Forgive me if this Forecast isn’t as sharp as it could be; two things contribute to this. For one, I had to upload four different Forecasts on the Grammy Awards in order to cover the pop, rock/alternative, rap, R&B, country, soundtrack, music video, and Big 4 categories; between listening to the material I had yet to be fully exposed to, typing, formatting, and making the graphics for that, I was so exhausted I decided not to do a Tuesday Top 10. Basically, I needed to take a few days off and, and even though I’m not sure if my mind is completely back on yet, I insisted on Forecasting Fastlane anyway. The second reason is because it’s Fastlane; it’s a filler pay-per-view. The February PPV has always been filler, just a gas station bathroom break on the road trip from Royal Rumble to WrestleMania. Sure, that was true in the days of No Way Out too, but at least No Way Out had an identity of some kind. It’s also the 2003 edition of the show that introduced me to a band called Evanescence, so I’m grateful for that. This is only the second Fastlane show, and so far, I would say that it lacks identity. As far as a theme goes, we have race cars; wasn’t that the theme for Over The Limit?
But the point is, I honestly can’t say I’m super hyped for this show. But when I started the FearlessRiOT Forecast, I promised myself that I would look at every WWE PPV and NXT live event from top-to-bottom and predict who would come out on top (while also considering whether to branch out and do ROH and SHINE Wrestling events too, but I have yet to go through with those). This includes the monkey-in-the-middle of WrestleMania season, and seeing as I’m trying to undergo this new initiative where I actually try to keep promises to myself, I have to look at this card of matches with mostly blatantly-obvious outcomes and predict who will win as if I don’t have a clue. (I am SO ready to do a WrestleMania Forecast; I just hope the card we get stuck with isn’t as underwhelming as the WrestleMania 29 card was.) Let’s see what we have to look forward to on Sunday!
WWE United States Championship
Kalisto © vs. Alberto Del Rio
This one ALMOST joined the Ziggler/Owens camp (which I will get to later) as far as constant tired rematches go. Like Ziggler and Owens, Kalisto and Del Rio have faced each other a ton in the past couple of months, either in one-on-one action while Kalisto’s partner healed his graham-cracker limbs or tag team action when Señor Botch returned. Sometimes the United States Championship has been on the line and sometimes not. In a RAW moment for the ages, Kalisto defeated Del Rio in January to win the United States Championship…only to lose it back to Del Rio at the Smackdown tapings literally the following day. Come the Royal Rumble, Kalisto would win the championship back and has had it since, leading you to wonder why they even had Del Rio win it back so soon in the first place. And now he has yet another opportunity to win it back when they meet on Sunday.
Who I Want to Win: Kalisto; I ain’t here for another Del Rio title reign.
Who Will Win: Probably Del Rio, just to send him into WrestleMania with the title. If that does happen, I’m cheering for another hot potato move by having him lose it in Texas.
Six-Man Tag Team Match
Ryback, Kane, & Big Show vs. The Wyatt Family
So there are two matches on this card that I am no-joke, honest-to-God not looking forward to seeing, and it is time to discuss one of them. From what I can tell, this feud started at the Royal Rumble when big man Braun Strowman eliminated two veterans just as big as he is, Kane and The Big Show. And Ryback (who’s deliberately trying to be a Goldberg clone now just for kicks) came along to help for God knows what reason and now the three must take on the entire family at Fastlane. I’m sorry to say that I haven’t been invested in this angle at all; in fact, during their main event segment this past Monday on RAW, I had my eyes locked on the Grammys to see who would win Album of the Year and when Beyoncé would finally grace the stage. That said, does this mean that I don’t care who wins the match?
Who I Want to Win: That’s exactly what it means; I have no investment in this match.
Who Will Win: The Wyatt Family, I think, so they can move into WrestleMania strong so Wyatt’s WM losing streak can continue.
The Cutting Edge Peep Show
Edge & Christian Interview The New Day
You can tell this isn’t gonna be a match because Edge is in the graphic, and not as someone’s manager. Like Steve Austin before him and Daniel Bryan after, life-threatening injuries forced The Rated-R Superstar to retire in 2011 and since then, his acting career has gotten off the ground, with him being killed off on The Flash and notching numerous appearances on Haven. Christian is also technically retired, not that you’d know it since they didn’t make a big deal out of it or anything. But luckily, the innovators of the Five-Second Pose have stuck around the WWE Universe with the occasional hilarious cameo appearances; they also have a sketch comedy show premiering on the WWE Network after Fastlane and it will totally be reeking of awesomeness. But before we get to see it, the pair will interview three men who are basically their modern-day melanin equivalents (musical instrument included), The New Day, their second confrontation with the team.
What I Want To Happen: Absolute hilarity between two of WWE’s funniest teams!
What Will Happen: Absolute hilarity…and hopefully no racially insensitive jokes, because wrestling Twitter didn’t even let Ric Flair kissing Becky Lynch slide, so they would be on WWE’s ass if they did anything like that, especially on Black History Month. More kazoo-eating from Big E, however; I am all for that.
Divas Tag Team Match
Team BAE vs. Team BAD
I didn’t dub Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch as Team BAE; I actually hate the term ‘bae’, to be perfectly honest. That was what they were known as back when they were a tag team on NXT who constantly gave Bayley a hard time. Since breaking up, they’ve been mortal enemies, having put on entertaining matches with one another ever since NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable. But now the two have a common enemy in the form of Team BAD, Sasha’s former alliance. Naomi and Tamina haven’t taken kindly to Sasha Banks breaking their bond of UNITY (too bad they never got the rights to use the classic Queen Latifah song as entrance music) and they plan to inflict some pain on her. The Boss has reunited with the Lass Kicker and the two will take on Naomi and Tamina in a match that I am 95% positive will end up being a rematch the next night on RAW.
Who I Want to Win: Sasha and Becky, so they can move into WM with momentum.
Who Will Win: Sasha an Becky for the same reason I want them to win.
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Kevin Owens © vs. Dolph Ziggler
It was inevitable that we’d have to acknowledge that a majority of matches on this show are in fact rematches, and of all the rematches on this card, this is the one I’m least looking forward to. There are certain rematches I don’t mind watching over and over; Paige and Alicia Fox faced each other about 72 times in 2014 alone and I never got bored with it, largely because of their chemistry and tendency to switch things up when facing one another. By comparison, Ziggler vs. Owens has become Sheamus vs. Randy Orton in record time; tons of talent leaving it all in the ring all for the opportunity to say “They Won” until a week or two later when they have to do the exact same match again with a maybe different outcome. Do they have chemistry? I guess, but all their matches seem super identical and seem to take place EVERY week now. Luckily, there’s actually something at stake this time as Owens actually managed to win the Intercontinental Championship this Monday in a Fatal Five-Way match that I saw most of and actually enjoyed when switching back and forth between RAW and The Grammys.
Who I Want to Win: Kevin Owens; does Ziggler really need any more IC Titles?
Who Will Win: Kevin Owens; I’d argue the reason why is because he just won the title, but after the Kalisto/Del Rio thing, I know that reason doesn’t hold much merit.
WWE Divas Championship
Charlotte © vs. Brie Bella
So at the Royal Rumble, they teased Sasha Banks going after Charlotte’s Divas Championship, but it appears that match (or maybe a Triple Threat that also includes Becky Lynch) will not be taking place until WrestleMania, so to prevent the angle from getting stale in this era of short-term, repetitive booking, both ladies are in what could be considered ‘filler feuds’. Sasha and Becky are at war with Team B.A.D. while Charlotte finds herself defending the championship against Brie Bella, a Diva whose husband just had one of the sport’s most emotional retirements and who’s record-breaking sister just underwent neck surgery. The woman I love referring to as Brianna Mode (you can probably guess why) hasn’t held the Divas Championship since the far away time of 2011 when she defeated Queen Eve Torres via Twin Magic for the title on RAW; could Brie be taking her second Divas Championship this year?
Who I Want to Win: Taylor Swift. She just won three Grammys; can she make a run it, cash one of them in, and win the title here? …..No. Damn it.
Who Will Win: Charlotte. I don’t think this will be one of those situations where a person gets a sympathy reign for the hard time they’re going through, so I don’t see the soon-to-be-retired Bella Twin winning the title here.
The Rubber Match
AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho
Like I said, we got a ton of rematches here; not surprise seeing as we’re basically in the Constant Rematch Era of WWE. In the case of Styles vs. Jericho, that’s not meant to dampen any level of excitement because their storyline, which features Kylo Miz as a third wheel, has actually been pretty entertaining and I feel like it’s helping both performers. Chris Jericho doesn’t have to come out every week and tell jokes and make references so corny, even Arthur’s dad would ridicule him; he’s coming out and testing AJ to see if he has what it takes to float in the shores of WWE. AJ Styles keeps rising to the occasion and delivering in the ring without having to talk on the mic much; it’s kinda of no secret that on a scale of Eva Marie to The Rock, Styles is probably slightly below Jeff Hardy when it comes to microphone skills. But if any superstar can overcome that and let his wrestling do the talking, it’s Styles.
Who I Want to Win: AJ Styles; Mr. Fozzy Frontman is here to put people over and I’d love if he does so far The Phenomenal One.
Who Will Win: AJ Styles, leading to AJ going into his first WrestleMania with momentum assuming he doesn’t break a limb between now and then.
Triple Threat Match for the #1 Contendership to the WWE World Championship
Brock Lesnar © vs. Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose
To the untrained, non-thinking eye, this match is just a formality and the winner of the match is obvious from a mile away. WWE has been trying to build up Roman Reigns to be the face of the company for well over a year now. To say that it hasn’t worked is kind of selling it short; the fans have crapped on the entire experiment. But you have to give it to WWE in that they are resilient and refuse to give up. They continue to try to make Roman Reigns happen and unlike last year’s Road to WrestleMania, it seems like they won’t be swayed away from doing it this time around. At Fastlane, Roman steps back into the ring against the main he faced in the main event of WrestleMania Play Button, Brock Lesnar. But there’s an extra cook in the kitchen in his BFF Dean Ambrose, who has proven recently that he kind of has a bit of a death wish. That could be dangerous at Fastlane, but will it be dangerous more for him or his opponents?
Who I Want to Win: Dean Ambrose! I am one of the many fans hungry for Ambrose to win the title for real! But…
Who Will Win: Roman Reigns and you all know it. Time to prepare for Reigns vs. HHH.
Do you agree with the forecast? Who do you see winning at Fastlane? Who are you rooting for to win? Tag me on Twitter@FearlessRiOT and let me know or leave a comment below. Then check out Fastlane on the WWE Network this Sunday to see which predictions come true. Hope you all enjoy the show!