WWE’s Fastlane wrecked on Saturday evening, promising massive names, alluring finishes and long-ranging story developments.
Solely the massive names like John Cena and LA Knight have been checked off the checklist by evening’s finish, cementing it because the winner of Worst PLE of 2023 that will likely be laborious to beat.
The pacing of the evening was good, with 5 matches and a fast runtime. But when there was ever a pay-per-view that screamed “WWE offseason,” this unhealthy boy was it.
Begin proper on the high, the place Cody Rhodes and Jey Uso took the undisputed WWE tag workforce titles off The Judgment Day (Finn Bálor and Damian Priest) in a stunning end.
Rhodes and Jey are super-over with followers, nevertheless it’s mind-numbingly bizarre to see WWE break up The Usos, solely to have Jey transfer manufacturers to be a solo star—with theme music stressing it—after which win tag titles throughout a filler PPV.
WWE now has to navigate these messy waters that embody by some means retaining Rhodes and Jey over with followers whereas finally having them lose championships, all earlier than The American Nightmare presumably shrugs that off to go and problem Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 40. Possibly it is only a car to get these guys on each Uncooked and SmackDown weekly (perhaps de-unifying them too?), however let’s not fake the model cut up actually issues.
Carlito and Latino World Order taking down Bobby Lashley and The Road Income in a 10-minute match was tremendous, and it is laborious to complain in both path. And it was good to see Iyo Sky keep away from dropping the WWE Ladies’s Championship at a filler occasion.
Cena and Knight in opposition to The Bloodline, consisting of Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikoa, was principally what followers thought it might be going into issues.
It is a blessing to nonetheless see Cena and he is clearly obtained some gasoline left. Knight is super-over and getting big reactions from followers, so him getting this spot is an efficient signal WWE will proceed to let him soar.
As a match, although, it did not present a second. It was a headline-styled occasion the corporate knew could not main-event, and it did not do all that a lot for the unhealthy guys, both.
Which brings us to the primary occasion, the place Seth Rollins retained the heavyweight title over Shinsuke Nakamura. That does not do the match itself justice, as a result of it was good and enjoyable, however the outcome over the long run will not do it any favors.
Rollins obtained completely brutalized after getting into with well-understood again points. He obtained dropped by means of a desk with a dive, off a ladder by means of a desk after a pleasant misting to the eyes, he had his again dropped on concrete and stairs, and even ate a finisher by means of a desk.
And nonetheless gained.
It virtually felt like Rollins and WWE going for the other of his criticized matches with Bray Wyatt from years in the past, making Nakamura look wonderful in a loss. Downside is, loads of onlookers will likely be disenchanted The Artist misplaced, particularly as a result of it most likely means he simply goes again to the midcard.
HOW IS SETH ROLLINS DOING THIS?! 😱
And hey, within the second, this was acceptable a minimum of considerably as a result of certainly, the trouble put into storytelling there meant Priest would come out and money in his Cash within the Financial institution contract and take the title from The Visionary, establishing some wonderful tales for The Judgment Day and a contemporary essential occasion scene.
Now there is a Priest drawback, too: He seems like an enormous dork. At a latest PLE, he made some extent to point out he was going to be unavailable after a Rollins essential occasion for a cash-in as a result of he can be out celebrating.
This time, nothing apart from a knee emphasis from his match that may’t be worse than Rollins’ again. He simply did not present. And like with Rollins overcoming that beating, it simply asks followers to uplift that suspension of disbelief somewhat too excessive.
Simply how weak does a champion have to be earlier than Priest decides it is secure to money in? Whereas, by the way in which, he has 4 individuals who might help him do it to win a world title?
At this level, after seeing how a lot harm Rollins took and not using a cash-in, one might be satisfied Priest may let the contract expire and by no means converse of it once more.
For as sizzling as professional wrestling is true now and for all of the stuff happening, one would suppose this system might need alluded to a few of it.
Jade Cargill obtained a point out, however there have been zero CM Punk hints, no Roman Reigns, the form of stuff that may inform followers, “Hey, do not skip the skippable-looking occasions.” All this whereas All Elite Wrestling has some massive stuff happening, which WWE has blatantly acknowledged with the huge counterprogramming that’s stuffing massive names like Cena on Tuesday’s NXT, to the purpose even The Undertaker might be there.
Look, these are unforced errors. However unhealthy reveals are going to occur. And to WWE’s credit score, it has been on fireplace in 2023. Blazingly so. This exhibiting is not going to doom something, nevertheless it does current some bizarre storytelling points. And that is why Fastlane will simply go down as essentially the most forgettable occasion of the 12 months in an in any other case stacked lineup.
However hey, a minimum of it glided by quick.