With Fastlane 2019 coming up this Sunday night, the go-home shows of Monday Night Raw and SmackDown LIVE have given us an indication of what talent is booked for the pay-per-view and who is not currently scheduled. Of course, the card is always subject to change and WWE may end up making alterations to this lineup, but at the moment, the men and women in this breakdown are not currently advertised as being part of this event.
In some cases, this may be justified, or even a purposeful plan to set up a surprise. In other cases, it may be ridiculous. That is up to you to decide as we take a look at which superstars aren’t being promoted for this show.
Non-Branded NXT Call-Ups
— EC3: Boy has this guy had bad luck with his call-up. WWE pushed him aside more than everyone else, finally got him to do something with Dean Ambrose, promptly switched everything 180 degrees and has now figured he’s best used losing to Apollo Crews on Main Event. Yeesh…
— Heavy Machinery (Otis Dozovic & Tucker Knight): While Heavy Machinery ran through most of the Raw tag team division this week, it still hasn’t earned them a title shot or anything of the sort.
— Johnny Gargano/Tommaso Ciampa: Supposedly, Tommaso Ciampa is dealing with an injury of sorts that has prevented him from being in the mix these past two weeks and could jeopardize his spot for NXT TakeOver: New York. If that’s the case, WWE would be foolish to try to book him in a meaningless match at Fastlane. As part of that DIY duo, Johnny Gargano has to take a backseat, too.
— Lacey Evans: I would be floored if Lacey Evans doesn’t show up to do the stupid walk down the ramp thing that they’ve been having her do. Imagine, they’ve been paying for her travel arrangements for weeks to do just that. Insane.
— Lars Sullivan: Lars Sullivan has still yet to show up on Raw or SmackDown LIVE since he started to be promoted back in what, November?
— Nikki Cross: No one lets Nikki play.
From the Raw Men’s Singles Division
— Apollo Crews: As a midcarder on Raw who is lower on the totem pole than some of the other people on this list, Crews wasn’t anywhere near in the running to be booked for this card, it seemed.
— Braun Strowman/Elias/Finn Bálor: Curiously, these three guys have been involved in this whole feud between The Shield and their opponents, yet they haven’t been factored into the plans. Braun Strowman was firmly targeted just the same, as was Finn Bálor. They have an equal footing with this storyline, outside of the name value of The Shield being together. Elias has also been very much tied to Dean Ambrose. It’s just curious why Elias isn’t in the six-man tag and why Bobby Lashley isn’t fighting Finn Bálor for the Intercontinental Championship or something along those lines.
— Bray Wyatt: The Eater of Worlds continues to say he’s on his way back and yet, he’s still M.I.A. for nearly a year now.
— Brock Lesnar: I feel so bad for anyone who is foolish enough to think Brock Lesnar would be scheduled to compete here. At most, he’ll do a run-in to attack Seth Rollins, but even that isn’t likely to happen.
— Dolph Ziggler: Dolph did his whole “I’m leaving and not popping up at Royal Rumble, gotcha! Okay, now I’m going to leave again” thing that he does. We’ll see him in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal maybe.
— Goldust: Injury (knees). There is no set timetable for his return.
— Jason Jordan: Injury (neck). There is no set timetable for his return, if it ever happens.
— Mojo Rawley: This whole gimmick of staring at himself in the mirror and saying he’s going to turn things around doesn’t seem to have worked for Mojo Rawley, as he’s still yet to do anything. Maybe he’s looking in the wrong mirror.
— No Way Jose: General rule of thumb: is No Way Jose going to have a match at a pay-per-view? No way! That’s just what happens when WWE considers you to be on the job squad.
— Sami Zayn: Injury (two torn rotator cuffs). He is expected back possibly sometime around WrestleMania season.
— Titus O’Neil: Over the past year, it’s definitely seemed that Titus O’Neil is more of an ambassador than a regularly active competitor. He’s still listed as being a normal part of the roster, but he never really shows up all that much.
From the Raw Women’s Division
— Alexa Bliss/Mickie James: These two have been put on the backburner and aren’t in contention for the women’s tag team titles. Alexa Bliss isn’t going to have another edition of A Moment of Bliss on this, either. There just wasn’t anything going on for them.
— Alicia Fox: If the reports are true, Alicia Fox should be in rehab right now, rather than doing anything related to the Fastlane event.
— Dana Brooke/Natalya: Weren’t these two supposed to be feuding? You could have fooled me. They dropped that storyline before it even really began, for the most part.
— Ember Moon: Ember Moon suffered an injury in the Royal Rumble that has her sitting out until she’s cleared to compete, which may not be until after WrestleMania.
— Ronda Rousey: You can bet your ass Ronda Rousey is going to make an appearance here in the Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch match. It’s pretty much a certainty. Whether she shows up after a winner has been declared or she ruins it to make it a no-contest, she’s definitely doing something.
— The Riott Squad: The Riott Squad had their time at the beginning of this year with Ruby Riott getting some attention against Ronda Rousey and Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan having their spot in the Elimination Chamber. That’s good. Fastlane is meant to push the people who have bigger things going on, though, and that’s not the case for this trio.
From the Raw Tag Team Division
— The Ascension: Konnor and Viktor are jobbers. They don’t get on pay-per-views. It’s as simple as that.
— The Authors of Pain: Akam’s injury has put Rezar in a spot where he only performs on house shows and Main Event to fill in a spot here and there.
— The B-Team: Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas follow the same jobber rule as everyone else. Their highlight of winning the tag titles and being a priority for booking was last year.
— Breezango: Fandango remains out due to a shoulder injury; Tyler Breeze is stuck in jobber limbo.
— Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder: I’m a fan of these two, but I have to admit that once they lost in the gauntlet match to Heavy Machinery, the idea of The Major Bros being highlighted on this event went completely out the window.
— Heath Slater and Rhyno: As yet another jobber tag team, Slater and Rhyno haven’t done anything at all in weeks and nothing of value since the Baron Corbin referee storyline.
— Jinder Mahal and The Singh Brothers: Yikes, this guy was WWE champion for 170 days and he isn’t even remotely in the running to fight for the midcard title at this B-level event.
From the SmackDown LIVE Men’s Singles Division
— Aiden English: If you want to see Aiden English, check out the commentary table on 205 Live. That’s his primary gig right now.
— AJ Styles/Randy Orton: Tension between these two was hinted at, but no match for Fastlane was made official. Perhaps WWE is just seeding things for a match at WrestleMania?
— R-Truth/Samoa Joe: Samoa Joe defeated R-Truth to win the United States Championship on the most recent episode of SmackDown LIVE. There are no automatic rematches (despite how they sometimes still do that), and it’s extremely doubtful Samoa Joe will be the type of champion who has the US Open Challenge, so it’s pretty safe to say if R-Truth gets another shot at this title, it’ll be on SmackDown LIVE, and it’s a safe bet that neither of these two will compete at Fastlane.
— Harper: Luke Harper has still yet to make his return from injury, despite supposedly being cleared. Should we read into that and speculate if he’s got a role to play at Fastlane by helping out Daniel Bryan alongside Erick Rowan? Or should we chalk that up to WWE not having an idea of how to use Luke Harper, so he’s sitting out just like others with nothing to do? Hm…
— Mustafa Ali: Mustafa Ali was supposed to compete in the Elimination Chamber, but wasn’t cleared to compete after suffering several different injuries that have kept him out of the ring since then. He has finally been given the go-ahead to wrestle, but that didn’t leave him any real room to set up something for Fastlane, even after helping Kevin Owens fight off Bryan and Rowan this week on SmackDown LIVE.
— Shelton Benjamin: Royal Rumble was the last time we saw The Gold Standard, and it had been a while before that, too. He’s definitely not someone WWE considers a priority to book, which is a shame.
— Sin Cara: Recovering from his injury, Sin Cara has yet to make his return to television. I would think the next time we see him will be in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, rather than on any upcoming episodes of SmackDown LIVE in the next few weeks, let alone Fastlane. There isn’t anything for him to do at this event.
From the SmackDown LIVE Women’s Division
— Carmella, The IIconics, Lana, Naomi: There is nothing tying these five women together other than just not being at the forefront of the SmackDown women’s division, which has largely been pushed aside as it is. When even Asuka and Mandy Rose haven’t had much to do in the past few weeks, there’s certainly nothing going on for Lana and Naomi and The IIconics. At least Carmella has been acting as valets for R-Truth, so she was still doing something, but since Truth isn’t scheduled for Fastlane, even she is out of the mix.
From the SmackDown LIVE Tag Team Division
— The Bar/The Hardy Boyz/Shinsuke Nakamura and Rusev: These three teams are now tied together with Aleister Black and Ricochet, to a certain extent, after the confrontation on SmackDown LIVE this week. However, since Ricochet and Aleister Black are fighting for the Raw Tag Team Championship, we won’t see anything more come about from this until after Fastlane. Likely, an eight-man tag team match will take place on the next episode of SmackDown LIVE featuring the four babyfaces against the four heels.
— The Colons/The Good Brothers/SAnitY: These three teams are never used for anything other than live events. It really makes you wonder how WWE thinks they can keep certain talent from leaving when they take years to do nothing.
— The New Day: Originally, when Kofi Kingston was set to face Daniel Bryan, it was assumed Xavier Woods and Big E would be ringside in his corner. Once Kofi Kingston was replaced by Kevin Owens, that went out the window. By the nature of the story, it would be odd for any of The New Day to be booked to do something else at Fastlane, so we’ll have to pick up with them after this event.
From the 205 Live Cruiserweight Division
— Everyone: At the moment, there is a tournament going on to determine who will face Buddy Murphy at WrestleMania 35 for the Cruiserweight Championship. That is going to play out on 205 Live, rather than at Fastlane, as there aren’t many matches left to do. This means Murphy and everyone else on the 205 Live roster are missing from the Fastlane card, as WWE isn’t going to just book some sort of tag team match or whatever to fill a spot when there are other matches that can be put on the card.