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  • Connor Ewens

Let's Review: WWE Fastlane 2023

It's time for the speediest, fastest, pedal to the metal, adrenaline fuelled PPV of the year. Neeooomm. Fast. This show was originally based around the road to Wrestlemania but now it's on the road to Survivor Series I guess? WWE have been putting on some great matches and good storylines recently, we'll see if the trend continues here tonight. Let's hop in the Benz and hit the highway. Let's review.

7th October 2023 - WWE Fastlane @ Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana

-One thing worth mentioning on the Kick-off show. Jade Cargill arrives and meets Triple H. She looks amazing. An absolute superstar.

-Cold open narrated by Pat McAfee. It's pretty hype.

Judgement Day (Finn Balor & Damien Priest) (c) vs Cody Rhodes & Jey Uso for the Unified World Tag Team Championships

Cody brought over Jey Uso to Raw from Smackdown after his split from his own brother. Jey has had some issues with some of the roster already, especially the ones he has wronged before. Rhodes says Jey deserves a second chance, Jey is going to try prove himself. Whilst the roster reject him, the Judgment Day praise him and want him to join their ranks. Jey said no by superkicking them all, making him Judgment Day target number 1. No one came to Jey's rescue except for Cody. The tag match was set up by Adam Pearce. Whilst I am enjoying Cody completing all of the side quests, I would love to see him get back on the world title track soon.

An extra loud WOOAHH for Cody tonight. They've talked about a Priest cash-in which makes me not believe a it'll happen tonight. Cole calls Rhodes a former Bullet Club leader which is unfortunately wrong, but I like his attempt to "win twitter points". Cody wished he was. Jey & Priest start. Priest is strong but Jey works him into the corner for a tag to Cody and they begin double team offence, targeting the knee of Priest. Priest turns the tide with a clothesline and he gets Balor in as they work over Uso. Jey hits a headbutt, he and Cody are able to double team Balor together. Priest makes a blind tag and drops Jey. Judgement Day beat down Jey. Cody arguing with the official allows cheating to further damage the Uso. Jey fails to make a tag thrice but finally manages a tag to Rhodes. he has a hot streak hitting his usual moves, a disaster kick for a near fall. Cody slaps the mat almost like Randy Orton to set up the Crossroads. A nice counter sequence between him and Balor. Rhodes prevents Coup de Grace with an impressive stalling superplex. Double hot tags to Jey & Priest. Jey fires off the offence, a big crossbody for a near fall. Priest turns the tide with a kick and an elevated flatliner. Jey avoids a razor's edge, sends him outside for a big plancha. Uso splash! 1-2-no! Balor breaks it up. Cody Cutter to Balor. Big spear by Jey on Priest. The rest of the Judgement Day arrive, Dom eats a superkick, Rhea distracts Jey by being hot as hell. Jey eats top rope rana and a Coup de Grace for the 1-2-NO! Cody breaks it. 4 man brawl as they all get up. JD McDonaugh tries to get involved but is superkicked. Rhea hits Jey with the briefcase but it's another near fall. Rhodes takes a chokeslam on the apron. Priest preps the announce table but JD accidentally wacks Priest with the briefcase to the injured knee. Crossroads on the announce table. Tope Con Hilo by Uso. A variation of the 1D but incorporating the Cody cutter. Crossroads for the 1-2-3.

A great match. It was a slow burner at first but once we got some hot tags going it got really good. The psychology around Priest's knee was excellently done. JD's botched interference will continue the controlled implosion of Judgement Day, or Judgement Day Civil War, whatever will happen. Great action, great storytelling, a very good opener. This is Cody Rhodes first WWE championship in 9 years. This is Jey Uso's first ever championship to NOT be alongside his brother Jimmy.

Rhodes & Uso win via pinfall (20:43)


-Barrett & Booker T talk about the show, Xavier Woods comes and wants to hang, he will order Pizza Hut for them. Lads night.

Bobby Lashley & Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) vs LWO (Rey Mysterio & Santos Escobar w/Zelina Vega) & ???

The new iteration of the LWO has been gaining popularity on Smackdown. Mysterio is the current US Champion. Lashley doesn't like the happy, lovey attitude of the LWO. He has taken the Street Profits under his wing with renewed focus and look to take over Smackdown. After the Street Profits lost, Lashley threatened to abandon them unless they proved their worth. Originally either Cruz Del Toro or Joaquin Wilde was going to feature but they were taken out by the Profits. Mysterio told Santos he would make a phone call. Who could it be? Everyone is predicting Carlito and I think that will right. It's predictable, but sometimes predictable is good.

It looks like it's going to be a 3-on-2 situation. Ford is happy but Escobar takes the fight to him. Ford is cocky whenever he takes the advantage, immediately giving back control. Lashley isn't happy as he breaks up the pin. Dawkins and Lashley with double team powerhouse offence. Escobar is beaten down but he floors Dawkins with a dropkick. Rey tags in and gains momentum. It's cut short quickly Lashley blind tags in and wipes him out. Rey is beaten down now, Ford being entertainingly cocky whilst kicking ass. Mysterio manages to create space for a tag but Ford wipes out Escobar from the apron. Vega with a meteora to Ford! Rey with a DDT to Dawkins. Rey has no one to tag when he has ample time to. Rey knocks Ford out the ring, here comes Carlito! It's new music, I wish we kept his old music but it's Carlito! He tags in and runs hot on the heels. He looks JACKED bro. Dawkins & Lashley are taken out, a backstabber to Ford gets the win.

This okay, the match was pretty slow and boring until the return of Carlito. It was a basic formula but it worked. It just wasn't very fun. Montez Ford's antics were fun when we got to see them, but I fear Lashley is going to make him be more serious which would be a shame. Carlito's return was a nice moment, I hope we see more of him. I just felt this lasted longer than it needed to for what it aimed to achieve.

LWO win via pinfall (10:02)


-Xavier Woods delivers a Pizza Hut Dinner Box to commentary. Mukbang on commentary.

Iyo Sky (c) vs Charlotte Flair vs Asuka, WWE Women's Championship

At Summerslam after Bianca Belair won the WWE Women's championship from Asuka, but it was short lived when Iyo Sky cashed in her Money in the Bank briefcase to win her first main roster title in WWE. I'm all about the Iyo Sky era, finally getting the credit she deserves for being one of the best wrestlers on the planet. In a title rematch on Smackdown, Iyo defeated Asuka with a minor assist by fellow Damage CTRL member Bayley. Charlotte Flair has been helping Asuka even the odds but they're still at odds over the title. Flair tells Bayley she has become a stepping stone whilst she is still the measuring stick. A good line. I fully expect Iyo to retain here.

Flair boots Iyo out and Asuka sprays the mist on Flair! Very quick to see the mist. Flair is out for the time being. We get a mini 1v1 between the two stars from Japan, a good back and forth of counters and pin attempts. Asuka looks to take control but Charlotte has came in with a big boot. So the mist lasts 3 minutes before you can tolerate the effects. Flair takes control but she is still selling the mist to her credit. Asuka & Iyo double team Charlotte but Charlotte holds her own. a tilt-a-whirl headscissors into a crossface by Iyo was smooth. A stiff kick drops Charlotte to the outside again. The crowd are real quiet for this which is a shame. A top rope german suplex by Asuka to Iyo, a big sliding kick for a near fall. Big double crossbody by Charlotte. She chops them both down, literally, and reverses a tandem northern lights suplex into a double suplex. Duelling pin attempts. Asuka whips Iyo into a suicide dive to Charlotte on the outside. An Asai moonsault by Iyo barely hits Asuka. Charlotte's top rope moonsault looked more impactful. Asuka powerbombs Charlotte from the top whilst she holds Iyo in a Samoan drop for a good spot. Iyo is out whilst these two rivals fight, A nice transition from arm bar to Boston crab. Figure four attempt but a meteora by Iyo. Charlotte is trapped in a crossface and a cloverleaf. Iyo reverses an Asuka lock. An assisted codebreaker by Asuka to Iyo, Charlotte with a huge spear for a great near fall. The match is finally entering another gear. Bayley comes out to help Iyo up. Charlotte boots Iyo out, a diving codebreaker barely hit but got a 2. Charlotte has Asuka in the figure eight, Bayley distracts the referee from the tap out. Iyo hits the moonsault to Charlotte for the 1-2-3. Iyo realises Bayley helped her, but she hugs her with glee.

There was some sloppy spots and awkward moments for me here. A few moves didn't quite connect, it was pretty slow for the most part and just as it entered another gear, the finish was around the corner. I also don't like how the mist was used in the opening minutes, had worn off after 3 minutes and was no longer being sold 5 minutes after that. The mist should be a dangerous part of Asuka's arsenal. I dunno. I wasn't feeling this one as much as I'd hoped. It was still a good match but I wanted more.

Iyo Sky retains via pinfall (17:15)


-Pat McAfee comes out wearing the Indianapolis Colts Legacy belt. Those NFL legacy belts honestly look hella fire. McAfee talks about weak crowds but says that's not Indianapolis, and thinks they deserve a Wrestlemania. You kidding? They've been a mid crowd so far, no where near the level that a Wrestlemania in Wembley would be. McAfee calls Cole the GOAT which is cute. He introduces John Cena ahead of his entrance.

John Cena & LA Knight vs The Bloodline (Jimmy Uso & Solo Sikoa)

Jimmy Uso reinserted himself as a part of the Bloodline but Heyman was hesitant without the confirmation of the Tribal Chief. Jimmy & Solo targeted both AJ Styles & John Cena separately, setting up a big marquee tag match. However, for the contract signing AJ was attacked backstage leaving Cena without a partner. LA Knight returned from his brief hiatus from sickness to help Cena fight the Bloodline and sign the contract for this match. People have been hating on the Bloodline story now but I think they just need to chill out. Jimmy returning actually makes sense. He tried to help his brother but instead hurt him. Without his brother by his side or even on the same roster, Jimmy was directionless and he hasn't been flying solo before. He immediately digressed to his old habits, seeking comfort and validation with his family. We will see how that goes down with Roman Reigns when he eventually returns.

LA Knight is crazy over and Cena is loving it. Cena & Jimmy start. Feeling out process won by Cena so Solo is tagged in. Throwback to Cena vs Umaga. Solo drops him with an uppercut. Jimmy is tagged in and mocks Cena as he is taken apart by the Bloodline. Cena tries to fire back but he keeps being knocked down. We see an Attitude Adjustment out of no where on Jimmy! Both men are down. Solo gets the tag and just manages to prevent LA Knight coming in. After a LONG beat down segment, Knight FINALLY gets the tag and goes on a hot run, chants of YEAH for every strike. His hot run is cut short by a superkick for a near fall. Knight with a big elbow, Samoan drop by Solo, huge crossbody by Cena, Uso Splash by Jimmy. Everyone is down. Knight fights the Bloodline 2-on-1, he's sent outside. An AA attempt to Solo foiled by a Jimmy superkick. Solo is sent out, LA hits an Angle-esque leap to Jimmy on the top rope for a suplex. Cena hits the 5 knuckle shuffle, LA Knight hits the BFT and Jimmy Uso is pinned.

The beat down segment went on for far too long, but once Cena got the tag it was fun. Cena is obviously rather limited on what he can do for a couple of reasons. Ring rust is one but most likely he doesn't want to pick up an injury and disrupt his schedule once the Hollywood strikes come to an end. A good match, the Bloodline story will continue and this was a nice moment for Knight.

Cena & Knight win via pinfall (17:21)


-Heyman is heard saying "we have a problem here" on the phone, presumably to Roman Reigns. McAfee leaves commentary.

-Priest says he refuses to leave empty handed and will cash in tonight. The group convince him not too, Rhea takes the briefcase and they treat him for his injury. Son of Shane McMahon is in the crowd, looking like an absolute twat just like a McMahon should.

-Crown Jewel scheduled for November 4th. Man, I have like 3 wrestling shows that day to watch and review.

Seth Rollins (c) vs Shinsuke Nakamura Last Man Standing, World Heavyweight Championship

A feud that began with Nakamura targeting the injured back of Rollins, but at Payback Rollins retained the gold. Nakamura attacked him post match. Rollins was game for a rematch but Shinsuke said no. He wants to destroy Rollins but he keeps evading him, leaving Rollins inches away from getting his hands on him. Nakamura pushed him into offering any match at any time. Nakamura chooses the last man standing, ready to destroy him for good. I love Rollins, his reign has been great, but man I would love Nakamura to just ONCE be a WWE world champion.

Listen to how weak the crowd noise is, you can tell they increased the sound during Rollins' entrance by how sharply it jumps. Do NOT host Wrestlemania here WWE. Bring it to London fam. They couldn't even sing his theme for a full minute once the music cut. Shame. Nakamura takes a walk from Rollins and keeps his distance, playing mind games. Rollins grabs a kendo stick, Nakamura rolls out and drags him out, back work time. It's been like a minute and we're already getting table chants. stfu. Nakamura exposes the concrete, Rollins sends him head first into the steps. Steps driven into Nakamura, Rollins' steps YEET attempt is dodged. More kendos. Chairs and trash cans. A table is pulled out, then a second. Hopefully that'll keep the morons quiet for a little. Nakamura takes control with knee strikes. Nakamura has nun-chucks! I genuinely don't know if I've seen them used in a WWE ring before. I think WCW did it once. Nun-chucks to the leg and back. Cole calls Nakamura Assassin like, which is a good call, there are too many possible negative connotations to call him a ninja. A trash can on Rollins' head, kendo sticks whacked on it. Nun-chuck choke by Shin. Rollins comes out of an exploder attempt with a sling-blade. Kendo sticks cracked mercilessly by Rollins. Trashcan to the bonce. Suicide dive. Kendo, running knee and frog splash was a nice sequence. Nakamura counters with a backstabber. Nakamura tries knee kinshasa Rollins through the table but Rollins rolls away, the stomp is hit. Nakamura manages to get to his feet at 9. Ladder used to knock Shinsuke down. Nakamura on the table, big ladder set up nearby. Shin rolls away. The fight around ringside and into the crowd. Back and forth on the stairs, Rollins bites him, a low blow by Nakamura who kicks Rollins off the stairs to the floor (kind). He gets up at 9. A plethora of chair shots to Rollins back. A pedigree reversed to a back drop on the concrete. Rollins is back up at 9. Kinshasa countered with a superkick, pedigree. Nakamura makes it up at 9 just. Rollins on the table, Nakamura leaps with double knees through him. Rollins just makes it up. More chair shots to wear Rollins down. Rollins takes control, Nakamura is on the announce table as Rollins climbs the ladder. Nakamura climbs the ladder too, red mist! Rollins falls through the table, and Rollins gets up holding the ladder! I really thought that was it. Chair backbreaker, kinshasa through the table as the count begins and Rollins again rolls onto his feet. They fight into the crowd again. Rollins reverses with a pedigree, another stomp but Nakamura is up. A super falcon arrow through tables below! Rollins gets up and Nakamura does not. The champ retains.

This went nearly 30 minutes and it felt like it. However, this was an epic war from bell to bell. The psychology was nailed down with Nakamura punishing the back to the nth degree, commentary did an amazing job selling the story and how resilient but possibly foolish Rollins was being. They busted out some good spots and a lot of them I seriously bought. I thought Nakamura had it won for sure twice. Whilst I'm upset my boy Naka ain't the champ, I'm not mad. Seth has been the MVP for Raw all year and I'm happy for his reign to continue. He is showing wear and tear, it's only a matter of time before Damien Priest comes calling with his briefcase.

Seth Rollins retains (28:25)


Overall- 66%

Whilst I am happy that gone are the B show's that overstay their welcome and have too many matches, I can't help but feel like this has went too far the other way. Only 5 matches here which is fine but I feel like a lot of these matches would have benefited with less time. The women's three-way felt a couple mins too long, the Cena beat down segment was far too long, the opener first 10 minutes were slow and felt like stalling. I think the only match that benefitted from it's length was the main event. This is a solid show, starts and ends well but the middle is a bit meh. But it didn't need to all be great matches. LA Knight is so over he just needs to be there, whilst Carlito appearance was cool (get it?). Just too much time given, add another match Trips. It can even be Jinder Mahal vs Gabe Steveson for all I care (I kid please don't do that).

This is the first time I've dropped two reviews in one day. I'm so very tired. Thanks for reading my WWE Fastlane review, if you like what you read please share with a friend and like/follow my socials it really helps my growth. Check in Friday for WCW rankings plus next week I will have another New Japan review coming your way, probably tomorrow night. Until next time gamers, see ya!


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