We are getting closer to WWE WrestleMania 33. The final stop in WWE’s journey to the mega event took place in Milwaukee on Sunday night with the Fastlane pay-per-view. The bus toward Orlando should have kept on going.
There was nothing redeeming about this pay-per-view. The one show that had to deliver since SmackDown Live had such a solid event at Elimination Chamber. Raw fell flat, and honestly there isn’t a whole lot to say about it. What I can say is SmackDown Live is still in the driver’s seat of putting together better programming that wrestling fans enjoy.
Here is what I thought of the matches in Milwaukee on Sunday night.
Rich Swann and Akira Tozawa vs. The Brian Kendrick and Noam Dar – While Swann pinned Dar, I really think this division is enhanced by the addition of Tozawa. I would love to see Tozawa in action versus Tajiri or Austin Aries. For now, superstars like Kendrick will have to do. There is potential in this division, but honestly, it has not reached its peak just yet.
Samoa Joe vs. Sami Zayn – When is WWE going to learn? Samoa Joe needs better competition. While Zayn had a better showing in the ring than many might have thought, he really wasn’t must of a match for the Samoan Submission Machine. Zayn is becoming nothing more than a jobber. First it was Braun Strowman and now Joe, with a sprinkle of Kevin Owens thrown in for good measure.
Hopefully, there will be tougher competition for the former TNA and NXT champion at WrestleMania 33 and beyond.
Raw tag team champions Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. Enzo and Big Cass – I may be one of the few wrestling fans who are not enamored of Enzo and Cass. I have wanted to see Gallows and Anderson finally get their just due. Now that they have won, it’s better to keep the titles on them for the foreseeable future.
Enzo and Cass are this generation’s version of New Age Outlaws, but aren’t in the same league. I’d like to see of the champs are finally booked like Hall and Nash once were.
Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax – After seeing Sasha Banks thrown around for the entire match, Jax is pinned at the last minute by The Boss. It’s an indictment of what the Raw Women’s Division has become. Had Jax won the match, it would have made Banks look weak. But Jax still looked strong in the event.
The problem with the women on Raw was exposed in this match as depth is almost non-existent and there isn’t anyone besides Jax and Banks to challenge Bayley and Charlotte right now.
At some point, WWE needs to push Jax as the woman of the future.
Jindar Mahal vs. Cesaro – For a filler match, this was a pleasant surprise. Cesaro won the match, but Mahal looked solid in single’s competition. While I want to see Cesaro move up the ladder and potentially challenge for a belt, matches like these are what wrestling should be about.
We could see this kind of feud carry over into WrestleMania 33
Big Show vs. Rusev – Big Show hasn’t looked this good since he was The Giant in WCW. He still has a lot left in the tank, it appears. The weight loss has been beneficial. Rusev deserves a better fate than he has been given and his star is starting to lose its shine.
WWE should have continued to book him as an anti-American heel. Now, he is on the lower side of the mid card, and for any wrestler that isn’t good.
WWE cruiserweight champion Neville vs. Jack Gallagher – The fact this was the best match of the night until this point tells you something about this pay-per-view. Neville is so awesome. Gallagher proved he is a rising star. Neville is definitely the class of this division, but Gallagher was a solid performer, taking the champion to the brink.
Neville needs stiffer competition like Austin Aries.
Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman – The match was better than I expected. Strowman is going to be a true superstar in this business. Reigns was able to slay a giant and made himself and Strowman look good in the process.
With the win, Reigns moves on to WrestleMania. But what happens to Strowman? The rumors of Undertaker persist. While there was a thought that the Dead Man would show up in Milwaukee, but that did not happen. We will have to wait for that confrontation, hopefully Monday night.
Raw women’s champion Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair – The ending of this match was awful. Bayley was overmatched throughout the night and needed an assist from Sasha Banks to get the win.
I’m not sure how WWE is going to book the Women’s Title match in Orlando, but you can bet all three of these women will be involved one way or another.
I expected Banks to turn on Bayley but it did not happen. Charlotte is clearly the best in this division. Stay tuned on this one.
WWE Universal champion Kevin Owens vs. Goldberg – Nothing to see here. Chris Jericho comes out, distracts Owens and Goldberg wins in mere moments. Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar for the Universal Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania 33.