Lots of wrestling fans rolled their eyes earlier this week when Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin both qualified for the main event at Fastlane 2018, which will take place on Sunday, March 11, at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
I was face-palming too when I saw that story play out on SmackDown.
Dolph Ziggler walked out on SmackDown shortly after winning the US Championship in a multi-man match at Clash of Champions 2017, and for some reason was rewarded with a shot at an even more important championship in yet another multi-man match at Fastlane 2018. In some ways this is just as nonsensical as Braun Strowman being fired for being a danger to the workplace, and then being rehired an hour later after he created even more danger in the workplace.
Then there is Baron Corbin, who pretty much fails at everything he does going all the way back to his unsuccessful Money in the Bank cash-in prior to SummerSlam 2017. The idea that he should be challenging for the WWE Championship right now is laughable.
The story is close to broken and that’s not even getting into the silly Top 10 List, which so far actually has a negative correlation with the WWE Championship opportunities being handed out.
But just because the story sucks doesn’t mean the 5-way WWE Championship match will also be a disaster. I actually think this match will be pretty damn good. AJ Styles is the best wrestler in WWE, and Sami Zayn isn’t too shabby either. Dolph Ziggler is pretty much a career mid-card guy, and mid-card guys deal with tons of these multi-man matches. Ziggler is a great bumper and should be able to make the other 4 guys look amazing in there. Baron Corbin can be a dud in singles matches, but in this 5-way match he can hit his big moves and then disappear for a while, limiting his weaknesses.
Then there is Kevin Owens. I can’t hide my bias here, Owens is my favorite heel in WWE on both the mic and in the ring. Your mileage may vary, but I love the Owens chin lock spots because I can’t get enough of his trash-talking. If you happen to hate those chin locks, then this match is probably just what the doctor ordered because it should be more of a faster-paced spotfest than a match that requires lengthy rest holds.
Ok so now with all of that out of the way, here’s the very simple argument I wanted to present as to why I am optimistic about the match quality these 5 guys will deliver at Fastlane 2018.
There was a similar lack of enthusiasm in December leading up to the US Championship triple threat match at Clash of Champions 2017 between Baron Corbin, Bobby Roode, and Dolph Ziggler. But when it came to the actual show time, these 3 guys working together arguably stole the show. The match received 31% of the vote in our Match of the Night poll, and it received an average of 3.95 stars in the Community Star Ratings poll.
So let’s take a theoretical triple threat match between Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, and Bobby Roode, which was pretty darn good back in December. Now remove Bobby Roode from it and replace him with AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn. That sounds like a ridiculously huge upgrade to me on what was already proven to be a good match.
So this main event match at Fastlane 2018 should be incredible, right?
Tell me why I’m wrong, Cagesiders.