The Road to WrestleMania is full of bumps and roadblocks, but for WWE, Fastlane is the final stop before the big event in just under three weeks. With that in mind and a number of the pieces not yet in place, it was interesting to see how WWE would move things around to set up their big two-night event. While Fastlane was nothing spectacular on paper, WWE’s recent form on pay-per-view has been excellent. Did Fastlane continue that trend? Let’s find out…

Pre-show

The pre-show was exactly what you would have expected from WWE, as the usual selection of video packages to hype the main show and predictions from the panel dominated the pre-show for Fastlane. However, there was one match on the pre-show, pitting United States Champion Riddle against Mustafa Ali.  

WWE United States Championship: Riddle (C) vs Mustafa Ali

As the bell went, Ali ducked to the floor as Riddle circled in the ring. After locking up Riddle began dominating on the mat targeting Ali’s ribs, including hitting a senton for a near fall. Ali countered a second senton with a nasty looking boot to the neck before spinning Riddle neck-first into the ring post. Riddle tried to fight back, but Ali stayed on top hitting a big knee and locking in a body-scissors. Riddle again fought back, but Ali drove Riddle’s injured neck into the turnbuckle with a dropkick for another near fall. Ali dodged a comeback from Riddle with some unique athletic movements before delivering a backstabber for another very close two-count.

While favouring his knee, Ali returned to the body-scissors but Riddle powered his way out and countered a running neckbreaker attempt into a rear-naked choke only for Ali to provide a counter of his own into a pinning combination for another near fall. From there things devolved into a brawl with Riddle hitting a Pelé kick, a series of running forearms into the corner and an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Riddle followed this up with a penalty kick and deadlift powerbomb and a lovely false finish after hitting his Final Flash knee strike. Ali managed to get his knees up at the last second to block a Floating Bro to save the match.

As both men struggled to their feet, Riddle caught Ali as he came off the top rope, which Ali, in turn, reversed into a small package attempt, but Riddle rolled all the way through it and picked up Ali and landed a fisherman buster for what seemed like the finish, but Ali kicked out at two. Ali quickly locked in the Koji Clutch as both men were on the mat and Riddle struggled to reach the ropes. However, Riddle powered out and they carried on. Ali continued jawing with his fellow members of Retribution on the floor after hitting a big boot in the corner to prevent Riddle from going to the top rope, but Ali’s arrogance cost him dearly as Riddle managed to get him in position and hit an enormous Bro Derek from the top rope to retain his championship.

Winner: Riddle

After the match, as RETRIBUTION attempted to help their fallen leader, Ali rounded on his stablemates and accused them of failing him. As he berated them Reckoning (AKA Mia Yim) stepped forward and refused to follow Ali’s orders before leaving the ring in disgust. Slapjack (AKA Shane Thorne) followed suit. As Ali shouted further abuse at T-Bar (AKA Dominik Dijakovic) and Mace (AKA Dio Maddin) the two big men finally had enough and hit a big double chokeslam on Ali before leaving the ring.

A very strong match to kick things off, especially for the pre-show. Riddle (for a variety of very good reasons) may not be someone everyone enjoys watching but the quality of his work in the ring is undeniable. This match provided a nice showcase for Mustafa Ali and the big post-match angle opens up a number of intriguing possibilities for the members of Retribution, hopefully away from this failed gimmick.   

Main show

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler (C) vs Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair

The show kicked off with Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair challenging Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax for the Women’s tag titles. Even during the entrances Banks appeared to be playing subtle heel leaving Belair as the de facto babyface. Additionally, the recap videos from SmackDown were all designed to stoke tensions between the members of both teams.  

Baszler started things off with Banks, with the challengers initially working well as a unit with both hitting big moves on Shayna, and Belair getting an early two-count on the “Submission Magician”. After Belair attempted a variety of pinning combinations, Baszler tried to reverse into a triangle, only for Belair to power out of the submission attempt. However, Baszler would gain the advantage by hitting strikes to Belair and dragging her into the heel corner. It appeared Baszler’s trademark elbow stomp would follow, but Nia Jax tagged herself in much to her partner’s dismay. This dissension provided an opening for Belair to rally and push Jax back into her corner and make the tag to Banks. 

After some brief offence from Banks, Jax was able to use her power advantage and take control, dominating Banks. As Jax went for a powerbomb, Belair was able to make the blind tag, dropkicking Jax which allowed Banks to reverse the powerbomb attempt into a hurricanrana. Belair then hit a basement dropkick on Jax for a near fall. Belair dodged an avalanche in the corner from Jax, but then as she got distracted by Baszler, Jax hit her with a big forearm and knocked her to the floor. Baszler made the tag, and began a ground and pound attack on Belair, as she locked in a neck crank. 

At this stage, the heels began to effectively cut off the ring, with Belair taking a beating from Baszler and Jax, including a big splash in the corner and an elbow drop from Jax as well as a running knee from Baszler as the champions alternated dishing out punishment to Belair. Baszler utilised an arm lock before Jax hit a massive slam for a near fall. Jax continued to try and wear down Belair with a modified neck hold, but Belair fought her way out. After Baszler blocked an attempted KOD by Belair on Jax, Bianca sent Nia into the corner shoulder-first allowing her to make the hot tag to Sasha Banks. 

Banks immediately took control with a big kick to Baszler and landed Meteoras on Jax and Baszler in either corner. Banks followed this up with an attempted aerial move on Jax, only to end up reversing it sending Jax to the floor and landing a modified DDT on Baszler for a near fall. Banks tagged Belair back in, and Bianca hit a beautiful 450 splash on a prone Baszler. However, Reginald hopped up on the apron distracting both the referee and Banks, leading The Boss to wipe him out in an attempt to take him out of the equation. Belair hit a big forearm to take Reginald out of commission, but this gave Baszler time to recover and lock in the Kirifuda Clutch. Belair quickly reversed this, which in turn gave Banks the opportunity to tag herself back in and nail a very impressive double team manoeuvre, before transitioning into the Banks Statement.

Belair attempted to make the save before Nia Jax could intervene, but this led to her inadvertently landing on Banks after a push from Jax and breaking the hold, which stoked dissension between the WrestleMania opponents. Banks shouted at Belair before she called her a “Rookie” and pie-faced the “EST of WWE”. As they argued, Shayna Baszler snuck in and rolled up Banks for the three-count as the champions retained. 

Winners: Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax

After the match Banks and Belair continued to argue, both deflecting blame onto each other for their loss. Banks continued to call Belair a “Rookie” before hitting a massive slap as she left. A shocked Belair looked at the WrestleMania sign before having a stare-down with Banks.

A very solid match between four very able competitors. The match followed the formula that will be familiar to anyone who has ever watched a tag team match. However, the ramping up of tension between Banks and Belair ahead of WrestleMania as well as the tease of friction between Jax and Baszler was very well executed and sets the table nicely for the next few weeks.

Before the next match, a photo was shown on-screen of Shane McMahon, purportedly displaying an injury he suffered earlier the day that put his match with Braun Strowman in jeopardy. Shane was then seen backstage hobbling on a crutch and with an ice-pack on his knee. Elias and Jaxson Ryker approached Shane asking for a spot at WrestleMania to do a musical performance. Shane initially blew them off, but then said he had an idea of how Elias could help him.

WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Big E (C) vs Apollo Crews

Things started off in an appropriate fiery and intense fashion with Big E and Apollo brawling from the get-go. Big E took control very quickly, hitting a spear through the ropes to the floor on Crews. Big E stomped Apollo on the apron with intensity as he trash-talked his opponent before nailing a big splash. He followed up with a second splash on the apron before things moved back into the ring.

Big E landed several forearms and a couple of huge overhead belly-to-belly suplexes. However, Apollo was able to recover, hitting a dropkick to Big E’s knee and huge clothesline. Crews followed up with a trio of German suplexes (which unfortunately will always be too closely associated with Chris Benoit for most to ever be truly comfortable watching that move.)

Apollo hit several stomps and did some trash-talking of his own before hitting a standing spinebuster. Crews nailed a massive frog splash from the top rope for a near-fall but as Big E kicked out, he maintained waist control on the champion. Although Big E powered out of the subsequent standing waist lock, Crews countered with two step-up enzuigiris and standing moonsault, but Big E got his knees up. As Big E went for a charge in the corner, Apollo ducked out of the way and went for his finisher, only for Big E to reverse into an attempted Big Ending, but Apollo escaped and balled Big E up into a small package, which E reversed but the finish was disputed on commentary and it looked pretty awkward in execution. 

Winner: Big E

After the bell rang, Crews assaulted Big E hitting two Angle Slams and slapping the downed Intercontinental Champion repeatedly before hitting a third Angle Slam and standing tall.   

A fantastic mid-card match. Apollo and Big E have really good chemistry and the story and psychology of this being a very personal issue made for a heated encounter (or as heated as an encounter can be without a physical audience). Big E has been tremendous in this feud, dialling up the seriousness and intensity but it can’t be understated how much the character development of Apollo Crews has elevated him in recent weeks. Apollo Crews has always had the physical attributes, but he needed a character to match and it feels like he finally has that now.  

After such a physical, heated affair it seemed only natural to pivot to a 24/7 title skit to promote Old Spice (who sponsored this show). It was the usual gang of geeks looking for R-Truth who briefly lost the title to “Joseph Average” before regaining it. 

Braun Strowman vs Shane McMahon

Before the “match”, some footage was shown of Shane injuring his knee in practice earlier in the day. 

Elias was then shown in the ring flanked by Shane McMahon and Jaxson Ryker. As Elias began playing, Shane interrupted him to let him know that he would be replacing Shane against Braun Strowman in the upcoming match

Braun Strowman vs Elias

Elias tried to take control with strikes but Strowman dominated from the start with elbows in the corner and massive hip toss. After Elias went to the outside, Bran dragged him back and ran him into two of the ring posts before choking and pounding on the chest of Elias. Ryker pulled Elias out of harms way from an onrushing Strowman in the corner, but this just angered Braun who bulldozed Elias on the arena floor. 

Ryker distracted Strowman briefly, allowing Elias to hit a chop block and a DDT to “The Monster Among Men” before hitting a big elbow from the top rope. However, Strowman assertively kicked out and began a comeback. Strowman shook off punches and kicks from Elias, landed a big clothesline and squashed Elias in the corner. A huge chokeslam and a massive powerslam capped off an impressive display.

Winner: Braun Strowman

Essentially, this was a squash match and nothing more. It kept Strowman strong for WrestleMania and elongated the Braun-Shane programme for Mania. It was somewhat surprising to see the injury angle not being further explored here but it’s hard to have any real complaints about a meaningless squash.

Riddle was shown backstage on a scooter and rambled at Shinsuke Nakamura about his idea for “tricking out scooters” before Nakamura disappeared and hid from Riddle to avoid further conversation. Understandable. 

Shinsuke Nakamura vs Seth Rollins

As things got underway Rollins and Nakamura traded holds before Nakamura took advantage with a series of big strikes. However, Rollins got back into it after hitting an elbow to Nakamura’s face and driving him into the mat and throwing him to the floor before hitting a flying knee from the apron. Rollins followed this up with knees to the midsection and a gutbuster for a one-count. Rollins continued to target the ribs of Nakamura hitting a backbreaker and grounded modified bearhug. Nakamura would escape, but Rollins quickly regained control with elbow strikes before going back to the ribs of Nakamura.

In order to send a message to Cesaro, Rollins would attempt a big swing, but Nakamura reversed it into an armbar. Rollins fled to the floor but was met with a baseball slide and two big knees on the apron. Strikes from Nakamura followed as he went through his usual repertoire of kicks, knees and elbows before getting a near fall. Rollins countered an inverted exploder, but then ate a knee from Nakamura, but before he could execute his next move Rollins knocked him down to the floor and followed up with a suicide dive to the floor. A flying knee and a sling blade from Rollins followed but Nakamura kicked out of the pin at two. 

Seth went for a suplex, but Nakamura blocked it repeatedly and they traded strikes. Seth attempted a buckle bomb, but Nakamura blocked with a kick and set up for the Kinshasa. Rollins countered with a boot, but Nakamura was ready, spinning him around and delivering a brutal looking sliding low German suplex. Nakamura again set up for the Kinshasa,  but Rollins reversed into the buckle bomb. A Falcon Arrow was next for a close near fall. Rollins set up for the Stomp but Nakamura was ready and countered with a Landslide for a very close two-count. The reverse exploder was then delivered, and for a third time Nakamura set up for his finisher, but again Rollins avoided it, hitting a blow to Shinsuke’s neck before executing a very unique and possibly brand new reverse enzuigiri/shining wizard type move. That proved to be the decisive blow, and Rollins followed up with a Stomp for the victory.   

Although this match had a very last-minute feel to it, Rollins and Nakamura could always be counted on to deliver in-ring and this was no exception. These two have excellent chemistry, and although the match had no real stakes attached it was certainly a strong outing for both men and sets up Rollins to continue his feud with Cesaro into WrestleMania. 

No Holds Barred: Drew McIntyre vs Sheamus

After a truly excellent hype video with lots of archive footage from years gone by, the very personal issue with Sheamus and Drew McIntyre was ready to be solved in a brutal fashion. McIntyre was out first with Braveheart-Esque Scottish war paint on his face. Sheamus evidently missed the paint memo. 

This match was very physical throughout, as expected. Rather than document every punch and kick (there were lots), this will be more of a broad accounting of the war these two put together. After some brief punches were exchanged, McIntyre nailed two overhead belly-to-belly suplexes before firing Sheamus to the floor and they began brawling, at which point McIntyre hit another suplex. Next, they went to the usual ring post/barrier spots. Sheamus rallied, bringing a kendo stick into play. Before he could connect with it, McIntyre hit another suplex on the floor. McIntyre then sent Sheamus into the steps before stomping him into the steel.

Things moved back into the ring as McIntyre picked up the kendo stick, but Sheamus Brogue Kicked it into McIntyre’s face for a near fall. Naturally, Sheamus followed this up by wailing on Drew with the stick for several minutes. McIntyre retaliated with a pair of Glasgow Kiss headbutts and a big boot. Then it was McIntyre’s turn with the kendo stick, and he returned the favour with brutal shots, including a gruesome moment where he jabbed it into Sheamus’ eye.  

As things spilled to the outside again, McIntyre lunged at Sheamus but was hit with a drop toe hold into the steps. Sheamus continued to assert himself on the match as he smashed McIntyre with the steps and set up for a White Noise through the announce table. McIntyre countered and when he couldn’t hit the Futureshock DDT he changed tack and flung Sheamus through the barricade as they brawled into the “crowd” with Drew in charge. It didn’t last long, as Sheamus hit a suplex on the exposed floor to retake the momentum. 

As things moved towards the business end of the match, Sheamus and McIntyre brawled up onto a raised platform where Sheamus landed a rolling senton. However, as Sheamus attempted to throw McIntyre to the floor below, Drew reversed and sent Sheamus flying into a bank of monitors which set off the obligatory “sparks” (although it could be argued it was still more impressive than the ending of the last AEW PPV) and McIntyre let out a guttural, primal scream. 

With Sheamus flagging and McIntyre resurgent, Drew continued to smash Sheamus into every object available, before putting his prone body on an equipment case to move him back to the ringside area, only to suplex him off it to the floor. McIntyre seemed to have it won, but Sheamus hit a desperation Brogue Kick to put Drew back among the monitors at ringside. Sheamus dragged Drew up to the top of the barrier and began shouting at him before landing a wicked jumping White Noise from the barrier through the announce table.

Sheamus dragged the seemingly unconscious McIntyre back into the ring but rather than go for the win, Sheamus grabbed a piece of the shattered announce table and moved it into the ring. As “The Celtic Warrior” talked trash to McIntyre, Drew defiantly slapped him, enraging Sheamus who replied with a slap of his own and hoisted his opponent up ready to deliver the killer blow – a White Noise on the piece of the announce table, but Drew reversed it into a Futureshock DDT onto the wood, followed by a big Claymore for the win. 

Winner: Drew McIntyre

As expected this match was an absolute war. It was physical, it was smash-mouth and it was a slugfest. Both men went over and above and did lots to try and make this match stand out, and it felt personal and appropriately violent throughout with a big payoff at the end. Good work from both, and a nice set up to keep Drew strong for WrestleMania.

Alexa Bliss vs Randy Orton

After a recap of all the supernatural nonsense that has comprised the weird Alexa Bliss-Randy Orton feud up to this point, we were treated to Alexa Bliss vs Randy Orton in a rare intergender match. Well, not exactly a “match”, more of an angle.

Randy Orton made his entrance as usual, but it was from there that things got a little weird. As Orton did his corner pose, more black goop began spewing from his mouth and he bent over, doubled and coughing, which is arguably a bad look in the middle of a pandemic. Angry, Orton rolled to the floor and demanded a towel from the timekeeper as he wiped away the goop and returned to the ring. 

Alexa Bliss made her way to the stage doing her creepy kids’ TV presenter thing, made up to look a bit like a corpse.  As she stood in the corner and smiled, a purple hue bathed the WWE ThunderDome. As the bell rang Orton walked forward only to be met with a wall of flame that shot up in the middle of the ring. Bliss laughed as Randy recoiled in fear. Orton then charged at Bliss, but she dodged his run and he went shoulder-first into the ring post, a nice nod to Orton’s history of shoulder issues. Bliss feigned concern at ringside before laughing at Orton’s plight. 

As Orton got up he began stalking Bliss back towards the ring as she skipped, almost mocking Orton. Bliss gazed up at the ceiling and a lighting rig fell just narrowly missing Orton. As Bliss continued to play mind games with Orton he seemed more and more infuriated. Bliss got back in the ring and encouraged him to join her. Orton began walking towards Bliss but she shot a fireball that just missed him, as he dropped to the ground, shocked. 

As Orton got to his feet, looking to approach Bliss a cut appeared in the ring behind him and a disfigured hand grabbed Orton’s foot. As Orton moved away flames erupted from the hole and a melted, new version of The Fiend emerged from the hole complete with what appear to be burnt hand gloves (there is no other way to describe this) and some sort of charred tactical gear.

As Orton looked on, stunned, Bliss kicked him into the path of The Fiend who delivered a Sister Abigail and Bliss sat on him for the pin and the victory. 

Winner: Alexa Bliss

Not everyone is going to enjoy this type of angle. In fact, this is absolutely the sort of storyline that will turn off a lot of fans who prefer the more realistic “sports” presentation of wrestling. However, for those who enjoy the more fantastical supernatural style of angle, this will have been an incredible sight. The Jason Vorhees-meets-Toxic Avenger look is certainly eye-catching. I have no idea how this works in front of an audience, and whether once the bell rings this new-look Fiend character falls apart, but this was an effectively booked return for Bray Wyatt and I suppose we will see how things unfold towards what is presumably a WrestleMania match between Orton and The Fiend. 

WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (C) vs Daniel Bryan – Edge as Special Ringside Enforcer 

Onto the main event of the evening, as Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan faced off for the Universal Championship with Edge, the challenger for WrestleMania, acting here as a ringside enforcer. The entrances and introductions really gave this a big fight feel. 

The match started off in cagey fashion, almost akin to an MMA fight with both men not wanting to make a mistake. Bryan made the first move going for Reigns’ leg to attempt a takedown, but Reigns was able to avoid it. Reigns then used his size advantage to push Bryan back to the ropes, again much like a fighter pushing his opponent to the ropes/cage. Bryan would get the clean break from Reigns but offered a kick as though testing the waters. Roman would back Bryan into the corner again and retaliate with a forearm of his own before the clean break.

Bryan went for Reigns’ ankle, trying to lock in a heel hook but Reigns escaped to the ropes. Bryan repeated the same tactic, again forcing a retreat before they locked into the traditional test of strength spot. Reigns took the upper hand, but Bryan reversed into an armbar attempt he looked to get into Reigns’ head. This was a great bit of storytelling in the early moments. 

After a tentative opening, Reigns hit a big side headlock takeover before  Bryan countered into a hammerlock and began doing some old fashioned joint manipulation. This early portion felt like it owed a small debt to the British World of Sport style of years gone by. 

Reigns then changed approach, hitting big impact moves with strikes and shoulder barges in the corner. As Reigns came off the ropes Bryan hit a sublime dropkick right on the champion’s chin before going back to work on the arm of Reigns while also hitting kicks to weaken Roman’s leg. As they exchanged strikes, things began to pick up pace as Bryan avoided contact with the corner after an Irish whip by back-flipping over Reigns from the top rope only for Reigns to hit a Tilt-A-Whirl slam for a near fall.  

Reigns began a ground assault of Bryan, occasionally stopping to glare at Edge. Reigns hit a series of strikes and suplexes on Bryan as he dished out punishment. Reigns stomped and pounded on Bryan, grounding him and wearing him down with a chinlock, talking trash to Bryan and Edge throughout. As things spilled to the outside Reigns threw Bryan into the barricade, but Bryan fought back with kicks before Reigns hurled him into the ring post. Back in the ring Reigns continued at a very deliberate pace, hitting a big suplex and a clothesline in the corner. However, when he went for it again Bryan caught him with a desperation drop toehold before hitting a huge corner dropkick. A top rope hurricanrana was countered by Reigns and using his pure power he simply walked himself into a Boston crab until Bryan reversed it into a pin for a two-count and followed up with a big running elbow. 

At this point both men were staggering, Bryan hit kicks that briefly destabilised the champion, but Reigns replied with a knee to the midsection. Reigns missed a back body drop and as he rushed his challenger, and Bryan was able to use Reigns’ momentum to send him to the outside at the feet of Edge.  Bryan went for broke with a plancha but Reigns shifted his weight and turned it into a slam on the floor. However, as he picked up Bryan the champion found himself being rammed into the ring post, and that opened the door for Bryan to demolish Reigns with a running knee to the face from the apron. Bryan rolled Reigns back in the ring and clambered to the top rope landing another knee to the neck and shoulder of Reigns and a missile dropkick for a near fall. 

With Reigns on his knees, Bryan launched into his “Yes” kicks, hitting the shoulders and knees of a fading Reigns. However, as was the story of much of the match, Reigns caught the final kick and used his power to push Daniel Bryan back into the corner hitting forearm shivers and right hands, as well as a barrage of knees making use of a Muay Thai-style clinch. Bryan attempted a takedown, but Reigns was able to sprawl and stuff the takedown before again using his power advantage raising Bryan up for a powerbomb, only to have it reversed into a hurricanrana in a fantastic call back to their earlier top rope spot. Bryan returned to his kicks, levelling Reigns for another very, very close two-count. 

Bryan grabbed double wrist control of the downed Reigns and began stomping on his face before transitioning into the “Yes” Lock. Reigns tried to move for the ropes, only for Bryan to roll him over, transitioning into a double arm lock and back into his signature submission. As Reigns struggled in the hold he eventually managed to break Bryan’s grip and seized upon him raining down a battery of forearms to the face before lifting the challenger into a powerbomb for a near fall. 

As Reigns went for a spear, Bryan blocked with a kick, but as Bryan went for his running knee Reigns moved and Bryan accidentally wiped out the referee. This was inevitable given Edge’s role on the floor and to anyone who has seen wrestling before surely signified the finish was on the horizon.  Reigns would hit the spear on Bryan, but with no referee Edge reluctantly jumped into the ring and made the count, but Bryan kicked out at two. 

With Bryan still down, Reigns began jawing with Edge, even going as far as to warn him of the consequences of being in “his ring”. Reigns then turned his attention back to Bryan offering up another dose of brutal forearms to his downed opponent. However, Bryan seized the moment and locked in a triangle choke. Reigns tried to fight out, again lifting up Bryan only to be met with a flurry of elbows from Bryan who then transitioned into the “Yes” Lock. Bryan maintained the hold, only breaking to club Reigns with crossface shots to try and neutralise him.

As Reigns began to fade Jey Uso made his way to the ring superkicking Edge and Daniel Bryan. Uso threw Edge into the ring post and tried to hit Bryan with a chair only to eat a running knee from Bryan. He would use the chair to brutalise Uso and with the referee down, Bryan wound up to hit Reigns. Unfortunately for Bryan, Reigns ducked and he hit Edge in the arm, knocking him down to the mat, and then received a Superman Punch from Reigns. It looked bleak for Bryan, but as Reigns attempted a spear, Bryan countered into the “Yes” Lock in the middle of the ring. Reigns began to tap very softly on Bryan’s arm, but with no referee, it didn’t matter, and Edge then blasted Bryan with a chair before doing the same to Reigns in what is surely a heel turn, before leaving the ring and going to the back. With both men down, Reigns crawled over and pinned Bryan to retain. 

Winner: Roman Reigns

An incredible main event that started slowly and built to what felt like an inevitable conclusion. Bryan and Reigns work fantastically well together and although this wasn’t the typical WWE-style main event it worked on every level. The finish sets up what will presumably be a three-way dance at WrestleMania and an infinitely more interesting proposition then Edge vs Reigns. Turning Edge heel here also feels smart as with a crowd in attendance Bryan either not featuring in the main event, or Edge staying as a babyface for the triple threat would have made him a heel by default anyway. A superb match from two guys at the very top of their game. 

It’s fair to say Fastlane exceeded all expectations. WWE may have been criticised in recent months for their booking and creative decisions but on pay-per-view, they have been near-faultless for a while now and this show was no exception. Every match delivered or over-delivered and the main event was one of the best things they’ve done for a while. Roll on WrestleMania.

All images courtesy of WWE.com