The WWE world championship is in limbo today as Daniel Bryan recovers from neck surgery. The time table for his return is a mystery and the WWE will announce tonight how they plan to handle the title situation. Will the championship be stripped from Bryan?
If you were going to play this one strictly by the storyline, the WWE world championship is leaving Bryan’s waist. Why wouldn’t the Authority use this injury as an opportunity? It isn’t talked about often in this era, but there has always been a 30-day rule regarding champions. Champions had to defend their belts within 30 days or the belt would be stripped. The story is here if you are going to connect the dots but connecting the dots isn’t always what’s best for business.
The biggest problem is what do you do if you take the belt off of Bryan? Do you crown a new champion temporarily only for Bryan to come back and beat this guy? Does the new champion become the face of the company as the creative team turns the page on Daniel Bryan? Do you dare go the route of an interim champion and do a title vs. title match? It isn’t as easy as it looks.
If you wanted to get some mega heat you may wind up putting the title on Triple H. What would anger Daniel Bryan fans more than this move? The move makes sense and it sets up a big match with Bryan vs. Triple H on a special event. I mean let’s face it. If the Authority were a real deal than somehow or another Trips would be leaving RAW with the belt.
I think the bigger question here is if this is the end of Bryan’s run on top. Let’s call a spade a spade. The WWE never planned the Yes Movement. It just happened. Bryan was originally scripted to wrestle Sheamus at WrestleMania 30. Circumstances took over and the company went with the hot hand. How much they truly believe in Bryan is another story. If they don’t, and some believe they genuinely don’t, than Bryan could be in big trouble.
That said, the company has made a huge investment in Bryan. The payoff at WrestleMania is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Bryan went over Triple H, Batista, and Randy Orton in one night on the biggest event of the year. That night becomes a footnote if Bryan were to lose the title so quickly due to an injury that will put him back in the ring in a few weeks.
No matter what happens it is important to maintain Bryan’s credibility and create a quick path back to the title when he returns. Anything less just doesn’t seem right.
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