Is WWE Fastlane a waste of time?
Wrestlemania is right around the corner, it is like Christmas for Wrestling fans.
Wrestlemania is the most iconic event of the year and still easily the biggest. It is the time most people are excited about wrestling. The road to Wrestlemania starts at Royal Rumble and includes Elimination Chamber and Fastlane before getting to the big event. However, a lot of fans often ask is Fastlane needed to the build to Wrestlemania?
So, let us look at some dates for this year and look back at the PPV that is Fastlane.
Let us start off with the 2021 dates of each of the PPV’s that are included in the build to Wrestlemania.
First the last PPV of 2020 was TLC which was held 20th of December 2020 that ended the year for PPV’s. Then our first PPV and the official start of our mania build is Royal Rumble that was on 31st of January 2021. Then we get Elimination Chamber which was held on February 21st, 2021 which gives us 21 days between the two PPV’s that’s 3 weeks which would give you 3 shows per brand.
Then Fastlane this year will be held on March 21st, 2021 which gives you 28 days between PPV’s or 4 weeks which gives 4 shows per each brand. Wrestlemania is starting on 10th April 2021 which gives you 20 days between the two PPV’s or 2 weeks between the PPV’s which gives you 2/3 shows between the PPV.
In total there are 69 days between the Rumble and Wrestlemania which is 9 weeks and 6 days
During that time, you need to build for the Chamber, Fastlane, and Mania, this is where the issue is that there is not enough time to build everything properly. Because you have 9/10 shows to build 3 PPV’s.
Now let us look at 2020.
2020 did not have a Fast lane PPV so it will be a good comparison to see the build times.
Royal Rumble – January 26th, 2020
Elimination Chamber – March 8th, 2020 (42 days after RR)
Wrestlemania – April 5th, 2020 (28 days after EC)
Total build time 70 days or 10 weeks. So, the build time is very much the same, but the difference is the space between rumble and Elimination chamber.
To me looking at the dates and spacing it would mean your not rushing things and gives you breathing room, which leads to a better product. It does give you the same amount of time but your only building two different PPV’s instead.
Now let us look at Fastlane from a historical point to see what it gives us. In this we will not be discussing this year’s event or card.
Fastlane started off on February 22nd, 2015 and started off as a Single brand only PPV and it was not until 2019 that it became a duel branded PPV. It also started in February to replace the Elimination Chamber before being moved to the March slot in 2017.
Fastlane 2015 – 7 match card – 5 championship matches - Main event of Bryan vs roman for the WWE heavyweight championship – the WWE tag titles were changed but all other champions retained- Total match time 82 minutes 33 seconds.
Fastlane 2016 – 8 match card – 3 championship matches - Main event Roman v Dean Ambrose v Brock Lesner for the number contender for the WWE heavyweight championship (HHH was champion) – No title changes - Total match time 97 minutes 26 seconds.
Fastlane 2017 – 10 match card - 3 championship matched - Main event Goldberg vs Kevin Owens for the Universal Title. Only the Universal title changed hands – Total match time 97 minutes 69 seconds.
Fastlane 2018 – 7 match card – 4 championship matches – Main event 6 pack challenge for the WWE championship AJ vs Corbin vs John Cena vs Dolph Ziggler vs Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn – US title change – Total match time 93 minutes 45 seconds
Fastlane 2019 – 10 match card – 4 championship matches – Main event was The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, and Seth Rollins) faced Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre, and Bobby Lashley – No title changes – Total match time 118 minutes 30 seconds.
So, with all the events we had a total of 489.03 match time – 42 matches – 19 championship matches and out of that only 3 title changes. When we look at the build time and what we get from the PPV it does seem like this PPV could be missed.