Daniel Bryan’s Best Option: Surrender The WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Posted by Greg De Marco on 05.26.2014
With injury potentially forcing Daniel Bryan to be stripped of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, the future of the bearded WWE superstar is in question. 411Mania's Greg DeMarco argues that surrendering the championships is the best thing for Daniel Bryan.
The current WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Daniel Bryan, is arguably one of the greatest in-ring performers of all time. Inside the ring few can call him an equal, and I personally can't think of one person who is better. Rarely has Bryan had a bad match, no matter the stipulation, size of his opponent or size of the crowd. He was amazing on the independents and he's been amazing in the WWE. He reached the pinnacle of pro wrestling—main eventing WrestleMania—and has since fought injury, family loss and a major surgery.
Both Daniel Bryan and the WWE are faced with a huge decision this week—the future of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Last Monday on Raw, Stephanie McMahon announced that Daniel Bryan would be stripped of the championship belts, and called for him to appear on Raw to give them to her.
And he should do just that.
Surrender vs. Stripping
This Monday on Raw, Daniel Bryan should open the show, walk down the aisle and surrender the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. He should lay both belts down in the center of the ring—not due to Stephanie McMahon's wishes, but of his own doing. He should make it clear that he is acting on his own accord: he intended to be a fighting champion and his surgery will not allow it. In fact, he could go as far as to say that after last Monday, he intended to keep the titles and return as soon as possible—but news from his doctor made that timetable less clear. The fans and the talent deserve championships to fight for, and he promises everyone that he will fight for them upon his return.
There should be no interruption by Stephanie McMahon. No Kane run-in. Give Daniel Bryan the stage he deserves and let the removal of the championship belts come as his own doing. Let him leave peacefully, with the promise that he will once again reclaim his glory. He was not stripped, he voluntarily surrendered the championships.
This is a logical choice, and really has nothing to do with his injury. That is a matter of convenience, and an easy way out. There are three very pointed reasons why this is best—not for business—but for Daniel Bryan.
Proper Recovery Time
If we've learned anything about Daniel Bryan over his career—even just his WWE career—it's that he's a fighter. He'd give anything to step foot in that ring, including risking injury and shortening his career. He is faced with exactly that now.
Holding onto the WWE World Heavyweight Championship while going through his recover and rehabilitation process is the worst thing he can do. It can easily lead to a hasty return, one that can ultimately be the cause of future damage and the premature end to Daniel Bryan's career. The man just had neck surgery. Call it routine of minimally invasive if you want...neck surgery is neck surgery. You've made millions and you've snagged yourself a hot wife. You're good, dude. Use all the time you need, and soak up the hero's welcome upon your return.
There's a lot of pressure that comes with being the company's top champion. Pressure that leads to poor decision making. Pressure that hurts careers. Pressure Daniel Bryan doesn't need in his life now. Remove the titles, remove the pressure.
De-Unifying The Championships
In an item completely unrelated to Daniel Bryan's injury, his vacating the championships allows them to be de-unified. I know, I know, everyone wanted the company to unify the championships to begin with. Well, it didn't work. The roster is as stacked as ever, with so much top flight talent that has already been placed above the Intercontinental and United States Championships. The World Heavyweight Championship is far more valuable being carried around by a #2 main event guy than it is being carried around in tandem with what's long been considered the more important title.
Having two Money In The Bank winners would have been the easiest (and most exciting) way to split the titles up again. But Option B ain't bad. Get creative in crowning the new champions. But keep them apart. The roster is easily capable of supporting two world titles.
Nothing Can Top WrestleMania...And Nothing Would Have To Try
All three members of The Shield went through hell at Extreme Rules to defeat Evolution. Daniel Bryan did it all by himself at WrestleMania XXX. He competed on the longest and third longest matches on the show. He pinned Triple H, suffered a brutal attack on his shoulder, then forced Batista to tap out. He knelt down on the announce table as 75,167 fans chanted "YES! YES! YES!" in unison over his triumphant WWE World Heavyweight Championship victory.
Seriously...what can top that? Who can Daniel Bryan defend his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against and see the result match what happened at WrestleMania XXX. The next closest thing would be a defense over CM Punk, and that's not likely happening any time soon.
Daniel Bryan was the ultimate underdog, and he came out on top. The Kane feud was largely panned, but even a more entertaining in-ring feud wouldn't have would compared to what happened at WrestleMania XXX.
Fact is, once Daniel Bryan won the belts, the story was complete. You can't do any better than that—and this way you wouldn't have to.