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: Eye Of The Tiger (Survivor Series 2014 Review)

Not having been able to watch it live, Thomas gives his delayed thoughts on the 2014 edition of the Survivor Series PPV.

Night Of Champions 2013 Review

Hello everyone, and welcome to my first ever written wrestling review. Alas my family’s computer has essentially snuffed it, so until either the memory is recovered or the hard drive generally fixed so it’ll  start working again (or we just flat out get a new computer), I can’t edit/make/post any videos. As a result, I’ve decided to do some of those “written reviews/articles” I’ve heard so much about. Anyway, Night Of Champions 2013, the PPV absolutely no one with half a brain was hyped for. How did it actually turn out though? Well, let’s get on with the review then.

For the record, I’m skipping the pre-show match because the WWE cared so little for it they decided to essentially put “ads” over it in two places. It wasn’t necessarily bad, but if WWE didn’t care, why should I?

Curtis Axel (c) vs. Kofi Kingston for the Intercontinental Championship – This match was a very nice  surprise. Before the match Curtis had a go at HHH for ignoring Heyman’s pleas to cancel the handicap match, which led to this match being made when HHH pointed out that every title was supposed to be defended. This was honestly a great move, as I had absolutely no idea who was going to win; it really could’ve gone either way and worked. The match itself was pretty damn good, with only one or two botches here and there, fortunately nothing major. Surprisingly I found myself rooting for Axel to retain, so when he did indeed win, with his modified Snapmare Driver, I was actually relieved. I mean, I’m not a HUGE Axel fan, but I do think he’s better than most people give him credit for. God awful on the mic of course, but wrestling wise he’s good. Another nice touch was how Paul Heyman could go from being completely apathetic about the match, to actually giving Axel advice, to being outright paranoid that Axel may lose. And even when Axel retained the title, Heyman still seemed unconvinced that Axel would be able to hang with CM Punk.

Match Rating: 7/10 – A good opening match that definitely got me pumped for a PPV I didn’t care about in the slightest beforehand. An extra point or two were given due to the fact I had absolutely no idea who was going to win, making the match that much more exciting than it would’ve been normally.

AJ Lee (c) vs. Natalya vs. Naomi vs. Brie Bella for the Divas Championship – As expected this match didn’t really go all that long, though it was longer than most typical Diva’s matches. Granted I stopped and started it a few times so that might be why it felt so short. Anyway, the match itself was pretty good for what it was. Naomi was the stand out woman of the match with half the things she did, though the moment of the match was Natalya getting both Naomi and Brie in a Sharpshooter at the same time. I have never seen that done before, let alone by a female wrestler. AJ Lee retains in the end in what felt like an oddly anti-climactic moment. Though I guess it at least meant Naomi & Brie had to actually sell the double Sharpshooter, so that’s fine I guess. Either way, the match was better than I expected, which was a very nice surprise.

Match Rating: 5/10 – A point was taken off due to the ending feeling a bit anti-climactic. That and because Brie never once did a Flying Mare. The Bella Twins used to do those all the damn time when they debuted; now they NEVER do them? What the hell guys? Also Brie Bella looked like jailbait in that outfit; just putting that out there.

Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Rob Van Dam for the World Heavyweight Championship – The more I thought about it, the more I realised how much potential this match had, and definitely lived up to it. Plenty of good spots, including Alberto getting his knees up to block the 5-Star Frog Splash and locking RVD in the Cross Armbreaker from the mat instead of standing. There was at least three notable things that could almost be considered botches, but the only blatant looking botch was Alberto either completely missing with the “Back Stabber”, or RVD generally reacting too late and missing Alberto’s knees, landing back first on the mat. The ending…ok yeah I’m probably in the boat of people calling BS on it, but it made sense. RVD/Del Rio is going to continue so RVD gets the DQ win but no title, and neither man gets pinned or taps out. If this was their “feud ender” then I’d be more annoyed, but it didn’t really bother me too much. If it did, it was one of those cases where the match was going so well that the DQ finish kind of wrecked it a bit. Either way, the match was good; and the post-match Van Terminator after Del Rio tried attacking RVD was a nice touch.

Match Rating: 8/10 – This didn’t really have any points taken off, since I don’t think I would’ve given it a nine. However it was held back a bit by the DQ finish, despite me not really having much of an issue with it.

The Miz vs. Fandango – To be perfectly honest, the only thing worth mentioning about this match is that Fandango pulled out a Falcon’s Arrow; that move doesn’t get used in WWE nearly enough. Not a terrible match, but it was extremely forgettable.

Match Rating: 4.5/10 – Miz won by the way

CM Punk vs. Curtis Axel & Paul Heyman in a No DQ Elimination Handicap match – I had no expectations going into this match. Honestly? That was probably a good thing, because this wasn’t necessarily a great match. It was good for what it was (and over-gimmicked way of getting Heyman into things), but it was by no means great. Regardless I did enjoy it. Axel not being completely squashed by Punk was nice. It made sense that Punk would get passed Axel in the end, unless Heyman had gotten involved to save himself, which I’m kind of surprised didn’t happen, given the “thrown-on-at-the-last-minute” No DQ stipulation. Heyman got the beating of his life, and I’ll be damned if most of those screams weren’t legitimate. Punk didn’t seem to be holding back at all with his kendo stick shots, especially after having handcuffed Heyman at one point, and it was kind of hard to watch or listen to after a while.

I figured if Heyman & Axel won that a run-in would happen, even if it was just Axel coming back in. But I can tell you right now, I had absolutely no idea the run-in would’ve been Ryback. Yet another nice surprise; and Ryback showing up allowed the table to finally get used. Due to Ryback’s involvement Punk loses, and Heyman remains undefeated as far as being involved in multi-man matches in the WWE goes, having defeated the likes of The Hardy Boyz (pinning Jeff Hardy specifically), RVD, and Eddie Guerrero; with CM Punk now being added to that list. Clearly Paul Heyman should be WWE Champion by now.

Match Rating: 6/10 – Yes. This match has a lower rating than Axel/Kingston. Deal with it, that was a better overall match.

Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler for the United States Championship – Oh, for a second there when The Shield’s music hit I thought we were getting the Tag Title match. I honestly had no idea this match was happening. Then again, aside from having boycotted RAW, I’ve been unintentionally missing SmackDown a lot lately. This was a relatively short match, and despite not being terrible, nothing much to write home about. Granted the roll-through Ziggler did after Ambrose locked him in a full nelson, turning it into a pinfall, was pretty interesting. That’s about it though. Oh, and Ambrose wins…thank God.

Match Rating: 5/10 – Relatively short and forgettable, but not as forgettable as The Miz vs. Fandango.

The Shield (Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins) (c) vs. The Prime Time Players (Darren Young & Titus O’Neil) for the WWE Tag Team Championships – This match was actually better than I expected it would be, despite also being relatively short. I mean, it wasn’t great, but I did enjoy it and it was definitely worth watching. That’s about all I can say though, not much else to really point out. Reigns & Rollins pick up the win and retain the belts after Roman spears the hell out of Titus when the referee was distracted. I am ok with this. I’m a fan of both teams anyway so either result would’ve been fine for me.

Match Rating: 6/10 – Bugs me that it was so short, but they did the best they could with the time given, and the ending didn’t feel like a cop out.

Randy Orton (c) vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship – To be perfectly honest with you, this match did not live up to the hype. Like every other match it wasn’t terrible, but aside from a few big bursts from Bryan the rest was pretty standard fair for these two. The main interesting thing was Scott Armstrong managing a fast count. Like, wow, Scot Armstrong? Possibly the slowest ref in WWE managed a fast count? Just, wow. Also, this match will go down in the history books as containing the FASTEST referee change I’ve ever seen in my life. Seconds after Scott Armstrong goes down, a new ref shows up out of nowhere. That like…never happens. Or if it does, it’s usually a pretty rare occurrence. In any case, Bryan manages to pull out the win after Armstrong fast counts. Not that that’ll necessarily amount to anythi-oh.

Well…ummmm…yeah I got nothing.

Match Rating: 6/10 – Had some decent hype, and wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t as good as I thought it would be.

Overall PPV Rating: 6.07/10 – Worth at least one watch, but overall this is a PPV you wouldn’t necessarily feel bad about missing.

Match Of The Night: Rob Van Dam vs. Alberto Del Rio – This is going purely by the ratings I gave the matches by the way. Considering this match got the highest rating from me, it ended up being match of the night. I’d say it is pretty accurate though in any case.

Final Thoughts: I went into this with low expectations; and even though it surpassed those low expectations, the overall PPV was still pretty mediocre. The Punk match was nothing special; the main event was alright but could’ve been better, and generally I bet this PPV will be forgotten about fairly quickly, especially due to the main event’s outcome being rendered void the next night. If you haven’t watched it yet, I still suggest you give it a watch; if anything just to form your own opinion on the show. If you have seen the PPV, what are your thoughts? Do you agree with my opinion? Or do you think I’m incredibly wrong and need to be raped by a giant gorilla because of it? Hopefully the former, but I’ll leave it up to you guys.