Date and location

Sunday, Mar 10 | 7 PMET/4 PMPT


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When to watch

Sunday, Mar 10 | 7 PMET/4 PMPT

United States Champion Samoa Joe def. R-Truth, Rey Mysterio and Andrade (Fatal 4-Way Match)

United States Champion Samoa Joe def. R-Truth, Rey Mysterio and Andrade (Fatal 4-Way Match)

CLEVELAND — Samoa Joe won the United States Title thanks to R-Truth’s attempt to emulate John Cena’s Open Challenge policy, and The Samoan Submission Machine seems to have instituted a policy similar to The Greatest of All Time’s: Anyone who wants an opportunity to make their name gets one. But where Cena’s Open Challenge was built around the idea of highlighting under-exposed talent, Joe’s seems to be based around a sinister variation: He wants challengers so he can make his name at their expense.

Samoa Joe is up against the odds in a Fatal 4-Way Match: WWE Fastlane 2019 (WWE Network Exclusive)

United States Champion Samoa Joe fights to retain his title against R-Truth, Rey Mysterio and Andrade: Courtesy of WWE Network.

That, more than anything, is how a planned bout between Rey Mysterio and Andrade was reconfigured into a rematch of SmackDown LIVE’s Fatal 4-Way after Joe signed a petition during Fastlane Kickoff. Three of the four participants were in something of their own world — Rey and Andrade largely focused on each other with the latter mimicking Eddie Guerrero, while Truth continued his Cena-worship by working his way through the Five Moves of Doom — but The Samoan Submission Machine remained a steely-eyed, merciless constant. When someone attempted a pinfall, he was there to break it up with his own body. When Zelina Vega and Carmella distracted Andrade and Truth with a ringside brawl, he was there to plant Rey with a Uranage.

And when someone went flying, he was there to catch them. Rey felt the brunt of that particular aspect of Joe's strategy more than anyone else in the match, decisively so: After The Ultimate Underdog drilled Joe with the 619, he ascended the rope to drop the dime and found nothing but canvas, as the champion rolled out of the way, locked in the Coquina Clutch the second Rey touched down and cranked it until he went to sleep. It was an impressive defense for Joe and, perhaps, a blueprint of how he intends to defend his throne: No tricks. No cheating. Nothing dirty except his attitude. He wanted some, and he got some.

CLEVELAND — Samoa Joe won the United States Title thanks to R-Truth’s attempt to emulate John Cena’s Open Challenge policy, and The Samoan Submission Machine seems to have instituted a policy similar to The Greatest of All Time’s: Anyone who wants an opportunity to make their name gets one. But where Cena’s Open Challenge was built around the idea of highlighting under-exposed talent, Joe’s seems to be based around a sinister variation: He wants challengers so he can make his name at their expense.

Samoa Joe is up against the odds in a Fatal 4-Way Match: WWE Fastlane 2019 (WWE Network Exclusive)

United States Champion Samoa Joe fights to retain his title against R-Truth, Rey Mysterio and Andrade: Courtesy of WWE Network.

That, more than anything, is how a planned bout between Rey Mysterio and Andrade was reconfigured into a rematch of SmackDown LIVE’s Fatal 4-Way after Joe signed a petition during Fastlane Kickoff. Three of the four participants were in something of their own world — Rey and Andrade largely focused on each other with the latter mimicking Eddie Guerrero, while Truth continued his Cena-worship by working his way through the Five Moves of Doom — but The Samoan Submission Machine remained a steely-eyed, merciless constant. When someone attempted a pinfall, he was there to break it up with his own body. When Zelina Vega and Carmella distracted Andrade and Truth with a ringside brawl, he was there to plant Rey with a Uranage.

And when someone went flying, he was there to catch them. Rey felt the brunt of that particular aspect of Joe's strategy more than anyone else in the match, decisively so: After The Ultimate Underdog drilled Joe with the 619, he ascended the rope to drop the dime and found nothing but canvas, as the champion rolled out of the way, locked in the Coquina Clutch the second Rey touched down and cranked it until he went to sleep. It was an impressive defense for Joe and, perhaps, a blueprint of how he intends to defend his throne: No tricks. No cheating. Nothing dirty except his attitude. He wanted some, and he got some.