clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

WWE Fastlane 2016 results, recap, reactions: Roman Reigns, again

WWE went rolling right on through the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, last night (Sun., Feb. 21, 2016) with Fastlane, the last stop before we head on into WrestleMania 32. It was a fine show until it wasn't, and it sure looks like they aren't listening to the fan base.

Let's not waste time with pleasantries and get right to reactions to the show. Click here for the live blog with full match coverage and here for all the fallout from the event.


It doesn't even matter

This was frustrating on a new level.

WWE spent the past month or so convincing us that Dean Ambrose was the underdog with an actual chance at unseating the elitist who gets far too many chances when it's been proven he can't get where they want him to go, and the physical monster who would better represent the story itself. He maintained his loyalty to his friend while doing what he needed to do to win.

It was admirable. Worth cheering for.

It didn't matter. It never seems to.

The entire audience in Cleveland wanted Dean to win, even those who were cheering for Brock Lesnar while he was dealing out destruction as he is wont to do. That's because everything about the story they told was to build to that exact payoff.

But that isn't ever what they wanted from this. I'm not entirely sure what they wanted, really, looking back on this story. If the plan is to continue pushing Roman Reigns as the next big babyface who will overthrow The Authority and be crowned the new king, this was an utter and complete failure. There is no way WWE will roll on through Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Brooklyn and see Reigns treated as the hero.

Because he's not a hero.

He is, now, just the guy who gets chance after chance after chance and never becomes what they want him to be, possibly in part because WWE wants him so badly to become that when it's not what we, the fans, want. To be clear, Reigns is an outstanding performer. He's a great wrestler, who arguably had a "Match of the Year" in his lifetime, but he is not the man the majority of the WWE fan base wants to cheer for.

If this is headed for a heel turn, it's worth it. All of this would retroactively, intended or not, be a fabulous build for it.

But it's not. It's just Vince McMahon in his continued quest to wear us down into submitting to what he thinks is best and, maybe, Triple H playing the other side.

It feels really bad to think the main event of the next WrestleMania is Triple H vs. Roman Reigns and, in 2016, they've actually got fans eager to cheer for the former, boo the latter, and wish someone, anyone, would listen.


The rest of the card

R-Truth vs. Curtis Axel: Time filler at its worst.

New Day with E&C: I don't know what I'm supposed to say about this segment because I don't know what WWE was trying to accomplish with this segment. There were a few good lines, some funny moments, and then the League of Nations showed up, words were exchanged, people left, and that was just sort of that.

AJ Styles def. Chris Jericho: This wasn't a bad match. In fact, it was good (not great) but made clear that Styles is simply in another league right now and Jericho just couldn't keep up in a way he needed to if they were going to give us a classic. There were moments in this match you outright feared for Styles' well being. It was dangerous. What's more, they already kicked out of the Styles Clash, which says a lot about how they were really treating that move. Still, the finish was solid and Jericho put Styles over as best he could. That's commendable.

Charlotte def. Brie Bella: There were a number of problems with this match, from how sloppy the work was to issues with selling and a poorly laid out finish that looked like it was executed with all the excitement of two wrestlers who knew they had screwed up the match and just wanted to get to the end of it.

Big Beef def. The Wyatt Family: The match was fine for what it was, which is to say it wasn't offensive. The good guys won, for some reason, and it's going to be very difficult to ever take The Wyatt Family seriously again.

Kevin Owens def. Dolph Ziggler: Here's what was great about this and it's not insignificant, considering: These two took a crowd that wasn't all that hot for it -- almost certainly because they've run this match a billion times on TV leading into this -- and had them chanting "this is awesome" before they were done. That's a testament to how good these two really are, including an AWESOME short arm pop up powerbomb finish. Owens as Intercontinental champion heading into WrestleMania 32 is going to be a LOT of fun.

Team BAE def. Team BAD: This sure made it look as though a triple threat for the Divas title is the plan at WrestleMania. The idea going in was Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch would need each other to win to keep themselves strong with that goal in mind and, sure enough, they both saved each other from taking a loss as a team. They also never turned on each other, despite an early tease of dissension. They were presented as equals in what was a pretty damn good match.

Kalisto def. Alberto Del Rio: Really appreciated the way this was laid out. Del Rio gambled with a strategy that included giving up a fall for the sake of added brutality to soften his opponent up for the next two. Losing a battle to win the war, as JBL smartly put it. Sure enough, he beat the brakes off Kalisto and scored a quick fall to even it up. That led to a perfect set up for Kalisto to battle his way back to prove his might. Del Rio hit multiple finishes, including a particularly vicious double foot stomp on the outside barricade, but Kalisto battled his way back to score a roll up after a creative tease of Salida Del Sol. This was their best match yet.

Plenty of great on this show, some tremendously bad, and an awful finish to the main event, which was incredibly fun otherwise.

Grade: B-

Your turn, Cagesiders.

Photos via