Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Sunday, March 05, 2017

WWE Fastlane 2017 Live Enough Blog

1. Rich Swann/Akira Tozawa vs. Brian Kendrick/Noam Dar

ER: I'm a couple months behind on 205 Live but I do plan to skim through it to catch up. Crowd does not care about this, though over the course of the match the crowd gets into Swann as FIP. Kendrick is great throughout at trying to only be in the match when he's got the advantage. It doesn't always work, which leads to him eating a high backdrop while Swann is about to powerbomb Dar, and then another to the floor before eating a dive. Dar is kind of disjointed the whole match, though I like the way he takes Swann's kicks. This match just didn't have enough going for it. Kendrick was fun but the whole thing was rushed. Tozawa didn't get to do much as the whole match was built around Swann. Swann had nice kicks but his flip dive looked soft, and he came up short on his phoenix splash. Everybody seemed like they were trying, but there's this inescapable desperation that comes through during these cruiser matches. It's like the all know the whole thing is going to die soon. Also, I hate Michael Cole saying "Vintage Rich Swann!" Vintage compared to what?

2. Sami Zayn vs. Samoa Joe

ER: I'm into Joe punching Zayn around the ring, with Zayn picking his moments. Zayn does a great Kawada-like crumble sell after eating a right jab. The bow and arrow took too long to set up, but the legsweep to Zayn's shins was sick as hell. Sami aims to dislocate his shoulder by throwing a mean falling clothesline, and I smile huge when he hits the blue thunder bomb. You can see Zayn's power meter falling but he still tries and still looks for openings, and Zayn is good about setting up trademark Joe offense. Joe just keeps coming forward and it's all about survival for Zayn. I liked the drama around the top rope sunset flip, and Zayn's selling during the kokina clutch. The match was basically an extended Joe beating, which is a good way to debut him on PPV. Zayn was in there to sell and put over Joe's kicks and slams, and mission accomplished. They have a better match in them, but they needed Joe to look strong.

3. Enzo & Cass vs. The Club

ER: Enzo & Cass: The reason why I start these blogs late. I can't risk getting to their segment and having to sit through it in real time. I do have a weird soft spot for wrestlers with no offense, so sometimes I want to like Enzo. And playing FIP in tags is by far his best use. He takes stupid, untrained looking bumps, but it somehow works to make him more sympathetic. I like how Enzo flops while in a side headlock, and like all of Anderson's kneedrops to Enzo's throat. Enzo and Anderson work a really fun grounded side headlock sequence, with Enzo trying to roll to Cass and Anderson rolling through to get him back to the center of the ring. Gallows takes a mean post shot and they do one of those fun spots where Enzo gets knocked out of the sky while attempting a tag. They work kind of an absurd number of fun spots around guys leaping at Enzo and missing. He's essentially Pacman Jones, TNA tag team champ. Cass does a nice hot tag, and they do a great false finish with Gallows yanking Enzo out of the ring just in time. Really fun tag that totally overdelivered.

4. Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks

ER: First few minutes of this are just Nia tossing Sasha around the ring, nasty backbreaker, huge hiptoss, even a kind of curbstomp. Ladies make certain moves look better with their flexibility, and I really dug Nia's torture rack. Sasha maneuvers into a guillotine and then we get some cool moments of Nia trying to shake her, and Sasha hanging on: gets shaken out of a guillotine, grabs a backpack sleeper, gets ditched on the turnbuckles, leaps back into that sleeper. I thought the Banks statement looked great, and Nia just plants her with a chokeslam. Also liked the bridge at the finish, looked genuinely tough to kick out of. Still I'm not really sure what they're doing with Nia, as she seems to lose an awful lot for a monster. But, I like Sasha a lot so I'm cool.

5. Jinder Mahal vs. Cesaro

ER: What the hell has happened to Jinder Mahal and why has the wellness exam not figured it out? I saw this guy several months ago in Liga Elite and he looked softer than ever, now he's getting all lean and veiny. Maybe the dude just knows this is his last shot and is busting ass. But the match is good and both guys work it with immediacy, especially Mahal. Mahal looks and works like a heel, throwing clubbing shots and back elbows, choking Cesaro in the ropes, raking at his face, and looking good doing it. I'm surprised this is so Mahal-heavy, with Cesaro making a couple brief comebacks with his impressive throws, but most of the early match is Mahal. But, once Cesaro DOES go on offense, the match doesn't really work as well. Cesaro's 619 is ugly and doesn't fit with his moveset, and there's just no denying the match was better with Mahal controlling things. That's something I wasn't expecting to type. Ending couldn't have been flatter. This had potential, and was fulfilling it, and they lost it.

6. Rusev vs. Big Show

ER: Wasn't really expecting this one, just Big Show kicking Rusev around the ring and Rusev suddenly a babyface. How do they somehow always make Rusev look like a babyface? Big Show's dominance didn't interest me too much, but I loved Rusev clipping the knee and Show's bump for it. But Rusev's comeback is short lived as I guess we need to keep Big Show super strong? He pretty much steamrolls Rusev and it takes way too long. I love Show's leaner physique and big beard look, but man he did not need this dominant of a win.

7. Gentleman Jack Gallagher vs. Neville

ER: Awesome stuff, which felt like the match the Cruiserweight division needed. Gallagher is just a total nutter, and these two really delivered on PPV. They both do great at fast exchanges, and Gallagher takes some brutal bumps, starting with him getting his head whipped into the mat off a double leg. We build to an awesome Gallagher dive, with him just flinging his body sideways and hitting Neville flush, and back in the ring Gallagher goes for a prawn hold and Neville reverses into an INSANE german suplex. Gallagher's landing was like an accidental Great Sasuke bump, just landing right on the side of his head and shoulder. Good lord. Neville's flying is tight and his big moves land with actual force, Gallagher still gets some hope with his glorious headbutt, and this just felt like the match that needed to happen. Both came off looking good.

8. Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman

ER: Well Roman looks like a doof in white soled basketball shoes. Now we know. I'm sure one person, somewhere, was wondering, and now that person knows. And it doesn't matter because this was awesome. Braun throws himself into everything, so the hits and misses are huge. He breaks out a big splash, but misses a charge into the ring post, nails a crazy powerslam through an announce table, takes a huge bump to the floor off a missed big boot. Braun came off like a shark, always moving forward, and Reigns was scrambling from go. Roman is really good at surviving damage and making space for comeback shots, dodging Braun and sending him into the steps, hitting a Samoan drop after Braun hits the post, and these two are really going at it. I'm sure plenty of people will be pissed that Roman went over, but he stood up to a couple superman punches, a spear, and then did an insane big splash off the top before taking a final spear. I'm sure when people think about this match the visual of Braun standing tall on the top rope will seem like a bigger deal than the fact that he got pinned. He'll get his.

9. Charlotte vs. Bayley

ER: I wasn't really feeling the first few minutes of this. I know Bayley is a strong FIP, but I thought Charlotte was hitting the "you're just a fan" stuff a little too hard and the pace was too slow. I did appreciate how after overshooting a moonsault, she followed up with a somersault senton. I'm not sure if that senton was planned, but it felt like she called an audible before going for the pin. But this whole match feels longer than I think it actually is. A lot of this felt pretty sloppy, and I thought the finish run was a mess. Not the match that I wanted. And what's worse is right after Bayley wins, Cole just casually brings up "Hey you know, this is the first time Charlotte has been pinned on PPV!" It's like feast or famine with these assholes. You have the feeling JBL would have been bringing that up every 30 seconds during the match, and here it's just "oh hey btw". Why did they bother having her go undefeated on so many PPVs, even when her winning sometimes didn't make the most sense for the storyline at the time. They had to do so many damn title changes to keep that streak going, and now it's just "oh, hey, that's over!"

10. Goldberg vs. Kevin Owens

ER: This went as expected, but I'm reallllllly wondering when they're actually going to have Goldberg work a full match. They can't have him squash Brock again, and they're running out of time to figure out what they want out of him. Truthfully, *I* don't know what I want from Goldberg at this point, yet I weirdly enjoy seeing him.

ER: Not really much of a PPV. Roman/Braun was top notch, and Gallagher is a loon, and I liked the Club/Enzo/Cass tag WAY more than I expected, but then there was a lotttttt of shrug.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

re Charlotte v Bayley:

Charlotte's done the moonsault - senton spot before, but at the Takeover in question, she landed on her feet after the target moved away from the moonsault and followed up with the senton.
This is the first time I think she's hit the moonsault and followed it with the senton.

11:19 PM  

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