Welcome to POST Wrestling’s coverage of the WWE Fastlane event from the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
The kickoff panel features Renee Young, Booker T., Sam Roberts, and David Otunga.
There was a Baron Corbin selfie promo, in which he listed all of his “wants”, including the desire to look and point at the WrestleMania sign.
Charly interviewed New Day backstage, Kofi Kingston said they became four-time tag champions in the same amount of time it took The Usos to become relevant. Big E. cut a spirited promo about New Day being the best tag team.
Sunil Singh interrupted the panel to bring out Jinder Mahal. Mahal brought up his win over Randy Orton and he is the “uncrowned United States champion” and asks why he was left out of this match tonight between Bobby Roode and Orton. He dismissed the top ten list when it was brought up by Renee, which seems to be the general consensus on the top ten list.
Dolph Ziggler answered tweets. He answered one fan’s tweet by stating he stopped caring what the fans thought, which seems like a contradiction. Booker asked if his best days were behind him and Ziggler got red in the face silencing Booker’s doubts. Sam Roberts read a question referring to Ziggler having a chance to win the “WWF championship” and Ziggler played off it well saying he wasn’t that old to be able to win that title.
SHELTON BENJAMIN, CHAD GABLE & MOJO RAWLEY VS BREEZANGO AND TYE DILLINGER
Fandango used wrestling headgear when he was tagged in with Gable. Gable then got on all fours to challenge Breeze and he got on Gable’s back like he was riding a horse.
There was a big commercial for WrestleMania in the middle with Ronda Rousey voicing the spot and hyping the tag match.
The audience chanted “you can’t wrestle” at Rawley.
It built to a hot tag for Dillinger and he attacked everyone on the opposing team that the audience was into with “ten” chants.
Breeze hit Gable with the Beauty Shot to send him to the floor. Dillinger superkicked Rawley and the knee to the face with a drop down and pinned Rawley.
WINNERS: TYE DILLINGER (pinned Mojo Rawley) AND BREEZANGO AT 7:27
The match got a little clunky at times, but the audience was hot for it from the Dillinger hot tag onwards.
The opening video of the main show was the ultimate selfie promo package with all six members of the main event with their names on the screen and then continued into the other matches.
SHINSUKE NAKAMURA VS RUSEV
Nakamura was the first one out to a big reaction.
Aiden English came out and he has regained his voice and sang and insulted Columbus to ensure they wouldn’t receive a positive reaction.
The audience was loud chanting “Nakamura” and “Rusev Day” back-and-forth.
Rusev bailed to the floor and elicited boos from the crowd for doing so.
Nakamura drilled Rusev with a knee on the edge of the apron, then he leapt off the apron with the safest knee ever to the back of the neck.
Rusev ran at Nakamura in the ropes and got the advantage.
Rusev pressed Nakamura into the air and hit him in the ribs and followed with a head kick. Nakamura avoided a Machka kick, Nakamura attempted a roll up and Rusev went for the Accolade after Nakamura kicked out but could not get it.
Nakamura set up for the Kinshasa and was met with a superkick for a near fall.
Nakamura escaped the Accolade and hit the Kinshasa to the back of the head and then hit the proper version to the front and won the match.
WINNER: SHINSUKE NAKAMURA AT 14:28
I thought the placement going on first was the right call as these two going on late may have been hurt with the audience expecting the clean Nakamura win. It picked up a lot in the final minutes and Nakamura got a big reaction for the finish and was a good opener with the right finish.
BOBBY ROODE VS RANDY ORTON FOR THE UNITED STATES TITLE
The story is that after 16 years on the main roster, Randy Orton has decided that now is the time to win this U.S. title that has never been of interest to him prior.
Roode avoided an early RKO and rolled to the floor.
Orton was selling his shoulder and Roode selling his ribs from the early going.
Roode climbed to the top and hit a clothesline. He called for the Glorious DDT, but Orton countered with a roll up. Orton his two short clotheslines and a powerslam.
Roode came back with a blockbuster and was favouring his ribs throughout. Orton caught him on the ropes and hit a draping DDT. He looked towards the WrestleMania sign and appeared to challenge the sign to come at him.
Roode hit a sunset flip powerbomb and got a two-count in the ring. Roode climbed to the top, was crotched by Orton and he hit a superplex. Byron Saxton asked “Kevin” to show him another replay of the superplex.
Roode blocked the RKO and hit a spinebuster for a two-count.
Roode leapt off the second turnbuckle right into an RKO and Orton won the match.
WINNER: RANDY ORTON AT 19:27 TO WIN THE UNITED STATES TITLE
The match had a very slow pace to it, it definitely wasn’t bad but also didn’t reach the level I felt it would. The audience seemed into the near falls and definitely for the finish with the RKO out of nowhere.
Jinder Mahal came out after the match, he attacked Orton and Roode returned and hit Mahal with the Glorious DDT. Roode then grabbed Orton and hit him with a DDT as well and his music played.
There was a video feature promoting the mixed tag match for WrestleMania. They redid one of Rousey’s lines from Raw on Monday when she told Stephanie the opponent she is choosing for WrestleMania, “is you”.
Kevin Owens is in the locker room and Sami Zayn walked in. Owens is upset over Zayn double-crossing him at SmackDown Live. Zayn said his deal was for tonight and not to worry about what he did on Tuesday. He told Owens he could rely on him and Owens walked away.
NAOMI AND BECKY LYNCH VS NATALYA AND CARMELLA
Corey Graves listed off Natalya’s friends, including “Harry”, “Teddy”, and “Lance”.
Natalya hit a sit-out powerbomb onto Naomi for a two-count. Carmella came in and they worked over Naomi in their corner. Carmella pulled on Naomi’s ponytail from the floor. Naomi lands on her feet from a suplex attempt and tags in Lynch.
Naomi came back in, she slipped on the middle rope going for a springboard kick but completed the kick as she tagged Lynch.
Carmella knocked Naomi off the apron, the referee was distracted as Natalya brought the briefcase onto the apron. Becky went after Natalya and then turned around in a superkick from Carmella and she pinned Lynch.
WINNERS: CARMELLA (pinned Becky Lynch) AND NATALYA AT 8:53
The audience was quieter for this match than the prior matches. It was an undercard match with nothing noteworthy. The match largely consisted of Naomi selling and building to Becky’s hot tag. The focus of the match was on Carmella.
THE USOS VS KOFI KINGSTON AND XAVIER WOODS FOR THE SMACKDOWN TAG TITLES
The teams mimicked each other early on with The Usos delivering the unicorn stampede. Kingston then did a running hip attack into the corner. Jimmy attempted the Trouble in Paradise and Kingston ducked, The Usos then hit the Midnight Hour and Kingston kicked out. The announcers called out the moves, but the audience didn’t seem to connect that they were stealing each other’s moves.
Kingston leapt off the top with a splash onto Jimmy for a two-count, which is another spot from The Usos.
New Day was on the floor and The Usos hit simultaneous dives and took out all three members. All five men were down, and The Bludgeon Brothers came out to their theme music.
Luke Harper and Erick Rowan attacked everyone and the bell was called at 8:59.
WINNERS: NO CONTEST
Rowan steamrolled Big E. on the floor, then lifted The Usos and ran them into each other before Rowan slammed Jey on top of Jimmy. Rowan then lifted Harper and slammed him onto both Usos.
They swung their hammers but didn’t connect and then they left.
Xavier Woods was powerbombed on top of the steel steps.
While the match wasn’t delivered, it was designed to build to a bigger match with the three-way appearing to be the direction. I can see people being disappointed as this was one of the standout matches on tonight’s show, but in the non-PPV era, it’s hard to be upset with an angle being shot in lieu of delivering a finish.
Renee Young interviewed AJ Styles, he talked about overcoming the odds and works harder than anyone. Shinsuke Nakamura walked in and wished him luck, Styles cut him off and said he would win and beat him at WrestleMania.
They cut back to the arena and Xavier Woods was taken out on a stretcher and the others were all helped to the back. Corey Graves was stunned by the amount of violence had just witnessed.
CHARLOTTE FLAIR VS RUBY RIOTT FOR THE SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S TITLE
Riott came out with Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan.
Riott took Charlotte’s back and they crashed through the ropes to the floor. Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan appeared out of nowhere on the floor.
Riott hit the Riott kick and Charlotte kicked out to zero reaction, it was way too early to hit her finisher and I don’t think the audience even recognized it as such.
Naomi and Becky Lynch ran down to even the numbers. Riott took over inside the ring, including a backwards senton off the second turnbuckle.
She applied a straight jacket and wrenched on Charlotte’s back. She went for another backwards senton and Charlotte got her knees up. Charlotte climbed to the top and was shoved off to the floor.
Charlotte caught a suicide dive attempt and landed a moonsault off the barricade.
Riott stopped Charlotte on top and hit a top rope Frankensteiner. Riott started chopping Charlotte and she responded with her own.
Charlotte went to drive her to the mat and they were on different pages and Riott ended up draping herself on the middle rope.
Logan and Morgan attempted to get involved, Naomi and Becky ran at them and the referee ejected both sets of extras.
Riott attempted a reverse rana but Charlotte held onto the ropes and drove Riott into the turnbuckle with a reverse Alabama Slam. Charlotte hit a spear and applied the Figure 8 for the submission win.
WINNER: CHARLOTTE AT 13:44 TO RETAIN THE SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S TITLE
Outside of one awkward spot between the two, a very good match and Riott had her most impressive performance to date on the main roster and was in a tough spot considering no one bought that she would win.
Asuka came out to confront Charlotte, the audience is going wild and Asuka points to the sign and the match is set for WrestleMania.
The latest trailer for the HBO documentary on Andre the Giant aired.
They stated that Xavier Woods has been taken to a local medical facility for a spinal injury from the attack earlier.
There was a video package with comments from all six participants in the main event. The funniest was Sami Zayn explaining in the video package that “if I have to put my friendship on hold for one night, so be it” after they just aired the segment earlier tonight where he was explaining the opposite to Owens.
Shane McMahon came out to watch the match from ringside.
AJ STYLES VS JOHN CENA VS KEVIN OWENS VS. SAMI ZAYN VS BARON CORBIN VS DOLPH ZIGGLER FOR THE WWE TITLE
The match begins with Cena hitting an AA to Owens, Zayn, Corbin, and Ziggler. He has a face off with Styles after sending the others to the floor. Styles landed on his feet when Cena went for an AA.
Ziggler hit a jumping DDT to Cena and when he went down, Owens came off the top with a frog splash onto Ziggler.
Corbin hit the Zig Zag onto Corbin, but then Cena returned and dropped Ziggler and Zayn next to each other and hit a double five knuckle shuffle, which looks so goofy. Ziggler countered the AA into the famouser and got a two-count on Cena.
Styles returned and hit Cena with the Styles Clash and Zayn broke the cover.
Corbin hit Owens with the Dream Crusher (inside out lariat) and then a great looking Deep Six to Styles. Corbin then tossed Ziggler into the crowd, Corbin followed him into the penalty box area and Corbin went into the boards.
Cena and Owens got onto the announcer’s desk, Owens avoided an AA but then Styles ran at Cena, was caught and put through the table with an AA from Cena.
Owens and Zayn were alone in the ring, Zayn said he was a man of his word and he laid down, Owens didn’t believe him and went to grab him, Zayn used an inside cradle and then they attacked each other with strikes. Zayn back body dropped Owens on the edge of the apron.
Zayn starts yelling at Shane McMahon, Owens goes to superkick Zayn, misses and takes out Shane. Zayn hits Owens with a tornado DDT on the floor, brings him into the ring and Owens stops a Helluva kick with a superkick.
Owens then hit Ziggler with a pop-up powerbomb and had the match won when Shane pulled the referee down to the floor to stop the count. Owens was yelling at Shane and in the process was hit with a Helluva kick, Shane pulled the referee down again, this time costing Zayn the win.
Corbin attacked everyone with the steel steps. Cena took them away and attacked Corbin with the steps. He hit the AA onto the steps and Ziggler stopped the count.
Cena hit an AA to Ziggler, Owens returned and hit Cena with a pop-up powerbomb and turned around and was hit with the phenomenal forearm and Styles pinned Owens.
WINNER: AJ STYLES AT 21:54 TO RETAIN THE WWE TITLE
John Cena sat in the corner dejected that he lost.
They announce that the “dream match is on” between Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura for WrestleMania.