Originally published December 19, 2011 – Independent pro wrestling fans are rejoicing in the streets this morning as two of their biggest heroes are sharing WWE gold…at least for today. Daniel Bryan joined CM Punk in the WWE champions club after cashing in his Money in the Bank at WWE TLC 2011.
Bryan is the big story coming out of last night’s pay per view. Bryan cashed in his Money in the Bank to the surprise and delight of the Baltimore crowd and defeated The Big Show to win his first WWE world heavyweight championship just a few weeks after snapping a lengthy losing streak.
Bryan was not the first man to win the WWE world heavyweight title at TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs. The Big Show knocked out Mark Henry with a punch to win the gold in their Chairs Match. Henry brutalized Show with chair shots following their match, including a DDT on the chair. One Daniel Bryan chant later, and the American Dragon arrived to cash in!
Bryan came into the match and immediately went for a cover. Bryan got the 1-2-3 and became the new champion. Bryan got in Michael Cole’s face following the match and thanked the fans for supporting him. SmackDown has a new champion!
I am all for Bryan getting the title but the booking for Bryan will make it extremely difficult for him to be a successful champion. For one thing, the man had been recently booked on a lengthy losing streak. I couldn’t ever imagine 30, 20, even 5 years ago a guy being booked on a losing streak a month or two before winning the world championship. As exciting as this is for Bryan die-hards, the average WWE fan wearing a John Cena t-shirt will have a tough time seeing Bryan as anything but lucky.
Speaking of fans, if he is being booked to turn heel this is great, but it appears that he will remain a babyface after watching him thank the fans. Here is a guy that not only capitalized on an injured babyface, but also broke his promise to cash in Money in the Bank at WrestleMania 28. If he is going heel this is great, if not than the WWE is going to have a tough haul in getting him over as a heroic champion. I am sure the Camel Clutch Blog will have more on this over the next couple of weeks.
WWE posted a “fan cam” version of the win on their You Tube channel. Check out the embedded video below of Bryan celebrating his victory at Tables, Ladders, & Chairs 2011.
In the headliner, CM Punk retained the WWE championship defeating former champions Alberto Del Rio and The Miz in a Triple Threat Ladder Match. Punk climbed the ladder to retrieve the title in a fun main-event. This wasn’t the open-ended loss here I expected that would result in an upcoming feud between The Miz vs. Punk. I think it was decisive and strong for the WWE champion.
In the “special attraction” match of the night, Triple H defeated Kevin Nash in a Ladder Match with a sledgehammer up for grabs. Unfortunately a decent match will likely be remembered for the botched Pedigree at the end of the match thanks to Big Lazy. The match was a bit long for my taste but in the end it was a lot better than I ever expected it to be.
Daniel Bryan defeated The Big Show to win the WWE world heavyweight championship
Big Show defeated Mark Henry in a Chairs match to win the World Heavyweight Championship
CM Punk defeated The Miz vs. Alberto Del Rio in a Triple Threat Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match to retain the WWE Championship
Triple H defeated Kevin Nash in a Ladder match
Zack Ryder defeated Dolph Ziggler to win the U.S. Title
Randy Orton defeated Wade Barrett in a Tables match
Cody Rhodes defeated Booker T to retain the WWE IC title
Beth Phoenix pinned Kelly Kelly for the WWE Diva Championship
Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston defeated Primo and Epico to retain the WWE Tag Titles
Sheamus defeated Jack Swagger