WWE got tonight’s (Sun., Mar. 11, 2018) Fastlane pay-per-view (PPV) from the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio started off with the winner of the Royal Rumble — and therefore the next challenger for the WWE championship at WrestleMania 34 — Shinsuke Nakamura. He was treated like a major star. Then again, the same crowd chanted and cheered and sang along with Aiden English while he introduced Rusev.
When the match started, the crowd decided to go with a dueling chant of “Nakamura” vs. “Rusev Day.”
They turned it around with Rusev working heel and doing his best to get the crowd to turn against him — and they did — while Nakamura gave them everything they wanted. Then, Rusev took control:
Happy #RusevDay, @ShinsukeN... #WWEFastlane @RusevBUL @WWEDramaKing pic.twitter.com/14zLDxaYJV— WWE (@WWE) March 12, 2018
Rusev was given a surprising amount of offense, giving Nakamura all kinds of trouble the rest of the way. There were two separate occasions that Shinsuke failed when teasing the Kinsasha, including a near fall on a front kick. When it came time, Nakamura countered an Accolade and hit his finish to the back of Rusev’s head, then delivered another.
That was enough to get the pin.
Byron Saxton told us Nakamura needed this kind of match-up to “display his resolve” before heading to WrestleMania 34.
That’s one way of looking at it!
Get complete Fastlane results and coverage of the entire card right here.