WWE Fastlane 2017, will broadcast live from Bradley Centre, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is the final pay-per-view stop on the Road to WrestleMania.
The main event of Fastlane will see Goldberg challenge Kevin Owens for the WWE Universal Championship. It had seen Chris Jericho accept the match for Owens, contributing to their break-up on a later episode of RAW. The winner is likely heading into WrestleMania 33 with a title defense.
Other matches to be seen include Bayley vs. Charlotte, Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns, and Samoa Joe vs. Sami Zayn. They should all be entertaining bouts before getting to the headliner of the night and help to continue shaping the Showcase of the Immortals.
Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax
The most recent match made for WWE Fastlane has the least on the line. It will see the rivalry renewed between Nia Jax and Sasha Banks, most likely to help get the card up the lucky number seven, which appears to be the average number of bouts on a Network show.
With Banks and Jax not interacting much over the past three or four weeks, build to this match has been far and few between, with the exception of Monday’s episode of RAW. However, WWE may bank on there being enough past tension between these two add intrigue to this match.
Unfortunately, with the build of matches elsewhere on the card, this match is card filler and based upon the way WWE has made Nia Jax into a wrecking ball, this is most likely not going to change. Nia Jax will get the better of the boss and pick up the victory.
Prediction: Nia Jax defeats Sasha Banks
Neville vs Jack Gallagher
The WWE Cruiserweight Division has looked better in recent months, partly due to the rise of Neville as the champion. While Rich Swann did a solid job with the title, fans have little knowledge of his character and abilities, and WWE never did a great job of introducing the cruiserweights.
Despite this, the one cruiserweight who has stood out is Jack Gallagher. His unique character, entwined with his charisma has connected well, but will it result in a title reign?
Gallagher has been fantastic, but his time in the title picture seems merely as a placeholder. His feud with the Man That Gravity Forgot probably deserves a longer look, but with Austin Aries’ debut in the Cruiserweight Division looming, it foreshadows what could happen next.
All is not lost for the Gentleman, though. Maybe WWE decides to put the WWE Cruiserweight Championship up in a ladder match at WrestleMania 33. It would be a great Cruiserweight showcase, as they would receive a spotlight that most of them had never seen before. Gallagher would probably be included in this, so he could get another chance sooner than later. However, Fastlane definitely isn’t his time.
Prediction: Neville defeats Jack Gallagher to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
The Club vs Enzo and Big Cass
RAW’s Tag Team Division hasn’t been the best of late. Despite The New Day staking their claim and breaking the tag title reign record, no credible opponents since their loss have been built to swipe the titles, including Enzo and Big Cass.
While Gallows and Anderson entered the WWE with such high momentum and intrigue, the booking and storylines they have undergone since have sent them spiralling downwards fast; ruining credibility when being given many championship opportunities and squandering them.
Even though The Club do hold the title today, their reign has been marred with pointless matches (Reigns overwhelming them in two-on-one handicap matches) and even more pointless storylines if you consider the feud that their rivals Enzo and Cass are coming off of.
Much like The Club; Enzo Amore and Big Cass have lost their luster in recent months and again it’s partially down to who they have been paired with. It has to be noted how the crowd recently chanted ‘Thank you, Sheamus’ as he took out one-half of the Realest Guys in the Room with a Brogue Kick. Their act is wearing thin, maybe not for all (read: me) but for some, at least.
Unfortunately, if WWE were hoping to create a moment out of Enzo and Cass at WrestleMania 33 they may have missed the boat momentum wise. Now we’re probably going to get something on 2nd April that won’t mean as much. Expect a messy finish that see them get the win at Fastlane.
Prediction: Enzo Amore and Big Cass defeat Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows via DQ
Brawn Strowman vs Roman Reigns
The first match made for WWE Fastlane was Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns. It came shortly after Strowman interfered in Reigns’ Universal Championship match with Kevin Owens at Royal Rumble. Strowman wanted his title opportunity, so he took out the Big Dog and wanted to get his hands on KO.
Throughout these past few weeks, we’ve seen Strowman get the best of Reigns, but hardly the other way around. It’s a unique situation for the former WWE World Heavyweight Champion, who has overcome just about everyone. Does that mean WWE will have him be the first person to pin or submit the Mountain of a Man on Sunday?
Royal Rumble let many to believe that Reigns and Undertaker would go head-to head. However, nothing on Raw since the PPV has given any indication that this is definitely the case. This could always change, with a potential match finish of the Dead Man costing his future WrestleMania 33 foe at Fastlane. It seems like a no-brainer, but that may not be the worst thing if it’s done to get us to their match in less than one month.
Either way, it’s difficult to see WWE having Strowman be pinned and for Reigns to take a fall before a possible match with the Undertaker. Look for interference from the latter here (not necessarily physical interference either), ending the match in a disqualification or no contest.
Prediction: Match ends in a no contest.
Samoa Joe vs Sami Zayn
Joe and Zayn don’t have much of a main roster story, or much of story for their match at Fastlane outside of Joe attacking Zayn just minutes after making negative comments about the Underdog from the Underground.
After taking out Seth Rollins, the Samoan Submission Machine had to set his sights on a new target. Sami Zayn seemed the obvious choice when you consider the bout that the two of these men had in NXT in 2016. Hopefully, they create similar magic at WWE Fastlane.
Given the limited history and the two brawls that have happened between these two, the match they will produce should be a fun watch. Zayn won’t get his big win here though, especially when you consider the path that Samoa Joe is on.
Prediction: Samoa Joe defeats Sami Zayn
Bayley vs Charlotte
It looked like Bayley would get her WrestleMania moment this year with the RAW Women’s Championship. This should have culminated her path to the top on the Grandest Stage of Them All that was until she defeated Charlotte in a random rematch on RAW for the title. While the argument can be made that not every moment needs to be saved for the big stage due to falling WWE TV ratings, it seemed like this was done for one reason — to boost Charlotte’s PPV streak.
The Nature Girl winning at 16 consecutive WWE PPVs has become a hot topic on TV and online, mostly due to how it’s been booked. WWE have made her into as vulnerable of a champion on RAW as probably anyone ever seen on a wrestling program. Then on Sunday nights, she’s made to look like this unstoppable force and wins every time. This happened three times during her feud with Sasha Banks, losing the RAW Women’s Championship on three separate occasions on RAW and regaining it back at SummerSlam, Hell in a Cell, and Roadblock.
Now we’re in the same spot as before, except with Bayley playing the champion role. There’s little reason to think the Hugster has a chance at retaining the belt at Fastlane, especially if recent bouts are anything to go by.
Charlotte is going to walk out and head into WrestleMania 33 as champion. WWE is then probably going to have the title change hands at the Show of Shows, ending the PPV streak.
Prediction: Charlotte defeats Bayley to win the RAW Women’s Championship
Kevin Owens vs Goldberg
The main event of the evening is a bit of a controversial one, if you’re looking at how WrestleMania 33 could look. It has Kevin Owens defending the WWE Universal Championship against Goldberg, who has wrestled twice — probably for no longer than five minutes — since his return in October 2016. The winner likely heads into WrestleMania as champion.
Owens’ booking situation is interesting. The last singles match Goldberg wrestled saw him defeat Brock Lesnar — the man who hadn’t been pinned or tapped out since WrestleMania 29 — lose in just over a minute at Survivor Series 2016. It was shocking to see; no one had taken down Lesnar like that. Four months later, is he going to defeat KO — a full-time WWE Superstar and champion since August — just like that? Can’t forget that it is WrestleMania season.
Having Owens, who rebuilt himself into his 2015 version, go down in a similar fashion to Lesnar would be damaging. The Beast Incarnate is a more-than-established player in WWE after his 2014-15 run, but the former NXT Champion hasn’t had a run anywhere close to that. If anything, he’s come into his own as a heel with the turn on Chris Jericho, the follow-up promo, and even the lead-up to it. To wreak that for someone that may not be with the company after WrestleMania seems ridiculous, even if he’ll defeat Jericho on April 2.
It seems inevitable that the Universal Championship changes hands at Fastlane. This is a matter of match booking, though. If WWE sees a healthy future with Owens, they will let him wrestle Goldberg. If the former WCW star is unable to compete in a full-length match, which seems very possible, then we may be in for another squash.
Prediction: Goldberg defeats Kevin Owens to win the WWE Universal Championship