More Like the Carpool Lane, Am I Right? – WWE Fastlane 2018 Predictions – 3/11/2018

The stars of Smackdown Live head to Ohio on the Road to Wrestlemania, as WWE Fastlane invades Columbus.  Let’s get to guessing.

Natalya & Carmella vs Naomi & Becky Lynch

Matt:  Well, they haven’t exactly been creative with the women’s division of late, but I guess at the very least I’m thankful that it’s not Becky and Naomi against the other two Riott Squad members (though that would probably be a better match).  This match has to get the show started, since Carmella is leaving the show with the Women’s Championship.  Becky Lynch taps Natalya with the DisArmHer.

Jeremy:  Yeah, this one is open and shut.  Naomi hits the Rear View on Natalya and Becky catches the stumbling cat lady into a DisArmHer.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs Rusev

Matt:  I’m oddly excited for this match, even knowing there is little chance that Nakamura takes the loss here on his way to the Main Event of Wrestlemania.  I’m going to go against my instinct here, since there aren’t exactly any stakes, and say that Rusev Day celebrates glorious victory following an assist from Aiden English.

Jeremy:  Rusev should be main-eventing at this point.  Rusev Day is super over to the point where fans are chanting for our favorite Bulgarian at ROH and Independent shows.  After Mania, Rusev needs to have a main event match for the championship for whatever show he’s on.  WWE, Universal, or bust.  Anyway, this could steal the show.  Most likely, it’ll give Nakamura a nice win heading into Mania.  I’m going to go with that.  Nak gets a clean pin heading into Mania.

The Usos vs The New Day for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship

Matt:  The Usos are on a tear, but honestly I think the New Day need the belts more at this point, or a heel turn, but we’ll just assume that the merch Gods of WWE won’t let that happen.  Still, The Usos have these belts on lockdown.  I never thought I would say it, but Welcome to the Usos Penitentiary.  

Jeremy:  I’m just going to go out on a limb here but I think Vince randomly wants The New Day to be defending the titles at Mania.  Sure, The Usos are killing it, but sometimes Vince is out of touch. We could possibly just get a rematch at Mania, which would be boring. Or maybe I’m just saying all this to be contrary to Matt.  Either way, Big E hits a Big Ending on Jey Uso on a pile of pancakes to become 5-time champs.

Randy Orton vs Bobby Roode for the United States Championship

Matt:  They’re making an awful lot of fuss about this being Orton’s only Championship for the Grand Slam, and since they are half-assing yet another attempt to make the Open Challenge a thing, they might as well just go that route with it.  Or hell, maybe Orton wants the unpredictability of booking and he’ll actually have a hell of an Open Challenge run with something that he will enjoy doing.  I could see Orton stepping into the role that Cena isn’t around enough to keep up anymore.  Randy Orton is the new United States Champion.

Jeremy:  I think it’s a red herring to throw us off, much like all the build-up for Nia before the Elimination Chamber.  Bobby Roode is going to retain here with a Glorious DDT.  And then, I’m going to go with a crazy wild card prediction here, Bobby Roode is going to Mania and holding an open challenge.  Who shows up?  Austin Aries, on his quest for gold, shows up to challenge his friend and former TNA Tag Team partner for the championship.  It’s a one-time thing though, just for the big pop at Mania.

Ruby Riott vs Charlotte for the Smackdown Women’s Championship

Matt:  No way in hell Charlotte drops this belt in this match.  I think that at some point Ruby’s squad is going to get a DQ and beat the hell out of the champion.  That being said, Carmella is the new Smackdown Women’s Champion.

Jeremy:  What I hope happens in this match is Ruby Riot really shows why she deserves to be on the main roster.  This is a chance for her really to make her mark.  I hope the rest of the Riott Squad stays in the back.  Just like Matt mentioned, I’m fine if she ultimately draws the DQ, but I’d rather her do it by herself.  I think Charlotte gets the pin and Riott flips out.

Six-Pack Challenge for the WWE Heavyweight Championship:  AJ Styles defends against John Cena, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler.

Matt:  I’m going to put this out there.  As much as I want to see John Cena get Number 17 at some point, because he has earned it, you don’t do something that monumental on a second rate PPV.  Somehow, I see this ending rather shady, like AJ and Cena getting simultaneous tap outs and the official not really knowing what to do.  It feels inevitable that he’s added to the Championship match at Wrestlemania.  Maybe letting him overthrow Ric Flair’s record would aid in easing some of the heat that Roman will get, even if everyone hates Lesnar by April.  I don’t know.  AJ Styles retains, but something fishy is going down in this one.

Jeremy:  I won’t lie.  I haven’t been watching SmackDown.  I’ve just been reading Matt’s recaps.  Logic would suggest that AJ Styles retains here.  The fans really want a singles match between Nak and AJ.  To add insult to injury, AJ makes Cena tap with a Calf Crusher for the win.  John has to further prove why he deserves a match at Mania.  I’m assuming the rest of pack use this match to setup potential feuds for Mania, even if it’s just for the Andre.

Final Thoughts:

Matt:  For some reason I really like the idea of Carmella cashing in and becoming champion right now.  Charlotte has nothing really concrete going on, and while I’d rather see her face Asuka at Mania, they’re not going to shift gears in three weeks time.  Let’s do something odd here and say that Vince McMahon costs Kevin Owens the victory here with a headbutt.

Jeremy:  The PPVs between Rumble and Mania are normally pretty predictable.  Watch as we predict every single one of these matches wrong, even the singles matches where we both chose a different winner.  My craziest prediction is in the US Championship match.