Fastlane does not exactly scream excitement and thrill as other other B pay-per-views like Hell in a Cell or Money in the Bank does. It is more of an obligation of WWE to provide an event in the month of March for their network subscribers, thus the management half-heartedly puts together a half baked show with the minimum build-up to provide a decent evening to its fans. The timing for the show couldn’t be worse as it is stuck in the dead spot between Royal Rumble and WrestleMania where all the fans are just eagerly waiting for April to come and the writers also want to save their best for the show of shows. By this time of the year, the WrestleMania card is almost on the brink with just the final touch-up to do and thus the writers don’t have much to play with.
Past Storylines That Worked For Fastlane
Over the years, we have seen matches that no one wants to see and have witnessed the feuds that no one wants to talk about. But still, there have been some exceptions to this rule as sometimes WWE has outperformed themselves and have managed to build a storyline that fans could actually care about and root for their favorite wrestlers. These storylines or matches may not be earth-shattering but are enough to make fans switch on their television.
Roman Reigns vs Daniel Bryan (2015)
In 2015, Roman Reigns won the Royal Rumble and infuriated the whole wrestling community so much so that even The Rock could not control the crowd’s disappointment and anger. During that time, Daniel Bryan was the most over wrestler and fans were not ready to see anyone else headlining WrestleMania. So, WWE decided to put Roman’s #1 contender spot in contention at Fastlane. They booked a match between Seth Rollins and Daniel Bryan on an episode of Raw, where the latter emerged the winner and earned the right to face Roman at Fastlane for the World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania. Unsurprisingly, fans were really excited for the match and thought that better sense had prevailed as WWE will finally correct their mistake.
Of course, in the end, it didn’t happen as Roman went on to win the match against Bryan convincingly. But the match was really good and it gave Roman an opportunity to shine as a wrestler. Fans were not happy with the end result, but the storyline was engaging and gave fans something to look forward to in an otherwise lackluster show.
Six Pack Challenge (2018)
On paper, this seems like a bunch of wrestlers have been thrown together to have a decent match. But, it was more than that as parallel stories going on for each wrestler. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens were facing another bump in their friendship as Owens was not sure if he could trust his friend for support. It also involved Shane Mcmahon as he had made it clear that he doesn’t like either of them and made sure that neither of them wins the match at the end.
AJ Styles was not happy that he had to defend his title against five other wrestlers, especially when everyone wanted to see him wrestle against Shinsuke Nakamura at WrestleMania 34. John Cena was desperate to find his road to WrestleMania and in that quest, he was willing to do anything to win the WWE Championship; and, Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler were looking for an opportunity to make their mark.
All the stories played out really well as all the wrestlers got the spotlight for brief periods. Zayn turned on Owens and both ended up quarreling among themselves before mistakingly attacking Shane, who cost them the match. John Cena was eagerly looking for the win and went on an attacking spree moment the match started.
AJ Styles finally emerged the winner in the end despite all the obstacles and proved why he deserved to carry the belt to the show of shows. Despite all predicament, WWE booked the match pretty well and the end product was quite entertaining.
Kevin Owens vs Goldberg (2017)
Kevin Owens always had problems with his friends and Chris Jericho was just one of them. The match between Kevin Owens and Goldberg was another match in which parallel stories were going on for both of them. Goldberg was scheduled to face Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 34 and was only in this match because of Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho’s overconfidence and their habit of mocking anyone who are not them. Goldberg just wanted to put Owens’ smart mouth on ice before he could turn his focus on Lesnar.
Kevin Owens was annoyed by Jericho and thus turned on him a few weeks prior to this match. He just wanted to somehow escape Goldberg so that he can put his attention on KO-Mania 2 and had to rely on his tricks for victory. The end result was predictable and the match was not even close to being called a classic as Goldberg easily defeated Owens within minutes to become the third Universal Champion after the interference from Jericho. But this article is about storylines.
Both the wrestlers went on their respective journeys after the match, but the writers did a fine job in integrating these two completely different storylines together and both got the space to breathe at the same time.