WWE presented their final pay-per-view on the Road to WrestleMania this past weekend when Fastlane was presented live from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The event was over hyped as Goldberg, a man who, before Sunday, had wrestled a total of three minutes in 12 years, stepped in the ring with Kevin Owens for the Universal Championship. WWE also announced that the Women’s Tag Team and Cruiserweight Championships would also be on the line, on a night that promised so much but delivered so little. Fans weren’t too happy.
Not only was Fastlane the final pay-per-view event before the biggest event of the year, but Fastlane was Raw’s opportunity to finally prove how much better they were than SmackDown, following Elimination Chamber three weeks ago, but they didn’t.
It seems that WWE failed in every respect, but where did they go wrong? From Alicia Fox barely being used, to the match between Roman and Braun, here are the 15 things that WWE got wrong at Fastlane and what they should have done, or should do, heading into WrestleMania.
15. Alicia Fox Should Have Been Given A Much Bigger Role
Alicia Fox is a former Divas Champion, and she is perhaps one of the most underrated female wrestlers in WWE right now. Since she was completely dominated by Nia Jax a few months ago, Alicia has instead made the switch over to 205 Live where she is the girlfriend of The Scottish Supernova, Noam Dar.
Ahead of their match at Fastlane, Brian Kendrick called Alicia Fox “crazy” backstage, which should have fuelled her up to do something even more crazier than usual, but she didn’t. It was a slight let down, Alicia has so much potential but it seems WWE are happy to have her as a valet rather than allow her to be part of the Raw Women’s Division. She could’ve done so much more.
14. Sasha Banks Actually Botched The Ending Of Her Match
Sasha Banks took on Nia Jax in a match that the WWE Universe had already seen on the Kickoff Show at The Royal Rumble a few short months ago. It was thought that this time would be different and perhaps Sasha could find a way past Nia, but no one thought that Sasha would actually be able to defeat her clean.
Sasha was supposed to grab on to the ropes for leverage before she made Nia tap, so that the win was actually a dirty win and then the feud could continue. It seems that, thanks to this, Nia now has no way of inserting herself into the WrestleMania match for The Women’s Championship and so WWE have made it a triple threat, without her.
13. Dana Brooke Should Have Returned To Help Charlotte
Bayley told Charlotte to leave Dana Brooke in the locker room and to fight fair in their match. The Women’s Champion then allowed her friend Sasha Banks to help her to balance the odds in her favour, so why didn’t Dana come to help her friend? Surely that would’ve made things more exciting.
Whether Charlotte told her to stay backstage or not, Dana should still have come out and evened the odds. WWE did manage to make Charlotte look like more of a victim this way, but they could have used Dana. Since she was in the arena, there was no reason not too! It just shows that Sasha is a better friend than Dana is.
12. What Was The Point In Enzo’s Foot Being On The Rope?
It was a bit of a messy end to the Tag Team Championship match as Enzo was pinned and the commentary made a huge deal about his foot being on the rope, but the referee didn’t see it.
The whole point of the foot on the rope is that the referee then stops the count, Enzo mentioned it on Raw the following night, but was there really any point in him doing it? The match could have ended clean and The Club would still have faced Enzo and Cass the following night. Now because of Sheamus and Cesaro’s interference on Monday night, it could be claimed that The Club haven’t been able to actually defeat Enzo and Cass yet.
11. The End Of The Undefeated Streaks
Nia Jax technically lost her undefeated streak a long time ago, when she was pinned by Bayley, but Charlotte and Braun Strowman also kissed their streaks goodbye on Sunday night. It makes sense for Charlotte to lose hers because it puts her on an even platform with the other women heading into WrestleMania, but Braun definitely didn’t deserve to lose clean.
Bayley and Roman didn’t need that kind of boost heading into WrestleMania and the fact that someone did interfere in Charlotte’s match and it still wasn’t deemed a DQ is crazy. Undertaker should have appeared and allowed Braun to keep his streak. It was all just a bit too cheap and just another way for WWE to push Roman Reigns forward.
10. Charlotte Should Have Lost The Match Via DQ
Sasha Banks ran down to the ring and technically she struck Charlotte before The Queen could do anything about it. The worst part? The referee was looking right at them as this happened, and yet, still didn’t call for a DQ.
A DQ win for Charlotte would have kept her streak alive so that she could put it all on the line at WrestleMania instead. It seems WWE wants to keep Charlotte at a 16-0 streak instead, much like her fathers 16 World titles, which is sad; the match at WrestleMania could have been given a much bigger boost if she was still undefeated.
9. Why Did Roman Defeat Braun Clean?
Roman and Braun were both supposed to walk into WrestleMania looking strong. Braun could go on to win the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal and Roman would then go on to face The Undertaker. Neither man could afford to lose this match, which is why it was thought that there would be interference to fix the results.
Sadly, there was no interference and like many of his other matches, Roman hit the spear and the pin. Braun has been built like a monster over the past few months and wasn’t pinned in his entire main roster career, so why allow Roman to win at a second rate pay-per-view?
8. Where Was The Undertaker?
When Roman hit the spear and was covering Braun, the entire audience was hoping for the music to chime in and the Undertaker to appear in the middle of the ring like he has so many times. But it wasn’t meant to be, and Undertaker failed to appear and Roman instead won the match clean.
That means that there was no set up for their match until the following night on Raw, when Undertaker could have easily shown up in Milwaukee and cost Roman his match with a chokeslam. The build for this match just doesn’t seem to be going down as well as it could.
7. Why Was Brock Lesnar On The Poster If He Wasn’t Going To Appear?
Both Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker were on the poster for Fastlane. Brock was thought to be making a run-in appearance to cost Goldberg the title he craved, while Undertaker was assumed to be there to set up his WrestleMania match with Roman Reigns.
Sadly, neither man appeared and fans were once again left disappointed. The end of the show had Goldberg holding the title and no hook to make you excited for Raw, when an appearance by Taker or Lesnar could easily have changed that. Why would they even bother putting them on the poster if they weren’t going to be there?
6. Kevin Owens Should Have Retained
Goldberg has literally wrestled for a measly three minutes in the last 12 years, so the fact that WWE have given him the biggest title on the Raw brand shows the lack of respect the company has for every single star wrestler that works their backside off on a daily basis.
Owens’ entire build up was about how he had defeated the best, he had defeated Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, John Cena, and AJ Styles, and proved that he was the best of the best, but then Goldberg beats him in 21 seconds and basically shows that he is better than all of them? How does that makes sense WWE?
5. Why Did Mick Foley Send Samoa Joe Home?
Samoa Joe and Kevin Owens are now friends, Triple H recruited them both and they are being forced to work together whether they like it or not, so why did Foley have to ruin the fun, when Joe could easily have come out and attacked Chris Jericho like he did on Monday night?
Joe could have saved Owens and helped him retain his title, there were so many other elements that could have come into this match to stop Goldberg from winning and fans would have accepted it. There were so many options, WWE just chose the worst one. It is thought that Goldberg won in the manner that he did because WWE are scared of him being injured before WrestleMania like Seth Rollins was, so they feel that if they have squash matches then at least he will definitely be in good condition ahead of his match with Brock Lesnar in three weeks time.
4. Will Sami Ever Be Given A Fair Shake?
First he was put in an unwinnable feud against Triple H’s newest friend Kevin Owens, then another feud with Braun Strowman, to make him look strong and now Sami Zayn has picked a fight with the man that Triple H calls “The Destroyer.”
Sami Zayn really needs a new GPS because he keeps driving into dangerous territory! He ends up on roads that only lead to him being defeated and it is unknown if Sami is even going to make it to WrestleMania at this point. Sami needs a fair fight and a fair chance in his next feud.
3. Rusev Was Used To Put Over Big Show
Remember when Rusev was undefeated and everyone was used to make him look strong? How times have changed. Now Rusev is being used to make Big Show look strong, after his incredible weight loss and his potential match at WrestleMania, it seems that they want The Giant to look as good as he ever did.
Rusev took three chokeslams and a knock out punch before he stayed down for the three count, but this could now mean that Rusev misses WrestleMania. Is he being punished? In what world would it be okay for Rusev to miss the biggest event of he year?
2. Tom Phillips Was Replaced
It probably wasn’t the worst thing that WWE did on Sunday night, it was probably the best decision, but they drafted in Charley Caruso to cover for Tom Phillips after he was the subject of some leaked sensitive information earlier in the week and WWE didn’t want to take the gamble.
While it showed that WWE were not willing to allow Tom to be in the public eye and part of The Social Media lounge where anything could be tweeted in, it was also harsh throwing Charley into deep end and then allowing Booker T to mention the real reason why Tom wasn’t there.
1. Raw Failed To Outshine SmackDown
Remember when Raw was the Flagship show? When it was all about what happened on a Monday night? It seems as though this is definitely a thing of the past. SmackDown is now considered to be THE show for WWE, and it is easy to see why.
SmackDown knocks it out of the park every week and Elimination Chamber was definitely better than Fastlane. Many of the WWE Universe have actually asked if WrestleMania could be SmackDown exclusive, just so that the part-time wrestlers that Raw relies heavily upon can be left out of WrestleMania, meaning that the superstars that deserve the spots could actually be given them.