There weren’t quite six distinct storylines brewing in the Six Pack Challenge main event of Fastlane on Sunday, Mar. 11 in Columbus, Ohio, but it was close - especially by the time SmackDown commissioner Shane McMahon made his way to ringside.
The big one involved the title up for grabs, especially because this was the last pay-per-view (PPV) before WrestleMania 34. And, as the announcers continued to tell us, one of the challengers for AJ Styles’ belt currently “doesn’t have a path to ‘Mania”. And his name is... JOHN CENA!
Cena came out firing, delivering Attitude Adjustments to Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler, setting up a one-on-one with Styles, the man he defeated to get into this match (which technically provides him with a path to WrestleMania, but, whatevs).
Shall we? pic.twitter.com/NfANSAxlW6— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) March 12, 2018
Before he could deliver an AA to AJ, the other four recovered, and a five-on-one stomping sent Big Match John to the outside. From there, the Phenomenal One made sure to remain central to the action, so he could either retain his title, or at least be the man who took the pin which resulted in him losing it. Unfortunately, with this many guys involved, as soon as Styles hit a move and went for a cover, another man was there to break up the pin.
The 16 time WWE World champ got back into the mix, and featured in one of the coolest spots of the night when Owens flew into frame after Ziggler bounced Cena’s head off the mat:
Wait for it...#WWEFastlane pic.twitter.com/yNFMoxhwQd— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) March 12, 2018
And eventually, a Styles Clash to Cena looked like it might end the night early, but Zayn broke up the cover.
Corbin took over after that with a dominant show of force, but the Lone Wolf’s questionable judgement reared its head once again. Baron stalked Dolph into the crowd, and ended up putting both of them through the plexiglass which surrounds the hockey rink usually inside Nationwide Arena at this time of year...
Absolutely NO MERCY being shown by The #LoneWolf @BaronCorbinWWE...#WWEFastlane #WWEChampionship pic.twitter.com/1IjwuakzO2— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) March 12, 2018
Back at ringside, KO went to put Styles through an announce table. That didn’t work, but a series of attempts led to Cena AA-ing AJ through the desk!
Goodbye, Mr. Styles. pic.twitter.com/hjy6wbFqqh— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) March 12, 2018
Another storyline took over back in the squared circle when, with fans chanting “FIGHT FOREVER”, Sami offered to lay down for Owens. Kev didn’t believe him though and went to pick him up. After a Zayn inside cradle attempt, the YEP-pers did end up brawling. But when Zayn slid out of an apron powerbomb attempt, he back body dropped KO on the apron. A shouting match with Shane ended when Sami stepped away from a KO Superkick that ended up hitting McMahon!
The target was @SamiZayn, but the Superkick landed in the FACE of #SDLive Commissioner @shanemcmahon!#WWEFastlane #WWEChampionship pic.twitter.com/I8XyYTk6TY— WWE (@WWE) March 12, 2018
The commish would get his payback. After (respectively) a Pop-Up Powerbomb to Ziggler, and a Helluva Kick to Owens, Shane pulled KO and Zayn out when the referee was counting their pin attempts.
In that chaos, Corbin recovered, and brought the steel steps into the ring. He and Cena brawled over them, and the Lone Wolf ended up AA-ed onto them. Dolph broke up the cover, and Owens hit the Free Agent with his finisher. But OUT OF NOWHERE, AJ flew in with a Phenomenal Forearm. No one was there to club him across the back, and this was over.
Styles vs. Nakamura looks like a go for WrestleMania, a KO/Sami/Shane Triple Threat seems like it could be a thing, and... John Cena is out in the cold.
I mean, that’s what they’ve been telling us, right?
Get complete Fastlane results and coverage here.