[Note: This is the first in what will hopefully be a weekly Thursday column from yours truly about the world of pro wrestling. I hope you all enjoy it, and I encourage you to leave your thoughts in the comments at the bottom of the page.]
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We did it, guys! We won! Daniel Bryan is going to be in the main event at WrestleMania 30! He's finally going to capture the WWE World Heavyweight Championship!
Or is he?
WWE had to make this move. They had to put Daniel Bryan in the title match to save it from getting booed out of New Orleans by 80,000 angry, possibly intoxicated, fans. Randy Orton is a joy to watch in the ring, but he's been marginalized in this storyline, and he's the freakin' champion.
Batista...poor Batista. WWE tried to bring him back as a face, and it worked for about a week. CM Punk quit, Daniel Bryan didn't appear in the Royal Rumble match and all the blame fell right on Batista's tattooed shoulders. Some fans hate Batista because he's that guy, the one that walks around looking like Pitbull with the skinny jeans and track jackets, but a lot of the heat stems from a "wrong place, wrong time" situation for The Animal.
That main event, Orton vs. Batista for the Bro Championship of the Broverse, wasn't going to work, and WWE knew that. So on the latest episode of Monday Night Raw, Daniel Bryan "occupied" the show and wouldn't leave until he got what he wanted: a match with Triple H at Mania. Hunter kicked and screamed, but he relented.
"Hunter, Hunter, Hunter..." Bryan said from the turnbuckle. "I misspoke earlier. That's not all I wanted."
"No way, they're not actually gonna do this," I thought as I watched. The cynic in me couldn't help but come out. "He's gonna ask to make it a no disqualification match or something."
Then he asked for the title shot stipulation, and Triple H went into full "hold me back bro" mode. The IWC gives Triple H an unfair amount of abuse, but I love the guy. He sold that entire promo beautifully, and it wouldn't have worked without him. Also, Stephanie McMahon...just, bravo.
But my elation quickly turned to an odd disappointment. "Well, now I know exactly how WrestleMania is going to play out. He'll beat Triple H and then win the title." A quick side note here: Triple H is NOT (I repeat...NOT) going to book himself to go over Bryan. That's a ridiculous notion I've heard too many times online in the past few days. Triple H might have an ego, but he's not insane.
Then, the thought crept into my mind that Bryan is in the main event, but he may not win the main event. Boo-tista could still hoist both belts at the end of the show. Think about it. What better way to extend this storyline then to have Bryan chase The Animal until SummerSlam? Hell, for all we know, Batista and the WWE may have agreed upon his victory at Mania as a condition for his return.
This is, of course, pure speculation on my part. The odds are that Bryan leads a raucous Yes! chant with a belt in each hand at the end of WrestleMania 30. But hey, WWE has swerved us in the past.
Also, this booking does wonders for Daniel Bryan. He's wrestling two of the highest-profile matches imaginable at possibly the biggest show in the company's history. This is Bret Hart/Hulk Hogan/Stone Cold/The Rock status we're talking about here. The next person that utters the words "Daniel Bryan" and "buried" in the same sentence without talking about his funeral needs to get a clue.
There's still time until WrestleMania 30, so we'll analyze the card in greater detail at a later date. For now, let's discuss this further in the comments section.