As a result of the excitement of the biggest WrestleMania event of the last three decades, I have decided to expand preview coverage to individual matchups. Today I preview and offer a prediction on Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE world championship.
[adinserter block=”2″]A few months back I don’t think anyone could have predicted that Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan would headline the SmackDown portion of the event. Bryan looked like he was one the way out of the main-event picture while Sheamus seemed like a babyface in limbo. To say this is something of a surprise would be quite the understatement.
This one has a real easy storyline to follow. Sheamus won the 2012 Royal Rumble. Sheamus eliminated Chris Jericho in what many called an upset. I think it is fair to say that Sheamus wasn’t highly considered to win the January event. Sheamus won, which earned him a championship shot at the champion of his choice at WrestleMania 28. He laid out Daniel Bryan at the Elimination Chamber which somehow made the match official.
The matchup itself is a fascinating story in that these two guys actually fought at WrestleMania last year. The big difference here is that they wrestled in the dark match last year. Never in the history of WrestleMania has a dark match returned the following year in a main-event. It is almost humorous to think that a year ago these guys weren’t even good enough to wrestle on the main show, while a year later they are good enough to headline for their brand.
I am a huge Daniel Bryan fan. As a pro wrestling announcer on the independents several years ago, calling Bryan’s matches in Ring of Honor, MLW, and other companies were some of the best I called. I was confident that once he got an opportunity in the WWE he’d make the most of it. He has and quite frankly, he has done better than I imagined. The character he plays gives added dimension to the man in my opinion who is truly the “best in the world.”
Sheamus is another interesting story. Sheamus came out of nowhere a few years back jumping from ECW to the WWE championship in a matter of months. Sheamus looked like he was on his way to becoming the next megastar in the WWE when he suddenly had the rug pulled out from under him. He spent the next year as a low-mid card wrestler before being turned into one of SmackDown’s lead babyfaces. He has been on a tear ever since and is really coming full circle with such a high profile spot in Miami.
[adinserter block=”1″]I expect nothing short of an excellent match between these two guys. The advantage they have over matches like Jericho vs. Punk is that these guys have worked together many times in the past. Both guys are hungry and will be looking to produce that big WrestleMania moment to remember. The only thing that would hurt these two is time. If their time is cut, we may all be in for a big disappointment.
Prediction: I look for Bryan to retain the championship at WrestleMania. It would appear that the WWE plans to keep Bryan strong over the long haul. Why wouldn’t they? You can always count on the guy to give you great matches and his character is getting over. The money with Bryan is in a Randy Orton feud so I’d expect him to hang on to the strap until that program comes full circle. I like Bryan to retain in a match that could potentially steal the show.