Justin C here with a preview of WWE Fastlane this weekend. It is the last PPV before we get fully into Wrestlemania. And I would expect the final pieces of the puzzle to be put into place after this show. Of course, from what we know, it sounds like most of us won’t like the puzzle when it is completed.
On paper Fastlane looks okay. There will be a couple of good matches. But for the most part, the build has been ho hum. It is a problem with the booking of RAW. Unlike Smackdown, RAW can’t find a way to mix all of the pieces they have in a new and fun way. RAW seems to be stuck on repeat half the time. And that is why Smackdown is constantly getting praised while RAW suffers every week.
Rich Swann and Akira Tozawa vs THE Brian Kendrick and Noam Dar
-Alica FFFFAAAUUUUUUXXXXXX. I just like typing that and we all know Vince McMahon loves when Noam Dar says it. The feud here is with Tozawa and Kendrick. I think Tozawa will be a key piece of the cruiserweight division going forward and will be one of its top stars. I’m not the biggest Kendrick fan but if he is being used to put Tozawa over I can handle it. I also want to see Swann get Tozawa to dance. The faces get the win.
WINNERS: Rich Swann and Akira Tozawa
Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax
-So Stephanie McMahon’s big punishment for Sasha Banks was to fight Nia Jax again? This is why the RAW women’s division needs some fresh blood in it. The same matches happen over and over again. As much as I want to see Asuka on Smackdown, she’s pretty much needed on RAW. I think this match is going to be used to A-Set Up what happens later at night and B-Give Nia Jax another win to giver her a case to be put in the Title match at Wrestlemania. Nia wins.
WINNER: Nia Jax
Cruiserweight Championship: Neville (c) vs Jack Gallagher
-Gallagher has done well in this feud to come off as more than just a joke character. I didn’t think Gallagher would get a Title program but he’s earned it with the work he’s done so far. But Neville has been on another level since coming back and turning heel. He almost single handily saved the cruiserweight division. And with Austien Aries “giant package” (of a promo) that aired this past Monday on RAW, I think it’s clear that Aries is the next challenger for Neville. So Neville retains here.
RAW Tag Team Championship: Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows (c) vs Enzo and Cass
-It seems like more and more people are starting to catch on to Enzo and Cass. They are a one trick pony. Enzo talks well during his entrance and that’s about it. Their matches aren’t anything special. And if the WWE breaks up Enzo and Cass and push Cass to the moon, I bet it goes as well as the push of Roman Reigns. Meanwhile, The Club got jobbed out to Roman Reigns two weeks in a row. And this is why RAW’s tag team division is like it is. I don’t think Enzo and Cass win here. If that happens it happens at Wrestlemania. The Club retains here.
WINNERS: Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows
Sami Zayn vs Samoa Joe
-Here’s hoping that this match goes better then the Cesaro/Joe match from this past Monday. I’m thinking they should get around 15 minutes. I have no problem with Zayn being used in this role. Would I like to see him get a better push? Sure. But Zayn hasn’t looked bad in this build-up against Joe. Eventually you will have to give Zayn a couple wins here and there. But this is about building up Joe at the moment and making him seem like a badass. And so far so good on that front. Joe should get a match at Wrestlemania. But who? That remains to be seen. He needs to me involved more than just being a part of the “confrontation” between Triple H and Seth Rollins.
RAW Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs Charlotte
-The hot potato game that involves the RAW Women’s Championship will continue here. There is no doubt in my mind. I’m still curious as to why the WWE decided to put the Title on Bayley a couple weeks before this show. Another Title change does nothing for this program. It probably would help if there were more than four women in this division feuding with each other. Charlotte’s PPV winning streak is going to at least Wrestlemania. So Charlotte is retaining here. How? With the help of Sasha Banks. This will start Sasha’s heel turn. She gets sick of Bayley and her winning all the time, but she isn’t there to side with Charlotte either. Sasha will go on her own. But she costs Bayle the Title here, making Charlotte a five time Champion.
Roman Reigns vs BRAUN Strowman
-Please don’t job out BRAUN. Please don’t job out BRAUN. That is all I will be saying during this match. I actually haven’t minded the build to this. It is how they should have been building up Reigns since he went on his own. But the WWE higher-ups are too dumb to realize that. Meanwhile, BRAUN continues to be the best built up big man the WWE has had in some time. And to make him lose to Reigns would seem dumb. Of course the wild card here is if The Undertaker shows up to build his program with Roman Reigns. Remember, Reigns eliminated Undertaker from the Royal Rumble. Does Taker return the favor and cost Reigns the match here? I actually think we get something similar to the Rollins/Lesnar Title match when Undertaker appeared. Reigns gets ready to go for the Spear, but the lights go out and Taker stares down Reigns when they come back up. The match “technically” ends in a No Contest. BRAUN doesn’t lose, but we get no set result.
WINNER: No Contest
WWE Universal Championship: Kevin Owens (c) vs Goldberg
-Sigh. Part of me holds a sliver of hope that KO retains the Title here. As I stated a few weeks ago, the main event of Wrestlemania should be KO vs Chris Jericho for the Universal Title. When Jericho returns and attacks KO, the building is going to have the roof blown off of it. Jericho runs off KO, then grabs the list and puts KO on it without saying a word. Just think of the pop!
But no, Vince McMahon can’t get out of the past and has to put the Title on nostalgia acts. Goldberg is going to win here, probably in short order again because otherwise Goldberg will get blown up. I was a fan of Goldberg returning, but not at the expense of younger talent. Goldberg/Lesnar is going to main event Mania, and it might be the shortest main event in Mania history and will probably suck. And the WWE wonders why fans don’t stick around after Mania. When you make it seem like you don’t care about your full time talent during the biggest show of the year, neither will the fans.
Make sure you stick to @HTCWrestling on Twitter for coverage of Fastlane, as well as our respective Twitter accounts.
Until Next Time,
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka