The Rope Break #33: WWE Fastlane 2018 Predictions

By Curtis Suthard – 3/10/2018

 

Only two weeks ago, I nearly ran away with a perfect score in my predictions for WWE’s Elimination Chamber PPV. Can I do it again with a show that I really don’t care so much about? Probably not, but I’ll take a stab at this one as I present, to you, my picks for this Sunday’s WWE Fastlane show. Let’s do it!

Credit: WWE.com

WWE Fastlane 2018 Predictions

Credit: WWE.com

Natalya & Carmella VS. Becky Lynch & Naomi: Welp, let’s start off with the match that I could least care about and the seemingly most hastily thrown together one. Smackdown’s Women’s division hasn’t really been on fire lately, which is a shame, because it’s got plenty of talent there. There just isn’t much going on within the division, story-wise, except at the top and there is only so much room in the spotlight. So, instead we get a last minute thrown together Tag Match with a few of their strongest competitors. Now, normally, I’d be picking whichever team Becky is a part of, but it seems like the only time Lynch wins is in the matches that don’t really matter. Granted, this one doesn’t either, but I don’t feel like being let down again, when inevitably Becky loses, and remains firmly in the mid- to lower-ranks. Plus, I sort of feel that the time for Carmella’s Money in the Bank cash-in is quickly approaching. Probably not at this show, unless they plan on wasting it, but I’m guessing at WrestleMania and a win here could boost her a bit.

Credit: WWE.com

My Pick: Natalya & Carmella

Credit: WWE.com

Rusev VS. Shinsuke Nakamura: Speaking about continuing a series of disappointments: Rusev is going to lose. Ugh, that hurt. It seems that no matter how much the crowd is getting behind the guy, with loud, booming chants of “Rusev Day” popping up randomly on Smackdown, RAW and everywhere else, WWE is never going to pull the trigger on the “Bulgarian Brute”. Nakamura, on the other hand, is on his way to WrestleMania and, more than likely, his first WWE Championship. Which means that nothing will be disrupting that momentum before his title match there.

Credit: WWE.com

My Pick: Shinsuke Nakamura

Credit: WWE.com

Bobby Roode VS. Randy Orton (United States Championship)So, I am going to go out on a bit of a limb here with this match. There are plenty of rumors swirling that Orton has been meaning to take some time off, possibly even missing WrestleMania. But, I tend to ignore most rumors, which may or may not help in this situation. But, I think that there is a decent to pretty good chance that Orton wins this one, as well as the US title. The commentary team has been persistent in mentioning over and over, that the United States Championship is the one title that Orton has yet to win. So, this one, for me at least, is a toss up. Roode has done a decent job as US Champ, not that that really means much right now, and he definitely gets a good reaction from the fans. But, I feel that this match is more of a setup for the US Championship’s defense at ‘Mania and Orton winning it could be beneficial there. I would also heavily wager on Jinder Mahal getting involved either during or following this match, as I see him being involved in the future match for the title, as well.

Credit: WWE.com

My Pick: Randy Orton

Credit: WWE.com

The New Day VS. The Usos (Smackdown Tag Team Championships): Normally, I start to poo-poo all over never-ending feuds, but not this one. Both of these teams have been putting on some of the best matches of the last few years and it should always be exciting when the prospect of them facing off comes up. Will it eventually wear out it’s welcome? Let’s hope not, but who knows? So, who (who, who WHO!) wins this match and heads to ‘Mania, as Smackdown’s Tag Team Champions? Every bone in my body screams that the New Day will take this one, possibly setting up a rematch for the “Showcase of the Immortals” and giving this feud a place on the card for the show. A New Day win will also give these two teams some time to do a proper build up for what could be billed as the end of the rivalry, something that is lacking from this match. Not that they need much of a lead in with the history that they already have. But, if handled properly this could be a major highlight on the loaded WrestleMania card.

Credit: WWE.com

My Pick: The New Day

Credit: WWE.com

Ruby Riot VS. Charlotte Flair (Smackdown Women’s Championship): On any other show, I’d really be looking forward to this one. Ruby is great and I’m sure that she and Charlotte will put on a good match, but there is no chance for her to score a win. Again, the shadow of WrestleMania is affecting this match, which makes the outcome feel pretty predictable. Now, I’m not so sure what the plans will be for Charlotte at the big show, though, but I seriously doubt that it could begin with her walking onto the stage without the Smackdown Women’s title around her waist. I think that the bigger thrill here could come from Carmella interfering and cashing in her Money in the Bank title shot (which, I doubt will happen) or the rumored Asuka appearance and possible challenge (which, I doubt will happen even more).

Credit: WWE.com

My Pick: Charlotte Flair

Credit: WWE.com

A.J. Styles VS. Dolph Ziggler VS. Baron Corbin VS. Sami Zayn VS. Kevin Owens VS. (sigh) John Cena (6-Pack Challenge for the WWE Championship): Let me just say this up front: A.J. Styles is going to win and head to WrestleMania as WWE Champion to face Shinsuke Nakamura, period. With that out of the way, let’s focus on what really matters in this match, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Before this past week’s Smackdown Main Event, I couldn’t have really cared too much about this match. It seemed to be a possibly fun one, with a predictable outcome. But, then Smackdown had a Fatal 5-Way, with everyone from this match except Cena, in a warm up, of sorts, for Fastlane. The match was good. But, in the closing moments, it went from good to great, as Sami Zayn scored a Helluva Kick on his unaware best friend, Kevin Owens and scored the win. This betrayal was going to happen, there was no question about that. The question was: when? And, by having Sami stab Owens in the back, a whole new dimension of drama was added to this match. Finally, some compelling story being inserted into one of these. I’m sure that this will lead to some sort of major confrontation between Zayn and Owens at WrestleMania (or at least, it should). Corbin and Ziggler are there because both guys are good and deserve to be, though they both seem to be just running in place. Who knows where they’re heading afterwards?

And then there’s Cena, who really only seems to be there for one or two reasons that I can think of. 1) To make us all clench our sphincters a bit in fear at the prospect of him scoring a record-setting win and ruining the Styles VS. Nakamura match we all want. & 2) To lose and help set up his WrestleMania match with ‘Taker or whoever. Though, his opponent may not be revealed on this show. Why not have Cena and Ziggler set up a “Loser Leaves WWE” match or something, with Dolph scoring the win at ‘Mania? Won’t happen, but I’d be into that one.

Credit: WWE.com

My Pick: A.J. Styles

 

So, there we go. Will I be on fire like I was just a few weeks ago or will I crash and burn, like I do every other PPV? Check back here on Monday for either my gloating (if I do well) or my silence on the subject (when I get more then a few wrong) as well as my review on the whole shebang. Until then, check us out on our Facebook page, consider giving us a Like or a Follow to keep up with everything we do, including our weekly podcasts. Feel free to drop me a line at Curt@nerdnationradio.com or go on and leave a comment. It’d be nice to get a few real comments, as opposed to the daily Spam stuff.