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MARCH 6, 2017
CHICAGO, ILL. AT ALLSTATE ARENA
By Joey Galizia (@RamJam89), PWTorch contributor
“WE ALL FALL TO THE TITAN GOD.”
How did we end up here? If you had told me that Bill Goldberg, a man who’s former glory days were behind him, would make an in-ring return and become a champion, I would slap you for said craziness. The fact that this is true and it has happened in 2017 continues to prove my theory that time is a flat and vicious circle. Despite how you feel about Dadberg (loved him as a kid and don’t even hate him now), his dismantling of the Universal Champion was a proper chapter in the story WWE is trying to tell. In fact, this has been some of the most consistent and long-term booking the company has had in quite a while, and Big Bill has been booked to perfection since his return. I just hope that these two part-timers can deliver in what is now sure to be the main event of WrestleMania.
“WE ALL GROW BREAK-UP BEARDS.”
Here’s another case of a long story paying off: Kevin Owen’s run as Universal Champion has seen him defend the belt multiple times against the likes of Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. Each time KO was able to walk away with the strap thanks to the shenanigans of his most loyal friend, Chris Jericho. After their devastating break-up a few weeks ago (SHUT UP, I’M STILL NOT OVER IT, YOU’RE CRYING). Y2J was nowhere to be seen. He, like most of us who deal with a tragic break-up, proceeded to eat pints of Ben & Jerry’s, confide in a bottle of wine, and grow a gorgeous looking break-up beard. Kevin Owens had really hurt him, but revenge is a dish best served cold. It would be Jericho’s distraction of Owens that gave Goldberg the upper hand, just as Jericho did to all of Kevin’s opponents. Again, time is a fat and vicious circle. With Mania a few weeks away, these two are obviously going to do everything they can to steal the show, and their story is probably the best thing the Red Brand has going for it right now.
“NO ONE IS WHO THEY ARE”
You know what’s not one of the best things the Red Brand has going for it right now? The Women’s Division. I say it on a weekly basis, but it is worth repeating. The talent on the Raw Women’s brand is centered around three of the very best wrestlers that the company has, but this recent outing has been a failure on so many levels. Bayley’s big title win, although fun, came way too early at a time after the belt had just been hot potato’d for two months. She no longer has that great underdog story, nor did she seem like an underdog or even a babyface to win it. The same thing happened at Fastlane last night when Sasha AGAIN interfered in the title match and AGAIN cost Charlotte the belt. AND THEY’RE SUPPOSE TO BE THE GOOD GUYS? No no no no no no no no. Not only that, but the lack of a turn from the Boss was the most frustrating because it would have made the awful finish (and the not-so-great match) that preceded it go away. That didn’t happen. Asuka needs to save Raw from itself. Hopefully tonight they turn the gears up on something that makes sense.
“BRITAIN’S FINEST EXPORTS”
Not all of Fastlane was bad. The cruiserweights had a strong showing. The opening tag bout was a fun crowd pleaser and the title match between Jack Gallagher and Neville delivered everything the purple brand had been trying to deliver since they added the high-flyers. Neville is the type of heel that KO was (and could be returning to) in NXT: Angry, dangerous, deceptive, but he can defeat you fair and square because he’s better than you. It’s nice to see a guy who doesn’t need anyone’s help to win and can still make you dislike his attitude about it. Gallagher is still one of the most well-liked wrestlers for the purple brand and his title win will come eventually. This was good. Hopefully tonight (or on 205 tomorrow) they shape some things up leading into Mania, and with Austin Aries returning (pants are off), things are looking up.
“KILL A MONSTER… FACE A PHENOM.”
The other MOTN contender. Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns were clashing week after week leading to this bout and it delivered everything we expected it to. The right guy won since it will be Roman having the bigger stakes match at WrestleMania. Braun still looked like a million bucks, though, and I don’t believe his momentum will be slowed down by eating a pin to the company’s next big guy. If anything it will motivate him since all he’s craved is competition. I look forward to what’s next for both of these guys. Also, Roman’s sneakers were slick and they obviously made him move a lot better. YEAH, NIKE.
“GET OUT THE FASTLANE”
-The Club retained their tag titles by outsmarting the realest guys. Haven’t cared about the tag team division on either show and last night’s match didn’t change my mind. I’m certain that the fast-talking skywalking blondie will address his foot on the ropes tonight in Chi-town, though.
-Big Show defeated Handsome Rusev (nice haircut, dude) in what was actually a pretty fun match. It wasn’t originally announced for the card so many were taken aback, but with the Shaq match still possibly on the table Big Show needed to look like he can go. Don’t know if we see him tonight, though.
-Cesaro and Sheamus are still together.
-New Day will continue to sell ice-cream because Chicago loves ice-cream on pizza.
That’s the show. Mediocre PPV aside, now there’s nothing between us and Mania. LET’S DO THIS THING.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S ARTICLE: RAW PRIMER: The final show before Fastlane features Goldberg, Chris Jericho, and Seth Rollins – but will it live up to the hype?