The John Report: WWE Fastlane 2023 Review

wwe fastlane 2023 review

It’s WWE Fastlane with John Cena & LA Knight teaming up, plus Seth Rollins facing Shinsuke Nakamura for the World Heavyweight Title and more.

I rarely watch the Kickoff Show, but I had it on for Fastlane. The Kickoff Show panel was Kayla Braxton, Jackie Redmond, Booker T, Wade Barrett and Peter Rosenberg.

They showed a Rey Mysterio-Santos Escobar discussion talking about their partner in the six-man tag. Rey said the guy he reached out to hasn’t returned his call or text, but Rey thinks he’ll make it. We have a spoiler on who it will be here.

The great Paul Heyman was interviewed by Byron Saxton with Heyman blasting John Cena & LA Knight for not even being a real team while Jimmy Uso & Solo Sikoa are brothers. Heyman predicted a victory for The Bloodline. Saxton asked what would happen if The Bloodline lost and Heyman screamed in reply wondering why would they lose and said it makes no sense to ask that. Heyman was angry.

IYO SKY, the WWE Women’s Champion, was interviewed by Cathy Kelley backstage. Bayley and Dakota Kai were there too to support SKY. Bayley spoke up saying that SKY wasn’t going to reveal her strategy, so then Sky told Bayley she had her own strategy and she didn’t need Bayley’s help tonight. Sky left with Bayley/Kai following her.

Most of the Kickoff Show featured video packages and comments from the Kickoff Show panel. No Kickoff Show match. Let’s get to the main show.

WWE Fastlane
From Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana
October 7, 2023

The opening video package featured commentary from Pat McAfee, who is an Indianapolis guy, so Pat talked about the city and the WWE Fastlane lineup. A very good opening video package as usual.

There was an impressive pyro display to start the show. They had two sports cars by the entrance. It was sold out in Indy. The commentary team of Michael Cole and Corey Graves welcomes us to the show.

A video package aired to set up the WWE Tag Team Title match up first. I’d rather just get to the match instead of doing a video package for the first match.

Jey Uso was up first for the challengers with the fans giving him a big ovation. They also like Jey’s up/down hand motion. Cody Rhodes was up next with the fans cheering loudly for him as well. Cody gave his leather belt to a fan who had a sign asking for it. Nice guy.

The Judgment Day’s Finn Balor & Damian Priest were up next as the WWE Tag Team Champions. Priest is also Senor Money in the Bank. It was about 16 minutes into the show when the bell rang to start the opening match.

Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships: The Judgment Day – Finn Balor & Damian Priest vs. Cody Rhodes & Jey Uso

As the bell rang, Cole mentioned that Balor was the former leader of the Bullet Club while Cody was in that group as well. Rare to hear a Bullet Club mention on WWE TV. Priest knocked Jey down with a shoulder tackle. Jey with an uppercut punch and a kick to the leg. Jey drove Priest to the turnbuckle, Cody tagged in with a headlock and slid under Priest leading to a punch. Cody took a shot at Priest’s left knee. Jey ran the ropes leading to Priest hitting a clothesline. Balor tagged in sending Jey face first into the turnbuckle. Cody was back in, Cody caught him on his back and hit a backbreaker. Cody hit a stalling front suplex as Cole mentioned Cody was a six-time Tag Team Champion in WWE. Jey was back in, he headbutted Balor and Priest tagged in leading to a kick to the back of the head. Priest worked over Jey with punches. Balor tagged in with a scissors kick to the back of the neck for two. Balor hit a running dropkick to the head for two. Priest back in with a knee to the back while pulling back on the arms. Priest went for a cheap shot, Cody fought back and J-Day did a double team on Jey leading to Balor hitting an elbow smash for two. Jey tried to break free to tag out, Balor held on and Jey punched Priest off the apron. Jey sent Balor into the turnbuckle.

Cody got the tag leading to a forearm and powerslam. Cody hit a springboard Disaster Kick on Balor for a two count. Balor came back with his own rollup. Cody slipped out of a Balor move, went for a Cody Cutter, Balor blocked it and Balor hit an elbow smash reverse DDT for two. Balor hit a running dropkick to send Cody into the turnbuckle. They battled on the turnbuckle with Cody hitting a delayed vertical superplex off the middle rope. Jey tagged in against Priest with punches. Jey with a kick to the ribs and an uppercut punch. Jey hit a step up enziguri on Priest. Jey charged, Priest sent him to the apron and Jey jumped off the top with a cross body block for two. Priest got back into it with a lifting flatliner for two. Priest charged, Jey hit a back elbow and Priest hit a forearm to the back. Jey avoided a move sent both out of the ring and Jey hit a suicide dive on both heels. Back in the ring, Jey hit an Uso Splash off the top onto Priest for two because Balor made the save. Cody was back in with a Cody Cutter on Balor. Jey charged, Priest with a kick to the face, Jey avoided a slam and Jey ran the ropes leading to a Spear. Jey went up top again, but here comes Dominik Mysterio and Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley at ringside. Jey superkicked Dominik on the floor. Ripley was smiling at Jey, who was distracted and Priest was back up to punch Jey. Priest hit a top rope hurricanrana while Balor made the tag and Balor hit the Coup de Grace double foot stomp for two because Cody made the save. Jey nailed Balor with a superkick. JD McDonagh was on the apron and Jey knocked him down. Jey rolled up Balor for two, Balor kicked out and Ripley hit Jey with the Money in the Bank briefcase so Balor got a rollup for two. Priest gave Cody a slam onto the ring apron. Priest went for a move on the commentary table, Cody tried to block it and JD hit Priest on the left knee with the Money in the Bank briefcase! Cody hit Priest with the Cross Rhodes onto the commentary table (the table didn’t break). Jey hit a somersault dive onto Balor & JD on the floor. Jey & Cody hit a 1D/Cody Cutter combo on Balor. Cody hit Cross Rhodes on Balor for the pinfall win! Wow! It went 20:44.

Winners by pinfall AND Undisputed NEW WWE Tag Team Champions: Cody Rhodes & Jey Uso

Analysis: ***3/4 I thought it was a great match between four veterans who worked really well together to deliver a fun match. There was a lot of chaos around ringside as usual for Judgment Day matches. The key spot was JD hitting Priest by accident, which took Priest out of the match after Cody hit the Cross Rhodes and that led to Balor being isolated leading to the defeat. A team like Balor & Priest didn’t need to have a long title reign, but I am surprised that their title reign only lasted just over one month. With that said, it does fit the story of JD wanting to prove himself and others in the group like Priest doubting him. That double team 1D/Cody Cutter was an incredible move that they timed perfectly. I liked the match.

After the match, Cody & Jey celebrated with their titles. The announcers did a great job of putting over the story that JD McDonagh made the mistake with the Money in the Bank briefcase to Priest’s knee by accident. Ripley was yelling at JD. The Judgment Day was frustrated at ringside. Cody & Jey continued to celebrate.

Analysis: The fans love Cody & Jey together. I don’t mind them as champions at all.

This Tuesday on NXT: John Cena at ringside to support Carmelo Hayes against Bron Breakker, who will have Paul Heyman in his corner. Plus, Asuka vs. Roxanne Perez and Cody Rhodes has a major announcement. The end of the video had a “gong” sound to tell us that The Undertaker will be there too.

Booker T and Wade Barrett were shown talking about the show in the locker room. Xavier Woods walked into the room saying he wanted to hang out with them. Woods talked about ordering a pizza from Pizza Hut. They talked about ordering breadsticks and wings.

Analysis: I guess this was an ad for Pizza Hut. Thrilling.

A video package aired for the six-man tag with Bobby Lashley & The Street Profits facing the LWO.

Bobby Lashley and The Street Profits – Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins vs. LWO – Rey Mysterio & Santos Escobar (w/Zelina Vega)

It started as a 2-on-3 match. Escobar hit two running forearms on Ford. Escobar with a jumping kick and a cross body block off the top. Ford blocked a charge leading to a punch. Escobar hit an impressive hurricanrana off the top on Ford and that led to Lashley making the save. Dawkins tagged in with a corner splash and jumping kick. Lashley hit a shoulder tackle and a neckbreaker. Lashley with a vertical suplex on Escobar. Dawkins hit a corner splash, but Escobar came back with a dropkick. Rey with headscissors, then a forearm and a dropkick to the knee. Lashley made the tag, Lashley caught Rey, Dawkins with a punch and Lashley slammed Rey onto the floor. Lashley put Rey on his shoulders leading to a spinning slam into the mat. Ford tagged in with a running splash. Ford delivered a running kick to the ribs. Ford sent Rey sternum-first into the turnbuckle. Lashley worked over Rey against the turnbuckle with elbow smashes. Lashley sent Rey into the turnbuckle, Rey moved and Lasley was sent crashing into the middle turnbuckle. Rey sent Ford out of the ring. Dawkins tagged in and Ford pulled Rey on the apron to prevent a tag. Zelina Vega hit Meteora knees on Ford on the floor. Rey hit a DDT on Dawkins. Ford was legal for his team and Rey kicked Ford to knock him out of the ring.

Here is Carlito as Rey Mysterio’s partner. Good pop from the crowd giving Carlito a huge ovation.

Analysis: Carlito was signed to a WWE deal about four months ago. They took their time debuting him because they wanted it to be the right story for him. I’m happy for Carlito being back in WWE. At 44 years old, Carlito looks like he’s in amazing shape, so kudos to him.

Carlito got the tag and hit a dropkick on Ford. Carlito with a clothesline on Dawkins out of the ring. Rey hit a dive onto the floor and Escobar hit a dive onto Lashley on the floor. Carlito hit a Backstabber on Ford for the pinfall win at 10:02.

Winners by pinfall: LWO – Rey Mysterio, Santos Escobar & Carlito

Analysis: **3/4 The match was solid with an ending that surprised me. More time would have been nice for sure. Carlito as the tag team partner of Rey & Santos didn’t surprise me, but it was a shock to see them win so easily. I wrote in our preview that I would be surprised to see Lashley & The Street Profits lose their first six-man tag team match together, but that’s what happened. I get wanting to put over Carlito, so I have no problem with that. I just thought that Lashley & The Street Profits would be booked stronger. Anyway, Carlito looked great just like when we saw him at Backlash five months ago and I’m glad that he’s finally returned as an active wrestler.

After the match, there was a Pizza Hut delivery to ringside. Xavier Woods walked up to them. They opened the pizza to show a bunch of pizza and wings. Cole, Graves & Woods had some pizza.

Analysis: Pizza is good and I assume Pizza Hut paid good money to be a part of the show. The advertising doesn’t bother me.

A commercial aired for the WWE Crown Jewel PLE on November 4th. I guess I won’t forget that date since it’s my birthday.

They showed the arrival of Jade Cargill arriving earlier tonight on the Fastlane Kickoff Show. WWE’s Chief Content Officer Triple H was there to shake her hand. I missed that on the Kickoff Show.

There was a video package about the WWE Women’s Championship triple threat match between IYO SKY, Asuka & Charlotte Flair.

It was time for the WWE Women’s Championship match. Charlotte Flair was up first followed by Asuka and the champion IYO SKY, who was on her own without Bayley and Dakota Kai. They stood in the ring for the championship introduction.

WWE Women’s Championship: IYO SKY vs. Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair

There are no countouts and no disqualifications in a triple threat match. The first pinfall or submission wins.

Flair kicked Sky out of the ring and Asuka spit the mist in Flair’s eyes. Asuka kicked Flair in the head for a two count because Sky broke up the pin. Asuka grounded Sky with an armbar while Flair was getting treated for the dreaded mist with towels put against her eye. Sky got a nearfall on Asuka. Flair was back in with a boot and a fallaway slam. Flair slammed Sky off her shoulders along with a clothesline. Asuka tried jumping onto Flair, but Flair hit a back suplex. Sky used her legs to trip up Flair leading to a double foot stomp to the stomach. Sky and Asuka agreed to work together, which included Sky shoving Flair away from her and Asuka hitting a kick to the head. Sky did a necksnap to Asuka against the top rope. Sky hit a missile dropkick on Asuka. Sky went up top, Asuka met her there and Asuka hit a German Suplex. Asuka hit a sliding kick for a two count. Flair was back into it by going up top and hitting a cross body block on both women. Flair chopped both opponents repeatedly and knocked them down. Flair could be heard talking to them, which led to Flair hitting a double suplex on both opponents. Flair sent Sky face first into the top turnbuckle. Flair did a cartwheel into a double clothesline for two. They did a spot with Asuka running the ropes and hitting a hip attack to knock Flair down on the floor. Asuka sent Sky into the ropes, but Sky hit a suicide dive on Flair on the floor. It was time for some floor diving with Sky doing a moonsault on Asuka on the floor. Flair went up top and hit her own moonsault onto both opponents. Flair and Sky exchanged chops on the top turnbuckle. Flair had Sky on her shoulders like a Samoan Drop, so Asuka went over for a Tower of Doom spot so it was like a Powerbomb/Samoan Drop combo. Asuka got nearfalls on both women. They did a sequence of submissions as my feed here in Canada had some issues. Sky was knocked out of the ring while Flair bounced off the ropes and hit a Spear on Asuka for a two count.

Sky was down on the floor as Bayley made her way down to ringside to check on her friend. Sky told Bayley she didn’t need her help. Flair kicked Sky off the apron. Flair turned around and Asuka jumped off the top with a double knee smash for two. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Flair applied the Figure Eight submission. Bayley was on the apron, the referee was looking at her and Asuka was tapping out. The referee never saw it. Sky jumped off the top with the Over The Moonsault onto Flair for the pinfall win at 17:18.

Winner by pinfall: IYO SKY

Analysis: ***1/2 A very good match between three talented women. Going into the match, there were questions about if Sky was going to be able to win due to Bayley being jealous of her, but it ended up working out with Bayley proving to be a big factor in the match. If it wasn’t for Bayley distracting the referee, Flair would have won because Asuka was tapping out. Sky capitalized on the situation to hit the top rope moonsault and that was it. It’s not that often where Charlotte Flair is pinned in a match like that, but at least in this case, you can say it was a triple threat match and it came after Flair had a submission win that was not seen by the referee. I thought they worked hard and had some creative spots throughout the match.

There was a replay of Cody Rhodes & Jey Uso winning the WWE Tag Team Titles earlier in the night. Cody & Jey will be at the Fastlane press conference after the show.

LA Knight was shown arriving in the Slim Jim sports car because Knight won the SummerSlam battle royal.

This Friday on the Smackdown Season Premiere: Roman Reigns is back.

The video package aired to set up John Cena & LA Knight vs. Jimmy Uso & Solo Sikoa.

Let’s Hear from Pat McAfee

Pat McAfee made his entrance to a big pop wearing the Indianapolis Colts NFL Legacy Title. McAfee was in Texas earlier in the day for college football and now he made it for the show. Pat was a great Punter for the Colts.

Pat McAfee was in the ring saying that he would not miss a show in this city. Pat sucked up to the crowd saying that Indianapolis has deserved a WrestleMania. The fans chanted “yes” to that. Pat asked if you think Indianapolis deserves a WrestleMania, gimme a “hell yeah” and the fans did a loud “hell yeah” in reply. Pat said before he goes to sit down with the greatest of all time Michael Cole, here’s John Cena.

Analysis: Good to see Pat back on WWE TV. He’s such a natural in this company whenever he’s doing promos, commentary or even having matches.

John Cena made his entrance to a thunderous ovation. The crowd was full of energy for Cena as usual. LA Knight got a big pop as well. The fans were strongly behind this team obviously. Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikoa were up next along with the “Wise Man’ Paul Heyman. McAfee was on commentary saying that Heyman looks terrible now after Cole said that Heyman looks like he has aged. They are taking shots at Heyman for having the grey hair on the side of his head. This felt like a big match before it began.

LA Knight & John Cena vs. Jimmy Uso & Solo Sikoa (w/Paul Heyman)

Cena knocked down Jimmy with a shoulder tackle while the announcers mocked Heyman’s hair again. Jimmy grabbed a headlock, Cena broke free and knocked Jimmy down with a shoulder tackle again. Solo tagged in and decked Cena with an uppercut to the jaw. Jimmy tagged in with punches on Cena. Jimmy choked Cena against the middle rope and Solo did a cheap shot punch. Solo tagged back in with punches along with a headbutt. Solo set up Cena upside down against the turnbuckle and Solo hit a jumping headbutt to the chest. Cena avoided an attack from Jimmy, but Jimmy prevented Cena from tagging out. Jimmy grabbed a headlock and slammed Cena down to prevent the tag. Solo was in control of Cena with a spinning heel kick. When Jimmy came back in, Cena hit an Attitude Adjustment and Cena was too hurt to cover. Cena nearly tagged out, but Solo tagged in again and punched Knight off the apron. Solo jumped onto Cena’s ribs to continue the attack. Solo jumped onto Cena’s chest again for a two count. Cena got his knees up to counter a Solo move.

LA Knight finally got the hot tag against Jimmy with the fans popping huge for it. Knight with a clothesline, legsweep and a swinging neckbreaker. Knight with the corner stomps as the fans chanted “WHAT” for it. Solo into the ring, so Knight hit him with a DDT. Jimmy was legal and he hit a superkick for two. Knight came back with a slam followed by the running elbow drop. Solo went into the ring and hit a Samoan Drop on Knight. Cena hit a cross body block on Solo. Cena was down on the mat, so Jimmy jumped off the top and hit an Uso Splash on Cena. The fans were chanting ”this is awesome” as all four guys were down in the ring. Knight was back up with punches on both opponents (using both hands) and Jimmy managed to back body drop Knight over the top to the floor. Cena picked up Solo, but Jimmy saved his brother with a superkick. Solo charged at Knight and Knight sent Solo out of the ring. Jimmy was on the top rope, Knight jumped up and connected with a superplex on Jimmy. Cena with a Five Knuckle Shuffle on Jimmy while Knight hit Blount Force Trauma (BFT) on Jimmy for the pinfall win at 17:25.

Winners by pinfall: LA Knight & John Cena

Analysis: ***1/2 It was a good match with Cena as the face in peril for nearly ten minutes before they got to the hot tag with Knight coming in and cleaning house. I don’t think anybody watching this match thought that Jimmy & Solo had a chance to win. It was done to give LA Knight a big win with John Cena by his side while The Bloodline lost, so we know Roman Reigns isn’t going to be happy about it.

After the match, Paul Heyman was frustrated about the loss.

John Cena & LA Knight celebrated the win in the ring. Cena wanted to raise Knight’s hand, but Knight stopped that and Knight raised Cena’s hand. Cena & Knight continued to celebrate the win. Yeah. McAfee left commentary at that point.

Damian Priest was backstage with The Judgment Day’s Finn Balor & Dominik Mysterio. Priest said that he was not going home empty-handed and he wanted to cash in Money in the Bank tonight. Rhea Ripley stopped Priest telling him he’s not ready. Ripley told him to do it another night, but tonight is not it. Priest handed her the MITB briefcase. Ripley told Priest to rest up. They gave Priest some ice for his bad left knee.

They showed Declan McMahon and the Indiana Hoosiers football team at ringside. Declan is the son of Shane McMahon.

This Monday on Raw:

* Becky Lynch defends the NXT Women’s Title vs. Tegan Nox

* Viking Rules Match: Kofi Kingston vs. Ivar

* Raquel Rodriguez vs. Nia Jax

There was a commercial for some WWE Mattle Monster Truck featuring The Brawling Brutes duo of Butch & Ridge Holland along with action figures.

A commercial aired for Crown Jewel again on Crown Jewel on November 4th.

Coming up after the show is the WWE Fastlane Press Conference.

There was a video package for the main event with Seth Rollins defending the World Heavyweight Title against Shinsuke Nakamura.

The entrance of Shinsuke Nakamura was up first. Nakamura was in a white robe making evil faces on his way to the ring while the announcers put over how dangerous he has been of late. Seth “Freakin” Rollins was up next as the World Heavyweight Champion with a ridiculous outfit as usual. The fans were singing Seth’s song as usual on his way to the ring and even when the music stopped as he got into the ring. Ring announcer Mike Rome did the championship introductions.

World Heavyweight Championship – Last Man Standing Match: Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

The only way to win a Last Man Standing Match is by incapacitating your opponent so that they are knocked down for a ten count.

The champion Rollins was in control early on. The announcers talked about how Rollins had kinesio tape on his lower back while talking about Seth’s back issues. Rollins used the steel steps on Nakamura to knock him down outside the ring. Rollins tossed objects into the ring including a kendo stick, chairs and two tables. Nakamura went to the apron and a jumping kick to the head. Nakamura hit a running knee followed by a knee drop to the back to the head. They were back into the ring with Nakamura using nunchuks to the back of the legs and the lower back. Nakamura kicked the back leading to the German Suplex while Rollins was seated on the middle rope. Nakamura jumped off the middle rope with a glancing knee to the face. Nakamura kicked the back of the leg and put a trash can on Seth’s head. Nakamura hit the trash can with a kendo stick repeatedly. Nakamura used the chain part of the nunchuks and put them in Seth’s mouth. Nakamura hit a knee drop. Nakamura went for a suplex, but Rollins landed on his feet and Rollins hit a Slingblade. Rollins picked up a kendo stick and hit Nakamura repeatedly in the back with it. Rollins hit Nakamura with a trash can to knock him out of the ring. Rollins hit Nakamura with a kendo stick and a running knee. Rollins hit a Frog Splash off the top rope. Referee Chad Patton counted Nakamura down for about an eight count. Nakamura came back with a knee to the back that was like a backstabber and Nakamura hit another running knee. Nakamura set up a table against the turnbuckle. Nakamura hit a reverse Exploder Suplex. Nakamura charged while Rollins against the table, Rollins moved and Nakamura went running into the table. That broke the table. Rollins hit The Stomp, but Nakamura was up at around an eight count. Rollins clotheslined Nakamura over the top to the floor. Rollins cleared off the commentary table.

Rollins pulled a huge ladder out from under the ring. Rollins ran into Nakamura with a ladder shot to the body. Rollins set up the ladder next to the commentary table. Rollins hit Nakamura with a forearm to the head. Rollins climbed the ladder, but Nakamura moved out of the way, so Rollins climbed back down. Rollins sent Nakamura into the barricade a few times. Rollins sent Nakamura over the barricade. Rollins hit Nakamura with a chair to the back. Rollins sent Nakamura into a steel barricade. Nakamura managed to send Rollins into a steel structure near the crowd. They were up a few steps into the crowd, Nakamura did a low blow and kicked Rollins off the steps and Rollins landed back first onto some structure about five feet below. Rollins was selling the back injury. Rollins was back up by nine, so Nakamura hit him in the back with two chair shots to the back. Nakamura hit Rollins with a the steel chair a few more times. Nakamura went for another chair shot, but Rollins moved and Nakamura hit the ring post. They were by the exposed steel that was under the ring mats and Nakamura powered out of a move with a back body drop, so Seth’s back hit the cement hard. Rollins was back up before the ten count. Back in the ring, Nakamura charged, Rollins hit a superkick and a Pedigree. Nakamura got up at nine to beat the count. They left the ring again. Rollins set up a table on the floor. Nakamura sent Rollins back-first into the ring apron. Nakamura put Rollins onto the table and Nakamura jumped off the middle rope with a double knee attack that put Rollins through the table perfectly. That was a creative move that looked impressive. Rollins managed to get back up at nine to beat the count.

Nakamura used a steel chair on Seth’s back a few times. Cole was screaming about how it was sickening to watch. Rollins used the barricade to get back up. Rollins managed to send Nakamura face first into the ring post. Rollins was looking at the ladder with Cole screaming about it saying Rollins shouldn’t look at that. Rollins sent Nakamura onto the table and Rollins climbed the ladder, but Nakamura got up on the other side of the ladder. Nakamura sprayed the dreaded red mist into Seth’s face and shoved Rollins backwards so Rollins went back first through the table. Rollins barely got up before the ten count by leaning against the ladder. That was a great near finish. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Back in the ring, Nakamura gave Rollins a backbreaker onto a chair that was open in the ring. Nakamura hit the Kinshasa knee that sent Rollins into the broken table in the ring and the table collapsed on Rollins. Seth turned his body and landed on his feet on the floor, but then he collapsed to the floor.

Nakamura sent Rollins over the barricade at ringside and they went into the crowd. Nakamura put Rollins on some platform near the fans with Nakamura stomping on Rollins repeatedly. Nakamura with a lift, but Rollins got out of it and Rollins hit a Pedigree on the platform they were on. Rollins hit The Stomp on Nakamura as well. They got back up and Rollins gave Nakamura a Falcon Arrow slam off the platform and putting Nakamura through a table. The fans chanted “Holy Shit” as the referee counted both men down, Nakamura collapsed and Rollins managed to get back up before the ten count. It went 28:34.

Winner: Seth “Freakin” Rollins

Analysis: ****1/4 I thought it was an excellent Last Man Standing Match with a lot of creative spots and drama throughout the match. The first half was a bit slow as you might expect in a long match like this, but then it really picked up and had several moments where it looked like either man could win. That’s what you want in a match like that. Make it look like Nakamura has a shot to win even though most of us likely assumed that Rollins would win. There were some very creative spots in the match like when Nakamura spit the red mist in Seth’s face and Seth took the back bump through the table. That’s a risky bump that Rollins sold really well. It was believable as a near finish. There were some other spots like that. Ending the match by fighting in the crowd is a bit of a different way to wrap up a match like that. I don’t mind it, but I think it’s better to end a match around ringside. Anyway, that’s probably the end of Nakamura challenging Rollins for the World Heavyweight Title so Rollins will probably move on to a new challenger soon.

Seth Rollins celebrated by standing on a barricade near the crowd with the fans singing his song. Seth’s music continued to play while he held the World Heavyweight Title in his hands. That was the end of the show.

This event had a runtime of about 2:54:54 on WWE Network.


Five Stars of the Show

  1. Seth Rollins
  2. Cody Rhodes & Jey Uso
  3. Shinsuke Nakamura
  4. IYO SKY
  5. LA Knight & John Cena


Final Thoughts

I’m going with a 7.25 out of 10 for this show.

This was a solid show overall although I wouldn’t say it was as good as the better WWE PLE/PPV shows this year. I think the Rollins/Nakamura match was the best of the night. They got the most time and made the most of it. Some of the other matches were very good as well. John Cena was worked on for most of the tag team match, LA Knight got the hot tag and they got the obvious win. I liked the IYO SKY-Charlotte Flair-Asuka match as well with Bayley helping Sky get the win.

It was cool (pun intended) to see Carlito back in a WWE ring. We knew it was coming, but it was still nice to see it. I’m a bit surprised that Bobby Lashley & Street Profits were lose their first six-man tag team match together. I guess it was a case of wanting to put over the LWO with Carlito.

I didn’t expect Cody Rhodes & Jey Uso to win the WWE Tag Team Titles over The Judgment Day, but I thought it was booked very well. They had an entertaining match that was a smart choice for an opening match.

To sum it up, it’s in the 7 out of 10 range or a bit higher. If you missed it, you probably didn’t miss that much that I’d consider major. However, it was a fun show for me to write about for three hours. It’s been a great year of WWE PLE shows.

My WWE PLE/PPV rankings for 2023 look like this.

WrestleMania 39 – 8.75 (out of 10)

Elimination Chamber – 8.25

Backlash – 8

SummerSlam – 8

Money in the Bank – 8

Night of Champions – 7.75

Royal Rumble – 7.5

Fastlane – 7.25

Payback – 7.25


As a reminder, I have a listing of every WWE PPV that I reviewed in order by year. Thank you for supporting us at TJRWrestling. We appreciate you.

Thanks for reading this review. My contact info is below.


Twitter/X: @johnreport