About Us  |   Contact

WWE Fast Lane 2016 Preview and Predictions

The biggest news of the last few weeks seems to not really revolve around WWE Fast Lane, taking place this Sunday. Titus O’Neil being suspended, Daniel Bryan retiring and a whole bunch of other news seems to have put this show in the back burner. On paper, this looks like a fun card. But in terms of presentation and execution, it feels a bit lackluster. There’s big stipulations on the line, but it seems clear who will be taking on Triple H at WrestleMania. The February PPV is always aimed to kick off the buildup towards WrestleMania. Will this card do that, or will we simply see a bunch of matches that will eventually lead us towards that build in the last few weeks before WrestleMania?

 

Staff roundtable for this month (along with their current Pickem stats!):

Bryan Rose (New Japan reporter) (4 points)

Alan O’Brien (WWE Main Event reporter) (5 points)

PeachMachine (Violoncelloist / Kremenologist) (0 points)

James Cox (WWE Superstars reporter and WWE DVD reviewer) (0 points)

Kyle S. Johnson (Columnist) (6 points)

Steve Khan (WWE Smackdown reporter) (3 points)

 

United States Championship: Kallisto vs. Alberto del Rio (2 out of 3 Falls Match)

Bryan Rose: This feels like a nothing feud. I think Alberto del Rio has won the last two weeks in generic tags, including pinning Kallisto. For Kallisto, it’s one of these pushes where they had something, but then because he’s small, “has to fight for every win”, which is WWE code for he loses a lot. When Kallisto initially won the title it was a really cool moment because it was something WWE almost never does, and gave Kallisto instant credibility as a new guy they can move towards. A month later, Kallisto is back to feeling like just another guy on the roster. And now that Sin Cara is back teaming with him, most likely this is the match where Alberto regains the championship.

Winner: Alberto del Rio

Alan O’Brien: This is the toughest match on the card to call, for me. With the feud already 50/50ed at two apiece, the only booking hint one can point to is the string of losses The Lucha Dragons have sustained at the hands of Del Rio’s League of Nations in recent weeks. Beating Kalisto with this regularity might ordinarily indicate that he’s keeping the strap, given they way they think; but he’s only taken the fall himself on a single occasion. As such, I’m taking a shot in the dark here really; Del Rio to win by nefarious means, potentially leading into the Wrestlemania rematch nobody wanted. Let’s face it, he’s got nothing going on at the minute, while Kalisto has the fallback of his newly returned tag team partner.

Winner: Alberto Del Rio

PeachMachine: I’m taking Kalisto. I just don’t think Al of the River will have what it takes to keep the young spry luchador at bay. Plus my guess is that they are disbanding the League of Nations, and hopefully changing it to the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. They’ve already got the Beast (Rusev), the Scientist (technically chemist if you look at Del Rio’s bod), and the Invisible Man (Sheamus).

Winner: The man under Kalisto’s mask

James Cox: Who knows what they are planning to do with any of these League of Nations guys. It's been enough of a ‘push’ to make Wade Barrett give notice. Does that mean they change things up? Probably not. I think they need to blow this feud off and keep the title on Kalisto for a while. 2 out of 3 falls matches tend to be a bit pointless and this one feels the same: it means they can keep Del Rio strong by having Kalisto steal a win - the ideal way to book a champion, right?

Winner: Kalisto

Kyle S. Johnson: I had, honest to god, completely forgotten these two were having a match until I started writing my predictions. Kalisto has already started teaming with Sin Cara again, and he’s done almost nothing of note since getting the U.S. Championship back at the Rumble, so he’s already cooled off quite a bit from the buzz he built for himself at TLC. The fact that there is at least a fallback direction for Kalisto while Del Rio suddenly feels completely without purpose leads me to believe that Alberto is just going to win the belt back here and take it into Wrestlemania. Neither guy seems to be angled to do anything different moving forward, so I wouldn’t be shocked if they just wind up wrestling again in Dallas, perhaps in a in a luchas de apuestas.

Winner: Alberto Del Rio

Steve Khan: I thought Del Rio would retain at the Rumble since it seemed like the long-term plan was to have the belt on him. Kalisto’s win was likely just to stretch this out until Sin Cara got back. I’m not sure why Kalisto can’t be U.S. Champion and in a good tag-team at the same time, but apparently he can’t.

Winner: Alberto Del Rio

Diva’s Championship: Charlotte (c) vs. Brie Bella

Bryan Rose: I’ve actually kind of liked the build towards this. I mean yeah, alright, it’s basically piggybacking off the Daniel Bryan stuff from a week ago. But the interview segment they had on Raw was one of the better angles they’ve done in this division as of late, and it does give Brie Bella some babyface credibility at a time when she’s probably needed it the most since her character as a whole is largely inconsistent. I don’t see Bella winning since she has intentions on leaving, though they could do the swerve win to honor Daniel Bryan. I think they have plans for what’s going down at WrestleMania,  however, and I don’t think Brie fits into them.

Winner: Charlotte

Alan O’Brien: While it’s possible they may give Brie her pre-retirement “moment”, I think it's far more likely that they will opt to stretch Charlotte’s reign ahead of her inevitable ‘Mania triple threat match against Sasha and Becky. Giving the strap to Brie for a cup of coffee doesn’t really do anyone any favours.

Winner: Charlotte

PeachMachine: I think Brie Bella will win. WWE wants to capitalize on the D. Bryan momentum. Even though Charlotte’s abs look similar to Lesnar’s, I like B. Danielson to take home the Labia title.

Winner: Sweet D.

James Cox: It makes sense to put the title on Brie here. They can take it off her before she leaves but her and Daniel Bryan to celebrate in the ring together seems like a good way to go. She has won it before, but they can still make it look like a big deal - especially with Nikki out injured and Bryan having just retired. If they wanted, I guess they could even build this up to a retirement match/angle at WrestleMania or this summer.

Winner: Brie Bella

Kyle S. Johnson: This has been an unusual month or so for the women of the WWE. All signs seemed to be pointing to building Sasha vs. Charlotte at Wrestlemania while possibly keeping Becky Lynch in the picture at the same time, and then the next thing you know, Becky and Sasha are buddying up and Charlotte is wrestling Brie on a one-week build. Giving a suddenly-face Brie a championship match out of nowhere after being beaten constantly for three months would be a mind-boggling (if not completely unsurprising) development were it not for the retirement of Daniel Bryan, but having Charlotte beat Brie and then move on to a three-way with Becky and Sasha at Mania seems like the logical end-game here.

Winner: Charlotte

Steve Khan: This worked out nicely as a quick program for Charlotte, who can successfully defend her belt while they set up Banks and/or Lynch for a Mania title match. There’s no reason for Brie to win. The match itself should be ok, and all the Yes chants should help.

Winner: Charlotte

AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho

Bryan Rose: This is going to be pretty good. Presentation wise I’ve kind of hated this feud as they keep calling him the “Rookie Redneck” and “the Pitbull” because he’s a) short and has to fight for everything he has (sound familiar?), b) from Georgia and c) has wrestled everywhere but WWE. Aside from all that, AJ has been good, not great in his WWE run so far. Maybe with more time and a PPV atmosphere, AJ and Styles can go out there and have a fantastic match. I don’t think Jericho needs the win in this series, so I’m giving it to Styles.

Winner: AJ Styles

Alan O’Brien: Possible show-stealer here, given how much of an upgrade the second match was on the disappointing first. The result is in no doubt, however; Styles victory all the way, with the added potential of a post-match Jericho heel turn.

Winner: AJ Styles

PeachMachine: Jericho. AJ is getting over too fast. WWE hates success and money.

Winner: The fans (sniiiiiiffffffffffff)

James Cox: I don't really mind what they do, this and the main event make this show worth watching. I assume that they are going to spin this feud out to WrestleMania - and so they should. 50/50 booking ‘logic’ says that Jericho gets a win here. Styles should win at WrestleMania to keep the fans happy.

Winner: Chris Jericho

Kyle S. Johnson: This should be great. Say what you will about the build, with the ridiculous sub-branding of AJ Styles as a “pitbull” and a “redneck rookie” and the involvement of The Miz, but this could very well be the match of the show by a wide margin if given the right amount of time and the right approach. Beating AJ doesn’t make any sense here unless the plan is to have these two wrestle again at Wrestlemania, and while I would have no complaints if that would be the ultimate direction, it would still make more sense to have Styles win and Jericho make a full heel turn after the fact to lead into their next match. I expect these two to go in with the goal of having the best match on the show, and if that’s what they have in mind, there’s no reason to suspect they won’t deliver.

Winner: AJ Styles

Steve Khan: Whatever the plan is with Jericho, Styles has to win this match.

Winner: AJ Styles

Ryback, Kane and Big Show vs. The Wyatt Family (Erik Rowan, Luke Harper and Braun Strowman)

Bryan Rose: I fell asleep during the main event from Raw. And from what I’ve heard, I didn’t miss much. This is just not very compelling in the least bit. It’s all designed for Vince McMahon’s latest pet project, Braun Strowman. He’s tall. That’s all you need to know about why Vince likes the guy. I’m sure he’ll develop into something good, as it does seem like he has a ton of potential and has a good look, but I just think out of everyone you signed, you pushed this guy because...he’s tall. Well, whatever. I don’t have any other thoughts on this match other than I hope it’s short because as a match, it looks like it has zero potential to be anything but plodding. Wyatts win.

Winners: Wyatts

Alan O’Brien: The only winner here is Vince, with these six hosses bound to “set a methodical pace”, as Good Ol’ JR used to say. I cannot possibly fathom anything other than a victory for Strowman et al. Only the Edge/Christian/New Day segment could possibly be more “bowling shoe ugly” than this one is sure to be.

Winner: The Wyatt Family

PeachMachine: Uh, BIG SHOW! He’s got the Knock Out Punch! It’s literally the best finisher ever. He’s super big and strong and hits you super hard and knocks people out. He should be all the champions.

Winner: The Impressive Spectacle, Kane, and Growth Hormone or whatever his name is

James Cox: So Big Show said on the Stone Cold Podcast that he reckoned he had another two years left. What about Kane? I figure he’s only back due to all the injuries on the roster. I could see him bowing out at WrestleMania, but I don’t know who against. Wyatts don’t need to win here because they’re going to interfere in the main event, but I’ll say that they do because otherwise there are too many babyface wins on this card.

Winner: Wyatts

Kyle S. Johnson: Big Show was pretty great on Austin’s podcast on Monday. This feud, on the other hand, has not been great. At all. There has been absolutely nothing done in the past four weeks to make me care about anyone involved in this match, apart perhaps from Ryback’s ridiculous sunset flip thing on Luke Harper last Monday. Kane, Show, and The Big Guy have no direction whatsoever leading into Wrestlemania, so having them go over here makes no sense. I presume that the Wyatts will come out looking strong so that Bray can ultimately lose to somebody (probably Brock) at Wrestlemania.

Winner: The Wyatt Family

Steve Khan: This show seems awfully predictable, and with Bray not in this match, I could see this as an opening for the good guys to win and surprise everyone. That would be pretty dumb though, and this is the time of year the company does fewer dumb things than usual.

Winner: The Wyatt Family

Intercontinental Championship: Kevin Owens (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler

Bryan Rose: On paper, this sounds great. Owens is a really special performer. Ziggler is great. But here is the problem: I’ve seen this. They’ve had two very long, pretty great matches on Raw in the last two weeks. Ziggler won both of those cleanly. Now, I understand all of that was build towards this match. But it doesn’t forego the fact that I’ve seen this. A lot of times. I’m sure it’ll be great, but the build towards this has been lackluster, and they haven’t given me much reason why I should care about a third outing when Ziggler’s beaten him twice. I say Owens retains, but who knows.

Winner: Kevin Owens

Alan O’Brien: Ziggler has beaten Owens twice; that alone, in 50/50 land, is evidence enough that Owens will be getting one of his wins back on Sunday. Add to that the fact that he will have held the strap for less than a week and you’ve got yourself a lock.

Winner: Kevin Owens

PeachMachine: I like Ziggler here. I feel like they put the belt on KO just because they want him to drop it to Zigs and do the double turn and the rematch at mania.

Winner: The Z-man jr.

James Cox: Kevin Owens to retain. Longer term, it would be good to see Owens and Styles go at it. Ziggler doesn’t need a title, but if they do give it to him, they ought to turn him heel. Owens at Ziggler at Mania would be fine but there are more exciting options. I hope they are creative with the finish; Owens’ PPV matches have always seemed to offer something fresh since he started with the company.

Winner: Kevin Owens

Kyle S. Johnson: These two are probably going to have a really fun match, but having seen this so many times already in the span of a month kills a lot of the intrigue, even if those matches were also a lot of fun. This match certainly would have a bigger air about it if Ziggler was booked better, but he hasn’t been, so it doesn’t. Owens just won the belt on Monday, and he’s not going to lose it here. Here’s hoping that this feud ends with the quickness and the next weeks lead to Owens vs. Zayn at ‘Mania.

Winner: Kevin Owens

Steve Khan: Owens should win and he probably will.

Winner: Kevin Owens

Becky Lynch & Sasha Banks vs. Naomi & Tamina

Bryan Rose: I don’t really have much to say about this. Just seems like filler in between whatever the real Diva’s title match is going to be at WrestleMania. Sasha and Becky as the team that doesn’t always get along is so tired, especially after they’ve broken up all the teams they set up in the summer over the last few months. They get the win, maybe leading to a three way with Charlotte for the Diva’s title at WrestleMania. That’d be a nice story, to see the NXT women from last year headline their division at WrestleMania a year later.

Winners: Lynch and Banks

Alan O’Brien: This match surely only exists to build Sasha and Becky for their slated triple threat match at ‘Mania with champion, Charlotte. Anything other than a victory for the babyfaces would be a bafflingly strange outcome.

Winner: Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks

PeachMachine: Banks. I hate Lynch. She’s disgusting and terrible. Sasha’s entrance music is the greatest thing since declaring that you rule in 6th grade. “I’m on top of the playground! I rule!” Yes you do, Billy. You rule.

Winner: Sasha Banks only

James Cox: I think that Naomi and Tamina should win this to finally break up this on-again, off-again nonsense between Banks and Lynch. Banks ought to be involved at WrestleMania, in front of that kind of crowd she’ll be beloved.

Winners: Naomi & Tamina

Kyle S. Johnson: What can you say about this cobbled together placeholder match? Banks and Lynch should be primed for a three-way Divas Championship match at Wrestlemania, so I expect them to tease dissention as a team but ultimately get a convincing win to put them into position.

Winners: Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch

Steve Khan: A threeway at Mania seems likely, but even if it isn’t, Lynch and Banks should both go over strong. I can see a double submission spot as the finish (Lynch with the Disarmer, Sasha with the Bank Statement).

Winner: Lynch & Banks

Winner Goes to Headline WrestleMania: Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar

Bryan Rose: This is supposed to be a match that causes a lot of intrigue, but for me it’s more along the lines of...well, this is predictable. Not that predictable is bad, because when WWE is unpredictable things could be worse. But I think I mostly know how this’ll go. Wyatt will come out and allow Reigns to get the win, probably over Ambrose. What they do with Ambrose after this will be the most interesting thing coming out of this match, as they’ve been teasing a turn between him and Reigns forever. It’ll be interesting to see if it actually happens. Even though the intrigue of the match isn’t completely there, I think if they go all out this could actually steal the show.  If that actually happens or not, we’ll have to wait and see! Roman wins, though, as HHH/Reigns is the only match I see headlining WrestleMania at this point.

Winner: Roman Reigns

Alan O’Brien: Gotta go with the predictable outcome here, I’m afraid. Dean is in the match to take the fall. Lesnar may also be further protected by finding himself taken out of the equation by the Wyatts. Roman’s pinfall victory over his “brother” will both propel him to ‘Mania and fuel Ambrose’s future heel turn. Finally, HHH’s receipt of the Legacy of Excellence Award on Monday night will serve to restart he and Roman’s oh-so-thrilling program. Yay. Looking forward to six weeks of the insecure nerd telling Reigns he should have a bone through his nose, before hitting him with the Pedigree and pinning him after lying around for five minutes. Or not, whatever.

 

Winner: Roman Reigns

PeachMachine: Trips comes to the ring, tosses Lesnar the belt, he drills Romanowski with it for the KO and the win, and Lesnar joins the Authority and is expected to lay down for the game at Mania. And he does with no qualms. HHH is champion forever. Winner: No one.

James Cox: WWE generally do what is obvious every year en route to WrestleMania. No difference here. Wyatts take out Lesnar and Reigns beats Ambrose. I think the tease an Ambrose/Reigns turn but save it for later. Before the interruptions and post-match shenanigans, I think this will be a great match. All I’ll say, is thank god for Brock Lesnar.

Winner: Roman Reigns

Kyle S. Johnson: I have to give credit where it’s due in that WWE would be doing a great job of convincing the audience that Brock or Dean might win this match...were it not for the fact that Roman winning is the only possible outcome. Granted, that’s not a bad thing: the story demands Roman against Triple H at Wrestlemania, and so that’s what we’re going to get. What will be interesting is to see how this match is constructed, and how much it teases Ambrose potentially turning heel. Roman’s win will likely be set up by The Wyatts laying out Lesnar as he is primed to win (even if that completely disregards the endless months of Bray’s “anyone but you” mantra), and it makes sense for Dean to take the pin and use the loss as fuel for a vendetta against his former partner after he takes the title back at Wrestlemania.

Winner: Roman Reigns

Steve Khan: So this should be interesting. They’ve done a good job of focusing on the two guys not named Roman Reigns, leading us to think maybe he won’t win. But he probably will. They’ve changed plans before, but at this point they might as well go with Reigns and Triple H. If the Wyatts cost Lesnar the match, that will cheapen Reigns’ win, so they have to be careful. The Wyatts could abduct Lesnar near the end of the match, leaving it down to Reigns and Ambrose. Reigns can pin Ambrose again, leading to Ambrose’s turn down the line.

Winner: Roman Reigns