We’ve been through the Royal Rumble, we’ve witnessed the Elimination Chamber, but there’s one last bump in the road before Wrestelmania… Fastlane (Christ the name sucks)
In terms of build and anticipation it’s going to be hard for WWE to come up with a less inspiring PPV throughout 2018. Rather than feeling like a crucial step in the Road to Wrestlemania akin to the portrayal of Elimination Chamber, Fastlane feels more like an inconvenience.
SmackDown has seriously suffered over the last month or two from drab storylines, average to poor action and underwhelming character development. A large part of that is down to Fastlane. We’re now only a few weeks out from Wrestlemania and none of the feuds on SmackDown have been able to kick into anything above 2nd gear, with the same plates seemingly spinning for months now.
Hopefully Fastlane will be the kick-off for a SmackDown resurgence as we fast forward towards Wrestlemania, but only time will tell and I’m not going to start holding my breath any time soon.
Match 1: Tag Team Match
Becky Lynch and Naomi vs. Natalya and Carmella
Why is this match happening? It feels so incredibly forced and thrown together just to fill out a weak card that I find it hard to even muster up a prediction. Throwaway match and I really have no idea which way it will go, so it’s a toss of a coin.
Mitch prediction = Becky and Naomi
Rachel Prediction = Becky and Naomi
Match 2: US Title Match
Bobby Roode (C) vs. Randy Orton
Match number 2 and it’s the second match that I really don’t care about. This feud has done absolutely nothing for me so far, and it will only get worse if Jinder interferes and makes it a triple threat at Wrestlemania. In a best case scenario Bobby Roode cheats to win and turns heel, leading to a rematch at Mania. If Orton cares and Roode turns heel then the two could have a decent feud, but in all likelihood we’re getting a Jinder interference here and the triple threat down the road.
Mitch prediction = Bobby Roode
Rachel prediction = Randy Orton
Match 3: SD Tag Team Title Match
The Usos (C) vs. The New Day
Perhaps the most unpredictable match on the show and the one which is likely to steal the whole damn PPV. I heard discussions about the possibility of us getting The Usos vs. The New Day vs. The Bludgeon Brothers at Mania (Akin to DIY vs. Revival vs. AoP) and I would be all for that. So I’m living on a dream and hoping that the New Day win in order to set up that match.
Mitch prediction = The New Day
Rachel prediction = The Usos
Match 4: Singles Match
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Rusev
This should be a good match, but it’s damn predictable. If Rusev wins this match then they either insert him into the WWE title match at Mania, or the SD writing team quit their jobs. No matter who he faces at Mania, Nakamura can’t be losing here.
Mitch prediction = Nakamura
Rachel prediction = Rusev
Match 5: SD Women’s Title Match
Charlotte (C) vs. Ruby Riott
Whilst this might be a pretty predictable match, I think any potential post-match angle could go in a number of ways. I feel pretty strongly that Charlotte vs. Asuka is still the way that WWE want to go, with Nia vs. Bliss going at it for the Raw Women’s title. So expect a solid match followed by someone coming out to challenge Charlotte at Mania. No cash in from Carmella yet.
Mitch prediction = Charlotte
Rachel prediction = Charlotte
Match 6: WWE Title Match – Fatal Six way
AJ Styles (C) vs. John Cena vs. Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn
DO.NOT.LET.CENA.WIN. There are only two options to win this match, AJ Styles and John Cena. Either way we get some form of AJ vs. Nakamura match, however I’m really against the idea of throwing Cena into that mix so late into the journey. Cena’s record breaking 17th world title win should not be something that happens like this. As much as I dislike the idea of Cena being on top in 2018, his 17th world title run should be meaningful and lengthy, not a 1 month run that ends at Mania (And without doubt Nakamura or AJ should be walking out of Mania with the title).
Mitch prediction = AJ Styles
Rachel prediction = Kevin Owens (“For shits and giggles”)