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Fastlane 2018 is an upcoming professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event and WWE Network event produced by WWE for the SmackDown brand. It will take place on March 11, 2018, at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
It will be the fourth event under the Fastlane chronology. The 2018 event will also be the final SmackDown-exclusive pay-per-view and subsequently the final brand-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.
The card will include matches resulting from scripted storylines and have results predetermined by WWE on the SmackDown brand. Storylines are produced on WWE's weekly television show SmackDown Live. 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. On the February 27 episode, free agent John Cena, who was unsuccessful in becoming the number one contender for Raw's Universal Championship at Elimination Chamber two nights prior, made his return to SmackDown, determined to earn a match at WrestleMania 34. Bryan gave him the opportunity to be added to the WWE Championship match at Fastlane if he could defeat Styles in a non-title match. Cena defeated Styles, turning the championship match into a six-pack challenge. A brawl then ensued between all six competitors. To keep himself from being interrupted, Cena used his free agent status and appeared on the March 5 episode of Monday Night Raw and said that he would break his and Ric Flair's tied record and become a 17-time world champion, and said that Styles should use his rematch clause to make the WWE Championship match at WrestleMania a triple threat match with Nakamura. On the final SmackDown before Fastlane, Owens and Zayn caused a double disqualification in a match between Styles and Ziggler; a five-way match with the addition of Corbin was scheduled, which saw Zayn score the win by turning on and pinning Owens.