We are in the thick of WrestleMania season as less than one month remains until the New Orleans super show. But first, we have Fastlane.
On paper, SmackDown's last pay-per-view before 'Mania looked like it might be arbitrary. While there certainly have been more dramatic shows, Fastlane proved to be a fun watch that served an important purpose.
Until Sunday, only a few blanks in the WrestleMania crossword puzzle had been filled. But after an eventful show, we pretty much know how SmackDown's Superstars will line up at WrestleMania.
So let's get into it, here is the Fastlane Results, Recap, and Spoilers:
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Rusve
Even though he may be guilty of mailing it in from time to time, when he's locked in, few in WWE are better than Shinsuke Nakamura. He beat Rusev to open Fastlane in a match that made both men look great.
Rusev and Nakamura kept the Columbus, OH invested with a well-paced match that saw a few really nice false finishes. Despite the loss, Rusev reminded us he certainly has more in the tank and it's just a matter of him transcending a mid-card comedy gimmick.
As WrestleMania approaches, Nakamura is visibly cranking up his intensity. Perhaps now, we'll be getting the same guy we loved in NXT and even New Japan.prevnext
United States Championship: Bobby Roode (c) vs. Randy Orton
With an RKO from hell, Randy Orton became not just WWE's newest US Champion, but the newest Grand Slam Champion.
Orton took the long route to nab this shiny accolade as he's been a WWE Superstar for nearly twenty years—compared to Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns who became Grand Slammers in 2017.
Regardless, it's a big moment for Orton. As one of the more decorated Superstars in company history, Orton becoming a Grand Slam Champion is a no-brainer.
We'd guess he holds the mid-card belt for a while—not just past WrestleMania, but into the rumored 2018 Draft.prevnext
Naomi and Becky Lynch vs. Carmella and Natalya
One day, we hope, these women will get a better stage to showcase themselves, but Fastlane was not it.
Three of the four Superstars in the match have been WWE Champion at one point, but despite their pedigree, there just isn't much room for them at the moment. With WWE becoming so Ronda Rousey-centric, it's been all too easy to forget talented wrestlers on the roster.
While women's wrestling is alive and well, it's rapidly expanding. this is only a positive development, but more talent means some women won't even sniff Championship territory again.
Oh, Carmella and Natalya won.prevnext
SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The Usos (c) vs The New Day
Just as it looked like we were settling in for another New Day/Usos classic, the Bludgeon Brothers interrupted with oversize mallets and an ax to grind.
If we weren't already, Fastlane all but guarantees a Six-Man Tag at WrestleMania for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. Even though it looks like WWE is just tossing six talented dudes into one match, it was really their only option.
Really the most important thing to note is that the Usos are going to make their first-ever appearance on WrestleMania main card—and they'll do it as champions.prevnext
SmackDown Women's Championship: Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Ruby Riott
Just as Charlotte began her victory lap, Asuka's music crashed the party. Given her status on RAW, the Columbus crowd was delighted to see her at a SmackDown show. Then, as the rumors prophesied, Asuka pointed to the WrestleMania banner and officially challenged Charlotte for an April 8th fight.
This fills out not just the SmacDown Women's Championship portion of the WrestleMania crossword puzzle, but also RAW's—we can bank on Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax.
While Charlotte has yet to formally accept, look for the match to get set in stone on the next episode of SmackDown.prevnext
WWE Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kevin Owens vs. Baron Corbin vs. Sami Zayn
In one of the most entertaining matches of 2018, AJ Styles fought like hell to keep his WWE Championship.
Fastlane's Six-Pack Challenge kept a torrid pace throughout and saw each competitor dish and receives explosive offense. Things were so rambunctious that even Shane McMahon got in on the action—or at least, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens' action.
Tables are BREAKING...March 12, 2018
Bodies are FLYING...#WrestleMania dreams are SOARING...
We'll know more about that on Tuesday, but we can now say we know exactly what AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura will be doing on April 8th.0comments
Styles vs. Nakamura used to be an unimaginable match for WWE fans. However, not only is it happening but for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 34.
We can't wait.prev