Turnbuckle Radio hosts Trevor Robb and Brian Swane break down the action from tonight’s WWE Fastlane show, which upon completion officially kicks off the road to Wrestlemania. Lots of intrigue heading into tonight, so let’s get down to it.
Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio for the United States Championship (kickoff pre-show):
T: An interesting decision to have this one on the Kickoff Show, but it may help to give them more time than if they were on the main card. A two-out-of-three fall match is always a pretty definitive way of ending a feud so I imagine this will be the last we see of ADR and Kalisto. It makes sense for ADR to go over and help give the League of Nations some more credibility, while pushing the Lucha Dragons back into the tag team fold. Or, barring a Kalisto win, could we see a jealous Sin Cara emerge as a heel and turn on Kalisto to challenge for the belt? My gut goes with ADR — the guy needs to have more of an impact and step up. Now’s the time.
WINNER: Alberto Del Rio
B: A title match on the pre-show? Way to value your championships, WWE. The Best 2-of-3 stipulation is an interesting twist. With Sin Cara now back in action, I think the future of the Lucha Dragons hinges on this match. Either ADR takes the title and Kalisto goes back to being a full-time member of Lucha Dragons, which wouldn’t be a bad thng for the tag-team division. But I still believe WWE wants to push Kalisto as a Mysterio-like hero, so … Kalisto keeps the belt here, Sin Cara gets jealous and accuse his partner of being more concerned about a singles career than their tag team and voila, we have a Kalisto/Sin Cara feud.
Edge and Christian will interview The New Day on the Cutting Edge Peep Show:
T: Lots of speculation of a possible NXT tag team debuting here, but that’s if you believe the dirty’s. Obviously, this will be an amazing segment regardless. The New Day are money, everything they do turns to gold. Throw in Edge and Christian and this should be a lot of fun. Expect the Usos and the Dudley’s to interrupt, and maybe even a surprise team, setting up a fatal four way at Mania.
The Wyatt Family vs. Ryback, Kane and Big Show:
T: This was my bet for the Kickoff Show. Seems hastily thrown together and downright silly. Not too much to debate here. Wouldn’t be surprised if Ryback and the gang win this, as I expect Bray Wyatt will be making his precense known in the main event later on.
WINNER: Ryback, Kane and Big Show
B: Hey, did you hear Big Show’s a face again? Also, Bray Wyatt is still talking about…uh…something. Anyway, like Styles/Jericho this is a match of the old guard (Ryback not withstanding) against the up-and-comers, and again, all signs point to the up-and-comers going over.
WINNER: Wyatt Family
Chris Jericho vs. AJ Styles:
T: This has been the perfect feud for AJ Styles to kickoff his WWE career, and we all know a heel Jericho is what’s ultimately best for business. While Y2J has tried to remain neutral for the most part, putting forth a “mutual respect” kind of attitude towards Styles, at the same time the two clearly don’t like one other. If Jericho can hold up his end of the bargain, this should be one hell of a match. Time to strap the rocket to AJ Styles and see where it goes.
WINNER: The Phenomenal AJ Styles
B: The rubber match should be just as good and will hopefully be even better than the first two meetings of these two. Jericho’s willingness and ability to put over the up-and-comers is well known, and I expect he’ll do the same here. Styles might have main-event potential if WWE continues to book him properly.
Naomi and Tamina vs. Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch:
T: Great to see the other half of TEAM BAD finally getting in on some PPV action. For a while there, Naomi and Tamina were not getting a lot of time in the ring and despite the team being the last one to really break up, they have seemingly been the afterthoughts of the whole “Divas Revolution”. I expect Becky and Sasha to work together in the beginning but it’s only a matter of time before egos emerge and they’re eventually off their game, and at each other’s throats. Watch for Naomi and Tamina to capitalize and eke out a win while the Boss and the Lass Kicker are left in the ring to argue over what went wrong.
WINNER: Naomi and Tamina
B: If you’re an NXT fan or just someone who wants to see the advancement of women’s wrestling, then you’ve got to be stoked to see Banks and Lynch together. Their reluctant partnership has been pretty well booked: The two young stars the fans both love, but have little love for one another. They’ll put their differences aside just enough to pull this one out, but I look for some post-match confrontation that leads to more down the road. It’s nice to see Tamina back in action, too. Excited to see what’s next for the women’s – pardon me, “Divas” – division.
Charlotte vs. Brie Bella (Divas Championship):
T: It was great to watch Daniel Bryan’s retirement speech, what an incredible moment. At the same time, I hate watching Brie latch on to the YES movement in order to turn her face for two months of feuding with Charlotte. Lots of speculation on whether Brie will retire after Mania or not, which doesn’t bode well for her actually winning the belt. Could we see a flip-flop here, where Brie wins tonight only to lose at Mania, or should she consider herself lucky to be in the title picture at all? I’m going with the latter.
B: Charlotte is excelling as a heel. She’s so easy to dislike, but not in the way nearly every female villain is stereotypically booked. She is a big part of the women’s division moving forward, while Bella is rumoured to be on the verge of retiring and moving on to post-wrestling life with Daniel Bryan. So with that in mind, I’m going with my sleeper pick of the night here – Bella pulls the upset to get one last moment of glory. Charlotte takes the belt back at Mania, if not earlier.
WINNER: Brie Bella
Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship:
T: As a huge KO fan, this one has very little doubt for me. Owens and Ziggler will put on a great match but there’s zero chance of a title change here. Fingers crossed we get an AJ Styles or Sami Zayn appearance post match to set up a feud heading into Mania, but that might be best suited for the RAW after.
WINNER: Kevin Owens
B: They just put the title back on Owens, there’s no way he’s dropping it. Especially against Ziggler of all people.
WINNER: Kevin Owens
Brock Lesnar vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns. Winner goes on to fight HHH at WrestleMania 32
T: So many moving parts heading into this one:
1. Brock Lesnar still has unfinished business with the Wyatt Family. They screwed him out of the Rumble match, and I expect them to screw him out of this one as well. Bray vs. Brock at Mania. Book it.
2. Roman Reigns is a terrible, terrible babyface. However, this does not make him a bad competitor or not entertaining. As a the muscle of the Shield, Roman was arguably at his most popular. But as a way of fleshing out his character and adding some personality, I hope Roman goes full pompous asshole and turns on Dean Ambrose and the WWE Universe. He’s got all the talent in the world, but no one really likes him – use that. Have this guy turn his back on the WWE Universe, act entitled, and demand more. Demand the world even! Only to get fed to the Undertaker at Mania. I’m not ruling out a Taker appearance tonight, either. Fingers crossed.
3. Dean Ambrose is everything WWE wishes Roman Reigns was. He’s a badass, and the fans love him. He’s Stone Cold 2.0, obviously toned down for the PG era. For me, this became evident the moment he walked that damn hot dog stand down the ramp and attacked everybody with ketchup and mustard. He’s funny, and he’s the perfect anti-authority figure the WWE is looking for. He’s my pick to win this and go on to fight HHH at Mania, a match he will win as well. In the most perfect of worlds, barring any future injuries, this all leads to the Shield triple threat match we all want to see at Summerslam: Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns. Make it happen!
WINNER: Dean Ambrose
B: I’m really intrigued to see what happens here. There are many directions WWE could go, and with so many moving pieces, multiple potential Mania matches hinge on the outcome of this match. Most of us believe Reigns will be in the title match at Mania, but how exactly does he get there? Maybe he wins here, maybe not. I’m guessing we get a debacle of a finish, and it will be no more clear who’s going to Mania when Fastlane goes off the air. Maybe all of 3 of them end up in a Fatal-4-Way with Triple H, maybe 2 of them in a three-way. Maybe nothing is decided until Raw or even later. Confusion reigns (see what I did there?).
WINNER: No contest