WWE Fastlane 2018 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterMarch 11, 2018

WWE Fastlane 2018 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

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    Credit: WWE.com

    WWE Fastlane 2018 created waves that will crash onto the shores of WrestleMania 34.

    Sunday's SmackDown pay-per-view saw AJ Styles fend off a pack of rivals in a Six-Pack Challenge for the WWE Championship. That win means The Phenomenal One will face Shinsuke Nakamura at The Show of Shows.

    While much of the Fastlane card underwhelmed, most matches followed the main event's lead in that they shaped the WrestleMania lineup. 

    A marquee bout now awaits Charlotte Flair after crossing paths with a visitor from Raw. An attack from The Bludgeon Brothers set the stage for what The Usos will be up to at the mega-event. And Randy Orton claimed the United States Championship to ensure his place in the spotlight at WWE's Super Bowl.

    Read on for a full breakdown of Fastlane, the final PPV before WrestleMania.

Tye Dillinger and Breezango vs. Mojo Rawley, Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin

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    Fastlane's pre-show bout saw six Superstars clash in a last-minute addition to the card after a confrontation backstage.

    Chad Gable wanted to mat-wrestle his foes. Breezango goofed around instead.

    The heels, though, were able to take control and beat up on Tyler Breeze.

    Tye Dillinger later charged in and knocked around his opponents as the match grew chaotic. The Perfect 10 kneed Mojo Rawley in the head to secure the victory.

         

    Result

    Dillinger and Breezango win via pinfall.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "You're a perfect disappointment."—Rawley to Dillinger.
    • Dillinger dons college wrestling headgear.
    • Breeze rides Gable like a horse.
    • Gable sends Breeze face first into the mat with a monkey flip.
    • Fans chant "You can't wrestle!" at Rawley.

         

    Grade

    D+

         

    Analysis

    The throw-in match had some good energy in spots. Breezango offered flashes of fun. But this didn't mean anything thanks to zero build and stakes.

    All six Superstars could use a lot more to work with each week. Team Blue has failed Rawley, who has wasted his heel turn, and we haven't seen nearly enough of Breezango of late.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Rusev

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    Aiden English belted out a song to celebrate Rusev.

    The Lion of Bulgaria began with a focus on the ground game, using his power advantage to overwhelm Nakamura. Smooth counters and taunts from the Royal Rumble winner led to Rusev taking an extended break outside of the ring.

    To the sound of dueling chants for both men, Rusev regained control with a methodical offense.

    Nakamura, though, was able to fire back with a kick-heavy rally. He withstood Rusev's best shots until his finisher earned him a three-count.

         

    Result

    Nakamura wins via pinfall.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "Trust me. No one is throwing Nakamura Day parties."—English.
    • Rusev hits a fallaway slam on a bad leg.
    • Nakamura slips out of The Accolade to hit the Kinshasa.

         

    Grade

    B+

         

    Analysis

    Kudos to both men for delivering this kind of match with such little build and hype. A strong heel performance from Rusev, quality chemistry and a handful of convincing near-falls made for a contest that exceeded expectations.

    The result was never in question, even with the teases of Rusev pulling off the upset, however.

    This was all about Nakamura warming up ahead of WrestleMania. Hopefully, he meets The Bulgarian Brute as part of a more developed story down the line.

Bobby Roode vs. Randy Orton (United States Championship)

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    The U.S. title clash started out with Bobby Roode and Randy Orton feeling each other out. Neither champion nor challenger could gain a sustained advantage in the early going.

    Jinder Mahal watched on from backstage.

    The Viper nailed Roode with strikes. The Glorious One fired back with high-risk offense. Each man was able to avoid the other's finishing move.

    Orton and Roode slugged it out until an RKO left Roode out cold.

    Mahal stepped out to confront the new titleholder. Roode was able to stand tall in the melee that followed.

            

    Result

    Orton wins via pinfall to claim the United States Championship.

          

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Orton goes for an RKO early, causing the champ to retreat.
    • Fans chant "Byron Saxton!"
    • Orton smashes Roode over the security barricade.

           

    Grade

    C-

            

    Analysis

    Both wrestlers are known for a slow pace, and their rivalry has been underwhelming to this point. Pitting them against each other led to a blase bout that left the crowd chanting for an announcer.

    Solid action in the final act wasn't enough to make this worth rewatching.

    A Mahal vs. Roode vs. Orton Triple Threat match clearly looks to be in the works. That's an odd move with how often Orton and Mahal collided last year. The U.S. title scene continues to have minimal spark.

Becky Lynch and Naomi vs. Natalya and Carmella

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    Becky Lynch went right after Carmella's arm. Naomi's high-energy offense had the babyfaces on top.

    Carmella and Natalya, though, were able to slow things down and pound on Naomi.

    When Lynch later tagged in, she left her opponents reeling. Things broke down, and everyone got involved. The Money in the Bank briefcase became a key diversion as Lynch turned her back to Carmella, a mistake she paid for by eating the pinfall.

           

    Result

    Carmella and Natalya win via pinfall.

          

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Naomi spikes Natalya's head on the mat with a hurricanrana. 
    • Natalya yells at fans to shut up.
    • Carmella yanks on Naomi's hair from the outside of the ring.

           

    Grade

    C

           

    Analysis

    For a bit of filler, this was pretty entertaining. Carmella looked good as a nasty heel with a big mouth. The babyfaces got their moments in the spotlight.

    This contest didn't feel like it meant anything, though. SmackDown's strategy of late seems to be throw the members of its women's division in a series of tag team matches while it tries to figure out something substantive to do with them.

The Usos vs. The New Day (SmackDown Tag Team Championship)

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    The New Day went with its speed lineup—Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston. That didn't pay off right away as The Usos were all over Woods.

    Kingston rallied back for the challengers. A superkick frenzy followed as each team struck hard.

    The Bludgeon Brothers interrupted the contest, laying out everyone in sight.

           

    Result

    The match ends in a no-contest. The Usos retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championship as a result.

          

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "It's about pride. It's about championships. It's about WrestleMania."—Corey Graves.
    • The Usos hit The New Day's Unicorn Stampede and Midnight Hour.
    • The New Day delivers The Usos' splash.
    • The Usos dive over the top rope to knock out all three members of The New Day. 
    • Rowan hits a running splash on both Usos.
    • The Bludgeon Brothers powerbomb Woods on the ring steps.

         

    Grade

    B+

          

    Analysis

    The Usos and The New Day were well on their way to another classic before the beatdown from The Bludgeon Brothers. Their chemistry provided the foundation for another stirring chapter in their rivalry even if it ended early.

    They were especially chippy with each other. The fact that they resorted to each other's moves added a fresh dimension to a long rivalry.

    The Bludgeon Brothers' inserting themselves may have cut the action short, but it hinted at some exciting prospects. Both The New Day and The Usos have reason to seek payback from the monsters. Watching them try to do so is going to be excellent.

Charlotte Flair vs. Ruby Riott (SmackDown Women's Championship)

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    The match moved outside of the ring as Flair knocked around Ruby Riott. Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan's presence distracted the champ, allowing Riott to seize the momentum.

    Lynch and Naomi charged in to make sure The Riott Squad didn't further impact the action.

    Riott remained on top as she wailed on Flair with punishing offense. She was able to snuff out The Queen's moves for a long stretch. A brawl outside turned things in Flair's favor.

    A defiant Flair fought back even after The Riott Squad wailed on her and used the Figure Eight to keep the title in her hand.

    Asuka appeared after the bell and pointed at the WrestleMania sign in, seemingly, a challenge to Flair.

           

    Result

    Flair wins via submission to retain the SmackDown Women's Championship.

             

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Riott goes for the Riott Kick as soon as the opening bell rings.
    • "They're going to see you fail."—Riott.
    • Riott pushes Flair off the top rope to the outside of the ring.
    • Flair hits a moonsault off the security barricade.
    • Flair whips Riott's face into the turnbuckle with an Alabama Slam-like move.

         

    Grade

    A-

           

    Analysis

    Columbus witnessed a star-making performance from Riott. She looked every bit like a legit contender and a star SmackDown can build around.

    She provided a major test for the champion ahead of WrestleMania, which proved to be a smart way to build toward that PPV.

    And WWE made the right choice with the SmackDown women's title bout for The Show of Shows. Asuka vs. Flair is going to be scintillating. 

WWE Championship Six-Pack Challenge

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    Credit: WWE.com

    AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin vs. Kevin Owens vs. John Cena vs. Sami Zayn vs. Dolph Ziggler

    SmackDown commissioner Shane McMahon watched the action from ringside. 

    Once the match began, Cena cleared the ring to lock up with Styles. The 16-time world champ soon found himself at the bottom of a dogpile thanks to all the men he attacked. 

    Brawls broke out all over the ring area. Styles went on a rapid-fire flurry before Owens slowed him down. Corbin went on a tear that led him into the stands.

    Zayn tried to lie down to give Owens the easy win, but KO attacked him. They bashed each other until McMahon got hurt as collateral damage. The commish cost KO and Zayn the title afterward.

    Everyone seemed inches away from victory, but Styles leaped in just in time to seize the match courtesy of a Phenomenal Forearm.

           

    Result

    Styles wins via pinfall to retain the WWE Championship.

          

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Cena hits Attitude Adjustments on Zayn, Owens, Ziggler and Corbin.
    • Cena delivers the Five-Knuckle Shuffle on both Zayn and Ziggler.
    • Ziggler counters the Attitude Adjustment with a Fameasser
    • "What are you willing to do to be immortalized?"—Tom Phillips.
    • Corbin smashes Ziggler through the wall used for hockey games.
    • Cena sends Styles into the announce table with Attitude Adjustment.
    • Owens accidentally superkicks McMahon.
    • Corbin nails foe after foe with the ring steps.

         

    Grade

    A+

          

    Analysis

    A wild energy and electric pace made for a thriller of a main event. The stage was crowded, but the action  flowed well and it often zeroed in on stories within the match. 

    Owens' and Zayn's rivalry/alliance got more intriguing thanks to how things unfolded. Whatever they have ahead of them with McMahon is unclear, but they seem destined for major spotlight come WrestleMania.

    As for Styles, his victory made sure his dream match against Nakamura was still on. Any other result would have been a major disappointment.

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