Date: March 12, 2021
Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves
We’re on the way to Fastlane and that means it’s time for a contract signing. You knew this was coming and while it is coming off of a good match, it is still one of WWE’s more annoying booking tropes. Maybe they can come up with something more interesting tonight but I doubt it. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of last week’s cage match with Daniel Bryan becoming #1 contender.
Here is Edge to get things going. Edge talks about everyone telling him to acknowledge Roman Reigns, which is what Edge did when he picked him for the match at Wrestlemania. They were on a collision course but then Reigns turned down Daniel Bryan Boulevard. Bryan has been talking about how he deserves the Wrestlemania match more because it means more to him and he wrestles more in the last week than Edge has in years.
Edge thinks it’s time to remind people who he is, so we hear about the people he fought over his career, which has taken place in four decades. Cue Bryan to talk about how he thought Edge, as the Ultimate Opportunist, would understand Bryan going into business for himself. Bryan does love this and isn’t doing it to get one up on Edge.
Bryan was laying on the mat at Elimination Chamber and knew that this might be the last Wrestlemania of his career. He is going to do everything he can to get there because he might only have one more chance. Edge talks about winning the Royal Rumble, which included Bryan. Of course Edge likes Bryan, but Bryan isn’t better than him.
Street Profits/Rey Mysterio/Dominik Mysterio vs. Alpha Academy/Bobby Roode/Dolph Ziggler
The villains jump them in the aisle before the bell and we take a break. Back with the opening bell and Dawkins getting co clean house. Ford drops Mysterio down onto Roode for two but Otis comes in to knock Dominick out of the air. It’s already back to Roode, who gets caught in a tornado DDT. The hot tag brings in Dawkins as everything breaks down. The spinebuster looks to set up Ford’s frog splash but Ford gets shoved out to the floor and we take a break.
Back with Ford in Ziggler’s chinlock, followed by a dropkick to make it worse. The sleeper goes on for a good while until Ford gets up for the tag to Dawkins, which the referee doesn’t see. Roode comes in for two off a spinebusterbut Otis misses a charge in the corner. Gable comes in but can’t cut off the tag to Rey as everything breaks down. Rey cleans house and brings in Dominik, whose high crossbody is pulled out of the air. Roode spinebusters Rey for two and we hit the parade of secondary finishers. There’s a double 619 to put the Academy on the floor and Ford’s spinning Cash Out finishes Roode at 12:49.
Rating: C+. They had a nice energetic match here with the finishing sequence picking up even more. The Profits are probably going to get their title shot at Fastlane now and that should work out. Throw in the Academy vs. the Mysterios as a Kickoff Show match and this might have set up a pair of matches in one.
Molly Holly is going into the Hall of Fame. That’s overdue.
Jey Uso is going to see Roman Reigns but Paul Heyman cuts him off, saying that Reigns is a bit busy tonight. Uso agrees to come back later, much to Heyman’s relief.
Seth Rollins isn’t happy with what Cesaro did to him last week but he is intrigued by the idea of Murphy having a rematch with Cesaro tonight.
We recap Reginald having a crush on Sasha Banks and getting fired, only to have Nia Jax pick up the pieces.
Earlier today, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler took Reginald (because he needs to be on both shows) shopping for some new clothes. He tries on various outfits and she approves, throwing in a come to Mama. Reginald asks how he can thank her and Nia gives him a big smile. Is this the new version of Nia Love Enzo?
Cesaro vs. Murphy
Seth Rollins comes out to watch from the stage. Murphy hammers away in the corner to start and they head to the floor where Cesaro takes over. Back in and Cesaro pulls Murphy out of the air for the Swing, drawing in Rollins for the DQ at 2:19.
Post match Rollins hits the Stomp to leave Cesaro laying, saying Cesaro will never be on his level. Rollins wraps the chair around Cesaro’s neck but referees come in for the save. After Rollins goes into the back, he runs into Shinsuke Nakamura for a glare off.
Kevin Owens runs into Sami Zayn, who wants him to be in the documentary. Owens says he’ll think about it, which seems to be a way to get Sami to shut up.
Edge runs into Jey Uso and asks what he’s doing. The Usos were one of the reasons that Edge wanted to get back into this and now Jey is walking around with his shoulders slouched in misery. What does Jey’s dad think about this? Jey says don’t act like he knows him, because this is a family thing. Edge needs to go enjoy his family now, because after Wrestlemania, he won’t be enjoying anything.
It’s time for the Kevin Owens Show. Owens is ready for Wrestlemania and his guests tonight are as well. That would be Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks, with Owens talking about how much more interesting their match would be if they came in as Tag Team Champions. Only John Cena and Shawn Michaels have done that, but in order to join them, they will have to beat Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler.
They couldn’t do that two weeks ago, which seems to strike a nerve. Owens brings up Reginald, with Banks saying it isn’t hear fault that she looks this good. Belair says he is going to be a distraction but Banks calls herself the Michael Jordan of women’s wrestling. Maybe Belair can be the LeBron James one day but for now, Banks is the b-e-s-t.
Belair talks about her accomplishments like winning the Royal Rumble, but Banks says would have stopped Belair if she had been in the match. They argue about who is going to win but here are Jax/Baszler/Reginald. Before they can say anything though, Natalya and Tamina cut them off.
Natalya/Tamina vs. Bianca Belair/Sasha Banks
Jax and Baszler are on commentary as Banks gets knocked into the corner to start. Banks slaps Natalya and walks the corner to take her down. Back in and the stomping is on as Jax implies she is sleeping with Reginald. Natalya can’t get anywhere with a chinlock or Sharpshooter attempt and it’s off to Belair for a spinebuster. Reginald gets on the announcers’ table for a distraction so Sasha gets up there with him. The chase is on, with the distraction letting Tamina roll Belair up for the pin at 3:38.
Rating: D+. Does Reginald have blackmail on this company? Belair is on the biggest ride of her life and she just got pinned by Tamina because of the Reginald nonsense. This is such a dumb story with a character who has been passed from Carmella to Banks to Jax. I’m sure Banks vs. Belair will be fine but could they not come up with something better than this?
Post match Belair rants at Banks for the loss, saying Reginald is here because Banks is entertaining him.
Here’s Big E. for his return. He has spent a lot of time thinking about what Apollo Crews did to him and there is no coming back from this. You can’t put the genie back in the bottle because Big E. is going to have to go Old Testament on him. Now it’s Crews taking one so Big E. is taking two. He has to end Crews because Crews wants what belongs to Big E. They don’t need to wait so let’s do it right now.
No Crews, so let’s do the open challenge. King Corbin, in a suit, interrupts to accept but Sami Zayn pops up to say this is the perfect ending to his documentary and runs into the ring instead. Big E. punches him down without much trouble and the bell is going to be after the break.
Intercontinental Title: Big E. vs. Sami Zayn
Zayn is challenging and gets kneed in the ribs to start. A headlock doesn’t do Sami much good as Big E. shoves him away and hits an elbow to the jaw for two. Big E. charges into a shot to the face though and Sami hammers away. Back up and Sami sends him into the corner, setting up a top rope elbow to the head for two.
The comeback is on with Sami being knocked to the floor, but Big E. spends too much time shouting about Apollo and misses the apron splash. Back from a break with Big E. making the comeback but Sami reverses a superplex into the sunset bomb. Sami slaps him a few times and that means it’s time to get fired up, with the Big Ending hitting to retain the title at 8:12.
Rating: C-. This was a way to get Big E. back in the ring after his injury and that worked out fine. Sami is so annoying that he’ll be fine with just a promo or two so the loss isn’t going to hurt him. This documentary deal is about as perfect for him as you can get as it’s exactly the kind of thing that someone as loudmouthed as he is would want to do.
Post match here’s Apollo Crews to jump Big E. with a pair of Angle Slams. A steps show puts Big E. on the floor.
Reginald suggests that Nia Jax win the Women’s Title next week so she can walk into Wrestlemania a double champion. Jax is intrigued.
It’s time for the contract signing with Roman Reigns, Jey Uso, Paul Heyman and Daniel Bryan coming out to the ring. Adam Pearce asks who wants to go first and, after Reigns has his chair moved to the head of the table, Reigns says Bryan doesn’t want to do this. Bryan signs the contract and says last week, he made Uso tap, which Reigns never could. Maybe Bryan should be the self proclaimed Head of the Table!
That’s enough for Reigns, who immediately signs and Bryan promises to make Reigns tap too. Jey gets in Bryan’s face because he wants to be the enforcer. Cue Edge to say he likes that idea but he should be the enforcer instead. Edge proposes himself vs. Jey for next week with the winner being the enforcer. Pearce says deal and the big brawl is on. Edge shoves Bryan away so he can beat on Reigns himself, but Bryan knees Edge down to end the show. They might be messing with something here if they aren’t going to deliver Bryan vs. Edge, which almost has to happen somewhere at this point.
Overall Rating: C. They did some good things to build towards Fastlane this week, though there were still some problems with the show (I’ll let you guess which was the biggest). Edge wrestling next week is interesting and I want to see Fastlane a bit more now than I did coming in. The show still feels like the most unnecessary event of the year again, but it should be at least all right.
Street Profits/Rey Mysterio/Dominik Mysterio b. Alpha Academy/Bobby Roode/Dolph Ziggler – Frog splash to Roode
Natalya/Tamina b. Bianca Belair/Sasha Banks – Rollup to Belair
Cesaro b. Murphy via DQ when Seth Rollins interfered
Big E. b. Sami Zayn – Big Ending
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