Posted February 21st, 2016 by jshannon

Crystal Ball: Fastlane 2016

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

It’s the final stop before Wrestlemania. It used to be the Elimination Chamber but that was shifted to another time. This is just another, non-gimmick wrestling show. This will set the stage for Mania. Let’s take a look at what WWE is offering up…

A.J. Styles vs Chris Jericho


I’m really glad they gave Styles a top tier lilke Jericho to begin his WWE career. They’ve traded wins, back and forth, so this is somewhat like a final battle. I say “somewhat” because WWE has been faking us out with feud-ending battles for quite a while.

When it comes down to this match, it might get buried amidst all the other top notch battles. However, I think Styles and Jericho are going to go out there to tear the house down. They just might do it. Styles losing this one could really set him back on his path to greatness, so I think Styles is going to defy the odds to defeat Jericho. The only possible monkey wrench in all this might be Miz. If he were to get involved, it’s anyone’s guess who will come out on top. I’m still sticking with Styles to go over.

Predicted Winner: A.J. Styles
Predicted Grade: 4.25 out of a possible 5

Erick Rowan, Luke Harper and Braun Strowman (w/Bray Wyatt) vs Kane, Ryback and Big Show
Six-Man Tag Team Match


I think this is just the opening volley in what might be a decent feud. Both Kane and Show are nearing the ends of their lengthy careers. The whole point of this feud is that the New Blood is going to take out the Old Dogs aka WWE Titans. The Wyatts just have to win this or the entire storyline goes to Hell in a Hand Basket. I would imagine they will give the Kill Shot to Braun, by way of the Apocalypse Clutch.

Predicted Winners: The Wyatt Family
Predicted Grade: 2.25

Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks vs Naomi and Tamina


I’m having a heck of a time trying to figure out the direction that WWE is going with the Divas division. Pairing Sasha and Becky seems like a bad move. They don’t really get along, so why combine them into a single team? I’m waiting for Sasha to turn on Becky. Turns really appear to be the norm, right now. If Sasha doesn’t turn, then Becky and Banks take this one, reasonably easy.

Predicted Winners: Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks
Predicted Grade: 2.5

Kalisto vs Alberto Del Rio
2 out of 3 Falls for the United States title


I’ve always found these kinds of matches to be fun to watch. Almost always, it goes to three. Usually the person who takes the first fall will end up taking the whole thing (nod to my beloved grandfather, Cots, for that insight). This one is a bit confusing to call because of outside options. Sin Cara is back and the Lucha Dragons could be back in contention for the tag titles. On the other hand, Del Rio is working with a lame group and really needs to break free. Will he be satisfied with a secondary title or should he focus on the top prize? For some strange reason, I’m just getting the feeling that Kalisto is going to remain the champion. I’m thinking it could be something fun like: Del Rio viciously beats on Kalisto until the ref DQs him. Since you can’t win the title on a DQ, Kalisto retains.

Predicted Winner (by Disqualification): Kalisto
Predicted Grade: 3.5

Kevin Owens vs Dolph Ziggler
Intercontinental Title Match


Kevin just won back the title. There is just no way in Heaven or Hell he drops it so quickly. Owens is much better than that. Plus, I sense an Owens vs Styles match for the IC Strap at Mania. Sorry, Dolph, but your time is pretty much done. This won’t be an easy win for “The Prize Fighter” but it will be: Win Owens Win.

Predicted Winner: Kevin Owens
Predicted Grade: 3.0

Charlotte (w/Ric Flair) vs Brie Bella
Divas Title Match


This is going to be a really good match. There have been serious rumors that Brie is getting ready to retire, to start a family. Obviously, Brie will want to spend some time away to be with her newly-retired hubby, Bryan Danielson aka Daniel Bryan. Brie is going to put up a helluva fight but Ric may well tip the scales towards his daughter.

Predicted Winner: Charlotte
Predicted Grade: 3.0

Dean Ambrose vs Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman)
Triple Threat Match to determine the Number One Contender to the World Title


I have racked my brain on this one. I’ve turned to my buddies (Maggie, Scooter, Chris, and others) to get their input. Maggie is so for Dean (she has a not-so-secret crush). Chris and Scooter both picked Brock. A couple of others felt Roman vs HHH is the only logical match at Mania. Of course, I had to explain that wrestling has almost never been a logical business/sport. Then I re-watched the last few weeks episodes of Raw and Smackdown. That finally made the decision for me. Brock vs HHH has been done. Boring. HHH vs Roman seems so predictable. HHH vs Dean doesn’t seem strong enough to pull off the Mania Main Event. The way I see it: Roman will win this one after Dean does a Low Blow (or something equally sneaky) to Brock. That sets up Dean vs Brock and Roman vs HHH. I don’t necessarily like that ending but it’s what I really think will happen.

Predicted Winner: Roman Reigns
Predicted Grade: 3.5

In Conclusion:

I don’t think there will be any world shattering swerves at this event. Everyone is waiting for Dean and Roman to turn on each other. I think Dean will take the bullet to push Roman over the top. I don’t really foresee any titles changing hands (with the possible exception of the US strap). It will be a decent show but nothing to write home about. I’ll still be sitting at my laptop to catch all the action (thanks to my lovely boss, Samantha, for giving me the day off).


–Jay Shannon

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