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WWE: Fastlane Does A Slow Burn

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The WWE’s last stop before Wrestlemania is Fastlane, and the event is set to happen on February 21 in Cleveland, Ohio. What happens in this event will go a long way to shaping what will happen in Dallas 6 weeks from now on April 3rd.

Fastlane has a couple of matches that are well worth the price of admission. But as someone who knows the WWE as well as I like to think I do, I am going to tell you just how the writers have booked this show leading up to Mania, and if they haven’t booked it this way, they should have.

Alberto Del Rio vs Kalisto U.S. Championship Best 2 out of 3 Falls

The first mistake the WWE made was booking this as the pre-show match. Any match that has Kalisto involved in it is ALWAYS worth watching. This guy is the kind of wrestler that makes your jaw drop (his Slammy Award is proof of that), and putting him with Del Rio was a stroke of genius. Hopefully it will allow Del Rio to draw the kind of heat he deserves. But for some reason they felt this match, even with the stipulation, didn’t rate.

What will happen in this match is pretty obvious at this point, Kalisto and Del Rio will each gain 1 pin fall, making it a winner take all 3rd pin fall. The LON will be at ringside, as per usual, and Wade Barret will attempt to hit Kalisto with a Bullhammer, he will of course hit Del Rio instead. Kalisto will sneak out of there with the 3rd pin fall, the win and his belt. After the match, Del Rio, Sheamus and Rusev will beat Barrett down for his mistake, basically ejecting him from the LON, all because Barrett has said his is leaving the WWE when his contract expires in June.

Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch vs Naomi & Tamina Snuka

I guess the first question I have about this match is why? Do we really need to see this? I mean I know they want to push the Diva’s and Sasha Banks is on fire right now, but really? OK, here’s what’s going to happen, Becky and Sasha will win a ho hum kind of match, then turn on each other when it is over.

Big Show, Ryback & Kane vs The Wyatt Family

This is a match that was kind of thrown together just to keep 6 guys busy. It should be a pretty solid match, but I would be shocked if the Wyatt’s didn’t win this rather quickly. I don’t want to give away why just yet (you will find out later in this column), but when you see why it will make total sense. I know the Wyatt’s are trying to take down the “Titans” and these 3 fit that bill, but it is also a way to make the Wyatt’s seem that much more invincible. For that reason, I like this match.

Dolph Ziggler vs Kevin Owens Intercontinental Championship

The writers seem to be getting lazy as we have seen this match before, several times. I will say that both guys work very well in the ring, and together they do a great job. So, even though this is a repeat match, it should be fun to watch. Both guys know each other very well, which makes for a solid battle.

Owens just won the belt back last Monday, and I can’t see him dropping it again this quickly. I think Owens keeps the belt until Wrestlemania, setting up a match with him and my guess is his former best friend, Sammy Zayn. Dolph, I am afraid is going to fall back into mid-card hell.

Brie Bella vs Charlotte Diva’s Championship

I was a huge Daniel Brian fan too, but that doesn’t mean I deserve a shot at the Diva’s title because he had to retire. What’s going to happen here is, they will give Brie the win, only to have her lose the rematch on the RAW following Fastlane. That way they can set up the triple threat Diva’s match that people will actually want to see, Charlotte vs Sasha vs Becky at Wrestlemania.

AJ Styles vs Chris Jericho

On another PPV, this could easily be the Main Event. This is one match I have really been looking forward to watching. Styles have made quite the splash in the WWE already, and I think the writers didn’t give the fans enough credit to know who he was.

His first two battles with Jericho have been very good, and this one promises to top the others. I think they have to have Styles win, getting him some good momentum heading into his first ever Wrestlemania. Here’s hoping that they put Styles in a great feud (like against Kevin Owens if the whole Sammy Zayn thing doesn’t happen) leading up to Mania.

Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns vs Dean Ambrose Triple Threat Match to face Triple H at Mania for the Title

This will be a better match than most people think, but sadly I think the “surprise ending” of it will not be any different than we all expect.

Triple H will be at ringside for this match, the Wyatt’s will come down (see I told you I would explain why their match couldn’t be too long) and take out Lesnar, setting up the battle of the Wyatt’s and Lesnar at Wrestlemania.

With Lesnar out of the way, Reigns and Ambrose will do battle, with Ambrose getting the win. Reigns and Ambrose will hug or bump fists to show their solidarity, when Triple H will get into the ring. Reigns will then make like he is going after Triple H, instead he will take out Ambrose. After he takes his former Shield brother apart, he will shake Triple H’s hand and show that he is the newest member of the Authority.

It is a heel turn that is the only way that will allow Reigns to become the fan favorite he will become when he makes his inevitable face turn in the next year or so. It will also allow Seth Rollins to come back as a face, as he will be pissed at The Authority for replacing him with Reigns.

There you have it, the WWE will think they are swerving everyone, when it is really quite apparent what will happen. I just hope the 6 weeks leading up to and the Wrestlemania event itself are better than what we have been so far.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

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