The main event of the WWE Fastlane pay-per-view in Cleveland saw Roman Reigns do battle against Brock Lesnar and Dean Ambrose in a triple threat match where the winner got to move on to WrestleMania to face Triple H for the WWE Title. The match ended when Reigns pinned Ambrose while Lesnar was out of the picture. It upset a lot of fans online while also leading some fans in the arena to boo Reigns, but was it a surprise? No. Not at all.
All three wrestlers are babyfaces that are supposed to be loved by the fans yet it was Lesnar and Ambrose that were cheered all match long while Reigns was booed. The finish saw Ambrose destroy Lesnar and Reigns with chair shots to the back to give him the advantage. Then Ambrose nailed Lesnar with a chair shot to the back that sent Lesnar to the floor. When Ambrose turned around, Reigns hit Ambrose with a Spear to win the match.
— WWE (@WWE) February 22, 2016
As soon as Reigns got the win, you could hear the crowd booing. Does WWE care that Reigns was booed? Probably not. They knew he was likely going to be booed especially against those two guys, yet they still gave Reigns the win because he’s the guy they want to be the future of the company. They are dead set on making Reigns their next Hogan/Austin/Rock/Cena because they are putting him in the main event of WrestleMania for the second year in a row, despite the fact some fans clearly don’t like the guy.
The match was an excellent main event full of big moments with a hot crowd that was excited for most of the match. They went nearly 20 minutes, Lesnar dominated the early portion of it and looked like the biggest star in the company. If you only watched this show without knowing about the storylines, you would think that for sure this guy has to get the win because of his star power. Then there was Ambrose, who did a fantastic job of being that underdog that kept on fighting back and would not stay down despite taking a bunch of suplexes from Lesnar.
— LongBowX99 (@TheLongbowX99) February 22, 2016
There were a couple of big spots in the match as Ambrose and Reigns teamed together to give Lesnar a double Powerbomb through the Spanish announce table. Then Lesnar got back to his feet, so they gave him a Powerbomb through the main announce table. By taking Lesnar out, Ambrose and Reigns were able to focus on each other. The problem is that “The Beast” Lesnar wouldn’t stay down. He did this amazing German Suplex on Reigns while Reigns was set to give Ambrose a Samoan Drop. It looked incredible.
Lesnar looked like he might win the match when he had Reigns locked in the Kimura Lock submission hold. That’s when Ambrose interrupted things to attack them both with the chair leading to Reigns getting the pinfall win on Ambrose with The Spear.
WrestleMania’s Main Event Is Set
Fastlane ended with the WWE Champion (as well as on screen Chief Operating Officer) Triple H walking out to the ring with the WWE Title to have a staredown with Reigns. They also glanced up at the WrestleMania sign, which is something WWE performers always do this time of year. The match will take place in just under six weeks on April 3 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas.
It would be a major shocker if Reigns didn’t win the WWE Title for the third time at WrestleMania. It’s pretty obvious that Triple H only won the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble so that he could lose it back to Reigns.
In the build up to WrestleMania, look for WWE to do everything they can to convince the fans that Reigns has an uphill battle against Triple H. They will try to tell us that Triple H is the greatest WWE superstar ever. He’s not, but they will try to drive that point home over the next six weeks.
Another factor in this match is The Rock. It’s likely that he’s going to have a role in the main event without being in the match. They might name him as the special referee or perhaps an enforcer outside the ring to ensure there is no interference. WWE will try to use him to help his cousin Roman Reigns not get booed as much as he usually gets booed. It didn’t work that well at Royal Rumble 2015, but they will probably try to do it again.
Triple H has a history of putting over the next big face of the company at WrestleMania. He’s done it in the past with Chris Benoit, Batista, John Cena and Daniel Bryan. On April 3, he’ll do it for Roman Reigns too.
Lesnar Likely To Face Ambrose At WrestleMania
Since Lesnar and Ambrose failed to win at Fastlane, they won’t be a part of the WWE Title match at WrestleMania. Instead, the report coming out of Fastlane by the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer is that Lesnar will face Ambrose in a singles match.
This is a change from the original Lesnar plan for WrestleMania against Bray Wyatt. At last month’s Royal Rumble, Lesnar was eliminated from the match by Wyatt Family members likely as a way to set up another Wyatt Family attack at Fastlane to set up WrestleMania. As is often the case in WWE, plans can and will change all the time.
It’s easy to see why WWE changed plans because Ambrose has been one of the best performers in the company for much of the last year. In the last two months, he’s really been elevated to that next level. Meanwhile, Wyatt really hasn’t changed much despite having the Wyatt Family by his side.
If Lesnar faces Ambrose then it be a matchup of two good guys unless WWE wants to turn Ambrose before it. Lesnar isn’t going to be booed due to his star power and the “Suplex City” chants that follow him wherever he goes. In terms of promos, Ambrose should be able to do a great job in building the match up along with Lesnar’s advocate Paul Heyman, who is the best talker in WWE.
Lesnar will likely beat Ambrose because WWE probably wants to do Lesnar vs. Reigns at some point later in 2016 with Reigns pinning Lesnar. The whole point of building Lesnar up to be this unbeatable beast is to put somebody over him in a big way and Reigns is clearly the guy to be in that spot.
It should be a great match on the grandest stage of them all. It may not be the main event, but for a lot of fans it’s the match that they will look forward to the most.
Results For The Rest Of WWE Fastlane
The other matches that took place at Fastlane were predictable from top to bottom. Here’s a rundown on those matches as well as some thoughts on the results.
Kalisto defeated Alberto Del Rio to retain the US Title in a 2/3 Falls Match
It took place on the Kickoff Show, which seemed odd considering some of the filler they had on the main portion of the PPV. It was a good match like the others they had. Kalisto has been elevated by winning this feud with Del Rio.
Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch defeated Naomi & Tamina
A clean win for Banks and Lynch as they applied their submission holds at the same time to get the win. This solidified the face turn of Banks over the last month. Look for Banks and Lynch to go after Charlotte’s Divas Title at WrestleMania, which likely means a triple threat match between the ladies at WrestleMania.
Kevin Owens defeated Dolph Ziggler to retain the Intercontinental Title
They had a fantastic match, which was no surprise considering they are two of the best in-ring performers in WWE. Their past matches were great as well. Ziggler beat Owens twice leading up to this, so it made sense for Owens to win here especially since he just won the IC Title last Monday on Raw. Owens also had a hilarious post-match promo.
Big Show, Ryback & Kane defeated The Wyatt Family in a six-man tag match
This was the only match prediction I got wrong in my preview. It was a peculiar decision because the Wyatt Family is a stable of young wrestlers that are on the rise, yet they lost clean to veterans like Big Show and Kane, who don’t win that many big matches anymore. Perhaps they’ll do this match again with the Wyatt Family getting their win back. It just feels like the wrong decision at this point.
Charlotte defeated Brie Bella to retain the Divas Title
It was a nice story with Brie fighting for her retired husband Daniel Bryan and injured sister Nikki Bella. There were some parts in the match that were really slow, but they built up the finish well with Charlotte retaining the title with the Figure Eight submission. As mentioned earlier, Charlotte’s likely going to have to deal with Banks and Lynch very soon.
AJ Styles defeated Chris Jericho
Styles had his first singles match on PPV and it was against an all time great in Jericho. Their series was 1-1 going into this match, so Styles won the rivalry thanks to his Calf Crusher submission move. This was one of the best matches of the night where it looked like either man could win at any time. Styles could move on to an IC Title feud with Kevin Owens because that would be a great way for both of them to have their first matches at WrestleMania.
The Cutting Edge Peep Show With The New Day
It was a talk show segment with WWE legends Edge & Christian hosting The New Day. It ended up being the start of a New Day feud with the League of Nations foursome. What that likely means is that The New Day will become faces, which is a shame because heels tend to be more fun and get more promo opportunities. As soon as the League of Nations entered the ring, the segment died. It was a bad spot on the show that didn’t help anyone.
Curtis Axel defeated R-Truth
Whoever thought this was a good idea was wrong. Terrible match that thankfully was over after three minutes when Truth was distracted by Goldust trying to help him.
After those last two segment bombed, they did the main event.
The Awards Section For WWE Fastlane
Best Match of the Night: Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar vs. Dean Ambrose
There were three standout matches with Styles/Jericho and Owens/Ziggler competing with the main event, but the main event was the match that people will remember the most. The Reigns haters will complain about the result, but as a match it was the best.
Best Performer: Brock Lesnar
Lesnar was the star of the main event even though he wasn’t involved in the pin. Listen to the crowd reactions when he was on offense and when he was taking a beating. Nobody else is at his level. He’s such a good performer right now. Too bad he’s not a full timer. Honorable mention to Kevin Owens and AJ Styles as well.
Worst Match: Curtis Axel vs. R-Truth
At least it was a short match that ended in under three minutes. The six man tag wasn’t very good either.
Best Moment: Lesnar Is Put Through Two Tables
It has to go to Reigns and Ambrose putting Lesnar through both announce tables. You don’t see too many guys manhandle Lesnar like that, but they worked together to get the job done.
— WWE (@WWE) February 22, 2016
The Final Word
WWE Fastlane was a slightly above average pay-per-view that was predictable in terms of its match results with three matches standing out as must see matches.
It was also an example of WWE sticking to their gameplan no matter how the crowd reacts to what the company is putting on screen. For more than a year now, the goal has been to make Roman Reigns become “the man” in WWE. It didn’t really work that well last year at WrestleMania, so they’re going to the well one more time with Triple H set to do the honors at the grandest stage of them all.