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WWE Fastlane 2018 predictions

WWE returns to pay-per-view (PPV) -- if your cable provider is carrying the event, of course -- tomorrow night (Sun., Mar. 11, 2018) live from the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio with its Fastlane event starting at 7:00 p.m. ET with the Kickoff show leading right on into the main course at 8 p.m. ET on the WWE Network.

Set for the card: A Six-Pack Challenge for the WWE championship, Charlotte putting here SmackDown women’s title on the line against Ruby Riott, and much more!

Luckily for you Cagesiders, our staff of learned wrestling blowhards is here to help figure out just how the event is going to play out with predictions for each match on the card.

Let's get to it.

Fastlane predictions

AJ Styles vs. John Cena vs. Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens

Geno Mrosko: There’s probably a math equation WWE will attempt to sell me on but I was never good at the maths. Pick: Styles

Sean Rueter: Look, John Cena clearly explained how he’s gonna run the Triple Threat at WrestleMania after he wins his 17th World title in Columbus. Who am I to doubt him? Pick: John Cena

Kyle Decker: The more people they add to a match like this, the more I think the champ is going to walk away with the title. Plus, the match people want is Styles vs. Nakamura at WrestleMania. Would they really tease that so heavily just to deny us of it? This is SmackDown so they absolutely would. But I don’t think they will. Pick: AJ Styles

Cain A. Knight: This story is underwhelming but the match will probably be fantastic, unless Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan decide to get involved and screw it all up. I’m pretty sure AJ Styles will be defending the WWE Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura at WrestleMania 34. Styles has lost matches these last two weeks on television, so it’s time for him to get the win, leaving John Cena to continue being delusional about his chances of having a match this year at WrestleMania. Pick: AJ Styles

Reverend Kain: I’m torn. On one hand (and this isn’t a bad thing), this close to WrestleMania, WWE generally go for the obvious thing, and AJ Styles wrestling Shinsuke Nakamura at WrestleMania is incredible anyway. But man I really like the triple threat path John Cena outlined in that one promo, because as crazy as Styles/Nakamura on the grandest stage of them all is, it doesn’t have the novelty nor the “saving us from the Undertaker” factor that a triple threat would. Plus I can’t wait to “um, actually” folks on Ric Flair’s “real” number of world title reigns and it’d break WWE’s version of the record, so... Pick: John Cena

Charlotte vs. Ruby Riott

Geno Mrosko: There’s a better chance that Carmella shows up and cashes in, or Asuka arrives, than Riott or her Squad seeing victory here. Pick: Charlotte

Sean Rueter: Big Ruby fan, but even I know a time killer feud when I see one. Pick: Charlotte Flair

Kyle Decker: This has been a fine diversion for Charlotte, but the championship match would mean more if the Queen took it into WrestleMania instead of Ruby Riott. Maybe Asuka will come out to challenge her after this match. Even if she doesn’t, Becky or Naomi challenging for the title would feel much bigger if Charlotte holds the gold. Of course this is SmackDown so who knows? Pick: Charlotte

Cain A. Knight: If Charlotte is losing her title on this card it will be to Carmella, not Ruby Riott. Charlotte will likely face off with Asuka at WrestleMania 34, so Ruby doesn’t stand much of a chance in this match. Pick: Charlotte Flair

Reverend Kain: It’s pretty clear the Riott Squad were basically called up solely to give the SmackDown women’s division something to do over the winter (and there’s nothing wrong with that, not everybody can come screaming out the gates), and the spring is coming. Pick: Charlotte Flair

Bobby Roode vs. Randy Orton

Geno Mrosko: It’s pretty weird that in a feud between Roode and Orton, Jinder Mahal has gotten the better of everyone. Mahal, as you may have noticed, is not in this match. Oddsmakers don’t know what is going to happen. Neither do fans. That’s good! But it may not matter. Pick: Orton

Sean Rueter: Can Jinder win? No? Why isn’t he in this match? Always hindered, I tell you. I don’t think he’s gonna like that. Anyway... with or without that Mahal magic, carrying a belt into ‘Mania as a freshly minted Grand Slam champ is the kind of consolation prize they like to give The Viper this time of year, so... Pick: Randy Orton

Kyle Decker: Whatevs. Pick: Bobby Roode

Cain A. Knight: Orton was pinned by Mahal on SmackDown this week, so I don’t expect the Viper to also be pinned at Fastlane. Mahal will probably get involved in the finish, and it will either lead to Orton winning the gold or a disqualification. Pick: Randy Orton

Reverend Kain: Grand Slam (new definition), ‘nuff said. Pick: Randy Orton

The Usos vs. The New Day

Geno Mrosko: We’re going into this match, yet another between these teams, fighting off fatigue at the feud. The thing about that, though, is they always delivered when it came time for the match. Let’s hope for the same here. Pick: The Usos

Sean Rueter: The real winners will be us, the viewing audience! It’s cheesy, but it’s true. As far as the story goes, I doubt the titles change hands, but since Cain is all technical when he does the “how predictable was ___?” posts, I’ll guess that either some of SmackDown’s trademark refereeing shenanigans or a bludgeoning leads to the champs taking an ‘L’. Pick: The New Day

Kyle Decker: This is probably the match I’m looking forward to the most. These guys have crazy chemistry. While it is the New Day’s turn to win the match, I think the Usos retain here. The story about them needing to make the main card of Mania is compelling enough and they should have the titles to do so. Then there’s the Brothers of Bludge-struction who will make their presence known somehow. It’s entirely possible this match doesn’t even have a finish and we get the triple threat at Mania. Either way, it should be great. Pick: Usos

Cain A. Knight: These two teams always have a great match and it’s pretty much up to them to save this card. The Usos look like they are on a collision course with the Bludgeon Brothers, so that means Jim & Jey will likely retain. Pick: The Usos

Reverend Kain: I thought back to the report last year that said WWE were eager to get the New Day the record for number of tag title reigns sometimes, but there’s plenty of time for that even with a retention here, and a change just doesn’t feel right. Pick: The Usos

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Rusev

Geno Mrosko: Let’s just hope they make it fun along the way. Pick: Nakamura

Sean Rueter: Pretty sure the Royal Rumble winner won’t get jobbed out to a guy the brass sees as a mid-carder. Sorry, Handsome One. And sorry Aiden’s voice. You will not be avenged this Rusev Day. Pick: Shinsuke Nakamura

Kyle Decker: Love me some Rusev Day, but there’s no way that Nakamura takes a loss prior to his title feud at WrestleMania. OK, this is SmackDown so of course it’s possible, but I doubt it. Pick: Nakamura

Cain A. Knight: The backstage segment that set this match up was pretty funny, but unfortunately this one is as predictable as it gets. Rusev isn’t going to beat Royal Rumble winner Nakamura right before WrestleMania 34. Pick: Shinsuke Nakamura

Reverend Kain: In words of one syllable: YEAOH! Pick: Shinsuke Nakamura

Becky Lynch & Naomi vs. Natalya & Carmella

Geno Mrosko: It’s hard to come up with a good reason to put the heels over here. So I won’t try. Pick: Becky & Naomi

Sean Rueter: I wish I was better at coming up with puns. This is kind of a general thought, but it seemed appropriate to share it with you all here. Pick: Becky Lynch and Naomi

Kyle Decker: I’m going to give it to the babyfaces here. If Charlotte retains, and I fully expect her too, and Asuka stays on Raw, it’ll either be Naomi or Becky challenging her at Mania (if not both). It’ll look better if they have a PPV win walking into the feud. Pick: Becky Lynch and Naomi

Cain A. Knight: Hey look, it’s a PPV match that Becky might actually win! I can’t really see why the heels would win this one considering it was put together at the last minute and has no stakes. Becky and Naomi are the more important stars to focus on going forward, so they should get the win here. Then again I don’t have any heels winning on this card, so perhaps poor Becky will lose yet again. Pick: Becky Lynch & Naomi

Reverend Kain: Greatest hits time, everybody— Briefcase dork, briefcase dork / Even a lady briefcase dork / Any match, she will lose / Cashing in’s a big surprise / Look out! She’s the briefcase dork. Pick: Becky Lynch & Naomi

That’s how we see the card playing out.


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