WWE Fastlane 2016: The Problem with the Main Event


The main event for WWE Fastlane is set, but it’s a story of nothing to see here.

When this week’s Raw started we had the usual long, drawn out promo featuring all your favourite Authority figures. When that promo section finished it looked like we may end up with a night of impressive performances from the WWE roster, and some different guys may get thrown into the main event scene. We got one part of that but not the other, while many guys put in a good shift in the ring the usual suspects ended up getting a main event spot at the upcoming Fastlane pay-per-view.

Let’s backtrack a little bit. Triple H won the Royal Rumble on Sunday night to get his hands on his 14th WWE World Championship, taking the belt away from Roman Reigns in the process. Vince McMahon, Stephanie and Triple H told us all that they would watch the performances and pick who should get to main event Fastlane for the No. 1 contendership to Triple H’s newly won title. Then they picked Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose and we all realised that the performances on Raw made absolutely no difference to the direction of the WWE Championship match at WrestleMania.

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You could say that Roman Reigns deserves his shot as he’s the former Champion. You could say that Dean Ambrose deserves his shot as the Intercontinental Champion should always be a contender. You could say that Brock Lesnar never lost his title in the first place so deserves his shot at the gold. You could also say they may as well just have cut out the middle man and announced that Reigns will get the shot at WrestleMania.

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Every fan knows that Reigns and Triple H are on a real collision course, even more so after Triple H took the belt away from him. Obviously, WWE has to fill the gap in the pay-per-view schedule known as Fastlane, but wouldn’t it have been easier to just throw a big road block in Reigns’ Road to WrestleMania? Why muddy the waters by tying up the Intercontinental Champion on a hiding to nothing, whilst at the same time shoehorning Lesnar into things as well? Lesnar wasn’t even on Raw so why does he get a shot in the number one contenders match?

Lesnar is one of the few real draws that the company has, the fact that he more than likely won’t be in the main event at WreslteMania should tell you a lot about his standing in the company. At last year’s ‘Mania he main-evented and lost his belt, albeit via that Seth Rollins Money in the Bank Cash In. It looks like he’s headed for a showdown with the Wyatt Family at the AT&T Stadium in a couple of months time. That will more than likely have a showing in Fastlane main event match, you can fully expect Bray Wyatt and his clan to take him out of that triple threat match and leave it down to Reigns vs Ambrose. Which draws  another interesting question. Why not just push Reigns and Ambrose into a match for the No. 1 contendership?

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  • Ambrose and Reigns have been such strong allies in the last year, even heading back to the days of The Shield. Pitting them against each other in a one on one match would have presented a great opportunity to bring some doubt in either of the pairs minds. Reigns knowing he had to beat his friend to get a shot at what he thinks should still be his title draws you into having a small amount of sympathy for him. Ambrose could have used the opportunity to finally step out of the shadow of Reigns to get his shot at the big title, maybe even use it as a way to turn Ambrose heel and push him in another direction.

    Whatever happens, in the match at Fastlane it all just seems like it’s been thrown together. Reigns still isn’t the big babyface the company wants him to be. Ambrose looks destined to be the nearly-man for most of his career. Lesnar is just here because hey, he’s Brock Lesnar and he’ll sell tickets in the run up to WreslteMania.

    If The Authority really wanted to use Raw as a way to evaluate performances and pick the main event for Fastlane, why not push someone new into the match. They could have made a big deal out of AJ Styles’ first match on Raw. They could have pulled Kevin Owens up to the top tier heel role by having him in the mix for number one contender. They could have used Bray Wyatt instead of Ambrose and used that as the way to set up his match with Lesnar.

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    In the end, they just turned what could have been a great number one contenders match into a predictable triple threat match. A triple threat match that will probably be more predictable than Triple H’s Royal Rumble return and WWE World Heavyweight Championship win. I’m personally not expecting a lot from the match. Heading out of a good Royal Rumble pay-per-view there was so much scope to make the main event scene interesting, sadly it seems that WWE has just dropped back into the predictable old routine they know and love.