Fastlane 2018 Post Show with John Pollock & Wai Ting

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/03/12/fastlane-2018-post-show-with-john-pollock-wai-ting/


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John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE Fastlane with the WWE’s last major show prior to WrestleMania. The two chat the Six-Pack Challenge for the WWE title, Asuka challenging Charlotte, The Bludgeon Brothers stopping the tag team title match, Randy Orton winning the United States title, ramifications for WrestleMania, and a recap of Talking Smack.

We also review Ring of Honor’s 16th Anniversary card from Friday in Las Vegas with an excellent main event between Dalton Castle and Jay Lethal, surprise appearances from Kenny Omega and Austin Aries, new ROH six-man tag team champions, and other notes from the show.

That’s not all, we also go through the first three nights of the New Japan Cup tournament, featuring some incredible matches from the opening round, including Sunday’s card with Kota Ibushi vs. Yoshi-Hashi and Tetsuya Naito vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

Plus your feedback to WWE Fastlane and more!

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Yes, Ruby should be running solo like she was in NXT. Despite my dislike of the Riott Squad, at least it put Ruby in a much more prolific spot compared to most NXT arrivals. Even though she loses her shot at the title, there remains the eventual stable fallout storyline but, if TPTB don’t want to play that card yet, I guess we have some more weeks of standard SmackDown girl gang warfare.

And do NOT mourn Charlotte’s undefeated PPV streak. Cripes, guys, being a loser up until a PPV is not something to be proud of.

Fastlane Thoughts based on highlights:

VERY impressive PPV!
I feel as though a lot of us came into this event with very very low expectations as WWE was just killing time for the real push to Wrestlemania (WM). However, nearly every match exceeded expectations here despite the highly predictable finishes!

Regarding Nakamura vs Rusev:
This was a HUGE risk by WWE given that Rusev is more over thank Nakamura right now and yet Nakamura is getting the big push. Thankfully they pulled it off as this match was better than expected and the crowd were completely into it. I could definitely see Rusev vs Nakamura being a feud they revisit when Nakamura is champion. If they need to freshen the concept up at all they could do something completely shocking and unheard of by turning Rusev FACE! I know the crowd will resist given that he’s already the most over face on Smackdown (if not all of WWE) but it just might work.

Regarding Roode vs Randy:
This match was elevated somewhat by the crowd at times. I personally find Roode to be BORING and I’m mostly tired of Randy Orton in the same way many people are tired of Kane (or Ziggler if you prefer a smackdown comparison). This match couldn’t possibly win me over but I will admit they put on a better show than I expected. I’m happy to see Ortan win if only because that might be the catalyst for Roode to go heel in the future and potentially become interesting. As someone whose STILL A FAN of Jinder I think it was completely stupid to have him run in post match only to get laid out and have Roode stand tall. Talk about making your monster look like a chump. Terrible.

Regarding womans tag match:
A nothing match in terms of interest. This belonged on a pre-show.
This is the problem when you book one womans storyline. NO ONE CARES ABOUT ANY OF THESE PEOPLE.
There is some strong female talent in this match but horrendous booking completely kills it. Smackdowns woman’s roster is too talented to just showcase Charlotte vs Riott Squad for an entire month as your only woman’s content. Becky can be one of your Smackdown top talents who helps carry the show and its ratings but they make it so you couldn’t care less about her.

Regarding Uso’s vs New Day:
A lot of people went into this expecting match of the night. I could see how this match alone might ruin the card for some. I loved it though…this is a case of an angel being more important while also being super entertaining. I’m not upset this was on PPV and spoiled a potentially great match. The overall card made up for that. Bludgeon Brothers continue to be AMAZING without being booked as superhuman like Braun. I’m one of the few who are sick of Braun…but I’m all about the Bludgeon Brothers…monsters who are monsters because of what they do in ring.

Regarding Charlotte vs Riott:
An above average match that definitely exceeded expectations. I didn’t think Riott could go based on how lackluster the Riott squad has been presented in general. I was pleasantly surprised and I’m not sure if that’s because Riott is really that good or if its because Charlotte carried her. Consider me a fan of Riott as a result of this match.

Regarding Main Event:
FANTASTIC! That is to say it far exceeded expectations. We’ve seen the Raw crew pull off this stuff with their top card but when it comes to Smackdown I just didn’t have as much faith especially with the Smackdown show itself being highly skippable lately. This match delivered though. Tons of great moments and excitement throughout. Some good storytelling and setup for WM as well. Very nicely done!

I do have a couple of nitpicks. Namely I think KO should not have waited like a minute to pin Sami. Milk it for a couple seconds so the fans understand and react and the rush in for the easy heel pin would have been more fitting IMO. I get the story reason behind the hesitation but you’d think the GREEDY decision to have a chance at an easy title win would trump all. My other nitpick was that Ziggler and Corban were both just sort of there…they were not given enough to justify this spot on the card and no real story came of it.

Overall:
Far exceeded expectations and as a result it felt like a great show!
Will it be long remembered and looked upon fondly? NOPE!
But we took a PPV that had 1.5*'s worth of hype and anticipation and walked out with 3.5* quality show.
I’m actually looking forward to watching Smackdown for the first time in ages. Well done :slight_smile: