I don't watch WWE's shows live a lot these days. I made an exception last night as, for whatever reason, I found myself having SmackDown on.
It's actually been a theme during my wrestling fandom that whenever I just happen to put it on after an extended period of time of not really following it, something major happens.
And such was the case this time, as well.
Not only did a world title switch hands on a random episode of SmackDown, which in and of itself is rare enough, Daniel Bryan turned heel in the process as he took the belt from AJ Styles.
I've seen a lot of different reactions to this online, and since I do want to post about wrestling more on Scorum, I decided to give my own thoughts since I finally feel like I have something to say.
I like it!
I was excited to see Bryan get medically cleared to wrestle earlier this year, but I must admit: his big return thus far has been rather lukewarm. Not bad, per se, but nothing amazing, either.
We saw his big underdog story reach its apex in 2014, so going back to that well just seemed blah. I understand that people like Bryan the plucky underdog as the heroic babyface that everyone can relate to, but there's only so much you can do with a character like that until it becomes stale.
And let's not pretend Bryan's pops have been what they were in 2013-2015.
If you constantly push someone in the main event scene as the underdog, you'll eventually run into the problem of the underdog always winning, which makes him not the underdog anymore.
That has been the case for guys like Cena, Roman, Rey, and others.
So, all in all, I say it's the right call. There are a lot of different ways the story can be written from here. Bryan spent two years on the shelf, got desperate and obsessed about becoming the WWE Champion, which drove him off the deep end.
Or maybe he just doesn't like AJ Styles personally.
And heel Bryan, to me, has always been the best Bryan. I know it's a cliché to say that "X is better as a heel", but in Bryan's case, I feel that it's true. He's a great babyface, but as a heel, he really shines.
Meltzer reported that it a heel turn was something Bryan himself had been pushing for, so one would think that he's highly motivated to make the heel run work.
I don't watch much WWE anymore these days, but this certainly makes me want to check out Survivor Series, and the SmackDown following Survivor Series.
A few things to note, however.
The concussion-prone Bryan vs. Brock Lesnar seems rather risky. And the PPV after Surivor Series is the TLC one, and since one would assume AJ will get his rematch, the potential of a TLC type match between AJ and Bryan makes me fear for Bryan's health.
But I guess the WWE doctors know better than me.
If you follow WWE, let me know how you felt about the heel turn from out of nowhere.