On this week’s SmackDown, it was confirmed that the main event for the blue brand side of the upcoming Fastlane PPV will see Roman Reigns defend the WWE Universal Championship against Daniel Bryan.
The match was confirmed after Bryan’s defeated Jimmy Uso in a cage match with the stipulation that granted him the title shot if he won but would have forced him to acknowledge Roman Reigns as the Tribal Chief if he had lost.
The match has been brewing since the Elimination Chamber PPV in February when Bryan won the SmackDown chamber match, granting him a title match against Reigns that same night.
That match ultimately took place immediately after Bryan’s gruelling chamber win and Reigns made short work of an exhausted Bryan, despite the former Undisputed Champion nearly winning in an upset.
It had previously been mooted that Fastlane would see Bryan team with the challenger for the blue belt at WrestleMania, Edge, to face Reigns and Jey Uso. However, Bryan was at pains to point out he deserved an opportunity to be part of the WrestleMania main event and he cut an impassioned promo to that affect to open SmackDown.
Whilst the title match is still expected to be Reigns defending against Edge, this match will provide the perfect final stop on the journey to that bout.
Fastlane takes place on Sunday March 21st and so far the only other bout confirmed sees Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler defend the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship against Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair.
The PPV itself is a crucial one for WWE as it will be their first major event after they move the WWE Network in the USA to NBC’s streaming service, Peacock. This move means that the Netflix-like service’s 44 million subscribers to the bout will all have access to the show at no additional cost. This is around 29 times more people than would have had access on the WWE Network alone.