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Takeaways From Sunday’s 2021 WWE Fastlane Card

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WWE put on their final pay-per-view on Sunday evening, “Fastlane,” which was held at Tropicana Field in Tampa.

The event was mostly filler for WrestleMania 37, which will take place in three weeks at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa in front of roughly 25,000 fans.

Sunday’s final PPV show had its shares of ups and downs, but it seemed obvious early on that there was a lot of intensity by the talent, and that you can easily sense that Mania is closing in.

The card was highlighted by eight matches, with the best match on the card being the main event of Daniel Bryan going up against Roman Reigns for the World Heavyweight Title.

Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus, Seth Rollins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, and Big E vs. Apollo Crews highlighted the rest of the show.

Here’s some takeaways from the event as now all focus will turn to Tampa and Mania coming up in three weeks.

1. The end of Retribution

Doomed from the start, Retribution never had a chance to get off the ground as a big bad heel group, as they doomed with the way things in the company were not having fan react and the ability for the group to truly make an impact.

Ali will be fine, as he’s a talent and maybe they give him a couple more wrestlers to try a faction down the road. The other young wrestlers who were part of the group will I’m sure be repackaged as they find new personalities with new names and characters.

Sometimes things in wrestling just don’t work, they tried with Retribution but it just wasn’t ready.

2. Enough of Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks

These two are set to face-off in a match that’s one of the few that we’ve known about for Mania the last few weeks.

Why the company tries these cheesy things like putting them together in a tag is beyond me. They would never be a tag team knowing that they have to face each other in a few weeks on one of the biggest matches on the Mania card.

It’s good they didn’t give these two the belts, as right now Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler is the best tag team in the women’s division and they deserve to keep the belts.

3. The Shane-Braun Strowman Angle

There’s got to be more long term to this angle than just a match at Mania. You figured the moment that McMahon was ‘hurt’ during training and then was shown backstage with Elias and Jaxson Ryker that he would be stepping back and one of those two would step in.

McMahon’s beat down of Strowman last week on RAW clearly set the stage for a Mania match, but the green paint and some of the things that have been said thus far in this feud haven’t made a whole lot of sense to this point.

Things should get more streamlined as well as more focused for Mania starting tonight, so we will see how things go with this feud.

4. Drew McIntyre and Sheamus Deliver

Loved this match, as these two have fought probably 1500 times over the last 20 years, so knowing their ring styles and what each other can do in the ring isn’t a shock at this point.

The physical nature of the match along with the weapons and the fact the two were given plenty of time made for a solid physical battle.

The two really have a trust in each other to be able to have good matches, no matter if it’s on RAW or a PPV.

This feud has been a very good one.

5. Round of Applause For Bryan and Reigns

Daniel Bryan does it again could be the headline as well. The longtime wrestler always seems to step up when it’s needed the most, and again Sunday he did that against Roman Reigns.

It was not far fetched for one moment that Bryan could hang with Reigns, and with plenty of false finishes this was a fun one to watch.

To me as it stands you have to find something worthwhile for Bryan for Mania, he’s earned it. As for now Reigns and Edge, it’s anyone’s guess what direction they go in, but to me Reigns has done it all in the later half of 2020 and now 2021, so taking the belt off him for Edge to me makes little sense at this point.

Reports Monday say it’s going to be a three-way with Bryan, Edge and Reigns. It makes sense, but again who comes out on top in that is anyone’s guess.

Written by Matt Loede

Matt has been a part of the Cleveland Sports landscape working in the media since 1994 when he graduated from broadcasting school. His coverage beats include the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers. He's written three books, and won the "2020 AP Sports Stringer Lifetime Service Award."

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