From The WWE Rumor Mill: Original Fastlane main event plans didn't include Corbin or Ziggler
What's the story?
This past week on SmackDown Live, Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin managed to defeat Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens respectively to book their place in the main event WWE Championship match at Fastlane, but it seems that this wasn't the original plan for the Championship at the final pay-per-view ahead of WrestleMania 34.
In case you didn't know...
Over the past few months, it seems that Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens have been part of a feud with Shinsuke Nakamura and Randy Orton, especially since they managed to defeat the duo to remain employed by WWE back at Clash of Champions.
The duo has stepped away from this feud recently and instead decided to pick a fight with Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler this week on SmackDown since Shane McMahon announced that the winner of their match would be added to the WWE Championship match at Fastlane to make it a fatal four-way.
Owens and Zayn were obviously of the opinion that if they interfered in the match and there was no winner then it would remain a triple threat match. That wasn't the case since the SmackDown Commissioner then made singles matches for later in the night and if Ziggler and Corbin won then it would be a fatal five-way, stacking the odds against Zayn and Owens even further.
The heart of the matter
The main event match at Fastlane has officially been announced as a fatal five-way match between Ziggler, Owens, Zayn, Corbin and Champion AJ Styles, but according to a report by The Wrestling Observer, it seems that this wasn't the original plan.
It was revealed that the fatal five-way was supposed to feature Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura in place of Corbin and Ziggler, which would have made sense based on the past few months of storylines. WWE apparently decided to remove Nakamura from the match because the company are trying to hold off on Styles vs Nakamura until WrestleMania.
Randy Orton looks set to challenge Bobby Roode for the United States Championship in a triple threat match that will also include Jinder Mahal at Fastlane, which could be why WWE opted to remove him from the match as well.
Fastlane is now just over three weeks away and it seems that SmackDown will begin announcing matches in the coming weeks ahead of the event. The aforementioned match for the United States Championship should be unveiled soon as well as The Bludgeon Brothers vs The Usos and a match surrounding the SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair and The Riott Squad since Ruby Riott is the only member of the group that Charlotte has yet to defeat.
There's no denying that Ziggler and Corbin deserve their places in this match, but it's interesting to think about how different the build-up would have been if The Viper and The Artist were in there instead. It's almost a foregone conclusion that AJ will retain, but it's a good idea from WWE to push Corbin and Ziggler into the main event picture ahead of WrestleMania, much like Elias has been pushed up to the main event on Raw. It's nice to see fresh blood in the title picture.