Date and location

Sunday, Mar 10 | 7 PMET/4 PMPT


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When to watch

Sunday, Mar 10 | 7 PMET/4 PMPT

WWE Champion Daniel Bryan def. Kevin Owens and Mustafa Ali (Triple Threat Match)

WWE Champion Daniel Bryan def. Kevin Owens and Mustafa Ali (Triple Threat Match)

CLEVELAND — It’s looking more and more like the differences between “The New” Daniel Bryan and “The Old” Daniel Bryan begin and end with the fact that his WWE Championship is made of burlap rather than leather. If you give him a limb, he will bend and twist it until you submit. If you leave your face uncovered, he will find a way to get his knee to hit it. Whoever is in the ring with him, he finds a way to win. And if you throw a third guy in the match, he’ll beat him too.

Yes, the WWE Title Match at WWE Fastlane was a Triple Threat as Mr. McMahon had promised; the third man just wasn’t Kofi Kingston. Instead, the X-factor for the evening was Mustafa Ali, who threw himself heart, body and soul into a match that Bryan seemed to think he didn’t deserve, and Kevin Owens — the original challenger — was determined to make him regret entering at all. The former “Heart of 205 Live” flaunted Newton’s Law at will, not so much wrestling his opponents as picking them apart from above, and if the strategy was a tough one to counter for a brawler like Owens and a grappler like Bryan, it had the distinct disadvantage of taking as much out of Ali as it did out of them.

Brutality reigns in WWE Title Triple Threat Match: WWE Fastlane 2019 (WWE Network Exclusive)

WWE Champion "The New" Daniel Bryan fights to survive against Kevin Owens and Mustafa Ali in a smashmouth Triple Threat Match: Courtesy of WWE Network.

Not to be outdone, Owens made like his T-shirt and fought everyone, even dishing out one of his newfound Stunners and one of his old-school Pop-up Powerbombs on the ring apron, both to Ali. Bryan, wisely, largely kept himself out of Owens’ grasp, letting his two challengers fight it out until it was down to one. Thanks to an assist from Rowan, who dispatched Owens down the stretch, the last man standing was Ali. The champion once again disparaged his opponent’s credentials, slapping him across the face and screaming that he didn’t deserve to be in the match. The insults awakened Ali’s competitive fire, and the former Cruiserweight geared up for one final push — only to be met in midair by a Running Knee from Bryan that dropped him like a rock and handed The Planet’s Champion yet another one of his signature victories, new, old or otherwise.

Of course, there was one Superstar conspicuous by his absence in the match: Kofi Kingston. The WWE Universe, still disgruntled over the various corporate shenanigans that kept Kingston from the match, periodically lapsed into vocal, impassioned cheers for The Dreadlocked Dynamo. It wasn’t that they weren’t happy to have Owens back, or that Ali didn’t take their breath away. But at the end of the day, there’s one man that Daniel Bryan was supposed to face, and he didn’t. For the WWE Universe, there may well be something attached to this win that really is new for Daniel Bryan: an asterisk.

CLEVELAND — It’s looking more and more like the differences between “The New” Daniel Bryan and “The Old” Daniel Bryan begin and end with the fact that his WWE Championship is made of burlap rather than leather. If you give him a limb, he will bend and twist it until you submit. If you leave your face uncovered, he will find a way to get his knee to hit it. Whoever is in the ring with him, he finds a way to win. And if you throw a third guy in the match, he’ll beat him too.

Yes, the WWE Title Match at WWE Fastlane was a Triple Threat as Mr. McMahon had promised; the third man just wasn’t Kofi Kingston. Instead, the X-factor for the evening was Mustafa Ali, who threw himself heart, body and soul into a match that Bryan seemed to think he didn’t deserve, and Kevin Owens — the original challenger — was determined to make him regret entering at all. The former “Heart of 205 Live” flaunted Newton’s Law at will, not so much wrestling his opponents as picking them apart from above, and if the strategy was a tough one to counter for a brawler like Owens and a grappler like Bryan, it had the distinct disadvantage of taking as much out of Ali as it did out of them.

Brutality reigns in WWE Title Triple Threat Match: WWE Fastlane 2019 (WWE Network Exclusive)

WWE Champion "The New" Daniel Bryan fights to survive against Kevin Owens and Mustafa Ali in a smashmouth Triple Threat Match: Courtesy of WWE Network.

Not to be outdone, Owens made like his T-shirt and fought everyone, even dishing out one of his newfound Stunners and one of his old-school Pop-up Powerbombs on the ring apron, both to Ali. Bryan, wisely, largely kept himself out of Owens’ grasp, letting his two challengers fight it out until it was down to one. Thanks to an assist from Rowan, who dispatched Owens down the stretch, the last man standing was Ali. The champion once again disparaged his opponent’s credentials, slapping him across the face and screaming that he didn’t deserve to be in the match. The insults awakened Ali’s competitive fire, and the former Cruiserweight geared up for one final push — only to be met in midair by a Running Knee from Bryan that dropped him like a rock and handed The Planet’s Champion yet another one of his signature victories, new, old or otherwise.

Of course, there was one Superstar conspicuous by his absence in the match: Kofi Kingston. The WWE Universe, still disgruntled over the various corporate shenanigans that kept Kingston from the match, periodically lapsed into vocal, impassioned cheers for The Dreadlocked Dynamo. It wasn’t that they weren’t happy to have Owens back, or that Ali didn’t take their breath away. But at the end of the day, there’s one man that Daniel Bryan was supposed to face, and he didn’t. For the WWE Universe, there may well be something attached to this win that really is new for Daniel Bryan: an asterisk.