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Fastlane 2018 was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event and WWE Network event produced by WWE for the SmackDown brand. It took place on March 11, 2018, at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. It was the fourth event under the Fastlane chronology and the final SmackDown-exclusive pay-per-view under the second brand split as following WrestleMania 34, all WWE pay-per-views will be dual-branded, featuring wrestlers from both the Raw and SmackDown brands.

Seven matches were contested at the event, including one on the pre-show. In the main event, AJ Styles retained the WWE Championship in a six-pack challenge against Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, and free agent John Cena. On the undercard, Randy Orton defeated Bobby Roode to win his first United States Championship, becoming the eighteenth Grand Slam Champion in the process. Charlotte Flair also retained the SmackDown Women's Championship against Ruby Riott, after which, women's Royal Rumble winner Asuka from the Raw brand made her Fastlane debut to challenge Flair for the title at WrestleMania 34.

Background

Fastlane featured professional wrestling matches that involved different wrestlers from pre-existing feuds, plots, and storylines that played out on WWE's primary television programs. Wrestlers portrayed villains or heroes as they followed a series of events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches.

At the Royal Rumble, AJ Styles defeated Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in a handicap match to retain the WWE Championship, although Kevin Owens, who was pinned, was not the legal man. On the following episode of SmackDown, Owens and Sami Zayn interrupted 2018 Men's Royal Rumble winner Shinsuke Nakamura and said that they should be the co-WWE Champions, but the referee failed at his job. Styles and Nakamura then teamed up and defeated Owens and Zayn. During the match, there were tensions between Owens and Zayn as a result of General Manager Daniel Bryan scheduling them to face each other the following week to determine the number one contender for the WWE Championship at Fastlane. Their match ended in a double disqualification, however, as Styles was provoked by Zayn and attacked both men, leading to Bryan scheduling a triple threat match between the three for the title. Commissioner Shane McMahon then announced on Twitter that the winner of a match between Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin the following week would be added to the championship match to make it a fatal four-way. Before that match started, Owens and Zayn attacked Corbin in the backstage area and later went after Ziggler to prevent either from being added. In response, Shane scheduled Owens to face Corbin and Zayn to face Ziggler, with both Corbin and Ziggler being added if they won their respective matches, while also threatening that if Owens or Zayn interfered in the other's match, that person would be removed from the title match. Corbin and Ziggler won their respective matches, thus making it a fatal five-way for the WWE Championship at Fastlane. The following week, Owens defeated Ziggler after a distraction by Zayn.

Immediately following the Royal Rumble, General Manager Daniel Bryan announced that there would be a first-ever "SmackDown Top Ten List" as voted on by the SmackDown roster. Bryan said the list would show who the wrestlers thought should get a title opportunity, but a wrestler could not vote for themselves. The Top Ten List was revealed on the February 6 episode of SmackDown. The following week, United States Champion Bobby Roode, Jinder Mahal, and Randy Orton all exchanged words as Mahal made fun of their spots on the list despite Mahal not ranking at all; Orton and Roode were 9th and 5th, respectively. It ended after Orton hit everyone with an RKO, who then suffered a Khallas from Mahal. The next episode, Mahal again called out Roode and Orton, and a brawl broke out in which Roode hit Orton with a Glorious DDT, but then Mahal delivered a Khallas to Roode, standing tall once again. Backstage, Commissioner Shane McMahon scheduled Roode to face Orton for the United States Championship at Fastlane.

Throughout 2017, The Usos (Jey and Jimmy Uso) and The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods) wrestled at numerous events over the SmackDown Tag Team Championship, with the original feud ending at Hell in a Cell with The Usos winning the feud. The Usos' next feud were with Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin, who were unsuccessful in gaining the titles at the Royal Rumble. On the February 20 episode of SmackDown, The New Day's Big E and Woods defeated Gable and Benjamin to become the number one contenders against The Usos for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship at Fastlane.

At the Royal Rumble, Asuka of the Raw brand won the inaugural women's Royal Rumble match for the right to challenge for either the Raw Women's Championship or SmackDown Women's Championship at WrestleMania 34. The following night on Raw, Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon convinced Asuka to wait until after Raw's Elimination Chamber pay-per-view to make her decision. The next night on SmackDown, SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair wondered who her WrestleMania opponent would be. The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan, and Liv Morgan) interrupted and said Flair would not make it to WrestleMania before attacking her. Over the next couple of weeks, Flair defeated Morgan and Logan in non-title matches. On the February 20 episode, Flair teamed with Becky Lynch and Naomi in a six-woman tag team match against The Riott Squad where Riott pinned Lynch. Later that episode, Flair offered to put her title on the line at Fastlane against Riott, who accepted. Also, NationalWide Arena is advertising John Cena to appear on the Pay-Per-View.

On the February 27 episode of SmackDown, Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Aiden English. The following week, English and Rusev interrupted a backstage interview with Nakamura, where Rusev challenged Nakamura to a match at Fastlane for damaging English's vocal cords and Nakamura accepted.

On the March 6 episode of SmackDown, Becky Lynch defeated Carmella by submission. Later, a tag team match between Becky Lynch and Naomi and Natalya and Carmella was scheduled for Fastlane.

Event

Pre-show

During the pre-show, Breezango (Fandango and Tyler Breeze) teamed with Tye Dillinger to defeat Chad Gable, Shelton Benjamin and Mojo Rawley.

Preliminary matches

The actual pay-per-view opened with a singles match between Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura. Nakamura would get the Pinfall win after a Kinshasa.

After that, Randy Orton defeated Bobby Roode to win his first WWE United States Championship after catching Roode in an RKO off the top rope. After the match, Jinder Mahal came out to taunt Orton, and both would up suffering a Glorious DDT from Roode. With the win, Orton became the 18th WWE wrestler to win the Grand Slam.

Next, Natalya and Carmella defeated Becky Lynch and Naomi after Natalya distracted Lynch with the Women's Money In The Bank briefcase, allowing Carmella hit a Superkick on Lynch.

In the fourth match, The Usos (Jey and Jimmy Uso) retained the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championships against Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston (with Big E) of The New Day by Disqualification after The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper and Rowan) came out and laid waste to both teams.

In the penultimate match, Charlotte Flair retained the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship against Ruby Riott by Submission with the Figure 8. During the match, Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan of The Riott Squad ran down to help Ruby. Becky Lynch and Naomi would come out to even things up, but would all end up being ejected from ringside. After the match, Asuka would make her Smackdown debut, and would made the decision to challenge Charlotte at Wrestlemania 34 for the title, per her 2018 Women's Royal Rumble Match win.

Main event

In the main-event match, AJ Styles defended the WWE Championship in a six-pack challenge against John Cena, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Baron Corbin, and Dolph Ziggler. Cena immediately performed consecutive Attitude Adjustments on everyone except Styles. Later during the match, Owens and Zayn turned on each other, with Zayn seemingly lying down for Owens, but ultimately tricked him and performed a roll-up, but Commissioner Shane McMahon continuously got involved, breaking up pinfalls involving Owens and Zayn. In the climax, Cena performed an Attitude Adjustment on Ziggler. As he was about to perform a second one to Ziggler, Owens came in and performed a pop up powerbomb on Cena. Styles then hit Owens with the Phenomenal Forearm to retain the WWE Championship, solidying his match-up against Shinsuke Nakamura at WrestleMania 34.

Match Preview

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Rusev Preview
Bobby Roode vs. Randy Orton Preview
Becky Lynch & Naomi vs. Natalya & Carmella Preview
The Usos vs. The New Day Preview
Charlotte Flair vs. Ruby Riott Preview
Fatal 5-way match Preview

Results

Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
(c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.

Other on-screen talent

Commentators
Ring announcer
Interviewers
Pre-show panel
Referees

See also

DVD release

External links

Fastlane 2018 previews

Fatal 5-way matchBobby Roode v Randy OrtonThe Usos v The New DayCharlotte Flair v Ruby RiottShinsuke Nakamura v RusevBecky Lynch & Naomi v Natalya & Carmella

Fastlane
20152016201720182019
2018 World Wrestling Entertainment pay-per-views

NXT TakeOver: PhiladelphiaRoyal RumbleElimination ChamberFastlaneNXT TakeOver: New OrleansWrestleManiaGreatest Royal RumbleBacklashNXT TakeOver: Chicago IIMoney in the BankExtreme RulesNXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IVSummerSlamHell in a CellSuper Show-DownEvolutionCrown JewelNXT TakeOver: WarGames IISurvivor SeriesStarrcadeTLC: Tables, Ladders, & Chairs

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