Once The Road to WrestleMania kicks off with Royal Rumble, there are normally a few bumps along the way. One of them just passed in the Elimination Chamber and another is set to air March 21st in Fastlane.
That branding has been around since 2015 (minus last year) and frankly, I’m not a fan. Rather, I much more prefer the alternative event that took place in 2016 called Roadblock.
Since it’s on my mind, I figured I’d open up the debate to everyone. Which is better for the event that gets in the way of the roster’s journey to the biggest show of the year?
To set the stage for my opinions, let me fill you in on how I approach things. The way I see it, there are four ideal naming conventions with pro wrestling shows:
- A generic name that you immediately know is about wrestling, fighting, etc. Think “WrestleMania” or “SummerSlam” type names.
- A gimmick name revolving around something specific. “Royal Rumble” fills you in on what you’re about to see. However, I do prefer “No Way Out” to “Elimination Chamber”, but I understand the appeal of boosting the branding’s name recognition.
- A location-based show, like TakeOver: Brooklyn.
- A generic name followed by a subtitle that will immediately identify what the card is if you’re trying to remember it years from now. “In Your House: Buried Alive” is an example.
I’m not a fan of the incredibly generic event names like Payback, Vengeance, Armageddon, etc. The same goes for names outside of WWE. The upcoming AEW Revolution event, for instance, is a far worse title than AEW Double or Nothing.
Your mileage may vary. Naturally. This is just how I approach everything.
The Case for Fastlane over Roadblock
Fastlane works in the sense that it’s working off the Road to WrestleMania timeline. You’re in the fast lane on the road, things are speeding up and WrestleMania is right around the corner.
The logo is kind of bland, but it evokes a sense of speed. I much more prefer the original logo to the current one, which is incredibly uninspired. I don’t understand why WWE is going in this direction with its logos just being text typed out. Look at Elimination Chamber. Is it too hard to spend $5 on Fiverr to hire someone to make a logo design?
WWE probably likes Fastlane because it makes it seem like it’s action-packed. It has imagery of cars rushing around, light streaks to give off the sense you’re The Flash or whatever, and if WWE can convince you things are exciting with its promotional material, maybe it’ll subliminally trick you into being more pumped about the show.
In comparison, Roadblock is about stopping momentum. Things come to a halt. It’s a negative word, rather than a positive one. Psychological manipulation is a big part of advertising and life in general. Hence why WWE thinks saying “for the first time ever” is going to make you feel like it’s a big deal, even if we can immediate see through that transparent b.s.
You can argue Fastlane wins because it has more legacy to it. They made it the year prior to Roadblock and there have been five of these shows versus two of Roadblock.
Also, you can argue Fastlane works for this time of the year and “Roadblock: End of the Line” works as the end of the year show in December. I’ve long said TLC shouldn’t be an event because it’s a bad name and the TLC match in general is nothing at all different from a regular ladder match and shouldn’t exist to begin with, so having the “End of the Line” show at the end of the year makes sense.
The Case for Roadblock over Fastlane
Why would the “End of the Line” show have to be called “Roadblock” before it? Isn’t that just too much of a mouthful? If you’re going to use the term Roadblock, it should be on the Road to WrestleMania, right?
Roadblock has just as much of a reason to evoke that time of the year connotation as Fastlane, if not more, since it has that word baked into it. If anything, since this is an actual stop on that journey, it should be a roadblock, rather than the fast lane, because people aren’t just smooth sailing.
Fastlane should arguably be the name of the live event tour of house shows and the episodes of television past the final pay-per-view prior to WrestleMania. Once you get beyond all the hurdles and roadblocks, then you’re in the fast lane, right?
If a champion defends his or her title prior to WrestleMania, that’s a roadblock for them. This makes undeniable sense.
The negativity surrounding stopping momentum is negligible. Most people aren’t breaking down pay-per-view names like this article and aren’t thinking twice about it. Plus, if the card looks cool enough, you could name a show “WWE presents PPV with Wrestling Matches for About 3 Hours” and people would watch it. This company has had event names like Great Balls of Fire and This Tuesday in Texas.
Roadblock is also a more visceral name. BAM! In fact, you could even have a special gimmick match of some sort called the roadblock match that requires champions putting their belts on the line or the Royal Rumble winner having to defend their title shot or something.
Just like with Fastlane, I prefer the first Roadblock logo to the End of the Line one with its generic yellow text. Give me the caution tape and construction barriers and I’m more sold on it being a professional wrestling show than just Helvetica on a slant.
What Do You Say?
I’m firmly in the Roadblock camp. Then again, I’m also the type of person who thinks “March to WrestleMania” should be used in some capacity every year because the phrase just flat out works.
On top of that, I’m also of the opinion neither of these shows should exist. At most, we should have Royal Rumble and WrestleMania separated by Elimination Chamber (ideally called No Way Out) sometime in February. Then, all of March should be spent focused entirely on building WrestleMania.
But what say you? Which of these pay-per-view names do you prefer? Keep the discussion going in the comments below!