Thursday, October 5, 2023

WWE Fastlane 2023 Preview & Predictions

Time for another WWE B-PPV that's sure to gouge another Collision overnight rating, WWE Fastlane!

As of now only five matches have been announced, but I'm sure they'll either add more matches or throw in so much video package and backstage filler the show will reach the three-hour mark.  Anyway they brought back John Cena for this show and put Cody Rhodes on it to try and load it up a bit since Payback was met with much apathy.  I don't see this lineup being much better than that one though.  Side note: the name Fastlane doesn't make sense except as a show on the Road to WrestleMania.  That's where the title originally came from.  Now it's just nonsensical.  And it's not like anyone has nostalgic feelings about the name.  Just change it.

John Cena & LA Knight vs. Jimmy Uso & Solo Sikoa

I'm guessing LA Knight's been moved into a feud with the Bloodline guys to set up a match with Roman at the Royal Rumble or something, maybe even at Survivor Series.  But I wouldn't get your hopes up, Knight isn't gonna be the guy to beat Roman.  Like ever.  I get that he's popular and has a fun persona but he simply isn't main event material, he's paint-by-numbers in the ring.  Anyway, Cena's involvement ought to make for a somewhat hot crowd, although they're risking diminishing returns by featuring him so much.  I don't see the babyfaces losing.

Pick: Cena & Knight

Latino World Order vs. Bobby Lashley & Street Profits

Why in the name of hell did WWE resurrect a failed undercard stable from WCW?  Surely you could've called Rey and friends something original that doesn't have jobbers-to-the-stars connotations?  Also am I behind on current events or does this match feel totally out of the blue and thrown together?  And has Lashley been injured or has Creative just not had anything for him do to lately?  This seems like a run-of-the-mill RAW match and will probably be at about that level.  Lashley ain't losing to the LWO.

Pick: Team Lashley

WWE Women's Championship: Iyo Sky vs. Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair

Anyone else wish they'd just do a Sky-Asuka rematch?  Does Charlotte always have to be inserted as a third wheel?  This should be very good but there's entirely too many 3-ways in this company.  Iyo's keeping the title for a while so I'm guessing Asuka eats another pin.

Pick: Iyo retains

WWE Tag Team Championship: Judgment Day vs. Cody Rhodes & Jey Uso

This should be a very good tag match but I don't think anyone believes Cody and Jey are winning the straps.  There will probably be House of Torture-style excessive interference and Cody and Jey will have some kind of miscommunication to create tension between them, leading to an eventual singles match.  Gotta keep Cody busy while they pretend having him lose to Roman wasn't a mistake.

Pick: Judgment Day retains

WWE World Championship Last Man Standing Match: Seth Rollins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Ugh, my least favorite main event gimmick match.  Why does WWE insist on doing so many of these?  As though Seth-Nakamura 1 wasn't already slow and overlong as fuck.  Picture that match, but with chairs, kendo sticks, trash cans, and a table spot or two, and without any sort of flow or momentum since every big move has to be punctuated with a ten-count attempt.  As a longtime Nakamura fan I should be excited about this, but WWE's watered-down Nakamura is a shell of the amazing talent he used to be.  Couple that with a lame-o storyline involving Seth's back injury from four years ago (which oddly hadn't affected his wrestling style whatsoever until Nakamura started talking about it), and the fact that Seth demanded a rematch despite beating Nakamura clean a month ago, and we're looking at another thirty-plus-minute match that should've been twenty and feels like sixty.  Seth's probably retaining.

Pick: Seth retains

Yeah, not much to this PPV and phoned-in stuff like this from a red-hot company just annoys me.  Like in 1997 when the WWF was easily putting on the superior product but WCW was still riding high because their audience hadn't yet tired of the repetition and go-nowhere angles.

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