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AJ Styles keeps dream match intact at WWE Fastlane

Aaron Oster
Contact ReporterFor The Baltimore Sun

Despite the odds being against him, AJ Styles successfully defended the WWE title in an eventful six-pack challenge match at Fastlane, cementing the match at WrestleMania against Shinsuke Nakamura.

The main event of Fastlane was a roller-coaster ride, where it seemed at times that anyone could win. John Cena, of course, took an early advantage and it seemed as if he would control his destiny going into WrestleMania several times throughout the night. There were multiple series of wrestlers hitting finishers and being stopped by someone else in the match. And, of course, the saga of Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and Shane McMahon continued. Owens and Zayn did end up fighting after Owens could not trust Zayn to stay down and be pinned, and Shane did get pulled into the action. And he directly cost both wrestlers their chance at winning, as he broke up pin attempts for both of them. However, at the end of all of it, it was AJ Styles hitting Owens with the phenomenal forearm for the win.

The biggest story was almost certainly the Owens/Zayn/Shane McMahon dynamic and where they'll go from here (triple-threat at Mania?). And how long can Shane continue doing this without it being clear that he's out of line, and really is the heel in the situation? However, the most important thing was that we are getting the dream match in New Orleans. Nothing was added to it, no Cena, no Owens, no Zayn. Simply a rematch from New Japan's Wrestle Kingdom 10, in which Nakamura got the better of Styles for the IWGP Intercontinental Title. This time though, it's for the WWE title, in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, at WrestleMania. Just the fact that they would do this match is mind-blowing for some. For it to be for the WWE title is more than most would have even hoped for. And yet, now it is in stone. For the first time, we will be getting a Wrestle Kingdom rematch at WrestleMania.

The tagline is that the show puts the WWE on the Fastlane to Wrestlemania. Well, Sunday night certainly did it, and all throughout the show, fans grew more excited to see what WWE has in store for New Orleans.

The Rest of Fastlane

» The other big WrestleMania news came from the women's title match. Charlotte, to nobody's surprise, successfully defended her title against Ruby Riott. However, after she won, Asuka made her way to the ring, pointing at the sign, and challenging Charlotte for WrestleMania. Perhaps this is the biggest women's match they could do (outside of something involving Ronda Rousey), so it makes perfect sense. It would have been nice to have a bit more build to it, but we're getting the match everyone wanted, so it's really hard to complain.

» Randy Orton won the US title for the first time, beating Bobby Roode with an RKO. After the match, Jinder Mahal came in and attacked. While Mahal was able to get to Orton, Roode fought him off and hit both Mahal and Orton with the Glorious DDT. It seems like we'll be getting that as a triple-threat at WrestleMania.

» The tag-title match ended in a no contest. The New Day and The Usos were on pace to have another fantastic match, but the Bludgeon Brothers appeared and demolished both teams. All five men were tossed around the ring, into barriers, and into and on the steps. After the physical barrage was over, all five members of The New Day and Usos had to at least be assisted to the back, while Xavier Woods had to be taken out in a stretcher.

> Carmella and Natalya beat Becky Lynch and Naomi after Carmella hit a superkick to a distracted Becky Lynch. This was Carmella's first TV/PPV win since October.

» Nakamura beat Rusev in a very good showing by both where the crowd was fairly split.

» In the preshow, Tye Dillinger and the Fashion Police beat Mojo Rawley, Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin.

Questions? Thoughts? Leave them in the comment section here, email me, or find me on Twitter: @TheAOster. You can also hear my podcast, Jobbing Out, at https://soundcloud.com/jobbingout

Questions? Thoughts? Leave them in the comment section here, email me, or find me on Twitter: @TheAOster. You can also hear my podcast, Jobbing Out, at https://soundcloud.com/jobbingout

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