Daniel Bryan main-evented WrestleMania 30 last year and overcame all the odds to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, but as things stand off the back of WWE’s Fast Lane Pay-Per-View, Bryan doesn’t have a place on the match card for WrestleMania 31 at the end of March.
Bryan blew his chance at redemption last night at Fastlane when he couldn’t overcome the 2015 Royal Rumble winner, Roman Reigns, to book his place in the main event at this year’s Mania against Brock Lesnar.
Bryan got through everything The Authority threw at him before last year’s WrestleMania. He beat Triple H at the start of the show before going on to beat Batista and Randy Orton in the main event to be crowned the new champion, before having to relinquish the belt just over two months after winning it due to an injury.
An injury to Bryan’s neck forced him out of action, giving the opportunity to The Authority to strip him of his title and get what they wanted, the end of the Yes Movement. However, the Yes Movement wouldn’t be stopped and fans continued to chant for Bryan even when he wasn’t there.
Bryan returned tot the ring in January after more than six months out and entered the Rumble only to be eliminated after 10 minutes, which left the WWE Universe angered. That was Bryan’s chance to get in the main event at this year’s Mania and get his title back, the one that he never actually lost to Brock Lesnar.
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However, he was handed a lifeline in the form of a number one contender’s match at Fast Lane against Reigns. Reigns won the match fair and square and will head to the Levi’s Stadium on March 29 to face the Beast Incarnate at WrestleMania 31 for the World Heavyweight title.
But what of Daniel Bryan?
Obviously there is five weeks until the big event, and there is no way that Bryan won’t be wrestling on the show, but at the moment, he doesn’t have an opponent and is not involved in any storyline with anyone else.
The leader of the Yes Movement is one of the most talented wrestlers on the roster so he needs to be on the Mania card, and he needs to be in a match with a credible opponent. At the moment it looks like there is only one option considering the likes of Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt are all going to be involved in other matches.
That leaves the door open for a potential match between Bryan and Dolph Ziggler. The ‘Show off” Ziggler has been part of an ongoing feud with Ryback and Erik Rowan battling Big Show, Kane and Seth Rollins which looks to have culminated with a six-man tag match at Fast Lane which saw Show, Kane and Rollins win. However, it was Ziggler and Rollins who carried that match.
That storyline has ran its course now and both Ziggler and Bryan need a new focus. It wasn’t that long ago when Ziggler sent a tweet to Bryan after the Rumble saying “if you want to steal the show at WrestleMania, I’m here”, to which Bryan replied with “I’m in”.
Other events have transpired since then which has meant that had fallen by the wayside but it seems to be back on WWE’s radar now. It makes perfect sense to have the two battle it out at Mania and it could produce a timeless classic that could rival some of the great matches between Shawn Micheals and Bret Hart over the years.
There is no doubt that of the matches already confirmed for Mania and those that are highly likely, i.e Lesnar vs Reigns, Triple H vs Sting, Wyatt vs Taker, Orton vs Rollins and Barrett vs Ambrose; Ziggler and Bryan would steal the show.
There needs to be a reason for that match though, it can’t just be for the sake of it, and WWE has the time now to build the story in the run-up to Mania to hype this clash. Whatever WWE decide is the plan of action should lead to a lengthy match at Mania so that the pair can show the WWE Universe how good they are.
An Iron Man match?
There have only been nine Iron Man matches in the WWE and the last was six years ago. Only one has ever taken place at WrestleMania way back in 1996 and that was the classic that was Michaels vs Hart. But an Iron Man match would be the perfect type of match for Bryan and Ziggler. The winner of their match should be a close call and an Iron Man match would provide the opportunity to show just how close they are, they could even battle out a draw.
It is unlikely to be an Iron Man match, but still, it would be great. Whatever the match is there needs to be a goal, why are they wrestling? Perhaps it could be the case that the winner becomes the number one contender for the World Heavyweight title. Or if it’s not an Iron Man match but instead a normal singles match, we could see a repeat of last year, with the winner of the Ziggler/Bryan match inserting themselves into the main event like Bryan did at WrestleMania 30.
There are many possibilities but the WWE have to do something to give the WWE Universe what they want, which is to see Bryan and Ziggler at the top of WWE, they can’t keep beating them down, can they?