Fastlane is upon us, but what that really means is that we're one pay-per-view away from WrestleMania.
Despite being just weeks away from the biggest show of the year, we won't be seeing Ronda Rousey, Braun Strowman, Kofi Kingston, Finn Balor, on top missing the perpetually absent Brock Lesnar. But with so many names sitting out Faslane, can WWE still put together a significant night for us?
Short answer? We think so.
Connor Casey: It feels pretty important, mostly because WWE has taken its sweet time building up the WrestleMania 35 card. Of the seven matches on the main show, four of them will likely have a direct effect on what happens in April, so I'm intrigued to see how things play out.
Jack Snodgrass: It didn't until Monday. But with the Shield back and Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair set, Fastlane looks pretty promising.
Ryan Droste: Somewhere in the middle. I agree the Shield reunion makes it feel more important. It still feels like there are too many PPVs between the Rumble and WrestleMania, though, which
Connor Casey: I'm not making any guesses on Ambrose. On the one hand I don't think WWE would send out a press release on Ambrose leaving to legitimate news outlets just for the sake of a storyline (they don't want to be burning bridges with the folks at ESPN, Yahoo, etc.), but playing up Ambrose's departure on television makes me think they've got something else in store. If they're smart they'll have Ambrose betray Reigns on Sunday setting them up for a singles match at WrestleMania, which would finally give some legitimate payoff to that heel turn months ago.
Jack Snodgrass: I think Ambrose does leave, but only to return. It sounds like he may just be burnt out and WWE can give him a nice send-off by Reigns beating him at Mania.
Ryan Droste: Nope. I still think he's going to wrestle (and lose) to Reigns at WrestleMania and leave. It's a question on how we get there. I initially expected a possible turn at Fastlane, but now I'm leaning toward the Shield standing tall one more time at the PPV and then a turn by Ambrose either on RAW Monday or in the coming weeks.
Connor Casey: Picture this — Bryan cheats to retain against Kevin Owens thanks to interference from Rowan and the two beat down Owens
Jack Snodgrass: Yeah, right after Luke Harper shows up.
Ryan Droste: I could see Connor's scenario. I could also see Sami Zayn returning in that match to set-up the finish. I'm really not sure what direction they are going in this match but I do feel bad for Kevin Owens who has been thrown into an awkward spot. He's a babyface, yet can't win, and seems like a heel for taking Kofi's spot.
Connor Casey: Never say never, but it looks like Styles is aiming to take a lighter schedule going forward after being the undisputed workhorse of the Blue Brand in 2018. I'll say no.
Jack Snodgrass: Nah. He came in, zoomed past all expectations and will likely spend the rest of his WWE career in a victory lap.
Ryan Droste: I believe yes. The company loves him, he sells merch, and he's too good not to be.
Connor Casey: Not at all. The match doesn't intrigue me, and the promos building it up where Bayley and Banks go on and on about how historical their title win was got old the third time around.
Jack Snodgrass: Sorry, but nope. WWE seemingly added the titles just for the sake of more trophies. If they can't make the men's tag division, then why should we expect anything different here?
Ryan Droste: Sadly, no. And it's going to be hard to fit the titles into a match on the WrestleMania card (which is already looking even longer than last year). It will be very unfortunate to have the new titles featured in a kickoff show match. Would it be better for Bayley and Sasha to return to NXT for one night only and defend them at NXT TakeOver New York? It would certainly be more of a featured spot than where they are likely to end up on WrestleMania.
Connor Casey: Only if they still have nothing for him at WrestleMania. I'll give the creative team a pass given how The Shield
Jack Snodgrass: I think so. Balor had a tidal wave of momentum just a few weeks ago, and by missing this pay-per-view he's lost steam. WWE understandable has bigger fish to fry, but considering the IC belt's importance, this seems like a missed opportunity.
Ryan Droste: Ideally he would be in action, but yes, there's really nobody left for him to defend against with The Shield match as Connor mentioned. So much of Balor's run on the main roster has felt just thrown together, so if it's not a meaningful match, waiting for something better probably makes sense.
Connor Casey: I absolutely love Asuka, but I'll say the women's title only because I know that triple threat tag match for the Raw tag titles will be fun to watch on Sunday. Asuka vs. Mandy Rose? Not so much.
Jack Snodgrass: Yeah, the Women's Revolution is exclusive to Raw. I'm not sure how WWE makes the SmackDown Women's Championship more intriguing without really shaking things up. I don't think the Raw Tag Titles are much better, but the personalities and talent there are simply more
Ryan Droste: I have to go with the SmackDown women's title, which feels so second tier compared to the RAW women's title right now. The RAW tag division has actually improved in recent months and may actually feature Ricochet and Aleister Black challenging for the belts soon (WrestleMania?).
Connor Casey: Ronda Rousey comes out and attacks everyone. And I mean everyone — Lynch, Flair, the referee, a
Jack Snodgrass: I really don't know. This story changes every week. I see Rousey wrecking everyone then laying Lynch on top of a dead Flair for a three count. Why? Who knows, but Rousey will tell us on Monday.
Ryan Droste: Lynch better win. The booking of this feud has already become so convoluted, just get her back in the WrestleMania title match and let's move forward. We don't need any more twists and turns at this stage.
Connor Casey: Probably not for a while. I love the idea of Rollins and Reigns going back and forth for a few months as babyfaces trying to outdo each other, but WWE doesn't operate that way. Either one of them gets moved in the Shake-up and we get a new world title picture, or Rollins drops the title to a heel Reigns can beat sometime in the Summer.
Jack Snodgrass: Well, I'll bet Reigns moves to SmackDown in lieu of WWE's billion dollar deal with FOX. But him winning the Universal Championship at SummerSlam seems like a logical expectation.
Ryan Droste: If it's the Universal Championship picture, not until SummerSlam at the earliest (assuming Rollins is on the cusp of a title reign). I agree with Jack about a potential move to SmackDown in the coming months.