Welcome to another edition of eWN Round Table, where we gather some of the most active writers here on eWrestlingNews and share the platform to answer some questions surrounding a centralized topic, upcoming event, etc.
This is meant to showcase the potential for both a wide range of perspectives as well as how sometimes, there can be a group consensus no matter what your viewpoint is, so we also invite all of you to join in on the discussion by answering these questions yourself in the comments section below.
For this particular volume, we’ll be focusing on WWE Fastlane 2019.
Participants for this round = Anthony Mango, Richard Staple, Ethan Absler, Robert DeFelice, Kyle Dunning and Chris Holden.
1) “Which pay-per-view name do you prefer, Fastlane or Roadblock?”
MANGO: Roadblock, 100%. You’re on the road to WrestleMania and something happens that gets in the way of it. Fastlane to me is too Nascar and if they wanted to go with that name, they should’ve made that the live event tour subtitle instead.
STAPLE: I personally think both names suck, but if my life was on the line, I suppose Roadblock rolls off the tongue a bit better when it comes to pre-WrestleMania PPV’s. However, in 2016, WWE had two separate PPV’s names Roadblock and Roadblock: End of The Line. So it may have already overstayed its welcome.
ABSLER: In my opinion, neither name jumps out at me, but I see WWE’s theme of “going down the road to Wrestlemania” very fitting.
DEFELICE: I think both events work. I would actually put roadblock before Fastlane because you can say that you’re on the road, you hit a roadblock, and now you’re in the Fastlane.
DUNNING: Fastlane .. however, I’d much prefer if they brought back an older PPV like No Way Out, Armageddon, or even Vengeance. Neither Fastlane or Roadblock do it for me; when has wrestling ever be linked to driving? I guess WWE plays off the “Road to Wrestlemania” line, which is the only reason. I really think there should only be one PPV between the Rumble and Wrestlemania.
HOLDEN: Honestly, Roadblock makes more sense this year. It infers someone, like Becky Lynch perhaps, had a barrier between them and WrestleMania to overcome this Sunday. Fastlane suggests the opposite – that someone has a Golden Ticket to Mania, if they can just do what’s asked of them on Sunday. That’s not the case either; Lynch had her ticket, Vince cancelled it, and gave a free pass to Charlotte Flair already. WWE: The One Before WrestleMania 35 would have been a much better name.
2) “Which feud do you think has had the worst or most underwhelming build leading into Fastlane?”
MANGO: The Usos against The Miz and Shane McMahon is pretty much just “we lost the titles and now we want to win them back” and that’s it, after one segment. That’s not all that compelling. Then again, neither is “Mandy pinned Asuka so she’s getting a title shot.”
STAPLE: Probably Daniel Bryan vs. Kevin Owens and not because the feud is bad, but because there is pretty much only one show to build some backbone behind the match.
ABSLER: As of right now, I think Mandy Rose vs Asuka has the most underwhelming build. Not only is it being completely overshadowed by the Ronda Rousey/Becky Lynch/Charlotte Flair situation, but I don’t feel any emotion or believability when it comes to this rivalry. I don’t believe for a second that Many Rose will dethrone Asuka just days away from Wrestlemania, and on top of it, WWE is doing little to bill this feud as mainstream or as important as the RAW Women’s Championship.
DEFELICE: A lot of them have been dreadfully rushed, but I’m going to give that nod to the Raw Women’s Championship picture as I think that’s been unnecessarily convoluted.
DUNNING: KO vs. Daniel Bryan. It’s been thrown in last minute and makes no sense at all. Seems like they’re building to something (involving Kofi) .. but it’s all been slapped together quicker than a Burger King meal you end up needing to return.
HOLDEN: It’s not like the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions have had much spotlight since they won the straps, and not much has been said about their first defense this weekend either. It probably feels like there’s less build simply because the titles had so much hype prior to being won.
3) “Who do you think should be facing Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship at Fastlane. Kofi Kingston? Kevin Owens? Someone else?”
MANGO: Back in January, if you had told me Kofi Kingston would be set for WrestleMania against Daniel Bryan, I would have thought you were playing some crazy fantasy booking scenario that would never play out. However, lo and behold, that seems to be the best thing going right now (which also goes to show how little WWE did to make sure SmackDown had main event options, right?) Kingston needs to be at WrestleMania, which means Kevin Owens needed to be the choice for Fastlane by default, because you couldn’t do Kingston again after Fastlane.
STAPLE: Owens is a fine opponent. If Kofi is getting his shot at WrestleMania like he deserves, then I wouldn’t want his shot getting wasted at a PPV where the impact won’t be as great.
ABSLER: I think the Kevin Owens vs Daniel Bryan match is the right call for Fastlane simply because it gives Kofi even more leverage when it comes to winning the WWE Title one day. This situation reminds me strongly of the “YES Movement” at Wrestlemania 30 and I believe this booking will help get Kofi even more over and prove that he is a main event superstar.
DEFELICE: Honestly, I don’t know. I know that the local advertisements said AJ Styles and I guess I’m just glad that we’re not getting another AJ/Daniel Bryan not that they were bad by any stretch of the imagination.
DUNNING: Well in an ideal world it would be Kofi, but something’s gotta’ happen after he was thrown out the door as bad as Will Smith on Fresh Prince of Bel Air. KO is the face .. yet had the opportunity handed to him? I’m praying they have a plan for this, otherwise it’s pointlessly detrimental to the WWE Championship.
HOLDEN: It should have been Kofi. Even if it was decided at Elimination Chamber they would go with Bryan vs Kingston for the title at Mania, it could still have featured on this card, and just finished with a screwy ending. I love Owens, and obviously Vince overruling the kids (and the WWE Universe, who is supposed to have authority now) is leading somewhere. It just felt so out-of-nowhere. With no more logic behind it than Lacey Evans walking to the ring and back, there’s less impact, and I think fans just ended up feeling like Kofi got screwed out of a deserved opportunity.
4) “Which superstar do you feel is the biggest omission from this lineup?”
MANGO: As much as I’d like to say Brock Lesnar, Samoa Joe or Braun Strowman, I have to go with Finn Balor. He’s the intercontinental champion and was directly involved in this whole big feud on Raw, but he’s just been pushed aside. What gives?