WWE's Fastlane event continued into its fifth match of the night, following Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Seth Rollins' entertaining battle with the latter leaving the ThunderDome victorious. Although watching Rollins wrestle is just as entertaining as watching him yell at everyone, the night had to move on with Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus in a no-holds-barred match.
What started out as a long-running friendship ended the moment Sheamus landed a brogue kick against his former confidant. The two promised that "a lot can change in twenty years," dismissing their previous partnerships as forgotten history. McIntyre had a lot at stake with this match, which he needed to win in order to secure his match against Bobby Lashley once and for all at WrestleMania. Donned in his ancestral blue and white paint, McIntyre entered the ThunderDome ahead of his opponent, the rage nearly palpable on the Scottish man's face.
A no-holds-barred match can only end via pitfall or submission within the ring, and the intensity was clear before the bell even rang. The men exchanged blows right off the bat, with McIntyre gaining the upper hand almost immediately as he threw Sheamus out of the ring. Sheamus bounced back quickly and refused to let McIntyre keep any momentum early on. McIntyre retrieved kendo sticks early on and tossed them into the ring, but his lack of attention served to Sheamus's advantage (but only for a moment). Once again, McIntyre caught the Celtic Warrior by surprise and launched him into the metal stairs on the ring's audience side.
The WWE Fastlane match moved into the ring, where Sheamus attempted the first tap of the night but only held McIntyre to a disappointing two count. The kendo sticks came into play shortly after as Sheamus recovered the weapons previously retrieved by McIntyre and used them against the writhing and pained man, forcing the sticks into a long-injured jaw of McIntyre. Once again, however, McIntyre would not allow Sheamus to get anything over on him during the match and turned the tables against Sheamus with a Glasgow Kiss. Using the kendo sticks against his opponent, McIntyre hit the Celtic man so hard that his already bruised body rolled out of the ring in clear pain.
However, in the briefest lack of focus, McIntyre was tripped up by Sheamus outside the ring and landed face first in the steel steps, discombobulating him long enough to let his adversary pull him onto the timekeeper's table. Sheamus should have used the time to keep McIntyre on the ground, and the lack of foresight allowed McIntyre to knock him off the table and catch the man's face in an unforgiving Glasgow Smile. Blow for blow, the two men moved away from the protecting padding of the ThunderDome floor and allowed Sheamus enough time to slam McIntyre into the unforgiving floor.
Continuing their migration, they moved into the audience screens, much to the delight of the fans watching remotely. So far, it seemed to be any man's match, with McIntyre dominating in the quick blows while Sheamus pulled off the bigger moves on the audience platform. During one of these attempts to lift McIntyre, however, Sheamus found himself launched from one of the spectator tiers and was followed by his rival on their way back to the square circle.
Before McIntyre could end the match in the ring, Sheamus caught him with a devastating Brogue Kick, causing his opponent to lay wide-eyed and confused on the floor. In the most brutal move of the evening, Sheamus dragged McIntyre to his feet and body-slammed him off a ring barrier through a desk, flattening it completely. Rolling McIntyre back into the ring, Sheamus peeled a piece of desk debris off the floor and carried it onto the mat with him. Hoping a DDT into the desk wreckage would finish the match, Sheamus nearly had victory within his grasp. However, it only took a second of him taking his eyes off McIntyre, who was able to brace himself against the ropes of the ring and ending the match with a well-placed and calamitous Claymore kick.
Broken and injured, McIntyre cemented his place against Bobby Lashley at WrestleMania 37.