We are only hours away from WWE Fast Lane! I'm back with another edition of The Five-Count to give you all of my thoughts on this week and the build to the PPV. If you are new to this series, I’ll break it down for you real quick. Usually every weekend I post this weekly breakdown of what I liked, what I didn’t like, who was the superstar or diva of the week, the match of the week, and a prediction or talking point I want to address. Here we go!
Superstar of the Week: Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose has spent his entire main roster career in WWE in the upper midcard/main event scene. Following the Royal Rumble, I think Ambrose was at what could be considered his lowest point. He wasn't being buried, but the fact of the matter is, he wasn't holding a title and wasn't in a program... yet. Ambrose pinned Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett on the last Raw before Royal Rumble. Over the last few weeks, Ambrose has asked Barrett for a title shot since he pinned the champion clean. Barrett wasn't budging until this past Monday on Raw. Ambrose picked up a win over Luke Harper before tying Barrett to the ring post and forcing him to sign a contract for a title match at Fast Lane. I thought the segment was pure genius and I'm excited to see Ambrose receive a title shot as we are on the road to WrestleMania.
Match of the Week: Kevin Owens vs. Adrian Neville (NXT)
Once again, the main event of this week's NXT blew away anything that was done of the main roster this week. Dolph Ziggler and Seth Rollins had good matches on Raw and SmackDown, but I still felt it wasn't as good as this. Kevin Owens is very unique. Looking at his size and physique, you wouldn't think he'd be able to do some of the things he does in every match. Owens is already NXT Champion and is impressing everyone week after week. Adrian Neville has proven himself with reigns as NXT Champion and NXT Tag Team Champion. No matter how many times he performs the Red Arrow or the German Suplex, it feels like we are seeing it for the first time because the moves are that awesome. Their styles meshed perfectly and I would go as far to say that this may have even been better than Owens vs. Zayn at Takeover.
The Highlight: Prime Time Reunion
I was very pleased with this week's Raw! I felt that most everything was excellently booked as it was the go-home to Fast Lane. One of the things that excited me the most was seeing Titus O'Neil make the save for Darren Young during the brawl with The Ascension. I was disappointed at first when I saw Young with a jobber as his partner. I ended up liking that WWE booked it that way so O'Neil could run out and please us all. When the Prime Time Players split a year ago, I didn't think it would be much of an issue until Young got injured and O'Neil fell very far into the world of being a jobber. Young and O'Neil reunited once again on Main Event, so I hope this is a sign WWE will push them as a team once again. Maybe they will win their first Tag Team Championship?
The Lowlight: Inexpiable Losses
We don't always know why certain superstars and divas suffer multiple losses in a certain amount of time. This week on SmackDown, there were four matches that had outcomes that left me sighing. The first to occur was R-Truth beating Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett. I understand some distraction losses before a PPV, but this was just ridiculous. R-Truth hasn't won anything important since 2011 to be honest. The IC Title was starting to gain back it's prestige and credibility in 2014, but the title has quickly lost all of it. Next, The Ascension beat Big E and Xavier Woods. It wasn't that big of a deal, but I would've been much happier if the result was reversed. Then, Luke Harper suffered a loss to Roman Reigns. I had no problem with the result, it's just sad to think that Harper was champion just over two months ago and now he's a jobber. Erick Rowan is also in that boat. He was pushed in December until suffering a loss to Big Show at TLC. Rowan once again lost to Show on SmackDown. I know that not everyone can be pushed, but consistency would be nice.
Fast Lane Predictions:
Here's my predictions for how the Fast Lane results will look:
- Goldust def. Stardust
- Dolph Ziggler, Ryback, & Erick Rowan def. Seth Rollins, Big Show, & Kane
- Nikki Bella (c) def. Paige - Divas Title Match
- Tyson Kidd & Cesaro def. The Usos (c) - Tag Team Title Match
- Dean Ambrose def. Bad News Barrett (c) - IC Title
- John Cena vs. Rusev (c) ends in no contest - US Title
- Roman Reigns def. Daniel Bryan
CLICK HERE to read the entire WNW Predicts featuring the explanation for my predictions! Be sure to join us here on WNW at 7 PM EDT for our live coverage and Open Thread! Feel free to share your thoughts on this past week and your Fast Lane predictions below in the comments section.