Full WWE 2023 Fastlane Predictions Including John Cena, Cody Rhodes And Judgment Day

 John Cena at Money In The Bank .
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Can you remember a WWE premium live event in which so many of the matches had this little build? I realize Fastlane is a second tier PPV and many of these storylines have been ongoing for awhile, but Adam Pearce didn’t even kayfabe make many of these official until the last week or so. Whether intentional or not, it’s giving off serious afterthought vibes, but that’s the downside to having three allegedly big events in rapid succession with Fastlane on October 7th, Crown Jewel on November 4th and Survivor Series on November 25th.

That being said, Triple H has consistently overachieved in premium live events during his tenure atop the WWE writing stuff, and that has been especially true of cards that have appeared to be less than. Either because of match quality or fun surprises, it’s been rare to have a big weekend show leave fans wanting more. So, I’m just going to trust him that this may be a lot better than expected and/ or prove to be the catalyst we need to set everyone up with the right storyline heading into Survivor Series and Royal Rumble.

On the bright side, my predictions lately have been spot-on. I went 6-0 at Payback and improved my overall prognostication record to 92 and 32 since I started doing this at WrestleMania 38. Here’s a quick look back…

Hopefully I’m able to improve that record with the following Fastlane predictions, but I’m honestly more worried than normal. A lot of this feels like it’s trying to create a storyline rather than finish a narrative and move on, and anytime you’re trying to create storylines, there are many different ways you can work toward an emotional payoff. Plus, I bragged about how well I’ve been doing lately; so, you know the Bronson Reed Tsunami is coming for me…

Judgment Day (Finn Bálor And Damian Priest) Vs Cody Rhodes And Jey Uso For The Undisputed Tag Team Championships

The long-term plan for Jey Uso is not for him to be a tag team champion, nor is that the plan for Cody Rhodes. WWE seems focused on building Jey Uso into a babyface singles star, which is going quite well based on crowd reactions, and Cody is obviously the biggest babyface in the company and likely heading toward a second consecutive WrestleMania Main Event clash with Roman Reigns (at least if The Rock doesn't get in the way). So, the two of them defending against The Viking Raiders on a random Raw episode feels ridiculous to even say out loud.

That being said, a short little run that explores their relationship is certainly possible and The Judgment Day losing the titles would certainly add intrigue to their stories. Rhea Ripley very publicly went off on Dominik Mysteiro when he lost his NXT North American Championship (briefly), which made it clear she’s going to assert her authority whenever stable members don’t perform. So, losing here would give WWE a chance to explore that, plus continue to build the simmering tension between Damian Priest and Finn Bálor. It could also set up a really interesting dynamic if they lose here but Priest cashes in his Money In The Bank contract later in the night and wins. That feels like the best story to tell, but it would leave Cody and Jey with the tag titles and seemingly not a ton to do. I guess I’m gonna pick The Judgment Day to retain, maybe with some help from JD McDonagh, which solidifies his role in the group, but I do not feel confident about it.

Predicted Winner: Judgment Day

The LWO (Rey Mysterio, Santos Escobar And TBD) Vs Bobby Lashley And The Street Profits

WWE hasn’t officially announced who the third member representing the LWO is going to be beyond Rey Mysterio and Santos Escobar. Many are assuming it’ll be either Cruz Del Toro or Joaquin Wilde, but I think we may get something more fun here like Carlito, who has been rumored to make another appearance for months. That would add a really fun dynamic for the match since, right now, it’s hard to imagine the LWO winning here, unless Triple H, Bruce Prichard and the other writers want to really turn up the heat on the Lashley doesn’t think the Profits have the killer instinct angle they’ve teased a few times.

That’s possible, but personally, I don’t really think it’s needed. I’m ready for the newly established faction, which is still without a name, to start asserting themselves as one of the most dominant forces in WWE, and that should start with a win here. In fact, I’d like to see them look pretty dominant in victory, largely because it would further the ongoing LWO tension between Rey Mysterio and Santos Escobar. We’ve really been getting a slow play over the last few months on that incoming drama. Adding Carlito to the equation could really take that story to the next level. Maybe Carlito and Escobar go one way, Rey and Zelina go another way and it’s sort of like an nWo Black vs nWo Wolfpack thing?

Predicted Winner: Bobby Lashley And The Street Profits 

John Cena And LA Knight Vs Solo Sikoa And Jimmy Uso

I actually feel pretty good about John Cena and LA Knight cruising to a victory here for three reasons. First, John Cena needs a premium live event win. He’s 2 and 9 in his last 11 PPV matches. It’s always nice to see the legend make an appearance, but we’re kind of getting to the point where I assume he’s going to put the other person over when he has a high profile match. This would be a great way to get him a win without screwing up long-term story plans.

Second, LA Knight is still white hot. He’s selling more merchandise than anyone else in the company, and if WWE wants to keep pushing him to be a bigger star, they need to treat him like a bigger star. That means picking up more wins in high profile spots at premium live events. Third, Jimmy Uso seems to be getting pushed in an incompetent and bumbling direction. Sure, he’s beating people up backstage, but he’s also stomping around and pissing off Paul Heyman and Solo Sikoa. Assumedly, he’s also pissing off Roman Reigns. My guess is he’s going to cost his team the match, and Roman is going to return to programming to deal with the problem and reassert dominance. That’ll be through putting Jimmy in his place, but it’ll also likely be through starting a program with LA Knight. The first step of that, though, is Jimmy and Solo losing this match and embarrassing the family enough to come back.

Predicted Winner: LA Knight And John Cena

Iyo Sky Vs Charlotte Flair Vs Asuka For The WWE Women’s Championship

I have absolutely no idea whatsoever where WWE is going with any of this. It feels like a bunch of the top women have been jammed together with a vague we’re feuding storyline, and there just aren’t enough titles to go around to satisfy all the superstars who potentially could be main eventers. Let’s forget about the brand splits for a minute, especially since WWE has shown they’ll ignore them if the story calls for it. Personally, I can’t imagine Rhea Ripley losing her title anytime soon. So, that leaves Charlotte, Asuka, Iyo, Bianca Belair, Becky Lynch and the newly hired Jade Cargill all fighting to be that other woman who WWE formally recognizes as being at the top of the division.

Since, Becky is busy with NXT stuff right now and Bianca is out with a kayfabe injury, this match really feels like a referendum on who WWE wants to move forward with in the short-term as that second face of the women’s division. You could make sound arguments for any of the superstars involved here. Iyo and Asuka had a fantastic match the crowd was into last month. That could easily be a future PPV rematch for the title, but in absence of a clear angle, I’m always going to bet on Charlotte Flair. If there's not an obvious path, WWE has proven over and over again that they’ll put Charlotte out front. So, that’s gonna be my low confidence prediction.

Predicted Winner: Charlotte Flair

Seth Freakin' Rollins Vs Shinsuke Nakamura For The World Heavyweight Championship

I really like how Shinsuke Nakamura has been presented in this feud with Seth Rollins. He doesn’t feel like the goofy and fun midcard character we’ve all seen over the past few years. He feels more dangerous. Letting him do his promos mostly in Japanese was the right call, and the visual look and style of the shots have been top tier WWE production quality. I also think the story about Seth having back problems and him exploiting them has made him feel dangerous and like a real threat to win.

But is there anything he’s done since Payback that has made him seem more likely to finish the job at Fastlane? He lost during the last premium live event, and the basic narrative has not really changed since then. If it wasn’t a good idea for him to win before, why is it a good idea for him to win now? And where would WWE be going with Shinsuke as the World Heavyweight Champion? I love Nakamura. He’s great and in theory, I like the idea of him getting a moment to win a bigger belt than he’s won so far in WWE, but I just don’t see him as the face of Raw.

So, he would have to be a transitional champion, but what babyface would you be transitioning the title to? If they want Damian Priest to cash in his Money In The Bank contract, then he should do it on Seth Rollins, preferably after winning a really close and exhausting match. Whether that happens or not, look for Seth to win. Then afterwards, we'll just have to wait and see if Damian Priest comes out. I'll nervously say he does successfully cash in, but my confidence level is not nearly as high as my co-worker, who is convinced we'll see Priest a second time on Saturday.

Predicted Winner: Seth Rollins (and later, Damian Priest)

You can catch WWE Fastlane live on Saturday night from Indianapolis. It's streaming with a paid Peacock subscription, and like all WWE premium live events, is available around the world via various other local options.