WWE had a really great opportunity to shake things up at Fastlane. Making Dean Ambrose WWE Champion would have created that “expect the unexpected” atmosphere that makes professional wrestling fun. It didn’t happen. As fans, we’re going to have to collectively accept that and move on… or we are NOT going to enjoy this main event.
Fan reaction aside, the build to this match hasn’t been bad. Roman has been booked to look like a capable contender who has had the deck stacked against him, much like the way John Cena has been booked for well over a decade. That’s probably not a coincidence. Young WWE fans (read: the actual target demographic) see Roman Reigns as an actual superhero, and that means MONEY — both in ticket sales, and merchandise. Sorry, smart marks, but a family of four spends way more at a live event than you and your neckbeard.
Roman’s post-“injury” comeback looked great. He looked like an uncontrollable monster, who has finally had enough of getting screwed over. He looked like the guy who was going to make sure the tyrannical authority figure, Triple H, finally gets his comeuppance — and do so in a dominant, “WrestleMania moment” fashion.
The only problem? The fans see the anti-authority Roman Reigns as the heel, the protected, undeserving star shoved down our throats…by the Authority. In reality, he’s the character played by Seth Rollins. Triple H is the badass babyface, fighting (albeit, ironically) to defeat the “chosen one.”
If WWE creative wanted to play safe, they’d use this opportunity to turn Roman Reigns heel, since the crowd is turning him anyway. More likely, however, is the continued force-feeding of Roman Reigns: Anti-Authority badass. No matter how they try to build him as such, it’s not going to work.