After Elimination Chamber left us with Roman Reigns as the No. 1 contender for the WWE Universal Championship, it seems we are officially on the Road To Fastlane WrestleMania, folks — but apparently WWE’s taxpayer dollars haven’t been allocated in the appropriate ways.
Raw hit a major pothole on Monday when Universal Champion Brock Lesnar apparently no-showed Raw, causing a confrontation between Lesnar and Reigns to be completely scrapped, and the show re-written at the last minute, resulting in Reigns delivering one hell of a worked-shoot promo disparaging the champ.
Now, the water has gotten even muddier, as Dave Meltzer is reporting that it’s still unclear what the hell happened, but that there is growing speculation that this was a deliberate creative decision to help swing fan support Reigns’ way. Meltzer writes:
We’re told the goal of the build to the Roman Reigns vs. Lesnar WrestleMania match on April 8th is to get Reigns cheered to lead to his win. Lesnar is also still scheduled to return on the March 12th Raw in Detroit.
Neither Lesnar nor Heyman were in Anaheim last night, although they were advertised and a segment with both of them was written into the script of the show. Lesnar had come to Las Vegas the day before as the photograph going around of him with Dana White was taken on Sunday afternoon.
The idea for the build to the WrestleMania main event, which has been planned for roughly one year, and is essentially the culmination of what was supposed to happen in 2015, is to make the build come across as much like a shoot as possible and the segment did accomplish that goal.
It’s a risky proposition to advertise your champion — who rarely appears as it is — in a major market, then pull him without warning at the last minute, just to try to get your snarky, handsome, bulletproof-vest-adorned Samoan prince named Poochie cheered, but it definitely worked on Monday. Maybe this good will toward Reigns will continue to grow over the next few weeks.
[RON HOWARD VOICE: “It wouldn’t.”]
See everybody on April 8, when our main event is a guy who still isn’t over going up against a checked-out part-timer who’s probably headed back to UFC!