Tonight, WWE puts on their final PPV before Wrestlemania. The RAW brand is at bat, trying to put on a better show than last month’s Smackdown exclusive Elimination Chamber PPV. RAW has the numbers to put on a great show, but the storylines seem to be falling flat by comparison. There are several loose ends that need to be tied up, and based on RAW’s booking as of late, we’ll be left with several new feuds after tonight. We’re going to find out just who’s in the Fastlane to Wrestlemania. Here are my predictions for every match on tonight’s card:
WWE Fastlane Kickoff Show
The Brian Kendrick & Noam Dar V Rich Swann & Akira Tozawa
This match is a tag match that was put together based on an ongoing singles feud. Akira Tozawa and Brian Kendrick have been at each other’s throats for the last three weeks of WWE programming, and tonight their rivalry will come to a head. This match certainly has future Cruiserweight Title shot implications written all over it. Given Kendrick has already been champ, I expect to see Tozawa and Swann come out on top in this one.
Winners: Akira Tozawa & Rich Swann
Samoa Joe V Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn catches another tough break tonight. He’s facing off against a surging Samoa Joe, who’ll continue to be booked strongly as he makes his way towards a showdown with Seth Rollins at Wrestlemania. Zayn will look good in this match (as he always does), but in the end Samoa Joe goes over easy in this one.
Winner: Samoa Joe
RAW Tag Team Title Match; Gallows & Anderson(c) V Enzo & Cass
Gallows and Anderson haven’t been made out to look very strong lately. The pair squared off against Roman Reigns twice in handicap matches on RAW, and were dominated both times. Enzo and Cass have been enjoying a surge of momentum as of late, but there’s also been tiny hints of an impending split between the two. Gallows and Anderson are the Tag champs RAW needs right now, so I don’t expect to see them drop the titles so soon. They’ll retain thanks to a mistake by Enzo, and head into Wrestlemania as Tag Team Champions.
Winners: Gallows and Anderson
Nia Jax V Sasha Banks
This one is really interesting, because it could go either way. Sasha is in need of a win to maintain her credibility as a top contender for the RAW Women’s Title, while Nia Jax is pushing towards title contention herself. Banks has been on the receiving end of several Nia Jax beatdowns as of late. I would say it makes more sense for Sasha to win this one just to get her win back, but all signs are pointing towards Nia Jax again dominating her instead. This match will lay the groundwork for the eventual multi-women’s Title match at Mania though, so there’s that…
Winner: Nia Jax
WWE Cruiserweight Title Match; Neville(c) V Jack Gallagher
Another tough spot for one of the more interesting talents in a division. Gallagher has been really entertaining in his spots on RAW and 205 Live lately, but Neville has been nothing short of great during his current run. The “King Of Cruiserweights” Neville makes for a more compelling champ, and right now there is no one that can match his skill or intensity. Neville will retain tonight, and Gallagher will fall back into the endless line of cruiserweights waiting to make a true impact. Long live the king…
Braun Strowman V Roman Reigns
Considering how WWE has built this match, I almost feel gypped that it doesn’t have any sort of special stipulation to go along with it. Both men have been tearing each other apart in and out of the ring, and this match just SCREAMS Falls Count Anywhere. I understand why it’s just an ordinary match though, because we’re going to see it end in a way that both men can come out looking strong. They will beat the snot out of each other, and Strowman will be tested like never before. In the end, it’ll look like Roman is going to come out on top, and then…….GONG. The Deadman will appear and cost Reigns the match, setting up their long rumored encounter at Wrestlemania.
Winner: Braun Strowman via DQ
RAW Women’s Title Match; Charlotte V Bayley(c)
This match seems simple enough. Bayley is finally Women’s champ, but Charlotte is undefeated at PPVs. WWE seems to remain intent on passing the title back and forth between their Women’s division, so it only makes sense for Charlotte to regain possession of the Women’s title here. She will go into Mania and defend her title in a multi-women Title match, and that’s where her undefeated streak will end. Dana Brooke has been showing up more and more lately, and she will play a role in tonight’s match. Sasha will also come to the aid of her friend, and that’s where things will get a little hairy. Bayley loses hard tonight thanks to a miscommunication between her and Sasha Banks.
WWE Universal Title Match; Kevin Owens(c) V Goldberg
This match. Never in my life have I wanted to be so wrong about a prediction I was making. Kevin Owens as Universal Champ is dope on so many levels, because he is, essentially, a wrestler’s wrestler. The guy can flat out go, and despite the criticisms about his body, he has put together an impressive body of work during his time on the main roster. Goldberg on the other hand, is a sports entertainment guy’s dream. Outside of a few excellent promos from Owens, the two haven’t really had much in-ring contact and that makes this match a bit of a hard sell. Goldberg is set on a collision course with Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania, and I’m thinking Lesnar makes an appearance here that ends up costing Kevin Owens the title. With his announcement that he’s retiring from MMA competition, This leaves Brock wide open for a somewhat lengthy title from that will begin at Wrestlemania. Don’t feel bad for Owens though, as he’ll bounce back on his feet and fight his former best friend for his United States Title at Mania.