Six-man Tag Team Match
Dolph Ziggler, Ryback & Erick Rowan vs. Seth Rollins, Big Show & Kane
A late addition to the show, and one that will probably be a five-on-three when J & J Security join the fray approximately two minutes into the bout. The three Superstars fired for their alliance with John Cena at Survivor Series (a team-up that temporarily ousted The Authority from power) do battle with three of that factions biggest weapons...
...because Seth Rollins had to have something to do before WrestleMania.
The Road to Fastlane
Last November was probably the best month of Ziggler's WWE career. Headed been riding a wave of fan support to the most successful Intercontinental title program in years, and ended up outlasting Cena & the rest of his teammates in the traditional Survivor Series' elimination match to be the man who pinned The Authority's chosen one to send Triple H & Stephanie McMahon into exile. The Show Off also will forever be tied to the historic first appearance of Sting on WWE television.
That high didn't last long, however. When Rollins threatened Hall of Famer Edge, Cena used the Vince McMahon-planted reset button to bring Hunter & his wife back to save his former rival's neck, the power couple first act was to punish the face who runs the place by severing the contracts of Dolph and teammates Ryback & Erick Rowan right while their leader watched.
John eventually defeated the very threesome that Ziggler and his mates will face at Fastlane to win back their jobs. But ever since then, The Game has made it his business to make the three men's lives hell. And especially for Dolph, that's resulted in a lower spot on the card than where he was at the end of the Summer and into the Fall.
Rollins is the Future, and not even a social media scandal can derail his train to the top of the WWE mountain. No sooner had TMZ stopped talking about Seth's revealing selfie than they were hyping his feud with an award-winning mainstream comedian. He's cocky and brash even in defeat - mostly because he always backs it up.
Losses that Mr. Money in the Bank has taken lately have been under grave circumstances, too. Mostly from either battling Daniel Bryan, John Cena or Brock Lesnar, or due to the bumbling of his entourage. Big Show and especially Kane are there to protect Seth in more ways than one. Maybe due to the frustration of taking damage and pinfalls for The Authority's hand-picked point man, the two giants have begun to bicker with one another. So far it's been clear miscommunication or petty disagreements. But it makes their trio look like significantly less than a well-oiled machine.
Story-wise, the build has been that Triple H wants to keep tormenting the three men who caused his wife to cry and him to feel embarrassed after Survivor Series. While he focuses on Sting, the mid-card malcontents have been delegated to his henchmen. The usual array of singles matches and various pairings of the six-men lead to this one being added to Fastlane at the last minute. Hopefully, we get a lot more of this:
While this goes on on the sidelines:
What's at Stake?
The former Shield-man has his legacy of working amazing six-man tag matches on pay-per-view (PPV) to worry about. It's doubtful that Rollins will be able to operate at that high level with two forty-somethings in place of Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns, but I've learned not to be surprised at what the Architect can build out of whatever WWE gives him.
The Demon and the World's Largest Athlete are rumored to be headed toward a WrestleMania clash of the titans. This is their chance to kick that off right, and signal to the audience whether or not Show has turned again, or if this feud will be about bad guys fighting because they got on each other's nerves.
Another thing to watch for as this one unfolds is the possibility of a Viper striking. Perhaps from OUT OF NOWHERE? Randy Orton is healthy again, but dirt screen reports have him off television until April. With a ready made feud with Rollins lined up based on how the Apex Predator was written off television via curb stomp, that might be misdirection on WWE's part.
Team Fired is in good position to win - the card needs a clear feel good victory for babyfaces with the main event being more of a 50/50 (70/30?)proposition for the crowd. What happens next for them probably doesn't change much regardless of their showing in Memphis, though. Ryback & Rowan are probably destined for the Andre the Giant battle royal or whatever multi-man match replaces it on the 'Mania card. Dolph might end up there too, if Orton comes back and occupies Rollins and Bryan either ends up in another main event Triple Threat or against a heel turned Celtic Warrior.
And who knows? Maybe 160 pounds of soft pine shows up and hits the his nemesis with his finisher, Y.M.o.Z. (Your Moment of Zen)?
Should be interesting, with two of the best workers in the company mixed in with hosses of various ages. Might be better if there was something at stake for any of them, though.
Tune in to WWE Network or your PPV provider Sunday night to see what happens, and discuss it right here on Cageside Seats! If you don't, we'll have to call (J & J) Security.