Here we go with another edition of the Wrestling Roundtable. This week, the panel discusses this Sunday’s Fastlane WWE PPV. We also discuss title reigns, and much much more.
First lets go over this weeks Power Rankings.
1. Roman Reigns- A victory over Kane Monday night, propels Roman to #1 this week. Will this momentum keep in his match at Fastlane this Sunday against Daniel Bryan?
2. Daniel Bryan- The YES movement is in full speed, can Daniel Bryan ride that wave to a victory against Roman Reigns this Sunday?
3. Brock Lesnar- Has not competed since the Royal Rumble. But the WWE Champion is lying in wait for the winner of this Sunday’s encounter between Bryan and Reigns.
4. John Cena- Cena is looking to become the United States Champion again this Sunday, his demeanor on Monday night may be what he needs to get the job done.
5. Rusev- The undefeated United States Champion has his work cut out for him in his biggest test to date this Sunday at Fastlane.
This week in professional wrestling.
– Eddie Guererro won his first WWE Championship against Brock Lesnar at No Way Out.
– The War to Settle the Score between Hulk Hogan and Rowdy Roddy Piper aired on MTV, one month before the first ever Wrestlemania.
– The WWE shuts down ECW for good. Ezekial Jackson retired the championship.
And now on to the questions!!!
With John Cena and Rusev battling for the United States Championship at Fastlane. This features one proven main eventer, and one rising main event star. Question: Does this bring any relevance to the United States title now that two main event caliber wrestlers are facing off for it?
Steve: It brings a little more relevance to the United States title, but to be honest, these two guys do not need a title to have a great feud. The fact that two main event stars on the roster are competing for the title, just adds a little more to the match. I can’t see Cena winning this match on Sunday, at least winning the title. As it is clear that he does not need a championship. However, I can say the same for Rusev. This could be the opportunity for Rusev to elevate to the next level, and become a main eventer. Rusev cannot lose this match, but I think he needs to drop the title soon if he wants to get in the main event picture.
Eric: The United States title is being defended this Sunday at WWE Fast Lane, between John Cena and Rusev. This is one of the biggest matches for the US title in WWE history. This bring big importance to the US title. Having two men a main eventer like Cena and a future main eventer like Rusev competing for the US title, this gives this title a big step up and a possibly become a major championship to compete for in the WWE. I still say it should be unified with the Intercontinental title but until that day comes, I think the match this Sunday will make this title more relevant in the WWE, as for my pick for this match. Well keep reading and you will find out soon enough.
Chad: Having a star like Cena and a rising star like Rusev fight for the US title is a good thing title. In this particular instance I feel like that the title stipulation is a way to have Cena win by a DQ or Countout in order the strength of Rusev going into a match at Wrestlemania. I think that brings more to the US title especially since the WWE title has been rarely seen on TV since Brock winning the title at Summerslam
Josh: This is definitely a 5 star match in the making, but it seems like the US Title aspect is kind of taking a back seat. I don’t think there is any way Cena wins the US Title, but this is going to be a HUGE stepping stone for Rusev. While in this match the title itself is not important, having somoene important like Rusev (especially after beating, or at least retaining against Cena), having Rusev hold the title, makes the title relevant. I expect an awesome match at ‘Mania with Rusev against either Ryback or Roman Reigns, where he will finally be pinned, which will be the real event to bring prestige back to the title.
What are your predictions for Fastlane?
Steve: My Prediction? PAIN…. Okay, yes I just got done watching Rocky III earlier. Even then Hulk Hogan couldnt act. Anyway, predictions for Fastlane. Sting and Triple H will announce their match at Wrestlemania 31. I think the Reigns vs Bryan match will end in some sort of draw, whether it be a double dq, double countout, or interference where it is a draw. This will set up a triple threat at Wrestlemania again, to please the fans. While I think Reigns vs Lesnar is the best option for the best match. But you are going to see a triple threat match. I also think that Cena and Rusev will have a great classic match. Rusev will win I predict but it will be a great match. I like Paige over Nikki for the Diva’s title, And I think Dean Ambrose and Bad News Barrett will tear the house down, and we may see a new Intercontinental Champion this Sunday.
Eric: WWE Fast Lane is this Sunday live on the WWE network for only $9.99 a month and it’s free for the month of February. I’m interested to see how a few of these matches will play out on the road to Wrestlemania. My predictions are as followed: Rusev over Cena. I think Rusev will beat John Cena clean and this will solidify Rusev as a main eventer in the WWE. Nikki Bella over Paige. I love Paige to death but I don’t think she will go over on Sunday . WWE has invested time and money in Nikki Bella and they won’t have her drop the title till Wrestlemania or the night after. Bad News Barrett over Dean Ambrose, I think this is only the beginning of this feud so I see the champ retaining it here and the feud continuing. USOs over Cesaro and Kidd, nothing special here. Sting and Triple H will setup a match at Wrestlemania between them two. Last but not least number one Contender match Daniel Bryan vs Roman Regins. I love Daniel Bryan very much, he is an amazing athlete and very talented individual and has great heart but I believe Roman Regins will win this Sunday and if the WWE wants him to be over with the fans Roman needs to win and needs to win clean over Daniel Bryan. I think it will happen this Sunday.
Chad: Rusev retains which leads to a match a mania between him and Cena. The confortation between Sting and HHH leads to a match at Mania. Fast Lane like the No Way Out ppv’s of the past will be the perfect place to start some feuds and to end others in order to start Mania feuds on Raw next week.
Josh: Reigns wins. I hate to say it, because I really am a fan of Daniel Bryan, and I think the match between him and Lesnar is too perfect, but I do not see Vince giving up on Reigns just yet. If Reigns and Bryan put on a 5 star match, and Reigns truly contributes, introduces new moves, gets a lot of good offense in and sells Daniel Bryan’s offense effectively, I think you can still have him win and retain crowd support. The match needs to go on for at least 30 mins, if not 45…in fact, if it weren’t too late, an Ironman match would be a PERFECT stipulation for this match. But back to the initial point, Vince gave the WWE universe what it wanted last year, and I don’t think it will happen again this year, Reigns wins, goes to WM to face Lesnar.
Sting vs. Triple H will be set for Wrestlemania, which will be a great match, the pairing is too perfect. I think you will also see an appearance by the Undertaker to address Bray Wyatt. Casket Match at ‘Mania anyone? Rusev will retain against Cena…I know it seems impossible, but don’t be shocked to see Cena submit here. If there is a turn, or character change coming for Cena, this is the perfect opportunity to start that. Barrett will beat Dean Ambrose for the IC title. I just don’t see Dean winning here. He never really wins any matches of importance, and having the champion defend successfully can make a WrestleMania match that much more relevant.
I had answered this question recently on #ask7pound and would like to get the panels view. Do you think that the WWE should ever go back to long title reigns for certain titles or wrestlers? Or is the attention spans of the fans just too short to make that get over?
Steve: As I mentioned on #ask7pound, I would be shocked if we ever see a champions title reign last more than a year? CM Punk was the most recent wrestler to see this happen, but that was because there was no real player to hold the title. It made sense for Punk to hold the title as he was the only one on the roster who was over at the time, and he could carry the torch. As I stated, fans have such short attention spans, and easily get tired of the same guys holding the championship. It just won’t happen.
Eric: Years ago when people would win titles they didn’t have short reigns, they would hold titles for months and months sometimes years, now a days it seems like title changes happen more often than before. So could long title reigns work now a days? I think it all depends on the person holding the title. I don’t think it matters what title it is, if you put it on the right person I think you can either have a good long run with the title or you can have a short reign. It all depends on the person. Example CM PUNK held the WWE title for 434 days, probably the most impressive title reign I have seen in professional wrestling in years. That reign worked because it had the right guy for the job, now let’s swap CM Punk for someone like Titus O’Neil, would anyone like to see him WWE champion for 434 days? Absolutely not, my point being it all depends on the person to wheather or not a long title reign could work or not. People paid attention when CM PUNK held the title for 434 days, if Titus O’Neil held the title I think people’s short attention span would kick in and they would want a new champion.
Chad: I think in the age of the Internet and the fanbase that we are currently are ok with moderate title runs for the different champions; but I feel like the majority of fans would get tired of long-reigning champions similar to what happened with Goldberg in WCW when he basically had become the Yankees and they chanted Goldberg sucks and in WWE with the mixed reactions Cena gets as champion. I don’t feel like a long title is good on occasion but should not be the norm in the WWE.
Josh: I like long runs. They give the product some stability, as long as the champion is regularly on TV. However, I do not think they should do it regularly, or people will get tired. CM Punk is a perfect example of a very long run done right. He went from Face to Heel during his run, changed his character, and kept things fresh. The crowd never really got tired of CM Punk as champion. I don’t see anyone on the roster that could pull that off at this time. Daniel Bryan is much better chasing, and will probably end up with multiple short reigns. Roman Reigns does not have the character development to pull it off. Cena…just no…..I see Dean Ambrose as more of a transitional champion when he makes it to the main event. The only guy I see as having potential for something like that is probably Seth Rollins. He has the tools, a diverse move set, great character growth, and potential for evolution. That being said, he is at least a couple years from anything like that, the top of the card is kind of full right now, and I don’t think we will see another long reign (over 6 months) for a while.
With the Diva’s division picking up some steam. What are your thoughts of the way the WWE is booking the Divas title match between Nikki Bella and Paige?
Steve: I like it because they are actually giving them some TV time to work on it. You never got this before in a Diva’s match. You never got the build up that these two are getting. It is turning out to be a very entertaining feud. You just kind of wonder if Nikki is still pissed that Paige got Brie into Brie Mode last Sunday on Total Divas. So I really think the writers are doing a great job with booking this feud, and this match.
Eric: I think the WWE has done a great in building up the feud between Paige and Nikki Bella. They are really stepping up their game when it comes to the divas division. Let’s face it, as much as we loved it, the days were divas matches were bra and panties matches and pillow fights are long gone. Now the divas matches are about two gals going out there and wanting to kick each others butts. I think this has a great build up and these two have had are showing great passion. I believe this Sunday these two divas will put on a great performance.
Chad: I will admit with the Divas division I am bit jaded; longing for the competition that was present at the turn of the century with the likes of Hall of Famers Trish and Lita. Maybe if there is an AJ come back at the PPV; which might to tag match at Mania against the Bella Twins might give the division some steam heading into Wrestlemania.
Josh: I like it. The Bella Twins basically turned into LayCool…which was entertaining. Paige should end up winning the match, as she needs to enter Mania as the Diva’s champion.
Would you like to see at least one NXT match at Wrestlemania 31?
Steve: If the WWE is serious about NXT and wants to really promote this brand, especially on the WWE Network, which is the only way you can see the NXT stars. Vince McMahon and the creative team absolutely needs to have a match at Wrestlemania with the NXT stars. You can make it a tag team match to feature the best of NXT, or you could even have an NXT title match. Who would not want to see a rematch for the championship betwen Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn? This has to happen, and I think it would bring more subscribers to the Network, just so people could see these guys on a regular basis.
Eric: Would I like to see an NXT match at Wrestlemania this year? Does a bear poop in the woods? Of course I’d love to see an NXT match at Wrestlemania. I think it would give those guys on the NXT roster time to shine and show what they can do in front of a big audience. Right now at best there is at most maybe 500 fans in the NXT arena per show, most guys this would be their bigget moment of their carrer. It could either make them or break them. Now as far as the match I’d like to see I think it needs to showcase their best talent. I’d like to see a 5 way ladder match for the NXT title between Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens vs Finn Balor vs Adrian Neville vs Hideo Itami. I think that match could steal the show.
Chad: Yes, I believe that the talent in NXT like Owens, Neville, Zayn, and Balor deserve a match on the card; I feel like that the quality of the NXT shows and matches have garnered them the right to have a match at the show of shows which I believe should be a NXT title match
Josh: No. NXT needs to stay completely separate. NXT puts on superior matches and has superior storytelling, however, part of that is the way things are done on the NXT shows. Moving a match to Wrestlemania where it will not get the time it deserves would be a tragedy.
Tiny URL for this post: