WWE Fastlane 2016 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterFebruary 22, 2016

WWE Fastlane 2016 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

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    Credit: WWE.com

    WrestleMania loomed as warriors scrambled for position and champions desperately clung to their titles at WWE Fastlane 2016.

    The second-ever Fastlane pay-per-view decided the No. 1 contender for the world title, sending Roman Reigns onto the WrestleMania marquee after a tremendous match on Sunday. Kevin Owens retained the Intercontinental Championship after his and Dolph Ziggler's best battle with each other to date.

    Overall, the quality of the wrestling was impressive. Everyone from Kalisto to AJ Styles made their mark in the ring.

    Fastlane's flaws lied in WWE's continued misuse of The Wyatt Family, adding some random meeting of midcarders on the pay-pay-view and overestimating how much the audience wants to see The League of Nations involved with anything.

    The following is a look at all of the night's contests, providing letter grades and a breakdown of what worked and what flopped.

Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio (2-out-of-3 Falls Match, United States Championship)

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    Mauro Ranallo provided guest commentary for this pre-show collision.

    Alberto Del Rio pounced on Kalisto early, focusing on the champ's arm. Kalisto responded with his high-flying offense. Del Rio remained in control for much of the first fall, though.

    A chair shot from the challenger put Kalisto up 1-0 via disqualification. However, the blow left The King of Flight woozy and vulnerable to a diving stomp to the chest. That finisher tied things up.

    The bout went back and forth as it built toward the climax.

    Del Rio punished Kalisto with his best moves, but the champ fought on. Kalisto rolled up his foe to get the win.

    Result

    Kalisto wins to retain the United States Championship.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Kalisto hits a springboard crossbody to the outside.
    • John "Bradshaw" Layfield: "It's not hubris if you can back it up."
    • Kalisto flings Del Rio over the barricade with a hurricanrana.
    • Del Rio hits his double foot stomp with Kalisto hanging on the barricade.

    Grade

    B+

    Analysis

    Del Rio was expertly vicious and calculating. His heel work helped make it easy to root for Kalisto.

    Both men managed to pack a lot of drama into the time given. The strong match set a good tone for the pay-per-view.

    Had the story leading up to this been more developed, the match would have felt more significant. And it's hard to shake the pre-show stigma. The proverbial big-fight feel is nearly impossible to achieve in this slot.

Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch vs. Tamina and Naomi

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    Dissension began early. Sasha Banks forced her way into the match, leading to bickering between the partners.

    Tamina and Naomi then took control of the action. The heels punished Becky Lynch in their corner with measured offense.

    When The Boss finally made it into the ring, she went on a rampage.

    Team B.A.D. made a number of saves, but it couldn't stop the faces from winning. Banks locked Naomi in the Bank Statement, while Lynch wrenched Tamina's arm back with her Dis-Arm-Her.

    Result

    Lynch and Banks win via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Naomi bounces Lynch off the top turnbuckle with a neckbreaker.
    • Naomi pulls Banks off the ring apron to prevent a tag.
    • Banks floors Naomi with two knees to the collarbone.

    Grade

    B-

    Analysis

    Great tag team psychology powered a fun match. The arc of the bout allowed Naomi to shine early as the dominating villain and showcased Banks as a house of fire toward the end.

    Surprisingly, WWE didn't play up the tension between Banks and Lynch other than in the opening. That's where the heart of this story should have been. It's clear the company is saving the expected implosion between the reluctant partners for later.

Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler (Intercontinental Championship)

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    A ferocious Kevin Owens manhandled Dolph Ziggler.

    Owens stayed on top with a relentless attack. He flung The Showoff around the ring and tagged him with powerful strikes. The champion crashing into the ring post changed things, though.

    That opened the door for Ziggler to go on a rally.

    Owens and Ziggler then battled hard, leaving each other with wobbly legs and glassy eyes. After Ziggler nearly nailed the referee with a superkick by accident, a Pop-Up Powerbomb ended it all.

    Result

    Owens wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Owens to Ziggler: "Your hometown loves me more."
    • Ziggler hits his neck against the turnbuckle after a hard Irish whip.
    • Owen hits a super fisherman's buster.
    • Ziggler sends Owens into the ring step with a hurricanrana.

    Grade

    A-

    Analysis

    A superb effort by two top-notch performers led to a stellar contest.

    This was the most dramatic of their matches. A number of near-falls suckered one into believing that the match was truly over. Owens and Ziggler made it feel as if they were both desperate and hungry to win, which served to make the IC title look more desired.

    Owens moves on with solid momentum.

    He punctuated his win by throwing the victory in Michael Cole's face. Hopefully, WWE doesn't plan on making those two actually engage in a feud. Owens should be facing top talent instead.

The Wyatt Family vs. Ryback, Kane and Big Show

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Early on, Ryback and Big Show took turns attacking Erick Rowan. It didn't take long, though, for The Wyatt Family to seize back control.

    Braun Strowman pounded on both Ryback and Kane. Luke Harper hammered Kane as Bray Wyatt barked encouragement from ringside.

    The match soon turned chaotic, with all six men hitting their biggest moves.

    In spite of Wyatt trying to distract him, Ryback managed to floor Harper. He used a a modified Shell Shocked to get the victory.

    Result

    Big Show, Ryback and Kane win via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Big Show tears up Rowan's shirt before laying on a chop.
    • Ryback hits a series of high running knees a la CM Punk.

    Grade

    D

    Analysis

    It's increasingly hard to invest in The Wyatt Family. The crew keeps going on mini runs of dominance only to be thwarted shortly after. WWE is simply not committing to convincing us that these guys are the monsters they promise to be.

    The action was sluggish and uninspired.

    Ryback continues to work more like a cruiserweight for some reason. Strowman looked better than he has in the past. Still, this bout slowed the event's momentum.

Charlotte vs. Brie (Divas Championship)

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    The Divas Championship match began with offense heavy on technical wrestling.

    Brie Bella turned the bout into more of a slugfest. She battered Charlotte with kicks, but the heel rebounded by tossing the challenger out of the ring.

    Charlotte then punished her, zeroing in on the back of Brie's neck.

    Brie mounted a comeback during which she utilized Nikki Bella's signature forearm to score a near-fall. A series of dropkicks had her rolling, but she tweaked her left knee in the process.

    The injury prevented her from keeping Charlotte down with a submission hold, allowing the champ to clamp on her own hold for the win.

    Result

    Charlotte wins via submission.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Brie wears Daniel Bryan's kickpads from WrestleMania XXX to pay tribute to him.
    • Charlotte to Brie: "Where's your sister now?"
    • Brie dropkicks Charlotte off the ring apron.
    • Brie counters the Figure Eight with a Yes! Lock.

    Grade

    B

    Analysis

    While providing a better story than the women's tag match from earlier in the night, the action didn't click as well here. The two women didn't have great chemistry. Even so, the buildup and emotional nature of the bout elevated it.

    The result left Charlotte looking lucky and gave Brie a heartbreaking defeat. Having Charlotte continually halt Brie worked well. With better performers, this could have been special.

    WWE was heavy-handed with the Bryan-Brie connectiona reminder of how little Brie has connected with the audience on her own.

Chris Jericho vs. AJ Styles

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    Back-and-forth action kicked off the battle between Chris Jericho and AJ Styles.

    Styles hit Jericho with thunderous right hands. Jericho tried to slow the action by keeping things on the mat. The two foes flew at each other, revving up the crowd with each high-impact move.

    Jericho locked Styles in the Walls of Jericho, but The Phenomenal One pulled himself to the ring ropes to escape. Y2J then put the hold back on outside of the ring and nailed Styles with a Codebreaker when the action moved back into the ring.

    It was Styles' Calf Crusher, however, that proved to be the deciding move.

    Result

    Styles wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Dueling "AJ Styles!" and "Y2J!" chants break out.
    • Jericho dropkicks Styles in midair outside the ring.
    • Jericho knocks Styles off the top rope with a springboard dropkick.
    • Jericho kicks out of the Styles Clash.

    Grade

    A-

    Analysis

    Hammering strikes and an all-out effort captured the crowd's attention.

    This was not nearly as precise as it should have been, though. There were a handful of moments that looked off, including a springboard DDT from Styles where Jericho was out of position.

    Flaws and all, these two clearly set out to steal the show, and they would have had Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler not put on their own impressive performance earlier in the show.

    The even bout did well to boost Styles. He came out of this looking like a warrior who outlasted a game opponent.

'Cutting Edge Peep Show' with The New Day

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    Edge and Christian plugged their new WWE Network show before recalling their memories of Cleveland. The New Day interrupted before the speech went on long.

    The tag team champs goofed around in the ring. Edge and Christian called them out for essentially doing a rehash of their old routine.

    The New Day mocked The League of Nations until the group came marching out. The champs quickly skittered away. The League of Nations then threatened Edge and Christian, the two legends giving way to the heel foursome.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Edge: "Shameless self-promotion rules!"
    • JBL: "Finally Cleveland gets to see a championship team."
    • Edge: "I've never seen so much chocolate act so vanilla."

    Grade

    C-

    Analysis

    Fastlane needed a cool-down moment between big matches. This could have been far more than that. It felt more like something from Rawnot a PPV-worthy moment.

    The League of Nations made for a disappointing element to a showdown that was clicking at first. What began as a funny exchange turned into a sleepy, lifeless bit.

Curtis Axel vs. R-Truth

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The Social Outcasts talked themselves up, goofing around on the entrance ramp.

    R-Truth then battled Curtis Axel while the heels tried to interfere. Goldust tried to assist R-Truth but actually caused a distraction.

    Axel took advantage, rolling up the rapper for the three-count.

    Result

    Axel wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Dallas: "Can I be a Volvo? They have a great safety rating."

    Grade

    F

    Analysis

    If The New Day segment was better suited for Raw, this was more of a Superstars-worthy moment.

    The match felt completely random. It had zero momentum. The crowd seemed stunned that this was taking place.

    The Goldust-R-Truth story isn't the kind of thing you put on this big of a stage.

Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar (No. 1 Contender for WWE Title)

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    Brock Lesnar established his dominance in seconds. He hurled Dean Ambrose out of the ring before sending Roman Reigns to Suplex City.

    The Beast Incarnate then started counting as he piled on the suplexes. After Ambrose slapped him, Lesnar then delivered punishment to The Lunatic Fringe.

    Reigns nailed the big man with a Spear but couldn't get the three-count. He then teamed up with Ambrose to double-team Lesnar.

    That left the two partners alone to batter each other.

    They hit each other with their best shots, but neither could keep the other down. Lesnar then reemerged to cause more havoc. He had the match won with a Kimura Lock on Reigns.

    Ambrose soon came in swinging away with a chair shot. Reigns pounced, hitting the Spear to earn his way back into WrestleMania's main event.

    Result

    Reigns wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • JBL on Reigns: "He is walking into hell right now, and he won't walk out the same."
    • Ambrose tries to hit Lesnar with a German suplex but can't move him.
    • Ambrose and Reigns twice power-bomb Lesnar through the announce table.
    • Reigns hits Ambrose with a midair Superman Punch.
    • Lesnar suplexes Reigns and Ambrose at the same time.

    Grade

    A+

    Analysis

    This was everything it long promised to be.

    Ambrose and Reigns' brotherhood added a compelling element. They went from friends to rivals and back in a whirlwind bout. Ambrose wasn't just the guy brought in to eat the pin. He was an explosive ingredient that boosted the action in a big way.

    Lesnar was his usual captivating-conqueror self. WWE did well to soften the blow of his loss by having him go through two tables and feel the sting of a steel chair in order to fall short.

    Going with Ambrose as the surprise winner would have been incredible, but Reigns-Triple H has been the story WWE has been building toward all along. Ambrose, meanwhile, is now set up for one hell of a collision with Lesnar at WrestleMania.