Full Analysis and Match Ratings
WWE’s Fastlane pay-per-view is the final stop before WrestleMania. The show was headlined by a massive Universal Championship match between Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan. Here are the WWE Fastlane results and analysis for the show.
WWE Fastlane Results & Ratings:
— Kickoff Show — United States Championship: Riddle (c) vs. Mustafa Ali
Rating: 3 (***)
— WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Bianca Belair & Sasha Banks
Winner: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler
Rating: 2.25 (**1/4)
— Intercontinental Championship: Big E (c) vs. Apollo Crews
Winner: Big E
Rating: 2.5 (**1/2)
— Braun Strowman vs. Elias (Replacing Shane McMahon due to injury)
Winner: Braun Strowman
Rating: 1 (*)
— Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Seth Rollins
Winner: Seth Rollins
Rating: 3.5 (***1/2)
— Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus in a No Holds Barred Match
Winner: Drew McIntyre
Rating: 3.5 (***1/2)
— Randy Orton vs. Alexa Bliss
Winner: Alexa Bliss
Rating: 0 (N/A)
— Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Daniel Bryan with Edge as a Special Ringside Enforcer
Winner: Roman Reigns
Rating: 3.75 (***3/4)
WWE Fastlane Results: In-Depth Match Analysis
Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Daniel Bryan with Edge as a Special Ringside Enforcer
There is something to be said about storytelling in professional wrestling. If you listen to the likes of legends around the world, they understand what storytelling can do for a match. And heading into the Universal Championship match between the champion Roman Reigns and challenger Daniel Bryan, that’s exactly what you got — storytelling. It would be unfair to leave Edge out of this equation as well considering his ability to show reluctance towards Bryan getting the match in the first place, and that ultimately led to how important his role would be as the special ringside enforcer. Much like many Reigns’ title defenses, this one was slow and methodical. Nothing was done without purpose. But the trick was that Bryan came into it with a clear gameplan to break down Reigns’ limbs with a goal to make him tap.
While Bryan got some good shots in and even locked on a number of submissions, the power of Reigns took over. It’s where you could mirror the matches that he had with Jey Uso in the past. Every single strike or move was given with great purpose to walk out with his championship. And this is where the match told a story. Time and time again, Reigns thought he had Bryan but the underdog fought back with WrestleMania on the line. Eventually, the match would get to a point where Bryan was fighting back and had the champion on his heels.
A running knee that missed Reigns and drilled the referee led to Edge’s entry into the match, as a devastating spear from the champion to the challenger needed a count. Edge stepped up, leading to a two count and the anger of “The Head of the Table.” And this is really where the match would start to go off the rails. Uso would run down to the ring to get involved, taking out Edge while stopping the Yes! Lock that Bryan had locked on the champion. As Uso tried to introduce a chair, Bryan would hit him with a running knee to stop him. The challenger would then grab the chair with WrestleMania in his dreams, attempting to smash the Universal Champion with the chair Reigns’ own cousin introduced. He would move out of the way, however, leading to Bryan nailing Edge with the chair and leaving the match without any official.
Bryan continued to fight on, locking in the Yes! Lock to the point that Reigns couldn’t avoid it or get out of it. There is even an image of “The Tribal Chief” tapping out in the middle of the ring before an angered Edge would smash Bryan and Reigns with chair shots. Edge was sizzling, saying this was his moment as he would smash Bryan once more before leaving. A new referee ran down to the ring to count the final three count as Reigns had the wherewithal to cover the fallen challenger. And just like that, you had the main event locked in for WrestleMania 37 — at least that’s what WWE wants you to think.
What’s clear about this match and the way Reigns battles in the ring is this: These three are going to be wrestling each other very soon, with “The Grandest Stage of Them All” seeming like the perfect place to do it. The story continued into this match as Bryan, the gritty challenger, would not stop until he made the champion, Reigns, tap out. And that he did. Reigns has become a master storyteller in his matches, and while the finish was messy, it built to the next chapter which will be WrestleMania 37.
The stage is set.@WWERomanReigns is going to #WrestleMania to defend his #UniversalTitle against @EdgeRatedR! #WWEFastlane pic.twitter.com/r2AAbzDoGC
— WWE WrestleMania (@WrestleMania) March 22, 2021
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