SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
by Pat McNeill, PWTorch Columnist
We are LIVE at the McNeill Command Center for this special live blog of Kevin Owens vs. Bill Goldberg at WWE Fastlane 2017.
Samoa Joe is in the social media lounge, showing rookies how to cut a meaningful heel promo without raising his voice. A good start to the evening.
Booker T and Peter Rosenberg are on the All-Star Panel arguing over the women’s title match. The Book thinks Bayley ends The Streak here. Poor Booker.
Austin Aries is home, and he’s coming to Raw as a wrestler. When? Not soon enough.
Swann & Tozawa vs. Kendrick & Noam Dar is your Kickoff match. The new rule is that all Asian wrestlers must come out to “Battle Without Honor Or Humanity”.
Amazingly, the cruiserweights get a better reaction when they open the show then when they come on after Smackdown. Go figure.
Stereo dives to the floor. Swann and Tozawa should team up more often.
Swann wins with a Phoenix Splash, and we’re not even in Phoenix. (That was last month.)
One video package, and we open the show. It’s Life In The Fastlane! And our show kicks off with Sami Zayn against Samoa Joe.
Welcome to Samoa Joe’s WWE pay-per-view debut. He’s in the opener because…WWE. Samoa Joe, trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Sami Zayn, trained in a dive bar in Montreal.
Michael Cole explains that Samoa Joe doesn’t like to be disrespected. Saxton says after a while, you learn to ignore it.
Joe wins with the Coquina Clutch in a match that was as good as you expected.
After that Tapout commercial, I’d also think twice before disrespecting Alicia Fox. I’m just saying.
Charly Caruso interviews Bayley. The champ talks up her opponent like she’s Nick Saban.
Next match is Enzo & Big Cass vs. Andy & Big Gall. Yeah, I wouldn’t advertise it like that.
A sign says “CNN Is Fake News”. Ah. One of my Twitter followers made the trip to Milwaukee.
Hot tag to Cass. Fallaway Slam. Stinger Splash. Fallaway Slam. Stinger Splash. Side Slam. Empire Elbow. Only 997 moves until Cass catches Jericho.
Enzo eats the pin off a double team. The champs are still the champs.
Still trying to figure out why the WWE app people made Ric Flair look like Terry Taylor.
Stephanie & Triple H are still stuck on the tarmac. Awwww.
Nia Jax tells Sasha “You’re not the boss of me”. So I’m not the only one here who’s seen “Malcolm In The Middle”.
Nia Jax is not like most girls. Probably because she’s a grown woman.
Now let’s check in with our Russian announce team of Yakov Smirnoff and Pyotr “The Brain” Putin.
“What does Sasha Banks mean when she calls herself The Boss?” Well, Corey, I think she means there’s a brand new life around the bend.
After getting dominated for the entire match, Sasha wins with a rollup. Who could have seen that one coming? (* whistles softly, drops mic. *)
There’s a question online as to whether Sasha used the ropes for leverage before getting the pin. If Sasha didn’t grab the ropes, it wasn’t for lack of trying.
Up next, it’s Rusev and Jinder Mahal fighting for the right to have a singles match on Fastlane. So when do you think they’ll figure this one out?
Nope. I was too cynical. It’s going to be Cesaro vs. Jinder Mahal and Sheamus vs. Rusev. Sure. Why not?
Graves wonders why Jinder Mahal wants to go back to being a singles wrestler. Hey, Corey, WWE Main Event isn’t going to book itself, you know.
This is about as much heat as you’re going to get for a Jinder Mahal match. Cesaro wins clean, eventually.
After the match, Rusev comes in and beats up Jinder Mahal. Am I supposed to be upset about this?
Big Show vs. Rusev. Okay, NOW I’m upset.
Okay, if Shaq’s not making it to WrestleMania, can we get Kurt Rambis? Vlade Divac? Ric Smits?
Yes, Big Show versus Rusev is still happening. Big Show hits Rusev with a third chokeslam. Nate Silver gives Rusev a 51% chance of pulling this match out.
Show hangs on to win in an upset.
Enzo Amore has a hot date with some KFC Honey Mustard Chicken. Yeah, that sounds about right.
WrestleMania ad. Four more weeks of that “Give Me The Green Light” song and I’ll be ready for public transportation.
King Neville vs. Jack Gallagher is next, after we look at Austin Aries’ beautiful (video) package.
The WWE Cruiserweight Title is on the line, which means the winner gets to main event the first hour of the WrestleMania Kickoff Show.
Jack and The King put on a show, complete with the official “This Is Awe-Some” chants. Neville can’t put Gallagher away until he busts out the Red Arrow. We get the closing shot of the challenger with his head in his hands. Good stuff.
Backstage, Mr. McMahon asks Kidman when they’ll get to the part where Gallagher smashes the watermelon.
What’s Paul Heyman doing at WWE Fastlane? He won’t say. He spends about 800 words not saying.
The New Day is on their way to the ring to practice for hosting WrestleMania. I imagine they charge a little less than The Rock.
The New Day has an ice cream pushcart. Obviously, we’re saving the Good Humor Man for Orlando.
The guy with the “Delete Delete Delete” sign has the right idea. Reigns vs. Strowman is next.
Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman. Winner gets booed out of the building at WrestleMania 33. Strowman uses the Stump Puller on Reigns. Hey, it’s not like Nick Busich’s going to sue for gimmick infringement.
The Milwaukee crowd lets Reigns know he’s their second favorite wrestler. Who’s their favorite wrestler? All the others are tied.
(I have several other Reigns jokes, but I need to save some for Raw tomorrow. You understand.)
Some of the people in Milwaukee need to listen to Wayback Playback, for our valuable pointers on making crowd signs. Strowman puts Reigns through one of the announce tables. Come on, Braun. Only 167 more countries to go!
Strowman misses the Harley Race top rope headbutt and Reigns wins with the spear. That was better than it had any right to be.
Tomorrow night, a new episode of WWE Ride Along! Try to contain yourselves.
Mick Foley warns Samoa Joe not to interfere with the main event. Joe rolls his eyes.
Now, let’s watch the video package of Bayley winning the Women’s Title. Before WWE breaks our hearts again.
Look, WWE, I don’t want to tell you your business, but your babyface commentator shouldn’t sound like he’s five years removed from getting stuffed into a locker before first period.
Bayley vs. Charlotte. Corey does a good job of covering up for Charlotte calling spots. This show will either end late, or Goldberg vs. Owens will go 73 seconds.
Good match. Charlotte starts to go up top, and Sasha runs in to distract the challenger. It works. Bayley wins with the Bayley to Belly. Corey Graves screams bloody murder. Remember when Stephanie told Mick Foley to make sure nothing wonky happened during the two main matches? Expect some follow-up tomorrow night.
WrestleMania 33 ad. It’s the oldest ride in the park, and it still has the longest line. Or something like that.
It’s time for our main event, after we say a few thousand words about Triple H’s feud with Seth Rollins.
And now, Kevin Owens vs. Bill Goldberg. WWE Universal Title. The match you never knew you wanted to see. It’s Goldberg’s first title match in thirteen years. It’s his third match in thirteen years.
Chris Jericho makes his entrance right before the bell rings. There’s the bell. Where’s my stopwatch? Never mind. Spear. Jackhammer. Pin. Bill Goldberg is the third WWE Universal Champion. I hope we get the rematch tomorrow in Chicago.
That’s it from here. Join me and Greg for the live postgame on PWTorchLivecast.com, and the VIP Roundtable will be up in a couple of hours. Good night.