WWE Fastlane 2018 Preview and Predictions – Triple Threat POV | Smark Out Moment

WWE Fastlane 2018 Preview and Predictions – Triple Threat POV

Posted by Jonathan Maldonado Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Welcome to another edition of Triple Threat from Smark Out Moment, where three of us get together to discuss three questions based on one big topic going down in the week of professional wrestling.

This week, Jonathan Maldonado, Cayden Parkhurst and Robert DeFelice will be giving their thoughts on John Cena's chances at Fastlane, Charlotte's WrestleMania future and the renewed rivalry between the Usos and The New Day.

Let's discuss...

Question 1: John Cena has made his way into the WWE Championship Match at Fastlane. He didn't win the Royal Rumble and he didn't do much in his Elimination Chamber attempt. Should we expect a larger role or maybe even a win in his third significant attempt to headline WrestleMania?

MALDONADO: Cena's story is interesting. I like him struggling to find his spot in the main event, and I genuinely don't know where this is going. He probably won't pick up the title at Fastlane, as intriguing as that triple threat sounds at WrestleMania. The people want AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura in singles competition, anything else and they will express significant dissatisfaction. Cena's win over AJ a week ago gives the story some life, but he'll ultimately fall short during the Six Pack Challenge.

We'll probably be given a huge hint to his future following the match. As much as I want to avoid it, it'll probably involve the Undertaker. Unless he comes out as the American Badass to explain putting down the classic Taker gear, I think this diminishes a potent moment from Mania 33.

PARKHURST: John Cena is nothing but a scare-tactic here in my opinion. I truly believe that WWE would not jeopardize the WrestleMania main event that is Styles vs. Nakamura, but they want people to tune in to Fastlane and believe that AJ could really lose. Adding a name like Cena to any match, a guy that has won over and over when we expected him not to, is just to scare people into thinking AJ might not be champ heading into Mania. Also, whether we like it or not, Cena is one hell of a performer and no matter who else is in that match, he will take it to the next level.

Let us not forget that this is John Cena we're talking about. He will have a huge part to play at the Grandest Stage of 'Em All, but it won't be a headliner. And that is just fine, because no matter what he does it will get all the attention they need from it.

DEFELICE: I have very much enjoyed the storyline of John Cena claiming he won't be a part of WrestleMania. Obviously, John Cena will be a part of WrestleMania, but this particular path is a good way to ease the audience into the realization that soon he won't have a spot on the card and there will come a time where John Cena isn't wrestling at all. I do however take issue with the way that John has been used for the last 18 months or so. He was completely useless in 2017 and I don't think that that's very productive and I believe that it's a hindrance to his legacy.

Moving on to Fastlane, John is in a match with five other people that I love and would love to see come out on top here except for the fact that we've already established Nakamura as the man they're going to defend their championship against. The match is slated for AJ Styles. Unfortunately, that takes a lot of the buzz out of this particular match here with the exception of asking yourself "I wonder what they are going to do with John?" John did a good job on Monday of establishing the idea of a triple threat between himself, Nakamura and AJ Styles, however I don't think that anything other than the one on one match between Nakamura and AJ Styles will generate excitement from the audience that is very much looking forward to this match being the yin to Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar's yang. I think Undertaker gets involved here somehow and we get the dream match at WrestleMania that comes just a few years too late in my opinion but should still be very much enjoyable.

Question 2: Charlotte Flair will take on Ruby Riott at Fastlane for the SmackDown Live Women's Championship. With The Riott Squad at ringside and Charlotte having some some friends in the back, how do you see this playing out?

MALDONADO: Charlotte will retain and defend the title at WrestleMania, done deal. What I don't know is what the heck is going on with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Ruby Riot is definitely a future champ at some point, but with that briefcase still out there with Carmella on top of Asuka not choosing her opponent yet, she's not going over Charlotte until everything else has settled.

I hope they just drop Charlotte having friends in the back soon. She's such an incredible heel, I find it hard to believe she wants friends in the division. Maybe a mentee, like Dana, but certainly not a friends circle.

PARKHURST: They have done a terrific job at making Ruby Riott seem like a viable threat to Charlotte. She has beaten up former champs, and with her crew behind her it seems like she can really win. However, I do not think she will. Charlotte is way too good right now, and Ruby is not the person to dethrone her just yet. That is not a knock on Riott either as I think she stands out in the women's division right now for both her unique look and in-ring action.

If I were WWE, I would want Charlotte a champion going into WrestleMania, and I think that is what they want, too. Even though I have no clue where they could go since they do not have much else on SmackDown right now in the women's division. She is too good both on the mic and in the ring, and Riott Squad or not Charlotte walks out with the belt.

DEFELICE: If you don't see Charlotte walking into WrestleMania as the SmackDown Women's Champion, then you're not watching properly. I genuinely like all of the girls in The Riott Squad, but I feel like they're destined to get lost in the shuffle on this Road to WrestleMania. The only question I have is whether or not Asuka will actually challenge the smackdown Champion instead.

Honestly, I was ready to say I don't think so because that would just null-and-void everything she's doing on Raw but having just finished this week's episode of Raw, I can tell that they made a point to not say she was challenging the Raw Champion for the first time since she won the Royal Rumble, and they made a huge effort to push towards Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax one on one. So, I think after the queen wins on Sunday the empress will make her debut and officially challenge her.


Question 3: Big E cut one of his best promos ever in the current lead up to The New Day's revived rivalry with The Usos. Are the patrons of the power of positivity poised to become five-time WWE World Tag Team Champions at Fastlane?

MALDONADO: Big E killed it in his promo on the New Day. This feud with The Usos continues to feel fresh and I'd be glad to watch another few months of their matches. The stakes feel a little higher now, beyond just being the champions and claiming the best team of their generation.

I get that the Bludgeon Brothers are a real threat, and honestly, I'd love if they were randomly inserted into this match. That way, we can get past their threat for the time being and give The New Day and the Usos the tag team match they deserve at WrestleMania. The Brothers can have their way with the winners on the next SmackDown Live.

PARKHURST: It is safe to say the The New Day have cemented themselves in the history books and hearts of fans as one of the best true teams to ever do it. They're as entertaining as can be, they can put on a great match, and they brought some long needed legitimacy to the tag division when they started their legendary run.

The Usos revived themselves with their heel turn, and they're definitely on the same page with ND as one of the best teams of this era. Now as for this match, there is a team lurking in the distance. The Bludgeon Brothers. Harper & Rowan are trying yet again at this tag team thing, and I think it is their time. I think they get involved here making this particular match a no contest, and setting up a triple threat match for WrestleMania where the Brothers get their moment.

DEFELICE: The disappointing thing here is that this is bound to lead to a multi-team match at WrestleMania. I like both tag teams here and I think they bring something that a lot of people on the roster don't and that's genuine intensity.

I enjoyed the back and forth they had a week ago on SmackDown, and honestly it was the most genuine promo I've seen in quite a long time. That being said, as good as I thought that promo was, this is The Usos' year and they are walking into WrestleMania holding their SmackDown Tag Team Championships. They've got the penitentiary on lock, and I don't see that changing until at least the show of shows.

Those are our thoughts on the issue, but where do you stand?
Let us know your answers to these questions in the comments below!

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THIS POST WRITTEN BY: JONATHAN MALDONADO

Jonathan Maldonado is a lifelong wrestling fan from the Bronx, NY. He grew up during the Monday Night Wars and the Attitude Era and is a sucker for the flippy stuff and a good wrestling tee. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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