This month and for only the second time ever, WWE will present Fastlane, the now yearly traditional February PPV, I guess. The show takes place on February 21 from the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, headlined by a triple threat match between Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar and Dean Ambrose for the number one contender slot to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
This year, WWE threw tradition out the window and made the Royal Rumble match a WWE World title bout in which Reigns had to defend his title against 29 others, from the number one position no less. Of course, he got tossed by the boss (HHH), but don’t worry, he’s getting a rematch at Fastlane, sort of.
Let’s look at how each competitor got here in storyline:
Reigns: He lost in the Royal Rumble so he is due a rematch. One would think he would simply demand his rematch at Wrestlemania, but The Authority made this Fastlane match before he thought of that, I suppose.
Ambrose: He was the runner-up to HHH in the Royal Rumble, and is ALSO the current Intercontinental Champion. If this were the 80’s, that would make him the number one contender automatically. That’s valid enough to put him in the match, kinda.
Lesnar: He had an average showing in the Rumble, and prior to that, was last seen beating the Undertaker at Hell in a Cell in October. He’s the biggest draw, so yeah, he’s in, but in storyline, he hasn’t earned it. Why did The Authority do this? It makes no sense to put the former UFC champion in this match because he's clearly a major threat unless… he’s joining The Authority. Speculation on my part would suggest to me that Lesnar is winning at Fastlane and turning heel, and will be gifted the title from HHH on Raw. Somehow this will lead to Reigns vs. Lesnar at Wrestlemania with HHH in Lesnar’s corner and The Rock in Reigns’ corner. But that’s purely speculation…
Prediction: Ambrose and Reigns team up to take out Lesnar early, but then both become consumed with hurting / one-upping each other and forget about Lesnar, who recovers and destroys Ambrose before turning his sites to Reigns. Reigns looks like he's on the verge of defeat, but makes his comeback only to have HHH come to the ring and throw Lesnar the belt which he uses to put Reigns away, probably.
My guess is that the real reason they are doing this match as a three-way is because they remember the excellent three-way match with Lesnar, Rollins, and Cena from last year’s Royal Rumble and think that this match will be able to top that one.
I hope they are right, because the storyline is pretty stupid unless The Authority is just banking on the fact that this match will be so brutal, it won't matter who wins because they'll be too badly beaten to put up a fight against HHH at Wrestlemania. From The Authority’s perspective, why give Reigns a chance? They hate him! Why give Ambrose a shot? He is Reigns' best buddy! Why put Lesnar in there? He is the most dominant force in the WWE and broke HHH’s arm! All this adds up to something fishy smelling.
Here’s what should have happenend: the day after the Royal Rumble, Reigns should have taken Vince McMahon hostage in the ring and demanded his rematch right then. That’s what "Stone Cold" Steve Austin would have done. Instead, just like John Cena would have done, Reigns just eats his crow and gets back in line. He’s so impotent! He put HHH out for a month! He KO’d Vinny Mac! He battled the beast and got screwed at Wrestlemania last year! WHY ISN’T REIGNS MAD? If they are trying to make the next John Cena, they’re doing a good job of it by having Reigns not really care about losing the belt.
This guy is fighting The Authority! Yes, the storyline from 16 years ago is still happening, only instead of an ass kicking, beer swilling, bird flipping madman, we have a cool guy trying to remain cool by not caring. That’s not cool. In fact, that’s decidedly un-cool! Stone Cold didn't care what Vince wanted. Stone Cold didn't bother to ask. Stone Cold didn't wait in line. He took what he wanted, and he was the coolest! Rebels are cool, not guys who take turns.
Hey WWE, we’re not thrilled with the character development of Roman Reigns. He’s mediocre at best. Please listen to us wrestling fans. It’s not that hard. If you’re hell bent on rehashing the storyline from 16 years ago, that’s fine, but go back and look at what worked then and start from there. It’s really simple WWE, just ask yourself one question: what would Stone Cold Steve Austin do?