WWE fans have had to get used to not seeing Daniel Bryan appearing on Raw in recent months as the popular Superstar continues to work towards yet another injury comeback.
If the Yes! Movement leader had gotten his way when making his original return earlier this year however, the WWE Universe might have had to get used to never seeing the star under the red Raw banner ever again.
Speaking to the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast this week, Daniel Bryan revealed he would "much rather there have a brand split" between RAW and Smackdown - the bearded wrestler explaining that he wanted to work exclusively on the latter when he came back to win the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania.
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"One of the things I wanted to do when I came back (from injury), was do something with the Intercontinental Championship," Bryan told the host.
"And my big spiel, my big pitch for this thing, like, I want to be the Intercontinental Champion and I only want to be on Smackdown. I don't want to be on RAW."
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Hearing a former WWE Heavyweight Champion go on record to say he wanted never to appear again on the WWE's biggest regular show may shock some fans.
Bryan, though, made clear the previous format - RAW and Smackdown were split brands with different rosters up until 2011 - had been integral in his rise to the top:
"I want to be on Smackdown because one of my things was I would never have gotten the opportunity if there wasn't split brands.
"If there wasn't two (world) titles. If there was just the one main title, (WWE) would never, ever given me the opportunity."
Daniel Bryan has certainly been an unlikely hero in the WWE, his rise to the top powered by the fans rather that the WWE hierarchy.
And, in explaining his wish for the IC title to be the main Smackdown belt, the wrestler outlined that spliting the brands would allow wrestlers who might be struggling for big matches right now the opportunity to develop:
"People like Cesaro, people like Cody Rhodes, you know, people like Ryback. Give them these opportunities to carry a show like they carry a program and it would just be good for everybody, and, not only that, good for morale."
Bryan certainly makes some valid points but whether the WWE would be willing to back track on a decision meant to make the WWE brand stronger remains unlikely.
WWE fans: Would a split between RAW and Smackdown be good for the WWE? Have your say in the comments below...
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