Hear me out, I’m not saying it’s a good idea. Everyone knows that the money match is Shinsuke Nakamura v. AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania. I get that. I would very much like to see that match happen. Still, with all these multi-man matches happening, it almost seems like WWE’s trying to be unpredictable. What if Elias wins the Elimination Chamber? What if Dolph Ziggler becomes WWE Champion?
With all that said, what would be the best case scenario should AJ Styles be dethroned at Fastlane?
There are exactly four weeks between Fastlane and Wrestlemania 34. In that time, it’s not entirely for there to be a rematch for the WWE Championship. Styles could win the title back in a rematch. Of course, that would mean that whoever previously won the championship would have their first reign last only two weeks.
Of the five men in Fastlane’s main event, only Styles has ever been WWE Champion. Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Baron Corbin, and Dolph Ziggler have never been WWE Champion. Owens was Universal Champion, and Ziggler is a two-time World Heavyweight Champion, but it’s not quite the same.
There’s also another downside to this: the potential for a triple threat match. A triple threat wouldn’t be bad per se. Imagine, for example, Nakamura v. Ziggler v. Styles, or Nakamura v. Corbin v. Styles. Those sound like really good matches.
The main issue is that WWE has kept off Styles v. Nakamura for so long, and to not have it at Wrestlemania seems kind of a waste. I know last year people were clamoring for a WWE Championship Triple Threat between Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, and Luke Harper, but that was a different story. That was the culmination of a nearly 6-month long story that involved those three.
AJ Styles should face Nakamura one on one for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania. But if it’s not Styles, then who?
Let’s say, heaven forbid, AJ Styles loses the WWE Championship at Fastlane, and either does not have his rematch, or loses it entirely. Among the four men, who would have the best match against Shinsuke Nakamura at Wrestlemania?
Kevin Owens and Shinsuke Nakamura have good, solid, chemistry. Sami Zayn and Nakamura had an amazing match at Takeover around two years ago. The main issue I would have with either Owens or Zayn winning is that their current storyline almost guarantees someone else gets involved. Say Owens wins the title, and then Zayn shows up to help him at Wrestlemania so that Owens can win, and then he betrays Owens and challenges him for the WWE Championship. Even worse, Daniel Bryan and Shane get involved as well, and what should be a simple WWE Championship match at Wrestlemania gets overbooked to hell. No thanks.
I am aware that many people hated Nakamura’s debut match against Ziggler. I am going to defend Ziggler here and say that the match wasn’t his fault. Nakamura should have been booked like an ass-kicker there. Instead, he went 50-50 with Dolph Ziggler, who spent the last few months running from Apollo Crews and Kalisto. It didn’t make sense. They had another match on Smackdown not long after, and it was much more enjoyable than their Backlash dud. I believe that if they had enough time, and if they were booked properly, then they could put on a great match.
Then there’s Corbin. I know that many people hated the Battleground match between Corbin and Nakamura. I did, too. Again, it’s the booking. The match was slow and plodding, and Corbin kicked Nakamura in the dick to end the match. I will say this again, but Nakamura and Corbin had another match on Smackdown not long after, and it was a great match. It was much more enjoyable than Battleground. Heck, their match recently was super good as well. I wouldn’t mind a WWE Championship match between Corbin and Nakamura.
All that said, I hope Styles retains come Fastlane.