Roundtable: WWE Fastlane 2017

The Wrestledelphia staff talks about various storylines going into the pay-per-view.

1. Are you interested in the Kevin Owens-Goldberg match? Were you interested before the Festival of Friendship?

John Corrigan: I was fascinated by this match as soon as it was announced. It seems like a rare lose-lose-lose: If Goldberg squashes Owens a la Brock Lesnar, WWE destroys the credibility of a current and future top guy. If Owens lasts longer than Lesnar did, Lesnar’s stock drops considerably. If Owens wins, what’s the point of Goldberg vs. Lesnar at WrestleMania?

Evan Cross: I wasn’t really into it before the Festival, because it seemed like a complete lock Goldberg would win. Now, it still seems likely that Goldberg will win, but I’m far more intrigued by Owens’ less goofy character and will be happy to see the shit jackhammered out of him because of what Owens did to the GOAT.

David Gibb: Yes and yes. I fully expect spear, jackhammer, one-two-three, but I’m intrigued to see it happen and enticed by the outside chance we might actually see them have a full-fledged match. The Festival of Friendship helped, but how can you not be interested in Goldberg vying for a top title in 2017?

David Levin: I am in on the match now that Owens has finally found his set. The promo Owens gave last week was the first time I saw him as a complete superstar. The Owens-Goldberg match is now worth something, but it could backfire on WWE. If this match lasts longer than three minutes, then the WrestleMania 33 match between Goldberg and Brock Lesnar is a sham.

Jay Mackle: Not really. The buildup for the match was two weak segments that basically made Goldberg look like a bully to KO, who’s supposed to be a dominating heel after destroying Jericho. The Festival of Friendship got me more intrigued to see Jericho vs. KO than KO vs. Goldberg.

Mark Macyk: I find the match interesting because I do not know who Goldberg is even friends with.

2. Has Braun Strowman been built up enough to make Roman Reigns-Strowman feel like a semi-main event worthy match?

Corrigan: Absolutely. I’m riding the Braunwagon through the Roman Empire and into Orlando. I hope Strowman has an actual match at WrestleMania and doesn’t get stuck in the Andre Battle Royal malarkey.

Cross: I think so, but it is weird to see Reigns in the position of carrying a match against someone less experienced than him (I know Rusev technically qualifies for this but he’s much less green than Strowman). If Reigns can pull a good match out of Strowman, all complaints about his in-ring prowess should cease.

Gibb: Definitely. Everybody in WWE is semi-main event worthy. Kidding aside, Strowman’s had as good a start to the year as anyone and been one of the #RAWMVPs.

Levin: Yes! Strowman is the kind of heel that reminds me of Big Show when he was in WCW and Mark Henry’s Hall of Pain character. Strowman has been booked properly. Reigns isn’t in the title picture, so this match could attract more fan support for the former Shield member. Still, Strowman must go over in this match.

Mackle: The Braun vs. Roman matchup has more of a big fight feel than KO vs. Goldberg does. Braun’s in matches each week that make him look like a destructive force, and Roman is Vince’s immovable object. It’s a clash I’m definitely looking forward to seeing.

Macyk: Honestly, no. Roman Reigns has been fighting Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, who weigh in at a combined 505 pounds. Braun Strowman is only 369 pounds. Roman should win easily.

3. Are you tired of Charlotte Flair’s PPV winning streak?

Corrigan: No, because we have zero streaks left aside from Whited’s streak of weeks without writing.

Cross: Absolutely. It would be one thing if Flair had one long reign with the belt – then it would mean something. Instead, she has lost the belt on Raw FOUR TIMES and Michael Cole still has the nerve to mention this streak. Never mind that Banks tapped her out at Battleground – apparently that doesn’t count because it wasn’t a singles match.

Gibb: Yes, but not because she wins constantly on PPV – it’s that she loses the title repeatedly on television. Her winning big matches is sensible booking of a champion, but the story of her needing to be on PPV to win (or defend) the title is ridiculous and has undermined her and the championship.

Levin: No. There isn’t a better female wrestler on the Raw roster. The thing I don’t like is how the women’s title is being passed around like a hot potato. The best thing about the streak is its value to the division. Raw doesn’t have the depth of SmackDown, but seeing the best female in both brands make PPVs her personal showcase is appealing.

Mackle: The real question should be “What’s the purpose of Charlotte always winning the title at PPVs?” Are they trying to have her beat Trish Stratus’s record of seven reigns in Charlotte’s first two years of main roster activity? To answer the real question, yes, I’m tired of it. We need more originality than a “Drop a title on Raw to win it back on PPV” gimmick.

Macyk: There is an urban legend that in the midst of his MLB-record consecutive games streak, Hall of Fame Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. had the power cut at Camden Yards, because he found out his wife was having an affair with Kevin Costner and would have otherwise been too distraught to play, thus ending his streak. WWE should do a storyline like that with Charlotte.

4. Have Gallows and Anderson been booked properly since becoming tag team champions?

Corrigan: They probably have, but the damage has already been done. The much-hyped Bullet Club has washed out on the shores of McMahon Land. If forced to watch their matches, I enjoy them, but as soon as their music hits, my instinct is to change the channel. They are the epitome of “ball-dropped” booking.

Cross: No. These Reigns matches have been a travesty. I hate to sound like Jim Cornette*, but why should your tag team champions have a single lick of trouble beating one wrestler, no matter how good that one guy is? Their tag division booking has improved, though.

Gibb: It’s probably the most properly they’ve been booked since the brand split, but Anderson in particular is still criminally under-utilized.

Levin: Tag team? They have tag teams in WWE? Actually, I like the fact The Club finally won the titles. I am not a fan of Enzo and Big Cass. If the Junior Outsiders can run through their opponents, they could hold onto the straps for a while.

Mackle: Gallows and Anderson have had a more-than-average run with the titles so far. Minus their little two-week feud with Reigns, they have been the team to beat in the tag division and definitely worthy of holding the titles.

Macyk: Yes. The only important wrestler is Roman Reigns and they fight him two-on-one every week. Believe that.

*Editor’s Note: This is a blatant lie.

5. Is Sami Zayn a good opponent for Samoa Joe’s first PPV match?

Corrigan: You couldn’t find a better opponent for Joe’s first PPV match. Think back to Shinsuke Nakamura’s NXT debut — Zayn sold tremendously well and helped showcase the foreign assassin. Well, Joe is Triple H’s assassin and it could be an early MOTY contender for sure.

Cross: I like it so long as it gets folded into the larger Triple H storyline. Hunter is in the ear of Joe and Owens, so some combination of Zayn, Chris Jericho and Seth Rollins should team up against the Helmsleys. If Jericho is still too upset about Owens’ betrayal, Zayn and Rollins should recruit Scott Steiner. Big Poppa Pump already has heat with Joe and Triple H, and Owens is fat, so it fits perfectly.

Gibb: Sami Zayn is the perfect opponent for Samoa Joe’s first WWE PPV match as long as the company’s willing to tell the story of Zayn getting completely obliterated. Joe can’t give him too much for the match to be what it really should be.

Levin: Sami Zayn has turned into the jobber for the stars. When is WWE going to put this guy out of his misery? Joe needs a run-through match, but if Joe wants to make a real statement, why not bring back Denny Brown or the Brooklyn Brawler?

Mackle: Sami Zayn is the perfect choice, beside Seth Rollins, to be Joe’s big match debut opponent. Sami knows how to make high impact moves hurt and can put on a show stealer with Joe better than anyone else on the roster. I’m definitely looking forward to this one.

Macyk: Samoa Joe has been rebranded as a stylish businessman who wears suits. Sami Zayn wears the same hat as a dockworker. This is the classic working man vs. fat cat showdown that wrestling is built upon.

Evan Cross
Follow Me
Evan Cross
Follow Me
No Comment

Leave a Reply