WWE Fast Lane goes down on Feb. 22, which means it’s less than one week away. It should be easy to start making predictions given the immediacy ahead, but so far, all that’s really known is that there will be five matches and a face-to-face “confrontation.”
This highlights what many have criticized about the show. Some have called it a “throwaway” event — something the Road to WrestleMania really can’t afford to have.
Wrestling’s legendary commentator, Jim Ross, is a bit more optimistic than that. In a recent post on his blog, JR had this to say.
“Some one emailed me at our Q&A’s here that they thought that thee [sic] WWE Fast Lane PPV was merely going to be a throwaway show… and I couldn’t disagree more or least it shouldn’t be. I’d shoot some major league angles that would lead into WM31 not unlike any major city who had big wrestling cards every month. Always build to the next show, pose more questions than answers and get down and dirty with your key revenue drivers. The competition to see who is going to be in the WWE Title match at WM31 must be keen because nothing in WWE should be more important to any of the talents than being the champion. Sometimes I don’t get that feeling as unless talents are in the immediate mix for the title they rarely mention it.”
Maybe it shouldn’t be a throwaway, Ross is right, but it’s difficult to characterize it as anything but when this is the outlook of the card.
John Cena vs. Rusev
Cena has been booked as a traditional face going up against the mighty brute from a hostile country. Problem is, this is the 21st century and it’s a little too ’80s Cold War-esque, especially when the U.S. government has proven to be the world’s biggest big brother over the last six years. (Thanks, Snowden.) Couple that with the fact that Cena has said some pretty misogynist things about Lana, and you’ve got a kind of horrible “good guy.” Because Vince McMahon is oblivious to this, look for more of the same at the go-home show. This really does feel thrown together, and if Rusev loses, then WWE would have just wasted one of the few things it’s done right over the last year — Rusev’s monster heel build — on a small pay-per-view just before the biggest stage of all. Because that would make no sense whatsoever, I would expect a Rusev victory.
Prediction: Rusev by accolade, Cena passes out.
Nikki Bella vs. Paige
Paige has always been good in the ring; Nikki Bella has improved tremendously. While this isn’t the type of match you buy the whole card for, it should serve as a welcome distraction. Not really sure who has more to gain with the win here, but since it’s sort of fun watching people chase Nikki for the title, I’m going to go with Nikki through some sort of ill-gotten gain.
Prediction: Nikki Bella by pinfall.
Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns
Win or lose, Roman Reigns won’t have many people cheering him on for WrestleMania. WWE has to know that at this point, and they’ve also recognized that if they don’t want the Reigns train to go completely off the tracks, they have to keep him with other more talented and charismatic performers. Make no mistake, even though it’s a guaranteed money loser, WWE still wants the belt on Reigns as soon as possible, and they’ll make sure it gets there. But they won’t do it with a straight-up victory over Bryan. Not yet anyway. Look for a shmoz to end the match and then a triple-threat main event at WrestleMania 31.
Prediction: No Contest.
Triple H, Sting ‘Confrontation’
Sting and Triple H will face off. Sting will probably agree to a match with The Game at WrestleMania 31. Look for a Scorpion Death Drop when Triple H tries to attack the Stinger.
Bad News Barrett vs. Dean Ambrose
Bad News Barrett has less to lose here even though he is the Intercontinental Champion. With a loss, the newly returned Barrett would be just fine in staying near the top of the mid-card. Ambrose is the one, who really needs this victory. The WWE has squandered his potential to this point, burying him in the feud with Seth Rollins, semi-burying him against Bray Wyatt, and then having him go out like a chump in the Royal Rumble. Ambrose needs something that shows he’s a future A+ player and the IC strap is it.
Prediction: Dean Ambrose by pinfall
The Usos vs. Cesaro and Tyson Kidd
Put the titles on Cesaro and Tyson Kidd already, WWE. They’ve earned it, and their tag team is solid. It won’t hurt the Usos to lay down again. Regardless, this should be one heck of an exciting match.
Prediction: Cesaro and Tyson Kidd by pinfall
That’s it. WWE Fast Lane really is a barebones pay-per-view. While I’m sure a couple of more matches will be added before Sunday, there will be very little build.
What do you expect to see at WWE Fast Lane? Share your thoughts in the comments section.