FASTLANE 2016 THOUGHTS

Tonight, WWE brings us its second-annual installment of Fastlane: part two of the Road to WrestleMania. I think, despite the unfortunate hit their roster has taken in the last several months, they’ve got a pretty decent set-up going, so far. Here are some of my thoughts on what could, and should, happen.

The US Title Saga: It’s been fun watching Kalisto rise to the top, but Sin Cara’s back now and it’s WrestleMania season, which means the reliable thoroughbreds have to headline the grand spectacular of sports entertainment. Alberto Del Rio will take back his title and go on to the big show with the belt while, hopefully, the Lucha Dragons will be used to strengthen WWE’s tiny tag team division.

The Six-Man: No-brainer: Wyatts over Big Show, Kane & Ryback with Strowman dominating.  Any other course would be foolish as the Devil’s backwoods brawlers have been groomed to be the new wrecking crew in town. Perhaps we’ll see the beginning of a Taker/Strowman showdown at WM?

The Diva’s Title: Brie Bella is here, in my opinion, to help WWE capitalize on Daniel Bryan’s recent retirement and to draw more heat on Charlotte on her way to WM. Flair’s successor will remain champ walking out of tonight’s event.

More Divas: This is nothing more than a vehicle on the fast lane (pun intended) to WM for the Diva’s Title Match. The dysfunctional duo of Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks will stumble to a victory over the crumbling remnants of Team B.A.D. in  the under-utilized Naomi and the bumbling Tamina Snuka, setting up, what I hope, is a Three-Diva-Dance in April between Charlotte, Lynch and Banks. Wooooo!

Mid-card Mania: The IC Title Match, to me, is the least interesting on the card. Here you have two guys: one is a floundering mid-card veteran who’s been slowly phasing our for years in Dolph Ziggler while the other is a boring, vanilla, Indy slob who is much better at being a big fish in a small pond than he is at elevating to the big leagues to even be the slightest bit entertaining in Kevin Owens. Owens will win (who cares?) and I hope that the saving grace in all of this will be what could (and should) come of it at Mania. See below for my thoughts on that.

The Phenomenal Highlight: AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho has been the brightest star for WWE coming out of the Rumble. The addition of The Miz has been a necessary boost, too. If WWE wants to make good on signing Styles, they’ll let him win, tonight, and hopefully be on his way to a title match at WM for either the IC or US strap. Personally, I would like to see something similar to the Angle/Benoit/Jericho match at WM 2000 with Owens/Del Rio/Styles and both titles being decided in two separate falls. Styles could win both titles and be well on his way to being a wise investment and we could see a Miz comeback with a win over Y2J at WM, as well. Either way, I think this and the main event will be the night’s high points.

The Pile-up: Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose/Brock Lesnar carries more importance than just who will be in the main event at WrestleMania; it also holds sway over the future direction of the company. This match could very easily decide another big bout at WM, and several matches at PPVs to come, even paving the way for the pay-off at next year’s WrestleMania. I see this: Reigns with the victory, moving on to face HHH at WM, an unhappy Lesnar taking out his frustrations on Ambrose for another major WM angle. Down the line, we will see Reigns and Ambrose embark on a MegaPowers angle from the 80s just before Seth Rollins gets back into the picture to hopefully set up a Shield reunion in the main event at WM 33, next year. How monumental would that be? Reigns-Rollins-Ambrose for the belt? That would be historical.

Anyway, it will certainly be an interesting show. Probably better than the Rumble, which had a solid undercard but left us with a pretty underwhelming main event.

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