Ever since the wrestling calendar restarted, WWE has given us some major moments thus far on the Road to WrestleMania 37.
Edge and Bianca Belair won their respective Royal Rumble matches, The Miz cashed in his MITB briefcase to claim the WWE Championship, and Bobby Lashley dominated him on his way to winning the title for the very first time. Now we have one last PPV to get to before we take a trip to the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. That upcoming pit stop is Fastlane and it looks like we’re due for an evening full of heated action. Chances are high that the results that come from this show will have a huge bearing on the ‘Mania 37 match card.
Now’s the time to take a look at all the announced bouts for WWE Fastlane 2021 and make our educated guesses as to who’s going to come out on top.
Riddle (c) vs. Mustafa Ali (WWE United States Championship)
Predictions & Winner: Man, you gotta feel for Mustafa Ali. He’s been saddled with a go-nowhere stable and has taken a steady stream of losses for a good while now. Riddle had his fair share of bumps on the main roster, but now he’s recovered and been doing quite well as the current US Champion. The story that we got on the last episode of Raw is the same one we’re going to get here – Riddle will do away with Ali once more and retain his title without much of an issue. I think Ali will reach his breaking point post-match and take the mic to air his grievances, thereby disbanding the saddest excuse for a wrestling stable I’ve ever seen and moving onto something worthwhile.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Seth Rollins
Predictions & Winner: “Passa” Seth Rollins is back in full Godly form and has earned the ire of much of the SmackDown roster. The one that’s really gunning for him is Cesaro, who’s clearly being set up to take on the self-absorbed Rollins at WrestleMania 37. This match is merely a warmup for Rollins, who will do what he usually does and put on a good to great match with a willing dance partner. Shinsuke Nakamura should provide Rollins with someone to gel well with in the ring and give this show something extra to care about. Rollins is obviously winning here to remain strong on his way to Cesaro at the big show in April.
Big E (c) vs. Apollo Crews (WWE Intercontinental Championship)
Predictions & Winner: Big E’s been reigning over the midcard division over on SmackDown ever since he claimed the Intercontinental Championship. His renewed singles push has given him the spotlight on Friday nights and kept him strong for the year thus far. Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Apollo Crews Crews have all fell in defeat during their bids to relinquish Big E of his prize. But now Crews has switched up his persona and gone back to his “Uhaa Nation” ways. This is a revamped version of Crews that Big E will have to confront now, which means the challenger’s harder edge and willingness to win by any means necessary may give the champ a much harder trial to overcome.
I love both of these guys and am open to either man walking away with the IC Championship. Big E’s run as the champ is still going strong and doesn’t need to end so soon, while Crews’ new gimmick would do well to result in him getting a big win on PPV. The match itself will surely be one for the ages, of course. But at the end of the day, only one of these superstars will be leaving the ring as the title victor. And in my opinion, that sole survivor is going to be Big E. While it’ll pain me to see Crews fall in defeat just mere weeks after refreshing his character, it just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for Big E to drop the IC title anytime soon.
Alexa Bliss vs. Randy Orton
Predictions & Winner: Here we have another feud I don’t give two *expletives* about. “The Fiend” is big trash, Alexa Bliss still doesn’t do anything for me, and Randy Orton being involved in this supernatural schlock bores me to tears. I would have loved to see Orton lock up with an unmasked/non-Retribution rendition of Dominik Dijakovic or someone far more interesting. But we’re stuck with this lame-duck feud that I’m sure will lead to ‘Mania 37 in some capacity. Man, you hate to see it…
So I get the feeling that this whole affair won’t even be a match – the bell will ring, the lights will go off, Bliss & Orton will stare each other down for an uncomfortably long span of time, then “The Fiend (yawn…) will make his return in his new post-burned form. And as expected, Orton will be on the receiving end of “The Fiend’s” wrath. This shocking (not really…) moment will reignite the beef between the two and give us yet another ‘Mania meeting between them. And judging by their ‘Mania 33 match, that’s not really something anyone should be looking forward to…
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair (WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship)
Predictions & Winners: This match is happening again because…reasons, I guess? I figured we were going to move past this whole affair since we already saw it at the last PPV, but WWE saw fit to run it back once more. I figured Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair were going to win the titles beforehand, then drop them to NXT’s Dakota Kai and Raquel González due to some miscommunication. That would have made perfect sense in order to build some heat between the future ‘Mania 37 opponents, but the Wednesday night duo already got their title match on a recent episode. And sadly, they failed. So now we’re back to square one with this rematch since there are barely any other legit women’s tag teams on the main roster.
Last time, I predicted that the champs would retain. But now, my gut’s pulling me in the direction of a shocking championship victory for Banks and Belair. This time around, I think Nia Jax and Bianca Belair will be the ones that screw up badly and end up paving the way for their foes to overcome them. The outcome of this match will finally bring the fractured union between Jax and Baszler to an end, plus it’ll throw some more fire on the ongoing feud between Banks and Belair. The new titleholders will remain friends for a little while longer, but I get the feeling that their title reign will ultimately run short and end due to big problems between the two. So yeah, we’re getting a title change here. Sadly, that title switch is for a pair of belts that no one really cares about…
Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus
Predictions & Winner: Every time these gentlemen step into the ring, they make sure to bash each other’s skulls in. I’ve enjoyed every bar brawl these men have delivered thus far and I’m sure they’ll up the ante for this rematch. But let’s keep it a stack, folks – we all know who’s walking away as the victor here. Drew McIntyre’s already been announced as Bobby Lashley’s challenger for the WWE Championship at ‘Mania 37. Sheamus is clearly being set up as McIntyre’s final stepping stone on his way to the big ‘Mania card. So yeah, McIntyre’s clearly going over after another hard-fought match with his former best bud. Sucks for you, fella…
Roman Reigns (c) (with Paul Heyman) vs. Daniel Bryan (WWE Universal Championship; Edge Will Be the Special Guest Enforcer)
Predictions & Winner: As soon as we watched the Universal Championship match at Elimination Chamber unfold between these two, it was easy to see that a fair rematch was in order for Daniel Bryan. He had to endure a Steel Cage match with Jey Uso to get it, but he still managed to slot himself into another title match with the “Tribal Chief.” And depending on the result of this much-anticipated matchup, we may even get a change to the WrestleMania 37 match that has Edge contending for the title. It’s pretty wild to see Bryan and Roman Reigns go head to head at this PPV once again – they delivered a great match at the 2015 installment of Fastlane. The stakes are much higher this time around, but I’m sure the quality of their last Fastlane bout will be the same here.
I’m so conflicted about who I really want to win this match, yet I ultimately know who’s going to win this match. I’d love for either man to prevail since both Reigns and Bryan would make for a great opponent for Edge come April. But I think we all know who’s going to come out on top here. Reigns’ “reign” as Universal Champion is still going strong and I just don’t see it coming to an end here. Bryan is being put in place here to give Reigns another worthy dancing partner and another huge notch in his winning column. Bryan will surely put in a good effort and make us all believe he’s about to become champion once again, but it will be all for naught. Reigns will vanquish Bryan and make his way towards his major WrestleMania 37 foe in Edge.