So, apparently, there is a PPV this Sunday called Fastlane, though I think the word “Pit Stop” is more apropos since there is literally not a lot of good to get behind. A lot of the action is simply dull, and or repetitive.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Rusev
The definition of a placeholder match, as this match was placed as a result of Shinsuke Nakamura hurting Rusev’s serenading partner-in-crime, Aiden English, and now Rusev is seeking to give Shinsuke Nakamura his comeuppance. Well, I suppose they have a reason to fight, so there’s a start there. It is painfully obvious that Shinsuke Nakamura is going to win here to build “momentum” in a match against Rusev. My beef here is that they are using someone as over as Rusev to feed to Shinsuke Nakamura on PPV before WrestleMania. I honestly believe Rusev should be heavily involved in something more monumental, though I guess that’s more than I can say for Smackdown LIVE in its current form. Honestly, my expectations have been watered down to expecting nothing more than your most basic SmackDown LIVE match, which is sad, because one is main eventing WrestleMania against AJ Styles and the other is super-over. Ho-hum.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
Becky Lynch and Naomi vs. Carmella and Natayla
So this feud started on WWE.com, and now it’s a match on a card desperately lacking. This doesn’t really add to the card and was just added because WWE didn’t have enough matches they felt could fill 3 hours, so we’ll get more filler. And this is just that. Filler. I don’t know why they are fighting and only heard about this match earlier this morning. I saw something about a has tag that Becky apparently had an issue with, so beats me, but neither of these four women are doing anything right now, which means this is another match on this card I don’t have a reason to care about. The only monumental thing that can come out of this is Carmella cashing in Money in the Bank after getting mad at losing. Faces win, because we all must leave happy, I guess
Winners: Becky Lynch and Naomi
Bobby Roode (C) vs. Randy Orton – United States Championship
This feud was sort of just flung together to give both men something to do. Also, I can’t think of anything worse than Bobby Roode facing Randy Orton in a match where they are both faces. Bobby Roode should really be a heel here because he’s been stinking it up as a face. That’s just not his character. Meanwhile, Randy Orton’s gonna Randy Orton. Meaning that he will be super-basic on the microphone, in the ring, and basically everything. The story here is that Bobby Roode wants to be remembered as one of the greatest US Champs ever, and wants to go up against the best. Meanwhile, Randy Orton is in the same boat Chris Jericho is in from this time last year, as he is seeking to win the one championship that he has yet to win in his career. Everything screams that Jinder Mahal is going to interfere in this match and cause a DQ or screwy finish because he has inserted himself into their feud and has laid out both men. Not to mention that Jinder Mahal just beat Randy Orton on SmackDown LIVE last week. Expect him to come out and thus, forming a triple threat match at WrestleMania in all likelihood.
Winner: Bobby Roode or DQ Finish
The Usos (C) vs. The New Day – SmackDown Tag Team Championship
If The Usos want to get featured on the WrestleMania main card for the first time as an official tag team, they are going to have to go through a familiar foe in order to do so. While this is another repetitive match, not all things grow old. The Usos and New Day took on a new dynamic in their feud, going from who is the best of the two teams, to who is going to get the chance to represent Smackdown at WrestleMania. Considering they have been through basically everything a tag team could do to each other, I’m not sure what else they could possibly do to make things different from their previous match, but what I do know is that every time these two teams get it on, it’s always special.
If this card has any chance of surviving, this is the match that’s going to have to carry things along, because that undercard gives new meaning to the word brutal. As The New Day told The Usos, they hosted WrestleMania last year while The Usos were in the back watching in catering. This year, I’m expecting the roles to be reversed. Or at least The New Day won’t be competing. The Bludgeon Brothers have unconsciously made their intentions known that they are coming for the straps, and they are the only team The Usos have yet to run by. Looks like that’s what’s next.
Winners: The Usos
Charlotte (C) vs. Ruby Riott – SmackDown Women’s Championship
So I think it goes without saying that Charlotte as RAW Women’s Champion will always be better than the SmackDown LIVE version of her. My word is this a dull feud. All I remember is the Riott Squad jumping Charlotte Flair after she won the SmackDown Women’s Title from Natayla and now they are fighting over the title next week. The little standing-in-the-ring promo they did this past week on SmackDown LIVE was okay, but it hardly got me excited in any way for this match. Ruby will not become champion and Charlotte Flair is going to retain here. Why? Because the Riott Squad has no direction for WrestleMania and Charlotte Flair is the bigger, more proven name. One of the permeating issues WWE has had on them this year is the predictability. Let me ask you. Do any of you believe Ruby has even the slightest chance of upsetting Charlotte Flair, just to shake things up before WrestleMania? Yeah, I thought not. I’m guessing Asuka is gonna appear after the match to declare her challenge. At least that’s what I’d do. Moving on.
Winner: Charlotte Flair
AJ Styles (C) vs. John Cena vs. Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens – WWE Championship Six-Pack Challenge