The WWE Raw brand presents Fastlane as the last WWE pay-per-view event before WrestleMania 33. The show is headlined by Kevin Owens defending the Universal Championship against Bill Goldberg while Roman Reigns battles Braun Strowman and Bayley defends the Raw Women’s Title against Charlotte.
I joined the hour long Kickoff Show about 30 minutes into it with Samoa Joe answering Twitter questions. Regarding his plan for WrestleMania, Joe said: “Trust me…it will be revealed soon enough.”
The Kickoff Show panel consisted of Renee Young, who apparently is not exclusive to Smackdown, Booker T and radio show host Peter Rosenberg.
It was announced that on Raw there will be a video showing an “exclusive look” at Seth Rollins’ rehab.
The announce team calling the cruiserweight match is Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Austin Aries, who is from Milwaukee. Aries cued up a video package showing his highlights because he’s cleared for action after being out for a few months with an eye injury.
Kickoff Show: Rich Swann & Akira Tozawa vs. Brian Kendrick & Noam Dar (w/Alicia Fox)
The heels went for a double suplex early, but Swann helped Tozawa as Swann and Tozawa each hit dropkicks. Swann and Tozawa teased diving attacks, but the heels pulled Fox in front to prevent that. A commercial aired one minute into it.
After a break advertising Fastlane, Kendrick got a pinfall attempt on Tozawa after a suplex as the heels were in control. Swann got the tag, clotheslines for Dar and a double stomp to the back. Swann with a big splash on Dar for a two count. Swann back body drop on Kendrick and a sunset flip on Dar for a two count. Dar with a forearm to the back on Swann that sent him out of the ring. Dar sent Swann into the ring post. The heels worked on Swann for a bit. Kendrick with a suplex for a two count. Dar with a double underhook suplex for two. Swann broke free from Dar and hit a kick to the head. Tozawa got the hot tag with a boot to Kendrick followed by a kick to the chest. Senton splash by Tozawa on Kendrick for two. Dar got the tag, Tozawa dumped him to the floor, Kendrick got sent out of the ring. Tozawa and Swann ran the ropes with Tozawa hitting a suicide dive on Kendrick and a somersault dive over the top by Swann. Tozawa with a Shining Wizard to Kendrick back in the ring. Dar kicked Tozawa. Swann nailed a roundhouse kick to the head of Swann. Dar with a pinfall attempt, Swann rolled out and hit a spin kick for two. Tozawa with a German Suplex on Kendrick. Swann hit a Phoenix Splash off the top on Dar for the win after ten minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Akira Tozawa & Rich Swann
Analysis: **3/4 Good match given around ten minutes, which is enough time to let them show off their athleticism. Their matches on Raw are shorter. No surprise that the faces won and Dar got the loss since he rarely wins. Swann’s Phoenix Splash is a cool looking move. It didn’t connect perfectly but good enough.
The hosts ended the Kickoff Show.
BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
March 5, 2017
The opening video package focused on the key matches on the show: Bayley/Charlotte, Reigns/Strowman and Owens/Goldberg.
The pyro went off as we got a shot of the near capacity crowd with Michael Cole welcoming us to the show.
Sami Zayn made his entrance for the opening match against Samoa Joe. The announce team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves & Byron Saxton welcomed us to the show. They were seated by the usual Raw announce position by the right side of the ramp.
Clips aired of Joe and Zayn having issues in the last couple of weeks leading to this match.
Samoa Joe made his entrance. Cole referenced their great 2/3 Falls match in NXT, which I recommend if you haven’t seen it.
Samoa Joe vs. Sami Zayn
The crowd chanted “ole ole ole” for Zayn early on. Joe with a hard kick to the chest followed by a takedown into a knee bar. Zayn got to the ropes. When Zayn went for an armdrag, Joe blocked it and Zayn came back with headscissors. They brawled in the corner a bit with Joe knocking him down with a jab to the face. Great sell by Zayn. Joe with a back elbow in the corner followed by an enziguri kick to the head. Joe applied a bow and arrow like submission with his knees in the back of Zayn. Fans chanted for both guys. When Zayn got in some punches, Joe kicked the knees to knock him down. Zayn kicked out of a submission attempt and nailed Joe with a hard clothesline. Zayn hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count. He rarely wins with it, but it’s always a believable nearfall. Zayn up top, Joe charged, so Zayn jumped over him. Joe with an inverted atomic drop, kick to the face and senton splash for a two count. Joe whipped Zayn into the corner followed by a powerslam for a two count. Joe attacked with punches leading to Zayn selling as if he was out of it. Zayn got a cradle for a two count. Zayn up top again, but Joe hit an enziguri kick to the head. Zayn fought out of a superplex attempt. Zayn went for a sunset flip into the Powerbomb, but Joe fought out of it. Zayn went for the Helluva Kick, but Joe stopped it with a one armed slam out of the corner. Joe applied the Coquina Clutch submission and Zayn was forced to submit. The match went ten minutes.
Winner by submission: Samoa Joe
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a dominant, clean win for Samoa Joe as expected. In my preview of the event I noted that if they got 15-20 minutes it would have been an outstanding match, but I didn’t expect it to happen. That’s because Joe has been booked like a badass heel, so having Zayn push him to the limit doesn’t make sense. As much as I want Zayn to get a push, it’s just not in the cards right now. He’s there to put people over in PPV matches like this one. The way Joe has been booked and presented has been perfect so far. No losses. Just beatings. Keep him strong.
There were commercials for Tapout and WrestleMania.
Bayley was interviewed by Charly Caruso. She said she’s up for the challenge against Charlotte. Bayley suggested that Charlotte leaves Dana Brooke in the locker room so they can determine who the better woman is. Nia Jax showed up to tell Bayley that she’s going rip her best friend (Sasha Banks) to threads. Jax told Bayley that if Charlotte doesn’t take the title from her then Jax will.
Enzo & Cass did their usual promo before their match. The crowd was fired up for them. They referenced the local sports teams to get some cheap pops. The champions made their entrance.
Raw Tag Team Championships: Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. Enzo Amore & Big Cass
The faces were on fire early on as they sent the champs to the floor. Cass picked up Enzo and tossed him over the top onto the heels on the floor. Anderson nailed a kick to the head on Enzo followed by a running boot to the face. Gallows grounded Enzo with a headlock with Enzo in the classic face in peril spot like he is in every one of their tag matches. Headlock time by Anderson. They went to the floor with Enzo hitting and enziguri on Anderson. Gallows tried an attack, but Enzo moved and Gallows hit the ring post. When Enzo went for a tag, Anderson blocked it with a knee to the face. They have done that spot in some other tag matches of late as well. Gallows missed a corner attack on Enzo followed by an elbow drop. Anderson tagged in, missed a corner charge and Enzo tagged in Cass. Hot tag time by Cass with a shoulder tackle, fallaway slam, splash in the corner, fallaway slam, splash in the corner and a sidewalk slam. Cass hit the Empire Elbow followed by a boot to the face of Gallows on the apron. Cass with a boot to the face of Anderson. Enzo got the tag, Cass launched him off the top for the Bada Boom Shaka Laka and Gallows saved his partner to break up the pin attempt. Gallows sent Cass into the barricade at ringside. Enzo dove onto Gallows on the floor. Anderson hit a running knee to the face of Enzo. Enzo’s foot was on the ropes, but Gallows shoved the foot off and the ref never saw it as he counted to three. Champs retain by pinfall after nine minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Gallows & Anderson
Analysis: **1/4 It was a basic Raw tag match. Cass was in the ring for maybe two minutes, was cleaning house and like an idiot tagged in his partner that always gets beat up. Same formula for every Enzo & Cass match. I’m glad there wasn’t a title change because if they do it they should save it until WrestleMania when it would mean more for Enzo & Cass to win their first titles.
There was a commercial for the WWE Champions game.
Mick Foley was in the office. He had Stephanie McMahon on the speaker phone. She said she was stuck on a plane because of some airplane problems. She told him they need the Women’s Title and Universal Title matches to go off without a problem. He picked up the phone to take her off speaker and it ended.
PLUG TIME: Since we are in the month of March, I started a countdown of the 33 Greatest Matches in WrestleMania History that will end on April 2, which is the day of WrestleMania. Some of the matches I’ve written about so far are: Michaels/Flair from WM24, Charlotte/Banks/Lynch from WM32 and Rock/Hogan from WM18. Every day from now until April 2 I’ll have a new post up, so check out the list of the Greatest Matches in WrestleMania History now!
Video package aired for Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax, which is up next. This boring feud needs a video package apparently.
Nia Jax made her entrance. She’s not like most girls. The Spanish announce team was shown at ringside. As always, they said “I hope none of these jerks break our table.” The German announce team were also at ringside. Sasha Banks made her entrance. It was noted by Cole that Jax is 3-0 in PPV matches and the only women to start 4-0 are Charlotte and Fabulous Moolah.
Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks
Jax was in control early on with a backbreaker. Banks tried to fight back, but Jax hit her with a clothesline to stop her momentum. Jax with a knee to the back of Banks. Jax picked her up and tossed her across the ring with ease. Banks got a back elbow for some brief offense, but Jax picked her up and put Banks on her back in a torture rack submission. Jax did some squats while Banks was on her shoulders. Banks fought out of it with a guillotine headlock submission attempt. Jax powered out of it, so Banks applied a sleeper. Jax slammed her off her back to break free. Banks attacked by jumping on Jax’s shoulders and hit a DDT. Banks applied the Bank Statement submission. Jax powered out and got to her feet. Jax with a Chokeslam. Jax with a leg drop to the back of Banks. Jax went for a Samoan Drop, Banks slipped out of it and did a bridging pin for the victory after about eight minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Sasha Banks
After the match, Banks was really about her win while Jax made angry faces in the ring.
Analysis: ** Good finish to a match dominated by Jax, who was on offense for about 90% of it. It was a better match than their Rumble match, which was disappointing. I thought they would have had Jax win after Banks came close for the submission, but it didn’t happen. I like the way the finish was done with Banks using the bridging pin for the win. It comes off as a great counter move and a crafty win. Would I have booked Jax to lose? Nope. I would have kept her strong.
The announcers let us know Raw Talk was coming after Fastlane on WWE Network hosted by Renee Young and Jerry Lawler.
Jinder Mahal and Rusev (with a haircut) with Lana made their entrances. They are done as a team and were told by Mick Foley on the Kickoff Show that they were both having singles matches.
Jinder and Rusev brawled in the ring. They went to the floor with Mahal hitting a knee to the face that sent Rusev over the barricade.
Cesaro and Sheamus made their entrances. Cesaro’s wearing a gold colored smoking jacket. Sheamus was not in his ring gear.
Cesaro vs. Jinder Mahal
Mahal whipped Cesaro into the corner followed by Cesaro’s forearm. The announcers did their usual bit about putting over Mahal’s improved physique. Yes WWE, he can see…except for the blind people. Mahal prevented a suplex and hit a running kick to the knee. Are we to assume Rusev is still on the floor just chilling there? Clothesline by Mahal followed by a running knee. Mahal with a running dropkick for a two count. Mahal with a hard whip into the turnbuckle. I think there’s a “boring” chant picking up. Cesaro came back with a powerful vertical suplex while selling the back. Cesaro with an uppercut on Mahal followed by another one on the other side. The crowd was into Cesaro’s comeback as he did a drop toe hold onto the second rope. Cesaro hit the 619 followed by a cross body block off the top rope. Mahal pushed off Cesaro and nailed a kick. Rusev was shown standing at the announce table. Mahal was distracted by Rusev standing there. Cesaro picked up Mahal and hit an uppercut for the win after eight minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Cesaro
Analysis: *1/4 It was a disappointing match with no heat. The crowd doesn’t care about Mahal and his offense put them to sleep as they chanted boring for him. At least Cesaro’s offense got the crowd going. It was pretty silly that Rusev was down for about eight minutes, but that’s the story they told. That was probably the worst Cesaro match I can remember and it’s not his fault.
After the match, Rusev went into the ring and punched Mahal in the corner repeatedly. Rusev nailed a running superkick to the head of Mahal.
Big Show made his entrance for a match against Rusev.
Big Show vs. Rusev (w/Lana)
Show was aggressive early with hard chops that sent Rusev to the floor. Headbutt by Show to Rusev. Show hit a final cut move for two. Rusev hit two running clotheslines that stunned Show, but Show came back with two clotheslines of his own. Show with a corner splash. Rusev came back with a shoulder to the front of the left knee of Show. Rusev wrenched on the knee as the crowd chanted “USA” for Show. They got back to their feet with Show hitting a side slam for a two count. Show went for a Chokeslam, but Rusev slipped out, clipped the knee and a nailed a kick to the head. Rusev nailed another superkick to the head. A third superkick to the head by Rusev earned a two count. Rusev: “Three kicks! Three Machka kicks!” I guess I should call them Machka kicks in the future. Machka means crush in Bulgarian. Show powered out of an Accolade attempt followed by a Chokeslam. Show wasn’t selling the knee anymore. Show picked him up with another Chokeslam. The crowd chanted “one more time.” Show picked him up again for a third Chokeslam. Show set up Rusev so that his head was against the bottom turnbuckle. Show hit him with the KO Punch for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Big Show
Analysis: *1/2 Match was okay. It would bother me if I didn’t see it coming. Since it was so obvious it really didn’t bother me much. This is the kind of match where WWE should have thought about elevating the younger guy in Rusev, but they went with pushing Big Show. I’m not sure what it accomplished other than trying to remind people that Show is as good as ever while he’s in his mid-40s. Oh well. It was filler with no storyline like the match before it. Rusev may be the most poorly booked performer on Raw. What a shame.
There was a commercial for WrestleMania in 28 days.
Kevin Owens was interviewed by Charly Caruso. He was wearing a suit. Owens wondered why she thought it was the biggest match of his career. Owens pointed out that Goldberg has beaten one man once in the last ten years. Owens said he’s going to outsmart, outwrestle and do whatever he wants. Owens said he’ll beat Goldberg like he’s beat everybody else. Owens doesn’t care who they put in front of him because he’ll beat everybody. Owens said it’s the Kevin Owens Show, it’s the KO Show tomorrow night and for as long as he wants it to be.
Analysis: Solid promo from the champ as usual.
Austin Aries joined the announce team to cue up his package…his video package. Cruiserweight Title is up next.
Jack Gallagher entered first. Some video aired of this issues with Neville, who entered last. The other announcers in the arena were shown.
Cruiserweight Championship: Neville vs. Jack Gallagher
Gallagher was on offense early on with a dropkick that sent Neville to the floor. Gallagher followed him out to the floor, so Neville threw Gallagher into the barricade. Back in the ring, Neville hit a missile dropkick for a two count. Snap suplex by Neville. Gallagher came back with forearms followed by two dropkicks. Neville went to the floor, so Gallagher hit a running cross body block onto Neville on the floor. Aries called it the “wounded duck plancha.” That’s a good name for it. Gallagher set him up on the top rope with a super back suplex for a two count. Neville came back by hanging on the top rope and sending him face first into the mat. Gallagher came back with a rollup for two. Neville sent him into the ropes and hit a snap German Suplex that dropped Gallagher on his head. Neville nailed a Phoenix Splash off the middle rope for a two count. Great nearfall there. Neville hit him with some kicks to wear him down. Gallagher came back with a headbutt, Neville with a kick and Gallagher hit another headbutt that led to a two count. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them since the matches before this were clearly not awesome and the fans were waiting to chant it. Gallagher set up Neville on the top rope and hit a headbutt to stun him. Jack wanted a superplex, but Neville slammed him down. Neville hit the Red Arrow off the top rope for the win after 11 minutes. Cole did a good job to say that Neville needed to hit that move to win.
Winner by pinfall: Neville
Analysis: ***1/4 That was a very good match. I liked the effort of both men. Gallagher’s offense was impressive with the headbutts plus the back suplex off the top rope as a huge move you don’t see very often. Neville winning was no surprise because he’s a long term champion that has done a fantastic job in the last few months. Neville is also booked very well, which is important in building up these matches to mean something. Good use of the Red Arrow to win. Save it for PPV matches, not for every Neville match.
There was some commercial for a WWE movie with the Jetsons.
A commercial aired for WWEShop.com items.
Paul Heyman was interviewed by Charly Caruso. He teased that Brock Lesnar could be there, but he wasn’t going to tell us. Heyman mentioned that if Goldberg wins then Lesnar will take the Universal Title from him at WrestleMania. If Owens wins then Lesnar will go after the Universal Title after WrestleMania. Heyman said that in the Universal Title match, the ultimate winner is his client Brock Lesnar.
Analysis: Typical Heyman promo where he made a lot of good points while putting over his client Brock Lesnar possibly being at the event.
The New Day trio walked out with a “New Day Pops” as their version of ice cream. Kingston drove the bike around the ring. Big E and Xavier Woods were kissing the box. Woods talked about your voices have bene heard, so Big E sang “I hear voices in my head, they talk to me” – it was the Randy Orton. Big E kept on acting weird. Kingston spoke about how the WWE Universe has an opportunity to have their voices heard. Woods spoke about the New Day bike. Woods said they were going to ride the New Day Pops bike all the way to WrestleMania. Woods played the trombone and that was it as their music played.
Analysis: I miss when New Day were heels so much. Way more entertaining in that role. More time wasting. Did we need this segment? You don’t have to answer that. Let’s just move on.
A video package aired for Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns.
Roman Reigns entered first. Loud reaction for him that was mostly filled with boos, but some cheers as well. Reigns is wearing different boots now because usually he wore black wrestling boots. Looks like black sneakers with white on the bottom for this match. Braun Strowman made his entrance. Mostly boos since he’s a heel. Cole noted that Strowman hasn’t been pinned or submitted. That’s true if you count television matches since the brand split.
Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman
Strowman knocked him out of the ring and smiled. Reigns back into the ring by using the top rope to stun Strowman. Boot to the face by Reigns followed by a clothesline that sent Strowman over the top to the floor. Strowman tried to send him into the steps, but Reigns into jumped over them. Leaping clothesline by Reigns. Strowman drove him into the side of the ring apron. Reigns punched him in the corner, so Strowman came back with a spinebuster in the center of the ring. Strowman tossed Reigns across the ring as he maintained control of the action. Vice grip by Strowman to keep Reigns grounded. Strowman picked up Reigns on his shoulders and hit a Samoan Drop. Running splash by Strowman earned a two count. Strowman slapped on a chinlock with the announcers acting as if this could be a submission. Um…no. Reigns tried to come back, but Strowman picked him up and hit a reverse Chokeslam that sent Reigns to the mat front first instead of back first. Strowman dumped Reigns to the floor. Double axe by Strowman to the back of Reigns. Strowman cleared off an announce table and went back into the ring to break the count. Reigns shoved Strowman into the ring post. Strowman caught him and shoved him back first into the ring post. Back in the ring, Strowman missed a shoulder tackle against the turnbuckle. Reigns with clotheslines in the corner. Reigns avoided a Chokeslam and hit a Samoan Drop for a two count.
Reigns went for the Superman Punch, Strowman avoided it and hit a punch to the chest. Strowman picked him up and slammed him stomach first onto the mat for a two count. The fans did the “Let’s Go Roman/Roman Sucks” chant. Strowman went for a running boot to the face in the corner, Reigns moved and Strowman bumped over the top to the floor. Reigns with a Drive By dropkick. Reigns charged in, Strowman caught him and drove Reigns through the announce table. “Holy shit” chant from the crowd. They went back into the ring, Strowman was selling a leg injury and Reigns came back with a Spear for a two count. Superman missed a charge in the corner and hit the turnbuckle. Strowman loves the “charge at a guy, the guy moves and Strowman runs into an object” spot. Reigns with a Superman Punch and he hit another Superman Punch right after. Reigns ran the ropes, so Strowman decked him with a forearm shot to the face. Strowman to the top rope with Reigns on the mat. Strowman jumped off and Reigns moved, so Strowman hit a splash onto the mat. Reigns to his feet, Spear and cover for the pinfall win after 17 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Roman Reigns
There were replays of the key spots after the match. Reigns celebrated the win.
Analysis: ***1/2 That was a good power match. They set up the big spots well such as the Powerslam through a table, but I didn’t like the follow up to that. I’m not surprised by the outcome because Reigns is likely facing The Undertaker at WrestleMania and if that’s the plan then they needed to give Reigns a win here. What sucks about that is that Strowman was booked so strongly for the last eight months and he just got beat clean. That’s not a good thing for him, but I doubt he’s going to lose that often. I’m sure there will be people bitching about this loss because they whine about anything that Roman does. At this point it doesn’t really bother me because I’m used to it. I also don’t think Reigns is as bad as his haters think. Strowman has impressed me a lot in the last few months. I don’t think he’ll be hurt by this loss too much. The ending was done to show that Strowman made a mistake attempting a move he usually doesn’t do and it cost him the match.
There was a commercial for Ride Along following Raw tomorrow. It featured Seth Rollins/Cesaro in one car and Sami Zayn/Neville in another car. It’s on WWE Network.
Raw GM Mick Foley showed up to talk to Samoa Joe. Foley talked about Stephanie not being there. Foley said that if Stephanie was there she would want Kevin Owens to prove he was worthy of being Universal Champion. It was his way of telling Joe not to interfere. Foley said that he would like this to be the last time he sees Joe’s face tonight. If it’s not then there will be hell to pay. Joe left without saying anything.
Analysis: Interesting segment to tease potential interference during the main event.
The video package aired for Bayley vs. Charlotte.
Raw Women’s Championship: Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair
There was some back and forth mat wrestling to start. Bayley was aggressive as she hit a hurricanrana on the floor. Bayley chased after her on the floor, so Charlotte decked her with a forearm. Back in the ring, Charlotte pounded on her. Headlock by Charlotte. Bayley came back with an arm drag, but Charlotte stopped her by the ropes. Knee to the chest by Charlotte followed by knee drops for a two count. Charlotte did a leg vice around the neck to weaken Bayley. Knee to the back by Charlotte for a two count. Hard chops by Charlotte leading to Charlotte asking where Sasha was to help Bayley. It led to Bayley popping back up to her feet, but Charlotte hit a neckbreaker followed by a kick in the corner. Charlotte hit a moonsault although she jumped a bit too far, so it didn’t connect that well. Charlotte hit a senton for a two count. More trash talk by Charlotte telling Bayley she’s “just a fan.” Hard whip into the corner by Charlotte led to Bayley coming back with a clothesline. Bayley hit three chops followed by a weak looking clothesline into a takedown. Neckbreaker using the ropes by Bayley. Back elbow in the corner by Bayley followed by a belly to back suplex for two. With Charlotte hanging upside down, Bayley went for a springboard elbow and it didn’t connect. She went for it again and it looked even worse. Bayley just dropped the elbow. That was a weak spot.
The women fought on the apron with Charlotte sending Bayley into the turnbuckle. Bayley hit a hurricanrana while Charlotte was on the middle rope. Bayley up top with the Macho Man Elbow for a two count. Charlotte kicked Bayley in the knee and dumped her to the floor. With Bayley on the apron, Charlotte nailed a boot to the face. Charlotte hit Natural Selection for a two count. Bayley booted Charlotte out of the ring. Bayley was on the apron, so Charlotte slammed her onto the floor. Charlotte went up top. Sasha Banks ran down to the ring. Charlotte went after her. Bayley hit a Bayley to Belly suplex onto Charlotte on the floor. Charlotte got an inside cradle. Banks told the ref about it. Bayley hit Bayley to Belly again on Charlotte for the pinfall win after 16 minutes. The PPV win streak for Charlotte is over.
Winner by pinfall: Bayley
Analysis: *** A controversial ending for the face champion that needed help from her friend Banks for the win. The appearance by Banks was pretty random because Charlotte didn’t cheat and didn’t have Brooke at ringside to help her cheat. Having Banks out there was almost a heelish thing because there was no reason for her to be out there. I thought it would go the opposite way with Banks accidentally costing Bayley the title. Nope. I’m glad that the title didn’t change hands because they have done way too many title changes. It’s also the end of the Charlotte PPV streak, so at least we get to stop hearing about that after over a year of it. This wasn’t nearly as good as their match with the title change last month. Bayley missing the elbow drop spot where she was supposed to jump off the middle rope looked bad too. They were able to finish on the right note. I still think they should have done the title change at WrestleMania. Doing it on Raw was too early.
After the match, Bayley celebrated with Banks while Charlotte looked angry outside the ring.
A commercial aired for WrestleMania in four weeks on April 2. It has a start time of 7pmET. I assume two hour Kickoff Show.
Raw Talk is after Fastlane with Sasha Banks, Bayley, Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman as guests.
A clip aired of Seth Rollins on Raw last week with Rollins telling Triple H he will be at WrestleMania. A look at Rollins’ rehab will be shown on Raw.
A video package aired to set up Goldberg vs. Kevin Owens.
Goldberg made his entrance from the backstage area. He had security guys walking with him as he did many times in the past. Loud “Goldberg” chants from the crowd. It was noted by Cole that Goldberg hasn’t lost a one on one title match on PPV and it’s his last title match at Armageddon 2003. That show sucked, by the way.
Kevin Owens, the Universal Champion, made his entrance in his usual ring gear. Mix of boos and cheers for him.
With both guys in the ring, ring announcer Jojo did the introductions for both men. Goldberg told Owens to kiss the title goodbye.
Owens bailed to the floor before the ref called the bell. Owens spent about two minutes on the floor with the announcers talking about how it was mind games. It was 11:00pmET as this happened. When Owens went into the ring again, he rolled back out of the ring.
Universal Championship: Kevin Owens vs. Bill Goldberg
Owens told the ref to ring the bell. Chris Jericho’s music hit as he appeared on the ramp. When Owens turned around, Goldberg hit a Spear. Goldberg picked up Owens for a Jackhammer and the pinfall win in less than one minute. It was 21 seconds when Goldberg pinned him.
Winner by pinfall and New Universal Champion: Goldberg
Analysis: NR No rating for something so brief. I didn’t think the Jericho appearance was going to happen because I thought it would hurt Goldberg to need a distraction to win the title. I know it makes sense from a story standpoint since it was Jericho getting revenge for what Owens did a few weeks ago. No surprise that Goldberg won. That was the reported plan from a few months ago to set up the Lesnar match, so that’s what happened. No surprise to end this show.
Goldberg celebrated with the Universal Title as the announcers pointed out that Lesnar will get the Universal Title shot at WrestleMania.
Goldberg got a hug from his family at ringside. Goldberg held up the title to end the show at 11:05pmET.
Analysis: It was a happy ending for Goldberg, who promised the title win and he got it. Once again, no surprise by that outcome.
Raw Talk aired at that point. I’m not going to write a recap of that.
Five Stars of the Show
1. Roman Reigns
2. Braun Strowman
4. Charlotte Flair
It gets a 5 out of 10 from me.
This was an average PPV event. I expect more from WWE PPV events. There was a lot of filler that hurt the event as well because there were no storylines for matches that were getting ten minutes and the crowd didn’t care about them.
Heading into this show I wrote about how I didn’t think there was a match that would stand out as a classic. There just wasn’t anything that was that memorable on the show. Three of the matches got over the three star level and that’s really it.
It was a predictable show for the most part. I got most of the results right, but got the women’s matches wrong. I guess I just expected different things for those matches.
WWE PPV Rankings 2017 (Scores on the 1-10 scale)
Royal Rumble – 8
Fastlane – 5
Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Raptors.
John Canton – firstname.lastname@example.org