Even as its top champion, WWE still is treating Daniel Bryan like a sideshow.
On the day after he locked horns with Kane at Extreme Rules, Internet reports are circulating that WWE wants to book the two again in a “Buried Alive” match at June’s Payback. The premise to this gimmick is just as it sounds – the winner is the one who can “bury” his opponent alive in a mock grave. It’s the type of match at which Kane’s storyline brother Undertaker excelled.
He just came off a gimmick match, aptly titled “Extreme Rules,” against Kane at Sunday’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view. And if the truth be told, it was not really that great of a match – decent but certainly nowhere near the excitement level of the John Cena-Bray Wyatt cage match or the Shield-Evolution arena-wide brawl.
It’s being reported WWE is considering a second Kane match because there is a possibility that Dave Batista will not be around for the pay-per-view. WWE wanted to book Batista against Bryan in the main event, but Batista is about to embark on a press promotion tour for his new movie. That junket could start sooner than originally planned.
Plus, it also is being reported that Batista is not keen on the idea of jobbing to Bryan at Payback. His ego is telling him that he should come back as a champion, not as a loser.
Bryan has a reputation of being a good soldier for WWE and rarely questions the angles the company gives him. But if he wants his long-awaited title reign to have any sort of legitimacy to it, then he has to ask WWE to keep him out of gimmick matches.
A match against Batista just makes more sense and would, in the words of The Authority, be “best for business.”
First, a Bryan-Batista match best reflects the title of the pay-per-view – Payback. Remember that it was Batista’s character who felt like he got shafted at WrestleMania XXX when Bryan was inserted at the last minute into his championship match against Randy Orton. It also was Batista who tapped out to Bryan’s Yes Lock that secured the title victory for Bryan.
Having Bryan one-on-one in the ring in a pay-per-view main event would be great “Payback” for the Animal.
As long as the match is entertaining, I do not think anyone would consider a Batista loss “jobbing” to the champion. Quite the contrary. It also would be the perfect send-off for Batista’s press junket by having him battle tooth and nail against Bryan and come away from the match with a storyline injury that requires some storyline time off.
Second, a Bryan-Batista match could be the start of bringing the whole Bryan-Authority plot full-circle.
It was at last year’s SummerSlam when Triple H “screwed” Bryan out of the championship by hitting the Pedigree on him and enabling Orton to leave Los Angeles with the title. Some could say Bryan got his revenge on the Authority by beating Triple H first, then Batista and Orton at the end of WrestleMania XXX.
But the story does not seem fully closed. The circle needs to be completed.
Why not have Bryan face Batista at Payback and beat him, then have him face Orton and win at Money in the Bank, and then finally close the circle with a victory over Triple H at SummerSlam? Doing that adds much more legitimacy to Bryan’s championship portfolio than gimmick matches against Kane.
Lastly, having Bryan face Kane again almost is a lose-lose situation.
It is no secret that Kane is closing in on retirement. He obviously did not want to go out as a corporate goof but as the monster that the WWE Universe has grown to know and love.
He might not have won Sunday’s Extreme Rules match, but he really did not lose, either. Sure, Bryan won the match cleanly as he should have done, but Kane channeled Undertaker when he sat up in the middle of the ring afterward and showed that he had not been —and will never be – beaten.
Everyone wants to close their career as a winner. If Kane were to face Bryan again at Payback, he certainly would be expected to lose. Would he want to punctuate an expected ride off into the sunset with an “L?”
I do not think so.
He left WWE four years ago on not-very-good terms. WWE has a way of making disgruntled employees look very bad – just look at CM Punk.
If Batista backs down, then the title of another WWE-based show would fit him pretty well.
Bill Atkinson is a contributor to Camel Clutch Blog and the owner of WrestleWatch, a family-friendly wrestling web site. Follow Bill on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963 and visit WrestleWatch at www.wrestlewatch.com.
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