WWE Fastlane is all set to take place tonight (Sat., Oct. 7, 2023) from the Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. It begins at 7 pm ET with the Kickoff show leading right on into the main course at 8 pm ET on Peacock in the U.S., WWE Network everywhere else, or your local cable pay-per-view provider.
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.
World Heavyweight Championship Last Man Standing Match: Seth Rollins (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Geno Mrosko: I like everything they’ve done with not just the program but the Nakamura character but they haven’t done enough to make me believe they’re going to do a title change. Pick: Seth Rollins
Sean Rueter: Last time around I talked myself into picking the King of Strong Style. But while he’s been booked very well, I’m back to remembering how WWE sees him and can’t even see it as a vehicle to a cash-in. Pick: Seth Rollins
Kyle Decker: They’ve really unlocked the best WWE version of Shin here with both his character an presentation. It’s been too long for them to realize “Let’s let him cut badass promos in Japanese and we’ll use subtitles.” (Not that can’t cut a decent promo in English.) And a ruthless Nakamura who at the same time just doesn’t give a f*** is his best form. That said, I still don’t think he’s winning here and much like last time, a title change is more likely to be Damian Priest over Nak. Pick: Seth Freakin’
Claire Elizabeth: I feel like I’m gonna be wrong, but dangit we aren’t breaking any records here, let’s do the change! Rollins isn’t gonna get any worse for lack of the title, Judgment Day drama is likely to keep Priest from cashing in, Shinsuke’s doing great work and I’d like to see him do it on the champion’s side of the call sheet. Pick: Shinsuke Nakamura
Cain A. Knight: The Raw segments have been very lopsided in Nakamura’s favor, which means he’s doing the job on PPV. Pick: Seth Rollins
Marcus Benjamin: I’m torn on this one. Much more than their previous match, actually. I see arguments for multiple outcomes here but I’m siding with what I want to happen vs. what I think will happen. Pick: Shinsuke Nakamura
John Cena & LA Knight vs. The Bloodline
Geno Mrosko: It sure feels like the babyfaces should win here, especially considering there’s no way they have Knight take a loss here and Cena isn’t getting pinned. Pick: John Cena & LA Knight
Sean Rueter: Fun fact... Cena hasn’t won on PPV/PLE since 2018. It’s not that many matches, sure. But he needs to win on occasion to maximize his value in the “putting people over” phase of his career. Since beating his partner would be a really dumb move anyway, this is an easy time to get him off the schneid. Pick: John Cena & LA Knight
Kyle Decker: They’re not putting a rocket strap on LA Knight to have him get pinned in a Bloodline match without the important member of the Bloodline involved. Knight can pin Jim Uce here and build to a match with the Tribal Chief. Pick: John Cena & LA Knight
Claire Elizabeth: Yes yes, the guest star legend and the rising star are going to lose to Jim Uso and His Brother, that’s how it’s gonna go. Pick: John Cena & LA Knight
Cain A. Knight: The Bloodline isn’t going over John Cena or LA Knight on PPV when Roman Reigns isn’t around. Pick: John Cena & LA Knight
Marcus Benjamin: This is the moment the arena loses their minds and LA Knight gets the biggest rub of his career. A stepping stone to the bigger prize that he may or may not win one day, but seeing LA standing shoulder-to-shoulder with John Cena creates a lasting image. Pick: John Cena & LA Knight
Women’s Championship: Iyo Sky (c) vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka
Geno Mrosko: I’m going to say they really and truly go all out for NXT next week and put the title back on Asuka just so she’s champion going into her match with Roxanne Perez. They seem that committed to this. Pick: Asuka
Sean Rueter: In preparation for a snarky joke about The Queen, did some research and found out she hasn’t won on PPV/PLE since last year’s WrestleMania. It’s only three losses, but still enough for me to take the snark out of this prediction. Pick: Charlotte Flair
Kyle Decker: A triple threat often protects the challenger and I think it will here. Though Bayley eventually costing Iyo her title is a distinct possibility, but I’m not feeling it just yet. Pick: Iyo Sky
Claire Elizabeth: Yeah this is the crack in Damage CTRL deepening— Bayley stuck her foot in her mouth again accepting the challenge (and I think there’s a nonzero chance that the real story here is a very “heel with no friends finally feels like she has real friends and doesn’t want to screw it up” beat rather than anything else) but not breaking, and IYO reigns to fight another day. Pick: IYO SKY
Cain A. Knight: It feels like they’ve already exhausted every combination of match featuring these three women. Pick: IYO SKY
Marcus Benjamin: They don’t take the belt away from IYO right now. At least I hope not. Pick: IYO SKY
Undisputed Tag Team Championship: The Judgment Day (c) vs. Cody Rhodes & Jey Uso
Geno Mrosko: I think this could work for either story, but what could be really interesting is newfound tension between Cody and Jey. Pick: The Judgment Day
Sean Rueter: Not sure either team should take a loss here, but let’s go ahead and inch The Judgment Day break-up angle forward. Pick: Cody Rhodes & Jey Uso
Kyle Decker: Judgment Day has felt like they’re on the verge of crumbling for months now. But I can’t see how they lose here. While Cody having the tag titles to allow him on SmackDown to start building a Roman feud could make sense, a Jey Uso singles push shouldn’t start with him winning the tag straps. Pick: Judgment Day
Claire Elizabeth: Cody Rhodes and One Uso as tag champions would be Very Funny, but Judgment Day will do what they always do— they’ll look like they’re about to fall apart, and then they’ll manage to come together just enough to keep going to the pay window. Pick: Judgment Day
Cain A. Knight: It would be strange to do the angle where someone from Raw needs to be traded to SmackDown as compensation for Jey Uso, only for Uso to then freely work both brands as a tag team champion. Pick: The Judgment Day
Marcus Benjamin: I do like the idea of Cody & Jey getting titles and causing a riff with them and the former tag champs. But I don’t see that happening here. Judgment Day is still the hottest group in the territory. This match is more their story than their opponents. So look for some JD McDonagh drama. Pick: Judgment Day
LWO & MYSTERY PARTNER vs. The Suit Profits
Geno Mrosko: The fact that they’re adding intrigue with a MYSTERY PARTNER makes me even more sure the heels are going over. Pick: The Suit Profits
Sean Rueter: The newly formed group shouldn’t lose, especially when the other group can use a loss on their inevitable slide toward villainy. Pick: Bobby Lashley & Street Profits
Kyle Decker: The Suit Profits aren’t losing an early feud and I still expect Santos to turn on Rey and winning that title eventually. The turn may not happen tonight, but it’s going to happen. Pick: The Suit Profits
Claire Elizabeth: They already did one weird fakeout where Bob tried to abandon the Profits so I feel like we’re on the back foot already, but whatever, heels win an undercard trios match and cement their position as a force to be reckoned with, sure. Pick: Bobby Lashley & Street Profits
Cain A. Knight: Lashley and the Street Profits need to pile up some wins right now, whereas the LWO can have some accidental gaffes between Rey and Santos. Pick: The Suit Profits
Marcus Benjamin: The Profits & Bobby gotta make this whole thing worth it. A newly formed group needs wins and this counts as a big one. Pick: Bobby Lashley & the Suit Profits
That’s how we see the card playing out.
How about you?