Powell's WWE Smackdown Hit List: Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose vs. The Dudley Boyz, Dolph Ziggler and The Lucha Dragons vs. Sheamus, Rusev, and Alberto Del Rio
By Jason Powell
WWE Smackdown Hits
Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose vs. The Dudley Boyz: They saved the best hype for the Fastlane main event for last. The match was entertaining with Ambrose getting worked over by the Dudleys and continuing to be the guy who takes a beating and keeps coming back for more. I like the way Lesnar appeared just as it seemed Reigns and Ambrose were on the verge of winning. We knew Lesnar would appear, but the timing of his appearance also plays into the idea that he and Heyman are united with the Dudley Boyz. I loved Heyman yelling, "You wanted him, there he is," to Ambrose regarding Lesnar. I also liked that we got more Lesnar carnage in this segment than I remember from the entire Royal Rumble match. Triple H walking out at the end for the long distance staredown with Lesnar was also a nice final touch.
Chris Jericho vs. The Miz: A competitive match with Jericho putting Miz over at the end. I didn't care for seeing AJ Styles have such a competitive match with Miz on Monday, so it was nice to see Jericho have a similar back and forth match. It would be nice if this becomes the norm for Miz, but I still assume he'll be losing comedically and quickly again in no time. The post match angle with Jericho initially rejecting the rematch only to grant it after Styles roughed him up was well done. I like Jericho telling Styles that he would regret the match. Foreshadowing or just random trash talk?
Sasha Banks vs. Tamina: It's odd to see Banks and Becky Lynch beating their Fastlane opponents decisively in singles matches heading into Sunday, but I assume this is because they will both end up challenging for the Divas Championship at WrestleMania. Heading into this show, I thought the plan might be to have Brie Bella challenge for the title at WrestleMania with Daniel Bryan in her corner to counter Ric Flair, but this match combined with Sasha and Lynch talking backstage about a WrestleMania moment left me feeling like the they will both be in the WrestleMania title match.
Dean Ambrose, Paul Heyman, and Roman Reigns: A good backstage segment with Reigns telling Ambrose not to play the Dirty Deeds game again, followed by Ambrose being wily enough to fluster Heyman. I love the way Heyman has different reactions to Reigns and Ambrose. He shows respect for Reigns. And while he is usually the most confident character of the room because of his intelligence, he shows fear of the unpredictable Ambrose.
Charlotte vs. Natalya: You'd think the production team would refrain from cranking up the canned heat for Charlotte at the same time they are showing a wide shot of fans sitting quietly in their seats. That aside, this was a fine showcase win for Charlotte heading into her title defense on Sunday. The post-match attack by Brie was a simple and effective final push for their match.
WWE Smackdown Misses
Dolph Ziggler and The Lucha Dragons vs. Sheamus, Rusev, and Alberto Del Rio: The Miss is all about the finish of the match. The ring work was Hit worthy, but I groaned when Ziggler lost because of a quick distraction. It's not just that the finish is completely overused in pro wrestling these days, it's that Ziggler finally had some semblance of momentum after beating Owens in a pair of singles matches. Three of the six wrestlers in this match are not even advertised for Fastlane matches. Thus, I don't understand why they didn't keep Ziggler's momentum going by having him beat Rusev or Sheamus. For that matter, they could have just Ziggler out out the finish by by having Sin Cara lose the match for his team. If they wanted to put heat on Owens, then they could have simply had him attack Ziggler after the match.
Goldust and R-Truth: I went to Zoolander 2 and laughed out loud a few times. I mention this to illustrate that I am not some joyless prick who can't laugh at silly humor. Hell, I love silly humor. I just don't find any humor in the Goldust and Truth segments. I have zero desire to see Truth finally give in by agreeing to be Goldust's tag partner. I would love to see Goldust get pissed at Truth and turn heel because I would truly enjoy one more heel run for Goldust. The odds of that happening seem about as slim as there being a Zoolander 3 based on the opening weekend box office numbers.
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