Review for WWE Fastlane 2021
Fastlane is the last stop on the way to Wrestlemania and really this is where all the matches and feuds need to be set in stone. I am not sure whether I felt that by the end of the event, but I will admit this was a pretty fun PPV to watch.
The Women’s tag team championship match between Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler against the team of Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair was fine in general, but really was just there for that final few moments. I don’t understand why WWE would book it in this way, when we know that they are going to face each other at Mania. That being said, it was a good match and the team of Jax and Baszler is looking more cohesive, even if I do think that Baszler would be better on her own.
I have a serious issue with the following match which features Big E putting his Intercontinental Championship on the line against Apollo Crews and that is the storyline that is going on. Crews is getting in touch with his ‘Nigerian Roots’ and yes it is true that his parents are from Nigeria, but he was born in California. This is not like Kofi Kingston embracing the fact he was born in Ghana, this is just very odd and the accent he is putting on is a horrendous idea. This is not me being offended for other people, this is me being offended because it just doesn’t feel right and in a way is totally unnecessary. As for the match, it was fine, but Big E really needs to make a choice: He is either a Monster or part of New Day. He can’t do both.
The fake out match between Shane McMahon and Braun Strowman which lead to Elias taking his place should have been just a squash and because it wasn’t it just seemed a little pointless. It didn’t do much to make me want to see the match at Wrestlemania and this is a shame as I think it could be good.
Seth Rollins against Shinsuke Nakamura was fantastic and this was the best I have seen Shinsuke in a long time. Both worked really well together and though I am not too much of a fan of Rollins’ character at the moment, I can’t deny in the ring he proves why he should be the face of the company.
Match of the night in my opinion was this excellent match between Drew McIntyre and Sheamus. The story they told of them almost going along the same path, with McIntyre having bumps along the road and Sheamus being the golden child who fell out of favour at times is just perfect. It is a shame that the match wasn’t for the belt, but it was a great match and I was not surprised by the outcome.
The match between Randy Orton and Alexa Bliss really existed for one reason. I would usually not spoil it, but the cover art on the box does it anyway. This match was designed simply for the reappearance of The Fiend in his new ‘Crispy’ form. I will admit that he did look creepy and the sight of him coming up from the ring was sold well by Orton to make it believable and the duo of Alexa and The Fiend are just fabulous.
Finally, we have the main event between Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan for the WWE Universal Championship with Edge as Ring Enforcer. This match certainly had its moments and I do like that WWE are embracing the fact that the crowd wants to boo Reigns and want anything for someone to take that belt off him. However, this match felt a little flat and I knew as soon as it was announced that it would end up with a Triple Threat at Wrestlemania. Both had some great moments, but the ending was just strange and it made me not want to see that match in the end, which is a shame.
The only extra was the Kickoff show match for the United States Championship between Riddle and Mustafa Ali. I am not a huge fan of Riddle and the ‘Bro’ thing and him wrestling barefoot bugs me slightly, but I will not deny this was a great match from the two of them and hopefully this will see the end of The Retribution which fell so short of what it could have been.
Fastlane 2021 was a fun show with some excellent matches, but on reflection nothing much memorable happened apart from the appearance of The Fiend. I feel if this had been how the PPV had ended it would have left me with more of an impact at the end. As it is it just felt like any other show and not a major step on the road to Wrestlemania.