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

Watch: WWE Network

Meet our reviewers:

Kelly Harrass: VROOM VROOM Kelly is ready to review VROOM VROOM Fastlane. Taking the last WWE review off while he was on a working vacation in New York helped to revitalize him. Maybe we’ll see more positivity tonight? Follow VROOM VROOM Kelly on Twitter @comicgeekelly.

Suit Williams: Why do we choose to do things we don’t want to do? Is it some type of punishment for a transgression in a past life, or is there some type of masochistic joy in seeing something go exactly how you expect it to go? And the sad thing about it is, this is a decent looking card. He’s @SuitWilliams on Twitter. Check out his writing on PWPonderings, and his podcast Smark Sports on Apple Podcasts.

Griffin Peltier: Griffin’s review is brought to you by Muskoka Brewery’s “Mad Tom IPA”. Inspired by late night stories around the fire, Muskoka Mad Tom will instantly grab your attention. Dry-hopped with Chinook and Centennial hops, this IPA has a vibrant aroma, depth of flavour, and a crisp, citrusy undertow like no other. You can follow Griffin on Twitter @Hollywd12.

WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship
The Usos © def. The Miz & Shane McMahon

Kelly: To be honest, I didn’t pay much attention to this match because I was eating dinner at the time. I will give WWE credit for telling a coherent story with this match though. Miz tried too hard to be like Shane and it cost his team the win. And anything involving Miz’s dad is instantly better for it. I’d go ***¼, but remember that it didn’t have my full attention.

Suit: I just got back from the store, unaware that this was another 4 hour affair. My regret has risen exponentially. I see the Usos working over Shane McMahon, and I wish I was still at the store. The Miz does a dive to the floor wearing a Cleveland Browns shirt, so Miz is from Cleveland and not Hollywood again. The Miz had an Uso pinned with the Skull Crushing Finale, but the ref was tied up with Shane and couldn’t make the count in time. We got a Mexican standoff with an Uso and Shane both teasing top rope moves, but as Uso went for a splash, Shane hit him with a mid-air dropkick in an awesome spot. Miz went for a frog splash but caught Uso knees and got rolled up. Usos retain. What I saw was good and the crowd was hot, but I missed all the Shane-in-peril spots. Afterwards, Shane turned heel on the Miz and beat the shit out of him. The best case scenario is that the Mean Street Posse comes back. ***1/2

Griffin: I read a book today, so I am qualified to review this show. As the resident Cruiserweight mark for VOW, I really enjoyed cruiserweight Miz. Shane McMahon kicked an Uso right in the vroom vrooms in mid-air in an awesome spot. The Usos got the win after Miz attempted a High Fly Flow only to crash into some knees that led to a roll up. Good match. ***½ Shane turned heel after the match because he’s a McMahon and McMahon’s are always flip flopping between heel and face.

WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
Asuka © def. Mandy Rose

Kelly: Mandy’s music sounds like it should be playing during the cabaret club minigame in Yakuza, so that kind of instantly makes me a fan of hers. For the second match in a row, we got a simple, coherent story. Mandy was completely out of her depth here, finding herself dominated by Asuka, save for a few lucky shots and some help from Sonya Deville. Asuka came off like a killer here, defeating Mandy with relative ease and shrugging off Deville’s lackluster help. **1/2

Suit: Asuka beat Becky Lynch at the Royal Rumble by submission. She has had one match since, losing to Mandy Rose on the February 19th episode of Smackdown. Sonya Deville looked for something at ringside, but must have gone for her spot too early, because she didn’t get anything. Jesus Christ. Sonya grabs a kendo stick, but forgets to hit Mandy with it. Mandy bumps for NOTHING, and takes a kick from Asuka and loses. Absolutely bush league. Mandy was no good in the meat of the match. Meanwhile, Asuka looked like a killer, but has no clear opponent for Wrestlemania. If only there was a person that stuck out like a sore thumb in the other women’s title match, she could be really useful here. *1/2

Griffin: I really liked this. It had simple storytelling but the wrestling wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be. Sonya grabbed a kendo stick but left the ring apron on the mat which led to Mandy tripping and then falling victim to a kick from Asuka. Simple stuff but it worked. **

The Bar (Sheamus and Cesaro) def. Kofi Kingston

Kelly: Kofi finds himself in this situation after Vince tells him that he’s in the WWE Championship match, only to find out that it’s really a tornado handicap match. I liked the idea of this segment at first, but it ended up going far too long. Didn’t feel very VROOM VROOM to me. Kofi gets mauled by the Bar. He doesn’t even really put up a fight. There are ways to do this segment and make it work, but this was not it. ½*

Suit: Ok, I got worked. I was about to rant about how incoherent the storytelling is, but Vince pulled a bait and switch on Kofi and stuck him in a handicap match after telling him he was added to the WWE Title match. Now, this is a WWE handicap match, so Kofi still has a legitimate chance to win this. The New Day came out to help, but Nakamura and Rusev beat them up. Kofi lost. I’m glad that the team with the advantage won the handicap match for once, but having the guy you’re building up for a WWE Title match at Wrestlemania look like a chump is an interesting choice. ½*

Griffin: “This is boring” – the Cleveland crowd that was hot since the start of the show. Give a call to the new Atlanta office lads, no need to subject yourselves to memes like this. DUD.

WWE Raw Tag Team Championship
The Revival © def. Aleister Black & Ricochet and Chad Gable & Bobby Roode

Kelly: This was a solid tag match. It was never an over the top spotfest, I’d call it just a quick paced match. While I enjoyed this in the moment, I doubt that I’ll ever think about it again. The Revival were the glue that held the match together. Things stopped making sense for me when the Revival won fairly and still got beat down post match for their efforts. #FTR, I guess. ***

Suit: Here are all the teams that have been Raw Tag Team Champions. The New Day, The Bar (4 times!), Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows, The Hardy Boyz, Rollins and Ambrose, Rollins and Jason Jordan (RIP), Braun Strowman and a little boy, Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy, The B-Team, Ziggler and McIntyre, AOP, Roode & Gable, and The Revival. I couldn’t have named half of those teams if it wasn’t for Cagematch.net, and I doubt many of you could either. My point is that these belts are meaningless, and it doesn’t help that The Revival haven’t won a match since winning the belts. This was a fun spotfest, and the Revival retained. Then they got beat up before Black and Ricochet stood tall. This felt like the multi-man cruiserweight matches that would wake up a 2000 WCW crowd before they got back to the bullshit. ***1/4

Griffin: Hey look, The Revival got a televised entrance! Some cool spots and this was well-worked. Revival won but Ricochet and Aleister Black attacked everybody after the match for some reason – including a Ricochet 630 in which he almost killed himself. Gentleman’s ***.

WWE United States Championship
Samoa Joe © def. Rey Mysterio, Andrade, and R-Truth

Kelly: Easily the best match of the night thus far. All four men had really good chemistry, making this an incredibly smooth four way. Andrade and Rey Mysterio were the clear MVP’s here, just adding more to their ongoing rivalry. Joe did what he does best in a match like this; act as a base and throw dudes around. To his credit, R Truth was pretty good here too. Joe just barely pulled off the win here, hitting what was essentially a snap submission, quickly choking out Mysterio. Ultimately, the title felt secondary here to the eventual big Andrade/Mysterio singles match. I assume that Joe will put these three men behind him now. Maybe he can go take care of whatever is going on with his hair. ***¾

Suit: Rey Mysterio continues to be fantastic. When you let him work with guys who can base for his high-flying instead of big galoots like Kane and JBL, he shows that he is still as dynamic as he was 20 years ago. It helps that he has fresh new knees too. Andrade kept referencing Eddie Guerrero when he was in with Mysterio, hopefully giving them fodder for a future featured singles match. This was fun and fast-paced with a bunch of awesome spots interspersed throughout. This is the type of match that should litter WWE midcards with the talent they have under their employ. Mysterio hits a 619 on Joe, but Joe moves out of the way of the splash and chokes Rey out to retain. Everyone played their parts well, including the 47-year-old(!) R-Truth. More of this please! ****

Griffin: WWE vroom vroom Fastlane should’ve been Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade in a 4-hour Iron Man match. Those two can do no wrong in the ring. Samoa Joe and R-Truth also played their parts well in this one. This had some cool spots but it seemed like the focus was on the ever-developing Mysterio and Andrade feud. Match of the night so far. ***3/4

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship
The Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection def. Nia Jax & Tamina

Kelly: It is boss time, my dudes. So, what was the point of this match? Because it sure wasn’t about putting over the Women’s Tag Titles. The champions won the match and were then dispatched with ease in the post match, which then turned into a set up for an eventual Beth Phoenix return. The Hugging Bosses or whatever they’re called won a nothing match and Tamina continues get pushed. Gross.

Suit: Nia and Tamina need to head down to Mexico and learn how to catch somebody. Otherwise, this was a perfectly acceptable tag match, with Bayley and Banks getting the win. After the match, Nia and Tamina got their heat back by beating up everyone, including guest commentator Beth Phoenix and loss post Natalya. By the end of this, the successfully defending champions weren’t even seen on screen. And these people want me to care about these belts? **

Griffin: Cole mentioned that Bayley and Banks are undefeated as a tag team. That is incorrect, Nia and Tamina defeated them on Raw #1330 in November. A match. *

WWE Championship
Daniel Bryan © def. Kevin Owens and Mustafa Ali

Kelly: Wonky booking decisions aside, I thought this match was fantastic. Mustafa Ali was put in an incredibly hard spot here, basically being asked to go out there and be the opposite of what the fans want, while also still being the face. Kevin Owens is fine in that role now being the shades of grey character that fights for his family, but Ali is supposed to be the valiant hero. Even though the fans wanted Kofi in this spot, these three men worked incredibly hard and actually got people invested. Bryan has clearly been watching a lot of WALTER because he somehow manages to wrestle as both the brutal ring general and also get his chest destroyed by chops. Owens got to wrestle his first great match in what feels like quite some time. All three guys were firing on all cylinders, but they still had to put up with a crowd chanting for Kofi. I can’t blame the crowd, this was the intended effect of what WWE was doing. I give a ton of credit to these three men for putting in this level of effort into the match. What could have been an absolute disaster turned out to be pretty damn great. ****¼

Suit: Mustafa Ali gets Rey Mysterio’d, getting booed because he isn’t a different babyface. In Mysterio’s case, it was Daniel Bryan in the 2014 Royal Rumble. In Ali’s case, it’s Kofi Kingston. This is a spot for Randy Orton to come out to boos and general apathy, not a hot young babyface. Of course, this wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t for the bait-and-switch earlier tonight, so when WWE wants to blame the fans for screwing up this match, they should take a look in the goddamn mirror. The guys eventually got the crowd into it, with Ali overcoming the situation as he always does. Ali hit a 450 on Bryan, but Bryan kicked out after Rowan missed his spot. It came down to Bryan and Ali with the crowd firmly behind…Kofi. Well, they almost had them. Bryan knees Ali out of mid-air to retain. As good as the US Title match, but the booking took the crowd out of it, keeping it from reaching a higher level. When does he become the “Like New” Daniel Bryan? ****

Griffin: I don’t like the decision to put Mustafa Ali in this match. He, one of the few actual babyfaces on the roster, was booed because he took Kofi Kingston’s spot. That is an absolute shite booking decision. Kofi Kingston is the most over person in this match. Kevin Owens is, apparently, a babyface but is wrestling like a heel. Modern WWE, folks – where people turn without it being shown nor explained. Bless Mustafa Ali’s heart for taking crazy bumps to try and get the crowd into this but they just didn’t care. The match was awesome, booking aside, and showcased the abilities of all three guys. This would’ve been amazing if it were presented without any shenanigans. ****

Becky Lynch def. Charlotte Flair via DQ

Kelly: I have absolutely no idea how to feel about this. Rather than give us a full match, we got a nonfinish with Ronda punching Becky, DQ’ing Charlotte and putting Becky in the Mania main event. It’s probably for the best honestly, it was just an odd way to do it. We all knew Becky was going to take a beating and then sneak out a win. I went to the bathroom and got some water during this match because I knew I was just going to miss some limbwork that wouldn’t factor into the finish of the match. So Becky has to win and you don’t want to beat Charlotte going into Mania, so what do you do? Logically, you wouldn’t book this match, but I guess what they did with Ronda works too. This gets the gentleman’s three because it wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad either and it achieved its goal. ***

Suit: Becky comes out with a crutch, because you want your superstar babyface coming out hobbled. Becky gets beaten up for the majority of the match to no reaction, because that’s how you want your superstar babyface’s matches to look. And Ronda Rousey comes out to punch Becky, get her disqualified, and get her into the Wrestlemania match. Because that’s how you want your superstar babyface to earn their spot into the Wrestlemania main event. These people have no fucking idea what they are doing. They had a Wrestlemania main event literally put in their hands, and they tripped over their dicks so many times that the damn thing is broken. Becky stumbles into the Wrestlemania main event, Charlotte looks like an idiot, and Ronda has turned more than a NASCAR. This was the easiest goddamn thing to do, and they blew it. They fucking blew it. And people are gonna defend it and call it smart, and that pisses me off more. AND NOW LACEY EVANS IS OUT HERE *

Griffin: Not sure how to feel about this. The match itself was fine and told a good story but the booking of Becky Lynch in the long run was horrible. She was beat up for most of the match and only won thanks to Ronda Rousey’s interference. The story of this match was good, the story overall has been booked like pure doodoo. **

The Shield def. Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre & Bobby Lashley

Kelly: Your main event should not feel like the post show dark match for a random episode of Raw. This was incredibly boring and I was just waiting for it to be over so I could play more Yakuza Kiwami 2. But then it did get pretty fun. This was a Shield best of, but it was about 15 minutes longer than it needed to be. Roman looked good in his return match and it’s also worth noting that Baron Corbin was by far the best person on his team tonight. Somehow the show managed to go off the air before WWE could ruin the final Shield moment with someone turning heel. We just got a cool moment of these three dudes standing and doing their pose to end the night. Maybe Dean is really going to ride off into the sunset… ***

Suit: So Elias sang a song, Lacey Evans did her Grandpa Simpson gimmick, Randy Orton RKO’d Elias, and AJ Styles hit Orton with a Phenomenal Forearm. That was two minutes that I’ll never get back. This was a Best of The Shield Compilation DVD put in one match. They had some slick six-man tag action, followed by a crowd brawl where Rollins did a big dive. Then, they did the triple powerbomb through the table before surrounding one guy in the ring. Big moves, triple powerbomb, Shield pose, drive home safe everyone. A fun house show match, and for once, I’m not pissed off at the end of a WWE PPV. ***1/2

Griffin: Here’s a fun fact that I recently shared on my Twitter: this will be The Shield’s 75th time teaming up as a trio. I will always pop for the Shield’s entrance. This was really boring to start but quickly picked up when it became the Shield best of that it needed to be. Everything from the crowd brawl on was executed as it should have been and the triple powerbomb through the announce desk was good. The match as a whole was fine and the ending was perfect. Not a MOTY contender by any means but it was good. ***3/4