WWE Fastlane 2018 aired live from the Nationwide Arena in Colombus, OH. AJ Styles defended his WWE Championship in a Six-Pack Challenge against John Cena, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler. Bobby Roode defended the United States Championship against Randy Orton. Charlotte Flair defended her SmackDown Women’s Championship against Ruby Riott. The Usos put the SmackDown Tag Team Championships on the line against New Day. It was the final PPV before WWE WrestleMania 34.
During the Kickoff Show, Jinder Mahal crashed the panel and complained about not being in the United States Championship match tonight. He claimed to be the “unofficial” United States Champion. Sam Roberts asked if Mahal would prefer to face Randy Orton or Bobby Roode for the US Title following tonight and Mahal stated that it didn’t matter because he would defeat both of them.
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) March 11, 2018
Dolph Ziggler answered some questions from the WWE Universe and the Kickoff Show panel:
— WWE (@WWE) March 11, 2018
Breezango & Tye Dillinger faced Shelton Benjamin, Chad Gable and Mojo Rawley in the WWE Fastlane Kickoff Show. The crowd greeted Mojo Rawley with “you can’t wrestle!” chants. Mojo shouted back at them “you think I care about being a wrestler?!”. Dillinger got a great reaction from the crowd and beatdown Gable and Mojo when he entered the match. Dillinger wound up picking up the victory for his team with a knee to the face.
— WWE (@WWE) March 11, 2018
Here are 6 takeaways from WWE Fastlane 2018:
6Shinsuke Defeated Rusev On Nakamura Day
Rusev took Nakamura to the mat to start off the match. Nakamura battled back to his feet but Rusev drove his elbow into Shinsuke’s shoulder and brought him back down to the canvas. Shinsuke got back up but Rusev leveled him with a shoulder tackle. Nakamura connected with a knee for a two count.
Rusev connected with a right hand as dueling “Nakamura!” and “Rusev Day!” chants broke out in the crowd. Rusev missed with another right hand and Nakamura trotted across the ring. Shinsuke posed in the middle of the ring and shouted “come on!” and Rusev responded by rolling out of the ring. Rusev regrouped with Aiden English outside the ring as Nakamura dared him to get back into the ring. Rusev hopped up on the ring apron but quickly hopped back down and paced around the ring.
Rusev finally got back in the ring to break up the count but quickly rolled outside again. Nakamura chased after him and brought him back to the ring arpon. Shinsuke delivered a knee to the back of Rusev’s head on the apron. Nakamura took his eye off of Rusev for a moment and Rusev knocked him off the ring apron. Rusev slammed Nakamura into the barricade and followed it up by driving him into the ring apron. Rusev shoved Nakamura into the barricade one more time and then went for a cover in the ring but Shinsuke kicked out at two. Rusev applied a Chin Lock in the middle of the ring as the crowd cheered Nakamura on.
Shinsuke countered into a Heel Hook in the middle of the ring. Rusev quickly grabbed the middle rope to break up the hold. Shinsuke went for a kick but Rusev caught him and slammed Nakamura to the mat for two. Rusev dropped an elbow across Nakamura’s neck and applied a Chin Lock in the middle of the ring as Aiden sang a few notes from outside the ring.
Nakamura battled back to his feet but Rusev hit him with a couple of knees to the midsection. Shinsuke ducked a Clothesline and then booted Rusev in the face. Shinsuke delivered a couple of kicks to the midsection and then one to the back of Rusev’s head. Shinsuke draped Rusev across the top rope and delivered a running knee to the midsection for a two count.
Shinsuke hit a couple more knees to the midsection and locked in a Guillotine choke in the middle of the ring. Rusev lifted Nakamura a couple of times but his knee gave out and he couldn’t break the hold. Rusev fought through the pain on the third attempt and planted Nakamura with a Fallaway Slam to break up the hold.
Rusev launched Nakamura in the air and kneed him in the ribs. Rusev followed it up with a massive kick to the face and went for the cover but Nakamura powered out at two. Rusev shouted and stomped in the corner. Rusev continued to stomp as he waited for Nakamura to get up. Rusev went for another kick but Nakamura dodged it. Shinsuke knocked Rusev to his knees and then hit him with a kick to the back of his head.
Nakamura went for the Kinshasa but Rusev dodged it and launched Shinsuke into the corner. Rusev went for the Accolade but Nakamura escaped and booted Rusev in the face. Nakamura geared up in the corner and went for the Kinshasa but instead he ran into an awesome looking Machka Kick for a two count.
Rusev stomped on Nakamura’s spine and went for the Accolade but Nakamura once again escaped. Nakamura then hit a kick to the back of Rusev’s head and followed it up with a Kinshasa for the pinfall victory.
— WWE (@WWE) March 12, 2018
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) March 12, 2018
Shinsuke Nakamura and Rusev put on a hell of a match to kickoff WWE Fastlane 2018. Unfortunately, the match really didn’t accomplish anything besides slightly build up Nakamura before WrestleMania. I wish Rusev wasn’t in this spot. The crowd was split tonight and people seem to really enjoy Rusev and Aiden English as a team. In my opinion, WWE is missing the boat here by having Nakamura run through both Rusev and Aiden English leading into WrestleMania 34.
The crowd loves Rusev Day and have gotten behind them recently on SmackDown. Maybe Rusev and English weren’t in WWE creative’s plans and they were caught off guard by the fan interest. If that was the case, the plans should have been changed anyways because they sucked and SmackDown has been absolutely dreadful as of late. I would have rather seen Rusev Day versus The Usos tonight over yet another title match with New Day. Like I said, Nakamura and Rusev put on a great match but it didn’t really mean anything.