Will it be Yes or No for Daniel Bryan in 2014?
When Daniel Bryan won the WWE World Heavyweight Title at Wrestlemania XXX, fans and pundits alike called it one of the most memorable Wrestlemania moments for years.
He even managed to somewhat upstage the ending of The Streak, such was the passion felt by the fans who were ecstatic to see his final victory over the scheming Authority.
But when world champion Bryan announced just days later that he needed neck surgery, we faced a long wait to see when he would return.
With Bryan’s absence growing ever longer, can we expect to see him wrestle again in 2014?
Put bluntly, no. According to WrestlingInc.com Bryan is expected back at around the same time as fellow babyface Roman Reigns, who missed his scheduled bout at Night of Champions after undergoing surgery for a persistently painful hernia surgery the day before.
It seems that the current plan among WWE top brass is to have Reigns win the Royal Rumble 2015 and successfully challenge world champion Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 31. While it would be interesting to see Roman Reigns win the world title next spring, I must confess I’d rather see Bryan in that slot.
In the run up to Daniel Bryan defeating John Cena for the world title at Summerslam 2013, the man was over. He stayed over right the way up to Wrestlemania XXX – a very tough task to accomplish when the Authority plays out the meta-angle that he’s just not the man for the job.
The WWE has historically had a ‘type’ that the likes of Bryan and CM Punk just don’t fit into; huge, muscled guys like Batista, Lesnar and – yes – Roman Reigns.
Unlike Reigns, who is now the next pick for the world title by the creative team, Bryan earned his spot by sheer fan support, not to mention his phenomenal in-ring ability.
Reigns doesn’t have anywhere near the levels of fandom that Bryan enjoyed during his run to Wrestlemania glory, but perhaps he’ll get there somehow once he’s back in the New Year.
Until then, that top babyface spot is open, and there’s no question that Dean Ambrose is the man to step up. His feud with former teammate Seth Rollins is keeping the ratings up right now. It’s a shame that WWE seems to prefer Reigns to his fellow Shield guys, but I’m sure Rollins and Ambrose can help change opinion in the next few months before Reigns gets back.
As for Bryan, we can but hope that he’ll actually be in the 2015 Royal Rumble at the very least.