Despite a rocky start to WWE Fastlane that saw the show get off to a stumble more than a sprint, the back end of the show delivered two high-quality matches featuring several men who will anchor April’s WrestleMania 37 event. Standing out above all else was the main event between universal champion Roman Reigns and challenger Daniel Bryan with Edge as the special enforcer at ringside.
Edge had already secured his spot challenging for the universal title at WrestleMania after winning the Royal Rumble. While his issues with Reigns were already established, Edge has seen tensions rise with Bryan during recent editions of SmackDown. This led to a shocking finish to the main event that will likely change the entire complexion of one of the featured bouts on the biggest weekend of the year for professional wrestling.
CBS Sports was with you all night, bringing you recaps, grades and highlights for all the action from the ThunderDome inside St. Petersburg, Florida’s Tropicana Field.
2021 WWE Fastlane results, grades
United States Championship — Riddle (c) vs. Mustafa Ali: Retribution was, of course, ringside in support of Ali for the match. After a fast start for Riddle, Ali countered a senton with a kick to the neck, putting the champ on the defensive. Ali continued to work over the neck and shoulder area of Riddle, but Ali tweaked his own knee in a flurry of offense. Riddle exploded with a big chain of moves, including a powerbomb and a Final Flash knee strike, but Ali again countered Riddle’s attempt to fly, getting his knees up to block a Floating Bro. After a series of counters from both men, a Koji Clutch almost won the match for Ali. Riddle managed to escape before eventually hitting Bro Derek from the second rope to retain his title.
One of the better Kickoff matches in recent memory with a really well thought out match that showed off the best of both men. After the match, Ali again ran down Retribution, but Reckoning walked off, followed by Slapjack. T-Bar and Mace then laid out Ali with a double-team chokebomb. Riddle def. Mustafa Ali via pinfall to retain the title. Grade: B
Women’s Tag Team Championship — Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Bianca Belair & Sasha Banks: The champions had trouble getting on the same page, arguing early with Jax even tagging herself in when Baszler had an early advantage. Jax and Baszler started to get rolling once it became clear that Banks and Belair were willing to work as a team. Belair hit a 450 splash on Baszler but Reginald jumped on the ring apron to provide a distraction. Banks locked Baszler in the Banks Statement moments later and Belair jumped in the ring to keep Jax from breaking the hold, but Jax threw Belair backward onto Banks. Banks and Belair argued, allowing Baszler to roll up Banks for the pin to retain the titles. Banks and Belair continued to argue after the match about who was at fault for the loss before Banks delivered a slap and stormed off. There’s just nothing good about the build WWE is doing to a money match between Belair and Banks at WrestleMania. Neither woman has been given the slightest bit of shine for weeks, and neither looks particularly smart or…