The final PPV on the Road to Wrestlemania is coming up live on the WWE Network this Sunday from Milwaukee Wisconsin as the WWE presents the RAW exclusive show Fastlane. We’ve had our “go home” show so now we can finally preview all the matches. There are 7 matches on the main card and the results should give us an idea of the matches that we can expect from the RAW brand at Wrestlemania 33. RAW has had almost 2 months to build towards these matches since the Royal Rumble, so let’s take a look at what Fastlane has to offer.
Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax
These two have been in the RAW women’s title mix and have had a series of matches against each other over the past few months, including the pre-show of the Royal Rumble. Nia has been fairly dominant since making her main roster debut and has picked up wins in tag team and singles matches against current women’s champion Bayley. Sasha is a 3-time RAW women’s champion after playing hot potato with Charlotte Flair over the title last year. I have a feeling that the result of this match is probably going to have a major impact on the RAW women’s title match at Wrestlemania, in either making it a triple-threat or four-women match.
Sami Zayn vs. Samoa Joe
I really like what the WWE is doing with Samoa Joe after the original plans to have him feud with Seth Rollins fell apart due to Rollins getting injured. Sami and Joe have known each other since their ROH days and the WWE has done an amazing job of putting Joe in matches against guys he’s worked with in the past including Sami and Cesaro. Sami’s transition away from his feud with Braun Strowman is also great in my opinion as that seemed to be just treading water. Joe is dominant and I can’t see the WWE having him lose to Sami this early in his run, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we see Rollins make an appearance in the match and potentially cost Joe. Also wouldn’t be surprised if we see this match again at Mania.
Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair (RAW Women’s Championship)
Charlotte Flair doesn’t lose in singles matches on PPV, that is a fact and unfortunately that isn’t going to change at this PPV. Here’s the thing, I think the WWE has potentially learned their lesson about making title changes so often with the RAW women’s championship and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some sort of screwy finish to this match that results in Charlotte winning the match, but not the title and sets up a 3-4 person match for Mania. Both Sasha Banks and Nia Jax have been involved in this feud, and Dana Brooke also made her return recently so she could also get involved. I find it really interesting that RAW clearly has the better “workers” in their women’s division compared to Smackdown, but RAW’s storylines have paled in comparison to the amazing stuff Smackdown has come up with since the brand split.
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. Enzo & Big Cass (RAW Tag Team Championship)
With the New Day feuding with Rusev and Jinder Mahal, that match looks like it could happen at Mania, and Sheamus & Cesaro seemingly in the middle of an amicable split, we get The Club versus the Certified Gs. Gallows & Anderson have been trying to gain favor with Stephanie McMahon lately taking on Roman Reigns in 2-on-1 matches since winning the titles in a pre-show match at the Rumble. This one is tough to call and I think that has a lot to do with the way the WWE handles tag team booking. There just aren’t any real compelling story lines on either Smackdown or RAW as far as tag teams are concerned. It’s nice to see the Gs getting a shot at the title and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see them win the title as they are a crowd favourite and have been stagnant since the who Enzo, Lana, Rusev thing. This is another match that could end in a screwy finish as a way to set up a multi-team match at Mania, likely with a “face” team winning the title. The Gs are going to remain popular win or lose, and I’m interested to see if Gallows & Anderson keep sucking up to Stephanie.
Neville vs. Jack Gallagher (Cruiserweight Championship)
The WWE seems really high on Gallagher. He got a nice spot in the Royal Rumble, he was the only cruiserweight in the match, and he quickly became the #1 contender. Neville is the self-proclaimed “King of the Cruiserweights” and has been on a roll since returning and adopting his new heel persona. I really like Gallagher. I liked his stuff on 205 Live before he started getting his big push. His comedy stuff is a nice change of pace and it’s something that definitely makes him stand out. That being said, I think that it is too soon to take the title off of Neville at this point. I’ll freely admit that I don’t actively watch 205 Live, I do read the results and watch the clips that the WWE puts up on Youtube. The cruiserweights need a heel champion as a way to build up their babyfaces and to establish the brand. Gallagher, in my opinion, will be champion at some point, but I don’t think it’s going to happen at Fastlane.
Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman
Beef vs. Beef. Vince McMahon’s dream match. These are just a couple of the terms I’ve heard describing this match. The build for this match started back at the Royal Rumble when Strowman interfered and cost Reigns the title in his match against Kevin Owens. Reigns has seemingly become #1 on Stephanie McMahon’s hit list and she keeps stacking the odds against him. Strowman is supposed to be a heel, but I am willing to bet he gets cheered in this match, as crowds still don’t like Reigns. This is another one that is a bit tough to call, mainly because neither of these guys is in the title picture at the moment and they wouldn’t even be able to start a feud with the champ until after Mania. They have been building Strowman for months now, and I really don’t want to see them cut the legs out from under him by having Reigns go over clean. Rumours would lead you to believe that Vince is very high on both of these guys, but it really seems like they are both treading water at the moment, and will be until the U.S. and Universal title pictures are flushed out.
Kevin Owens vs. Goldberg (WWE Universal Championship)
I’m going to go on record and say that this is the most predictable match on the card. I hope I’m wrong, but I know I’m not when I say that Goldberg is walking out the champion. With everything that has been going on over on Smackdown regarding the World Championship, Goldberg vs. Lesnar for the Universal Championship is going to be the match that closes out Wrestlemania. Owens has had a nice run with the title, and taking it off him like this is an easy way to have him transition to the U.S. title (More on that later). It will be interesting to see if they have this match be a squash match or if they actually let KO get some offense in. I’m going to guess that it’s probably the former. They want to make Goldberg look like an unstoppable force before Lesnar takes the title at Mania.
The U.S. title will not be defended on this show as Jericho is still injured after being attacked by KO during the Festival of Friendship segment on RAW on Feb. 13. I personally think that the WWE jumped the gun on KO turning on Jericho. Everyone knew that it was coming, but I think that it would have made more sense to do it on the RAW after Fastlane rather than 3 weeks earlier. They could have easily had Jericho defend against someone at Fastlane with KO helping him to retain and then Goldberg beat KO with Jericho not able to help. The next night they run the segment exactly the way they did, but with a bit of a twist with Jericho doing it as a way of trying to cheer up KO after the loss. The turn happens and you have a month to build towards the match which is going to happen at Mania for sure.
That’s all we got. What do you guys think? Are you watching? Let us know in the comments.
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