WWE has seemingly decided that a Roman Reigns-Daniel Bryan feud with a title on the line should be relegated to the nearly meaningless Fastlane pay-per-view instead of a WrestleMania main event.
Barring something downright implausible, this year's 'Mania will see Reigns defend his title against Edge. While Edge isn't a full-blown part-timer by any means, the men's Royal Rumble winner feels a tad shoehorned into the main event scene when a Reigns-Bryan dance would have served just fine in a top 'Mania spot.
Maybe that's a tad unfair to Edge, whose return two Rumbles ago was amazing. He had an unfortunate injury that held him out of action but was otherwise impressive in a feud with Randy Orton. His epic run in the Rumble was fine, especially with there not being many other Superstars in the final 10 worthy of winning the whole thing.
But we're talking about shoving aside a talent like Daniel Bryan for Edge—and that's an issue.
Bryan is an all-timer of a talent who can make anything work. That he's in the title scene for Fastlane is bordering on insulting. Fastlane, after all, didn't even take place in 2020 it's so shrug-worthy.
That hasn't stopped Bryan from doing amazing work. After winning an Elimination Chamber match and losing a quick title bout to Reigns right after, setting up this feud, he then worked a fun little feud with Jey Uso.
Along the way, he's again put on some amazing character work and made something from nothing:
Edge, on the other hand, won the Rumble and seemed to arbitrarily pick Reigns over Raw champ Drew McIntyre.
Some will argue Edge versus Reigns is the much fresher of the two matchups. Fans have seen plenty of Reigns against Bryan in the past.
And that's fair—to an extent. Pretty much everything feels brand-new for this heel Reigns flanked by Paul Heyman, though. He could run the gamut of all the matches he's ever had, and this refreshing new character direction would make them all must-see material.
The reality of the way WWE handles business is that it will simply throw big names into the biggest event just for the sake of it. But the hope was that WWE would have outgrown this thinking and evolved like it has in so many other ways during the pandemic. It's an archaic way of thinking too, a callback to when the company needed big-name part-timers in main events just to draw pay-per-view buys.
Understand this isn't meant to disparage Edge too much. He's not technically a part-timer like others such as a Goldberg. One could argue he would not have missed any time this past year were it not for the serious tricep injury.
But WWE defaulting into this pseudo "spear vs. spear" match isn't much better because it's Edge instead of Goldberg vs. Reigns. It's the idea that hurts things, even if there is the potential for it to be pretty entertaining.
Inflicting damage is a concern too. Reigns can't afford to lose this matchup because it would derail all the momentum behind his heel persona. Being dominant for so long and then choking on the biggest stage of them all against a guy many fans probably still view as a part-timer would be far from ideal. But if Edge has to eat the loss, it doesn't make him look much better, either.
Considering WWE already oddly ripped the WWE title off McIntyre anyway, Edge challenging the Raw champion might have made more sense at this point because he could have comfortably gotten a win, then hopped right back into his feud with Orton.
One big if to consider: WWE chickens out and makes the main event at WrestleMania a Triple Threat match for Reigns' title. But the same issues mentioned above would likely mean Bryan takes the loss, which wouldn't help him.
Either way, for all the strides WWE has made over the past year or so, tossing Bryan on Fastlane and Edge into the main event of WrestleMania is a mistake when considering WWE's past missteps with properly building Superstars while over-relying on older talents.
Like anything with WWE, plans can change mere minutes before a show goes live, though. But as things appear to stand, it should have been Bryan, not Edge, tackling Reigns at WrestleMania.