Tuesday, January 21, 2020

WWE continues its road to Wrestlemania 35 on Sunday 10th March 2019 with WWE Fastlane!

The general vibe around this show is that of muted excitement. Whilst some of the matches have the potential to be very good, the overall results of each match feel rather predictable. In previous years Fastlane has served as more of a filler show on the road to Wrestlemania and this year doesn’t feel much different with several matches seemingly happening for the sake of having matches and others feeling like drawn out ways of continuing stories that are almost at their Wrestlemania shaped finale!

Fastlane 2019 does however have some edge to it on previous editions and that edge comes in the shape of one “Big Dog”. The in ring return of Roman Reigns is the biggest talking point within this show and has just enough excitement around it to keep this show from being completely passable!

WWE has to some extent created some ‘fresh changes’ in that different titles are actually being defended at this show for the first time in a while, namely all 3 tag team championships! Whilst the show is lacking a Universal, Raw Women’s and United States Championship match, it is a nice change to see titles that rarely make it onto most PPVs, finally being given a showcase of sorts!

Ahead of the show on Sunday, I’m gonna put my brain to some use and try and predict what could be a rather predictable show!

Kickoff Match #1 – The New Day vs Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev

Why is this match occurring? Does anybody know? Apparently not even the performers involved do following this tweet from Xavier Woods himself…

This match has seemingly no implications nor ramifications for anybody involved and seems to be a way to get The New Day onto a PPV card! Not much interest from me personally but I can say The New Day losing to perhaps set up a break up/heel turn at some point in the future.

Prediction – Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev win Via Pinfall

Kickoff Match #2 – Rey Mysterio vs Andrade

In the second questionable choice for the Fastlane Kickoff show, Rey Mysterio takes on the recently name shortened Andrade (we don’t get it either). This match we’ve seen a couple of times recently on Smackdown Live and each time it has been a Match Of The Year contender! These two men have insane in ring chemistry and their fast paced hard hitting style is addictive to watch. With that being said, why are we seeing this again on a kickoff match when most would agree, this feud plus championship implications of some sort would be much worthy of a Wrestlemania 35 blowoff bout! Given I believe the heels may win the previous match, I’m gonna go with the master of the 619 here.

Prediction – Rey Mysterio wins Via Pinfall

Charlotte Flair vs Becky Lynch – If Becky Lynch Wins She Is Added To The Raw Women’s Championship Match At Wrestlemania 35!

Now we’re talking! A match with some real stakes to it. These two may have battled countless times in the past 6 months but it hardly matters, they have excellent in ring chemistry and the heart of Lynch combined with the athleticism of Flair makes this a front runner for Match Of The Night already. This match proves difficult to predict as neither woman can really afford to lose any steam heading into a match that may very well main event Wrestlemania 35. If I put my armchair booking hat on, I envisage Ronda Rousey getting involved in this match in some capacity. It is essential though that if Ronda Rousey is going to play a part in this match, that she attacks Becky Lynch first, giving Becky a disqualification “win” by WWE terms without having Flair lose any steam. I will say, this story has slowly started to lose steam and I think this should be the last time these women touch each other before mania as we’ve now seen every combination of the three destroying one another.

Prediction – Becky Lynch wins Via DQ

The Usos vs The Miz & Shane McMahon – Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match

Unpopular opinion perhaps, this story does absolutely nothing for me. Aside from proving that The Miz has the potential to work as a WWE babyface in 2019, this story has involved making The Bar look like chumps, Shane McMahon being hailed as “the best in the world” and The Miz looking like quite the loser (not a good look for a former world champion who completely reinvented the Intercontinental Championship). The only way this can work in my eyes is for the Usos to (quite rightly) win the match in quick fashion, causing Shane McMahon to turn on The Miz leading to *sigh* a sure fire match at Wrestlemania 35.

Prediction – The Usos win Via Pinfall

Asuka vs Mandy Rose – Smackdown Women’s Championship Match

This match has the rare ability on this show of being slightly unpredictable. Whilst it seems like a given that Asuka should win this match in about 40 seconds; WWE have a strange affinity to Mandy Rose and that affinity coupled with the looming outside threat that is Sonya Deville, is exactly why it wouldn’t shock me to see Rose take the title here. All things considered I dont think Fastlane is Mandy’s time however, expect to see that Smackdown Women’s Championship around her waist sooner rather than later!

Prediction – Asuka wins Via Submission

TThe Revival vs Bobby Roode & Chad Gable vs Aleister Black & Ricochet – Raw Tag Team Championship Match

This match is an interesting one. Whilst the match itself is rather thrown together and the result is rather obvious, the in ring ability of everyone involved in this match has the potential to make this an instant classic. The Revival in particular have the most to gain from this bout as their title reign has even rather uninspired thus far, this match could give them the sort of star making performance they need to really show people how damn good they are as a tag team!

Prediction – The Revival win Via Pinfall

Sasha Banks & Bayley vs Nia Jax & Tamina – WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Match

I have major mixed feelings about this match, whilst im elated to see Sasha Banks becoming a regular feature on WWE PPV’s (where she belongs) again, the idea that after crowning these two women as champions in such a monumental moment at Elimination Chamber 2019 has lead to their first title defence being against potentially the least interesting women’s tag team in WWE today is rather disappointing. If this match ends with anything other than the Boss & Hug Connection defeating Tamina & Nia Jax there will be riots because the words Tamina and championship are not words that should ever be associated with each other!

Prediction – Sasha Banks & Bayley win Via Submission

Daniel Bryan vs Kevin Owens – WWE Championship Match

Who would’ve thought that in a match featuring two of the most popular stars in WWE today, that the main interest in this match woukd be around a member of The New Day? That is definitely the case however as Kofi Kingston has risen through the ranks to become one of the hottest stars in the company and his removal from this match has fans salivating at the though of him capturing the WWE title at Wrestlemania 35! Because of the flash popularity and support behind Kofi, WWE may have booked themselves into a problem as either Kevin Owens is losing his first match back after his big comeback OR Owens is potentially taking away Kofi’s much sought after Wrestlemania moment! The money is in Kofi Kingston challenging Daniel Bryan for the WWE championship at Wrestlemania, not Kevin Owens, and having a third party to make it a Triple Threat would really make Kingston’s moment feel much smaller. As great as Kevin Owens is, he would only get in the way of Kofi which would turn fans against his new babyface persona and ultimately Owens would default to a tweener role, which would hinder his recent face turn.

Prediction – Daniel Bryan wins Via Pinfall

Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins vs
Bobby Lashley, Drew McIntyre & Baron Corbin

You hear that folks? That’s the noise of ALL THREE members of The Shield getting cheered! Who could’ve thought this time last year when Roman Reigns was one of the most divisive characters of all time that 12 months later a terminal illness would complete reset his career? This match has come out of nowhere within 2 weeks and now should absolutely main event this show! Add in the popularity of Seth Rollins, the in between stage of Dean Ambrose and the re debut of Roman Reigns, this match has the potential to go down as a moment in history! The sad aspect of this match however is the team the Shield are going to destroy. Drew McIntyre 2 months ago was a man many thought was poised to win the 2019 Royal Rumble. Bobby Lashley 2 months ago was Intercontinental Champion. Baron Corbin 2 months ago was… Baron Corbin. These three men have been thrown together as the big bad bullies of Raw with no legitimacy or direction and it’s a sad sight to see. Hopefully this match can act as a showcase for Mcintyre especially as he truly deserves better.  

Prediction – The Shield wins Via Pinfall

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By Ben Williams

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