WWE Fastlane: The 5 Worst (and 3 Best) Moments

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Kevin Owens gets squashed, Braun Strowman gets speared, and more.

Barring a last minute announcement about a special WWE Network Event in the nest few weeks, Fastlane was the final PPV before WrestleMania 33 in Orlando. From the fallout now, it looks like we’re officially getting Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho and a Universal title match from Goldberg and Lesnar.

WWE Fastlane: The 5 Worst (and 3 Best) Moments

Fastlane, unfortunately, was full of missteps – creative choices that don’t exactly bode well for the Grandest Stage of Them All. Usually, with these day-after lookbacks, the “Best”s will outnumber the “Worst”s, but that wasn’t the case this time around. A curiously noisy crowd was deadened by a mid-show lull of Hour Two RAW proportions while the Women’s title picture became even muddier and muddled. Let’s take a look at the 5 Worst (and 3 Best Moments) from Fastlane!

Best: Sasha Shows Up

WWE Fastlane: The 5 Worst (and 3 Best) Moments

Source: HiItsMeKevin

Even if Sasha had wound up losing this match and the choice was made to keep Nia Jax as an unstoppable heel, this was still a great encounter. Light years better than the short squashy kickoff match they had back at the Royal Rumble when it seemed like Sasha had gotten ferociously demoted. This win elevated Sasha back into the title scene (which is kind of her default scene anyhow) setting everything up for a Fatal Fourway at ‘Mania.

Best: Gentleman Jack vs King Neville

WWE Fastlane: The 5 Worst (and 3 Best) Moments

It both speaks to the talent of these two Brits AND the luke warmness of the PPV up until this point that Neville vs. Gallagher was the best match of the night by the time it happened. In fact, depending on how much you liked the Roman/Braun, Joe/Zayn, and Bayley/Charlotte matches, this was arguably the best bout of the entire night. Not too shabby for a division that’s been struggling to find its true place on main roster TV since the summer. Neville’s great as a hellacious heel and Jack, as delightful as he can be, was able to prove he didn’t need jokey spots to get over.

Best: Braun Brutalizes

Braun wound up falling to Roman’s Spear in the end, but let’s never forget, or overlook, the monumental moment when he caught Reigns mid-air, hoisted him up on his shoulder and then powerslammed him through the announce table. A magnificent mauling. Statues have been erected for less.

Worst: Sasha Shows Up Redux

WWE Fastlane: The 5 Worst (and 3 Best) Moments

Source: HiItsMeKevin

Just when it seemed like the RAW Women’s title match at ‘Mania was shaping up in a good, credible fashion, they inked in the ointment and had Sasha come down and interfere on Bayley’s behalf again. This time, causing Charlotte to lose her PPV streak. It would have been one thing if Sasha had only stopped Charlotte from hooking the tights on a pin, but Sasha ran down and physically got involved when Charlotte hadn’t even broken the rules, thus preventing Charlotte from performing a fair and square move.

And all of this came after Charlotte had Dana stay in the back, fought her own battle, and screamed at Bayley about being a cheater during the match. Of course, I was against the whole “Bayley relinquishing the belt” angle from a few weeks ago, but now I kind of think, going along with her character and what she stands for, that she should give up the strap. It’d certainly make more sense at this point, story-wise, than her just accepting Sasha’s unprovoked aid like a heel.

Worst: Near Fall By Jinder Mahal

WWE Fastlane: The 5 Worst (and 3 Best) Moments

At some other point I’ll write about why we’re supposed to somehow believe that a major LIVE PPV, or a three-hour LIVE RAW, isn’t somehow planned out, from a storyline General Manager aspect, like any other live television event. Why is it part of the storyline that wrestlers show up not knowing who they’re facing that night? Or, even more ridiculously, that those in charge still haven’t fully planned out the card – or in some cases the main event? They just make it up on the spot or figure it out based on who winds up brawling in the opening segment. It makes no sense.

Our big example at Fastlane was Foley telling Rusev and Jinder Mahal to head out to the ring in the middle of the PPV to face opponents in unadvertised matches. Why was there are a gap in the programming in the first place? I mean, WE know it’s because the Goldberg match was going to last less than a few minutes, but in kayfabe terms why do GMs show up with only a few ideas regarding what the audience will see? This doesn’t seem like an important position at all. “I take my job very seriously and that’s why, with the show already going full steam ahead, I’m going to figure out on the spot what matches will happen.”

This has all just been a long-winded way of saying that Fastlane came to a screeching halt when all of a sudden we watched an almost ten minute Cesaro vs. Jinder Mahal match.

Worst: Rusev (Gets) Crush!

WWE Fastlane: The 5 Worst (and 3 Best) Moments

Following the Jinder match, Rusev faced Big Show. That’s right, the other half of the Sheamus/Cesaro team didn’t even get to fight. They gave Rusev someone totally different and then proceeded to destroy Rusev. Sure, he fought back against Show, but in the end he took four finishers from the giant for no real reason. It all makes you think WWE now has huge plans for Big Show at WrestleMania, which is possibly the saddest sentence I’ve typed for this piece so far.

Worst: Roman Wins *lolz forevs*

WWE Fastlane: The 5 Worst (and 3 Best) Moments

Source: HiItsMeKevin

I get that the story here was that Braun had no business being on the top rope and so him missing with the splash gave Roman a big window for a win. It was a risk that didn’t pay off. I also know that Roman needed this win if he’s truly facing Undertaker at ‘Mania, which is rumored to be the case. My head knows all this. But my heart weeps for the monster who was on a roll, lost to Roman right before WrestleMania, and will now probably wind up in the Memorial Battle Royal.

Worst: No Alarms and No Surprises

Yeah, so… Owens got nothing. Was it expecting too much that Owens would get in a few kicks and punches on Goldberg, a move or two, when Brock got nothing? Yeah, probably. If Lesnar got squashed then it’s unlikely that anyone else could do better against Bill, even in a losing effort. At least Owens can gripe about legitimately being distracted and Brock can’t. It just all seems like a rather unceremonious title reign end for a guy who usually delivered amazing twenty minute bouts.

I think mostly, even more than seeing Owens gets a few moves in, I wanted to see Goldberg do more than the Spear/Jackhammer. I know he can’t do MUCH more than those maneuvers, but he can do something. Owens fighting back would mean Goldberg would have had pull out a clothesline or a snap spinebuster or something. Something to let us know that he’s made progress, training-wise, since November. That’s what I was mostly looking for here. The funny thing is, the stalling that Owens did at the top, the constant taking a powder outside the ring, reminded me of all the stalling and posturing that happened during the first WrestleMania match between Goldberg and Lesnar.

And, no, I don’t know why the WWE video above cuts off right after the Spear. There’s not much more left to the match so why cut it early?

Matt Fowler is a writer for IGN and a member of the Television Critics Association (TCA). Follow him on Twitter at @TheMattFowler and Facebook at Facebook.com/MattBFowler.

Heroes Of The Storm PTR Patch Adds Tiny New Character And Lots Of Changes

A new update for Heroes of the Storm is now live on the public test realm, introducing its latest character and a wide of array of changes targeting the game’s UI.

The new character is Probius, a Protoss Probe from StarCraft II. He can’t ride a mount, but his base movement speed is 10 percent faster than other characters and he has a temporary speed boost ability (a la Sgt. Hammer). In true Protoss fashion, Probius warps in Pylons, which serve to power one of his abilities and restore his mana.

As for his basic abilities, Disruption Pulse does damage to all enemies in a straight line. Warp Rift slows enemies in an area, and if its center is hit by Disruption Pulse, it explodes, dealing damage. Photon Cannon warps in a temporary automated turret, though it needs to be placed within range of a Pylon in order to function.

In terms of Heroics, Null Gate creates a sort of wall that damages and severely slows enemies who are touching it. Pylon Overcharge increases the range of Pylons and allows them to attack nearby enemies. As an added passive bonus, Pylons gain a shield equal to 50 percent of their max health when you choose Pylon Overcharge.

While Probius is the most significant addition in this patch, the UI changes will impact all players. A new killfeed has been introduced that also serves as a means for tracking how much time you have to secure multikills. There’s also new art for numerous aspects of the in-game UI, such as the hero portrait; health, mana, and buff bars; and scoreboard, talents, and death recap screens.

The party frame at the top of the screen has been redesigned to resemble what you see when watching an esports match of HotS. It makes it easy to see at a glance who is alive, what Heroic abilities each player has chosen, and which of your teammates are using their Hearthstone. Additionally, the XP indicator shows when a team is approaching a level-up that will allow them to choose a talent. A team that has a talent advantage over their opponent will also see its level have a flame effect on it.

Best of all, the on-fire effect has returned for individual players. By performing particularly well in a match, your portrait at the top of the screen will be surrounded by flames. In addition to this being given more prominent placement than before, the way this is determined now takes more factors into account. Only a maximum of three players can be on fire at any one time.

All of these changes, along with many others–including the addition of two new mounts (seen in the video above)–are all now available to check out on the PTR. A release date for this content in the live game has not yet been confirmed. You can check out the full patch notes here.

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    Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Controllers Are Compatible With PC and Mac

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    Just like the Pro Controller.

    The Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers might be specifically made for the hybrid system, but they’ll work with PCs and Mac computers.

    The Verge reports the Joy-Cons can pair up with PC and Mac computers, as well as Android devices, through Bluetooth functionality. On PC, you will need to use an app like JoyToKey, but apparently the small controllers sync up easily with Mac.

    Now the packed-in controllers aren’t the only Switch accessories that are compatible with PCs. The Switch Pro Controller also will connect to a PC via Bluetooth.

    While the added functionality is nice, not every surprise has been positive for the Joy-Con controllers. There are reports of sync issues with the left Joy-Con.

    To learn more about the hybrid system, check out IGN’s review in progress for Nintendo Switch.

    Evan Campbell is a freelance writer who scripts the Daily Fix, streams games on his Twitch channel, and chats about movies and TV series on Twitter.

    Closed Beta For Gears Of War Creator's New PC Shooter LawBreakers Coming Soon

    Following last year’s alpha, a closed beta for LawBreakers, the new shooter from Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski’s new studio, will be held later this month.

    The beta will run March 16-19 and you can sign up on the game’s website for a chance to get in. This was announced in a studio update video posted today.

    The closed beta will feature new characters, weapons, and a map not seen in the alpha. You can see some gameplay footage from last summer’s alpha right here.

    If you’re attending PAX East this week in Boston, you can try the new content at the Boss Key booth on the show floor. Additionally, Boss Key will hold a panel on March 10 at 9 PM ET where it will discuss the feedback the studio has received since the alpha and how the game has changed as a result.

    LawBreakers was announced as a free-to-play game, but later adopted a paid business model. It is currently set for a PC-only at some point in the future, but Bleszinski has said that it could come to consoles if they found a good partner to handle the port.

    Free-to-play and mobile gaming giant Nexon is publishing LawBreakers on PC.

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    Comparing Logan’s Opening Weekend Box Office to All X-Men Movies

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    Deadpool still reigns supreme.

    Logan debuted in theaters this weekend to over an estimated $85 million, making it the fifth highest opening weekend for an R-rated film. But how does it stack up to the rest of the X-Men universe, including the record-breaking Deadpool?

    2016 saw the release of two X-Men universe films, Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse, both of which debuted in the top spot at the box office. Find out how Logan’s opening compares to both films, as well as the rest of the X-Men movie franchise, below. (Numbers via Box Office Mojo)

    Movie (Release Year/# of Theaters) Opening Weekend Opening Weekend, Adjusted to 2017 Worldwide Unadjusted Total Gross
    Logan (2017/4,071) $85.3 million $85.3 million $237.8 million (so far)
    X-Men: Apocalypse (2016/4,150) $65.8 million $66.5 million $543.9 million
    Deadpool (2016/3,558) $132.4 million $134 million $783.1 million
    X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014/3,996) $90.8 million $93.2 million $747.9 million
    The Wolverine (2013/3,924) $53.1 million $55.4 million $414.8 million
    X-Men: First Class (2011/3,641) $55.1 million $59.5 million $353.6 million
    X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009/4,099) $85.1 million $96.3 million $373.1 million
    X-Men: The Last Stand (2006/3,690) $102.8 million $123.8 million $373.1 million
    X2: X-Men United (2003/3,741) $85.6 million $112.9 million $407.7 million
    X-Men (2000/3,025) $54.5 million $76.8 million $296.3 million

    Unadjusted for inflation, Logan had the fifth best opening of the X-Men franchise, beaten only by Deadpool, The Last Stand, Days of Future Past, and X2. Adjusted, it becomes the sixth highest opening, with the first Wolverine solo film also edging it out (Origins: Wolverine only earned slightly less than Logan, and when weekend actuals release, it may actually beat the third Wolverine film).

    Deadpool remains the top earner, not just in opening weekend — it holds the record for biggest R-rated opening — but in total domestic and worldwide grosses as well. Deadpool also opened in 500 less theaters than Logan, while Apocalypse opened in a little over 75 more than the latest Wolverine film.

    Logan has already made over $230 million worldwide since it released, however, and so it is likely to climb that chart throughout the course of its release. The original X-Men only made $296 million worldwide, a number Logan should be able to eclipse by the end of its second week in theaters.

    For more on Logan, hear what Hugh Jackman and James Mangold on the film’s ending and check out every Easter egg and reference in the third solo Wolverine movie. And for more on how Logan fits into Wolverine’s timeline in the X-Men films, check out how IGN detangled Wolverine’s complicated cinematic history:

    Detangling Wolverine’s Complicated X-Men Movie Timeline

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    Comparing Logan's Opening Weekend Box Office to All X-Men Movies
    Comparing Logan's Opening Weekend Box Office to All X-Men Movies
    Comparing Logan's Opening Weekend Box Office to All X-Men Movies
    Comparing Logan's Opening Weekend Box Office to All X-Men Movies
    Comparing Logan's Opening Weekend Box Office to All X-Men Movies
    Comparing Logan's Opening Weekend Box Office to All X-Men Movies
    Comparing Logan's Opening Weekend Box Office to All X-Men Movies
    Comparing Logan's Opening Weekend Box Office to All X-Men Movies
    Comparing Logan's Opening Weekend Box Office to All X-Men Movies
    Comparing Logan's Opening Weekend Box Office to All X-Men Movies
    Comparing Logan's Opening Weekend Box Office to All X-Men Movies
    Comparing Logan's Opening Weekend Box Office to All X-Men Movies
    Comparing Logan's Opening Weekend Box Office to All X-Men Movies
    Comparing Logan's Opening Weekend Box Office to All X-Men Movies
    Comparing Logan's Opening Weekend Box Office to All X-Men Movies
    Comparing Logan's Opening Weekend Box Office to All X-Men Movies
    Comparing Logan's Opening Weekend Box Office to All X-Men Movies
    Comparing Logan's Opening Weekend Box Office to All X-Men Movies
    Comparing Logan's Opening Weekend Box Office to All X-Men Movies
    Comparing Logan's Opening Weekend Box Office to All X-Men Movies
    Comparing Logan's Opening Weekend Box Office to All X-Men Movies
    Comparing Logan's Opening Weekend Box Office to All X-Men Movies
    Comparing Logan's Opening Weekend Box Office to All X-Men Movies

    Detangling Wolverine’s Complicated X-Men Movie Timeline
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    Jonathon Dornbush is an Associate Editor for IGN and all he really wants is some more X-Men Evolution. Find him on Twitter @jmdornbush.