Fastlane is hours away, and there are eight big matches tonight which likely all have WrestleMania ramifications. Say that ten-times.
Go for it, read the dirtsheets, you will read all about who is expected to show up, who is expected to win, and all the other crazy rumors.
Or… You can watch the show on its own merit and enjoy the surprises.
The pre-show will feature Rich Swann and Akira Tozawa against Noam Dar and Brian Kendrick, this will be a great match. No doubt about that. I predict a win by Swann and Tozawa. This will easily energize the crowd for the PPV.
Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax
A win by Banks would be another clichéd story of “David vs. Goliath.” A win by Jax might be unexpected, and yet I feel welcomed. Jax is the “giant” of the women’s division, but yet she has been relegated to solely squash-match role. Not sure what outcome would have the most affect on WrestleMania, but I’ll pick Nia Jax.
Sami Zayn vs. Samoa Joe
Oh boy this will be a fight. It’s going to be a win for Samoa Joe no doubt, but I fully expect Sami to put on the show of a lifetime… which he’s done against Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens. It will be a bit disheartening, I imagine Zayn will be on a roll mid-match, giving fans belief he might “score the upset” or whatever phrase Michael Cole comes up with, but then Joe will win, and something tells me it will not be clean.
Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman
BRAUUUUUUUUN. STROWMAN. He’s going to win. He must win. Can’t lose. No losing. No. No, and NO. Go ahead, read some poopysheets which will ramble on about how Vince needs to make sure everyone, including Judy Bagwell “makes Roman Reigns look strong” but good lord that is becoming as annoying as “make America great again.” I’m going to get hurt for that one. Just, enough. Lately it does seem Reigns has been served a few helpings of humble pie, following a 30-day suspension and lackluster promos. Also, it seems his being downplayed has won him over with a few more fans, and by few, I mean, about eight or nine. Strowman is on a tear, having plowed through Mark Henry and dare I say a match of the year candidate with Big Show. But if this is all a “let’s build him up to be a monster” and then have Reigns tear the build down, good lord it will murder Strowman’s career. Strowman must win tonight, and if he doesn’t, there has to be foul play. You know, in case a certain tall man wearing black returns.
RAW Tag Team Championship Match: Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows vs. Enzo and Big Cass
This will likely be the first match of a short-lived feud. What I expect, is The Club retaining the titles, but this win won’t have much of a victory lap, as they will have to defend in a fatal-four way tag match at WrestleMania. This will be a good match, but just part of a push for probably the most popular team on RAW to win the titles at Mania.
RAW Women’s Championship Match: Charlotte vs. Bayley
This makes me cringe, but Bayley’s going to lose. Not sure if by interference or clean, but tonight, Charlotte win regain the title. Some might complain this is fast-tracking her 16 title reigns, or devaluing the title. I view it as lots of competition. Face it, the women’s division is four. Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Nia Jax. Don’t talk to me about Alicia Fox or Dana Brooke, because, they don’t count. They don’t. If I am missing someone? Well, they don’t count either. Title reigns just signifies good competition and high value wrestlers.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Jack Gallagher vs. Neville
I am going with the unpopular opinion, and Neville will retain. Hear me out. Could you imagine, at WrestleMania, an eight-man cruiserweight ladder match, with a face like Gallagher winning said ladder match. That would be an awesome win. I’m guessing Neville, in a fit of desperation to keep the title and his “crown” will resort to some underhanded trickery to keep the belt. This is another title one may feel devalued by the frequency of the title changes. I feel like half the 205 Live roster held the title already.
WWE Universal Championship: Goldberg vs. Kevin Owens
Let’s review some facts:
Chris Jericho teased for some time about a match against Owens at Mania.
In Jericho’s last promo before being mauled, in likely not scripted mode, shared how much he enjoys “working” with Owens.
Goldberg will be facing Brock Lesnar.
Finn Balor might be coming back soon.
Kevin Owens touts himself as the “longest reigning Universal Champion in WWE history.”
I’m sure there are more to be included. The question is, do we get Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens with the title, or will the title be on the line with Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar. The WrestleMania money match is Goldberg/Lesnar, do they really need a title on the line? Jericho vs. Owens, the real money match would be a great match, with or without title. Sigh, I don’t know where this one is heading. My worry, is with the title on the line for Goldberg/Lesnar, this means Lesnar suddenly gets a second wind against Goldberg and takes the title, again. This, would suck, and takes the Universal Championship out of the picture until SummerSlam. I’d rather a Jericho/Owens title match, more drama, more story here. So, somehow, Kevin Owens will retain the Universal Championship.