The new PPV event Fastlane was a mixed bag. In front of a less than enthusiastic Memphis crowd the event seemed to be more of a place holder than a genuine event in its own right.
Getting of to a flat start by burying Ziggler and Rollins in the middle of a six man tag (that only served as a way back for Randy Orton) was a slow start that the event never recovered from.The two star turns battled well but the match was a dud enlivened by Orton’s entrance at the end.
The non-events continued to flow with the battle of the Rhodes boys having a botched ending by the ref and a less than perfect backstage element before we got some action with the Tag titles changing hands.
Tyson Kidd showing himself as a consummate performer who could be every bit as good as Ziggler if only he had a watchable persona. Perhaps the capture of the gold with Cesaro will change things as long as the Total Divas angle is dropped.Staying with Divas Nikki Bella rolled up the crowd favourite Paige and you got the feeling that all these matches will be undercard matches in a months time at Wrestlemania with the opposite result.
Business picked up literally with the emergence of HHH and Sting. The higher class of persona shone through. HHH came out with taped fists ready for a fight and during their segment he caught Sting with a beauty of a right, showing that the former WCW legend can still sell a punch. The stand-off with baseball bat versus sledgehammer and the setting of the bout at Wrestlemania should have got the crowd going but still it remained flat.
Ambrose versus Bad News Barrett was another botch with a one-sided match ending on a DQ from the ref for no apparent reason. Ambrose stole the belt and probably set up the rematch.Dean Ambrose is popular and a good performer so this was not sensible either a clean loss or a count-out not another botch from a ref.
Bray Wyatt continued his impressive work by calling out the Undertaker for Wrestlemania, like the Sting HHH match I have no idea which
way the story will go win, lose or draw anything to get the Undertaker back is worth it.
The most interesting match was John Cena vs Rusev, the angle of the aging Cena has definite miles in it but whether or not the WWE want to risk their most profitable PG performer remains to be seen. Making him a broken warrior before one last push would redeem him in the eyes of many as all he gets now are boos and groans. Rusev played the Ivan Drago role to perfection, cheap win but deserved overall and the image of Cena leaving the arena in silence spoke volumes.
The final match between Reigns and Bryan was the point of the whole show and I’m glad the WWE stuck to their guns and allowed Reigns a clean win. It still was met with groans by the frankly spoilt fans who think that Bryan should be in every match on the card. Bryan gave Reigns a brilliant workout and showed he can perform at a high level but there is still much character development needed before giving Reigns the belt is a viable option. See my piece on this https://established82.com/2015/02/04/wwe-roman-empire-2015/
Overall a disappointing PPV that raises the debate for a different kind of event between the Rumble and Wrestlemania, maybe a hardcore or non title bad blood type to resolve some issues. Nothing really changed from the Rumble and all we got were a few excellent promos and lacklustre matches.