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Updated 2021 WWE Fastlane Match Card Ahead of PPV

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2021

Photo credit: WWE.com.

The final pay-per-view before WrestleMania 37 is Fastlane, and it could have a significant impact on the biggest show of the year.

While it is easy to overlook Fastlane with such a massive event on the horizon, the results of Sunday's pay-per-view matter, and they may play a role in shaping the WrestleMania 37 card, especially if a title change occurs.

The likely main event of Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan for the Universal Championship has the biggest stakes, as a Bryan win could flip WrestleMania upside down by turning Reigns vs. Edge into Bryan vs. Edge or potentially a Triple Threat.

Ahead of the final major event before WrestleMania, here is a rundown of the Fastlane card, complete with a closer look at some of the biggest matches to keep an eye on.

            

Where: WWE ThunderDome at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida

When: Sunday, March 21, at 7 p.m. ET (Kickoff Show starts at 6 p.m. ET)

Watch: WWE Network or Peacock

          

WWE Fastlane 2021 Match Card

  • Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Daniel Bryan (Edge as special guest enforcer)
  • Women's Tag Team Championships: Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax (c) vs. Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair
  • Intercontinental Championship: Big E (c) vs. Apollo Crews
  • No Holds Barred Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus
  • Randy Orton vs. Alexa Bliss
  • United States Championship: Riddle (c) vs. Mustafa Ali
  • Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Seth Rollins
  • Braun Strowman vs. Shane McMahon

         

Top Fastlane Matches to Watch

Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan

In terms of the stakes and the potential match quality, no bout on the Fastlane card measures up to the Universal title match between Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan.

The story between them has been compelling, especially since Reigns is a dominant heel, while Bryan is the ultimate underdog babyface.

WWE played up that dichotomy at Elimination Chamber when Bryan outlasted five other Superstars to win the Chamber match only to have to face Reigns immediately after. Bryan caught Reigns in the Yes Lock out of the gates, but The Tribal Chief broke out and beat an exhausted Bryan in quick fashion.

Bryan called for a rematch after Reigns boasted about beating him, and The Head of the Table agreed if he could beat Jey Uso. Bryan eventually defeated Uso in a steel cage match to set the stage for Sunday's clash.

An added element is the presence of Edge, who won the Royal Rumble and chose Reigns as his WrestleMania opponent.

While Edge is a babyface, he has taken issue with Bryan jumping ahead of him in line, especially since he and Bryan have similar stories of returning from what looked to be career-ending injuries.

It is difficult to envision Reigns dropping the Universal Championship this close to WrestleMania, but the way the finish goes down could offer some insight into what the WrestleMania main event will look like.

With the possibility of both Edge and Uso interfering, perhaps Bryan gets unfairly screwed out of the victory, leading to Reigns vs. Edge becoming Reigns vs. Edge vs. Bryan at WrestleMania.

           

Randy Orton vs. Alexa Bliss

A technical masterclass is unlikely to break out when Randy Orton faces Alexa Bliss at Fastlane, but there is no question that it presents some intriguing scenarios.

Orton has been feuding with "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt for months, but The Fiend has not been seen since December when Orton burned him alive after their Firefly Inferno Match at TLC.

With The Fiend gone, Bliss has stepped in and been Orton's primary rival. The physicality between them has been limited, but not entirely nonexistent.

Orton hit Bliss with an RKO on one occasion, while Bliss put Orton down by shooting him in the face with a fireball.

Alexa has primarily gotten to The Viper by playing mind games, though, including distracting him during his matches and causing a mysterious black liquid to ooze out of his mouth.

Bliss challenged Orton to a match at Fastlane on the go-home edition of Raw, and based on his eagerness to get her out of his life, Orton accepted.

Orton's previous RKO on Bliss suggests some physicality is possible at Fastlane, but one has to assume the match is primarily a vehicle to set the stage for the return of The Fiend.

All signs are pointing to The Fiend vs. Orton in a Firefly Funhouse Match at WrestleMania 37, an exciting concept considering how well last year's Firefly Funhouse Match between The Fiend and John Cena was received.

Orton vs. Bliss may not actually be a match at all when Fastlane is all said and done, but the confrontation coupled with the many possibilities of how The Fiend could get involved makes it one of the must-see matches on the card.

          

Big E vs. Apollo Crews

Reigns vs. Bryan is the singles title match most fans are talking about entering Fastlane, but Big E vs. Apollo Crews for the Intercontinental Championship has sleeper potential in its own right.

The rivalry between Big E and Crews has heated up in a major way in recent weeks ever since Crews was pushed over the edge and turned heel.

Big E refused to give Crews another title shot after beating him a couple of times, leading to Crews attacking Big E with steel steps and putting him on the shelf.

During Big E's absence, Crews completely changed his character. He came to the ring with guards by his side and cut a promo about being the descendant of Nigerian royalty. Crews spoke with a Nigerian accent and said he would no longer hide who he truly is.

The more vicious and calculating Crews scored a huge win after his heel turn, beating Shinsuke Nakamura to firmly establish himself as the No. 1 contender for the IC title.

Big E returned a couple of weeks before Fastlane and was once again on the receiving end of an attack at the hands of Crews, which only served to make their feud and match even more heated.

Based on Crews' recent push, there is a legitimate chance that he could beat Big for the IC title at Fastlane, leading to a rematch at WrestleMania 37.

No matter how Sunday's match is booked, it should be hard-hitting, athletically impressive and among the best on the entire card.

         

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