The show opens up with Tom Phillips welcoming us to the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He is joined by Corey Graves & Byron Saxton.
We head right to the ring where Dasha Fuentes has a mic in hand. She introduces SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair and her challenger at Fastlane Ruby Riott.
She begins with Ruby, who quickly corrects her and shoos her off. Ruby says that it all began on November 14, 2017, when Charlotte Flair became champion. Ruby says that all her life Charlotte was set up to be champion. Ruby says that Charlotte is tall, blonde, athletic, cunning and the daughter of a two-time WWE Hall of Famer, and when she won the title, she became the first superstar to ever hold the NXT, Divas, RAW, and SmackDown Women’s Championships.
Ruby says that she watched as the myth that Flair was the personification of the women’s revolution began to form and that’s why she formed the Riott Squad two weeks after that victory, with one purpose, to destroy the myth. Charlotte then says that the only myth that exists about her is that she hasn’t been handed anything in life, and she claims that being who she is has had to make her work harder than others.
Charlotte says that she has the weight of expectation on her shoulders, and how hard is that to live up to? Charlotte says that her failures are magnified and she can’t just succeed to be successful, she has to be transcendent. And the fact that she’s achieved what Riott just said proves that she’s transcended any myth about her, and the reality is she’s standing right here every bit as good as you’ve heard.
Ruby then says that that is what makes this so exciting, because whether she was placed there or put herself there, she’s on a pedestal, and all of that is on the line on Sunday. So when she takes her crown, she’ll no longer be the Queen, her reality is gonna crumble and she’s just gonna be another bleach blonde failure with a famous last name.
This gets Charlotte to step up to Riott, and then the rest of The Riott Squad rolls into the ring in response. Ruby puts her mic down, Charlotte starts taking off her robe ready to fight.
Bobby Roode’s music hits and he makes his way down to the ring.
Commentary informs us that the match between Randy Orton and Jinder Mahal will take place after the break.
Back from the commercial break and Randy Orton makes his way down to the ring. We are then shown that Bobby Roode has joined the commentary booth.
Sunil Singh comes out and he does the usual Modern Day Maharaja introduction as he introduces Jinder Mahal.
Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton: The opening bell sounds and Orton and Mahal trade holds. Orton takes over with an elbow to the face, then he puts the boots to Mahal. Orton looks for the RKO early on, but Mahal escapes and regroups at ringside. Back in the ring, Mahal gets some shots in on Orton and then drops him with a flying knee to the face for a two count. Mahal keeps Orton grounded, until Orton finally fights up and hits a powerslam. Orton hits some clotheslines and another powerslam. Orton hits a fallaway slam for a two count. Orton lays into Mahal with chops and uppercuts, then a backbreaker. Mahal rolls outside and uses Sunil Singh as a shield. Orton throws Sunil aside, then Mahal nails Orton. Orton counters and throws Mahal into Roode at the announce table. Roode goes down, and Orton brings Mahal back into the ring and hits a DDT. Orton looks for the RKO, but Roode gets on the apron and causes a distraction. Mahal hits Orton from behind, sending him into Roode on the apron. Mahal follows up with the Khallas on Orton for the three count. Winner: Jinder Mahal
After the match, Jinder celebrates as Roode recovers on the floor and Orton recovers on the mat. Jinder’s music plays as we go to replays. Orton looks on as Jinder celebrates.
We head backstage where we see that Sami Zayn is giving Kevin Owens a pep talk about Sunday. Owens says that it’s every man for himself and Sami tries to deflect it by saying that that is how it’s billed, but Owens remembers something from a few weeks again, that Zayn said that he would be willing to lie down for him. Sami says that he said that and he meant it, and Owens says that he almost can’t believe that he would do that, but he’s such an amazing guy and if he really means it.
Zayn cuts him off and says that he knows exactly how good he is but nobody noticed until he hooked up with Owens and there’s no doubt in his mind that his time will come, but right now Owens is one win away from headlining WrestleMania as champion and becoming Grand Slam Champion, and again he thanks Owens for everything he’s done and promises to lie down for him, which gets him a big hug from Owens to end the segment and to send us to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we get a promo from Baron Corbin about how he’s grateful that John Cena is in the title match on Sunday and that he’ll repay him for costing him his Money in the Bank briefcase.
This is followed by a video package recapping the feud between The New Day and The Usos.
We head backstage where Shinsuke Nakamura is being interviewed. He says that he hopes that AJ Styles will win at Fastlane so that he can beat him at WrestleMania with a knee to the. Rusev Day interrupts Nakamura. Aiden English goes to speak but clutches his throat and Rusev accuses Nakamura of doing permanent damage to Aiden’s voice, like breaking Billy Joel’s hands. No piano for the Piano Man and no Rusev Day song for Rusev.
Nakamura points out that English isn’t Billy Joel and Rusev challenges Nakamura to a match at Fastlane so he can break him like he broke his Aiden. Nakamura says that when he wins at Fastlane it’ll be Nakamura Day and struts off with Rusev in disbelief that he’d make up his own holiday.
Becky Lynch makes her way down to the ring to send us to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we are just in time for Carmella’s entrance.
Becky Lynch vs. Carmella: The opening bell sounds and Becky takes control early on. she goes up top, but Carmella drops her and takes hear down with a head scissors. Carmella pummels on Becky now and yells at Becky as she rubs her face into the mat. Becky looks for an armbar, but Carmella locks and continues the offense. Naomi is shown backstage watching on a monitor. Carmella and Becky briefly brawl at ringside, then back in the ring Carmella slams Becky down. Becky drops Carmella with a spinning heel kick, and now both women are down. They get up and trade shots in the middle of the ring until Carmella gets the upper hand with a boot to the face. Becky ducks a shot and hits the Bexploder suplex. They trade strikes until Becky grabs Carmella with the Disarm Her for the win. Winner: Becky Lynch
After the match, Becky stands tall as her music hits. Carmella is still screaming.
We head backstage where we see Naomi watching on a monitor and Natalya walks up with a slow clap. Natalya claims that Carmella had the flu but Naomi doesn’t buy it. Natalya says that anybody that’s friends with Becky ends up burned and Naomi accuses her of hating and asks her to name a friend that isn’t a cat. Natalya refuses and says that she saw Carmella challenge Lynch and that she wouldn’t challenge her because she’s Uncle Bret’s catchphrase.
Naomi uses that to challenge her to a tag match, Naomi & Lynch vs. Carmella & Natalya. Natalya accepts and says that she’s gonna challenge the winner of the title match, but Naomi says that the only thing she’s gonna be doing at WrestleMania is fighting for couch space with 2Pawz.
AJ Styles is shown walking backstage.
Commentary runs us through the announcement of the Greatest Royal Rumble, to be held next month in Saudi Arabia and then we go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we get an outside shot of the arena and a man walking past a statue in shorts in the snow that slips and falls and commentary finds it so amusing that we need to see it again and in slow motion.
Commentary then hypes The WWE Network and runs through the card for this Sunday’s Fastlane.
AJ Styles makes his way down to the ring to cut a promo before his match against Dolph Ziggler.
He takes in the chants for a moment and begins by saying that it wasn’t too long ago when he only cared about one person, but after winning the WWE Championship for a second time, he sees the world a little different. Styles talks about the years he spent grinding here and how he’s still grinding and how that leads him to Fastlane. It’s a six-pack challenge and he doesn’t have to get pinned to lost the title.
Styles says what a surprise, the odds are stacked against him once again, but here’s the thing, he’s not gonna stand in the ring and cry and complain and say it’s not fair. Styles says the hell with fair, he’s gonna fight, that’s what he does and that’s who he is, and this is SmackDown, the House That AJ Styles Built. Styles also says that the thing is, no matter how much they train and how hard they try, sometimes life gets the best of us and we don’t win.
Styles then says that last week John Cena pinned him clean in the middle of the ring and the thing is, Cena is world-class and he’s not taking anything from him. Styles then says not that he needs any extra motivation, but Cena’s never at a loss for words, and AJ plays a clip of John’s promo from RAW last night. Styles then says that Cena is not the only one that has to win at Fastlane to pave the road to WrestleMania, and Styles brings up the triple threat John brought up and says that that is not what he wants and it’s not what the WWE Universe wants.
Styles says that he wants his WrestleMania moment, and he wants that to be taking it to the grandest stage of them all and defending it against the best, and he has every right to call himself the best, Shinsuke Nakamura. Styles then says who would have ever dreamed that this match would happen in WWE? So at Fastlane, he’s not just fighting for himself, he’s fighting for us, because trust him when he says it, it’ll be nothing short of Phenomenal.
Dolph Ziggler makes his way down to the ring and asks AJ if he heard right and what happened to AJ, he used to be cool. Dolph says that SmackDown was the House That AJ Styles Built, but he changed, and he’s not Phenomenal anymore, he’s just desperate. Styles fires back by saying that he hasn’t been in WWE for 13 years and failed to reach his full potential, and Dolph returns with AJ taking a decade to walk into the house that he built.
Ziggler says that on Sunday Styles is gonna lose, and it’s not the math, it’s not the numbers game, it’s AJ’s head being in the wrong place, saying he’s gonna do it for these people. Ziggler then says that the second you let them down one inch they’ll all stab you in the back and it happened to him. Ziggler then says that he was told to his face that he’d never be champion here, ever, and somehow he kicked every road block out of his way.
Ziggler also says that every time the rug was pulled out from underneath him, he overcame it, and somehow he won Money in the Bank and cashed in and become World Heavyweight Champion, and everyone shared in that moment together. There’s only one catch, they didn’t deserve it, sitting on the sidelines doing nothing. Meanwhile Dolph was proving it night-in, night-out, that he was the best thing that ever happened to this company.
And the fact that Ziggler’s yet to have one singles match at WrestleMania is criminal. Dolph then says that AJ can talk about whatever he wants but the facts don’t give a damn about his feelings, and he can take his dream match and shove it. Styles says that he is talking a lot, so why not just have their match right now?
The match will begin right after the commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we are just in time for the bell.
AJ Styles vs. Dolph Ziggler: This one is a non-Title match. The opening bell sounds and Ziggler goes for a superkick early, but AJ dodges it and unloads on Ziggler with strikes. Ziggler rolls outside for a breather, then comes back in the ring and wrestles AJ down to the mat. AJ slams Ziggler down, then Ziggler gets up and hits a dropkick. They fight into the corner now, then Ziggler drops AJ and hits an elbow drop. AJ fights up and hits some elbows, then the Champion hits a running dropkick. Ziggler rolls outside again, and AJ goes flying onto him with a suicide dive. Ziggler knocks AJ off the apron and AJ is hurt. Back in the ring, Ziggler pounds on AJ in the corner then hits a backdrop. Ziggler hits some more strikes before AJ fires back with some of his own. AJ hits a running forearm on Ziggler, then a splash in the corner. Ziggler hits a cheap shot to the eyes, then a Fame-asser for a two count. They trade strikes again until Ziggler kicks out AJ’s leg, then kicks him in the head. They fight out to the apron where Ziggler throws AJ into the ring post. Back in the ring, Ziggler tries to do a Styles Clash, but AJ escapes. AJ looks for the Calf Crusher, but Ziggler fights up and hits the Zig Zag for a two count. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens run in, which puts an abrupt end to this one. The referee calls for the bell and it’s a no contest. Winner: No contest
After the match, Sami and Owens continue beating down AJ and Ziggler, talking trash. AJ and Ziggler finally clear the ring, sending Owens and Sami to the floor. The music hits and out comes SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon.
Shane speaks from the stage and asks if Sami & Owens are trying to take out two of their opponents for Sunday. Shane says that they must be feeling the competitive spirit and since they are, they need to turn around and get back into the ring. Shane makes AJ vs. Ziggler vs. Owens vs. Sami vs. Baron Corbin in a Fatal 5 Way Match for right now. The music hits and out comes Corbin. Owens and Sami aren’t happy. Corbin marches to the ring as Sami and Owens back up to the ringside area. AJ and Ziggler are recovering as we go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and the match is in progress.
AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn (Fatal Five Way Match): AJ and Sami start going at it, then Corbin comes over and throws Sami into the fan barrier. Corbin throws Owens next, then beats on Sami back in the ring. AJ and Corbin go at it now, but Corbin gets the better of him and stomps out the Champion. Owens comes back in, but Corbin drops him too. Corbin and Ziggler start going at it, and Ziggler throws Corbin outside. Owens and Sami gang up on Corbin at ringside and throw him into the ring steps. Back in the ring, Sami beats on Ziggler while Owens attacks AJ. Owens then hits a senton on Ziggler, and Sami stomps on Corbin on the apron. Sami and Kevin double team AJ now, and Owens hits a senton on AJ for a two count. They kick Corbin back outside the ring, but Corbin comes right back in and drops Sami. Corbin walks into a superkick from Owens, but then Ziggler drops Owens. AJ drops Sami with a Pele kick and all five men are down.
Everyone starts fighting in the corner, which leads to a five-man powerbomb pyramid spot. Everyone is down, and AJ and Owens roll out to ringside. Sami, Corbin and Ziggler go at it in the ring now. Corbin falls out to ringside, and Sami hits a Blue Thunder Bomb on Ziggler, but AJ breaks up the pin attempt. Sami throws AJ outside, then Ziggler throws Sami outside. Owens hits the ring and hits a German suplex on Ziggler, then drops Corbin. Owens hits the cannonball on Ziggler in the corner, then a KO Bomb, but AJ breaks up the pin. AJ gets thrown outside, and Ziggler hits a Zig Zag on Corbin. Ziggler hits a superkick on Sami next. Corbin beats on AJ and throws him outside, then he clotheslines Sami down. Corbin hits a chokeslam backbreaker on Ziggler, then a Deep Six on Owens. Corbin covers, and AJ breaks up the pin. AJ boots Corbin down, then kicks Ziggler in the head too. Sami nails AJ in the corner, but AJ comes back with a big reverse DDT. AJ drops Corbin on the apron, then throws Ziggler outside. Owens and Sami throw AJ outside next. Sami turns around and hits the Helluva Kick on Owens, and the crowd goes wild. Sami covers for the three count. Winner: Sami Zayn
After the match, Sami sits on his knees as his music plays. Owens is down right next to him. We see AJ, Corbin and Ziggler recovering on the floor. We go to replays and the announcers hype the Fastlane main event. Sami makes his exit as the others look on. Owens can’t believe it. We get another replay of how Sami turned on Owens. Sami looks up at the WrestleMania 34 sign as he stops on the stage. Dasha Fuentes comes out and asks Sami why he hit Owens. Sami says why, why? How about this. He is the best WWE has, he has been without a doubt the most under-looked performer, no one else comes close to him. Sami tells Dasha not to ask him stupid question. Sami then says that tonight was not about the WWE Title, it was about who is the best and Sami says that he proved that he is the best as SmackDown goes off the air.