With this being the last major stop before Wrestlemania which as of this writing is a little less than three weeks away, here are my few takeaways coming out of the Fastlane pay per view.
1. We all know the Fastlane PPV existed for one reason only. To give the Peacock streaming service a test run as it prepares for the monstrosity that will be Wrestlemania weekend. That to say there were zero glitches on my end. I streamed on both the mobile and on my Roku platform just to get a feel of it and it was honestly pretty much close to perfection.
My one small complaint was that there wasn’t the option like the soon to be defunct WWE Network gives you if you log into the event after it’s started to start from the beginning. At least I didn’t see that option available to me when I logged in 15 minutes after the start time.
Also no option to rewind during the event. But those minor issues can and hopefully will be tweaked and made available in the coming weeks and months.
Job well done Peacock.
2. The first three matches in all honesty felt like throwaways. But again as I stated on my wrestling podcast, Take Three Wrestling, Fastlane was mostly an over glorified episode of Monday Night Raw. Most of these matchups we have seen already. That in itself can be a good or bad thing depending who you talk to.
3. I am just glad they Apollo Cruz in a feud that matters. He’s too talented to not be at least mid-card status. That said I expect yet another rematch between him and Big E at Mania to conclude this feud. This time probably in a cage or no disqualification. Something of that ilk.
4. Have to be honest. While I am really excited for Bianca Belair/Sasha Banks at Wrestlemania, the build itself to get there has honestly been.....well.....boring.
The dramatic ending of their tag match though losing to Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler does add much needed spice in this last lead up. Sasha seems to be back to a semi heel status going into Mania and in all honesty she’s better there.
5. Even though I’ve been back watching the current product for a tick below two years, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bad match from either Seth Rollins and Shinsuke Nakamura. Even going back in the archives. Their match honestly saved Fastlane that was driving into letter grade D status.
6. The Fiend returning was a zero surprise. What was a surprise was that Randy Orton/Alexis Bliss was not a cinematic feature. Yet the effects performed in real time were executed well. The “match” did it’s job.
7.We’ve seen Drew McIntyre/Sheamus more times than I can count on Monday Night Raw the last few months. Yet this matchup was by far the best. McIntyre winning seemingly puts the end to the feud and he can now forward to his bout with The Almighty One Bobby Lashley at Mania.
8. The main event between Roman Reigns/Daniel Bryan I honestly believed would’ve been a throw away match. No way was Roman not going into Mania without the Universal title. Yet this match did feel at times that Bryan was indeed going to take the title.
Also what made this match amazing was that it gave you everything you want in a wrestling feud:
•The Irresistible force vs. the immovable object
•Amazing wrestling psychology.
•A little gaga and shenanigans
•The surprise factor
The “enforcer” Edge popping both men with the chair when it was clear Bryan made Reigns tap out despite not having a referee to verify.
Don’t be surprised if we see a triple threat match for the title at Mania cause the vibe feels like we are about to go there.