Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose
February 21, 2016
Quicken Loans Arena (Cleveland, Ohio)
Apparently the work around to three way matches being terrible is simply to add Brock Lesnar to the match.
The post-UFC incarnation of Brock Lesnar has been portrayed as a wrestler who can toss anyone around at will and who can get back up from an incredible amount of punishment. That lends itself so well to three way matches, a fact that was apparent from last year’s Royal Rumble and this year’s Fastlane. Lesnar tossed around both of his opponents which provided adequate enough reason for the match to be wrestled one-on-one. One guy was selling a Lesnar beating while the other was taking one. That’s not a full proof solution as the timing still has to feel “right” which I think it did in this match. Reigns and Ambrose generally didn’t stay down too long or get up too quickly. Brock’s offense was its usual good-looking self. When it came time to transition from Brock dolling out beatings to something else, they took a page out of the Royal Rumble three way (and the Payback Ambrose/Reigns/Rollins/Orton match for that matter) when the former Shield members buddied up to take out their mutual enemy. I thought the decision to go with two table powerbombs on Lesnar was the correct one. It was nice to see a pair of babyfaces act proactively for once. It also added to the drama of whether Brock could get back up on time.
My one major complaint was that the ending fell flat. Reigns shared a ring with two wrestlers more over then he was. A quick win in the midst of a flurry of action was only ever going to lead a deflated crowd reaction. In terms of garnering a good reaction from the live crowd there might not have been a solution. At the very least however, a win that was set up a little longer would have felt definitive. It felt like Reigns stole the match which only possible would have worked if the fans wanted to see him win.
Good match overall and my favorite from WWE thus far in 2016.