WWE Fastlane – Reigns Defeats Daniel Bryan Because DAMNIT EDGE NOO

The final card of the night of WWE Fastlane between Roman Reigns and yes man Daniel Bryan was an odd juxtaposition between the previous match, where the Fiend made a dramatic return and helped Alexa Bliss pin her opponent Randy Orton. Weeks of discourse between Reigns and Bryan was commented on earlier in the night, where Paul Heyman stated that Roman Reigns is where prayers go to die, ostentatiously claiming that WrestleMania sits on the current reigning champ's shoulders. Even the promo and flashbacks between their history was longer than Alexa and Randy's previous showing, adding to the atmosphere of tension for the final brawl of the evening.

WWE Fastlane - Roman Defeats Daniel Bryan Because DAMNIT EDGE
WWE Fastlane Graphic. Credit: WWE

Edge entered the ThunderDome first, acting as the official enforcer and authority on the fight. Bryan entered next, immediately followed by Reigns and Heyman, with everyone staring at each other for an uncomfortably long time. (Seriously, if your wrestlers look at each other longer than Alexa and Randy's match, perhaps it is time to pick up the pace, Vince).

In fact, WWE Fastlane's audience chanted "YOU SUCK" at Reigns longer than the previous match. Still not over how ridiculously fast that was.

Finally, the bell rang and kicked off the fight, the stakes being the winner would have the opportunity to defend the Universal Championship at next month's WrestleMania. Bryan's strategy of grappling and joint manipulation was obvious early on, as the two men danced around the ring, trying not to let the other exploit their weakness. The first exchanges were quick and inconsequential as the two men were obviously feeling each other out, with Bryan's speed was not enough to really catch Reigns off guard at this point but was enough to keep the head of the table on his toes.

Bryan danced around Reigns, hoping to use his speed and agility to catch the head of the table in any move to force a tap out. Reigns, however, relied on his strength and brute force, leading to an interesting pairing in a relatively slow and controlled match. With Edge standing by, the two men within the ring slowly and surely broke the other one down. It was just a matter of who had a better strategy as the match progressed during the final fight at WWE Fastlane 2021.

After throwing Bryan out of the ring, Roman ignored the instructions of the ref, who urged the wrestler to get his opponent back into the ring. Hoping to play with Bryan, Roman laid a harsh beating on him before tossing him back into the ring at the ref's seven count. Although Bryan was kicked out of back-to-back pin attempts, Reigns seemed to be confident in his victory at this point as he spent his time arguing with the ref instead of finishing the match. Reigns asking Bryan to say his name like a knock-off Beyonce was all the time the Yes Man needed, who caught his breath long enough to get a small amount of momentum against the Tribal Chief, nearly pinning him and almost ending the match.

The fight moved outside the ring, with Bryan dominating Reigns once again with his proclivity for agility. Using the top ropes, again and again, Bryan used his high flying abilities to land an aerial assault on Roman, the most devastating of which was a well-placed Missile Dropkick. Roman did manage to kick out of the subsequent pin attempt but clearly favored his shoulder as Bryan reigned a flurry of kicks onto his torso. Despite Roman's attempts to use his strength to his advantage, the Yes Kicks were enough to completely turn the tide of this match, and he was no match against Bryan's painful locks. It almost seemed like a tap-out was inevitable, but Roman twisted away from Bryan's grip, and power slammed him into the match.

Clearly, at the end of their ropes, they laid in the center of the ring with their bodies close to giving up. It was a matter of who wanted it more at that point, and both men got to their feet at the same time. Bryan tried to get Reigns with a running knee but ended up knocking the ref out of the ring instead. During the confusion, Reigns speared Bryan and pinned him, but with no official to end the match, Edge was forced to take over and enter the match in a formal capacity.

Had the ref not been knocked out of the ring and incapacitated, Roman would have clearly been the victor in this fight. In his distraction with Edge not declaring him the winner, Bryan locked Reigns in another submission hold on the match, much to the delight of the crowd. Paul Heyman looked on in desperation as Reigns was clearly seconds away from tapping out BUT WAS ONCE AGAIN SAVED BY JEY USO'S INTERFERENCE IN THE MATCH.

Taking out Edge first, Jey retrieved a chair and attempted to eliminate Bryan next but ultimately lost his weapon to the Yes Man. Infuriated, Bryan brought the chair down again and again against Jey Uso, punishing him for interfering with the match. Without a ref, however, everything suddenly became legal, and there was no way the match could end in a three count. Bryan caught Reigns in a last-second and brutal lock again, eventually causing him to tap out. Instead of ending the match officially, Edge assaulted Bryan with the steel chair and left the ThunderDome in a rage and the audience in confusion.

A new official did enter the ring but had no idea about Reign's previous tap-out. As Bryan lay motionless from Edge's attack, Reigns crawled to his body and halfheartedly pinned his opponent for a successful three count.

After an infuriating series of events and missed calls, Roman once again retained his title, doing what he does best, get assistance from Jey Uso.

About Chelsy Bloomfield

Chelsy Bloomfield is an artist, cosplayer, writer, and comic book aficionado. She is the founder of Utah’s Graphic Novel Book Club, the first of its kind in Utah, and has hosted monthly meetings since 2011. If she is not writing or preparing for the next book club meeting, she can be found yelling about conspiracy theories on the internet or playing with her perfect puppy, Puffin.