating: 7/10

Over to the Fastlane kick-off panel. Renee Young is joined by Jerry Lawler, Booker T and Corey Graves. They discuss the action so far and then Lawler predicts Brock Lesnar will win the main event. We’re shown some footage from the kick-off match between Alberto Del Rio and Kalisto, a 2 out of 3 falls match for the United States Championship, a match that Kalisto won.

We’re shown some footage from Smackdown with The New Day previewing their segment for Fastlane. They’re basically dancing backstage.

Edge and Christian are out next for The Cutting Edge Peep Show. They promote their new show on the WWE Network before getting interrupted by The New Day. The two teams go back and forth before The New Day run down the tag team division. Edge and Christian do Rusev and Sheamus impressions after The New Day run down the League Of Booty (Nations). Xavier Woods calls The League Of Nations “hot garbage”. They are then interrupted by The League Of Nations (Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, King Barrett and Rusev). The New Day decide to step away from this fight and back out of the ring. The League Of Nations then intimidate Edge and Christian. Edge and Christian then leave. Edge calls them the International House of Dumbasses. Edge and Christian then leave with The New Day.

There’s an advert next for the WWE Network.

The Social Outcasts are out next. Heath Slater, Adam Rose, Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. They claim that they’re about to take Fastlane viral. They make some car references but are interrupted by R-Truth.

R-Truth vs. Curtis Axel

Background: This match has seemingly been added to the show, there’s not a lot of build-up for this one though!

Previous PPV matches: This is a second PPV match between these two men, Curtis Axel actually beat R-Truth at Battleground 2013.

Fastlane Record: Both men make their Fastlane debut tonight.

Match: I like it when lower-carders get some PPV exposure. R-Truth takes the early advantage but has to fight off Heath Slater and Adam Rose. When the referee is seeing to them, Bo Dallas gets a shot in on Truth. There’s a Bo train on the outside with Dallas, Slater and Rose. Goldust then shows up, he’s been wanting to form a tag team with R-Truth for a while. Goldust sweeps the leg of Curtis Axel when the referee is distracted. Goldust then takes out Heath Slater before throwing Adam Rose into the ring. R-Truth jumps over Adam Rose but Axel rolls Truth up from behind and gets the 3! Curtis Axel gets the win tonight!

Result: Curtis Axel wins by pinfall.

Review: Well this was short and was what it was. There was very little in-ring action but the story was that Goldust tried to help out R-Truth but it back-fired. Will this leave to a tag team between the two? It’s not looking good at the moment!

Rating: N/A

There’s another ad for the WWE Network.

There’s a video package next for the main event.

Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar – Triple threat match to determine who goes to the Wrestlemania 32 main event

Background: Stephanie and Vince McMahon reviewed the talent they had to determine who would go to Fastlane and a qualifying match for the Wrestlemania 32 main event. Dean Ambrose has shown no fear towards Brock Lesnar who has beaten Ambrose down. Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose are “brothers” but tonight they will have to go through each other if they want to go on to Wrestlemania.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time triple threat match between these three men.

Fastlane Record: Roman Reigns is 1-0 at Fastlane, Dean Ambrose is 0-1 and Brock Lesnar wrestles at Fastlane for the first time.

Match: Roman Reigns gets his fair share of boo’s as he often does this days. The bell rings and Brock goes right after Dean Ambrose, forcing him into the corner. Brock then gives Roman Reigns a German suplex before suplexing Dean Ambrose. Lesnar dishes out suplexes to both men. He hits Reigns with an F5 about 5 minutes in but Dean Ambrose saves the match. Dean then slaps Lesnar which fires Brock up. The F5 takes Roman Reigns out of the equation for a while allowing Lesnar to hit Dean Ambrose with German suplex after German suplex. Lesnar then sets Ambrose up for an F5 but Reigns hits him with a spear for a near fall. Reigns then hits a superman punch which sends Lesnar to the outside. Lesnar sets Reigns up for an F5 on the outside but Ambrose hits Brock with a low blow. Reigns and Ambrose hit a double powerbomb on Lesnar through the announce desk! Ambrose and Reigns then go at it with Ambrose getting much of the offence in. Brock Lesnar starts to stir so Ambrose and Reigns go outside and powerbomb him through the Spanish announce desk before piling all of the rubble on top of him. Reigns and Ambrose then go at it again. Ambrose hits dirty deeds for a near fall. Ambrose looks for a second dirty deeds but Reigns counters and sets up for a Samoan drop only for Lesnar to get back into the ring and hit a German suplex! Reigns hits a spear on Lesnar but Brock then locks on the kimura! Ambrose hits Lesnar with a chair to break the hold. Ambrose hits Reigns a few times with the chair but Roman then hits a spear on Dean for the victory!

After the match Triple H walks out and has a stare down with Reigns as the show comes to a close.

Result: Roman Reigns wins following a spear to Dean Ambrose.

Review: This was a great main event. It felt like a main event and lived up to expectations. The psychology was really good, especially considering the relationship between Reigns and Lesnar. Plenty of action, both announce tables broken and a match that I think could have been won by any of the three (although the story is really about Roman Reigns).

Rating: 8/10

And that was Fastlane 2016. It was a solid pay per view where most of the matches were good but not amazing. There wasn’t any bad matches on the show. The main event was definitely the highlight, it was a really good triple threat match where you know Roman Reigns was going to win but couldn’t be 100% sure. The match between AJ Styles and Chris Jericho was a good one too and it was a big win for AJ Styles in his PPV singles debut. R-Truth and Curtis Axel provided what was essentially comic relief and that has its place I feel. There wasn’t any ground-breaking moves on this show, no title changes, it felt pretty safe but it was a good show and one that culminated really strongly.

Overall Rating: 66.6/100 (ranked 38th out of 324)

Match Of The Night: Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar
Worst Match Of The Night: Becky Lynch & Sasha Banks vs. Naomi & Tamina
Surprise Of The Night: The Wyatt Family lose to Kane, Big Show and Ryback
Worst Booking Of The Night: The Wyatt Family lose to Kane, Big Show and Ryback
Superstar Of The Night: Roman Reigns
Fastlane 2016 Will Be Remembered For: Roman Reigns beating Dean Ambrose and Brock Lesnar

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