The John Report: WWE Fastlane 2019 Review

TJR Wrestling

Welcome to the TJRWrestling review of the 2019 edition of WWE’s March pay-per-view known as Fastlane. The big matches on the show are Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair, Daniel Bryan defending the WWE Title against Kevin Owens and The Shield is back in action as well.

During the Kickoff Show, they announced that there would be no Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade match. Instead, Samoa Joe will defend the US Title against Mysterio, Andrade and former champion R-Truth.

The lone Kickoff Show match saw New Day members Big E and Xavier Woods beat Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura.

WWE Fastlane
Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio
March 10, 2019

There was an opening video package about the big matches at Fastlane while reminding us numerous times that we are on the road to WrestleMania. They focused on The Shield’s return, Charlotte vs. Becky and Bryan vs. Owens for the WWE Title. They also touched on the other matches briefly.

Shane McMahon and The Miz made their entrances with Miz getting a big pop especially because he is in his hometown of Cleveland. Miz was announced as “Cleveland’s own” and he was wearing Cleveland Browns colors. Miz and Shane hugged Miz’s dad George Mizanin at ringside.

The Smackdown announce team of Tom Phillips, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton are on the call for this match since it’s a Smackdown match.

The Usos made their entrance to a good pop. The Spanish and German announce teams are also at ringside.

Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The Usos vs. The Miz and Shane McMahon

Shane was aggressive early on with a side Russian legsweep on Jey. Miz tagged in to a big ovation from the hometown crowd. Jimmy tagged in with Miz knocking him down with a kick. Miz hit a sunset flip off the turnbuckle for a two count. Shane tagged in and they did a Hart Attack double team clothesline for a two count. Shane even did a Bret Hart-like taunt. Jimmy made a blind tag and hit a big clothesline to take control on Shane. Jey tagged back in as the Usos wrenched on the legs of Shane and Jey slapped on a chinlock. When Shane tried to break free, Jey hit a spinning kick to the head for a two count. Jimmy slapped on a chinlock on Shane followed by a fist drop to keep Shane from tagging out. Jey with a jumping headbutt that got a two count. Shane hit a jumping DDT on Jey to create some space and Miz got the hot tag against Jimmy. Miz with a flapjack on Jimmy, “it” kicks against the turnbuckle, running double knees two times by Miz and Miz hit a corner clothesline. Miz with a rollup on Jimmy and Miz with a back body drop that sent Jimmy out of the ring. Miz showed off his “Cleveland Is Awesome” shirt and Miz jumped off the top with a cross body block to take out both guys. Miz never does that, but it looked good as Miz looked at his dad for approval. Back in the ring, Miz hit a snap DDT on Jimmy for a two count. Jey got the tag and hit a popup Samoan Drop for a two count on Miz. Jey and Miz each went for moves, there were counters and The Usos hit a double team superkick on Miz. Double team neckbreaker/Samoan Drop combo by The Usos on Shane. Miz sent Jey out of the ring and Miz hit a Skull Crushing Finale on Jimmy for a two count because the referee was busy checking on Shane. The ref was slow to count, so the story was the referee being busy with Shane cost the team the win. Miz looked frustrated.

Jimmy countered a Figure Four Leglock attempt by kicking Miz into the ring post. Jey tagged in, he put Miz on his shoulders and Jimmy went up, but Miz countered by shoving Jey into the corner, which knocked down Jimmy. Miz got a rollup on Jey for two. Jey with an enziguri kick to Miz in the head. Jey sent Miz head first into the turnbuckle. Shane climbed to the top rope to tease a coast to coast on Jimmy, but Jey went up top as well. Jey jumped off looking for a splash on Miz and Shane hit a dropkick to knock Jey out of the air! Ouch. That looked like a rough landing for both guys. There were loud “Let’s go Miz” chants. Miz dad told Miz to go to the top rope. Miz jumped off the top with a Frog Splash, but Jey got the knees up and cradled Miz for the pinfall win at 14:10.

Winners by pinfall: The Usos

Analysis: *** The match was pretty good. I thought it was constructed well and it was better than their last match. The ending was well done with Miz trying a high-risk move, but it wasn’t a smart move and it ended up costing his team the win. The hot crowd helped a lot too. I expected the Usos to retain as did most people I’m sure.

After the match, The Usos left with their titles and smiles on their faces.

Miz helped Shane out of the ring because Shane said he was “loopy” as Miz said he was sorry about costing the team the win. Miz held up Shane’s hand at ringside and Shane held up Miz’s hand as well. Miz hugged his dad George at ringside. Miz looked frustrated and Shane attacked Miz from behind with a clothesline. Huge boos for that. Shane worked over Miz with punches. Shane took off the Cleveland t-shirt Miz was wearing and Shane punched and kicked Miz repeatedly. Shane went over to George, grabbed him around the head and shoved him back in his seat. Shane worked over Miz with more punches. Shane slapped on a leglock around the head/arm of Miz and he did it right in front of George. Miz sold it like he was passing out. Shane left to boos while George left his seat to check on Miz along with some referees. Miz was helped to the back by two referees and his dad George walked to the back with him.

Analysis: There’s the heel turn that most of us expected. I thought it would be Miz that turned since he has been a heel for most of his career. This would be the first Shane heel run since he came back to the company in 2016, so it’s been three years with him as a face. Shane was an effective heel during his first run as an on-camera performer 20 years ago. This obviously sets up the WrestleMania match with Miz seeking revenge on Shane for the attack and I assume Miz will get the win at WrestleMania. I thought the angle was booked well.

A video let us know WrestleMania is 28 days away.

The announcers talked about what happened with Miz/Shane with Graves saying that Shane went too far by putting his hands on George Mizanin at ringside.

Analysis: Graves is the heel announcer, so when you have the heel announcer saying it was too much then that really is a way to get the angle over.

The trio of Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley and Baron Corbin did a cell phone promo similar to original Shield promos. They talked trash about The Shield saying they have dominated Raw while The Shield were not together. McIntyre said that this is going to be an embarrassing defeat by the new dominant force in WWE and Corbin ended it with “believe that,” which is Roman Reigns’ catchphrase.

Elias was in the ring for a concert singing about how we just saw Cleveland’s own Miz get his ass kicked by Shane. Elias said that if that is actually Miz dad then he’s not going to age well. Elias sang about how he can’t wait to be gone, so he can go to LA to hang with his brother LeBron. Good heel heat for that. That was it.

Analysis: Cheap heel heat with Elias. No match.

A video aired about Triple H and Batista having a “Face to Face” on Raw.

A clip aired from the Kickoff Show where Kofi Kingston was told that the McMahon Family wants to speak to him about the WWE Championship match. They showed Big E and Xavier Woods hitting the Midnight Hour to beat Rusev and Nakamura.

The lovely Mandy Rose made her entrance with her best friend Sonya Deville by her side. Asuka was up next as the Smackdown Women’s Champion that received a good pop.

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Asuka vs. Mandy Rose (w/Sonya Deville)

Asuka went for a leglock on Rose’s left leg early, so Rose got to the ropes to break. Asuka with a running shoulder tackle to knock down Rose. Deville with a distraction, so Rose had brief control until Asuka slapped on an Ankle Lock. Deville distracted Asuka twice and Rose hit a jumping knee to the face for a two count. Rose hit a suplex followed by an abdominal stretch. Asuka got out of that leading to an octopus submission hold. Deville looked under the ring apron for some weapons, but she didn’t grab anything. They did some spot where Mandy was going to drop Asuka off her shoulders, but they messed up whatever it was. Asuka hit a dropkick off the middle ropes, Asuka avoided a kick and Asuka hit a kick to the head of Rose. Asuka with a running hip attack against the turnbuckle followed by the release German Suplex and a running knee by Asuka got a two count. Asuka went for a running hip attack, Rose moved and Rose hit another jumping knee strike to the head for a two count. Asuka avoided Rose’s double underhook finisher and hit a knee lift to the face of Rose. Deville grabbed a kendo stick from under the ring. Whip into the ropes, but the ring skirt was on the apron and Rose sold it like she slipped on it. Asuka hit a spinning kick to the face of Rose for the pinfall win at 6:40.

Winner by submission: Asuka

Analysis: *3/4 The match was okay with a few sloppy moments in there because Rose is still learning as she goes. I still like Mandy’s potential. Deville played a big role by helping Rose get the advantage a few times, but then Deville screwed up to cost Mandy the win. Asuka retaining was the right call.

Post match, Deville apologized to Rose for what happened, but Rose wasn’t interested in an apology. Rose walked away ahead of Deville without wanting to talk to her.

Analysis: My guess is that WWE will want to position Rose as a singles face post WrestleMania when they do the next Superstar Shakeup, so the team will probably split up in the next month.

The New Day trio of Big E, Woods and Kofi Kingston talked outside of the McMahon Family office. Kofi said he was waiting outside the door for the past hour. The New Day walked into the room. Vince said he was waiting for Kingston. Woods and Big E told McMahon that he should make the WWE Title match a triple threat with Kofi in the match. Vince agreed with it, so it’s a triple threat for the WWE Title. (This is where I need to remind you that #HeelsLie as well.)

Kingston was in the ring ready for the match, but there was a guy on the headset that talked to announcer Greg Hamilton about a change. Instead, Kingston faces Cesaro and Sheamus in a 2 on 1 Handicap match.

Analysis: The plans changing all the time is apparently a new gimmick for Vince McMahon as the senile old boss that wants to screw over the fans. I guess it could be argued that it’s not really a “new” gimmick for crazy Vince.

Kofi Kingston vs. The Bar (Sheamus and Cesaro)

The rules of the match are that Sheamus and Cesaro can be in the ring at the same time. New Day is banned from ringside.

The Bar duo were in control from the moment the bell rang with a double team half crab submission. They each hit moves on Kingston against the turnbuckle and dumped Kingston out of the ring. Cesaro hit Kingston with a forearm to the chest. Kingston got back into it as he shoved Sheamus into the post, kick to Cesaro and he sent Cesaro in the ring. Kingston jumped off the top rope on Cesaro, but Cesaro hut an uppercut. Cesaro held up Kingston and Sheamus hit a clothesline off the top into a slam. Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick on Kingston. Cesaro teased a cover, but then he picked up Kingston and the fans booed. Sheamus teased another Brogue Kick. Woods and Big E tried running to the ring, but Nakamura and Rusev attacked them. The Bar hit the double team White Noise on Kingston and pinned him easily with their feet on his chest for the pinfall win at 5:15.

Winners by pinfall: The Bar

Analysis: *1/4 It was a thorough ass kicking as expected in a 2 on 1 match with no tags. I know some people are going to hate it, but I thought it was effective in terms of building up sympathy for Kingston. They are going to go with Kingston vs. Bryan at WrestleMania for the WWE Title and this is just another way to build up to it.

Bayley and Sasha Banks were interviewed by Charly Caruso. It was a generic babyface promo about how they are ready to face the competition.

There was a commercial for Yamaha dirt bikes since Yamaha is a sponsor.

Elias was back in the ring for some heel heat concert work. Elias sang about Kofi suffering the same fate as that moron The Miz. Elias claimed that they are losers like the Cleveland Cavaliers just like everyone there. Elias wanted to put this Kofi Kingston talk to rest and admit to themselves that his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers are the best. Loud boos and fade out.

Analysis: I don’t think these segments are necessary when the show is already going at least three hours and more.

There was a WWEShop commercial plugging WWE Championships on sale.

A replay aired of Shane McMahon attacking The Miz earlier.

Kayla Braxton was outside the McMahon Family office, Shane McMahon opened the door, she asked about what Shane did. Shane said nothing and closed the door.

Ricochet made his entrance for the Raw Tag Team Title match. This is Ricochet’s WWE PPV debut. The Raw announce team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Renee Young took over. Aleister Black made his entrance for his PPV debut along with his partner.

Bobby Roode and Chad Gable made their glorious entrance to a good pop from the crowd. They are former Raw Tag Team Champions.

The Revival duo of Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder made their entrance. They are the heels in the match. The international teams were shown in the arena: Portuguese, Russian, Japanese (hi Funaki), Hindi, French (hi Ray Rougeau) and Mandarin. Corey Graves did his usual comment amount partying with the guys.

Raw Tag Team Championships: The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) vs. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable vs. Ricochet and Aleister Black

It’s a triple threat tag team title match where two guys are in the ring and the others are on the apron. The first fall wins the titles.

The Black and Ricochet team sent the others out of the ring leading to their spot where they jump off the ropes and go back in the ring. Gable started with Ricochet with Gable hitting some holds and Ricochet hit a dropkick. Ricochet with a headscissors on Gable. Dawson tagged Gable to become legal and hit a suplex for two. Dawson with a running back elbow to the face of Ricochet. Double team gutbuster to Ricochet with Wilder’s knee hitting Ricochet in the ribs. Gable tagged Wilder to be legal leading to Gable hitting a vertical suplex for two. Jawbreaker by Ricochet on Gable, Dawson tagged Gable to become the legal man and Dawson hit a suplex into the top rope on Ricochet followed by a belly to back suplex for two. Ricochet hit a dropkick to knock Dawson down. Black tagged in while Roode tagged Dawson to become the legal man. Black with elbows to Roode, a kick to Gable and Black took out Roode with multiple kicks. Black with a moonsault press off the ropes onto a standing Roode. Roode used Black’s foot to kick Dawson out of the ring and Roode hit a spinebuster on Black. Gable tagged in, Black kick to the face, Ricochet tag, Black with double knees on Roode and when Gable hit a German Suplex on Black, Wilder tagged in and hit a Frog Splash on Gable. Ricochet capitalized with a Shooting Star Press on Wilder for a two count (they were the legal men) and Roode broke up the pin. Great sequence there. Ricochet and Dawson were the legal men while the others were on the floor. Ricochet went up top, but Dawson decked him with a punch to knock him down. Dawson and Ricochet were on the top rope together with Ricochet hit a hurricanrana off the top and Dawson went crashing into the guys on the floor. That was a nice thought, but it looked like a rough landing for everybody. They appeared to be fine.

Back in the ring, Dawson avoided a Ricochet attack off the top. Meanwhile, Roode whipped Black into the barricade. Ricochet saw that, so he hit a dive over the turnbuckle and onto Roode on the floor. Gable with a cross body block on Dawson for two. Wilder went back in the ring and The Revival hit a Shatter Machine double team move on Gable for the pinfall win at 10:50. The replay showed that Gable tagged himself in during the Ricochet dive.

Winners by pinfall: The Revival

Analysis: ***1/2 It was a very good tag team match where I wish they got more time. Another five minutes would have helped a lot. Ricochet was the star of the match with some great high spots, especially that dive over the turnbuckle onto the floor. The finish was booked well with The Revival teaming up for the win. I’m glad the Revival are still the champs.

After the match was over, Roode went into the ring and hit a Glorious DDT on Dawson. Black hit a Black Mass on Roode. Ricochet planted Wilder with a slam. Ricochet went up top and hit a 630 Splash on Wilder.

Analysis: The team of Ricochet and Black won every match they had on the main roster going into this one. They didn’t get pinned here, but they managed to stand tall by the end of it. That is WWE’s way of telling us they are stars. Good booking.

There was a shot of Charlotte Flair warming up backstage for her match against Becky Lynch. She was trying on her robe. Meanwhile, Becky Lynch was shown walking out of the trainer’s office and Lynch had a crutch with her to sell her left knee injury.

A commercial aired for WWE Photo Shoot returning for a new season. A new episode airs after Fastlane featuring AJ Styles.

The introductions took place for the US Title match: R-Truth with Carmella did their song, Andrade with Zelina Vega, Rey Mysterio was next and Samoa Joe was last with the US Title. Joe won the US Title this past Tuesday on Smackdown in a Fatal 4-Way with the same four guys.

United States Championship: Samoa Joe vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade (w/Zelina Vega) vs. R-Truth (w/Carmella)

Mysterio with a headscissors takedown to send Andrade out of the ring. Truth took out Andrade with a clothesline outside the ring. Joe ran the ropes leading to a running dive that took out the other guys on the floor with a forearm. Joe worked over Mysterio and Andrade with hard chops to the chest. Truth grabbed Joe’s leg, so Andrade hit a forearm and Mysterio hit a seated senton on Joe. Back elbow by Andrade on Mysterio got a two count. Truth back in the ring with a running forearm on Andrade for two. Mysterio with a springboard attack leading to a double headscissors on Andrade and Truth at the same time. Mysterio sent both guys out of the ring. Samoa Joe with a running clothesline to knock down Rey and Truth. Mysterio got back into with a jumping DDT on Joe that was impressive. Andrade worked over Mysterio with hard chops to the chest while Andrade did an Eddie Guerrero shoulder shake taunt. Truth grabbed Andrade, so Mysterio jumped off the top and hit a hurricanrana on Andrade off Truth’s shoulders for a two count. That was awesome. Truth got a two count, but Rey broke it up. Joe was back up with a corner enziguri kick on Truth. Mysterio jumped into Joe’s arms and Andrade came back with a missile dropkick to knock Joe and Mysterio down. Andrade did the rolling vertical suplexes that Eddie Guerrero used to do, the fans booed and Mysterio got an inside cradle on the third suplex attempt. Truth back in with a kick to the face on Andrade that also knocked Mysterio down, which led to two counts for Truth. When Truth was on the apron, Joe tripped him up to send Truth into the apron. Andrade with a corkscrew plancha on Joe on the floor. Mysterio off the top with a hurricanrana on Andrade on the floor. Vega hit Truth with a superkick. Carmella went after Vega and the guys tried to break it up. Joe hit a uranage slam on Mysterio for a two count as Andrade and Truth broke up the pin. Andrade with a Hammerlock DDT on Mysterio for two as Truth made the save. Andrade with a running double knee attack on Joe. Truth hit a spinebuster on Joe and a spinning slam on Andrade leading to Truth hitting the Five Knuckle Shuffle fist drop on Joe as Andrade moved. Truth with a scissors kick on Andrade and Joe broke up that pin attempt. Joe whipped Truth shoulder first into the ring post. Mysterio back into it, he sent Joe into the ropes and hit a 619 kick to the face. Mysterio went for a springboard splash, but Joe moved and Joe slapped on the Coquina Clutch submission. Mysterio passed out, so Joe retained the title by submission at 10:54.

Winner by submission: Samoa Joe

Analysis: **** That was an awesome match at a very fast pace. I would say “only” 11 minutes, but I don’t think the match was hurt by the length. With a few more minutes, it may have helped. I think if they went longer it would have been hard to keep up the pace they were at. Everybody had their moments where they looked like they might get the win. Mysterio was especially great in everything that he did, and his performance really stood out. The finish was similar to what we’ve seen in other matches where a guy missed a big move and it cost them the match. Joe was the right call to retain the title. I hope they do Joe vs. Cena at WrestleMania assuming Cena wrestles at that show.

A WWEShop commercial aired.

Beth Phoenix was announced as a guest announcer for the Women’s Tag Team Title match.

The Women’s Tag Team Championship duo of Sasha Banks and Bayley made their entrance looking happy. Tamina and Nia Jax entered as the challengers.

Women’s Tag Team Championships: Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Nia Jax and Tamina

There were quick tags by the champs early on when Jax decided to toss Banks onto Bayley. Tamina tagged in with a clothesline on Bayley with Cole reacting to it with a loud “oooohhhh” instead of calling the move. Jax hit a Powerbomb on Bayley leading to a two count for Tamina, who followed up with a chinlock. Bayley hit a neckbreaker on Jax using the ropes for an assist and Bayley sent Tamina into the top turnbuckle. Banks got the tag with a knee to the face followed by a cross body block and a running knee by Banks on Tamina got a two count. Banks missed an attack off the ropes, Tamina with a back elbow and Jax tagged in. They were going for a spot where Tamina sent Banks into Jax for a Samoan Drop, but they slipped. Jax still hit a Samoan Drop. Banks avoided a corner attack, Bayley tagged back in with a running back elbow and Bayley dumped Tamina to the floor. Bayley avoided a charge from Tamina and Jax so Bayley tagged in Banks. That led to Banks hitting a Meteora double knee attack on Jax. Banks tried a dive on both heels on the floor, Jax caught Banks, so Bayley hit a suicide dive under the middle rope to take out the other three women on the floor. Back in the ring, Banks with double knees on Jax and Bayley tagged in with an elbow drop off the top on Jax. Tamina broke up the pin. Bayley with a neckbreaker on Tamina across the middle rope. Bayley managed to get a hurricanrana on Jax and sat on top for the pinfall win at 7:05.

Winners by pinfall: Bayley and Sasha Banks

Analysis: *3/4 The match was just okay. It was what I expected with the champs retaining. Bayley was on fire in the match and bumping her ass off for the challengers while also looking good on offense. Banks did well also. I don’t really like Jax or Tamina matches. They are boring and they always seem to mess up some stuff like they did in this match.

Post match, Tamina and Jax attacked the champs after the match by tossing Bayley and Banks out of the ring. Tamina hit a superkick on Bayley. Jax grabbed Banks and tossed her over the announce table into the barricade. Tamina got into an argument with Phoenix at ringside, so Beth hit Tamina with a forearm. Phoenix punched Tamina and Jax hit Beth with a punch. Jax sent Phoenix in the ring and hit a leg drop on Phoenix. Jax with a headbutt on Phoenix. Natalya ran down to the ring to try to save Beth, but Jax and Tamina knocked her down too. Jax and Tamina worked over Natalya and Beth with punches. Referees showed up to break it up. The heels went up the ramp while Natalya checked on Beth.

Analysis: It was a good post match angle to involve Phoenix in this storyline. Beth and Natalya are legit best friends, so it made sense for Natalya to make the save. Phoenix is still in great shape after having two kids, so she’ll be ready to have a match. Where it will likely lead is a multi-team match at WrestleMania where it might be Banks/Bayley vs. Jax/Tamina vs. Natalya/Beth and maybe add a Smackdown team to it like the IIconics or two other women. That would make it a 4-Way match for the titles.

There was a commercial for Total Bellas. I’m not watching it, sorry.

The video package aired to set up the WWE Title match with Daniel Bryan defending the title against Kevin Owens.

When Kevin Owens made his entrance for the WWE Title match, it was announced as a triple threat match. Daniel Bryan made his entrance with the WWE Title around his waist and Rowan was by his side as usual. Mustafa Ali made his entrance as the third man in the match, which could be justified since he was originally in the Elimination Chamber WWE Title match before his concussion. There wasn’t a big reaction for Ali from the crowd and some people booed him during introductions.

The fans chanted “we want Kofi” and booed as the match began.

Analysis: Great. Wait four weeks. That show is more important.

WWE Championship: Daniel Bryan (w/Rowan) vs. Kevin Owens vs. Mustafa Ali

Bryan said that neither guy deserved to be in the match. Owens dumped Bryan out of the ring. Owens worked over Ali with hard chops to the chest. Owens missed a corner charge, Ali with a flip to avoid an attack and a dropkick for two. Bryan worked over Ali with kicks to the chest and Ali hit Bryan with a back body drop over the top to the floor. Ali with a suicide dive to Bryan on the floor. Fans chanted “we want Kofi” as Owens sent Ali face first into the apron. Owens with a cannonball splash on Ali on the floor. Owens with a cannonball attack on Bryan against the barricade. Bryan with a running knee to the ribs of Owens as fans chanted “Kofi” again. Ali with a kick to the head of Owens, Ali on the turnbuckle and Bryan hit a running dropkick that sent Ali hard into the barricade after Owens moved. That was a huge bump by Ali. Bryan worked over Owens with kicks to the chest. Bryan pulled back on the arm of Owens and stepped on KO’s arm to keep him down as fans chanted “we want Kofi” again. Bryan with a running clothesline on Owens. When Ali got back in the ring, Bryan dumped Ali out. Bryan worked over Owens with kicks to the chest, he wanted the roundhouse kick and he connected with it for a two count as Ali made the save. Bryan with a belly to back suplex on Ali. Ali got back into it with an X-Factor that sent Bryan face first into the ring. Bryan came back with a running clothesline on Ali. Bryan with a corner dropkick on Ali, Owens moved to avoid a dropkick and Owens hit the cannonball splash on both guys. Ali with a superkick on Owens, but Owens came back with a superkick on Ali and a superkick on Bryan. Owens with a slam on Ali onto Bryan. The fans chanted “KO” for Owens, but it was not a lot of the crowd.

Owens teased a superplex on Bryan, but Bryan fought out of it and Ali tried a superplex. Ali shoved Owens into the turnbuckle and Ali hit an inverted hurricanrana, which was impressive. Ali up top and he hit a standing Spanish Fly slam on Bryan with Bryan rolling out of the ring. Ali up top and he went for the 054 splash on Owens, but Owens moved and Owens hit a Stone Cold Stunner on Ali for a two count as Bryan made the save. Bryan worked over Owens with kicks again including a kick to the side of the head. Bryan charged in and Owens hit a sitout Popup Powerbomb for a two count. Owens teased a slam on the apron, but Bryan hit a back body drop on Owens on the apron. Bryan charged at Ali, who moved and Bryan went knee first into the ring post. Ali with a catapult that sent Bryan throat first into the bottom rope. Ali hit a 450 splash on Bryan on the ring apron. That drew cheers from the crowd and Ali rolled over to Bryan for a two count. Rowan to the apron, Ali and Owens greeted him with superkicks and then double superkicks knocked Rowan down. Ali sent Rowan into the post with a headscissors takedown. Owens ran the ropes and hit a somersault dive over the top to take out Rowan. Bryan with a running knee on Owens on the floor. Ali put Bryan on the turnbuckle. Bryan shoved Ali down. Ali jumped off the turnbuckle and hit a Tornado DDT on Bryan on the floor. That was impressive. Ali charged at Owens and Owens hit a Powerbomb on Ali into the apron. Rowan with a spin kick on Owens because there’s no DQ in a triple threat. Rowan tossed Owens over the barricade by the timekeeper’s area. Bryan went into the ring and covered Ali for just two as Ali kicked out at the last moment. As Bryan got back up, the fans chanted “Kofi” again. Bryan slapped Ali in the face repeatedly, so Ali fired back and Ali hit a back elbow to the head. Ali went for a jumping attack off the ropes, but Bryan hit him with the running knee to the body of Ali for the pinfall win at 18:45. That was a nice counter/collision spot.

Winner by pinfall: Daniel Bryan

Analysis: ****1/4 Great match with some innovative spots and plenty of nearfalls throughout the match. Owens looked like he hasn’t missed a beat after missing about five months following knee surgery. Ali also looked like he belonged with some very innovative spots. That DDT off the turnbuckle onto Bryan on the floor was the coolest spot of the match. I liked the 450 on the ring apron as well. The key thing to a match like this is that there were several believable spots where it might end. Bryan was booked as a cheap champion that got help from Rowan, but he was also booked in a smart way with Bryan finding a way to win with the knee attack on Ali. The part about the match being No DQ wasn’t emphasized enough because they should have utilized weapons. The No DQ rules were only really mentioned when Rowan interfered. It’s just a small complaint on my part.

After the match, Rowan picked up Ali by the head and slammed him hard into the mat. Bryan left with Rowan as the champion.

Analysis: This should set up Bryan vs. Kingston for the WWE Title. I really hope they just stick with a singles match and don’t add anybody to it.

A commercial aired for WrestleMania 35 in 4 weeks hyping up Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins for the Universal Title.

Next match is Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair, so The Shield’s six-man tag is on last. A video package aired to set up Lynch vs. Flair.

Analysis: I thought Lynch vs. Flair would main event this show, but that’s okay. Fastlane isn’t that important. They should be the main event of WrestleMania with Ronda Rousey in four weeks.

Charlotte Flair made her entrance with her red attire looking great and confident as always. This is her first televised match since the Royal Rumble. She has worked live events regularly, though. Becky Lynch was up next to a big pop and she had a crutch with her to help her left leg. This is Lynch’s first match since the Royal Rumble and she hasn’t wrestled at live events either. Cole mentioned the Hold Harmless Agreement that Lynch signed that said she can’t sue WWE if she gets hurt even more.

Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair

If Lynch wins, she is added to the Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair match for the Raw Women’s Title at WrestleMania.

Flair mocked the injured left leg of Lynch to start the match, so Lynch unloaded on Flair with punches. Flair told Lynch she has to hit harder than that, so Lynch punched some more and Flair kicked Lynch in the left knee. Lynch took down Flair with a Thesz Press and punches, but Flair came back with elbows to the left knee. Flair slapped on a half crab on the left knee of Lynch. After about one minute of that, Lynch kicked herself free. Flair whipped the left knee of Lynch against the turnbuckle two times. Flair tackled Lynch by the left knee to take her down again. Flair with a dragon screw leg whip on the left knee. Flair put Lynch’s leg on the bottom rope followed by a jumping knee attack to the left leg. Flair worked over Lynch with hard chops to the chest, but a knee drop missed and Lynch hit a spin kick. Flair came back with a chop block to the back of the left knee. Lynch got an inside cradle for a two count. Flair got back into it with an overhead suplex leading to Lynch rolling out of the ring. Flair whipped Lynch into the barricade. Flair said “screw you” to some fan at ringside. She should call them “fat boy” like her dad Ric Flair used to do. Back in the ring, Flair went up top and Lynch shoved Flair over the top rope and into the barricade. Flair was counted out on the floor, but she got back in at the count of eight. When Flair got into the ring, Lynch slapped on an armbar and then Flair slapped on the Figure Eight submission. Ronda Rousey ran down the aisle, Rousey went into the ring, punched Lynch in the chest and that led to referee Charles Robinson calling for the bell at 8:45.

It was announced that the winner of the match by disqualification was Becky Lynch because Rousey punched Lynch to make sure that Lynch was in the main event of WrestleMania.

Winner by disqualification: Becky Lynch

Analysis: **1/4 It was just an average match with a weak finish. Flair worked on the knee for most of it, Lynch made the comeback and then they just decided to do the cheap ending. The story was that Rousey wanted it to be a triple threat at WrestleMania, so by hitting Lynch, that makes it a win for Lynch. I thought that was a possible finish although I didn’t believe they would do that. It’s cheap and it’s kinda lame, but I guess it gets the job done in terms of setting up the WrestleMania triple threat. Flair did well as the cocky heel while Lynch showed a lot of heart as the face.

Post match, Rousey walked out of the ring and went to the back. Flair seemed frustrated, but Flair didn’t attack Lynch any more. Lynch seemed happy about the result, so that was it. Here’s the graphic for WrestleMania.

Analysis: That match has been expected since early January, so now we finally get the official announcement. I hope it ends with Lynch beating Rousey to become Raw Women’s Champion. Any other finish is wrong. I also hope it’s the main event of WrestleMania, which is what I expect it to be.

Elias was back in the ring for another song where he ripped on Becky Lynch saying she’s destined for failure and he’s surprised she’s not from Ohio. Elias said that now it’s the main event and the reuniting of The Shield, but he has no faith in them like when the Browns take the field. More boos for that. Elias said that Cleveland was the worst city to host the last pay-per-view before WrestleMania. Elias said that his time is done (that drew cheers), thank you and he loves none of us.

Analysis: It was a night of cheap heat “songs” from Elias. He did well.

Lacey Evans’ music hit as she walked out wearing a dress. She walked down to ringside, then walked up the ramp and that was it because that’s what she does.

Meanwhile back in the ring, Randy Orton showed up out of nowhere and hit Elias with a RKO. Big reaction to that. AJ Styles showed up at ringside and Styles hit a Phenomenal Forearm on Orton to put him down. Styles stared at Orton while the WrestleMania sign was in the background. AJ did not point at it, but you know what they’re trying to tell us.

Analysis: That’s going to set up Styles vs. Orton at WrestleMania, which would be their first PPV singles match. It’s not official yet although it’s obvious that is where this is going.

A video package aired for the main event, which is the Shield trio of Reigns, Rollins and Ambrose vs. Lashley, Corbin and McIntyre.

Baron Corbin made his entrance for the main event. Bobby Lashley was next without Lio Rush, who was taken out by Braun Strowman on Raw. Drew McIntyre was up last for the heel team.

The Shield trio of Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose made their entrance. Big pop for them as they walked in from the crowd as usual. Cole re-iterated that this is the last match of The Shield because Ambrose chose not to re-sign with WWE. Graves said that The Shield trio are three of his best friends, but they have a tough match here. Cole just said Reigns hasn’t been in the ring for over six months. It’s about four months actually, but WWE announcers are always told to embellish things.

There was a pre-match staredown and then a slugfest before the bell rang with The Shield clearing the ring.

The Shield (Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose) vs. Drew McIntyre, Baron Corbin and Bobby Lashley

The match began at 10:14pmET. Lashley started with Rollins. This is Seth’s first match since late January at the Royal Rumble since Seth had a sore back. Corbin tagged in and Rollins sent him face first into the turnbuckle. Ambrose tagged in with a sliding elbow on Corbin. McIntyre tagged in, Reigns got the hot tag and hit a leaping clothesline on Corbin. My internet went down for about a minute, so I missed a bit, but when it came back, Lashley was working over Rollins by sending him back first into the barricade. Corbin worked over Rollins with a back elbow followed by an armbar since Rollins was the face in peril. Rollins hit a jumping kick to Corbin and Ambrose got the hot tag. Ambrose with two running clotheslines on McIntyre, Ambrose got a rollup and Ambrose hit a clothesline that sent McIntyre over the top to the floor. Ambrose jumped off the top of the ringpost into McIntyre with an elbow smash. When Ambrose went back in the ring, Lashley hit a Spear for a two count because Reigns made the save. Corbin whipped Reigns into the barricade. Rollins was also whipped into the barricade and he fell into the crowd. McIntyre hit a Claymore Kick that knocked Ambrose out of the ring. Ambrose broke the ten count to avoid the countout loss. Lashley hit a running shoulder tackle to the ribs of Ambrose for two. Lashley put down Ambrose with a flatliner for a two count. McIntyre back in with a suplex on Ambrose. Ambrose countered a McIntyre suplex with a suplex of his own. Lashley tagged back in and Ambrose knocked Lashley off the turnbuckle followed by a neckbreaker. McIntyre sent Ambrose into the turnbuckle, so Ambrose bounced off the ropes with a clothesline.

Reigns got the hot tag on Corbin with a leaping clothesline. Reigns with a running boot to the face of Corbin, which drew cheers for Roman. Corbin was against the turnbuckle, so Reigns hit the drive by dropkick for a two count as McIntyre made the save. Rollins with a springboard clothesline on McIntyre. Ambrose saved Rollins, so they both hit dropkicks on Lashley to send him out of the ring. Rollins and Ambrose ran the ropes leading to suicide dives by Rollins and Ambrose to take out McIntyre and Lashley on the floor. Reigns with a clothesline that sent Corbin out of the ring. Reigns charged, but Corbin caught him with a Deep Six slam. Lashley and McIntyre attacked Rollins on the floor, so Ambrose jumped off the announce tables with an elbow smash on the heels on the floor. Reigns and Corbin got into a slugfest as they exchanged punches. Reigns wanted a Samoan Drop, but Corbin whipped him into the ring post followed by a rollup. Corbin hit a Chokeslam on Reigns for a two count. Meanwhile, in the crowd, Rollins and Ambrose brawled with Lashley and McIntyre into the crowd. They were over by the Kickoff Show set. Corbin teased a superplex on Reigns, but that was obviously not going to connect. Reigns turned it into a sitout Powerbomb for two. Rollins climbed up a section in the crowd and he hit a cross body block on McIntyre and Lashley, who had Ambrose in their arms. Back in the ring, Reigns with a boot to the face and a Superman Punch got a two count. Rollins and Ambrose showed back up at ringside, but so did McIntyre and Lashley. Reigns with a Superman Punch on Lashley and a Superman Punch on McIntyre. Corbin hit the End of Days slam on Reigns for a two count as Rollins and Ambrose made the save. Nice spot there. The heels cleaned off the cover of the Spanish and English announce tables. They teased a Powerbomb, but Rollins and Ambrose saved Reigns. Lashley tried a slam on Rollins, but Reigns saved Rollins with a Superman Punch. Rollins with The Stomp on Lashley on the announce table. Reigns with a Spear on Corbin on the floor. The Shield trio beat up McIntyre at the same time with a lot of punches. The Shield picked up McIntyre and Reigns gave McIntyre the assisted Triple Powerbomb sometimes called the Shield Bomb through the table. Huge pop for that.

The Shield trio surrounded Corbin, who was alone in the ring. The fans chanted “this is awesome” as The Shield slowly got to the apron. Rollins with a superkick on Corbin, Reigns with a Superman Punch on Corbin and Ambrose hit a Dirty Deeds DDT. Rollins said “one last time” and then he said “one last mother f**king time” and they muted it when he said the swear word. The Shield hit the Triple Powerbomb on Corbin in the ring for the pinfall win as Reigns covered Corbin at 24:50.

Winners by pinfall: The Shield(Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose)

Analysis: ***1/2 That was a very good tag team match. Maybe shave off a few minutes and it would be better. They built up the big spots well and even had a few believable nearfalls for the heels even though everybody watching this show knew The Shield was going to win. I don’t think some of the stuff they did was necessary like brawling into the crowd, but I guess they wanted to have Rollins do a crazy dive spot like he did against Evolution about five years ago. Ambrose seemed very motivated, so that was nice to see. I liked the way Reigns and Corbin were the legal men for the last ten minutes or so with a battle between them. The Shield systematically took out Lashley, then they took out McIntyre and that meant Corbin was the last to take a beating. It’s no surprise that Reigns was the one that got the pin for his team since it was his big return.

The Shield trio embraced in the ring with a big hug as the announcers continued to hype that this was their “one last time” match for The Shield since Ambrose is not renewing his contract.

The Shield put their fists beside eachother in the ring and the fans cheered.

Analysis: They keep mentioning the “one last time” thing and Ambrose’s contract, so it makes me think there’s a possibility that Dean will change his mind. Perhaps he has already changed his mind. I don’t know for sure what’s going to happen, but if Dean is moving on then this was certainly a cool moment for him as well as WWE fans that have loved The Shield over the last six years.

This show had a run time of 3:41:28 on WWE Network.

Five Stars of the Show

1. Daniel Bryan

2. Samoa Joe

3. Rey Mysterio

4. Mustafa Ali

5. Kevin Owens

Final Thoughts

It gets a 7.5 out of 10 from me.

Here’s my WWE Fastlane review. It was a good show from top to bottom although running 3 hours, 40 minutes felt long. I think it was one of the most predictable WWE PPVs I’ve ever seen because I got every match prediction right and I’m guessing that most of you reading this got them all right too. There were no surprises. No title changes. If you’re one of those people that wants to be surprised and to see title changes then you might be disappointed. I thought the work in the ring was pretty good for the most part, so I’m certainly not going trash the show.

I thought the WWE Title match was the best of the night while the US Title and 6-man tag team main event were also very good. Some storylines were progressed well while others just began, so it was an interesting night overall.

Here are my rankings of 2019 WWE PPVs so far with a ranking out of 10:

Elimination Chamber – 7.5

Fastlane – 7.5

Royal Rumble – 7


Thanks for reading this review. My contact info is below. I’ll be back during the week with Raw and Smackdown reviews as usual.


Twitter: @johnreport

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