Last night’s edition of SmackDown Live saw Daniel Bryan book the WWE Championship match for Fastlane. Reigning champion AJ Styles will defend his title against both Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in a triple threat match.
At last month’s Royal Rumble pay per view, Styles successfully defeated both men in a handicap match for the championship – although he did so in controversial circumstances, as he pinned the illegal man.
This was the latest in a long string of incidents that have aggrieved Owens and Zayn, many involving SmackDown commissioner Shane McMahon – who has been less than sympathetic towards their plight. The overarching storyline has also seen Bryan sympathise with the pair in suspicious fashion, and booking the Fastlane match will probably be seen as another instance of the General Manager siding with the heels.
Styles won the title from Jinder Mahal on a UK episode of SmackDown back in November, and is currently in his second reign with the belt. He is set to defend it against Royal Rumble winner Shinsuke Nakamura at WrestleMania 34 – although that is obviously not set in stone, as Styles could well lose the championship before April 8th.
However, most fans seem to be predicting that Styles will indeed retain at Fastlane – setting up the match with Nakamura in the process. AJ and Nakamura previously wrestled in a highly-acclaimed bout at NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom 10, the final New Japan match for both men before departing for WWE. Many online are very keen to see a rematch at ‘Mania.
Then again, Nakamura and Sami Zayn also put on an excellent contest in 2016 – the NXT TakeOver: Dallas match over WrestleMania weekend.
Fastlane takes place on March 11th, and no other matches have yet been officially confirmed. However, it’s likely that Randy Orton will enter the WWE US title picture after his attack on Bobby Roode last night.