WWE Fastlane 2018 review: What we learned, takeaways, future projections

Photo credit: WWE.com
Photo credit: WWE.com /
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Photo credit: WWE.com
Photo credit: WWE.com /

6-Pack Challenge for the WWE Championship

AJ Styles (c) defeated Baron Corbin, Kevin Owens, John Cena, Sami Zayn and Dolph Ziggler

What we learned: Even if we knew and hoped it would happen, we can now finally say that AJ Styles is walking into WrestleMania as the WWE Champion. Now pretend it’s 2015 and you’re saying that sentence and just think of how insanely unlikely that scenario is. Pretty crazy to think about.

As for the 6-Pack Challenge for the WWE Championship (you can catch the video highlights here), I thought I got a lot more than I bargained for out of this. I knew things would be chaotic with all of these guys in there and Shane McMahon likely getting involved but I kinda thought things would be chaotic in all the wrong ways and I’m happy to be wrong on this one.

John Cena got things going with an AA party, something that continued all night, as he hit four right at the start to set up a one-on-one showdown with AJ Styles, which is never a bad thing, and things took off from there. Everyone got a chance to shine in this matchup, which sometimes doesn’t happen in these types of matches. Someone usually gets forgotten about or buried but I liked the flow here.

It would be Styles and Cena and then Owens and Cena and then Owens and Corbin and then Corbin and Ziggler or everyone kicking the tar out of Cena at once, which was a really fun moment that the crowd particularly enjoyed. It was obvious that Shane would get involved with Owens or Zayn or both but this went to a whole new level as he cost both of them the title within about 30 seconds after taking a kick to the face.

I thought the finish was done very well as Cena stole the steps from Baron Corbin and hit his 144th AA of the bout before Ziggler broke it up. Dolph got a kick in but took an AA before Owens interjected and hit Cena with the Pop-Up Powerbomb. However, he never got a chance to go for the pin as Styles came flying in with the Phenomenal Forearm to pick up the victory. This was really fun.

What’s next: We obviously know that AJ Styles is taking on Shinsuke Nakamura and I can’t stress enough how excited I am for that. I’ll go in reverse order for the rest on how big I think their roles will be at WrestleMania. Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin will not have big matches at WrestleMania and will probably just end up in the battle royal. Even with Dolph stressing that he’s never had a singles match on the grandest stage of them all (which truly is unfortunate), I don’t think that happens this year either.  

While rumors were hot over the weekend that Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn would simply be relegated to the battle royal as well, I have to believe that’s not the case, especially with how things went down in this match. I think we’ve all been thinking that Owens and Zayn would take on Shane and a partner at WrestleMania and I still think that’s how things need to go down. These guys have pretty much been the biggest story of the blue brand for six months and for all of this to go to waste would be a shame.

Lastly, we’ve got John Cena and his “unknown” path to WrestleMania. Following the match, a dejected 16-time champ sat in the ring and I, like a lot of people, was just waiting for the lights to go out and hear The Undertaker’s music. While that never came, I still think that’s the direction we’re headed. It’s not something I want to see at all as I don’t think ‘Taker has had a good match in five years but John Cena vs. The Undertaker at WrestleMania is still a draw and I think that gets going on Tuesday night.

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What are your thoughts on WWE Fastlane? What was your favorite match? Feel free to join in the conversation in the comments section below.