WWE Fastlane 2021 - As It Happened
Who walked away as Universal Champion?
The final major stop on the road to WrestleMania 37 took place earlier today as Fastlane 2021 was broadcast from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Eight matches took place across the Kickoff Show and main card and the pay-per-view featured the break-up of a faction, the return of The Fiend and an excellent main event between Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan. Find out what happened below:
Riddle def. Mustafa Ali - United States Championship - Kickoff Show
Mustafa Ali dominated much of the match and constantly barked at his stablemates at ringside.
Riddle eventually fought back and countered a Neckbreaker into a Sleeper Hold. He then followed up with the Final Flash and tried to hit the Floating Bro, but Ali got his knees up.
The two men battled in the corner a few moments later and Riddle hit Bro Derek from the middle rope to pick up the win.
After the match, Mustafa Ali barked at his followers and blamed his loss on them. Slapjack and Reckoning initially walked out before Mace and T-Bar Chokeslammed the former SmackDown hacker to seemingly bring his affiliation with the faction to an end.
Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax def. Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair - Women's Tag Team Championship
Reginald accompanied Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler to the ring, so his involvement in the feud continued. Both teams were arguing before the match even got underway. Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair started working together, though, while Jax repeatedly criticised Baszler.
Baszler and Jax eventually formed a more cohesive unit and they worked over Bianca Belair for several minutes until The EST Of WWE managed to make the hot tag to Banks.
After a brief flurry from Banks, she tagged Bianca Belair back in and she hit a 450 Splash on Baszler. Reginald suddenly hopped on the apron, though, and distracted the official.
Banks locked in the Bank Statement on Baszler moments later but Nia Jax broke up the submission by pushing Belair into The Blueprint. Banks and Belair started arguing afterwards and Baszler rolled up the SmackDown Women's Champion for the 1-2-3.
Banks slapped Belair so hard after the match one of her fake eyelashes fell off.
A backstage segment with Shane McMahon and Elias followed. Elias urged McMahon (who had his knee on ice) to allow him to perform at WrestleMania and the segment ended after The Boy Wonder said he had an idea.
Big E def. Apollo Crews - Intercontinental Championship
The action started out fast as Big E speared Apollo Crews through the ropes to the floor. The Intercontinental Champion then screamed at the challenger and connected with his patented Splash on the apron. He hit another one moments later as he continued to throw insults at Crews.
Apollo Crews eventually fought into the match and dominated the next several minutes. Both men then countered each other's finishers and Apollo Crews rolled up Big E. Big E shifted his weight, though, and pinned Crews with a botched Small Package to retain the title.
After the bell, an enraged Crews laid Big E out with three Olympic Slams and he stood over the champion to end the segment.
Braun Strowman def. Elias
Following on from Shane's idea, The Prodigal Son interrupted Elias' live performance to tell him he would face Braun Strowman as his replacement.
Elias managed to get in some offence following a Jaxson Ryker distraction but Strowman obliterated Elias a few moments later with the Running Powerslam.
Reports back in October 2020 noted WWE viewed Elias as a major Superstar on the cusp of the main event scene. Those days are seemingly long gone on tonight's evidence.
Seth Rollins def. Shinsuke Nakamura
Seth Rollins dominated the opening minutes while he lamented on the time Cesaro swung him around 22 times a few weeks ago. Rollins attempted to Swing Shinsuke Nakamura but The King Of Strong Style countered and worked over Rollins with his signature offence for the next few minutes.
Rollins eventually managed to fight back and the match became more of a back and forth contest.
A few minutes later, Nakamura went for the Kinshasa but Rollins blocked it and followed up with a kick to the back of Shinsuke's head. He hit the Stomp moments later for the win.
Drew McIntyre def. Sheamus - No Holds Barred Match
Drew wrestled with half of the Scottish flag painted across his face. Sheamus did not follow suit.
It didn't take long for both men to break out the weapons and McIntyre stomped The Celtic Warrior's head into the steel steps. Sheamus battered Drew with a kendo stick a few moments later. McIntyre got his hands on a kendo stick soon after and jammed it into Sheamus' eye before cracking it across the Irishman's back.
Both men proceeded to brutalise each other around the ThunderDome and they ended up brawling next to the LED screens. Sheamus was then sent crashing through some of the screens onto the platform below as sparks exploded.
They made their way back to ringside a couple of minutes later and Sheamus caught McIntyre with a Brogue Kick over the barricade. Sheamus picked up Drew up and screamed that he should be in the main event of WrestleMania before he hit White Noise through the announce table.
Once the action re-entered the ring, both men exchanged Slaps before Drew hit the Futureshock DDT onto a piece of the announce table and followed up with the Claymore to win the match.
Alexa Bliss def. Randy Orton
While Randy was doing his signature pose, he started to cough up black bile, the liquid which has repeatedly leaked from his mouth in recent weeks.
Alexa Bliss then made her entrance and the ring was doused in purple light.
As Randy advanced, Bliss fired flames at him. He then tried again and Bliss moved out of the way, causing Orton to crash into the post.
Orton continued to stalk Bliss around the ring following the mishap but Alexa seemed unfazed and just smiled at The Legend Killer before she looked up and almost dropped some lighting on Orton's head.
Both competitors re-entered the ring and Bliss shot a fireball at Randy. As Orton got to his feet, a burnt hand cut it's way through the canvas and grabbed Orton's leg. A cremated Fiend then emerged from under the ring and he hit Orton with Sister Abigail. Alexa then sat on Orton as the official counted the 1-2-3.
Roman Reigns def. Daniel Bryan - Universal Championship
The action started out slow as they locked up and jawed with one another. Bryan used his speed to try and put Reigns on the mat and he eventually locked in the Armbar, but the Universal Champion quickly made it to the ropes. Bryan forced Reigns to the mat again soon after but it only enraged The Head Of The Table, who proceeded to pummel the challenger.
Bryan continued to target Reigns' arm and used a combination of strikes and grapples while Roman used brute force to dominate The Leader Of The Yes Movement.
Reigns eventually gained the upper hand and methodically dominated the action for several minutes. Bryan eventually fought back with a Running Elbow and he hit a Jumping Knee from the apron to the floor soon after. Bryan followed up with another Missile Dropkick but Reigns kicked out at two. The Yes Kicks had Roman Reigns reeling but the champion blocked the final one and pummelled Bryan in the corner. Bryan hit the final Yes Kick after fighting back but Reigns kicked out again.
Bryan picked up both of Reigns' arms and Stomped on his head. He then locked in the Yes Lock in the centre of the ring but Reigns managed to break Bryan's grip and fight back with some brutal Forearms.
The referee tumbled to the outside moments later after Bryan went for the Running Knee and Reigns moved out of the way. The Tribal Chief capitalised with a Spear and Edge became the official and counted the near fall.
After more back and forth action, Bryan managed to lock in the Yes Lock again. Reigns appeared to be close to tapping until Jey Uso charged to the ring and Superkicked both Edge and Daniel Bryan. "Main Event" then drove Edge into the steel post and tried to deck Bryan with a steel chair but the five-time world champion connected with a Running Knee on Uso and pummelled him with the steel chair.
Bryan then thought about using the steel chair on Reigns but only ended up decking Edge with it. This allowed Reigns to take advantage with a Superman Punch and he went for the Spear but Bryan locked in the Yes Lock once again.
Reigns tapped out but Edge suddenly picked up a chair and decked Bryan. He then took out his anger on both The Leader Of The Yes Movement and Reigns as he screamed in anger and headed backstage. Reigns then managed to crawl over and pin Bryan to retain the Universal Championship.
Despite the loss, Daniel Bryan looks set to compete in the Universal Championship match at WrestleMania 37 against Roman Reigns and a heel Rated-R Superstar.