by BROCK KOLLER
Wrestling fans we are full steam ahead on the road to...uncertainty.
WrestleMania is just weeks ago. We have the final pre-Mania pay per view tonight. But it's not hype that you feel in the air, it's uncertainty.
While not knowing where all the players will fall this far out from a WrestleMania is typical - and part of the fun of the season is to guess all of the matches before they are announced- not knowing as much we don’t this far out is atypical and just does not feel right.
Something is in fact wrong. Very wrong.
We can’t really get excited for WrestleMania because most of us are dreading the unknown. Sure, we can blame the writers, blame the McMahons, blame the Hunters, but our real enemy this WrestleMania season are the injuries.
We should be brimming with exhilaration about John Cena finally going one on one with the Undertaker.
We should be overjoyed at the thought of a Shield triple threat match.
We should be debating furiously if Sting should go over on Brock Lesnar.
We should be screaming Yes! Yes! Yes! over Daniel Bryan winning the Royal Rumble and heading to the WrestleMania main event.
We should be marveling at the idea of a fatal fourway between AJ Styles, Cesaro, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn.
But because of these injuries that keep mounting, the best laid plans of WWE have been torn asunder.
In recent months, we have seen a world champion Sheamus, a random factions formed involving Sheamus, a lot of Vince McMahon, two world title reigns from Roman Reigns, and the Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events, & Creative win the Royal Rumble and walk off with the championship. This most certainly was not the WWE’s original plan. (At least, we hope not.)
But they have to keep going.
And when the string of injuries was brought up to Vince McMahon during a recent earnings call, his response on how they will still be able to have a worthwhile WrestleMania was: “By being creative. We’ll have an awesome WrestleMania. It’ll be very attractive to our audience, just as attractive as last year.”
I’m not too sure about the attractiveness of last year’s WrestleMania – at least going into it. It turned out to be an entertaining show, don’t get me wrong, but the road was a bumpy one. This year, we’ve added a few more bumps to that asphalt.
And yes, it’s all about being creative, Vinnie Mac, and working with what you’re dealt, but the pickings are slim, it seems. And tonight, we start seeing exactly what the WWE is picking.
Tonight is Fastlane, the precursor to the show of the immortals, and the only thing going into it we know for certain is the main event at WrestleMania will either be Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar, Triple H vs. Dean Ambrose, or Triple H vs. Roman Reigns.
If logic is brought into this scenario – which most times in pro wrestling does not happen – than Roman Reigns has to be declared the winner of tonight’s triple threat match for the #1 contendership.
For months, Reigns has been the new Stone Cold Steve Austin to the McMahon family. He Superman punched Triple H off of television for weeks. He verbally sparred with Stephanie McMahon to open Raw show after show. And he even took on the big guy himself (not Ryback) Vince a few times on the mic and with a fist.
So storyline purposes – Roman Reigns makes the most sense. But like I chose Kevin Owens to win the Royal Rumble, I’m not going with popular opinion. I’m going with what I would mark out for the most! A Dean Ambrose victory. Lose some of the Ambrose Asylum craziness. Just make him a no-thrills, tough guy, just wanting to kick some booty, as The New Day would say, and to become champion. A serious, focused Ambrose vying for the title at Mania would be something I would want to see.
Not to say Lesnar is a bad choice, but we’ve already seen Lesnar take on Triple H and we’ve already seen Lesnar as champion. Ambrose is still fresh. Putting Ambrose in the main event is a creative choice.
Then what do you do with Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar? Double turn. Use the same guys as last year’s main event, but for all intents and purposes you have yourself a new match at WrestleMania. Creative.
But like I said – it will be Reigns winning tonight. Going to Mania to take on Triple H. And winning his third title. Ambrose will probably take on Jericho or AJ Styles or both in a triple threat match. And Brock Lesnar will battle Bray Wyatt.
Sigh. The triple threat sounds kinda good, right?
And now for the rest of the Fastlane card:
United States Champion Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio (2-out-of-3-Falls Match)
Since when was this a 2 out of 3 falls? This should be good. It’s on the kickoff show, but that doesn’t matter. Kalisto should have some wow moments in this match, one being winning 2 falls.
AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho
This is the match I’m most looking forward to wrestling wise. Yes, we’ve seen this twice. But twice was nice, thrice will be even nicer. That’d didn’t rhyme, but had to work with what I had. I’ve heard that phrase somewhere before. Anywho, Styles, still a ‘rookie’, should pull off the win. Maybe Miz will show up for some reason, too.
WINNER: AJ Styles
Ryback, Big Show, & Kane vs. The Wyatt Family
What is this? I mean, why is this? What is happening here? My guess is that the Wyatts take down these three big men and then say they have to take down the biggest – that being Lesnar. That’s all I can think about why this is happening: to show the Wyatts dominance over the heavyweights to build toward the beast. Or maybe this is all just to have a Big Show heel turn. Check out his Stone Cold podcast, by the way. Worth watching! Maybe watch it during this match.
WINNER: The Wyatt Family
The New Day to appear on ‘The Cutting Edge Peep Show’
Becky Lynch & Sasha Banks vs. Naomi & Tamina
This will be good women’s wrestling tag match. I know everyone wants to see Sasha vs. Charlotte at Mania, but why not throw Becky in there, too. If they do have a triple threat Divas title match at Mania, then let that be the only triple threat that night. But as for tonight, the NXT standouts will get their win and we’ll see what happens from there.
WINNERS: Becky Lynch & Sasha Banks
Divas Champion Charlotte vs. Brie Bella
Brie Mode! I have a feeling we will only get to hear that song a few more times before Brie hangs up her boots for good. This is one of the last tastes of the Yes! Movement and since Daniel Bryan can’t fight for the Divas Championship, his wife deserves, too. Hopefully, Brie can put on a great showing – she won’t win – but since this might be her last big match (or at Mania), I’m pulling for her to get have a standing ovation worthy performance.
Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler
Let’s fast forward the we’ve seen this match so many times before and why does every Dolph Ziggler feud go on forever talk, and get right down to who will win this. Kevin Owens. See? Concise and to the point. Like a Kevin Owens promo. That’s how it’s done.
WINNER: Kevin Owens
And as stated before
Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar (Triple Threat Match to determine Triple H’s opponent at WrestleMania)
WINNER: Dean Ambrose Roman Reigns
When’s the next service plaza on this road to uncertainty, I mean, WrestleMania? I hope there’s a Roy Rogers. If not, don’t worry.
I’ll be creative. It will be awesome.