In case you have managed to miss it the main event for Fastlane 2020 will be a Fatal 4 Way Elimination match for #1 contendership of the WWE Championship between Seth Rollins, Chris Jericho, Cesaro and Sheamus.
How WWE ever came up with this booking is a complete and utter mystery. It isn’t that it is necessarily a bad match; the in-ring action should be very good, but it is devoid of any narrative sense. It’s just a baffling booking.
Indeed, the expected match lay out is as follows: Brock Lesnar will be attacked and taken out by Bray Wyatt, with Reigns and Ambrose left to battle it out. After a valiant back and forth, Reigns would then score the pin over his comrade. It sets up Reigns versus Triple H, Lesnar versus Wyatt, and it leaves ammunition for Ambrose turning in the post-Mania season.
However, as the following points demonstrate, it is a booking that could backfire severely on WWE’s WrestleMania season vision.
7. The Illogical Build
For any match to get over, it has to make sense in its foundation, it has to be reasonably logical.
That just isn’t the case with the Reigns versus Lesnar versus Ambrose match. Why on earth would Stephanie McMahon spend a month ridding Roman Reigns of the WWE Title, just to place him right back in contention?
She also announced Lesnar, which again, is simply ridiculous. Why would she give the most dangerous man on the roster a shot at her husband’s title?
As for Sheamus and Triple H’s allies, they were left with nothing. Fastlane is a main event built on zero creative foundation.
6. There Are No Heels
BabyFace versus Babyface main events do work sometimes, but when it is a triple threat and all three are (supposed) faces, that’s a little tricky to pull off. The dynamic is just hazy, without a clear heel to root against.
Of Course most of the fans hate Roman Reigns, so he will a default heel on the night, but that’s the exact opposite to what WWE is trying to achieve. Roman is meant to be the biggest babyface in the company. By booking him in a match with no heels, they are only going to make him look even less popular. He’s got no heel foil to work over, he’s only going to end up looking bad by beating on Lesnar and Ambrose.
This match really needed a Sheamus or Rusev in it, just to enhance the faces and make some narrative sense.
5. Ambrose Is The Lame Third Wheel
Dean Ambrose is a very good pro wrestler, he is really skilled both on the mic and in the ring. However, at Fastlane, he’s only in the match because WWE don’t want to pin Lesnar or Reigns.
That sort of booking devalues Dean, it makes him a lame character. The message is “Reigns and Lesnar are our stars, Ambrose is our jobber.” He’s only in the bout because he’s expendable.
WWE have basically booked Brock Lesnar versus Roman Reigns 2, with Ambrose in there to take care of the finish.
4. The Inevitable Wyatt Interference
A problem with the booking right now, is that Bray Wyatt and Brock Lesnar has so clearly been telegraphed as the WrestleMania direction.
The way Lesnar was eliminated from the Rumble, in a Wyatt Family attack orchestrated by Bray, it said it all. As a result of that, nobody is going to really buy Lesnar winning the Fastlane bout and then going on to face Triple H at Mania for the second time in three years.
Instead, fans are expecting another inevitable Wyatt Family attack, which again costs Lesnar his title opportunity. The predictable nature of that angle is going to weigh on Fastlane’s main event, fans are going to see it coming from a mile off. It is that sort of obvious interference which often ruins matches. It isn’t about in-ring quality, it is just about setting the next show up.
3. Triple H Isn’t Fastlane’s Main Event
There’s an issue of “out of sight, out of mind” when it comes to Triple H as WWE Champion. Sure, he’s on Raw, but by not defending the title at Fastlane, it doesn’t exactly get him over as a strong heel champ.
He would have had more heat, if he’d put the belt on the line at Fastlane, defending it against a popular babyface. He could then have destroyed his opponent, in turn making fans more invested in seeing someone (even Reigns) kick his ass. This would also have worked as a much better draw for Fastlane, rather than a number one contender main event whose result has been telegraphed massively.
By not defending the belt at all, it is basically just a case of win the title in January, drop to Reigns in April, with Fastlane a filler in between. Fans can see that and lose interest.
2. Better Options Were Available
Of all the directions WWE could have gone in to decide the new number one contender, a random triple threat was possibly the worst idea. Just three names, picked by Stephanie McMahon, fighting it out in a standard match up? That sucks. It shows a lack of imagination in creative.
It could have been so much more. It was a great opportunity to do another Royal Rumble match, which is the traditional way to decide the Mania number one contender. Yes, they’ve only just done one, but the Rumble always draws massive interest, so why not just run it again? They could have got away with it given the unique circumstances this year.
Or why not do an Elimination Chamber match to decide the new number one contender? It was a traditional February match for a long time, and the gimmick is always an enjoyable thriller.
1. Roman Reigns Is Obviously Going To Win
Let’s be perfectly honest with this one even without the rather unfortunate (accidental) confirmation that Roman Reigns will tour Europe eafter WrestleMania 32 as champion, the outcome was already as clear as day.
Fastlane 2020 Live Matches
|1||Aleister Black def. Finn Balor (c)||Singles match for the WWE Championship|
|2||Naomi def. The Riott Squad||Gauntlet match|
|3||Shelton Benjamin def. Roderick Strong (c)||Singles match for the United States Championship|
|4||Charlotte Flair def. Becky Lynch (c), Shayna Baszler, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Bella||Fatal 5 Way match for the Smackdown Womens Championship|
|5||Drew McIntyre def. Bobby Lashley||Singles match|
|6||Hideo Itami def. Jack Gallagher||Singles match; Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contendership Tournament Final|
|7||Chris Jericho def. Cesaro, Seth Rollins and Sheamus||Fatal 4 Way Elimination match for the #1 Contendership of the WWE Championship|
Put all your hopes of a swerve aside. There’s only one possible way WWE would book the run up to WrestleMania, and there could only ever be one winner. It’s so obvious in fact, that the PPV has been utterly undermined and has pretty much no interest to anyone.
Will you be tuning into Fastlane? Share your reactions below in the comments thread.