Can Owens walk out of Fastlane still Universal Champion, or will Bill Goldberg once again sit atop the mountain?
Fastlane is Sunday and the biggest match on the card is Kevin Owens versus Bill Goldberg for the Universal Championship. As the final PPV stop before WrestleMania, how will this week shape the eventual showcase of the immortals?
1) Monday Night Raw’s Fastlane Pay Per View is this Sunday. Which match or matches are you looking forward to the most?
Corey: I’m definitely looking forward to the Universal Championship match between Kevin Owens and Bill Goldberg. Goldberg hasn’t had a legitimate match that’s longer than three minutes since he debuted so it will be interesting to see how this match is booked. I’m also looking forward to Neville vs Jack Gallagher for the Cruiserweight Championship as well as Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman.
Josh: Sami Zayn versus Samoa Joe will likely be the match of the night. There isn’t a ton of hype around Fastlane and I think most of that has to do with the card feeling very predetermined. Everyone kind of knows Goldberg will walk out champion, Charlotte will recapture the Women’s title and Neville will carry on as champion with some underhanded tactics. Fastlane is a stop-gap between the Royal Rumble and the march to WrestleMania, and if we already have the inkling of who will face who at WrestleMania then Fastlane becomes nothing more than a setup for that event.
2) Bayley is defending her Womens Championship against Charlottes this Sunday. Do you see Charlotte continuing her Pay Per View winning streak?
Corey: I’m genuinely not sure. I’ll say that I would like for Bayley to retain since winning the title on Raw and dropping it back to Charlotte at the PPV would just be a redo of what was going on during the Charlotte/Sasha feud as well as the fact that I’m not a huge fan of people playing hot potato with the title.
Josh: See above. WWE has sunk way too much time into the Charlotte PPV winning streak to have it end at Fastlane.
3) What were your thoughts on the interaction between The Miz and John Cena earlier this week on Smackdown?
Corey: I thought it was amazing. I’m a huge fan of wrestlers trying to blur the line between real and scripted. Both men made valid points against each other with Miz basically calling Cena a hypocrite for doing everything he bashed The Rock for doing and even John Cena telling Miz he stole from The Rock, Jericho, Ric Flair, and Daniel Bryan. Also I LOVED the little tease Cena threw out there involving the Undertaker.
Josh: Great segment! Say what you will, but Cena and Miz both cut really great promos and now that they’re afforded the opportunity to bleed some of their real lives into this story it’s going to make for a great journey to their eventual match at WrestleMania.
4) What are your thoughts on this Dolph Ziggler vs Apollo Crews feud?
Corey: It’s been booked completely wrong. It’s a pure mess right now. Ziggler is already established yet they are having him completely demolish Crews who is in desperate need of not only a good win over an established star but also in dire need of some personality.
Josh: Whew this whole story went south really quickly. Crews doesn’t have a discernible character right now and it’s killing whatever this feud is supposed to be. Ziggler at least showed some semblance of life on Smackdown during the post-match beatdown, saying ‘you can’t have my spot.’ But unless we get a little more from Crews about why this matters to him, other than Ziggler is a meanie-head, then it’s going to continue wandering around the fringes of the audience caring.
5) What were your thoughts on Smackdown’s ending?
Corey: Well we all knew the Orton turn was coming, we just didn’t know when and now it’s here. I’m happy with Smackdown’s ending. It made their feud all the more personal and seeing Bray Wyatt losing it at the end added a really nice touch.
Josh: It was frustrating. I’m not sure why they decided to shotgun this turn so quickly and the Orton promo never really explained what was going on the past several months. He couldn’t beat them so he joined them, but he also was never part of their world? Why did he continuously save Wyatt over the past several months? Did he force Luke Harper out of the group so he could get Wyatt alone? What would that even mean for Luke Harper’s character? I know it’s a lot to ask for in a 15-minute segment, but I don’t feel like it accomplished anything other than Orton using way too much gasoline to light the Wyatt sanctuary up. I did like that Wyatt was losing his mind as it was happening, but I needed more shots of that and less camera time on Orton staring menacingly into the camera.
– To solidify Strowman as a monster heel I wouldn’t mind if he got the win over Roman Reigns this Sunday. Btw was that an actual Roman chant I heard near the end of Raw this week?!
– I’m really curious to see how much ring time Maryse will see in the ring in the mixed tag match at Mania since out of her, Nikki, Cena, and Miz she has had the least amount of ring time recently.
– Something needs to happen with the Smackdown tag division quickly. It’s like one week they’re doing interesting stuff and the next they are completely forgotten about. It’s too easy to forget about them if they aren’t featured in something more than 5-minute throw-aways.
– Once again NXT has really hit their stride in the run up to WrestleMania as there are a ton of top talents all making waves before their featured in the next NXT TakeOver. Can’t wait to see how the event cards are going to shake out.