WWE Fastlane is 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 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.
Triple H wants nothing to do with Tony Khan’s playbook
Tonight’s card only has five matches announced at the time of this writing. That stands in stark contrast to last weekend’s AEW WrestleDream PPV, which Tony Khan stuffed with 14 total matches.
Ever since Triple H was named head of WWE creative over one year go, he has clearly preferred to scale back on the card size for WWE’s premium live events, trying to steer clear of those marathon length shows and not worried about getting every wrestler on the card. This may very well be the biggest difference in his booking compared to Khan, as they are nowhere close to being on the same page when it comes to structuring these special weekend events.
The biggest factor in their different approaches probably boils down to the fact that AEW’s business model depends on traditional PPV buy rates, while WWE does not. In other words, there is a stronger incentive for Khan to load up each PPV with as many stars as he can.
Even for Triple H’s more focused booking, it does seem like the Fastlane lineup is short a match or two. However, all five of the announced matches are reasonably important, featuring either championship stakes, top level stars, or a mystery reveal. I am curious to see if another match is added at the last minute; it’s certainly possible that Triple H will just run with these five matches and call it a night, which means Fastlane could live up to its moniker and have one of the shortest run times for a WWE PPV / PLE in years.
The full card
Here are the five segments that are currently advertised for Fastlane:
Seth Rollins (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura in a Last Man Standing match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Nakamura and Rollins headlined last month’s Payback event, and their feud probably ends right here with the Last Man Standing gimmick. Even though Nakamura lost at Payback, Seth was the one who needed help to leave the arena thanks to a post-match attack. The never-ending mind games and attacks on Seth made the champ so desperate that he totally caved in and granted Shinsuke a title rematch on whatever terms he desired. Nakamura chose a Last Man Standing match, playing off the fact that Seth’s back is severely compromised and there will come a point where he simply won’t be able to get up.
One thing to keep in mind here is that with only five matches announced for Fastlane, is it possible this is the night where Damian Priest cashes in his Money in the Bank contract on Rollins?
John Cena & LA Knight vs. Jimmy Uso & Solo Sikoa
Part-timer Roman Reigns missed out on Payback and Fastlane, but that’s okay because John Cena came back to save the day. The face that used to run the place was confronted by Jim Uso shortly after his return, which led to a swift Attitude Adjustment. Jimmy and Solo have targeted Cena since then. AJ Styles tried to fight by Cena’s side, but AJ quickly became a casualty during a backstage attack by The Bloodline that sent him off in an ambulance. Now it’s LA Knight’s turn to take the main event spotlight and whoop The Bloodline’s ass when Roman Reigns isn’t here. This is a huge deal for Knight to be put in this match alongside Cena.
IYO SKY (c) vs. Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair for the WWE Women’s Championship
Bianca Belair is taking time off from WWE, leaving these three women to fight over the gold on SmackDown. Bayley has played an integral role in the story, going out of her way to book IYO in this match while still interfering in all of SKY’s matches.
If Bayley keeps making life more complicated for the champ, IYO might just look for a change in their relationship, even if she does retain the belt at Fastlane.
Judgment Day vs. Cody Rhodes & Jey Uso for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship
For a while there it looked like Finn Balor and Damian Priest would not be able to co-exist in The Judgment Day, but things have become more tenable since they won the tag team belts last month at Payback. Even so, JD McDonagh is still driving Priest nuts, and Rhea Ripley still needs to keep everyone in line more often than should be necessary.
Cody Rhodes and Jey Uso are looking to take advantage of The Judgment Day’s inner turmoil by winning the belts at Fastlane. Dominik Mysterio initially tried to recruit Jey into the group, but things quickly got violent when Uso rejected the idea. Cody might be Jey’s only friend on the Raw roster right now, so he’s the one fighting by his side in this conflict.
Keep an eye out for Drew McIntyre possibly lurking somewhere in the shadows. He is frustrated with Cody’s decision to bring Jey over to Raw, so perhaps this is the night he’ll make Cody pay for pulling those strings. If not Drew, it’s possible The Bloodline will get involved. There is a WarGames match coming up next month, and The Judgment Day and The Bloodline worked together as recently as last night’s episode of SmackDown.
Rey Mysterio, Santos Escobar & Mystery Partner vs. Bobby Lashley & Street Profits
Lashley has taken the Street Profits under his wing and demanded an attitude change from them. Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford responded with an unprovoked attack on the LWO, which led to the announcement of a six man tag match at Fastlane. However, Lashley and the Profits took out Joaquin Wilde & Cruz Del Toro on the go-home show, which prompted Rey Mysterio to make a phone call for a new partner. Could it really be time for the return of Carlito?
Fastlane is the final PLE during this period where Roman Reigns is away, but WWE isn’t really missing a beat here thanks to the draw of John Cena and LA Knight wrestling together in the main event. The undercard is supported by three championship matches, at least two of which have interesting stories, and a mystery partner reveal that should lead to excitement.
What will you be looking for at Fastlane?