Just like Chris Jericho said, “You are only as good as your last match.”
That must mean AJ Styles is pretty good. After winning at Fastlane and ending the three-match series with one of the greatest of all time, what will WWE do to make sure the momentum continues heading into WrestleMania for the company’s hottest commodity?
Where WWE has done its best to cool down performers with poor booking, the best thing that can happen to Styles is a confrontation with Kevin Owens and a match for the Intercontinental Title. If there is a sincerity for the company to move forward and develop new rivalries, this has to happen.
But now that the “Phenomenal One” secured his place in WWE, what happens to Jericho moving forward?
I thought when this match was set, Jericho would turn heel and somehow get involved in a program with The Miz or someone else on the WWE roster. It did not happen, so it would appear the company’s first unified world champion is at a crossroads in his carrier.
Was this the end of Jericho’s time in WWE? It might just be.
I thought the match would be a headliner and of course, it did not disappoint. When a veteran like Jericho is able to put someone like Styles over, it further shows what a great performer the six-time world champion is. It has been like that for some time. If the company needed to put a wrestler over, they called on Jericho. CM Punk comes to mind. Add Styles to the list of superstars that got a push from Jericho. Whether there are more on the docket in the future, it remains to be seen.
The idea of a Jericho-Miz match, where we see more in-ring performance from Miz instead of balky commentary would help him get out of purgatory. Mick Foley said earlier this week that Miz’s work in WWE is underrated. Jericho could help make that statement a reality.
Here are a few other thoughts…
GREAT FRIENDS, BETTER ENEMIES
There is a perverse feeling you get when you watch Brock Lesnar operate in the ring. But in the end, we all knew Roman Reigns would come out on top in the Triple Threat Match, which included Dean Ambrose. I thought there would be more to the match, but it played out just as we all knew it would.
Wouldn’t we all like to see more of Reigns and Ambrose as enemies? Something has to give now that Reigns has beaten his “brother” twice to get a title shot.
What happens to Ambrose now? Does he get another shot at the Intercontinental Title at some point? If Lesnar faces Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania, then the Lunatic Fringe doesn’t have a dance partner.
There may never be another shot for Dolph Ziggler to earn a title shot in WWE. I know that sounds drastic, but the match with Kevin Owens for the Intercontinental Title was proof that Ziggler is always going to come up short.
The match was good, but not as spectacular as it should have been, with some miscues along the way. Ziggler still sells for his opponent about 98-percent better than anyone on the WWE roster and Sunday night was no exception.
If there was a chance for WWE to shock us, then this was it. Ziggler winning in his hometown would have been a great feel good story. Of course, there was no way Owens was going to drop the title after winning it last week.
I was actually pleased with the two Divas’ matches in Cleveland. I thought the effort of Brie Bella against Charlotte was more than I expected and half way through the match actually thought she might take the title off the current champion as a parting gesture by WWE.
It did not materialize and I wonder if the other half of Twin Magic has a real knee injury.
The tag match involving Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch against Naomi and Tamina proved that The Boss is the best performer in the division and definitely deserves a Divas Title at some point. Hopefully a Triple Threat match with Banks and Charlotte at WrestleMania will finally put Banks over as the top draw in the division.
Full WWE Fastlane 2016 Results and Winners…
Roman Reigns def. Dean Ambrose & Brock Lesnar (Triple Threat Match to determine Triple H’s WrestleMania challenger)
Curtis Axel def. R-Truth
AJ Styles def. Chris Jericho
Charlotte (c) def. Brie Bella (Divas Championship Match)
Ryback, Big Show & Demon Kane def. The Wyatt Family (Six-Man Tag Team Match)
Kevin Owens (c) def. Dolph Ziggler (Intercontinental Championship Match)
Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch def. Naomi & Tamina
Kalisto (c) def. Alberto Del Rio (2-out-of-3 Falls United States Championship Kickoff Match)