Life in the Fastlane

An analysis of the Fastlane wrestling event and what that means for Wrestlemania

Sunday night was not only the last day of spring break but also the night of Fastlane, World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE) last pay-per-view before Wrestlemania 35. 

With Wrestlemania only four weeks away, it was time for story lines to be ironed out and for fans to begin to fantasy book how their favorite superstars will make the card. 

However, a few people missed the memo and those people are the creative team at WWE. Apart from a few story lines which have been in the cards for months (the RAW Women’s Championship and Universal Title matches), not very much progression occurred. 

But where there was progression, there was a lot of it. In the first match of the show The Miz and Shane McMahon teamed up in the Miz’s home city of Cleveland, Ohio to take on the defending Smackdown Tag Team Champions, The Usos. 

Fans in attendance and viewers alike were invested in the match because of the story. The Miz confronted Shane near the end of 2018 urging them to team up to try to gain the approval of both their fathers. 

Ultimately, it would be the Miz’s father, seated at ring-side, who advised his son to attempt a splash off the top rope to secure the victory, but Jimmy Uso was ready, caught the Miz rolling him up for the pin and securing the victory. 

This prompted a heel turn from Shane after the match where he ran up from behind the Miz and rained down with a flurry of fists and kicks into him in front of his father and home city earning himself an echoing chorus of boos and jeers from the fans in attendance. 

This will most likely result in a match at Wrestlemania, and did a great job of setting up the two as adversaries. Because the fans were invested and there was story progression, an okay match was turned into a good and memorable match.

However, just because story progression happens, it does not mean that the match will be elevated. 

In one of the most anticipated matches on the card and possibly of 2019 so far, fan favourite Becky Lynch was set to take on Charlotte Flair, the daughter of WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair. 

Coming into this match, if Lynch was victorious, she would be reinserted into the Wrestlemania main event against Ronda Rousey. 

Fans were eager to watch Lynch and Flair have a match to remember with an “injured” Lynch having to overcome the odds to defeat one of the best women’s wrestlers of all time. 

Instead, fans were given a mediocre match that paled in comparison to the war they waged on each other at shows last year like “Evolution” and “TLC.” The injured knee of Lynch was the target of Flair’s attacks before Charlotte ultimately locked in her Figure Eight submission hold. 

When it looked like the match was just about over, Ronda Rousey runs down the ramp and into the ring before sucker punching Lynch in the gut resulting in a disqualification. 

The disqualification put Lynch back in the Wrestlemania main event against the other two women currently in the ring. What was shaped up to be another great match, highlighting the strengths of both women involved, resulted in a non-finish but the fans ultimately getting what they wanted.

A common saying comes to mind, “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.” In this case, fans knew where they were going but the journey to get there was a rough one. 

Yes, fans wanted Lynch back in the match at Wrestlemania but this is not how they wanted it to happen. 

Becky Lynch is a fighter who has had to scratch and claw her way inside the company to get to where she is. 

Because of this we were ready for her to have to fight her way back into the match she rightly deserved. 

All that progression was undermined when Rousey came in, caused the disqualification, and essentially handing Lynch the opportunity. 

But despite this slip up, there is no doubt in my mind that the first women’s match to main event Wrestlemania on April 7 between the trio will be a great one.

~Austin Arch, Staff Writer~

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