Did John Cena look so knackered against Goldust on Monday Night Raw because he's become genuinely worn down by the losses suffered en route to whatever giant match he illogically gets at WrestleMania? Was it because his pre-match spiel promoting himself as the third man in the WWE Title clash between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura had fans sucking air so hard between their teeth that the arena ran low on oxygen? Or was it because he'd just remembered that another journey to SmackDown Live! beckoned at the end of the week?
Though the blue brand's creative decline shouldn't descend into a blame game (this piece isn't about putting a particular creative head and former Tag Team Champion in the dogg house), the roadie to WrestleMania on Tuesdays has been covered in potholes. Oh you didn't know? You couldn't be blamed for switching off. Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls and children of all ages have been doing so for months.
Cena's panicked insertion into the Fastlane main event was the fourth of its kind. The contest began as a singles clash between Styles and either Kevin Owens or Sami Zayn before Daniel Bryan threw them both in. Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin got the nod in identical fashion. As too did 'The Champ' with his pinfall win over 'The Phenomenal One.'
It's a main event that best expresses the show's unwieldy creative malaise. It's no coincidence that it's sadly the last of the single-brand era.