WWE Fastlane: Styles survives, Asuka chooses Flair
UPI News Service, 03/12/2018
WWE Champion AJ Styles was able to defy the odds Sunday at Fastlane and retain his title in a Six-Pack Challenge match against John Cena, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin.
The main event bout began with Cena unleashing a flurry of Attitude Adjustments to each competitor except for Styles as the two former rivals squared off once again. Cena was then ambushed by everyone after they recovered outside the ring.
Styles would be taken out of the equation later on by Cena who was able to send The Phenomenal One through the announcer's table using an Attitude Adjustment. Former best friends Owens and Zayn meanwhile began to clash again despite Zayn laying down in the middle of the ring and offering Owens to pin him to win the match. Owens, not believing his former partner, attacked Zayn who quickly pinned him for a close two count.
Owens would later accidentally strike Smackdown commissioner Shane McMahon -- who was viewing the match from ringside -- with a kick to face that was meant for Zayn. This lead McMahon to stop two subsequent pinning attempts by Owens and Zayn that would have won them the match.
Cena, in the closing moments, seemed poised to win when he delivered an Attitude Adjustment to Ziggler in the middle of the ring before he was stunned by Owens who used his Pop-up Powerbomb. Styles then quickly appeared from the outside and struck down Owens with a Phenomenal Forearm for the three count and the victory.
The end of the match featured both Owens and Zayn starring down McMahon and Cena looking disappointed in the corner as Styles celebrated in the ring. Cena, despite losing what he deemed his one ticket to WrestleMania, congratulated Styles and raised the champ's hand up in victory after the cameras stopped rolling.
Styles will now have to defend his WWE Championship against Men's Royal Rumble winner Shinsuke Nakamura at WrestleMania.
Also at Fastlane, Charlotte Flair successfully defended her Smackdown Women's Championship against Ruby Riott in a highly-competitive match. Riott performed well against Flair with help from her Riott Squad members Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan who were later joined by Flair's friends Naomi and Becky Lynch at ringside.
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Flair won the match after the referee ejected the Riott Squad, Naomi and Lynch from ringside. The Queen, without any outside interference, delivered a Spear followed by her Figure-Eight Leglock to Riott who tapped out.
Following the match, Raw Superstar Asuka appeared and came face-to-face with Flair before pointing to the WrestleMania sign, choosing Flair as her WrestleMania opponent, a choice she earned after winning the first-ever Women's Royal Rumble match in January.
Other moments from Fastlane included Nakamura defeating Rusev; Randy Orton defeating Bobby Roode to become the new United States Champion; Natalya and Ms. Money in the Bank Carmella defeating Lynch and Naomi; and Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Usos being unable to finish their match against The New Day after The Bludgeon Brothers arrived and completely destroyed both teams.
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