WWE Fastlane is SmackDown Live’s final pay-per-view before the show hits the road to WrestleMania. Scheduled in February, it is the Blue Brand’s first pay-per-view of the year and second WWE pay-per-view in general (first WWE PPV of the year being Royal Rumble in January).
Fastlane 2018 is the fourth edition of this PPV and it will take place on March 11, 2018 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Interestingly, it also WWE’s last brand exclusive PPV. As per the latest production developments in WWE, all the PPVs following WrestleMania 34 in April will host talents from both RAW and SmackDown.
As we are headed towards Fastlane, multiple storylines will find their direction in the course of next two weeks. However, there are few matches that have been built for the past few months with an intention to be brought to end only at the Grandest Stage of Them All. Hence, at Fastlane, SmackDown will look to strengthen these feuds or introduce new twists and challenges for the wrestlers.
The first storyline features WWE Champion AJ Styles. After defeating Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in the 2-on-1 handicap match at Royal Rumble, Styles was challenged by Shinsuke Nakamura for the title. Nakamura won the Royal Rumble 2018 and was allowed to pick any opponent of his choice for a title match at WrestleMania. Although the fans were excited for the dream match between “The Phenomenal One” and “The King of Strong Style”, one minute detail started causing obstruction for Styles.
When Styles had pinned Owens to retain his championship at the Royal Rumble, the former was not the legal man. Owens and Zayn, in their feud with Shane McMahon demanded a rematch and since then, they have been subjected to one challenge after another. It was obvious that Styles was getting annoyed with the amount of attention that the duo was receiving.
Just when everyone was curious as to which direction will this feud be headed now, John Cena returned to SmackDown. He was handed an opportunity by Daniel Bryan who stated that if Cena can defeat Styles in a non-title match he will be added to the WWE Championship match at Fastlane. The Champ was successful in beating Styles and he was added as the sixth competitor for the Championship match at Fastlane. He will now share the ring with AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler for the title bout.
On the other hand, Charlotte Flair will lock horns with Ruby Riott for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. When Asuka won the women’s Elimination Chamber, she was convinced by RAW Commissioner Stephanie McMahon to be patient before deciding her WrestleMania opponent. Meanwhile, Charlotte Flair was unsure about her WrestleMania oppoennet and while she was addressing the crowd, she was interrupted by the Riott Squad.
Charlotte was successful in defeating Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan and Ruby Riott challenged her for the title match at Fastlane. Hence, the two wresters will now face each other inside the squared circle for at the upcoming PPV.
The USOS and The New Day feuded continuously for weeks but it was more about cutting the promos than being involved in an actual match. Although their original feud had ended at Hell in a Cell last year, the two teams were not done yet. Big E and Xavier Woods of the New Day defeated Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable to become the number one contenders to face The USOS for the title at Fastlane.
The final match of the year is Bobby Roode and Randy Orton for the WWE United States Championship. This feud first started when Jinder Mahal called out Roode and Orton for being featured in the first ever list of Top 10 SmackDown Superstars in which the “Modern Day Maharaja” was not included. He chose to poke fun at Roode and Orton which ended in The Viper taking them down with an RKO outta nowhere.
However, Shane McMahon thought it was best to omit Mahal from the title feud. Thus, he announced a match between Roode and Orton for the US Championship.
Here is the complete match card for Fastlane 2018. Tune in to Sportskeeda for the Live updates, news, rumours and match results.
| || Wrestlers|| Championship|
| 1.|| AJ Styles (c) vs. John Cena vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler|| Six-Pack challenge for the WWE Championship|
| 2.|| Bobby Roode (c) vs. Randy Orton || Singles match for the WWE United States Championship|
| 3.|| The Usos (Jey and Jimmy Uso) (c) vs. The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, and/or Xavier Woods) || Tag team match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship|
| 4.|| Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Ruby Riott (with Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan) || Singles match for the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship|