This. Was. Brilliant.
I was sweating with anticipation for the last 10 minutes of this match.
Immediately, Bryan was in Reigns’ head attacking his legs and trying to take him down. Reigns crawled over to the ropes to get the break. Bryan literally played games with him and it made me laugh out loud.
The armbar transition and Reigns grabbing for the rope immediately... man that set the tone for this match.
After an incredible twisting stretch using Reigns’ arm in ways it shouldn’t be stretched, Reigns got momentum and got Bryan in the corner. Bryan tried to regain control but Reigns halted his momentum. He stomped on Bryan and wore him down with a chinlock. “When I lock it in you don’t get out” Reigns said to mock Bryan’s games from the start of the match. Brilliant.
Outside, they both gained some momentum, but Bryan was able to wear Reigns down a bit more with kicks. He collided with Reigns in the corner and went to the top rope for a Hurricanrana, but Reigns caught him and locked in a Boston crab. Bryan reversed and got a two count pin attempt. Bryan posted Reigns and hit a running knee. They he did a leaping knee to take out Reigns’ left arm.
Bryan stomped on Reigns’ head and put the Yes Lock in. The Yes Lock ended up being a MAJOR move in this match. He locked it in multiple times, and on the second time, Reigns was able to reverse and powerbomb Bryan.
And then, everything changed. Up until now I haven’t mentioned Edge, our special enforcer. Bryan kicked Reigns into the referee and then Reigns ducked the running knee and Bryan took the referee out. By the way, one of the better referee bumps I’ve seen in some time.
Enforcer Edge was now the referee.
Edge told Reigns “worry about your job, I’ll worry about mine.”
Bryan did a triangle submission into a Yes Lock, and then that damn Jey Uso superkicked Edge and Bryan. He grabbed a chair and swung at Bryan, but Bryan ducked it and hit Uso with the chair three times. Then he saw the referee was down and decided to use the chair.
And THEN, Reigns ducked the chair and Bryan hit Edge with it instead. Copying the Elimination Chamber, Reigns went for a spear and Bryan countered into the Yes Lock.
Roman Reigns tapped out.
Edge ruined everything.
He hit both Reigns and Bryan with the chair and became livid. “This is mine! Mine!”
He walked out, a new referee slid into the ring, and Reigns rolled onto Bryan and won. The look on his face said everything. Just with that one look, Roman said “Oh my God I tapped out.” Bryan was Reigns’ Kryptonite. He lost.
But, he won. Thanks to his WrestleMania opponent. His body was purple and he didn’t have a smile on his face. But, he won.
Have I mentioned how unbelievably brilliant this was? Typing this have given me chills. Everyone played their role perfectly. Of course Jey was going to interfere. Of course Roman was going to tap, of course Bryan would be his toughest opponent, and of course, Edge would cost Bryan the match. It all worked perfectly. The big question - why?
Now, there’s no doubt in my mind, like WrestleMania 30, Daniel Bryan will be the top babyface inserted into the main event of WrestleMania 37. It nearly mirrors 7 years ago. And it’s the perfect story to tell.
This is going to be a wild ride.
Most of this show’s matches could have been on their brand’s specific show instead of a pay-per-view. This main event was the best thing they could have done.
Let’s get to the rest of the main hits and misses of this show. For a full rundown of Fastlane, check out the live blog by Rev. Claire Elizabeth!
A friendship that will never, ever end
Alexa Bliss’ new jumbled mash of themes to enter the ring is quite creepy, isn’t it?
If you expected anything other than cinematic fire stuff, you haven’t been paying attention.
Orton charged at Bliss and, of course, fire! He stalked her around the ring and looked up, and stage lights came down which were obviously rigged to kill him. He screamed “Are you trying to kill me?!?” and uh yeah bro you burned someone alive a few months back!
So Bliss then shot a fire ball at his face again, but it wasn’t as effective.
And then, HE returned.
A charred hand ripped through the ring and grabbed Orton. He spun around and after a big fire ball shot of the ring’s hole (Too much Tabasco maybe?), The crispy Fiend emerged looking like a burned Freddy Kreuger and dressed like charred Chuckie.
Bliss pushed Orton into him and he did the Sister Abigail. Bliss pinned him, like... literally pinned him in non-PG fashion, and the referee who disappeared when the first fire ball was shot counted to three from outside the ring. Supernatural doesn’t warrant a disqualification.
The visual of Alexa sitting on Orton with the charred Fiend behind her looked pretty good.
So exactly what I, and probably everyone predicted, The Fiend returned to set up the Orton match at WrestleMania. My does he look crispy. I like that they went all out on a new presentation for him because popping back up like the old Fiend wouldn’t have worked out.
I wonder now if Bray Wyatt’s Mr. Rogers Fun House character will return in some way, too. I actually wouldn’t mind his presentation staying the same, except he has burn scars on his face or something. They did a good job selling a burned and mangled body on the Fiend, so Wyatt’s Fun House get-up doesn’t really need to change since he’s already covered up.
I am hoping for an entertaining Firefly Fun House match, similar to Cena’s last year.
It’s not over
My goodness was this violent.
Big E literally charged at Crews on the apron and speared him through the ropes with such ferocity. Immediately he trash talked and said this was the ass whupping Crews asked for all along.
Two belly to belly suplexes and then Crews turned it around by knocking E off his feet and doing three German suplexes and a spinebuster. Crews then did a frog splash for a two count. That was a beautiful frog splash.
E got his knees up to counter the moonsault and Crews got out of a Big Ending. They traded pinfalls and E was just able to get his shoulders off the mat, and reversed to pin Crews and got the three count. E didn’t have time to celebrate because Crews attacked him and slammed him three times.
So, I wasn’t quite expecting a clean win for E, but the post match attack will certain ensure this continues to WrestleMania.
... Exploding ThunderDome death match?
McIntyre and Sheamus started this match as brutally as you’d expect them to. McIntyre destroyed the announce table and grabbed anything he could from under the ring.
Sheamus hit him with a knee to the face and hit him with a kendo stick repeatedly. McIntyre returned the favor. He put the kendo stick in Sheamus’ eye! That was nasty. Sheamus took the steel steps and launched them at McIntyre’s head.
Sheamus went for White Noise on the table but McIntyre reversed it and tossed him into the barricade. They went up into the ThunderDome screens and Sheamus hit the senton on the platform.
AND THEN DREW THREW SHEAMUS THROUGH SCREENS AND THEY EXPLODED!
McIntyre then suplexed Sheamus onto the concrete and my God these two men have no regard for their bodies. Sheamus Brogue Kicked Drew over the barricade, but the pinfall can only happen in the ring. Sheamus grabbed Drew for a White Noise through the table. He dragged his body into the ring, but Drew hit the Claymore Kick to win.
There was an explosion, they worked like it was a death match, and they were in the ThunderDome. That’s an Exploding ThunderDome death match to me!
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler defeated Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair
Seeing both teams arguing and selling dissension was a nice touch to start the match. Baszler started with Banks and was a bit reluctant to tag Belair in at first. They started working together and got Baszler down for a two count. Belair powered out of a triangle choke but Jax tagged herself in before she could do her classic arm work. Jax and Baszler started getting on the same page finally and isolated the EST in their corner. Finally Banks got back in and hit meteoras on both women and Reginald got involved. Banks had the Bank Statement in on Baszler and Belair tried to stop Jax, but it backfired and Jax pushed her into Sasha.
And it all broke down from there. Shayna rolled Sasha up to retain the tag titles. Sasha got put in the classic heel role slapping Bianca after it was clear Bianca was helping by getting into the ring. Bianca now becomes the clear babyface in the WrestleMania match. That’s a very good thing.
Seth Rollins defeated Shinsuke Nakamura
Rollins started with a chokehold, but Nakamura knocked Rollins down. Rollins took him out of the ring and smacked his head onto the announce table. Rollins kept attacking the midsection and kneed him repeatedly. Rollins taunted Cesaro and said he was swung 22 times and Cesaro isn’t there so he’s more tough. Nakamura locked in a submission but Rollins got his leg on the rope. He did the suicide dive to Nakamura and hit the slingblade for a two count. They traded elbows and Nakamura did the sliding german suplex. He set up a Kinshasa but Rollins caught him and did the buckle bomb. Rollins did a creative back kick by hooking his leg around a downed Nakamura. That looked cool. Rollins did the curb stomp and won.
That was a really good match. No Cesaro to help Shinsuke but that’s okay. This was a much needed win for Rollins to head into the big show in 3 weeks. That last move he did before the curb stomp was really cool by the way.
Braun Strowman defeated
Shane McMahon Elias
Shane McMahon got “injured” training for the match earlier in the day, and Elias caught up to him as he headed out of the training room wanting to perform at WrestleMania. So Shane’s brilliant idea was to instead insert Elias into the match in Shane’s place. So... this just happened and Braun won. Moving on to Raw!
What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?