WWE Fastlane 2019 Preview
The Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio will be hoping to provide some twists and turns to firm up some of the ‘Mania card next month.
WWE seem intent on injecting realism into their product, with viral videos of Ronda Rousey criticising wrestling fans and threatening to lift the veil of kayfabe – and using the ‘f’ word, which is classed as more than taboo in the industry.
Of course using Superstars’ real names isn’t exactly new territory but the speed in which the new approach has been taken is slightly jarring. Fans have longed for a change in mentality from Vince McMahon and Co. but it remains to be seen if this is the kind of change the WWE Universe can rally behind.
But there are some huge matches to look forward to in this ordinarily filler PPV. There’s a welcome return to the ring for Roman Reigns, after he saw his fight with leukaemia speared into remission. And there’s that big title match between old indie rivals Kevin Owens and Daniel Bryan. But perhaps the standout of the night promises to be Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair, with a spot in Wrestlemania’s main event at stake.
2019 WWE Fastlane matches
Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade (Kickoff Show):
What a shame this match sits on the Kick Off Show. On one hand the pair should receive longer to put on a clinic. On the other, the match they put on last month on Smackdown deserves to be seen by as many as possible. The lucha libre influence means the bout is likely to play out at 100mph.
New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods) vs. Rusev & Shinsuke Nakamura (Kickoff Show):
Ahh, the cobbled together match up for preshow entertainment. After being robbed of a title shot against Daniel Bryan, a kick off show match for Kofi is almost rubbing salt into the wounds. So at least there is a purpose to serve the storyline. This may not be the only time we see The New Day over the course of the night.
RB: New Day
JB: New Day
AS: Rusev and Nakamura
WWE Championship – Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Kevin Owens:
A curious match up that seems to sum up the current creative approach. Kevin Owens’ return from injury wasn’t in itself shocking but taking the place of fan favourite Kofi Kingston after #KofiMania trended on social media certainly was. Owens, typically a heel, vs Bryan, the perennial good guy, have swapped places for this feud. A KO win here would send shock waves through the audience but with the aforementioned Kingston not entirely out of the picture, stranger things have happened.
RB: Daniel Bryan
JB: Daniel Bryan
AS: Daniel Bryan
The Shield vs. Drew McIntyre, Baron Corbin & Bobby Lashley:
Just a few short weeks ago, Roman Reigns (above) made an emotional return to Monday Night Raw to announce he was in remission from leukaemia for the second time in his life. After his departure late last year, his Shield brethren went their separate ways – Dean Ambrose turning his back on Seth Rollins, seemingly fed up of being an afterthought to Reigns and Rollins. Fast forward to Fastlane and the band is back together one last time (every wrestling fan knows better than that). This is a hard one to call so close to Mania – will it be a happily ever after moment for the Hounds of Justice, or is betrayal still in the nostrils of Ambrose?
SmackDown Women’s Championship – Asuka (c) vs. Mandy Rose:
There’s not too much to say here, as anything less than an Asuka win is unthinkable. Even with Sony Deville in the corner of Rose, the experience of Asuka will shine through. This is, however, a great opportunity for Rose to get some singles PPV ring time and a championship shot helps build her as a future star.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship – The Usos (c) vs. The Miz & Shane McMahon:
After losing the titles at last month’s Elimination Chamber, the cracks have started to form in The Miz and Shane’s blossoming friendship. It’s been long speculated that their story will culminate in a match between the two at Mania. Executed correctly, the story could be one of the best heading into the big one next month. The Usos shouldn’t be playing second fiddle to anyone in the tag division but needs must and it will be important for them to build some momentum in the next few weeks.
RB: The Usos
JB: The Usos
AS: The Usos
Women’s Tag Team Championship – Boss ‘N Hug Connection (c) vs. Nia Jax & Tamina:
The big question mark in this match is whether the addition of Bayley by her side, can help break Sasha’s title hoodoo? Shockingly, Banks has never retained a title at the PPV event following her capturing gold. A win for the champs would set up their proposed tour of all of WWE’s brands – including NXT – to challenge the best of the best.
RB: Jax & Tamina
JB: Jax & Tamina
AS: Bayley and Banks
Raw Tag Team Championship – The Revival (c) vs. Aleister Black & Ricochet vs. Bobby Roode & Chad Gable:
A welcome main roster PPV debut for Black (above) and Ricochet. Expect a highly entertaining match between three teams more than capable of stealing the show. After chalking up back to back loses, The Revival need to remind everyone why they are the champs and so highly thought of in the industry. The NXT pairing of Black and Ricochet will look strong no matter what, so the Glorious pairing of Roode and Gable will be the underdogs here.
RB: Black & Ricochet
JB: The Revival
AS: The Revival
Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair (If Becky wins she is added to the main event of Wrestlemania):
Well this became a cluster of a storyline! After seemingly striking gold with Becky Lynch vs Ronda Rousey, the subsequent swapping in and out of characters involved in the Raw Women’s Title match has been so convoluted, WCW’s storylines look simple in comparison. It’s doubtful this match will bring an end to the twists and turns. Becky must win to be added to the Mania match between Ronda and Charlotte. With an injured knee and another beat down on Monday night, the deck is stacked against ‘The Man’. Expect interference from a rogue Rousey to play a key part in the result of what is likely to headline the show.
RB: Becky Lynch
JB: Becky Lynch
AS: No contest