Life In The Carpool Lane (WWE Fastlane 2016 Review)

Hey everyone. It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a wrestling review, and my video “reviews” are usually way too long-winded for their own good. So, here’s the compromise. I’m doing written wrestling PPV reviews again! Thus, these are my thoughts on WWE Fastlane 2016.

As usual my standards were honestly set pretty low going into this one. There was at least one or two matches I was looking forward to that I knew were happening. But that’s about it. Speaking of which.

Kickoff Match
2/3 Falls match for the US Championship: Alberto Del Rio vs. Kalisto (c)

So, I’m just going to go ahead and say this match was great. At least I thought so. The two guys had me on the edge of my seat near the end for some of those near falls. But the main point I want to bring up, and the only thing that bugged me about this match is……WHY WAS THIS THE FUCKING PRE-SHOW MATCH? I mean, are you fucking kidding me? What the hell WWE? ARE YOU HIGH?! This was at the very least a match you open a PPV proper with, NOT A MATCH YOU RELEGATE TO THE PRE-SHOW!

*Ahem* Anyway, I could honestly keep bitching about it but I’d be here for a while. In any case, great match, dumb decision to put it on the pre-show. If I had anything nice to say about that decision, it’s kind of a backhanded compliment. That being I figure the only way this match would’ve had 15 minutes or so would’ve been if it was on the pre-show.

Side note: Who the fuck is that new-ish commentator that was actually calling the action during this match? This is the first time I can remember hearing this guy, and he’s already a better commentator than literally every other commentator WWE has right now. Pair this guy with Regal and fire everyone else. You’ll save a lot of money WWE.

Winner – Kalisto (1st and 3rd falls)
Match Rating – Solid A+ (Mainly to spite WWE for putting this on the FUCKING PRE-SHOW ARGH!)

PPV proper
Opening match: Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch vs. Tamina Snuka & Naomi

At first I was honestly annoyed that this was the PPV opener, and I still honestly am, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like this match. In fact, this was a pretty good women’s tag match for WWE. Tamina & Naomi actually gel pretty well as a team, which is nice to see. It also helped to sell the “actual team vs. two singles people team” dynamic they were trying to push.

Not much else to say about this match. Damn good effort by all the women involved, especially considering the iffy reputation women’s tag matches in WWE usually have. Though please, give Naomi a new finisher. The Rear View is fucking stupid.

Winners – Sash & Becks (Let’s see if anyone gets that joke)
Match Rating – Solid A-

Intercontinental Championship match – Dolph Ziggler vs. Kevin Owens (c)

Like the match before this one, I wasn’t aware this match was happening. That said this did still turn out to be a pretty good match. I would say great, but honestly the first 5-10 minutes were kind of meh. I mean, sure, maybe Owens was doing the Orton technique of “nothing but rest holds” to piss off the crowd intentionally (in fact I’m almost certain that was the case), but it still rang a little hollow because that time frame just ended up being kinda boring.

And of course, as soon as the action picks up and gets interesting, we get a “this is awesome” chant. Which honestly I don’t think was deserved, and the fans in attendance were just easy as fuck to please. Personally my reaction was “Ok now I give a shit” not “WOW AMAZING 10/10!” but hey, that’s just me. Overall the match was pretty good, and even though I thought WWE were gonna make Owens cheat to win. Nope. He won clean. Can honestly say I’m surprised. Guess this feud isn’t going any further.

Winner (and still IC Champ) – Kevin Owens
Match Rating – Solid B+ (Would be higher but the mediocre first half brings the score down)

6-Man Tag Team match – Ryback, Kane & Big Show vs. Luke Harper, Eric Rowan & Braun Strowman

Not a horrible match, but the Wyatt Family lost so, you know what? l don’t give a shit. Fuck you WWE.

Winners – The Team That Should’ve Lost
Rating – Solid Z- (yes that rating doesn’t exist but fuck you I hate WWE that much over this)

Diva’s Championship match – Brie “My Husband’s Retirement Helped My Career” Bella vs. Charlotte (c)

I’m gonna be honest with you. I tried sitting through the video package, then realised they were just using Daniel Bryan’s retirement and Nikki Bella’s injury to emotionally manipulate us into liking Brie. Most people don’t give a shit about either one of the Bella Twins. Me? Nikki has warmed on me since she’s improved so her injury sucks. Bryan retiring also sucks. But what sucks more is trying to make us care about Brie because the other two people in her life with some actual talent are both broken.

Then I tried watching the match itself. Only to give up when they bring up Brie is wearing Bryan’s WrestleMania XXX kickpads. Fuck off. Because I only watched the ending and the match highlights I can’t say whether or not the match was good or bad, so I won’t give this a rating. But fuck you WWE. Fuck you for exploiting this shit to make us like someone. That’d be like if The Rock died and you exploited it to make more people like Roman Reigns. Hell, it’s like when Eddie Guerrero died and you used it to push Rey Mysterio to the World Heavyweight Championship.

Note that I am blaming WWE for this, not Brie herself. But she isn’t exactly an innocent party since she’s going along for the ride without complaint. But still. Fuck WWE for that. If Brie needs this to get over then that really shows how little of a shit people actually give about her.

Winner – Charlotte

AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho

Not much I can really say about this match without going in circles, so I’ll say this much. This was a damn fine match. Considering the shape he seemed to be in, Jericho put on a good show, and even attempted a Tiger Driver/Tiger Bomb (pending which you prefer) at one point. It got reversed but the point is he broke out a move he doesn’t do anymore. It was either that or he was going for that double under-hook backbreaker thing. But I assume Tiger Driver.

AJ was great and, without trying to sound insulting, carried the match. The Pele kick he hit on Jericho when Jericho was on the top turnbuckle was cool because I honestly didn’t expect him to reach far enough to connect. But he did, thankfully. Overall this was a good match as I said. The fans were dead for the entrances, but they picked up and cheered for both when the match itself started. So that kind of made up for it.

Only issue I have is the match actually seemed a tad too drawn out. Though that may just be me being tired as I write this……also because I’m kinda distracting myself as I write this. It’s definitely one of those things anyway.

Winner – AJ Styles
Match Rating – Solid A-

The “We Realised We Had A Lot Of Time To Fill So Fuck It, Here’s Another Match” match – R-Truth vs. Curtis Axel

So yeah. This was a thing. Not a bad match but extremely short. If nothing else I give them credit for at least continuing the story between Goldust & R-Truth. By doing that the match seemed slightly less like a pre-main event filler match. It still was though.

Winner – Curtis Axel
Match Rating – Solid C+ (Didn’t have time to be anything great, but it was at least decent)

Main Event for the spot at WrestleMania because we made the Rumble match for the title, so now we have to do this even though you know Reigns is winning – Dean “I’m here to take the fall” Ambrose vs. Brock “Why Am I Even Here?” Lesnar vs. Roman “I’m Obviously Winning This Thing” Reigns

As you can tell I didn’t exactly have high hopes for this match. And to a point I was justified in that. Lesnar spammed suplexes as usual, but luckily WWE got that bullshit out of the way early to allow for an actual match to happen when Dean & Reigns would take Lesnar out of the equation. To be honest any time Brock was getting attacked was a highlight for me. That’s how much I fucking hate this run Brock has had.

In a way this match is very reminiscent of the Rollins/Cena/Brock triple threat from the Rumble last year. If only for how Brock gets taken out for most of it so we can have an actual match. Though Dean/Reigns wasn’t as good as Rollins/Cena. That said the stuff with them facing off did hold my interest, so they have that going for them. I already knew thanks to spoilers that Roman was winning but, come on, of course he was gonna win.

One thing I didn’t forsee was how exactly Lesnar would be neutralised. I had expected the Wyatt Family to come out and decimate Lesnar, probably carrying him backstage or something too. But that didn’t happen. Thanks to RAW results I know why, but yeah. Honestly I’m kind of glad about that whole thing cause now Bray doesn’t have to suffer being squashed by Lesnar……….but on the other hand, now Dean does. Well, I guess you can’t win ’em all. Which at this point might as well be Dean or Bray’s motto.

In conclusion, as I said, this match wasn’t exactly bad, and any time Brock was laid out was great, but overall the match was still only just “good”, which isn’t really good enough for a PPV MAIN EVENT! But I digress. They did the best they could with the situation at hand, and we all knew Reigns was gonna win so who even cares?

Winner – Roman Reigns
Match Rating – Solid B+. Would be lower or higher, but the predictability and Lesnar’s inclusion knocked it down a few pegs, and Lesnar getting put through two tables and smashed with a chair brings it back up a bit.

Overall PPV Rating – Solid B+ (Not going by an averages or anything, just going with what I feel it deserves)

Final Thoughts

So. Was this PPV crap? Honestly I’d say no, it wasn’t crap. Was it great? I wouldn’t say that either. The best word I can think of right now is……..decent. This PPV was decent. We’re on the fucking road to WrestleMania and all I can come up with is “decent”. How sad is that?

And honestly I’m gonna leave it at that. I could go on about how I think Triple H should’ve had a title defense on the PPV as a random short match against a midcarder to give a guy some exposure, but I’ll leave it at a mention so I don’t make this any longer. And with that, I’ll see you guys in April for what is shaping up to be a very mediocre WrestleMania. 

Prove me wrong WWE. Prove. Me. Wrong.

The Ring Of Fyre 2.0: Daytime-Mania (WrestleMania 31 Review)

WrestleMania 31 poster

 

Having managed to sit through it all without pulling his hair out, Thomas gives his thoughts on WrestleMania 31.

The Ring Of Fyre 2.0: Levi-Mania (WrestleMania 31 “Predictions”)

On the eve of WrestleMania, Thomas gives his thoughts on how he thinks the PPV will go down.

The Ring Of Fyre 2.0 – Tender Love, Caring…..and Sharing (WWE TLC 2014 Review)

This time on The Ring Of Fyre, Thomas gives his thoughts on the last WWE PPV of the year, Tables Ladders and Chairs…….and Stairs……..seriously whose idea was that?

Fyreharticles: Survivor Series 2013 Review

Survivor Series 2013 poster

Well, it’s come and gone so here we go, my review of the 2013 Survivor Series PPV. This is being done as I watch it online by the way. Just thought I’d clarify that. Before I start though, I would like the point out two things. One is that the theme song for this PPV is complete shite. Second, what the hell is up with the Survivor Series logo? It seems like the “VIV” either wouldn’t light up properly or aren’t supposed to. See this is what happens when you do a set up like that WWE. Next time make it the whole thing across, or actually check that shit before the PPV starts.

Can’t entirely blame them for that I guess, but still, it looks like a rundown hotel sign. Anyway, on to the PPV.

Classic 5-on-5 Survivor Series match: Team Racial Equality (Cody Rhodes, Goldust, Jimmy & Jey Uso, and Rey Mysterio) vs. Team Believe In The People/Team Real American Justice (Take your pick) (Shield & Real Americans) – Well, this match definitely didn’t disappoint. Odd that they opened the show with the match most people only wanted to see, but ok. Was kind of annoyed when it got down to 2-on-5 with the heels being down so much, mainly cause I dreaded a clean sweep, but then I realised that was purely to help Roman get over as a monster by destroying most of the face team. I can live with that.

I marked out so hard for most of the Roman eliminations, especially the final elimination where Roman caught Rey with a Spear as he was trying for the 619. That was great because it looked so damn impactful. Helps that Rey ran into it, but regardless it was pretty great. Not much else to say really.

Match rating: Solid A+ – Good way to open the PPV.

Big E. Langston (c) vs. Curtis Axel for the Intercontinental Championship – Not a great match but it was pretty solid. Big E. retains and the Big Ending rings true as Axel will probably not be seen on RAW or SmackDown much from now on, thus ending his “big push”. I like Axel, I really do. He can’t talk his way out of a paper bag but I like him. Probably for the best that his push is over now though, as his best matches are usually on Superstars. Granted this was one of his better matches, but still.

Match rating: Solid C+ – Not a great match, but a pretty good effort from both men regardless.

7-on-7 Survivor Series match: Team Reality Show (Brie & Nikki Bella, Cameron, Naomi, Jojo, Eva Marie and Natalya) vs. Team Everyone Else (AJ lee, Tamina, Kaitlyn, Rosa Mendes, Alicia Fox, Aksana & Summer Rae) – I gave subzero fucks about this match going in, but it honestly wasn’t the train wreck I was expecting. Hell, the “dance off” between Summer Rae and….I’m gonna guess Nikki Bella, was actually kind of funny. Better than Cody & Zeb twerking before the opener (Yes, that actually happened). Natalya wins for the Total Divas team, which is honestly the only way I would’ve accepted that team winning. A funny thing to mention is that both Lillian Garcia and the commentators totally forget Natalya wasn’t the only person left on her team. Nikki tagged out, she wasn’t eliminated. I mean, it shows how little an impact the Bellas have that they forgot, and it is kind of funny, but Nikki has been improving lately and due to Total Divas WWE has a reason to care about her, so it was a bit odd.

I’m hoping this will lead to a Natalya/AJ title match at TLC in any case. And what would be interesting is if WWE actually gave the Divas one of the gimmick matches to work with. Would help it stand out a bit anyway. Not the ladder or TLC match, but the “Chairs” or Tables matches could be interesting to give to the Divas. Since they rarely use weapons anyway the Chairs match would suffice, but either or.

Match rating: Solid C- – Like the match before it, it wasn’t great. But it surprisingly wasn’t shit either, so that’s a plus.

Mark Henry vs. Ryback – Wow. This match came outta nowhere. Totally didn’t call Mark Henry accepting the challenge Ryback randomly threw out, but I should’ve seen it coming. Mark wins in a short match that was honestly forgettable, aside from Mark either attempting a crossbody, or generally hitting Ryback with something that just ended up looking like a botched crossbody.

Match rating: Solid D+ – Point added for Mark Henry’s return, but it was still pretty forgettable. And honestly, forgettable is worse than bad.

Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena (c) for the World Heavyweight Championship – “Cena wins lol” would normally sum it up, but I give Cena credit for this match. He actually sold the arm several times, including after power he powered out of the Cross Armbreaker. It also looked like Alberto had it won several times, so at the very least it was an even match. Cena wins (lol) with an AA in a nice little exchange where him and Alberto reversed each other’s finishers before Cena was finally successful. Pretty good match, though the most memorable part would have to be Cena hitting a Tornado DDT. It’s not the first time he’s done it, but it was still cool to see.

Match rating: Solid B+ – Wouldn’t call it a great match, but it was still pretty good.

The Wyatt Family (Luke Harper & Eric Rowan) vs. Team ROH (Daniel Bryan & CM Punk) – Wait, this is AFTER the Cena match? Holy shit, WWE must have a lot of faith in this match. Pretty damn good match from these four guys. I honestly think it could’ve gone either way. Almost wanted Luke & Eric to win, but it did make sense to have Bryan & Punk win. I hope this feud isn’t over yet though. A TLC or Tables match between The Wyatt Family & Punk/Bryan would be cool to see next month. Punk & Bryan win with Punk hitting Luke with a GTS, and Luke doing one of the better sells for the move by basically crumbling in place.

Match rating: Solid A+ – Easy contender for match of the night.

Big Show vs. Randy Orton (c) for the WWE Championship – Honestly kind of surprised this is the main event of the PPV, but ok. Nice to see Big Show getting to main event a PPV in a singles match. That doesn’t happen much, if it ever has.

*Actually watches the match*

Oh. Well, damn, this should’ve been switched with the WHC match in card order honestly. That match was better by far. Granted there’s a lot more you can do with Cena/Del Rio than Orton/Big Show, so you know. I mean, wow. Not much actually happens and the crowd really doesn’t give too much of a shit. Considering the match this is following I’m not surprised. Orton retains in the biggest “we saw it coming” moment of the night. Hey, WWE, here’s a tip. If you’re gonna have ANY kind of “interference” happen, don’t hype that none will. When you say something won’t happen, we expect the opposite; especially if you bring it up constantly.

Match rating: Solid D- – Yeah, pretty piss poor main event honestly. Sad considering it’s probably the last shot at the WWE Title Big Show will ever get.

Oh, after the main event Cena comes out and they just have him kind of pose in the ring after a brief stare down like he’s just being a dick and stealing Orton’s spotlight, but really it’s just a half-arsed tease for the title unification match that may or may not be happening at WrestleMania XXX, or some time before then, I don’t know. Please WWE, if that happens, don’t have Orton/Cena. We’ve been down that road before multiple times and it didn’t work. Have Orton drop the WWE title to someone else before you do that. Also you do realise you just spoiled the next few months of PPV title matches with that tease if it goes ahead right? Just checking.

Overall PPV rating: Solid C+ – Not an entirely irredeemable PPV, so it’s worth at least one watch. I wouldn’t buy it on DVD when it comes out though.
Match of The Night: Wyatt Family vs. Punk & Bryan – Had two A+ matches, so I just picked one of the two for this. I stand by it and that’s all I really need to say I think.

Final Thoughts:
It was somewhat better than I expected, but it didn’t blow my expectations out of the water or anything. The main event was a total disappointment, especially since I can remember Big Show & Orton having better matches before. Not necessarily great matches, but matches that were better than this one by comparison. The undercard was surprisingly solid however, and I’m still surprised Punk & Bryan’s match with the Wyatt Family was after the World Heavyweight Championship match. Score one for the “vanilla midgets” I guess. Overall, like I said before, this PPV is worth at least one viewing. If you don’t watch the whole show, then I recommend the 5-on-5 match and the Luke & Eric v Punk & Bryan matches as things you should definitely check out.

That’s about all I can think of currently, aside from a few ramble-y thoughts I decided to leave out (Orton kicking out of the most devastating Chokeslam ever, Luke’s big boot not being a finisher, etc.), so I’ll leave it at that and see you guys next time, which won’t be too long this time, for reals.