TV Club: WWE Fastlane 2017 takes the long, winding road to Wrestlemania

The final show before Wrestlemania typically isn’t about showcasing great wrestling. A good, memorable match is a bonus, not the intent. (The last great match was Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns at Fastlane 2015). Fastlane is about teeing up storylines for Raw Monday night—in Chicago’s Allstate Arena, so a hot crowd expected—which then sets the narrative agenda for Wrestlemania in four weeks.

As a show, Fastlane had its fine moments, but the quantity of mediocre-to-forgettable matches made this felt like a Monday Night Raw with fewer commercials.

To be sure, there were some great wrestling, but not from who you’d expect. Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman exceeded middling expectations and became a great match, with much credit to Strowman for giving the performance of his young career. The cruiserweight championship also saw an unexpectedly spirited performance by Jack Gallagher against Neville. In both Strowman and …

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