Wrestling is fake, but the thought of Roman Reigns getting a clean win over a world class performer like Daniel Bryan is an insult to the intelligence of the WWE Universe.
Regardless of how much the WWE wants Reigns to get over, he’s not, and never will be “the guy” in the WWE. He will never be as over as Daniel Bryan was last year at this time and before a serious neck injury derailed his chances at cementing himself as the new face of the company.
Reigns has talent. There’s no way to deny it. But he’s green, still. He’s good-looking and strong as hell, but he doesn’t have anything special about him that hasn’t been seen before.
He doesn’t have Cesaro’s pure strength. He doesn’t have Dean Ambrose’s charisma. He doesn’t have Dolph Ziggler’s stamina and he doesn’t have Daniel Bryan’s heart.
And this is the guy that is supposed to “beat” Brock Lesnar?
Get the hell out of here.
Great professional wrestling is all about suspending disbelief. To think, for a second that what you’re watching could still happen, even if it wasn’t scripted.
That did not happen tonight.
Regardless, new Tag Team Champions, appearances by Sting and Randy Orton, as well as Reigns’ victory over Daniel Bryan ensured that FastLane was anything but a cookie cutter WWE Pay Per View. It got us to feel things, even if it was more annoyance and shock that talent and heart don’t mean as much in the WWE as some cool tattoos and a good looking mug do.
Overall, it was a fitting way to put a stamp on this month’s free February on the WWE Network, Fastlane was fluidly paced and did enough right, regardless of what you think of the conclusion of the event’s main event, to get the WWE on the right road to Wrestlemania.
Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan and Ryback vs. Seth Rollins, Kane and The Big Show w/Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble: A solid six-man tag with plenty of offense from every competitor including Ziggler’s usual bad of tricks and some cool moves from Rowan including a Pump-Handle Backbreaker and a plethora of strikes. The Authority was never out of the match, however, thanks to quick tags and superior strength. After Show softened up Rowan, Kane continued the onslaught, before Rollins jumped in and worked on Rowan’s already injured leg. Show later added an awesome version of the Figure Four to Rowan to build even more suspense. Show then went for the Chokeslam, but Rowan hit the DDT on Show and then the Spinning Side Kick on the freshly tagged in Rollins. Still waiting to get into the match Ryback eventually got the hot-tag and went on a tear, hitting the Thesz Press and a Powerbomb on Rollins. Ryback then hit Kane with the Meathook and went for the Shellshocked on Rollins, who counted into a Super Kick. Ryback eventually hit the Shellshocked on Rollins, but Show interfered, forcing Ziggler into the match. After he took out Rollins and Show, Ziggler hit the DDT on Kane, then countered the Sideslam took out Rollins with the Fame-Asser but Show nailed Ziggler with the KO Punch, which allowed Kane to cover Ziggler for the win.
After the bell, Rollins hit the Curb Stomp on Ziggler and Rowan. But before he could hit the move on Ryback, Randy Orton hit the ring and nailed Mercury, Noble and Kane with three RKOs to clear the ring.
Goldust vs. Stardust: In a true stinker, Goldust countered the Cross-Rhodes into a Snapmare and a pinning combination. Before the match, Dusty Rhodes told Goldust not to hurt his brother Cody- he didn’t tell him to win with a move an eighth grader could do. After the match, Stardust destroyed Goldust in the back and told his father that Stardust’s best days were ahead of him.
WWE Tag Team Champions Jimmy and Jey Uso w/ Naomi vs. Tyson Kidd and Cesaro w/Natalya Neidhart: This was a war. Talk about giving a ton of credibility to the Tag Team division. With tons of near-falls, the “This is Awesome” chants were more than warranted. After a ton of near-falls, Kidd finally got the win with the Three-Handled Credenza.
WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella w/Brie Bella vs. Paige: Bella was strong with signature maneuvers and an Alabama Slam, as well as a Powerbomb, but she couldn’t put Paige away. However, with a grab of the tights on a School Boy following a Bella escape of the PTO, Bella retained her title.
WWE Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett vs. Dean Ambrose: This was a decent match, but the finish was a complete disaster. The fans wanted Ambrose to take the IC title, but instead all they got was a Wrestlemania tease. Barrett brought the offense, but so did Ambrose in a solid back and forth. Nailing each other with everything but their finishers, both competitors desperately tried to put each other away. At one point, Barrett even tried to walk out on the match. After the referee told Ambrose to stop hitting Barrett, who was trying to escape the ring yet again, the referee threw the match out. After the bell, Ambrose hit Barrett with the Dirty Deeds and took the IC title with him.
John Cena vs. WWE United States Champion Rusev w/Lana: Cena did everything right, but he couldn’t hit the Attitude Adjustment. In the meantime, Rusev too hit a ton of offense, including a rare DDT, a Swinging Urinage and plenty of Kicks, but couldn’t put Cena away. Both exhausted, the two titans traded strikes until Cena went for the AA, but then latched in the STF in the center of the ring. With nowhere to go, Rusev powered out of the move and hit the Alabama Slam to keep the match going. Russell then worked on Cena’s back, but Cena locked in the STF again- this time closer to the ropes, which forced the leader of the Cenation to break the hold. Going for the AA again, Cena finally hit the move, but Rusev kicked out, leaving both competitors out of gas on the mat. Xena then went for the top rope Fame-Asser, but Rusev countered it into a Powerbomb and then latched in the Accolade. Although Cena fought out of the move several times, Rusev kept the move locked in. Once Cena did break out, Lana distracted the referee, allowing Rusev to nail Cena with a Low Blow and then apply the submission maneuver again. Never tapping out, Cena lost after the referee stopped the match.
Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns for a shot at WWE Champion Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania: The classic technical and speedy wrestler versus the brawler. Both performers worked hard in the early going, feeling each other out. Bryan used kicks and submissions to slow things down but wasn’t scared to use High-Flying maneuvers either. Reigns, however, used his power to stay in the match. It often wasn’t pretty as Bryan did the majority of the heavy-lifting. It was obvious. The boos when Reigns went on his offensive surges told a story that the WWE Universe wasn’t behind him. Although Reigns stepped up his game, using Suplex Variations and High-Impact strikes along with his usual movies to keep things spicy. Regardless, it wasn’t enough to hold weight with Bryan as a performer. Bryan got the advantage back after he countered the Superman Punch with a Kick to the gut and some more in the corner, as well as a pair of two Dropkicks. However, falling a top rope Powerbomb and a slew of Clotheslines in the corner, Reigns got himself back in the match. Bryan wasn’t done yet though as he hit a beautiful Belly-to-Back Suplex from the top rope for a near-fall and followed it up with the Yes Lock. Unfortunately for Bryan, Reigns got to the ropes to break up the maneuver. Bryan then hit a pair of Suicide Dives on Reigns, but Reigns fought back with a Belly-to-Belly on the outside before Bryan countered the Spear, which sent Reigns into the ring steps.After nearly being counted out, Reigns got back in the ring, but Bryan missed the Diving Head Butt and Reigns countered it into the Superman Punch for a near-fall. After Reigns got the Spear countered into a School Boy, Bryan hit the Knee Plus, but couldn’t put Reigns away. This is where the match began to sizzle. Bryan then added kicks and slaps, but Reigns was still in it. Bryan however latched in the Yes Lock in the middle of the ring, but Reigns powered out and landed punches to Bryan’s face. Bryan then latched on the Hell’s Gate, but Reigns countered into a Powerbomb . The two competitors then traded blows on the floor until Bryan hit the Buzzaw Kick and then went for the Knee Plus again to end it. Reigns however hit the Spear instead to get the win.