Liam Hoofe shares his predictions for WWE Fastlane 2017…
This Sunday WWE will pull into its final stop before WrestleMania 33, and Raw’s first solo show of 2017 has quite the stacked card.
Say what you want about WWE’s ‘flagship’ show, but Fastlane has got an array of fresh match ups on its card, with several of these matches having never been seen before on WWE TV.
The show itself has not been the most interesting since the draft split, but this card has put plenty of focus on new rivalries and deserves some credit for that.
So who will pick up a big win before Mania, and what feuds will be started and/or continued on the road to WrestleMania this Sunday? Here are my predictions for all the matches announced.
Charlotte vs Bayley (Raw Women’s Title)
Rumours currently circulating would suggest that WWE dropped their plan of given Bayley her crowning moment on the grandest stage of all time, instead of rushing it forward to Raw just after the Royal Rumble.
Bayley’s first title reign is likely to be short-lived though. The company will likely want to wait to Mania to break Charlotte’s streak, and that’s if they do at all. Expect the queen to regain her title belt on Sunday night, and head into Mania as the champion.
Prediction: Charlotte wins clean
Enzo and Cass vs The Club (Raw Tag Team Titles)
Enzo and Cass finally bursting their way onto the Tag Team Title scene has been a long time coming, and I’m sure most fans would be happy to see them walk out of Fastlane as the champs heading into WrestleMania.
The Club have been made to look weak against Roman Reigns in recent weeks, and they really need a big win on Sunday to make them look strong heading into Mania season. Expect Amore to take the fall, and this feud to carry on into Mania.
Prediction: The Club walk out with their gold intact.
Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax
With both of these women likely heading into the rumoured fatal 4 way match at WrestleMania, Sasha could do with getting her revenge of Jax here.
The two women have been feuding since the turn of the year, and after Jax effectively squashed Banks at the Rumble, Sasha will get the win here in a classic example of some good old 50-50 booking.
Prediction: Sasha Banks wins
Braun Strowman vs Roman Reigns
Credit must be given to Braun Strowman here. The former Wyatt Family member has not only continued to improve in the ring, but he has, in my opinion, pretty much carried this feud since he attacked Reigns at the Royal Rumble.
Vince is high on both of these two, and Reigns would be the logical choice here if there was more on the line. The former Shield member though is heading towards a clash with The Undertaker at the Royal Rumble, and he doesn’t need the win here. Expect this to be one hell of a fight but Strowman to take it – potentially after Taker’s gongs go off and distract Reigns. Strowman looks to heading towards a victory at the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Mania, with no other feasible opponents on the table for him.
Prediction: Braun picks up his biggest win yet
Samoa Joe vs Sami Zayn
Samoa Joe has been on a rampage since his arrival on the main roster, and Sami Zayn has quickly become the guy who gets his ass handed to him by the bigger guys on the roster.
These two though are both exceptional in-ring workers and this match is likely to steal the show. There’s no way Zayn is walking out of this one with a victory, and if WWE have any sense, they will continue to build Joe as the new dominant monster on the Raw roster.
Prediction: Samoa Joe continues to dominate with another impressive victory
Neville vs Jack Gallagher (Cruiserweight Title)
Neville has breathed a new life into the failing Cruiserweight division, and his opponent, Jack Gallagher has also proven to be the most entertaining of the new recruits. These two should put on a great show on Sunday, and I think the division would be in safe hands whoever takes home the gold. That being said, Neville should retain here – Gallagher is one of the roster’s youngest members and has plenty of time to gain the belt later down the line. Neville is on the form of his career and the Cruiserweight division will only continue to grow with him at the helm.
Prediction: Neville leaves with his belt, and heads into either a multi-man match at Mania, or a showdown with Austin Aries
Kevin Owens vs Goldberg (Universal Title)
I’m going to go out on a whim here and predict that Goldberg, like he did with Brock Lesnar, destroys Owens and takes home in the gold within a matter of minutes this Sunday.
Owens will come out fighting before quickly eating a Spear and a Jackhammer for the 1-2-3. Is this what I want to see? No. I think Owens deserves to headline Mania as champion, but I don’t see it happening. This also provides Jericho with the chance to taunt Owens in the weeks leading up to their Mania match up.
The other big question of course, is will Brock Lesnar turn up? This I’m not so sure about. Perhaps having him advance to the ring, only to back away would be a nice move. Goldberg has been made to look unstoppable since his return, and that should continue Sunday night.
Prediction: Goldberg squashes Kevin Owens to claim the Universal Title
What do you think will happen this Sunday at Fastlane? Let us know in the comments below, and let Liam know on Twitter here – @liamhoofe