Last year’s inaugural WWE Fastlane pay-per-view didn’t make huge waves as far as wrestling PPVs go. It is probably best remembered for a decent match between Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan that had the crowd split down the middle on who they wanted to see go on to face Brock Lesnar for the WWE Heavyweight Championship.
One thing the event did manage to accomplish was establishing itself as the show that sets up many of the rivalries and storylines leading into WrestleMania in March. This year, Fastlane looks to do the same, and while many of the match-ups seem fine on paper, I wouldn’t expect much resolution or finality to any of the feuds seen at this weekend’s PPV. It may actually be more interesting for the questions it leaves unanswered to get resolved on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
United States Champion Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio
Stipulation: 2-out-of-3 Falls
Although the 2-out-of-3 falls stipulation is one of my personal favorites, in this case it just hammers home the fact that we have seen these two go at it several times within the past few months. Why not tack on another few matches within a match?
Kalisto has proven he is more than capable as a singles competitor while his Lucha Dragons tag partner Sin Cara was out with an injury. However, now that Sin Cara is back, I think they will go back to being a team, as that division is badly in need of a babyface duo.
Alberto Del Rio is also great as a smug heel champion, and needs a chance to shine, given the sad state of the League of Nations. Speaking of which, this seems like the perfect match for one of the other League members to get involved and help guarantee the win for Del Rio.
Prediction: Alberto Del Rio wins the United States Championship via pinfall after interference from the League of Nations.
Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler￼
Since his excellent WWE debut against John Cena last year, Kevin Owens has lost some momentum, so it was a pleasant surprise when he won the Intercontinental Championship on last week’s RAW. This particular feud with Dolph Ziggler hasn’t had a chance to build up a lot of steam, but a good match at Fastlane could carry it into WrestleMania next month. Seeing how Ziggler is overdue for a singles match WrestleMania moment, I could see Owens retaining via a DQ or cheating to win, setting up the WrestleMania match for Ziggler to get revenge, and perhaps even win the title.
Prediction: Kevin Owens wins via DQ or by cheating.
Divas Champion Charlotte vs. Brie Bella
WWE has been building Charlotte as a dominant force in the Diva’s division, and recent events all point to a big showdown with Sasha Banks at WrestleMania. Even if she does go full Brie Mode, I don’t see how Bella manages to avoid the Figure Eight leg lock.
Prediction: Charlotte wins via submission.
Becky Lynch & Sasha Banks vs. Naomi & Tamina
See above. Ever since their arrival in WWE, kicking off the “Divas Revolution” last year, fans have been clamoring for a match between Charlotte and The Boss, Sasha Banks. If that match is anything like their phenomenal matches in NXT, we have something special to look forward to.
The X factor here is Becky Lynch. The WWE has been all about Triple Threat matches lately, and despite tagging at Fastlane, there has been some very open animosity between Banks and Lynch. I predict Banks and Lynch to win the match, with some tense moments and miscommunication between the two, culminating in a post-match attack on Lynch by Sasha.
Prediction: Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch win via pinfall.
Ryback, Big Show & Kane vs. The Wyatt Family
A lot of people seem to think a Wyatt Family win is inevitable, given the fact that none of their opponents have exactly been on a roll lately. I would have to agree. I just don’t see any reason for them to lose this match as they need to seem dominant heading into WrestleMania. Now, who they face at the Show of Shows is the big question mark. Hopefully this is a short match that ends with a tease of who that opponent could be.
By the way, I don’t think that tease will have anything to do with The Undertaker, which is another theory making the rounds. The Taker/Wyatt Family thing already played out last year at WrestleMania and then again when the Brothers of Destruction beat the Wyatts at Survivor Series. I actually have another Undertaker theory which you will find below.
Prediction: The Wyatt Family wins via pinfall.
A.J. Styles vs. Chris Jericho
Styles has had a nice showing in WWE since his debut at Royal Rumble last month. He is 1-1 in his current feud with Jericho, and I predict him to close out the series with a win. The loss would hurt Styles a lot more than it does Jericho, who always seems to get a good response from fans when he returns to WWE, regardless of his win-loss record during his previous stint with the company.
So far, Jericho has done an excellent job of building up Styles as the major star TNA and NJPW fans know him to be, and I expect these two to put on a tremendous match at Fastlane. This is one to watch, as the match has the potential to steal the show.
Prediction: AJ Styles wins via pinfall after delivering the Styles Clash.
Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar
Stipulation: Triple Threat Match
The winner of this match will go on to face Triple H at WrestleMania for the WWE Heavyweight Championship. I think WWE may have backed themselves into a corner here (or booked themselves, as it were). Triple H had to win the title at Royal Rumble because most fans just aren’t ready to accept Roman Reigns as the champion.
The predictable thing would be to say Reigns comes away with the win, to go on to face Triple H for the title. If the Fastlane match is a good one, a win against Lesnar would hopefully give him some credibility and momentum to change fans’ minds in time for WrestleMania.
However, whenever the Lunatic Fringe is involved, things are bound to be anything but predictable. What if Ambrose pulls off the upset win after Lesnar and Reigns beat each other senseless? Reigns’ jealousy over Ambrose getting the shot at the title could be the perfect opportunity for the Reigns heel turn that so many people think he desperately needs before fans are willing to accept him as their babyface champion, as was the case with his cousin The Rock.
So where does that leave Lesnar? That is where The Undertaker comes in. Despite a drawn-out feud last year, many were still unsatisfied that The Undertaker didn’t get to redeem himself against the man who ended his undefeated WrestleMania winning streak and put the 1 in 21-1. A win in his home state of Texas against Lesnar could be the perfect way for The Phenom to provide some closure to fans and end his illustrious career.
Prediction: Dean Ambrose wins via pinfall.
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