WWE Fastlane 2018: Match Card And Predictions
WWE fans are counting down the days until Wrestlemania, but before we can go to the biggest show of the year, we have to get through Fastlane first. The Smackdown brand-exclusive show is a lot like a ghost town on the Road to Wrestlemania: it's an interesting side attraction in which you later realize offers nothing to your overall trip.
Regardless, the show has some must-watch matches, even if it's obvious who the winners are going to be. As of this writing, there are six matches on the card and none announced yet for the Kickoff show. Fastlane hits the WWE Network on Sunday, March 11 at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT, with a Kickoff Show airing one hour prior. Here's who is on the card and our predictions.
Becky Lynch & Naomi vs. Natalya & Carmella
There's not a lot to this match, as Smackdown isn't doing a great job with its women's division, if you're not the champ or a member of the Riott Squad. Even though Carmella still holds the Money in the Bank contract, she, Naomi, Natalya, and Becky Lynch have been nothing more than cannon-fodder for the Squad the past month. There's nothing at stake in this match, so it could go either way. Hopefully, this is the start to building a women's tag team division. I'm giving the win to Becky Lynch and Naomi, since they always seem to lose big matches in recent months.
Our prediction: Becky & Naomi win.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Rusev
This hastily-made match was booked on the Smackdown before Fastlane. Rusev wanted revenge on Nakamura, as The Artist destroyed Aiden English's voice by kneeing him in the neck. Regardless of how this match came together, it should be a good one. While I have a good feeling Nakamura will get a win, headed into Wrestlemania, I'm going out on a limb and say Rusev will come out on top instead, as he could not be more over and this could be the start to a big push for the Bulgarian Brute.
Our prediction: Rusev wins
Bobby Roode (c) vs. Randy Orton
(For the United States Championship)
Bobby Roode needs to defend his title before Wrestlemania, so why not Randy Orton? The two have had run-ins prior to this, when Roode was holding his United States Championship Open Challenge on Smackdown, so WWE decided to sanction this as a PPV match. Out of all the title matches on this card, this contest has the highest probability of a title changing hands, as it could be a good build-up for a match on the early Wrestlemania card. With that in mind, I'm giving the win to Orton.
Our prediction: Randy Orton wins
Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Ruby Riott
(For the Smackdown Women's Championship)
When Raw is already featuring a story with a stable of three NXT wrestlers, dominating the women's roster, led by someone with black hair and fair skin, it's hard to take Smackdown seriously when it's doing the same exact thing. There is no way Riott is going to win this, but hey, I've been wrong before. Riott/Charlotte isn't a big draw for Wrestlemania, but you know what is? Charlotte/Asuka.
Our prediction: Charlotte wins
Secondary prediction: Asuka comes out to challenge Charlotte at Wrestlemania
The Usos (c) vs. The New Day
(For the Smackdown Tag Team Championship)
A couple weeks back, The Usos and New Day cut the best segment of either team's career. Smackdown's tag division is on fire, and while the New Day has lost a bit of steam in recent months, the rivalry with the tag champs has helped give the team some new life. The New Day has been a ton of fun, but I'm thinking this match will go to The Usos, with a rematch coming at Wrestlemania--so New Day can actually have a place on the card this year.
Our prediction: The Usos win
Baron Corbin vs. Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles (c) vs. John Cena vs. Sami Zayn vs. Dolph Ziggler
(For the WWE Championship)
What is going on? Aside from the fact we pretty much got a non-title version of this match on the last Smackdown--sans John Cena--there is a lot going on in this main event. From Cena trying to find his way to Wrestlemania, to Kevin and Sami feuding with Styles, to whatever Ziggler is up to, it's too much to follow. The biggest problem is that this stacked match has the most obvious ending--Styles wins. Everyone wants to see Styles and Nakamura at Wrestlemania, and for that to happen, he needs to retain his belt, unless he loses at Fastlane then reclaims it on future episode of Smackdown, which does nothing for the Wrestlemania story. I'm giving the win to Styles.
Our prediction: AJ Styles wins