Date: March 5, 2019
Location: Mohegan-Sun Arena At Casey Place, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
It’s the go home show for Fastlane and as of last night, it seems that the company actually cares about the show for a change. This week is focusing on the build towards the pay per view, though there is also another US Open Challenge. There’s a good chance that is going to lead to something on Sunday though, which is acceptable enough. Let’s get to it.
In Memory Of King Kong Bundy.
Here are Daniel Bryan and Rowan to open things up. Without saying a word, Bryan shows us a video of last week’s contract signing with Kevin Owens replacing Kofi Kingston in Sunday’s title match and the main event tag match with Owens pinning Bryan. Back in the arena, Bryan talks about staying silent last week but gets drowned out by a KOFI chant. Rowan tells us to be quiet and Bryan says he’s not here to talk about Kofi Kingston. Why should he? Kofi is a supporting player and exactly where he should be. That’s why Kofi and the New Day are on a promotional tour of India.
What Bryan doesn’t understand is why Vince McMahon threw out the man who dispenses pancakes and replaced him with a man who eats pancakes. Owens is exactly like everyone here: he’s simple minded and does not deserve a shot at the WWE Championship because Owens is a nobody. That makes him more dangerous though because Owens has nothing to lose. On the other hand, if Bryan loses, the whole planet loses.
This brings out Owens, who talks about being a fan for the last five months. That time was very good, but it was hard to watch others do what he loves to do. No one was harder to watch than Bryan though, because he acted like he was better than everyone else. Does Bryan think that he’s better because he buys organic carrots? If that makes Owens like everyone else who thinks Bryan is a jerk, then YEP.
Owens mentions not having a 7ft giant next to him, which Bryan says is because Owens has no friends. That’s fine with Owens, who didn’t need any friends to Stun and pin Bryan last week. The bottom line (Owens: “WINK WINK!”) is that he’s taking the title on Sunday. The fight is on with Rowan getting tossed to the floor but the Stunner is broken up, allowing Rowan to claw slam Owens.
This was a good segment but the important takeaway is the fact that Kofi is clearly going to be a main event player going forward. It’s very clear that WWE still has plans for him and Wrestlemania is certainly looming. Bryan retaining on Sunday should set that match up and that’s where we need to go.
Here are the Usos to talk about being in the fast lane on the Road to Wrestlemania. They’re sick of the bromance between Miz and Shane McMahon because it has them talking too much. Miz is talking about his coffee dates with his dad and Shane is talking about all the big things he’s going to jump off. After praising Shane’s shoes, they talk about how Miz and Shane are facing a real team on Sunday, when they’re going to the Uso Penitentiary. Miz and Shane come out and promise to make Miz’s dad proud on Sunday. The Usos are cleared out and we take a break.
Jey Uso vs. The Miz
Joined in progress with Jey hitting an enziguri but not being able to get the Samoan drop. A backslide out of the corner gets two, but so does Miz’s DDT. Now the Samoan drop connects and the running hip attack sets up the Superfly Splash. Miz’s feet are raised but Jey lands on his feet anyway. Jimmy tries to help on a rollup so Shane dropkicks him down, setting up the Skull Crushing Finale for the pin at 2:21.
Charlotte talks about missing Becky Lynch around here and invites her to the show tonight. We hear the stipulations for Sunday (if Becky wins, she’s in the Wrestlemania title match as a triple threat but if she loses, she’s out) and Charlotte would like a peaceful discussion tonight.
Here are R-Truth and Carmella for another US Open Challenge. Truth says he wanted to be like John Cena, but Cena issued these things every single week and he’s already tired. Carmella reminds Truth that Cena said never give up but Truth also remembers Cena saying you can’t see me. The thing is Truth sees Cena everywhere, like on his Cena poster, Cena sheets, and in that movie about the movie about the alien car. The Open Challenge is on and, after a Lacey Evans cameo (Truth: “Come back Ms. Sexy Gloves!”), we’re ready to go.
US Title: R-Truth vs. Samoa Joe
Joe is challenging. Hang on though as here are Andrade and Rey Mysterio…and it’s a four way.
US Title: R-Truth vs. Samoa Joe vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade
Truth is defending and we get Big Match Intros. Joined in progress again with Joe walking away from Rey’s springboard crossbody and throwing the other two outside. The beating continues on everyone not named Joe, including a suicide elbow on Andrade. Rey drops Joe across the barricade though and everyone is down as we take a break.
Back with Andrade hitting Three Amigos on Mysterio but taking too long with the Eddie Guerrero chest slap, allowing Rey to break up a frog splash attempt. Truth comes back in but gets victory rolled by Andrade for two. Rey springboards onto Joe and it’s time for running clotheslines to everyone in the corner. Joe Rock Bottoms him out of the corner but gets dropkicked by Andrade.
A powerbomb plants Rey and the double moonsault gets no count as Joe makes a save. Truth hits a double Five Knuckle Shuffle on Rey and Joe for two but it’s the Koquina Clutch to put him in trouble. That’s broken up with a 619 but Truth rolls him up for two. Andrade kicks Truth to the floor and Rey adds the sliding splash.
A wicked sunset powerbomb plants Rey on the floor and Zelina Vega is right there with a hurricanrana from the apron to take Truth down again. That means a superkick from Carmella but Rey hits a quick Canadian Destroyer on Andrade. The 619 hits Andrade and a frog splash connects. Joe makes the save and Rock Bottoms Andrade for the pin and the title at 14:38.
Rating: B. That’s a lot better and something that is long overdue. The main thing I was worried about was a repeat of last week’s ending with Truth taking a big beating and then winning in the end anyway. Thankfully they didn’t go that way here and instead had him stay down from the attack. Joe winning needed to happen and if he can actually be on the show, things should be looking up both for him and the title.
New Day is in India but promises to be at Fastlane.
Samoa Joe says everyone on Smackdown better be worried about what he’s going to do to retain the title. They’ll be laying awake at night, but he’ll be there to put them to sleep.
Aleister Black/Ricochet vs. The Bar
Ricochet wastes no time in taking Sheamus down for the running shooting star. Sheamus kicks him off the top though and we take a break. Back with Ricochet fighting out of Cesaro’s chinlock and handing it off to Black for the kicks to the face. Sheamus gets in an elbow and it’s a backbreaker setting up the middle rope knee for two on Black. Cesaro walks into Black Mass though and Black takes Sheamus down on the floor. The 630 finishes Cesaro at 5:42. Not enough shown to rate but it was a nice showcase win for the NXT guys.
Post match Shinsuke Nakamura and Rusev run in for the beatdown on Black and Ricochet. The Hardys make the save with Jeff’s Poetry in Motion the floor not taking the Bar down. Ricochet dives onto all of them and that works a bit better.
Mandy Rose vs. Naomi
Naomi kicks her in the face but a Sonya Deville distraction lets Mandy hit a knee to the head. Mandy’s lifting sitout Pedigree finishes Naomi at 44 seconds.
Post match Asuka pops in and beats up Mandy and Sonya. That’s a good sign after her injury scare last night.
AJ Styles can’t blame Owens for taking the title shot though what happened to Kofi was a mistake. The fans are literally screaming for Kofi….and here’s Randy Orton to interrupt. Orton doesn’t get how AJ can say that anyone other than himself (AJ) should get a title shot. That’s why it took him fifteen years to get here. I’m starting to get into this slow burn build.
Kevin Owens vs. Rowan
Daniel Bryan is on commentary. They slug it out to start with Owens being sent outside where he goes after Bryan. Rowan is right there with a whip into the steps and a crossbody, allowing Bryan to jump Owens for the DQ at 1:40.
Post match Bryan tells Rowan to load up the announcers’ table but Mustafa Ali is back for the save. Ali gets out of a claw slam through the table and hurricanranas Rowan into the post instead. Bryan is right there with the running knee off the apron but Owens grabs the Stunner to send Bryan and Rowan running.
Here’s Charlotte to call out Becky for a friendly discussion. First though, we get a video from last night featuring Ronda Rousey attacking Becky before Sunday’s match. Cue Becky, who says she’s sore but it’s worth it to be inside Charlotte and Rousey’s head. She’s going to be damaged going into Fastlane but that just means she has nothing left to lose.
Charlotte kicks the crutch out and the attack is on with a knee to Becky’s knee and a kick to the arm making her cringe in agony. Becky gets in a crutch shot though and grabs the Disarm-Her while shouting that it’s her title. Referees come out and break it up as Charlotte rolls outside.
The announcers run down the card to end the show. But what does Stephanie think about all this???
Overall Rating: B-. This felt like a go home show with almost everything (save for an unrelated title change and the Hardys/Rusev/Nakamura run-ins) tying into Sunday. That’s a very welcome relief after Raw is all over the place and more often focused on Wrestlemania than what’s going on in less than a week. It’s not a great show by any means but it had a purpose and didn’t have the McMahons all over the place. As usual, that makes all the difference and it did here too.
The Miz b. Jey Uso – Skull Crushing Finale
Samoa Joe b. R-Truth, Andrade and Rey Mysterio – Rock Bottom to Andrade
Ricochet/Aleister Black b. The Bar – 630 to Cesaro
Mandy Rose b. Naomi – Lifting sitout Pedigree
Kevin Owens b. Rowan via DQ when Daniel Bryan interfered
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