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Sunday, 14 February 2016

FastLane 2015

FastLane 2015 Review

We're coming up pretty fast for the 2016 edition of the FastLane PPV and it could end up being pretty interesting. Until then, let's have a look at last year's edition.

The build for this one was less than spectacular and fans thought it would be an early contender for worst show of the year. Would that statement be true? Let's find out.

Also it doesn't help that this show came right after the amazing NXT TakeOver: Rival show.

Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan & Ryback vs Seth Rollins, Kane & The Big Show
I don't remember this match being built at all so it must have been a last minute edition to get these guys on the card. The feud goes all the way back to the Authority being fired at Survivor Series after the three faces were fired and then brought back. I thought this match might have been an apology for the Rumble match after Show and Kane eliminated all the up-and-comers, but unfortunately this was not the case.
This was a pretty decent tag match. Rowan was playing the face in peril most of the time, but the crowd was just not invested in him at all so it was boring to watch. Once Ryback was tagged in it fired the crowd up and Ryback looked impressive. The finish could have been better as Show hit Ziggler with the knockout punch and deflated the crowd in doing so. Decent opener. **1/2

After the match, Randy Orton returns and makes the save by taking out the Authority. Rollins escapes the building before Orton can get his hands on him. It looked like we would get a great build for their Mania match but it became stupid with some idiotic story moments.

Stardust vs Goldust
I was actually really looking forward to this one as I liked the story of Goldust trying to stop Cody from going too deep into his character and willing to beat the crazy out of him to kill the idea of Stardust. I think a Mania match may have originally been on the cards, but I think they may have been cancelled pretty quickly.
This was just a complete mess and I have no idea what happened. The crowd was not into this at all and both guys seemed lost at quite a few points in the match. I'm guessing it was meant to be a lot longer considering how the match was structured and the botched pin at the end. It looked like Stardust kicked out so I'm guessing the ref was told to call an audible and just end it. We should probably forget that this ever happened. DUD

The Usos vs Cesaro & Tyson Kidd
The Tag Team Championships are on the line. This feud mostly seemed to revolve around Naomi and Natalya's dwindling friendship as we need Total Divas to make storylines. Although who would have known that the thrown together team of Cesaro and Kidd would become as big a team as they did.
The crowd was once again pretty quiet, but they did get into the last five minutes when the action kicked into overdrive. This was a very good tag match with everyone playing their part well. The double team moves were great and there were even a few good close calls towards the end. Kidd hit one of the Usos with a swinging neckbreaker to win the Titles. Best of the night so far. ***

Now it's time for the confrontation between Triple H and Sting. HHH tries to lure Sting to his side by offering him tributes on the Network and a future Hall of Fame spot. Sting decides he doesn't want that and a brawl breaks out. We get the Bat vs the Sledgehammer. Sting points to the Mania sign to make the match official and hits HHH with the bat and a Scorpion Death Drop for good measure.

Fun segment and it led to one of the most gloriously overbooked matches in Mania history that would turn out to be a ton of fun.

Nikki Bella vs Paige
The Divas Championship is on the line. Yes we're still in the reign of Nikki as WWE decided she had to beat AJ Lee's Championship record so they could erase her from history. The storyline here is that Nikki and Brie stole Paige's ring gear and forced her to wear a fairy outfit during a match. Truly riveting stuff.
Decent match here that I was starting to enjoy until the abrupt finish. The crowd wasn't into it but they've not been into anything tonight. You could tell Nikki was improving and she hit some cool moves like the sunset powerbomb in the corner. Paige was her usual good self and managed to actually get some support from the crowd. Nikki wins by holding the tights with a roll up. **

Dean Ambrose vs Bad News Barrett
The IC Championship is on the line. Ambrose said that he decided he wanted the Title after visiting WWE headquarters and wanted his name on the wall next to the other great IC Champions. He wouldn't get the Title until December 2015. Ambrose tied up Barrett the week before and forced him to sign the contract for the bout. Seems like a pretty heel thing to do.
Once again the crowd is silent which is pretty unusual for an Ambrose match. The match wasn't too good though. It did seem to be building up to a nice finish after some close nearfalls, but it ended with a dumb DQ because Ambrose wouldn't let go of Barrett. Bullshit and you could tell the crowd was pissed with the decision. *1/2

Ambrose steals the Title to start the build to the Ladder match at Mania.

The lights go out and we have druids with a casket in tow. The crowd immediately thinks this is The Undertaker and the commentators are building it up too. Turns out it's Bray Wyatt in a pretty cool reveal shot. Wyatt cuts one of his crazy promos and promises to take Undertaker's soul at Wrestlemania. The fake out for the crowd was great.A good segment to set up another Mania match.

John Cena vs Rusev
The US Championship is on the line. For some reason the story here is that Cena is getting old and a shell of his former self. They probably should have just went with the USA vs Russia story. I also don't know why they didn't just wait until Mania to do the match as it felt like old news once Mania came around. At least Cena made the US Title great again even if this feud went on WAY too long.
Good match here as Rusev was made to look like he could easily match Cena, at least until the finish that is as Lana had to distract the referee so Rusev could hit the low blow and pass Cena out in the Accolade. I suppose they did need a reason for a rematch. Still it was a good power match and probably the best in their series. ***1/4

Roman Reigns vs Daniel Bryan
The winner of this one goes on to face Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Title at WrestleMania. This was easily the most anticipated match on the card as no one knew how it would go. Would WWE hit the reset button like the year before and add Bryan to the main event? Would Reigns win clean? Would Bryan win clean? So it was pretty interesting to watch and see what would happen after the disaster that was the 2015 Royal Rumble.
I did enjoy the story of the match with Bryan using his technical skills and submission tactics to try and match Reigns' power, which didn't quite work out for him. Bryan carried Reigns to a terrific match and made him look like a million bucks, even if the fanbase didn't agree. A great back and forth encounter with some great nearfalls and tension. An awesome way to close out the show. ****

Overall I'd say this is a pretty middle of the road show with a great main event and not much else. The tag match might be worth a bit of your time and the US Title match if you haven't seen it before. The matches holding the show back aren't too long, except for the Rhodes Brother's match which seemed to go on for ages. Still there's some fun to be had and it was a pretty good build for WrestleMania.

Here's a link to my other blog where I review movies old and new. Coming soon; every Batman and Superman movie reviewed!

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