Posted February 20th, 2015 by jshannon

Crystal Ball: Fastlane 2015

Jay Shannon draws upon all his predictive skills to pick the winners and losers of an upcoming major wrestling event.

Elimination Chamber has been retired. In its place, WWE introduces Fastlane. It’s just another minor pay-per-view sandwiched between Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania. The matches look reasonably interesting. Let’s take a look…

Seth Rollins, Kane and Big Show vs Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan and Ryback


This was a last minute addition to the show. It’s just a filler match to showcase some talent that WWE didn’t dare leave off the show. This match isn’t necessarily going to be all that special, since it’s been played to death on Raw and Smackdown. To keep Seth Rollins momentum going, his team is going to win. Most likely, the team will win through underhanded means.

Predicted Winner: Seth Rollins, Big Show and Kane
Predicted Grade: 2.5 out of a possible 5

Goldust vs Stardust


This is one of the dumber feuds in recent history. The hot rumor is that Goldust is getting ready to head behind-the-scenes and hang up his golden boots (yet again). This match should have been left for Wrestlemania. Assuming that the rumors are true, this might be a lead-in to Goldy’s “retirement” match. Thinking along those lines, I would expect Stardust to take this one. Star could then taunt his brother for being a loser. That would lead Goldust to putting it all on the line against his brother at Mania. Star would also take that one, sending his big brother into the Black Hole of Executivism (and possibly an induction into the 2016 Hall of Fame).

Predicted Winner: Stardust
Predicted Grade; 2.75

Nikki Bella vs Paige
Divas Championship Title Match


The Divas division is on the verge of a comeback. NXT has quite a few excellent performers. However, they aren’t ready to go, just yet. There have been hints that Brie would eventually turn on her sister. I don’t think the full turn will happen, on Sunday, but the seeds may be sown. I expect Nikki to call upon her twin to help her overcome the challenge of Paige. After the match (maybe on Monday’s Raw), Brie is going to tell her sister that it is time to pay her back for all the shenanigans that Nikki has demanded since Nikki took the Divas title. That could set up a decent Sister vs Sister match at Mania for the Butterfly Strap. Paige will just get lost in this story-building match.

Predicted Winner: Nikki Bella
Predicted Grade: 1.0

Jimmy and Jey Uso vs Tyson Kidd and Cesaro
World Tag Team Title Match


This is one of the harder matches for me to predict. Kidd and Cesaro seem to be on a roll but they are heels. Most of the rest of the tag roster (both in WWE and NXT) are heels. Heel vs Heel almost never works. That being said, Kidd and Cesaro could have good runs against the Lucha Dragons and New Day before dropping the belts, probably back to the Usos. Expect the wives (Naomi and Natalya) to get involved.

Predicted Winners (and New Tag Team Champions): Tyson Kidd and Cesaro
Predicted Grade: 2.75

“Bad News” (Wade) Barrett vs Dean Ambrose
Intercontinental Title Match


Dean tricked Barrett into signing the contract for this match. Dean held the US title for close to a year (not that he defended it much). With Sheamus’ return pending, a feud against Barrett would be exciting and hard hitting. As much as I like Dean, it just doesn’t make much sense to put the IC strap on him. This is going to be a wild match with tons of near falls. Wade is going to nail Dean with the Bull Hammer Elbow, pretty much out of nowhere, to retain his title and head to Mania to battle Sheamus.

Predicted Winner: Bad News Barrett
Predicted Grade: 3.0

Rusev vs John Cena
United States Title Match


My question is a simple one…Why the Hell is WWE wasting such a potentially fantastic match on a B-Level PPV? This is the kind of feud that seems like it was time warped from the mid-1980s. Sgt. Slaughter vs Iron Sheik, Road Warriors vs Ivan and Nikita Koloff…these types of feuds come instantly to mind. This is most likely the first in a series of wild matches between the two. I think Cena is going to win the match but he won’t get the title. Rusev will take the early advantage and just beat the stuffing out of the 15-time World/WWE Champion. Cena will “Hulk Up” and seriously threaten Rusev’s unbeaten streak. When he feels he is about to lose, Rusev will do something like attack Cena with his flagpole to pull the DQ. He may also just run away and lose by count out. Regardless, Cena will have a legit beef against the Bulgarian Brute and the two will square off in a Falls Count Anywhere Match or something along those lines at Mania.

Predicted Winner: John Cena
(Rusev retains the US title by either DQ or Count Out)
Predicted Grade: 3.5

Roman Reigns vs Daniel Bryan
Number One Contender Match


This match just irritates me. Roman gets the push at Royal Rumble. The fans grumble and whine that Daniel Bryan didn’t get the win so Creative shuffles things around to give the fans what they want. I will admit Daniel Bryan vs Brock Lesnar has some interest to me but it should not happen this way. Creative is risking killing Roman’s Face Push with this match. To paraphrase their favorite catchphrase: This is NOT what is Best for Business. The scenario that keeps running through my head isn’t something that I would book but WWE doesn’t pay me to think for them. The scenario goes something to the effect that Seth Rollins comes out and attacks Daniel Bryan. Bryan gets the win by Disqualification and moves on the Wrestlemania to face Brock Lesnar. Roman gets bogged down fighting various Authority members (Seth, Big Show, Kane, etc…). Daniel goes to Mania and beats Brock (fans go wild). Seth then picks the bones and takes the WWE World Title, by way of the Money in the Bank Briefcase. Roman gets pushed out of the picture til probably SummerSlam. Normally, I would love this David vs Goliath type match but this one is just such horrible booking that I may have a hard time watching it.

Predicted Winner: Daniel Bryan
Predicted Grade: 3.0

In Conclusion:

This show is just there to set the matches for Wrestlemania. They may throw in one title change just to keep things somewhat interesting. The action should be good but I don’t expect any real surprises. It will be worth the $9.99 I spend for my subscription to the WWE Network but I do see the show for what it is going to be…B-Level.


–Jay Shannon

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