In WWE news, Jim Ross gave his insightful wisdom on the Fastlane pay-per-view on this week’s episode of The Ross Report podcast. News headlines were largely negative regarding this past Sunday’s event, and some fans even threatened to cancel their WWE Network subscription (though this has been threatened a few times before with little follow-through). Fastlane is the last special event before WWE’s biggest draw of the year, Wrestlemania, so many were shocked by some of the booking decisions that went into Sunday’s pay-per-view.
Braun Strowman made his WWE debut by being a member of the Wyatt family. Flash-forward almost a year later and Strowman was drafted exclusively to Raw after the brand-split; for the last eight months since the brand-split, the WWE has been building up Strowman as an unbeatable monster in singles competition.
But at Fastlane he was indeed defeated by none other than Roman Reigns. This had a large portion of the WWE universe upset for a couple of reasons: many fans were disappointed to see Strowman lose in a match that involved very little build-up, after so much time has been put into his character, and much of the WWE universe simply despises Roman Reigns.
Another booking decision that made news headlines everywhere was Charlotte Flair losing her pay-per-view undefeated streak to Bayley. Bayley is adored by the fans so most of the WWE universe was pleased to see her keep the title, but many industry professionals and smart-marks viewed it as yet another WWE booking failure. The WWE kept building Charlotte as this wrestler who can’t be defeated at a pay-per-view, and when she was finally defeated it had little meaning; Charlotte losing to Bayley clean and losing her streak did nothing for her character.
On Wednesday’s episode of The Ross Report, Jim weighed in on the WWE news of the Fastlane fallout.
“I didn’t hate the show at all…I thought it was a shinier version of Monday Night Raw…I didn’t understand some of the booking but I credit that for an ongoing storyline that has yet to be developed.”
Mike Johnson from PW Insider was Ross’s special guest, and both would go on to discuss Raw and how it made some of Sunday’s decisions make more sense. Indeed, it looks like Reigns will be facing The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. In order to make Roman look more like a threat to The Undertaker the WWE needed to have him beat a monster, like Braun Strowman. But did it have to be Braun that Roman beat? But the booking does make a bit more sense after watching Raw, though Charlotte’s loss is still a mystery.
Some fans were upset that the Goldberg and Kevin Owens match at Fastlane was yet another squash match, but both Ross and Johnson agree that there was no other way that could have gone. Goldberg has only been in the ring twice since returning. The first time was his match against Lesnar where he beat him in a matter of seconds, and the second was his Royal Rumble appearance where he eliminated Lesnar in a matter of seconds (and was eliminated shortly after that by The Undertaker). Since the WWE’s main focus on Goldberg is his feud with Lesnar, and Goldberg has only dominated since returning, Ross commented that Sunday’s match with Owens going any other way is “not feasible.”
By the end of their review of Fastlane both Ross and Johnson described the event as simply being, OK. The two would go on to discuss Wrestlemania where they both agreed that Reigns should turn heel and beat The Undertaker. Ross suggested this could be done by something as simple as Reigns giving The Undertaker a low-blow to beat “The Phenom.” Most of the WWE universe would no doubt be irate over this, and that’s kind of the point. Reigns will never be accepted by the majority of the fans as a face—unless he’s a heel first. And what better way to turn heel than to cheat to beat The Undertaker at the event that “The Phenom” is known for.
Undertaker’s Wrestlemania streak ended three years ago, so it’s not like his first defeat would come from Roman Reigns. Undertaker defeating Reigns does nothing for his legacy, nor would losing to him, but Reigns turning heel and beating The Undertaker does a whole lot for Roman; it would make him a legitimate heel and finally the WWE wouldn’t be swimming upstream with his character. Then down the road if they turn Roman back to face he may be over with the WWE universe, after all, that strategy worked for his cousin The Rock.
OTHER WWE NEWS ARTICLES FROM THE INQUISITR
As we get closer to Wrestlemania, no doubt there will be more WWE news regarding the big event, and more wisdom and insight given by Jim Ross.
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