• WWE Fastlane 2017 Preview and Predictions

    It’s a Fastlane, baby, drive me crazy.

    Giving their thoughts and predictions on what to expect from the PPV are members of the site @JoeyOnEarth, @TimWelcomed and @TomBlargh.

    Rich Swann & Akira Tozawa vs. The Brian Kendrick & Noam Dar on the kickoff

    Joey:

    I enjoy the cruiserweights but I don’t care about this match at all. Just give us an eight man flips match for the pre-show and call it a night.

    Interest Level: 3/10
    Prediction: Swann and Tozawa win. A lot of people tweet “ALICIA FOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOX”

    Tim:

    I’m a big fan of three of these guys but I’m not expecting much from it since it’s a pre-show match. Akira Tozawa and his charisma have been a gift to the cruiserweight division. His storyline with Kendrick is the best thing in the division outside of Neville’s heel reign. Noam Dar is such a bore. I can’t believe he gets as much air time as he does. Swann still hasn’t found his spot but I’m hoping that changes one day soon. Anyway, this’ll be a nice little pre-show match.

    Interest Level: 4/10
    Prediction: Swann and Tozawa win.

    Tom:

    Tozawa has been so exciting in his limited time on WWE TV, to the point that I badly want him to shift out of the Cruiserweight division so he’s not just limited to wrestling the guys there. However, I can live with it for the time-being. I like all of the guys in this match to various degrees, so even though it’s a TV match, I’m sure it’ll be fine. Also, big laffs at TJP not even making kickoff shows now.

    Interest Level: 6/10
    Prediction: Tozawa and Swann win.

    Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax

    Joey:

    No interest in this feud. I definitely think Nia Jax wins in dominant fashion to remain strong and set up Sasha Banks’ frustration and anger for something later in the show.

    Interest Level: 3/10
    Prediction: Nia Jax wins. Tom tweets he’s not like most girls.

    Tim:

    This is something I just haven’t been able to connect with. Nia Jax just isn’t that great in her role. Best case scenario for this match to be anything worth seeing is Jax dominating most of it and Banks selling over the top for her in crazy ways. I would think Jax gets the win here.

    Interest Level: 1/10
    Prediction: Nia Jax wins.

    Tom:

    Nah.

    Interest Level: 2/10
    Prediction: Nia Jax wins.

    Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (c) vs. Enzo Amore & Big Cass for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship

    Joey:

    I am so over Enzo and Cass. Please send Enzo to Smackdown or NXT or 205 Live and let Cass live. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson have to retain here. The Raw tag division is absolute mess with New Day out of the title picture and no one new to challenge the Bullet Club boyz.

    Interest Level: 4/10
    Prediction: Anderson and Gallows win. They wear the Bullet Club rip-off shirt.

    Tim:

    If there is a god, please, please fix the tag team divisions. It’s all I ask of you. I figure they’ll wait to finally give Enzo and Cass the tag belts at Wrestlemania.

    Interest Level: 0/10
    Prediction: Anderson and Gallows win or whatever.

    Tom:

    No thanks.

    Interest Level: 2/10
    Prediction: Gallows and Anderson win.

    Neville (c) vs. Jack Gallagher for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship

    Joey:

    Jack Gallagher is very entertaining but it is kind of odd seeing him in a title match here. Part of me wants Neville to destroy him in a few minutes to prove his position of a dominant champion in the division. I am sure they will end up having a competitive match and it should be fun. Just don’t let my man Neville look too silly.

    Interest Level: 8/10
    Prediction: Neville wins. I tweet the emoji with heart eyes.

    Tim:

    I’ve enjoyed most of the build-up to this match. Neville saved the cruiserweight division and is rightfully the king now. Gallagher has always been one of the very few bright spots since the division debuted on Raw. He’s a good roadblock for Neville to run through. This should be an interesting match to watch unfold. Gallagher’s willingness to bring a little comedy into his matches butting heads with Neville’s serious side should be what this match revolves around.

    Interest Level: 7/10
    Prediction: Neville wins.

    Tom:

    Alright, back on board! I’m sorry, but I’m away on holiday this week and I simply don’t have time to talk about why I don’t care to see boring matches I’ve already seen before. Neville and Gallagher should be nice though – Neville is firing on all cylinders and Gallagher is proving to have a few layers to his character in recent weeks, so I think the two of them could tell a neat story together.

    Interest Level: 8/10
    Prediction: Neville wins.

    Sami Zayn vs. Samoa Joe

    Joey:

    WWE has done a good job with Sami Zayn’s character lately really establishing him as an underdog. Zayn is definitely a while away from getting that big push and is obviously taking the loss here. Samoa Joe comes off so well in the role of being Triple H’s muscle. I hope the match is different from what they did in NXT and Zayn gets a chance to really play up the underdog character.

    Interest Level: 7/10
    Prediction: Samoa Joe wins. Everyone remains confused on if he or Triple H is the destroyer.

    Tim:

    If you’re looking to put a monster baddie over and they are nicknamed “The Destroyer,” Sami Zayn is the guy to go against them… and yes, Samoa Joe is The Destroyer despite WWE’s own confusion. I will always stand by this. Samoa Joe has been very impressive since coming to the main roster from his promos to his match with Roman Reigns. At this point, another big loss for Sami Zayn only helps him. When his time comes and he gets back on the upswing I think he’ll be more over than ever. One day!

    Interest Level: 9/10
    Prediction: Samoa Joe wins.

    Tom:

    Did we ever see these two in NXT? Not on a Takeover, so the answer is no, sorry NXT TV. Anyway, I’m surprised they’re doing this before ‘Mania, but I guess there’s no harm in it happening now. Samoa Joe on a real-life WWE PPV is a very cool thing and, while Joe got to be a little sluggish at times on NXT, Sami is the perfect opponent to show him off on the main roster. Joe is wrapped up in the Triple H/Rollins deal, so the finish could be wacky but hopefully not!

    Interest Level: 9/10
    Prediction: Samoa Joe wins.

    Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman

    Joey:

    Fun fact: This is the first time two wrestlers will ever face off in the same week of finishing as the top two most overrated wrestlers in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards. I am a wrestling historian.

    I think Reigns snaps and gets DQ’d for attacking Strowman with a weapon at some point. Angry/frustrated Roman continues into Raw for his WrestleMania feud with The Undertaker.

    Interest Level: 5/10
    Prediction: Braun Strowman wins by DQ. Lots of ironic tweets.

    Tim:

    WWE should be commended for how well they’re handling Strowman. Squeeze all of the juice out now because I doubt anyone will care about him once his beastly facade is broken. WWE has always had trouble continuing on with characters like Braun after they finally get toppled over. Reigns is a decent wrestler who does those fists and that spear with a good level of intensity. This is a showdown a lot of people seem to have wanted and WWE is capitalizing on that well. I personally have very little interest in either man or this match-up. It’s not for me and that’s okay… I guess. They probably want to protect the shit out of both of these hotheaded big men with unlikable personalities so I am leaning towards an Undertaker finish that ends the match without a winner. If it’s not that it’ll be Undertaker costing Reigns the win.

    Interest Level: 3/10
    Prediction: Nobody Wins.

    Tom:

    Man, I don’t know. I feel like we’ve already seen a good deal of what these two can together, but there seems to be enough excitement around this match that maybe it’ll still end up being something worth watching. Roman works best when he’s matched against someone who can elevate him, which Braun isn’t – my assumption is this is just going to be big guy spectacle, which is fine! Just don’t let it go longer than 10 minutes!

    Interest Level: 6/10
    Prediction: Some kind of DQ nonsense, possibly involving The Undertaker.

    Bayley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship

    Joey:

    They have wrestled so many times that it’s hard to really get into it. I feel like both have better chemistry with Sasha Banks than they do each other. Charlotte/Sasha didn’t feel too stale despite wrestling all the time but Charlotte doesn’t have the same kind of rivalry with Bayley.

    I think this is the show where Banks turns heel on Bayley for surpassing her in the division. Jax remains undefeated. Bayley gets robbed of the title. Banks becomes fresh again with her strongest character role. Charlotte is still undefeated on PPV going into WrestleMania. It’s really the ideal scenario for WWE in getting to the obvious fatal four way at WM.

    Interest Level: 7/10
    Prediction: Charlotte wins. Dana Brooke falls down at some point.

    Tim:

    Bayley is incredible but on the main roster they try way too hard with how they present her. It’s missing that organic feeling. It feels too much like the machine is speaking through her and that sort of unnatural presentation is a dead-end for a character like Bayley. I’m not sure having her keep the title instead of turning it over really capitalized on what she is so good at either. I get it though.

    Charlotte has to win it again on a PPV. We are stuck on this stupid path for really no reason. It’s a weird story to want to tell. Sit back and think about how the main thing in the Raw women’s division is that Charlotte has a PPV streak. She can only win or retain the belt if it’s a show that is not broadcasted weekly for some reason. Who fucking cares? It’s repetitive, straight out stupid, and boring. Is it really going to feel like that big of a deal when she loses the title on a PPV? She loses it all the time anyway.

    There are many better ways to center the division around her. Anyway, I’m sure this match will be great as usual and that is the part I’m interested in here.

    Interest Level: 8/10
    Prediction: Charlotte wins.

    Tom:

    I like the matches they have, but there’s been something kind of stilted about Bayley and Charlotte together lately that makes it hard for me to be too invested in this feud. It’s hard to explain! They seem like natural opponents, but their promos together always feel a little overwritten and hokey. It doesn’t help that this just seems to be a halfway point to what seems to be in an inevitable four way match at ‘Mania, so I’m trying to keep my expectations fairly low.

    Interest Level: 7/10
    Prediction: Charlotte wins.

    Kevin Owens (c) vs. Goldberg for the WWE Universal Championship

    Joey:

    WWE has done an amazing job making this match unpredictable. Kevin Owens beating the hell out of Chris Jericho and wearing a suit every week has turned him into such a badass. It feels wrong for him to lose the title right when he is hitting his potential as a champion.

    Goldberg winning would also set a horrible precedent. The Rock and Brock Lesnar are legit stars outside of wrestling that were around the age of 40 or under when having title reigns as part-timers. Goldberg is 50 and doesn’t do shit. This is a completely different situation.

    All that being said, I do think WWE is going with Goldberg. Looking at the WM card, I am assuming WWE views Goldberg/Brock as the main event (which would be a mistake). I just see them going the route of keeping Goldberg a monster with an easy title win over KO to add to the WM match. I badly want to be wrong.

    Interest Level: 9/10
    Prediction: Goldberg wins. Goldberg continues to be a 90s meathead.

    Tim:

    The Festival of Friendship signaled the beginning of Kevin Owens reaching a new plateau. Owens has been on a very special level since the moment Jericho opened his gift that night. How sad is the timing of this match? It feels so wrong to cut this all down for the sake of inflating the stakes of Goldberg vs Lesnar.

    I don’t want to believe this is the end of KO’s reign. Then again, there are so many pieces at play right now that it is easy to feel like the outcome is unpredictable. Goldberg has Lesnar to worry about. Kevin Owens has Jericho to worry about. Triple H spoke with Owens before The Festival of Friendship. What was said? What good reason did Owens (whose character is usually described as being smart and methodical in his acts of evil) have to throw his faux-friendship with Jericho away right before his biggest title defense? He needed Jericho’s help now more than ever. Maybe he wants to prove he didn’t need Jericho’s help. Maybe there’s more to it and we find out during this match.

    It’s fun to look at all of this and have hope that the most interesting character in WWE continues on with the belt but it’s just not going to happen. Goldberg is going to leave this show as the champion. He’ll drop it to Lesnar who will probably drop it to Reigns at some point. Kevin Owens will walk out of Wrestlemania wearing Jericho’s US title. At the very least I hope this match is anything but a quick Goldberg victory. That’s the only real bit of hope I can muster for this one. I genuinely love it. This makes me feel emotion. Wrestling is great.

    Interest Level: 10/10
    Prediction: Goldberg wins.

    Tom:

    Man. I just don’t know. I’m extremely interested to see what this is because… well, it’s easy to make a lot of assumptions about how this match goes. Bill seems very limited in terms of both ability and willingness to do anything, though it’s still hard to gauge based just on Survivor Series and the Rumble. I hope KO gets a chance to do something. I hope the inevitable run-ins and interference doesn’t happen immediately. I hope we get something out of this that isn’t just Goldberg getting the chance to parade around with a fancy red belt on one shoulder and his shirtless child on the other.

    Interest Level: 9/10
    Prediction: Kevin Owens wins (DARE TO DREAM).