By The Masked Man, writer for Grantland.com:
Sunday, while most regular human beings will be watching the Oscars, WWE brings us Fastlane, or, as we hard-core fans call it, the PPV in between the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania. It’s the spot previously occupied by Elimination Chamber, and even though there’s no more giant steel cage, all the confusion about who will headline ’Mania remains. For the first time in years, I’m genuinely uncertain about WWE’s plans for the big show, and since I have questions, I figured everybody else must have questions too. So it’s time for a mailbag! And since we just had a big NXT show last week (and since Fastlane isn’t generating WrestleMania-level excitement), the questions aren’t limited to Sunday’s show. Let’s dive right in.
Who schedules a PPV the same night as the Oscars?
WWE, that’s who! It’s ironic, considering that Vince McMahon was asked on “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s podcast about WWE’s lack of a true competitor and Vince said that everything on television was WWE’s competition. Taking on the Academy Awards is kinda crazy, especially in a social-media moment when everybody who wants to “stay relevant” will be tweeting Oscar jokes. That said, if WWE can get anything trending during the Oscars, that’s a significant victory. As long as it’s not for Seth Rollins winning Best Picture.
Why does WWE keep making up stupid names for PPV’s when they could just use an established concept like King of the Ring or The Great American Bash?
I’m a proponent of ditching minor PPV names altogether and naming them either numerically or on the fly, like the indies and NXT do. That said, if you’re going to name them on the fly, they should have some relevance to the main event or the overall fight card. I get that we’re in the “fast lane” to WrestleMania — at least I think that’s what I’m supposed to get — but WWE hasn’t driven that point home. And really, even if it did, all that does is remind fans that this PPV is a placeholder between events that people actually care about.
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