Now that the Elimination Chamber event has come to a close, there’s one last stop on the Road to WrestleMania 35.
On March 10, the Superstars of Raw and SmackDown Live will settle their differences before the big show at Fastlane. This final pit stop is known for featuring big title matches that’ll decide who’ll be holding each title at ‘Mania. SD Live’s Tag Team titles and the WWE Championship are two of the prizes that will be up for grabs. But plenty more title defenses will take place on this PPV. This event will have a major impact on how the rest of the WrestleMania 35 card will shape up, no doubt.
Here’s a full breakdown of each announced Fastlane 2019 match and who’ll probably come out on top.
The New Day (Big E and Xavier Woods) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and Rusev
Predictions & Winners: And here’s your random PPV Kickoff tag team match, folks! The severely weakened (in storyline and in stature) duo of Nakamura and Rusev will take on the always super over New Day. This one’s clearly going to work out for Big E and Xavier Woods – their boy Kofi Kingston is in the middle of a WWE Championship storyline that will (hopefully) pay off at WrestleMania 35. Gotta keep the whole stable strong on the road to that show, right? So yeah, the good guys here shall prevail.
Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade (with Zelina Vega)
Predictions & Winner: The hottest rivalry that happens to be producing the best matches in WWE is between two famous luchadors. The rejuvenated Rey Mysterio has gone tooth and nail with the up and coming Andrade. Their bouts have been the best highlights of recent editions of SD Live. Which is why I’m very much looking forward to this rematch. While it won’t go as long as their past encounters (this is a Kickoff Show match, after all), it’ll still be worth a watch. I’m placing all my chips on an Andrade victory here.
The Revival (Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson) (c) vs. Aleister Black and Ricochet vs. Chad Gable and Bobby Roode (Triple Threat Tag Team Match for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship)
Predictions & Winners: Side note – wouldn’t this make more sense as a Fatal Four Way? Heavy Machinery put on a pretty strong performance recently by taking out three teams in one night. Surely that should be enough for them to be a part of this Raw Tag Team Championship contest, right? Anyways, this triple threat tag team team match got set up in a pretty simple manner. Roode and Gable took issue with how quickly the two NXT stars got a Raw Tag Team title shot. During the match between The Revival and Ricochet & Aleister Black, the former champs interfered and got into quite the scuffle with the new young upstarts.
So now the former title holders will tangle with the newest challengers and the champions themselves. And you know what’s wild? The Raw Tag Team Champions have been treated like a complete afterthought since winning them. They’ve jobbed to the fresh young blood and been relegated to the background.
Pretty sad state of affairs for one of the more underrated duos in WWE. I’m sure they’ll finally get a victory here that’ll help solidify their underwhelming title reign. Roode may take the losing pinfall and blame it on his partner, which will finally get Roode to turn heel and push him into a quick feud with Gable. As for Ricochet and Black, they’ll walk away from this match practically unscathed since they’ll remain strong by not getting pinned/submitted.
Asuka (c) vs. Mandy Rose (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship)
Predictions & Winner: I feel kinda bad for Asuka. Even though she captured the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship at TLC 2018, she’s been treated like an afterthought ever since. I’ve been pleased with seeing her fight her way from mediocrity back to the number one spot within SD Live’s women’s division. Only problem is this – the main focus of WWE’s overall women’s division is currently Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte. This has caused Asuka to be pushed to the back of the line, even though she holds the main women’s championship for the Blue Brand.
The way she arrived at her next challenge was pretty lame, too. I wish WWE could have found a better way to turn Mandy Rose into Asuka’s next latest foe. A lame surprise pin that took place after Mandy played possum made Asuka look dumb all over again. While I have no issue with this planned matchup, I think the way both women have arrived at this point is just lazy storytelling.
Mandy’s certainly a star in the making – she’s pretty much Eva Marie, but with actual wrestling talent and strong mic skills (sick burn, right?). In a few more years, she could be just as good as Trish Stratus. She’s still a bit rough around the edges, but working with Asuka should further build her into a well-rounded athlete. Asuka’s definitely holding onto her title here. But Mandy will probably get enough time in the spotlight of this match to make her look good.
Sasha Banks and Bayley (c) vs. Nia Jax and Tamina (WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship)
Predictions & Winners: “The Boss ‘N’ Hug Connection” walked into the Elimination Chamber with one thought in mind – outlast the rest of the competition and claim the Women’s Tag Team titles. After a grueling match that saw the duo start from the very beginning, they accomplished that lofty goal. What makes their title win so cool is that fact that they’re not relegated to just defending the championship on Raw – they’ll also haul those titles around against other challengers from SD Live and NXT. Their first PPV title defense will take place against a team that primarily competes on Raw, however – Jax and Tamina.
While I’m not a huge fan of the Samoan lady duo, they actually provided some fun moments during their stint within the Elimination Chamber match. They seem to work well when there’s a whole bunch of other more talented women around them (the added presence of the Chamber added to their power duo act as well).
But I’m not so sure Jax and Tamina will be as competitive or entertaining in a straight tag team match. Banks and Bayley are quality wrestlers, no doubt. But they’re not miracle workers. While this match will probably be a chore to sit through, I’m sure the last 10 minutes will be worth a damn. I’m predicting a Banks and Bayley victory here…CAUSE DUH! There’s no way they’ll drop the titles so soon after winning them. Their history making reign shall continue!
The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) (c) vs. The Miz and Shane McMahon (WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship)
Predictions & Winners: So my prediction for this match when it took place at the Elimination Chamber show was off. Like, way off. I figured that The Miz and Shane were going to hold onto the titles until this show or even a few weeks before ‘Mania 35. Imagine my shock when The Usos knocked off the former champs in a stunning upset! Now The Miz and Shane are the ones coming in as the challengers and that’s something I truly didn’t foresee. When the first match between these teams wrapped up, it looked as if The Miz was close to snapping and turning on Shane. But that shockingly didn’t come to pass – Miz simply walked his hurt partner to the back and lamented their surprise loss.
As for this rematch though, I see things going down a lot differently. The Miz and Shane will fight even harder than before against The Usos. And The Usos will go just as hard as the former champs. I can see an instance or two where Shane mistakenly gets in the way of The Miz, which will push The Miz that much closer to the edge. Once Shane ends up eating the final pin, it’ll give The Miz all the reasoning he needs to finally turn on his former bestie. And as everyone already suspected, this moment will be the catalyst for The Miz vs. Shane McMahon at ‘Mania 35.
The Shield (Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose) vs. Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley (Six-Man Tag Team Match)
Predictions & Winners: With the welcome return of Roman Reigns, all seems right on Monday nights again. After dealing with such a debilitating health issue, Reigns finally made his way back to physical competition in quick fashion. And what makes his resurgence so crazy is the fact that the crowd has taken to him again, which means the Reigns hate train won’t be heard in live arenas anytime soon. His former stablemates were at each other’s necks during his absence, but Reigns’ plea to his brothers for a final reunion still managed to work. The Shield are getting the band back together in an attempt to take down Raw’s latest three-man machine – Corbin, McIntyre, and Lashley.
This match is going to have a major impact on the rest of the WrestleMania 35 card. Ambrose’s quick return to the babyface side of things should get everyone’s antennas up. If the man is willing to turn on Rollins on the same night that Reigns announced his health related departure, then he’s always ready to do something even more despicable. And I’m sure that disgusting act is going to happen here. He’ll play along at first and appear like he’s fully returned to his senses. But we all know he’s going to strike one of his Shield brothers when they least expect it. Ambrose will most likely turn on Reigns, thereby setting up a match between the two at ‘Mania 35.
As for Rollins, I think Lesnar might even do a quick run-in to take his Universal Championship challenger out of the equation. We haven’t seen the man in a while, so it’s about time he pops up to heat up his feud with Rollins a little more. I’m sure this match will be a spirited affair full of some wild action. But the closing moments of it will center on storyline setups that will all culminate on April 7. Corbin, McIntyre, and Lashley will walk away with the tainted win. Lesnar will run in and destroy Rollins. Then Ambrose will set up a marquee match with Reigns by dropping him like a bad habit.
Daniel Bryan (c) (with Rowan) vs. Kevin Owens (WWE Championship)
Predictions & Winner: SWERVE! Here I was thinking that Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston was a lock for the main even slot of this event. Kofi’s resurgence as a super over singles Superstar got the crowd behind him in a major way at the Elimination Chamber. Even though he ended up losing, he still kept the crowd in the palm of his hand and remained a viable WWE Championship contender. After pinning Daniel in a tag team match, Kofi was granted a one-on-one title opportunity against Daniel. Shane McMahon made this match a reality at one point, but Vince McMahon overruled his decision by placing the returning Kevin Owens in Kofi’s spot.
While I’m all for seeing a healthy Owens get a WWE Championship match upon his return, I wish it didn’t have to come at the expense of Kofi. This shocking switcheroo makes for a great story though. But I ultimately see this developing into one of two outcomes – Shane will find a way to include Kofi back into the match and make it a Triple Threat. Or this match will go on as planned while Kofi will get his much deserved title shot at WrestleMania 35 instead. I don’t know which path WWE will go down concerning this match, honestly. This whole situation could go either way. As it stands right now though, I’m banking on Daniel retaining against Owens.
Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch (If Becky Lynch Wins, She Gets Added to the Raw Women’s Championship Match at WrestleMania 35)
Predictions & Winner: What a roller coaster of a feud this whole ordeal has been. We’ve been treated to heated Twitter exchanges, Becky embracing her inner “Stone Cold,” Charlotte reverting back to full heel mode, and Ronda slowly turning to the dark side. The crowd’s strong reactions to everything that’s happened with all three women and the McMahon’s have turned this storyline into main event material. On the last edition of Raw before this PPV, a dizzying amount of plot developments came to pass. Ronda was stripped of her Raw Women’s Championship at first, which forced Stephanie McMahon to put the title up for grabs between a newly reinstated Becky and Charlotte.
Fast forward to the end of Raw and we get the sudden return of Ronda, who proceeds to recover her championship and get back at Becky for her social media jabs. Now Becky and Charlotte will be battling without the title on the line, but the ramifications of this bout are still important. If Becky pulls off the win, she’ll be entered into the Raw Women’s Championship match at ‘Mania 35. C’mon folks – we all know how this is going to end. Becky’s most definitely getting the victory here. The end result won’t be in question at all. But at least the match that’s set to happen before the predictable ending will be awesome! Becky and Charlotte never disappoint.