Back in 2015, WWE replaced the Elimination Chamber February pay-per-view slot for Fastlane. Once Elimination Chamber came back into the fold in 2017, it was moved the March. The name is referenced as the final stop to “The Road to WrestleMania”. It became a mainstay in the WWE PPV calendar until this past year when it was replaced by the famous (oh geez) Super ShowDown this past month.

While it was only around for a few short years, there were still some solid matches to look back on. Were any of them memorable/legendary matches? Maybe not. Still, here is a list of the 10 best matches in Fastlane’s short-lived history

10. Cruiserweight Championship – Neville (c) vs. Jack Gallagher

Credit: WWE.com
  • Result: Neville retained the Cruiserweight Championship
  • Year: 2017
  • Location: Milwaukee, WI
  • Length: 12:08

Fastlane 2017 was a lackluster pay-per-view but this match and another one you’ll see later where the only bright spots of the pay-per-view in my opinion. Neville won the Cruiserweight Championship against Rich Swann at the 2017 Royal Rumble (which is a good match that you should watch if you haven’t). With that win, we saw that division starting to become legit as Neville was a great champion.

Neville was on the cusp of stardom finally being the face of a division while Gallagher was a rising star in the division. A really fast-paced match with high flying moves, which is what is expected in these types of matches. Neville retained his title after his fantastic Red Arrow finisher. A match that might not expect to be one here but I promise that this was a fun match to even watch today.

9. United States Championship – Bobby Roode (c) vs. Randy Orton

Credit: WWE.com
  • Result: Randy Orton wins the United States Championship
  • Year: 2018
  • Location: Columbus, OH
  • Length: 19:15

At the time, Roode was a hot act that was looking to take the next big step as a main roster talent. After Dolph Ziggler relinquished the United States Championship, SmackDown set up an eight-man tournament to crown a new winner. Roode won after defeating Baron Corbin, Mojo Rawley, and Jinder Mahal in that order to win his first main roster title. Orton accepted Roode’s open challenge on an episode of SmackDown but was interrupted by Mahal and the Singh Brothers. Commissioner at the time Shane McMahon scheduled the two to face off for the title at Fastlane 2018.

A solid mid-card match between two veterans in the business and you can tell they had good in-ring chemistry despite not having a lot of matches against each other. Both guys took each other to the limit that ended when Orton caught Roode in the air for classic RKO to win the title. This was a huge accomplishment as that title victory made The Apex Predator a Grand Slam Champion (WWE or Universal Champion, tag team champion on either brand, United States and Intercontinental Champion).

No, it wasn’t a Match of the Year but it was a solid bout on this type of pay-per-view.

8. Raw Tag Team Championship – The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) (c) vs. Aleister Black and Ricochet vs. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable

Credit: WWE.com
  • Result: The Revival retained the Raw Tag Team Championship
  • Year: 2019
  • Location: Cleveland, OH
  • Length: 10:50

Around the time when the Raw Tag Team Championships were playing hot potato, The Revival recently defeated Gable and Roode to win the titles. Meanwhile, the recent NXT call-ups Ricochet and Black were paired together on the red brand and surprisingly clicked together nicely as a team.

It could be hard at times in multi-man matches for everyone to get a chance to shine but that was not the case in this one. Dawson and Wilder looked strong in this match while Gable and Roode were able to show their athleticism. On top of that, this showed the main audience that Black and Ricochet are two guys that looked to have great careers.

7. The Shield (Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose) vs Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley, and Drew McIntyre

Credit: WWE.com
  • Result: The Shield won
  • Year: 2019
  • Location: Cleveland, OH
  • Length: 24:50

A memorable moment here as this was the last WWE pay-per-view Ambrose would ever be apart of (his contract ended right after WrestleMania 35 and joined AEW as Jon Moxley). Fans knew that this would likely be the last time we would see him and The Shield together in a WWE ring. Their last matchup was against the random pairing of Corbin, Lashley, and McIntyre.

It was what you expect in a tag match, with the heels taking over for a good chunk of the match before the faces mounted a huge comeback. A memorable ending occurred with a Rollins superkick, Reigns Superman Punch, and a Dirty Deeds from Ambrose in that order to get the victory. The post-match celebration with Ambrose’s face full of emotion was a great ending to one of the greatest factions in the modern WWE era.

6. Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman

Credit: WWE.com
  • Result: Roman Reigns won
  • Year: 2017
  • Location: Milwaukee, WI
  • Length: 17:13

Strowman disbanded from The Wyatt Family after the 2016 WWE Draft and went on an absolute tear, winning squash matches and having a solid feud with the babyface in Sami Zayn. After being built up as the monster heel, he started up a program with Reigns in what I believe is one of the best feuds in 2017. Still, you had to wonder is he was able to put on a lengthy match against main event superstars. The match more than delivered and despite his loss, it helped Strowman become a top guy in WWE (and I believe he should have had the Universal Championship at that point but that is another story for another day).

This match also showed that Reigns can really put on a great performance and put over other superstars. Combine that with The Monster Among Men’s explosive athleticism and you got a quality brawl. Reigns may have won but Strowman got over with his performance here.

5. United States Championship – Samoa Joe (c) vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade vs. R-Truth 

Credit: WWE.com
  • Result: Samoa Joe retained the United States Championship
  • Year: 2019
  • Location: Cleveland, OH
  • Length: 10:50

A match you probably did not expect and despite it being just over 10 minutes, this was a great match to look back on. Originally scheduled as just a match between Mysterio and Andrade, Joe and Truth were added when U.S. Champ Samoa Joe said he would take on anyone and defend his title on the pre-show to Fastlane.

What looked to be a throwaway match to just get guys on the card turned out to be one of the better matches of the night in my opinion. A fast-paced match with a lot of different spots that kept the fans watching throughout. Given the amount of talent on there with Joe and Mysterio alone, you knew they could cook up something here. Add in Andrade who was still early in his main roster run and Truth, who really deserves a lot of more recognition than he already gets (seriously, he can make anything work) and you got a solid mid-card title match.

Joe ended up retaining which was kind of expected due to he did win the title a few weeks prior against Truth on an episode of SmackDown.

 

4. WWE Championship – AJ Styles (c) vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena 

Credit: WWE.com
  • Result: AJ Styles retained the WWE Championship
  • Year: 2018
  • Location: Columbus, OH
  • Length: 21:55

While at the time you kind of knew who was going to win (Shinsuke Nakamura won that year’s Royal Rumble and there was no chance they were going to skip a Styles/Nakamura match for WrestleMania), this was still a fun match to watch even today.

A little backstory here. At the 2017 Royal Rumble, Styles defeated both Zayn and Owens in a Handicap match to retain the WWE Championship. On an episode of SmackDown, both Nakamura and Styles teamed up to defeat Owens and Zayn in a tag team match. There was tension between them, so then SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan decided to have Owens and Zayn in a Number One Contenders match, which resulted in a double disqualification.

Then Commissioner Shane McMahon announced that Ziggler and Corbin would face-off, with the winner being added to the match, but Owens and Zayn attacked both superstars before the match began. A week later, Cena would defeat Styles to earn a chance for the WWE title. With the number of title contenders having a legit reason for fighting Styles, it resulted in a Six-Pack Challenge at Fastlane for the title.

This match was really good and crazy, which is expected in this type of match with numerous superstars. From Zayn and Owens turning their backs on each other from Corbin and Ziggler fighting in the stands, it was a chaotic fun match. Towards the end, Cena hit Ziggler with an Attitude Adjustment followed by a Pop-Up Powerbomb from Owens, which set up a Phenomenal Forearm by Styles to retain the title.

3. AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho

Credit: WWE.com
  • Result: AJ Styles won
  • Year: 2016
  • Location: Cleveland, OH
  • Length: 16:25

Styles made his shocking debut at the Royal Rumble that year so fans were excited to see what the company had in store for him. On the following night on Monday Night RAW, he defeated Jericho in his first singles match for the company. Jericho evened the score in another match on SmackDown and the two had a tiebreaker match at Fastlane.

A match that no one expected that they wanted until they got it as this was a fun match to watch. It had high flying action, excitement, and great storytelling throughout. Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho to Styles but was able to fight out of the hold and execute the Styles Clash and made Jericho tap out when he applied the Calf Crusher.

This match had raging positive reviews from journalists alike and rightfully so. What else would you expect from two of the greatest wrestlers in the business?

2. Winner gets a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania 32 – Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar

Credit: WWE.com

 

  • Result: Roman Reigns won to earn a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at WM 32
  • Year: 2016
  • Location: Cleveland, OH
  • Length: 16:49

Reigns lost his WWE title to Triple H at the Royal Rumble 2016, but he had another chance to regain his title in this Triple Threat match against former Shield partner Ambrose and The Beast Incarnate Lesnar. The match focused on Reigns’ struggle to reach the top against the authority but Ambrose was the underrated star here. He carried this match with the two other heavyweights who had the size and strength advantage over him. He may have lost, but it showed that Ambrose can put on a good showing with anyone.

The chemistry between Reigns and Ambrose was good here trying to take out Lesnar and focus on themselves. A solid match that is worth checking back on.

1. Winner gets a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania 31 – Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan 

Credit: WWE.com
  • Result: Roman Reigns won to earn a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at WM 31
  • Year: 2015
  • Location: Memphis, TN
  • Length: 20:10

Man, Bryan can have an amazing match with anyone and Reigns can really put on a high-quality match despite some criticism from fans. I know there are a lot of Reigns haters out there but seriously, he really can put on an excellent match with the right opponent and that was the case here.

The match stipulation here was that Reigns put his number one contender spot on the line and Bryan would go on to WrestleMania 31 to face Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship if he won.

A classic battle between power vs. technical wrestling, Reigns was the clear number one guy in WWE despite going up against forever fan favorite Bryan. He applied the YES! Lock to Reigns but he fought out of it. Numerous YES! Kicks and Running Knees did not work, as Reigns connected with a Spear to keep his WrestleMania match.

Fastlane may be gone for not but this list here showed that there were some solid matches in the pay-per-views short-lived history. Will it return in 2021? Maybe. But for now, check out these matches. I promise you’ll enjoy them.

 

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