Author’s note: This is my first pay per view prediction column. I will be doing these slightly differently from most of the prediction articles out there, by not only giving you what I think will happen, but also what I feel the best possible outcome for the match could be. I will list my prediction first, and any prediction I feel WWE could book better, I will then give my rebuttal, as well as any thoughts I have on the match itself, outside of the outcome. I will begin with the lower card, and work my way up to the main event. And now, without further ado, here are my predictions for the last pay per view on the road to Wrestlemania 32, WWE Fastlane 2016!
WWE United States Championship 2 out of 3 Falls Match
Alberto Del Rio vs. Kalisto (c)
Look for Kalisto to retain his title, with a final score of two falls to one, likely with the final fall being a quick pin, such as a roll up or school boy. This keeps Del Rio looking strong in defeat, while keeping the belt on Kalisto going into Wrestlemania. This also allows Del Rio to move onto a higher-card feud, or free him for a multi-man match with the League of Nations at Wrestlemania.
I think this would be the best outcome. The only thing I can’t agree with is this match’s placement on the card. This is going to be a match of the night candidate. WWE is being very wasteful to place this on the preshow, especially when there are a couple throwaway matches that could have filled this spot instead.
Six Man Tag Team Match
Kane, Big Show, and Ryback vs. The Wyatt Family
Look for the Wyatts to dominate this one, with Braun Strowman forcing Ryback to submit, likely after a distraction by Bray Wyatt allows the Family to get the upper hand, in what looks to be a fairly straightforward big-man tag match.
The Wyatts have been booked to look strong, and the opposing team was hastily thrown together. This is a no-brainer, and will propel the Wyatts into Wrestlemania, while their opponents will likely compete in the now-annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. This match should have been booked for the preshow, with the US Title match in the opening spot on the pay per view, itself.
Divas Tag Team Match
Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch vs. Team BAD
Look for Banks and Lynch to take this one, likely after trying to top each other in dishing out punishment to Team BAD. I predict Sasha Banks with the Banks Statement on Naomi for the win. This keeps Tamina looking strong, and pushes both Banks and Lynch to Wrestlemania on a high note.
I disagree that this is the best outcome of the match. As far as storyline purposes, including the rumored Wrestlemania match of Banks vs. Lynch vs. Charlotte for the title, Banks and Lynch need a push to Charlotte’s level in the eyes of casual fans, so the ending makes sense, as does the build. Personally, I would take it a slightly different way. There would be more intrigue in Sasha getting pinned, potentially by Naomi. This would lead to Banks having to “prove herself” to get into the match at Wrestlemania. This would lead to a much more intriguing storyline than the “babyfaces try to one-up each other, then win” storylines that WWE seems so fond of writing.
Chris Jericho vs. AJ Styles
Look for AJ Styles to win a phenomenal match, no pun intended, with the Styles Clash. This keeps him looking strong going into Wrestlemania, and Jericho can easily afford the loss. This also opens both up for new feuds leading into Wrestlemania.
I agree with this outcome. I also think this is the one of the other two potential matches of the night. Look for Jericho to pull out all the stops to make Styles look good, as he has done for many up and comers at this stage of his career. This match should be no different. Even Shawn Michaels, Mr. Wrestlemania himself, had a losing record at Wrestlemania. At this point in Jericho’s career, he could lose to Hornswoggle and still be over. Losing to AJ Styles isn’t going to hurt him at all.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
Dolph Ziggler vs. Kevin Owens (c)
Look for Kevin Owens to retain following a Pop-Up Powerbomb, after a great, back-and-forth match. This keeps Owens looking strong as a champion going into Wrestlemania, and frees Ziggler to do something else, likely filling a spot in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
Kevin Owens has not been Intercontinental Champion again long enough to lose it quite yet. I see him defending his title against a different challenger come Wrestlemania, who will be named later in this article.
WWE Divas Championship Match
Brie Bella vs. Charlotte (c) w/ Ric Flair
Look for Charlotte to win this one with the Figure Eight, likely after a distraction from her father, the legendary Ric Flair. This will give Brie a redemption storyline to carry her through Wrestlemania season, and set up the rumored Triple Threat match for the Divas Title at Wrestlemania for Charlotte, vs. Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks. Brie could even be added into the match at Wrestlemania, to make it a Fatal Four Way.
Personally, I think Brie Bella should score the feel-good win, likely after performing one of her husband’s signature or finishing moves, preferably the Yes Lock. This would give Daniel Bryan fans a feel-good moment, and Charlotte could easily win the belt back on Raw leading up to Wrestlemania to set up the aforementioned three-way dance, or my suggested Fatal Four Way. Alternatively, Brie Bella could hold the belt until Wrestlemania, and lose it in the four-way match. There would be several ways to get the belt back off of Brie again, but again, it would be a nice tribute to Daniel Bryan. After all, Christian won the World Heavyweight Championship after Edge retired, and Rey Mysterio won it after Eddie Guerrero passed away, and the aforementioned pairs are not even related. It would not be a far stretch to picture Brie Bella following suit. This being said, if any title is to change hands at Fastlane, this is the one most likely to do so.
Number One Contender’s Triple Threat Match
Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar
Look for Roman Reigns to win by pinning Brock Lesnar after a spear, and after Lesnar hits Ambrose with the F5 to take him out of the match. This would set up the long-rumored match between Reigns and Triple H at Wrestlemania, and would free Lesnar and Ambrose to face other opponents at the pay per view. Ambrose would likely face Kevin Owens in a rematch for the Intercontinental Title, and Lesnar would go on to fact one of the Wyatt Family, likely Bray Wyatt himself.
I think the best outcome would involve a double pin scenario, where Reigns pins Lesnar, and Ambrose pins Reigns, at the same time. This would change the Wrestlemania main event into a triple threat, which I realize has been common in the last several years, but would be the most exciting main event possible. Reigns vs. Ambrose vs. Triple H would steal the show, as Ambrose is one of the best workers on the roster, Triple H is a ring veteran, who can evoke a crowd into any emotion, and Reigns has improved drastically in the last couple years, both in the ring and on the microphone, and now looks like the future champion that Vince McMahon has groomed him to be. Reigns could still win at Wrestlemania, but it would give WWE a way to give it to him without making Triple H look weak, which would allow them to continue the Authority storyline past Wrestlemania, if they wanted to, while freeing Triple H up to return to his role as an authority figure.
WWE Fastlane 2016 has the potential to be an excellent offering from WWE, with several potential Match of the Year candidates on a single card. The New Day is scheduled to appear, but there is currently no match booked for them. Look for them to have a surprise challenger of some type for their titles, as they are the only champions who are not defending their titles, or even wrestling, at Fastlane. With the way WWE has been taking care to build up their highlighted storylines, with a few exceptions, the payoff at Fastlane should provide some satisfaction by ending some storylines with a payoff, while still keeping our interest going into Wrestlemania, by adding fuel to the fire to their hottest feuds. Look for Fastlane 2016 to be a very solid pay per view, and one of the best of the year.
Mark Moore is a columnist for Daily Wrestling News and The Unbound Nerd (www.theunboundnerd.com), a pop culture blog based out of his adopted hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. He can be found on Facebook and Twitter (user name theeicejester on both), when he’s not busy running his 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons campaign or watching wrestling.