Updated WWE Fastlane 2019 Match Card and Bold Predictions After Final SmackDown

Graham GSM Matthews@@WrestleRantFeatured ColumnistMarch 6, 2019

Updated WWE Fastlane 2019 Match Card and Bold Predictions After Final SmackDown

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    Will Kevin Owens wrestle the WWE Championship away from Daniel Bryan at Fastlane?
    Will Kevin Owens wrestle the WWE Championship away from Daniel Bryan at Fastlane?Credit: WWE.com

    WWE recently revved up the road to WrestleMania 35 by bringing back multiple familiar faces and calling up several stars from NXT, making Sunday's card for Fastlane 2019 all the more compelling in the process.

    Fastlane has never been a necessity for WWE dating back to its inception in 2015. Very few installments have featured memorable moments, but this year's event could be the exception, given what's currently on tap.

    Daniel Bryan has been riding high on SmackDown Live for months but will take on one of his toughest challenges to date in the form of Kevin Owens in Cleveland. Will The Beard be able to retain his title and walk into WrestleMania as champion?

    For the first time since October, The Shield will be back in action, facing the trio of Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley. Can The Hounds of Justice prove they are still Raw's most dominant force?

    After being reinstated by Stephanie McMahon this week, Becky Lynch will have the opportunity to reclaim her spot in the Raw Women's Championship match at WrestleMania when she battles Charlotte Flair one-on-one. How will The Man overcome her latest obstacle and punch her ticket to The Show of Shows?

Kickoff Match: Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The heated feud between Rey Mysterio and Andrade has seen them go head-to-head on countless occasions in recent months, and they will get the chance to blow their feud off once and for all on Sunday's kickoff show.

    It's almost criminal how underutilized Andrade has been since arriving on the main roster a year ago, but he has shone in his matches against Mysterio. Their chemistry has been tremendous, and beating the former world champion caused Andrade's stock to skyrocket (albeit briefly) earlier this year.

    Unfortunately, it doesn't look like they'll be continuing to feud through WrestleMania season, and if they do meet on the grand stage, chances are it would be in a multi-man matchup. Samoa Joe won the United States Championship on Tuesday's SmackDown Live, so it wouldn't be out of the question for both men to vie for the title at the event.

    As for Fastlane, it doesn't really matter who wins, but Andrade has more to gain from going over. Being the ultimate underdog, Mysterio can always bounce back, whereas his opponent needs to maintain credibility by finishing off this feud victorious.

    If nothing else, the kickoff broadcast promises to be must-see for a change. With enough time, this could be a show-stealer.

    Prediction: Andrade wins

Asuka vs. Mandy Rose (SmackDown Women's Championship)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    If you didn't pay close attention to SmackDown Live, you would probably have no idea Asuka is its women's champion. She has barely featured on the show since the Royal Rumble, despite scoring a clean victory over Becky Lynch on that pay-per-view.

    On the Feb. 19 edition of SmackDown, Mandy Rose picked up the biggest win of her career when she pinned The Empress of Tomorrow. That earned her the opportunity to vie for the title at Fastlane, but the chances of her actually walking out with the gold in her grasp are slim to none.

    Rose is merely a filler opponent for Asuka ahead of her rumored title defense against Lacey Evans at WrestleMania 35, which has been reported by Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t SEScoops.com).

    The heat Evans has generated from randomly popping up on Raw and SmackDown as of late would make her a fantastic foil for The Empress on The Grandest Stage of Them All.

    Rose has also has looked impressive in recent months, and she should have solid showing on Sunday. However, Asuka has barely scratched the surface of what she can do as women's champion and should win at Fastlane.

    Prediction: Asuka retains the SmackDown Women's Championship

Triple Threat Raw Tag Team Championship Match

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The Revival's Raw Tag Team Championships win on the February 11 episode was long overdue, though they have been struggling to find their footing as titleholders lately on the flagship show.

    In the past two weeks, The Revival have lost back-to-back matches to Ricochet and Aleister Black. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable have been anxiously awaiting their rematch for the titles as well, so Fastlane will see all three teams collide in a Triple Threat tag team bout with the gold up for grabs.

    Needless to say, WWE's booking of The Revival on the main roster has been atrocious, and that hasn't changed much since they captured the belts. It's clear the company has zero regard for the tag team division, but a breathtaking performance by these tandems could lead to them becoming more of a focal point on Raw on the Road to WrestleMania.

    There's no reason for Roode and Gable to regain the titles, and the two might actually benefit from branching off into singles competition. Black and Ricochet have been a breath of fresh air in the tag team ranks, but it would be premature to put the straps on them so soon.

    DIY also hold a victory over The Revival, but Tommaso Ciampa's uncertain status likely caused them to be bumped from the bout. Hopefully we can see them mix it up with these other teams again once he is cleared to compete.

    Despite recently reverting back to their losing ways, expect The Revival to pull out the victory on Sunday.

    Prediction: The Revival retain the Raw Tag Team Championships

Bayley and Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax and Tamina (WWE Women's Tag Team Titles)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Sasha Banks and Bayley made history at Elimination Chamber when they outlasted five other teams to become the first-ever WWE women's tag team champions.

    Although it's only been three weeks since they captured the titles, they have already proved to be the best possible pair to hold the gold. They have since shown up on NXT and announced they are willing to defend against any duo from any brand.

    Nia Jax and Tamina aren't the most compelling challengers for the championship, but at least this means WWE is getting this feud out of the way early and it (hopefully) won't drag on until WrestleMania.

    It doesn't help that Jax and Tamina hardly have any momentum at the moment. Tamina beating Banks in singles action on Monday's Raw was the closest they have come to looking like threats to the titles.

    From an in-ring standpoint, this match shouldn't be anything too special, but it must end with Banks and Bayley emerging with their titles intact.

    From there, Trish Stratus and Lita as well as The Bella Twins would be logical opponents for The Boss 'n' Hug Connection at The Show of Shows.

    Prediction: The Boss 'n' Hug Connection retain the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships

The Usos vs. Shane McMahon and the Miz (SmackDown Tag Team Championship)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Despite starting out as reluctant allies, The Miz and Shane McMahon have formed quite the partnership since the start of 2019 and have been a treat to watch in the SmackDown Live tag team division.

    Their run as SmackDown tag team champions was fun while it lasted, but now The Usos have the straps after beating the dynamic duo at Elimination Chamber.

    For months, it has looked like the tag team of Miz and McMahon would be short-lived to build toward a one-on-one match at WrestleMania 35. The question is who will turn on who, and with The A-Lister being a natural heel, it would make sense for it to be him.

    WrestleMania is right around the corner, so if WWE is going to split them up, it would have to be soon. Fastlane is set to emanate from Miz's hometown of Cleveland, so it would be the perfect place for him to turn his back on the fans.

    The Usos, on the other hand, could already have opponents lined up for The Show of Shows in The Hardy Boyz. It's a match we've never seen before and feels WrestleMania-worthy.

    On Sunday, Miz and McMahon will appear to be on the same page throughout, only for The A-Lister to cost Shane-O-Mac the titles in the end.

    Prediction: The Usos retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championships

Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch are no strangers to one another, especially on pay-per-view. They faced off for the SmackDown Women's Championship multiple times in the second half of 2018, with The Irish Lass Kicker coming out on top on almost every occasion.

    Now, Ronda Rousey has been thrown into the mix, and Charlotte and Lynch both find themselves gunning for the Raw Women's Championship instead.

    Flair is already scheduled to contend for the title at WrestleMania 35 thanks to the intervention of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, whereas Lynch has been forced to earn her opportunity all over again by beating The Queen at Fastlane.

    This angle has been incredibly complicated to follow in recent weeks, and even this bout doesn't make the slightest bit of sense. Lynch's spot in the WrestleMania main event should have never been changed, considering she won the women's Royal Rumble in January.

    Regardless of the stipulation, this is a logical match at the moment and a notable addition to the Fastlane card, given its WrestleMania implications.

    Few fans (if any) actually believe Lynch won't be involved in the 'Mania match, and a win for The Man on Sunday is virtually a guarantee.

    Rousey could choose to make her presence felt following what we saw from her on Raw this week, but it would be best for WWE to let Lynch and Flair do their thing and have the great match they're capable of without any shenanigans.

    Prediction: Becky Lynch wins

The Shield vs. Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The third reunion of The Shield on Monday's Raw didn't have the same charm the last two did, but it will never not be exciting to see Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose bump fists and don the signature tactical vests.

    Ambrose and Rollins were willing to put their bad blood aside to take out three common enemies in Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley.

    This six-man tag team match will mark Reigns' first bout back since October, but the chances of him having any ring rust are slim given he still appears to be in phenomenal shape and was throwing punches on Raw like he hadn't missed a beat.

    Rollins is the only star out of these six who has a WrestleMania match set in stone, but a Reigns vs. Ambrose match would be a better use of those guys than each facing Corbin or McIntyre separately.

    Therefore, a loss for The Shield on Sunday should be academic. There is more that can be done with The Hounds of Justice splitting up again than if they were to stick together until Ambrose leaves WWE, and Rollins can afford to lose ahead of his shot at the Universal Championship.

    Corbin desperately lacks credibility, but hopefully a win at Fastlane can help with that. Lashley is focused on regaining the Intercontinental Championship, while McIntyre deserves a prominent spot on the 'Mania card.

    Prediction: Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley win

Daniel Bryan vs. Kevin Owens (WWE Championship)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Kofi Kingston has been incredible on SmackDown Live lately as the blue brand's most popular star. Coming off his outstanding performance at Elimination Chamber, he was prepared to vie for the WWE Championship for the first time in a one-on-one setting at Fastlane before his slot was given to Kevin Owens.

    This is a completely different Owens than fans have seen in the past, though. He was brought back as a babyface and has been a fun foil for Bryan, but it's apparent their feud is only a placeholder before Kingston returns to title contention.

    It would be damaging for Owens to lose clean to Bryan, so WWE must find a way to protect him in defeat. Rowan could factor into the finish somehow and cause the contest to be thrown out, but that would almost be as cheap as when he did the same thing to AJ Styles at the Royal Rumble.

    Bryan's line about Owens not having any friends this week on SmackDown Live was interesting. That might have been designed to make Mustafa Ali's return later that night a bigger surprise, but Sami Zayn surfacing on Sunday to betray KO would be a nice twist as well.

    No matter how it happens, the champion losing the title so close to WrestleMania would be a mind-boggling booking decision by WWE, so Owens falling short is necessary to ensure Bryan vs. Kingston happens in New Jersey on April 7.

    Prediction: Daniel Bryan retains the WWE Championship


    Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, is an Endicott College alumnus and aspiring journalist. Visit his website, Next Era Wrestling, and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.