By Graham "GSM" Matthews
United States Champion Kalisto def. Alberto Del Rio in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match (Kickoff Match)
The early goings of this match weren't anything out of the ordinary, but they picked up the pace down the stretch and especially in the third fall. It has always bothered me that the first two falls are over relatively quickly, but that's to expected in these type of matches. I was really hoping they would switch up the tired formula of the heel getting disqualified in the first fall and winning the second, but they made up for it with a fun final fall. I realize I said the same thing in my Royal Rumble review, but I'm hoping this is the actual end of the line for this feud. I have a bad feeling it isn't based off how Kalisto won with a roll-up, but I desperately want to see Kalisto mix it up with fresh faces going into WrestleMania.
Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch def. Team B.A.D.
When was the last time a women's match kicked off a WWE pay-per-view? If it has happened before, it's been a long, long time. I would have never expected this match to open the event, but I'm glad it did. There wasn't anything too special about it, but all four women put forth a good effort and produced a solid tag team match. The important thing is that Banks and Lynch came out of the contest looking credible, which should lead them to contending for the Divas Championship at WrestleMania in a Triple Threat.
Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens def. Dolph Ziggler
If you've seen one Owens vs. Ziggler match, you've seen them all. No matter how many times they've clashed, however, their matches are always entertaining and this outing was no exception. There wasn't much doubt that Owens was retaining, but Ziggler had his fair share of hope spots and they kept the pace consistent throughout for the most part. Needless to say, keeping the title on Owens was the right move as it should set up a match with either AJ Styles or Sami Zayn (likely the former) in the near future. On a side note, was I the only one wishing Owens would confront Machine Gun Kelly at ringside and shove his newly won title belt in his face?
Ryback, Big Show and Kane def. The Wyatt Family
Firstly, I was hyped to hear "Evil Ways" used in the video package promoting this match, but why waste it on such a meaningless feud? I would love if it was given to Styles as his new entrance music at some point since he used it in TNA, but we all know that isn't happening. As for the match itself, it exceeded my expectations in being passable, though that isn't saying much. Everyone held their own, which was commendable, but the babyfaces scoring the win (in clean fashion, no less) left me scratching my head. The Wyatt Family are officially dead in the water, especially after they didn't get involved in the main event. What's next for them now? I don't know and at this point, I don't care.
Divas Champion Charlotte def. Brie Bella
Perhaps it was because of the timing of it all, but this bout definitely benefited from Daniel Bryan's recent retirement and even Nikki Bella's surgery. I didn't think there was a shot in hell of Brie winning the belt when she initially beat Charlotte on Raw a few weeks back, but going into this match, she was a true threat to the title. But the praise ends there, sadly. They did not work well together and there were far too many sloppy spots for the match to be considered quality. The crowd was ready to erupt when Brie had the "Yes!" Lock secured on Charlotte, but Charlotte reversed and forced Brie to tap out almost immediately. I don't put the blame on any one woman, but they simply didn't have the chemistry I thought they would.
AJ Styles def. Chris Jericho
Jericho and Styles had the tough task of topping their previous two excellent encounters, but I can safely say they managed to do so with this matchup. There was exceptional emotion down the stretch and their styles (no pun intended) gelled together better than they have before. They're just natural opponents for each other. I was slightly surprised to see Jericho kick out of the Styles Clash, though. While that didn't anger or annoy me, I figured they would try to protect the move a bit more. In the end, Styles winning was the right call, Jericho showing respect afterward was unexpected. I had my money on a heel turn, but it's possible we get that on Raw. Either way, this feud should carry over until WrestleMania 32. It's been the best part about the product since the Royal Rumble!
League of Nations Interrupted WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day on The Cutting Edge Peep Show
Admittedly, I laughed at a few of the one-liners Edge and Christian made toward New Day, but by and large, this segment was a massive flop. I was intrigued by the idea of Edge and Christian and New Day sharing a ring, but it was a failed attempt to promote their new WWE Network show and League of Nations served no purpose. Unless they're building to a New Day vs. League of Nations feud that I have zero intention of seeing, this was a waste of pay-per-view time.
Curtis Axel def. R-Truth
Speaking of segments that were a waste of time, what the hell was this supposed to be? Don't get me wrong, I get a kick out of The Social Outcasts as much as the next person, but there was no reason for them to be on this show. The crowd couldn't have cared less about the match and understandably so. This was the last possible thing the show needed after the first two hours fell flat. Why they bumped the U.S. title match to the Kickoff show for this is beyond me.
Roman Reigns def. Dean Ambrose and Brock Lesnar in a No. 1 Contender's Triple Threat Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Whether the various "this is awesome" chants were necessary is debatable, but it's hard to blame the crowd for loving this match after everything else earlier in the evening (with the exception of Styles vs. Jericho) was mediocre at best. Lesnar dominating the first portion of the match was fun and Reigns and Ambrose teaming up to take him out (in addition to putting him through not one but two tables) was also logical. Once Lesnar reentered the fray, that was when things started to pick up and all three guys shined at one point or another. Regardless of whether you like it or not, Reigns winning made the most sense given his history with Triple H. It will be interesting to see what happens to Lesnar now and if he'll feud with The Wyatt Family after all since they didn't cost him the victory like many predicted they would.
I'm well-aware that this has been the norm for February pay-per-views for several years, but I expected more from Fastlane simply because it had a stacked card. By the end of the night, the only two matches that stood out in my memory were the main event and Styles vs. Jericho, as those matches made this show worthwhile for me. The rest of the card just felt like it was there and nothing more. A standard show at best, lackluster at worst. Nevertheless, WWE can still pull together a star-studded lineup for WrestleMania if they can play their cards right.
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