Fastlane 2016 Predictions

Last year, I attended my first WWE event for my birthday. And just my luck, it ended up being universally panned and had less star power than some recent episodes of RAW. Regardless, I had a blast, and I was thrilled to see Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Daniel Bryan int he flesh. Looking back, I’m very lucky to have seen Bryan perform live before his retirement.

You know, it’s funny. If you had asked me a week ago about my Fastlane predictions, I would have had a card within five minutes. But after a single week of solidly decent programming, I am starting to reconsider everything. That being said, I’m still sure a lot of my original predictions are still correct no matter how much I don’t want to be.

Let’s get to it!

Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio (2 out of 3 Falls match for United States Championship)

This is a pretty easy one to call. With the WWE grappling to find a new star for their Hispanic fans to rally behind, Kalisto is the easy choice to win this one. His in-ring charisma is strong and he also carries the immense appeal of being a true underdog.

Hopefully, Kalisto will put on a dominant showing against Del Rio, who for no good reason has been booked overly strong in the past few weeks despite the outcome of this match being crystal clear. Perhaps the League of Nations (yeah, they’re still a thing) will try and interfere, but a wily Sin Cara will make the save for his Luchador partner.

Prediction: Kalisto retains

Chris Jericho vs. AJ Styles

This match has all the makings to be a potential match of the year candidate, if given ample time. Jericho and Styles are both seasoned veterans in the ring, with indispensable knowledge of ring psychology and technical prowess. They can concoct some serious magic and do some awesome storytelling together.

Perhaps one of the best things about this feud is the simplicity of it. Two proud, seasoned competitors who want to prove that they are the best in the world. It’s easy to understand and will be a blast to watch.

The winner of this match depends on the WWE’s plans heading into Wrestlemania. If they want to end the feud at Fastlane and move Styles on to clash (hehehe) with Kevin Owens for the IC Title at Wrestlemania or perhaps face another wrestler ont he roster, then STyles will come out on top for sure.

However, if they wish to prolong this feud into Wrestlemania, Jericho might pull a fast one on us. Or perhaps Styles will win anyways. Either way, if this rivalry is going to last through the Show of Shows, expect Jericho to have a definitive heel turn tomorrow night.

Or, maybe, Kevin Owens will rear his head.

Prediction: AJ Styles wins

Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler (Intercontinental Championship)

If the WWE has any sense at all, this will be a squash match, plain and simple. No offense to Ziggler, who is an incredible performer in his own right, but this match must continue to elevate Owens as a monster heel.

He has the ability to potentially carry the upper midcard while the likes of Ambrose and Reigns hold up the main event scene as he continues to grow. Owens has big things ahead of him. Hopefully this match is just a stepping stone to something truly special at Wrestlemania.

Prediction: Kevin Owens retains

Ryback, Demon Kane and Big Show vs. The Wyatt Family

The Wyatts are being propelled towards a rivalry with the Beast Incarnate, Brock Lesnar, so expect to see them absolutely decimate the so-called Titans of the WWE. This match will probably be used to really put over Braun Strowman, who has yet to really impress anyone in the ring yet.

It’s hard to do that when your finisher is a hug.

Expect Luke Harper to be awesome, as usual, and for Bray Wyatt to continue to be the impressive character he is. Erick Rowan has kind of been lost int he mix, but I hope he gets a nice moment to shine.

It would be an interesting twist if Brock Lesnar were to interfere in this, but in all likelihood they will be the ones attacking him, not the other way around.

Prediction: The Wyatt family wins, Strowman takes the pinfall

 

Naomi and Tamina vs. Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch

Sasha Banks has broken out as an absolute star in this program, as she does with everything she’s given, looking hellaciously strong against both members of Team BAD while still retaining her fantastic, tense alliance with Becky Lynch.

If given time, expect these women to put on a fun match. Naomi is terrifically athletic, and she will hopefully have a chance to shine against both Banks and Lynch. Expect some wild suicide dives and tag-team shenanigans as the women brawl it out, but also  expect to see Lynch and Banks come out on top.

Also, don’t be surprised if Banks takes out Lynch right after they pick up their win. Her goal is, after all, to claim the title that is rightfully hers after all.

Prediction: Banks and Lynch win, Banks attacks Lynch after

 

Charlotte vs. Brie Bella (Divas Championship)

I have my issues with Brie Bella and the way she is being pushed, but if she can put on a good show against Charlotte that’s not just variations of her husband’s kicks, I will be impressed. She is set to retire soon, so a good showing here would be a nice sendoff. Heck, maybe even give her the belt and have her drop it on RAW the next night, as a little gift to her before she goes off. She’s definitely improved over the years, so this match ought to be a testament to that.

This match is a bit of an afterthought, really, because Wrestlemania is looming and we all know who truly belongs there.

Prediction: Charlotte retains

 

Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns (No. 1 contender’s match for WWE World Heavyweight Championship)

Calling this match is incredibly difficult for me, because it’s like my head is battling against my heart. I want Dean Ambrose to win, and I know that him winning would be absolutely thrilling, but deep down, I’m certain that Roman Reigns will win. Lesnar will probably inflict some heavy damage on them both, but be overwhelmed by the Wyatt clan.

Hopefully, the emotional core of this match will be the growing rivalry between Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns. Shield conflicts are so multidimensional and wonderful for storytelling. Even with Lesnar in the mix, expect to see a lot of fighting between an increasingly frustrated Ambrose and desperate Reigns.

Though a swerve would be a more than welcome surprise, I’m not completely delusional. The WWE is going to push Roman Reigns no matter what anyone thinks. Hopefully, however, they keep Dean Ambrose in the main event scene and let him shine properly at Wrestlemania. He deserves it.

Prediction: Roman Reigns wins

 

 

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