Tuesday, March 7, 2017

WWE Fastlane 2017

Originally, I was going to go for a Poop Emoji as the banner to signify what this PPV represented, but I couldn't find a decent looking one that isn't three pixels big, so we'll settle for the stock bored kitty. In any event... WWE POOP, er, I mean Fastlane!

Samoa Joe defeated Sami Zayn in a match that probably should've been shorter than it was, but in any event, told the story of white meat Sami Zayn trying (and failing) to usurp the bulldozer known as Samoa Joe. Not a bad way to start a card of what I'd imagine would be utter mediocrity and, as it would turn out, the one match I was actually looking forward to the most.

Listen up, bro. RAW Tag-Team Champions Gallows and Anderson defeated Enzo and Big Cass to retain the titles, bro, and this match told precisely the kind of story that needed to be told, bro; Enzo runs his mouth and says stupid things, bro, only to get killed by bigger men, bro. Probably not the story they wanted to tell, bro, but one I have chosen to adapt for the purposes of soothing my annoyance over the Italian Brooklyn stereotype gimmick, bro. Bro.

Upon reading that last paragraph, I realized I didn't sneak enough "Bro" in there, bro... Alright, that's enough.

Sasha Banks defeated Nia Jax with a cradle pin. Well, that was a thing that happened... I didn't care.

Speaking of things that happened, over at the pre-show that I don't watch, the illustrious tag-team of Rusev and Jinder Mahal has come to an end and both guys were booked in matches against "suitable opponents" rather than, you know, each other... yeah, because this really needed to be a Wrestlemania match. Mahal then beats up Rusev because sure, why not?

Anyway, Cesaro defeated Jinder Mahal with a timely assist from Rusev, who would later lose his match against Big Show after three chokeslams and a punch. I'm batching this all up now because both matches are a complete waste of PPV time that could've been used for some other match, but they don't have any other matches. They have this stuff.

Sidenote: this is the same Rusev who DROVE A FUCKING TANK TO WRESTLEMANIA a couple years and now all of a sudden, he's being treated like an afterthought. Rusev's actually a pretty entertaining dude and he deserves a little better than this.

Cruiserweight champion Neville defeated Jack Gallagher to retain the title in a decent little match. Lots of flying, lots of quick moves, a nice little distraction. Probably the other highlight of the show, which isn't really saying much.

There's a bit with the New Day showing off an ice cream bike, but they never both showing off the ice cream they promised.

Roman Reigns defeated Braun Strawman in a pretty decent match. Some would call it that all those weeks of making the Brauny Man look like a monster would seemingly go down the drain with a loss to Reigns, but isn't that what used to do in the Hogan days? Build a monster to feed to the Huckster so that he could beat him. Kinda of the same deal here, although more people cared about Hogan than they do Reigns, despite Roadie's desperate pleas to "listen to the cheering crowds!"

Strawman actually looked the part of big unstoppable monster for Roman to conquer and they told that story well enough within the context of what they were capable of. Somewhere down the line, this would make for a decent title match or PPV main event if they ever get that far. I was surprised that they didn't try to shoehorn an appearance by Undertaker or anything like that to build towards that match nobody wants to happen, but I'm glad they didn't go that route because this match didn't need it. All in all, a good match that I actually enjoyed.

Women's champion Bayley defeated Charlotte to retain the title and break Charlotte's PPV streak... you know, that streak where Charlotte would lose the title to Sasha Banks on an episode of RAW and then a couple weeks, win the title back on PPV. That streak... and now it's all over... and people are pissed are pissed about and I'm like...


Seriously, when did this stupid streak become a big deal? Why the fuck is it a thing? Since when did people start caring about this being a thing? It's not like this is the Undertaker streak or anything like that; it's just a stupid thing that is getting pushed to disguise lazy storytelling... or lazy booking.

You want to know what my thought process was. It was that they had Bayley win the title on a RAW and they're going to pull off the same old shit that they did with Sasha Banks; have Charlotte win back the title and do the same ol' song and dance again and again so that by the end of the year, she'll be a 16-time Women's Champion. It was playing hot potato with the fucking championship that is supposed to be a big deal, but feels less important than the Divas title it replaced.

If they wanted to make this stupid PPV streak seem like a big deal... have Bayley win the title here or hold off until Mania and have her win it there so that it'd feel significant... but that will involve being creative and clearly the monkeys at WWE Creative have no clue on how to be that. But I'm digressing here.

The match was fine. The distractions from Sasha Banks was a bit annoying at times and I'm fairly certain that'll set-up some multi-woman match at Mania for the title, but other than that, this was a decent little wrestling match.

Goldberg defeated Universal Champion Kevin Owens in under a minute to win the title. Well, that was a surprise... not. Match time was about 26 seconds, with KO eating a spear and jackhammer after getting distracted by Jericho. I suppose I could be upset that the Red Belt title is going to a part-timer who's going to drop it to another part-timer in a Wrestlemania match that's going to be the absolute drizzling shits, not to mention questioning Jericho costing Owens the title since that means HE won't be getting a shot at that title any time soon... but honestly, I had no issue with this one.

Mind you, one could hope they would've done something a little more creative to pass the title from KO to Goldberg, but that would've been setting expectations a little too high and I didn't have high expectations here. I expected the match to be short and it was. I expected some kind of Jericho involvement and there was. I expected Goldberg to win decisively and he did. So, in that regard, I wasn't disappointed.

And honestly? Fastlane wasn't disappointing in the slightest. I was expecting a poopy show and BAH GAWD, KING! I got a poopy show... so expectations met.

Thumbs way the fuck down on this one. Go ahead and skip it.

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