Hello everyone and welcome to this Fastlane preview and predictions piece. I'm a hard-headed man and brutally handsome with a nasty reputation as a cruel dude.
Something like that, anyway.
Here I will give my thoughts and predictions for this Sunday's Fastlane PPV live from the Quicken Loans Arena in the heart of the cold-cold city of Cleveland, Ohio.
*** PRE- SHOW ***
The New Day (Big E and Xavier Woods) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and Rusev (Tag team match)
A random match on the pre-show featuring the two non-Kofi New Day members and the random team of Nakamura and Rusev. Not much to say. I'm picking the babyfaces to win here.
Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade (Singles match)
These guys are in what is usually the Crusierweight Championship spot. I could go either way but when in doubt I'm going with the babyface here especially on the pre-show when they are really just there to get the fans a little hyped not to already get heat. So, I'm picking Rey to win what will probably be a great match.
*** MAIN CARD ***
The Revival (c) vs. Aleister Black and Ricochet vs. Chad Gable and Bobby Roode (Triple threat tag team match for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship)
The Revival have been losing a lot. If this were a standard tag match I would pick them to lose again if they were facing Black and Ricochet. However, its a Triple Threat and I think Gable and Roode will eat the loss here for The Revival to retain going into Wrestlemania.
Asuka (c) vs. Mandy Rose (Singles match for the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship)
My pick is Asuka to win. The sooner this match ends, the better. I'd rather see Asuka in there with better workers but this is WWE where the good workers are used to make people like Mandy Rose look good, who isn't a terrible wrestler but Asuka should be up there wrestling the best while she is champion.
The Usos (c) vs. The Miz and Shane McMahon (Tag team match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship)
They're in Cleveland and The Miz's dad will be there to watch. I'm picking The Uso's to win. I think Miz's dad will get involved. If he is at ringside instead of in the crowd that should make your angle alarm go off. Maybe he gives Shane a punch in the crotch or something after the match and Miz lays him out with his Skull Crushing Finale. I'm not sure if it makes any sense but that's 'rasslin for ya. I mean, I wouldn't want my dad to punch my boss' balls on my behalf. Either way, whoever turns I think this match will be overshadowed by the angle between Shane and Miz. I don't think Shane will be the one to turn and I'd rather Miz be the one, too.
The Boss 'n' Hug Connection (c) vs. Nia Jax and Tamina (Tag team match for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship)
On TV Bayley beat Nia in a singles match. Then Tamina beat Sasha Banks. Yeah... No joke. I thought it would be the other way around. These are new titles with babyface champions looking to make them meaningful, so I don't think WWE has them lose here at f***ing Fastlane. If it were me I'd have them lose at Wrestlemania... next year in Tampa. Bayley and Sasha keep the titles here.
Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Kevin Owens (Singles match for the WWE Championship)
Yep. Kevin Owens, not Kofi Kingston. Owens was a total babyface on Smackdown and the fans accepted him in the role instead of chanting for Kofi. I don't think that's a sign that fans are already cooling off on Kofi, I think they are just too wise to this being an obvious angle that sees Kofi eventually getting his shot at Wrestlemania anyway.
I'm picking Bryan to retain. That means Kevin is losing his return PPV match after already pinning Bryan but it is what it is. Someone has to lose. It might even be a disqualification just to escape it and if that's the case we are likely getting a triple threat match at Wrestlemania which is very WWE-ish in this era to over-book Wrestlemania with a bunch of multi-person matches. Only the old guys like Hunter and Batista get the singles spotlight, ya know.
The Shield vs. Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre, and Bobby Lashley (Six-man tag team match)
Another month; another Shield reunion. Yawn. Of course the match is noteworthy for being Roman Reigns return to the ring, though. Do I have to say anything else? Of course The Shield is winning.
However... it would be interesting if Dean eats the loss and leaves his "brothers" in frustration playing up the angle that Dean is leaving WWE soon... Which isn't an angle, but they've made mention of it on social media and a little bit on TV. I could see Roman running wild and then Dean tags himself in to finish off the heels but ends up getting himself beat.
Hmm... I'm almost talking myself into changing my pick. Ahh f*** it. Sure. Dean's gonna f*** over his team and eat a loss like a geek and maybe it will be Dean vs Roman at Wrestlemania.
Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch (Singles match)
If Lynch wins, she will be added back into the WWE Raw Women's Championship match at WrestleMania 35. Yeah... Back into the match that she earned by being the Royal Rumble winner and that Charlotte earned by being Vince's favorite.
I can see this match ending in a disqualification or being thrown out in a no-contest with Ronda Rousey coming out to disrupt things. Possibly the latter more than the former because I don't think, even in getting attacked, it would be very "babyface" of Becky to "earn" the match by a backdoor fluke disqualification. I could even see Becky LOSING by DQ thanks to Ronda and while Charlotte is gloating that she technically won, Stephanie or whoever comes out to say that due to Ronda's actions the match will indeed be a triple threat.
A lot has been said about Ronda's recent promos on social media explicitly referencing the script and using words like "fake" and "kayfabe". I don't like it. It doesn't make this seem any more real. In fact they took the hottest angle in WWE and are kind of turning me off. All this talk about "fake" and what's "scripted" yet I'm supposed to buy that Becky Lynch is really injured and not just selling the knee for babyface sympathy. I get that people are talking and some people think she is really shooting, but let me ask you this... What is going to happen when the bell rings at Wrestlemania? Is it going to be a shoot match? No. They are promoting it like it will be, though with Ronda explicitly saying "wrestling is fake". Well, then why the f*** should I care when they have a "fake" match and Becky wins a "fake" title because that's what's in the script. The bell is going to ring and after all this phony "shooting" it is going to be just another WWE match with spots and selling and no blood and no black eyes. It's like they took a hot angle and a hot match that people already wanted and over-thought it and now its like they booked themselves in a corner where the only way fans won't feel duped at Wrestlemania is if Ronda indeed wins the match in shoot fashion in 45 seconds by tapping out either Charlotte or Becky. What does that say about everything else on this 7 hour show though? Whatever. Call me old fashion but I don't think the best way to sell a wrestling angle is to constantly remind fans that it is all "fake". The fans don't want to be told its a work. They know. They've always known. I've known wrestling was fake since I was 5 f***ing years old. I still watched because I got sucked into the stories and the at least acted like it was real. Now they are acting like its not real, but acting like Ronda's "shooting" is real when that's a total work too. I hate this.
Whatever. I'm picking Becky to win or the match is thrown out in a no-contest. Either way she will be in the match at Wrestlemania. I'd just be surprised if Charlotte eats a clean loss this close to Wrestlemania.
There's my thoughts on Fastlane. Surely make you lose your mind. I'm sure I'll have a lot more to say about Ronda's phony as shit shooting, too. Oh boy. It's going to be so exciting watching her talk about how "fake" wrestling is and then she goes out there and pretends she is "really" beating up Becky by punching her forearm and doing a 4 minute long armbar that you'd never see in an actual UFC contest.
WWE shouldn't act like it is ashamed of what it is. Be pro-wrestling and own it. That's when wrestling is at its best. Not when you try to act like its something its not. Wrestling fans want pro-wrestling. Don't promote a shoot that you're never going to deliver and I'd rather you not deliver because last time we got a shoot we got the f***ing Brawl For All.
Enjoy the show everyone. Hit me up on Twitter @PlanetKayfabe. I'll be live tweeting the event as well. See you here next time for the review. Take care and God bless.