Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 19 March 2018

Asuka challenges Charlotte Flair as AJ Styles retains title and New Day win tag belts: WWE Fastlane predictions 

Men's Royal Rumble winner Shinsuke Nakamura will also be victorious in Sunday's SmackDown show.

One of the predictions for WWE Fastlane is for Asuka to make a surprise appearance to confirm she will challenge Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania. Image courtesy of WWE
One of the predictions for WWE Fastlane is for Asuka to make a surprise appearance to confirm she will challenge Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania. Image courtesy of WWE

WWE's latest Network Special, Fastlane, takes place at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday. Ahead of the event here are the predictions on what will go down.

AJ Styles to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in a six-pack challenge against John Cena, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler

This should be an entertaining main event. A lot of narratives to tie together but ultimately this will end with Styles retaining to set-up his much vaunted showdown with Shinsuke Nakamura at WrestleMania 34 on April 8 in New Orleans.

The WWE's challenge is to create doubt in the outcome so expect lots of thrilling nearfalls and lots of stages of Styles being in peril. It would not be surprising to see Styles going through an announcers table at some point before he rallies to win, probably by pinning Ziggler or Corbin.

Cena's loss, in storyline at least, is his last chance to reach WrestleMania so expect to see Cena's sad face post-match, before the wheels are set in motion for his rumoured match with the Undertaker.

Owens and Zayn will likely both cost each other chances of winning the match to kick-start their feud that sees them go up against each in New Orleans. It will be interesting to see who is positioned as the more sympathetic of the two. To shake things up it might be good for that role to be Owens's, despite him being such a great heel.

Ziggler and Corbin are simply in the match to make up the numbers and both are Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal bound.


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Charlotte Flair to retain the WWE SmackDown Women's title against Ruby Riott

This is another predictable match in terms of outcome, but the fun will come afterwards.

Flair will retain. She and Riott can have a good match, but there is no doubt that it will be Flair who prevails to head to WrestleMania 34.

But post-match expect to see Asuka appear to confirm the rumours that the women's Royal Rumble winner will choose to face Flair in New Orleans.

That should lead to a good, respectful, staredown between the two women to beginning the build-up to the match.

The New Day to win the SmackDown Tag Teams from the Usos in a tag-team match

This is is the hardest match on the card to call. The Usos have been tremendous over the past 12 months and this feud, which ran over last summer, was one of the best things in the WWE.

The Usos won the feud by beating the New Day at Hell in a Cell in October, so it feels a little strange to be coming back to the rivalry just before WrestleMania.

The two teams will almost certainly face off in New Orleans again, possibly with other teams, but to shake things up the titles switch hands here and it is the New Day who will depart as the champions again.

Shinsuke Nakamura to beat Rusev in a singles match

Putting Nakamura with one of the most popular men on the roster right now is a rather odd choice to say the least.

This is about getting the men's Royal Rumble winner momentum ahead of WrestleMania and he will win here.

Rusev, as well as having a tremendous character, is great in the ring and this should be a good match.

But Nakamura wins to set himself up for Styles and his title shot on April 8.

Bobby Roode to retain the United States Championship against Randy Orton by disqualification

This is an awkward match-up as it has two men, both better as heels, struggling to gain support and interest as faces.

This feels like a stop-gap until WrestleMania and given his involvement in the build-up this has interference from Jinder Mahal written all over it.

Mahal comes down and attacks both men, leading to a triple threat further down the line, potentially at WrestleMania.

Becky Lynch and Naomi to beat Natalya and Carmella in a women's tag-team match

Little at stake here with none of these four women set to be involved in the title scene at WrestleMania.

All four could do with the win, but Lynch and Naomi prevail to give them a victory and build some momentum for them.

WWE Fastlane is on the WWE Network, which is available through OSN, with the main show beginning at 4am UAE time.