Sunday, February 22, 2015

Step Into the FastLane

Triple H, WWE
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons License by Ed Webster
This Sunday night, February 24, in Memphis, Tennesee, will be the WWE's next pay-per-view event, WWE Fastlane.  That sounds exciting, right?

But, can we all agree all roads lead to Wrestlemania, at this point.  I mean, every time anyone wins a match, or any kind of drama arises, Wrestlemania is always the event that gets addressed.  This Fastlane business, is like the middle son, in a family where the eldest son is a football star, and the youngest son in a concert pianist.

So, anyway, as a recent wrestling aficionado, I made predictions on The Royal Rumble, which turned out to be rather bad predictions.  So, with that, I'd like a chance to redeem myself, because, as I said before, I've found that I am rather good at picking the winners and losers, and also the in between stuff, which in wrestling is the most fun.

In the words of the Joker, "Here we go!"

Goldust vs Stardust

Ho hum.  Seriously!  Is this really happening?  Anyway, I'll take a stab.

Winner: Stardust

There's about as much relevance to this match, as there would be if Adam Rose finally had it out with his Rose Buds.  Nobody cares about Stardust and Goldust, and their elderly dad, Dusty.

This will be a feud that eventually culminates in Stardust relinquishing the makeup and re-embracing his family ties, and going back to the equally irrelevant Cody Rhodes.  His career will continue down the path of mediocrity.  WHOO!!!

Rusev vs John Cena

Rusev and Lana, WWE
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons License by Megan Elice Meadows
This is a match for the United States Champions belt.  John Cena is just off his loss to Brock Lesnar for the WWE Champions belt, at the Royal Rumble, and this seems a bit like a consolation prize for the 12-time WWE Champion.

I got to say, it's a bit of a shocker.  The two have had a couple of slug fests, and pissing contests on the weekly Smackdown and Raw episodes, each one getting the better of the other at one time or another.  I guess the easy money would say, John Cena will win, because, as he said himself, he is "The Face that runs the place."  But the truth is, that's exactly why taking the United States Champions belt would by kind of a slap in his face.

Can you imagine the face of the franchise defending the lowly United States Champions belt.  I mean, at this point, Cena is more important than any of his titles.  He's the guy who got rid of The Authority, and then had to bring them back.

At the same time, Rusev is a super athlete, who has never been defeated.  He's beaten Jack Swagger, Mark Henry, Big Show, and he took the United States Champions belt from the Celtic Warrior, Sheamus.  As I said, he's never been pinned as a member of the WWE roster, and that won't go away easily.

Winner: Rusev

But my real prediction is, this won't be the end of the Rusev/Cena feud.  Rusev will likely beat Cena at Fastlane, with less than honest methods.  Cena will, at times, have him on the ropes, ready to give in, but Rusev will win out, using whatever means necessary, possible even some intervention by The Authority.

Rusev and Cena will feud for a few weeks, following Fastlane, setting up his real title defense in some type of extreme rules match at Wrestlemania.  Right now, I'm thinking CAGE!

One other thing.  Cena's role in the WWE has been as a set up man lately.  He can carry a storyline like few others, but lately he's just been a rider.  Dolff Ziggler beat The Authority out of the WWE, Lesnar pinned Seth Rollins at The Royal Rumble, so I'm thinking Rusev's first loss, and the loss of his title, will be set up by Cena, but the rewards won't go to him.  I'm thinking someone else, will eventually beat Rusev at Wrestlemania.

Nikki Bella vs Paige

Paige and Nikki Bella, WWE
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons License by Megan Elice Meadows
Here's another title defense.  Nikki Bella puts her Divas title on the line, against the UK goth, Paige.  First of all, Nikki never travels without her sister Brie at her side.  So, Paige will be at an immediate disadvantage.  Also, the Bella Twins have been torturing Paige, like the queen bees in high school to the geeky girl in glasses.

All the while, Paige has handled it with the greatest of grace, setting her up as the better diva.  However, that's not enough for her to win.  Not at Fastlane, anyway.

Winner: Nikki Bella

But, my real prediction is, this will be a ten-minute, or less match, with the Bella's cheating for the win, and only making Paige look better.  This will be a big charade to set up Nikki's second title defense against Paige, at Wrestlemania.

The Usos vs Tyson Kidd and Cesaro

I'm not even sure why this match is happening.  Recently, these guys had singles matches between them, that both Tyson Kidd and Cesaro had won.  They also had three-way matches, that included the wives of Jimmy Uso, Naomi and Tyson Kidd, Natalya.  Most recently, Jimmy Uso had a match against Tyson Kidd, that never finished.  Rusev barged in, demolished everyone, screamed a bunch of Russian, and John Cena, and that was it.

Winner: The Usos

This rivalry has been played up ad infinitum, lately, but just like when Cesaro, Tyson Kidd and Adam Rose had their feud with the New Day, this match is irrelevant.

The tag-teams right now, look just a little too much like, The Usos, and then everybody else.  I mean, Gold and Stardust are battling each other.  The same is true for The Miz and Mizdow.  The New Aged Outlaws have disappeared, probably to a retirement home.  And after that, who is there?

Wait, I know.  THE ASCENSION!

That's right.  The Ascension is the only other polarizing force in the tag-team world, right now.  They crushed the New Aged Outlaws.  They beat The Miz and Mizdow.  They quickly dispatched the New Day.  Next, will probably be the Primetime Players, who've recently reunited, due to Titus O'Neil stepping in to save Darren Young from The Ascension.

The Ascension should basically cut a swath through every possible tag-team combination, towards Wrestlemania, until it's obvious they are the only plausible number one contenders worthy of facing The Usos for the belts.

And then, they should have themselves a hum-dinger of a match.

Bad News Barrett vs Dean Ambrose

Dean Ambrose, WWE
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons License by Anton
Don't ya just love Dean Ambrose?  I mean the guy basically said, he's going to get an Intercontinental title shot, no matter what.  So, what did he do?  He took out former Intercontinental Champions, Kurt Axel and Luke Harper, before ambushing Bad News Barrett after his match with Damien Sindow, and tied his hands to the post.  Then forced him to sign the contract.

Yah, what court of law would actually uphold this?  The WWE of course.

Ambrose will go into this fight with a face only a mother could love, and Barrett will take advantage of Ambrose's crazy.

Winner: Bad News Barrett

Don't get me wrong.  Ambrose has already beaten Barrett, and he'll get the better of him here.  But just look at Ambrose's record, with all of his feuds.

After the shield broke up, he made a bee-line for Seth Rollins.  Do you know, he never beat Rollins, not even once?  Even when it looked like he was going to win, something crazy would happen.  In his last match with Rollins, he was about to win, before Bray Wyatt intervened, and l\cost him the match.

His feud with Wyatt, was even greater.  Those two had some epic battles.  He lost the first by disqualification due to using a steel chair.  Then there was the tables, ladders and chairs match they fought, where a monitor blew up in Ambrose's face.

He also lost a Miracle on 34th Street fight, and the final ambulance match, that closed the rivalry.  The only time he beat Wyatt, was in a no disqualifications match at Tribute for the Troops, but if you look at each of the winners of that event, the most popular guy always won.

So, it's very likely, Barrett retains his belt through a disqualification win, and this sets up at least a few epic battles between the two.

There's also the fact, that Barrett is from England, and the WWE heads to Europe in the beginning of April, so they'll need their English stars to be headlining matches.

Dolff Ziggler, Ryback and Erick Rowen vs The Authority

This ones been somewhat exciting, because The Authority has been demolishing these three guys (especially Erick Rowen), for the past few weeks.  And this past week at Smackdown, Seth Rollins actually curb stomped, each of them, so they are all looking for some payback.

Winner: Dolff Ziggler, Ryback and Erick Rowen

Ziggler has the most to gain here.  He's the guy who usually rises to the challenge, and he'll likely take out J&J security, and then pin Rollins, after getting fired up, and hitting him with is best moves.

This will all happen after The Authority appears to have the three good guys basically crippled or unconscious.  But they'll find a way.  I have a feeling.

Roman Reigns vs Daniel Bryan

Daniel Bryan as WWE Champion
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons License by Megan Elice Meadows
Here's the thing.  Roman Reigns is not very good with a microphone, so rivalries aren't his thing.  It's pretty obvious, they are taking advantage of Daniel Bryan's charm, and the "Yes, Movement!" to carry Reigns to Wrestlemania.

The Authority has been putting these two guys through the ringer the past couple of weeks, and this past week on Raw, the two of them finally went at it, and it was a slugfest.  I mean, if that's what their battle will be like at Fastlane, I'll be very happy.

They went at it in the ring, out of the ring, into the crowd, and back again.  Each man jockeying for control.  It was epic.  I'm looking forward to the match.

Winner: NOBODY

WAIT, WHAT!  These two haven't been able to do anything without The Authority getting involved.  I'm thinking this match will be no different.  Big Show, Kane and/or Seth Rollins will get involved somehow, and affect the match.

There will be a double disqualification

This will give Triple H, another opportunity to come out on Monday Night Raw, and announce another "contraversy."  So, he can placate the WWE fans, and make the match at Wrestlemania a Triple-Threat match, between Reigns, Brock Lesnar and Bryan.  Or, could there possibly be another.  See my notes below.

Let's just face the facts.  In the past few weeks, I think we've all seen Reigns' true colors.  He looks great, and he's a tremendous athlete, but he can't carry a narrative.  He needs Bryan to help him along.

Triple H vs Sting

I gotta tell ya, I have no idea, so I'll go out on a limb, here.

Winner: Sting

This will offer a great rivalry between the vigilante and The Authority, where Sting will get to interrupt Triple H with more mind-blowing multimedia.  It'll be fun and exciting to see the Stinger in the WWE, and all signs point to some very interesting story telling.  I'm looking forward to seeing what this will become, because, I'll be honest, I'm not really sure what Sting is capable of.  Maybe someone could help me out here.

Other Notes:


Sheamus, WWE
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons License by Anton
There have been ads declaring Sheamus' return, where he says, "I love to fight."  However, there's been no word on when he'll return.  Could he show up at Fastlane?

It's a possibility.  But will he be a good guy, or bad?  My money is on BAD GUY!


Remember above when I said The Authority would interfere in the Reigns vs Bryan match.  Sheamus is the perfect guy to take both of these men out.  I'm just saying.  Can you imagine the Celtic Warrior showing up to Brogue Kick Reigns and Bryan, and then declaring that he should have had a shot at the Royal Rumble if not for his injuries.

Then, Sheamus, the newest hit man for The Authority demands to be included in the Main Event at Wrestlemania.  Above, I said it will be a Triple-Threat match, right.  Well, guess what?  They did that last year.  This year, what about a fatal-four-way?  Reigns, Bryan, Lesnar and Sheamus for the WWE Championship.


Bray Wyatt

The cryptic Eater of Worlds has also been displayed in vignettes lately, where he appears to be calling someone out.  Who could it be?  It's really intriguing.

Most people have identified that he appears to be driving a nail into a coffin in one of them, and that might indicate that Wyatt is targeting the Undertaker.  It would make sense, because Wyatt is easily the next in line to take the Dead Man's eerie job, as the creepiest WWE rostered member.

However, The Undertaker has defined himself at Wrestlemania, so it's rumored that Wyatt will challenge him then, and not before.  So, what about from now until then.

Have you heard of Finn Balor?

Now you have!

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