Why ending Charlotte Flair's PPV streak at Fastlane was bad booking
We take a look at WWE Fastlane and try to break down WWE's decision to prematurely terminate Charlotte's unbeaten PPV streak
When Charlotte Flair was booked for a match against WWE RAW Women’s Champion Bayley at Fastlane, the entire WWE Universe was convinced that the Queen would regain her lost crown at the pay per view.
Charlotte had a strong pay per view streak going for her with 16 wins in singles PPV competition on the trot. WWE had organically managed to build a streak that could cement Charlotte Flair as the Queen of Pay per view.
However, things took an unexpected turn in the penultimate match at Fastlane where Bayley managed to retain her championship with an interference from Sasha Banks. The result did not make any sense as Bayley broke what seemed to be an unbeatable streak and that too under dubious circumstances.
Sasha’s help had secured Bayley a win, and the Wisconsin crowd looked on in disbelief as a distraught Charlotte wept outside the ring.
There are many holes in this booking that had the entire WWE Universe talking.
Firstly, nobody had expected that WWE would squander a streak that they had built for over a year, in a second tier pay per view such as Fastlane.
Many pundits of the business had predicted that Charlotte would be entering WrestleMania 33 as the dominant champion for Bayley to conquer. This is where things take a turn for Bizarro world.
For most of the match, Bayley had been dominated by Charlotte. It was familiar territory for the genetically superior Flair, and she looked poised to pull off another win. She would have been successful too if it weren’t for an interfering Sasha Banks.
Sasha ran down to ringside, and in plain view of the referee, started grappling with Charlotte. She even managed to distract the referee when Charlotte had Bayley’s shoulders pinned to the mat. Finally, Bayley managed to get in a Bayley to Belly Suplex to seal the deal.
This was the worst possible booking for a universally beloved babyface such as Bayley.
This past Monday Night on Bring It To The Table, JBL addressed the situation saying that the controversial booking made it difficult for the WWE Universe to cheer for Bayley after she managed to retain the championship.
JBL said that Bayley was becoming a victim of the ‘Daniel Bryan Syndrome’ where the underdogs achieved too much within a very short span of time, making it difficult for the audience to cheer for them.
The entire premise of Bayley’s gimmick is that she is the underdog, who, by virtue of her sheer grit and determination manages to come out on top after a riveting contest with a stronger opponent. Moreover, with WrestleMania just around the corner, it didn’t make good business sense to lay waste to Charlotte Flair’s unbeaten streak at Fastlane.
The streak could have been a highlight of the clash at WrestleMania. Bayley could have been the woman to overcome stiff odds by taking down Charlotte Flair at the ‘Showcase of Immortals’ and ushering a moment of euphoric jubilation for the crowd at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.
Sasha’s interference did not do much for the Boss either. The WWE Universe had no idea whether to boo her for ruining a good match or to cheer her for helping Bayley.
Later, Stephanie and Charlotte exposed her as a shallow, cowardly competitor who manipulated the result to ultimately get a shot at the Women's Championship. The chaotic situation, however, paved way for a triple threat match at WrestleMania 33 that has Bayley conflicted about Sasha’s motives.
WrestleMania 33 is looking like an appropriate venue for a Sasha Banks heel turn. WWE might even hold it for the next night on RAW, as they have a tendency of surprising the fans just after WrestleMania.
Charlotte Flair’s streak was prematurely broken, and it is a fact that the WWE Universe has to live with.
It gave her character an egoistic and arrogant dimension which enhanced her persona. Now with the streak gone, Charlotte has lost a significant feather in her cap.
Nonetheless, she is still a dominant competitor inside the ring and a fierce opponent in any match. With WrestleMania 33 just 20 days away, the stage is set for a blowout clash between the three women that has the potential to steal the show at the ‘Grandest Stage of them All.’
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