The One to Fix that Fastlane Mess – A Raw Recap for 3/6/2017

Tonight’s Raw comes to us from Chicago because secretly Vince McMahon loves a good cry thinking about his lost love, CM Punk.  Also, Steph wanted to make try out some of her anti-Punk material.

Fixing the Left Turns Taken During Fastlane

Fastlane, to be polite, was not the best PPV.  With the exception of that Cruiserweight match, it was almost complete garbage.  Actually, let’s start there.

The Cruiserweights

Somehow and suddenly, the Cruiserweights are the best devision on Raw.  Sure, it took a little while to find their footing.  Their first choice for champion, TJ Perkins, thought liking video games and dabbing amounted to some kind of personality.  Anything that didn’t involve the championship tended to be 6-man tag matches that had zero story.

Now we have invigorated Neville as champion, Jack Gallagher, Tozawa, Swann, and a rich cast of characters and some really exciting matches.  I got to a point of being bored at these matches to looking forward to them every week.  There’s still room for improvement but I’ll save that for another discussion.

Tonight we had two excellent matches.  Tozawa dispatched Daivari with his brutal snap German suplex and advanced his story with The Brian Kendrick.

For the other match, they brought logic into the equation.  Swann invoked his rematch clause to challenge Neville the night after a brutal battle with Jack Gallagher.  For the second night in a row, the Cruiserweight Championship match was the best match on the card.  Swann fought hard, but was forced to submit to the Rings of Saturn.

And after the match, Neville stated that there was no one worthy of competing against…to Austin Aries.  A-Double (not to be confused with Double-A, Arn Anderson) attacked Neville.  Looks like we’ve got a #1 contender at Wrestlemania.

Now, back to fixing Fastlane.

Undertaker and Roman Reigns

I expected the Undertaker to interfere in the Strowman Vs. Reigns match the night before, but no.  I guess they value Raw ratings and protecting Roman more.  By having him interfere, you could have protected both Braun and Roman and allowing the duo to revisit the feud at Summerslam.  What do we get, Braun wants to talk to Roman but the Undertaker shows up.  Strowman runs away with his tail between his legs, for some reason.

Roman isn’t afraid of the Deadman though.  Looks like this is the match we’re getting.  And I was mostly excited about it before Fastlane.  Now I’m just mad at the whole situation.

At least Roman got chokeslammed though.

Lesnar and Goldberg

I was fine with the method by which Owens lost the championship, but it should have at least come 5 minutes into the match.  Jobbing KO out like that is insulting.

Cut to tonight, Goldberg comes out and talks about the match.  Heyman and Lesnar are close behind and they get in each other’s faces. It ends with Brock giving an F5, Goldbergs first real bump in 10 years.  It’s no secret that I think Brock is overvalued and boring.  But tonight I didn’t think so.  Tonight it was cathartic to see that F5.  If only KO could have followed that up with an immediate frog splash or Pop-Up Powerbomb, it would be super satisfying.

Women’s Division

The Charlotte Vs. Bayley match wasn’t great.  They disposed of the streak unceremoniously making you wonder what the point of it all was.  Tonight, Bayley is questioned on who she wants at Wrestlemania.  Enter Sasha Banks saying that it should be her.  After all, she helped Bayley win the championship and retain the night before.  It should be the two good friends squaring off and living their dreams at Wrestlemania.  Steph and Charlotte don’t think so.  Stephanie thinks Sasha is manipulating Bayley because she knows she has a better chance at beating Bayley on a PPV.  It’s probably true.

Side note: they seem to hint at a Sasha Vs. Stephanie McMahon feud happening.  My vote is that it should culminate in a Who’s the Boss match with special guest referee Tony Danza.  WWE loves dated cultural references, right?

A match with Charlotte is decided upon but Sasha is given a chance to make it a triple threat if she can defeat Bayley.  After probably the second best match of the night, Sasha submits Bayley with the Banks Statement.  Looks like we have another triple threat where I’m guessing Sasha turns heel for real.

The Resurrection of Chris Jericho

The best segment, and probably what I’m most excited about for Wrestlemania, is KO vs. Jericho for the United States Championship.  Yes, Chris Jericho is back and he’s now mostly a face.  He loves the fans of Jericho (“Cheer me up, maaaannnnn”) and the list is no more.  He needs to know why Kevin turned on him.  Turns out, Kevin has been playing Jericho the whole time.  Jericho is the perfect tool.  He’s been in the business for long enough to know how to effectively guide KO and to keep his championship.  He outlived his usefulness when he made the Goldberg match.  That was the final straw.

This was the only overall result I really liked from Fastlane.  Sure, it was predictable, but no one is complaining.  We want this.

They decided to fight right then and there, but both Zayn and Samoa Joe interfere and solidify who is a face and heel.  They end up with matches later in the evening.  Again, the Raw writers are sleeping and pit Sami vs. Kevin yet again.  Remember when Battleground promised it would be the end of their feud for a long time?  KO got the pin on Sami.

Jericho took on Joe which ended in a DQ for a Samoa Joe victory.

Everything Else

  • They showed a Rollins recovery video and talked to Triple H live via satellite where he made fun of Rollins while also subtly digging at CM Punk.
  • The New Day were kept busy in an uneventful match with The Shining Stars.
  • Enzo accidentally knocked Cesaro’s coffee out of his hands.  The Swiss Superman went crazy and destroyed Enzo and Cass causing a DQ win for The Club to retain their championship.  Next week, they’ll fight to determine the #1 contenders at Mania.  Something tells me this will also end up in a Triple Threat match.
  • Probably other stuff too but it has no bearing on Wrestlemania.  So who cares?