WWE FastLane 2015 Preview/Predictions
Posted by Nicholas Jason Lopez
The story here is for who though?
Daniel Bryan’s early Royal Rumble elimination caused strong fan backlash in Philly and on Twitter as #CancelWWENetwork trended at one point. Roman Reigns received the strong end of this backlash as fans felt he was being “shoved down their throat,” making it the second consecutive year WWE has probably had to alter “Road to WrestleMania” plans to appease the diehards.
This year, Bryan had the perfect comeback story, returning from a sidelining injury to get back on top, as he never had a “true” WWE World Heavyweight Championship reign. Couple that with Brock Lesnar’s likely numbered days and this seemed like a match already made.
WWE sees different though and that’s why Reigns won the Rumble and was set to face Lesnar. Pitting Bryan and Reigns against each other was a risky move that likely dampened both men’s popularity, but the brawl at the end of Raw was the one shining moment here.
The focus of the card is undoubtedly on this match, but there is an undercard, likely just thrown together besides the other noteworthy events like John Cena-Rusev and Triple H’s advertised face-to-face with Sting.
Below is a run-through of official matches on the card and a predicted result.
– Divas Championship – Nikki Bella (Champion) vs. Paige: This feud has followed the typical high school storylines of WWE Divas – which is a shame, because it should mean so much more. Paige has been cast as the top face in the division, which is all fine and good. She has an “out there” personality, but has it together enough to make fans want to root for her. She’s quite popular on the internet for her “not giving a damn” personality. If WWE embraced this side of her on TV, she’d be more popular. Instead, they have her doing things like getting spray tanned and wearing fairy dresses. The Bellas don’t help this “high school” dilemma either and with the momentum on their side, we just can’t see Paige uncrowning Nikki at this moment. Look for Nikki to win with help from her sister. Paige gets her moment soon, but more likely at WrestleMania.
Prediction: Nikki Bella
– Goldust vs. Stardust: This has been a feud that has picked up as of late, more focused on the family aspect of things. This has been building up for some time, drawing tension with Stardust growing frustrated with constant losses and Goldust wanting his brother back, as his new, darker “Stardust” personality has eaten him up like a cancer. The story is rather solid and it was smart to bring in Dusty Rhodes for things. Where does this lead? Not quite sure, but we can hope that Cody Rhodes eventually comes back to “human status.” This will take some time, and since it’s still in the “building” process of the feud, it makes sense for Stardust to win here, to keep things going until WrestleMania.
– Six-Man Tag Match – Dolph Ziggler/Erick Rowan/Ryback vs. The Big Show/Kane/Seth Rollins: Probably the “time filler” match on the card. WWE has this weird obsession with keeping the “fired/rehired trio” together and just don’t understand that it’s not increasing their popularity one bit. Ziggler is no more popular now than he was before this team was formed. Ryback is in the same situation, as his character feels to be in a holding pattern despite being a face again. Rowan has probably benefited the most, but even then – what has he truly gained from being paired with these guys? His music is still boring and he has no personality. The Authority still remains strong and that’s mainly because of Rollins, as fans are quite tired of Show and Kane and not even in that true heel heat fashion – it’s “go-away heat.” Nobody cares what happens with Show and Kane and if Show turns face for the 457th time in the last two years, that doesn’t make it any more exciting. This will probably turn out to be a decent match, but with Ziggler/Rowan/Ryback having nothing to gain with a win, why not take the chance to give The Authority more bragging rights?
Prediction: The Big Show/Kane/Seth Rollins
– Intercontinental Championship – Bad News Barrett (Champion) vs. Dean Ambrose: This all started with Ambrose looking at the wall of Intercontinental Champions at WWE Headquarters on the day of a blizzard and deciding he was due a match once he defeated Barrett, tracking him down to get him to forcibly sign a contract making the match official. Barrett – once billed for his street fighter mentality, has now been reduced to mid-card joke status, being the bearer of “Bad News” in a TMZ-like segment. Scrolling tickers can’t save everything. Ambrose has been on a decent push lately and this could be a good time for him to pick up the IC Belt but with WrestleMania so close, this doesn’t look like a feud that’s ending anytime soon and thus, we have to give the edge to Barrett. Ambrose is more entertaining in chase mode anyways.
Prediction: Bad News Barrett
– Tag Team Championships – The Usos (Champions) vs. Tyson Kidd/Cesaro: This has been one of the more consistent feuds as of late. The Usos remain the tag team top dogs, while Cesaro/Kidd are on the rise as swarmy heels. Add in the drama between Natalya and Kidd, with Kidd seeming to have more affection for Cesaro and that’s been this feud. For this reason, we think Cesaro/Kidd will actually pull it off and cheat to beat The Usos. This will cause Kidd to be even more brash to Natalya as a cocky heel champion and solidify him/Cesaro even more. Even better – this has The Usos chasing to get back the gold at WrestleMania. They’ve been built enough as Champions that a loss won’t hurt them a bit. Give other tag teams a chance to shine. It’s Kidd/Cesaro time.
Prediction: Tyson Kidd/Cesaro
– United States Championship – Rusev (Champion) vs. John Cena: It’s been billed as the match where Cena may or may not become the first man to defeat Rusev by pinfall or submission. This focus has been further strengthened with Cena pulling out the “Ruthless Aggression” card and dominating Rusev on the Raw stage. This has been good, but other flaws in this feud are glaring. The United States Championship has been underplayed in this match the whole time. It’s not even the focus here. Russell has brought attention to the belt, yet Cena played it down majorly. Secondly, is this really the time to call Cena an “old man” with everyone questioning if he still “has it”? The guy’s not even 40 years old. But, let’s turn the focus back to the U.S. Championship. Can we really see Cena benefiting from holding the gold again? If anything, it would hurt the Belt and Cena. For that reason, we can’t see Cena winning here. Rusev will pull out the decisive win in a match that will probably follow a brawl format more than actual wrestling.
– Winner Faces Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania for WWE World Heavyweight Championship – Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan: This is the biggie of the night. Both Bryan and Reigns go into this match looking strong and their interactions in recent weeks have been mild at best – probably highlighted with the Tag Team Turmoil match on Smackdown, but more recently with the all-out Raw brawl. That captured everything this feud needed. Fans aren’t stupid though. Reigns was already in the Mania main event fair-and-square and they didn’t like it. Stuck in a corner, WWE found a way to tie Bryan back into things using The Authority. Bryan is still the most over guy in the company and has a chance to be written into the main event at WrestleMania the second year in a row. This year is different though in that he actually was fairly eliminated in the Rumble match and getting to WrestleMania this way seems heelish. His popularity has taken a slight dive during the build, but with the match here now, it should recover. In the meantime, Reigns has handled the critics well and has bettered on the mic, but his limited moveset is still alarmingly obvious to fans and it’s obvious they’re not ready to embrace him as the man who can take down Lesnar. Considering what Lesnar took on at the Rumble, can you blame that mindset? In terms of the match now, recent rumors of a WrestleMania three-way for the Title appears to be the best resolution without squashing Bryan or Reigns’ World Title pushes. To accomplish that though, fans may be pissed off with a no-contest in this match that likely ends the show, but this would be a good opportunity to have someone come in and lay both Bryan and Reigns out, perhaps Sheamus – rumored to return as a heel or even Lesnar himself. Another option could be to have both guys pin each other simultaneously. Some kind of controversy will come out of this match. Whatever happens – bank on a triple threat at Mania.
Prediction: No Winner
About Nicholas Jason LopezJust a 29-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, BrooklynFans.com and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.
Posted on February 21, 2015, in WWE and tagged Bad News Barrett, Cesaro, Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, Goldust, John Cena, Kane, Nikki Bella, Paige, Roman Reigns, Rusev, Ryback, Seth Rollins, Stardust, Sting, The Authority, The Big Show, The Usos, Triple H, Tyson Kidd. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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