Sunday 18th August 2013 – Summerslam played host to what will go down as one of the greatest moments in WWE history when Daniel Bryan defeated John Cena to win the WWE Championship, with a clean finish. The crowd went wild and shared this amazing moment with Bryan standing victorious in the ring. No sooner was the moment beginning than it ended with a bang. Out came Randy Orton with his Money in the Bank briefcase to intimidate Bryan and remind him he was just around the corner, and he did not have to wait long before making his presence truly known..
Special referee from the Bryan versus Cena match, Triple H, spun Bryan round and hit him with a Pedigree, allowing Orton to cash in his briefcase and walk out of Summerslam as WWE Champion. The next night on Raw, Triple H revealed that he was just doing what he saw as best for business. The night ended with Bryan receiving a beating from The Shield and an RKO for his troubles from champion Randy Orton. This week saw Bryan suffer again at the hands of The Shield, this time in a gauntlet match while the WWE locker room stood on the stage watching in fear of saying anything with Triple H threatening to fire anyone who got involved to help Bryan.
When Bryan won the title at Summerslam, I wasn’t shocked as I predicted he would pick up the win. I didn’t expect it to be clean in the sense of how it ended but none the less, Bryan picked up the victory and title. I did not see the swerve coming with Triple H hitting him with a Pedigree and being the one to cause Bryan not to walk out with the title. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing at first but then I sat back and thought about it – What value does it really give to us as fans if Bryan wins the title, walks out of Summerslam champion, and begins a feud with someone else for the title?
It doesn’t really give us anything overall as the ‘thrill of the chase’ is gone the moment Bryan picks up that Championship. What have people really got to tune in for following a Bryan victory? To turn Orton heel like he wanted, to turn Triple H on Bryan and the fans, and to give us something to watch this was the only plausible outcome. It’s given us a reason to continue to tune in and watch Bryan go up against his oppressors in The McMahon’s and Triple H. I feel a bit like a cross between The Corporation and Evolution has evolve dbefore our eyes, and while I like the idea, I can’t help but think WWE could have done a better job with the way they booked the ending of Raw following Summerslam, as the night after it just seemed so thrown together and obvious what was going to happen.
Parts of this feud remind me of the classic Austin and McMahon feuds over the years when Vince did not want Austin as Champion and would do anything to stop him from obtaining the gold. People loved that because they could identify with the feelings of being held down from their dreams of wanting to succeed and reach the top, and if WWE can somehow re-create this feeling using Bryan and Triple H then I think we are in for an interesting few months of television. Do I see Triple H remaining heel? In the long term, no I somehow think there is going to be a twist somewhere in that Triple H starts to grow tired of Vince and his ‘power trip’ over time, which eventually somehow results in Bryan winning the championship, which may not necessarily be from Orton. I expect this to happen around the Royal Rumble heading into Wrestlemania. Which leads me to where I would like to see this going.
It’s no secret now that there are plans to align Daniel Bryan and CM Punk in the future to go up against Orton, Triple H, The McMahons, and most likely The Shield. While this may not go ahead, I still see the long term plan is to have Bryan and Punk face off in a Wrestlemania match that potentially is written to be the greatest match of all time if both men can stay healthy till Mania. If I were booking the angle, I would like to take it down the line that Punk comes out to side with Bryan or perhaps make a save when he is in a beat down situation with Triple H. The next week, Punk cuts a scathing promo on WWE as a company holding Bryan back as they held him back, and he isn’t going to sit back and watch another talented wrestler almost walk out of this company because of politics and have Punk drop another one of his famous pipe bomb promo’s on WWE.
From there, the 2 men will be paired up in tag matches, singles matches, and even have a team at Survivor Series to face off against Shield & Orton, maybe even Triple H if there were 5 man teams. I would continue the feud in some form until the Royal Rumble. Daniel Bryan (or maybe Punk) is booked into a WWE Championship match, which he wins. Meanwhile, the Punk (or Bryan) goes on to win the Royal Rumble match itself (For arguments sake we will say Punk wins the Rumble). Bryan asks Punk who he is going to choose to face. Punk will keep stalling his decision for 3 weeks until on Raw he makes his decision – By kicking Bryan in the head, costing them a match that night. The following week Punk cuts a promo saying how it’s nothing personal, but he wants to prove to the world he is better than Daniel Bryan, and what better stage to do it than Wrestlemania.
Who would I have win at Wrestlemania? I probably would put the title on Punk in the end and let him have his big Wrestlemania moment he so thoroughly deserves. But what I want to know is, what would you do? Are you enjoying the direction of the current storyline with Bryan or do you feel it was a bad choice to take the title off Bryan at Summerslam? As always, I look forward to reading your thoughts. Next time, I look in the current NXT talent pool and pick out my top 5 stars I see as currently having the potential to be the next breakout WWE superstar. Until then, thanks for reading.