My fellow PWMania writer Jim LaMotta spent some time focusing on the matchup between Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns at Fastlane in his column last week. It is a good read, so check it out.
I’d preview the rest of the card, but there are only three matches confirmed so far. Here they are:
Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan
John Cena vs. Rusev
Nikki Bella vs. Paige
(Triple H confronts Sting)
The entire card is the main problem, and an underlying problem with WWE booking in recent months and years. If the match is not the main event, WWE officials and creative writers do not care. They think two matches and a confrontation with Triple H and Heath Slater…I mean Sting, is a big enough sell for the fans.
WWE officials also believe giving away the WWE Network for free this month will bring in additional viewers for Fastlane. I’m sorry, but the majority of those who will watch Fastlane already have the Network, so the biggest selling point, and this should always be the case, should be in the actual card itself.
With two above average (on paper at least) matches advertised and a Divas match that I have no interest in, it is important to build up the show with a collection of undercard matches that sell wrestling and storylines. I am sure after tonight’s Raw we will get a tag title match, maybe a definite IC Title match, etc. But the point is to have at least some buildup heading into an event. Instead of making the “special event” a Sunday night Raw, WWE officials should be an emphasis on all parties involved.
But why are WWE officials waiting until the last minute to fill out the card? I cannot tell you how many times I’ve watched a PPV with my friends and we’ve counted the matches scheduled when someone asked out loud, “That’s only five matches. Who else is going to wrestle? Fandango against Los Matadores?” Do we, as WWE fans, deserve better than some shoddy card built by a cast of creative writers who phone it in every week? YES, YES, YES, we do.
If you count Main Event, Superstars, Raw and Smackdown, we get seven hours of wrestling a week. So let’s do some math. From the Royal Rumble to Fastlane, we have roughly three weeks of programming, so 21 hours, give or take. In that time, the WWE has given us three matches and a confrontation.
I’d say the roster is as strong as it has been in quite some time. Cesaro, Ziggler, Kidd, Ryback, Goldust, Swagger, Stardust, Usos, Miz, Mizdow, Rollins, BNB and Ambrose are just a few of the names who could shine on the undercard.
As an invested WWE fan and writer, I appreciate talent like Rollins and Bryan getting the much deserved airtime on WWE TV, but there are ways to build other talent without sacrificing main event time.
Here are some suggestions:
1. Cut down on opening promos – Every week we are subject to 20-to-25 minute show opening promos. Now, they aren’t always bad. Sometimes they set the show up quite well. But, instead of opening the show with Triple H’s music followed by the same show-and-tell every week, mix it up and have a tag team match with some of the underutilized teams first. Give them the spotlight and let them shine.
2. 30 second promos as wrestlers come to the ring – The WWE sometimes utilizes this, but do it more. This gives a few wrestlers an opportunity to make that match more important.
3. Cut the fat – We get recaps. More recaps. Then rewinds. We get pointless backstage segments. The list goes on and on. Instead of focusing on the regurgitated segments we all roll our eyes at, give us five more minutes of a Ziggler/Cesaro match.
4. Wrestle – I know this is a crazy concept, but allow the wrestlers to do what they do best, which is wrestle. We know Tyson Kidd is terrible on the mic, but great in the ring. So let the man have 10 minutes to showcase his skills. I’ve read and heard on several sites that main roster wrestlers are upset with how well NXT is going over. Their main reason stems from the quality and length of matches on the show. NXT should put the pressure on the main roster, so more WRESTLING takes place. I get bored with the countless amounts of segments, but a strong match will wake me up from my coma and stir my interest. I might even send out an appreciative tweet mentioning that match.
We, as WWE fans, want to be entertained. And with a plethora of entertaining wrestlers on the roster, it’s not hard to build a strong card for every special event. Take those seven hours a week, plus utilize the WWE Network and social media, to enhance storylines outside of the main event. It is not that hard to do