Posted in: Mr. Tito
Mr. Tito's PHAT WWE Fastlane Review, Thoughts, and Show Grade
By Mr. Tito
Feb 23, 2015 - 1:04:46 AM

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Alright, alright, alright... Here we are with the WWE Fastlane review. I did not bring my laptop with me to my friend's house this time around, so thus no in-game review and insta-columns as I have been doing for much of the past year. Thus, I'll write more of a column instead of just a match-by-match show review.

Say what you will, but WWE deserves props for attempting to create 3 new stars for 2015 that not only had an impact for tonight's show, but should have be big at Wrestlemania and for the rest of 2015: Roman Reigns, Rusev, and Bray Wyatt. We could argue all day whether any of the 3 are ready for prime time (I'd argue that 2 out of 3 are), but the WWE needs to think about the long-term right now. They've been running on the fumes of the 2002 Developmental Class with John Cena, Brock Lesnar, and Randy Orton with a little bit of Batista sprinkled in there. Those guys are getting older, Brock Lesnar is only as loyal as far as his contractual terms, and Randy Orton's health is now questionable. WWE needs to create and push new stars. In addition to Seth Rollins, the WWE has selected Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, and Rusev... 3 heels and 1 babyface.

Now, my argument is that the selected babyface, Roman Reigns, just isn't ready for primetime. He showed that tonight, in my opinion. He just doesn't have a well rounded in-ring ability and seemed like he was always waiting for Daniel Bryan to do something tonight. I'm sure if you counted offensive moves tonight between Bryan and Reigns, Bryan probably hit more moves than Reigns by about a margin of 3 to 1. Where I thought that Roman Reigns was more effective, and he should keep this in mind for Wrestlemania 31, was the point where Reigns reversed a submission and begin to punch Bryan in the head repeatedly. Ground and pound! Reigns was pushed as the "tough guy" of the Shield and yet he always appears scared to hit any moves in the ring. Problem is that the psychology of Roman Reigns is off as a wrestler. Furthermore, he's clutching too much towards the Shield gimmick, hence the look (still wearing the protective vest), Shield theme music still used, and being reliant on big spots for his wrestling maneuvers. Retooling his maneuvers with something that fits his "tough" image is what's needed, such as more Ground and Pound. Being too reliant on hitting the Superman Punch, Spear, and Powerbomb while looking clueless won't solve the Wrestlemania 31 problem against Brock Lesnar.

As I was watching Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns, it became apparent to me that neither guy should wrestle Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 31. Reigns is inexperienced and Bryan looks like a runt. Sorry, but I can never believe that guy looking like Daniel Bryan could EVER defeat someone looking like Brock Lesnar in any type of fight. Worse yet, the aburd streak that Brock Lesnar is on... Since beating Triple H to win their 2 out of 3 series during 2013, Lesnar has mowed through CM Punk, Big Show, Undertaker, John Cena, and John Cena/Seth Rollins. Simple psychology is that if Brock Lesnar can defeat BOTH Seth Rollins and John Cena in a match, how would he struggle against a Triple Threat scenario with Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan? HOWEVER, it appears tonight that Daniel Bryan is now GONE from the WWE Title match. Thus, how are we to believe that Roman Reigns can beat Brock Lesnar when Triple H, Undertaker, CM Punk, Big Show, John Cena, and Cena/Rollins couldn't? Just doesn't make sense...

That's why, as I've argued before, Seth Rollins has a chance to SAVE Wrestlemania 31 by cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase. Looks like he'll be wrestling Randy Orton at Wrestlemania 31 in what should be a damn good match. Orton made his return and cleaned house on the Authority. As my friend said, though, why on earth was Seth Rollins so scared about that made him run to the parking lot?

I'm VERY happy for Rusev. That was a "coming out" match. The guy not only proved that he could hang with John Cena, but that he could get the crowd involved. The guy is over as a heel. Unlike other developmental call-ups, WWE has been more patient in developing Rusev and they've used Lana effectively as his mouthpiece (and piece of ass!). I LOVED the finish where Lana provided a distraction enough for Rusev to get the ballshot and then destroy Cena with a kick in order to knock him out to be unable to respond to Rusev's submission hold. Cheap win, yes, but very logical for this stage in Rusev's career. And it sets up the Wrestlemania 31 rematch up nicely where Rusev, if needed, could get a stronger win over John Cena. My bet is that Rusev puts up a massive fight but John Cena sneaks out a win to set up match #3 at WWE Extreme Rules Pay Per View. In my opinion, Rusev vs. Cena was "MATCH OF THE NIGHT". I just wish that Rusev would find a better finisher other than a submission hold. Maybe those kicks?

And Bray Wyatt trolling all of us with the druids hinting at an Undertaker return but Bray Wyatt was behind it all! Wyatt was in the casket and he called the Deadman out. Thus, another Wrestlemania match was formed... Talk about WWE "Fastlane"... They were quickly booking matches left and right at this event.

Speaking of Wrestlemania 31, we had Sting vs. Triple H quickly booked in just a few segments after Triple H and Sting confronted each other in the ring. Excuse me, there was no confrontation. There was Triple H talking down Sting and belittling his career. "Guys like me helped WCW become a sinking ship". Yeah, you were there, but were you as big as Steve Austin and the Rock? I don't know... But Triple H came across as condescending and not just as a character. Then, without weapons in place, Triple H easily kicked Sting's ass. After Triple H threw a punch, they brawled and Triple H got the better of Sting in that brawl. Then, HHH got his sledgehammer and Sting countered that by sneaking in his black bad into the ring. With a bat at his throat, Triple H had to give in and accept a Wrestlemania challenge. Sting is already damaged... Expect more attacks by HHH on Sting's career and at least 1 massive RAW beatdown on Sting. If Sting is to defeat HHH at Wrestlemania 31, he's going to eat some bullshit on the way there.

I thought the opening match was "meh". And who gets pinned by one of the members of the "Walking Glass Ceiling" (Kane and Big Show)? Dolph Ziggler. WWE is so petty on anything Ziggler does or says. After the big win at Survivor Series 2014, Ziggler has been torn down repeatedly since and now, Kane and Big Show made easy work of him again. Granted, Big Show and Kane are massive human beings, but WWE has done nothing with those guys other than not letting any upper midcarders defeat them in matches. This 6 man match was just a placeholder get Seth Rollins in the ring for the big Randy Orton return.

I didn't like Goldust vs. Stardust. As I mentioned in my Predictions column, this match felt rushed to be added to the WWE Fastlane card. Because of that, it just seemed like this match lacked any heat. Fans, I believe, weren't ready to see such a quick break-up of the Goldust and Stardust team. Cody just wasn't growing as a singles wrestler and thus could shine in brief bursts as a tag wrestler. The heel turn should have been saved for a later date unless Dustin Rhodes is serious about retiring soon. Still, I'm just not feeling the Stardust ego trip and it's too early. Backstage, he attacked Dustin while yelling at his dad, Dusty. I'm just not feeling it...

Hey... Cesaro won a title and won at a Pay Per View... Hooray! The Cesaro/Tyson Kidd vs. Usos tag match was OK, but I'm just not feeling the chemistry of Cesaro and Tyson Kidd as a tag team. To me, this is just a match-up to promote Total Divas just like Nikki Bella vs. Paige. That show is not doing as well as it used to, and furthermore, it reportedly has a high production budget to question its profitability. Paige vs. Nikki was decent, but nothing special. Nikki won cleanly and thus Paige's flame has been burned out for a while. I wouldn't doubt that Paige suffered a concussion in this match as her head banged off the canvas a few times on some slams.

Thought Dean Ambrose vs. "Bad News" Barrett was a waste of time. It was a time filler as they'll have their rematch at Wrestlemania 31 instead. Why would you disqualify yourself when you want the Intercontinental Title? Makes no sense... Didn't feel like Barrett and Ambrose had chemistry, but then again, a bad finish can often hurt the motivation of the workers in the ring.

LAST WORD: Overall, I thought that Rusev vs. John Cena really delivered while Bryan vs. Reigns was decent and improved towards the end. Otherwise, it was a "meh" show that was just keeping the engine warm before Wrestlemania 31. I will say, however, that Wrestlemania 31 is looking decent:

- Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins
- Dean Ambrose vs. Bad News Barrett
- John Cena vs. Rusev
- Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns
- Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt
- Sting vs. Triple H

Probably something involving the Divas Titles (AJ Lee return, I hope) and probably a rematch of a mixed 6 man between Cesaro/Kidd vs. Usos. I'm sure we'll get that Daniel Bryan vs. someone, possibly Sheamus. But the above 6 matches could shape for a decent Wrestlemania 31 card.

Fastlane, in my opinion, gets about a C+ grade for the nice Rusev vs. Cena match and setting up Wrestlemania many weeks in advance. Otherwise, the show was somewhat dull in the ring. I'm not crazy about Roman Reigns being the #1 contender, but Seth Rollins still has the Money in the Bank briefcase. Bray Wyatt should make the most of his big opportunity... I'm not that crazy for Sting vs. Triple H due to Triple H needing to prove that he has a bigger dick and due to the match quality not going to be there. HHH doesn't sell and Sting is freakin' old (about to turn 56 this year, seriously).

Star Rating wise, I'd probably give Rusev vs. Cena about **** while about everything else is *** or much less. But for many wrestling fans, this show was for FREE and this was a decent show for that price.


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