Bonus prediction: This PPV is not titled Fast Lane next year. This new title has been absolutely horrible and WWE has made almost no effort to try and tie the title into anything at all. I'd be shocked if the February PPV next year is still titled Fast Lane. I'm not sure they will come up with anything better but I can't see it being this again. You know what though.....I'm going to throw a crazy prediction out there that I actually just thought of while typing this and have absolutely no confidence in, but I'll go as far to predict that this PPV will be a King of the Ring next year. Hear me out:
The February PPV is always somewhat of a placeholder PPV between the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania. WWE tried put the Elimination Chamber in this spot to peak some interest but ultimately scrapped it. I know the reason they gave behind this was it was too difficult to get the Chamber structure into all arenas but I also think another big reason was it so difficult to book that particular PPV without it becoming stagnant and predictable. Its tough to build towards Mania when the champ still has to go through the Elimination Chamber first. And often like it was the case last year, it becomes too predictable that the champ is going to retain anyways to get to WrestleMania that the Chamber becomes less exciting. Solution: move the Elimination Chamber to a different month's PPV.
Which leaves the February PPV open. My suggestion: Make this PPV a King of the Ring. This opens up possibilities to slow play the WrestleMania main event but still have a big draw for this placeholder PPV. The King of the Ring stands alone on its own and won't need the champ or Rumble winner in it. It also gives some direction for the WWE during the long gap between the Rumble and Mania, it can ignite or fuel some feuds leading into WrestleMania, and it gives the winner a big push heading into WrestleMania. Win-win-win. I don't see anyway this actually happens but I love the idea. Anyways.....on to tonight.
Ziggler, Rowan, and Ryback vs. Rollins, Big Show, and Kane
I'm still really worried about where Ziggler is going to end up on the WrestleMania card. I find it hard to believe that he could go from being the lone survivor in the main event of Survivor Series to a participant in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania but that's looking more and more likely by the day. I'd be really surprised if Randy Orton doesn't make his return here, my only question is if he does it during the match or after. I'm leaning towards after. I've got Rollins picking up the win for his team, trying to continue the 5-3 beatdown after the match, only to have Randy Orton rundown and start delivering some RKOs outta nowhere.
Winner: Rollins, Big Show, and Kane
Goldust vs. Stardust
This seems like a match that needs to finish up at WrestleMania. And I think we all know the way to prolong a feud so no one takes a clean fall early.......a Dusty finish. Come on the finish is named after their dad, you know we have to get one here! I'm going to say Stardust snaps and pummels Goldust until Papa Rhodes comes out, only to get pummeled by Stardust as well. So maybe we could get a Goldust win by DQ here, but I'm going to go with a No Contest.
Winner: No Contest
Nikki Bella vs. Paige
REALLY like the development in Paige the past couple months. There was a time in mid-2014 where I was concerned with where WWE was going to go with her but she's been awesome in the past couple months. I can't see her winning the title here though. Nikki holding the title going into WrestleMania seems like the smart play to me. I'd say she has to drop the title there but don't see it happening tonight. Bonus prediction of who takes the title at WrestleMania? My Top Three in order: 1. Natalya 2. Charlotte 3. Paige.
Winner: Nikki Bella
Bad News Barrett vs. Dean Ambrose
UNPOPULAR OPINION ALERT: I'm not a Dean Ambrose guy. I know that's more of a statement than an opinion but Unpopular Statement Alert just doesn't have the same ring to it. I feel like I'm suppose to like Dean Ambrose but I'm not sure why. Because he acts crazy? Because he's Stone Cold lite? Because he's unpredictable? I think in the future Ambrose is going to find a niche and break out to be a big star but I don't think "The Lunatic Fringe" is that niche. And I'm not sure how many more start-and-stop pushes Wade Barrett can handle. Let him keep the title, put a little time into him, and see what he can do.
Winner: Bad New Barrett
Tag Team Championship
The Usos vs. Tyson Kidd and Cesaro
Main take: I can't see the Usos losing here. They seem like the strong bet to carry the Tag Titles into WrestleMania.
Other takes: I really hope this doesn't mean this is the end of the Kidd/Cesaro pairing. I've really liked these guys the past couple months. I don't know why we have to have the Tyson and Natalya friction be as big of a focal point as it is though. Take that dynamic out, let these two just be a great tag team for half a year, then split 'em up and let Cesaro go on his own. I'm not sure what the end game to a Tyson-Natalya break up could be anyways.
Winner: The Usos
Rusev vs. John Cena
Let's get this out of the way early, I'm not 100% sure what happens tonight but you are out of your goddamn mind if you don't think this feud ends with John Cena being victorious at WrestleMania. Now with that out of the way, let's figure out how to get there. If I'm booking, it goes down like this: Rusev gets the win tonight. I'd have Rusev control the match early and look impressive doing so only to have Cena make a comeback towards the end. Once it starts to look like Cena is going to win, Lana distracts the ref, Rusev attacks Cena with the Russian flag and locks in The Accolade. Cena passes out, Rusev is declared the winner and stands victoriously over a fallen John Cena beneath the giant Russian flag above the ring. But since this is the WWE booking this and not some random guy from Iowa, here's my guess on how it actually plays out tonight: Rusev gets Cena in The Accolade, Cena gets to the rope, but Rusev refuses to break the hold and gets DQ'ed. Cena eventually passes out and you get the same result as above but without Cena actually losing. That feels more like the route WWE would take.
Winner: John Cena by DQ
Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns
I think I'm in the same boat I was in a couple weeks ago when I posted my post-Rumble predictions for the WrestleMania card. I don't know where Dolph Ziggler ends up on the Mania card and I don't know where Daniel Bryan ends up either. I know there has been rumors of adding Bryan to the mix at WrestleMania and turning the main event into a triple threat but I'm not buying it. One, they just had a triple threat as the main event last year (with Bryan being the late addition again) and I can't see WWE doing that two years in a row. And two, it feels like WWE is pot-committed on this Roman Reigns push. And if that's the case, a 1-on-1 victory over Brock Lesnar feels like a much bigger win than a triple threat win. Adding Bryan to the main event may add some more suspense and intrigue to the match but I think it takes a little bit of the spot light away from Reigns and I'm not sure that's the move for WWE.
Winner: Roman Reigns