By Luke Johnson and Oscar Acevado:
Universal Championship Match: Kevin Owens (c) vs. Goldberg
Winner: Kevin Owens
Three storylines are tied into one for Sunday’s main event which has made the outcome nearly unpredictable, yet compelling.
The Universal Champion Kevin Owens just betrayed his now former best friend Chris Jericho in the backstab of the year a few weeks ago. Goldberg, on the other hand, has bested bitter-rival Brock Lesnar three times in a row. Although the feud has been one sided so far between Lesnar and Goldberg, Lesnar has never left a feud with out one-upping — or at least getting even — with his enemy. Therefore, it is inevitable that the two will meet at Wrestlemania next month.
We think Kevin Owens will retain his title at Fastlane solely because hardcore wrestling fans will be turned off by a 50-year-old Goldberg, who has never had a true passion for pro wrestling, holding the belt and taking the opportunity away from someone younger and more committed.
Since Goldberg has never been technically sound in the ring, expect this match to be booked with several trickeries. There will most likely be run-ins from Lesnar and Jericho along with a glass-jawed referee getting knocked unconscious — making the match a barbaric free for all.
Raw Women’s Championship Match: Bayley (c) vs. Charlotte
Charlotte has an undefeated (16-0) record in singles competition at pay-per-views. There is no way that’s changing at a small PPV preluding Wrestlemania. She’s going to defeat San Jose’s very own Bayley at Fastlane to set up a storyline for her incredible winning streak to be snapped on the biggest stage of the year. Once it is broken by Bayley (or possibly Sasha Banks), who is billed as the ultimate underdog, it will cause a loud pop from approximately 75,000 people in Orlando.
Singles match: Roman Reigns vs. Braun Stowman
Winner: Braun Strowman
Despite contrary theory by Roman Reigns haters, who think he always wins, he has an 11-14 record in pay-per-view events over the past two years and hasn’t won at a PPV since October. Billed at 6-foot-8 and 385 pounds, Braun Strowman is being booked as WWE’s newest monster so it makes sense for him to go over there. Reigns also might have some unfinished business with Undertaker from their encounter in a Royal Rumble match five weeks ago. Expect Reigns to interfere in the match in some fashion whether it be physically or through his science-fictional capabilities.
Single match: Samoa Joe vs. Sami Zayn
Winner: Samoa Joe
Here is an example of how WWE booking can be very predictable. Once a wrestler debuts on the main roster, he usually gets a big push and goes undefeated for about two-to-three months. Samoa Joe appeared on Raw for the first time the night after the Royal Rumble as Triple H’s henchman and has been untouchable ever since. He non-kayfabe injured Seth Rollins during his debut and has defeated top-tier wrestlers Roman Reigns and Cesaro in singles competition.
Samoa Joe’s opponent at Fastlane is a competitor on the opposite side of the spectrum — meaning his job is to put wrestlers over. His lifetime record in WWE pay-per-views in 1-8-1. Although Zayn is one of the most talented performers in the company, his chances of winning Sunday are very slim.
Cruiserweight Championship Match: Neville (c) vs. Jack Gallagher
Neville had one of the best heel-turns in a long time and it has made his character as dynamic as his in-ring work. He went from an ordinary, high-flying crowd pleaser to the dominating force in the Cruiserweight Division and thus, we do not see him losing against Gallagher. As great and over as he is, he’s more of a comedy act and Neville losing to him could destroy all the work he’s done for his new attitude. The only person who can potentially take the title from “The Man That Gravity Forgot” is Austin Aries who was recently cleared by doctors to compete.
Raw Tag Team Championship Match: The Club (c) vs. Enzo & Big Cass
Winner: The Club
This matchup has the same feel as the Cruiserweight Championship match. The Club (Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson) has experience trouble with booking since losing its leader AJ Styles and has left fans without a reason care. As dominant as Gallows and Anderson were in Japan, WWE has not given them an opportunity to establish themselves as a tough and brutal tag team. That appears to been the case until now as The Club finally claimed its first title reign in WWE five weeks ago. This match could be the chance for it to get the credibility Gallows and Anderson need if they are able to shut down the trash-talking duo of Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady.
Singles match: Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks
Winner: SashaPoor Sasha Banks. Just a few months ago she was part of a fantastic feud for the Women’s Championship — being featured in the main event — and now she’s working the pre-show. Nia Jax has just not shown the ability of being the monster for her division. She’s green in the ring, and can’t really talk on the mic. Since Jax won the first fight, we’ll say that Banks take this one.