9. Daniel Bryan’s Return and Babyface Run
Speaking of Daniel Bryan, his return to the ring was nothing short of a miracle… but ultimately disappointing. I understood what the company was going for with his return at WrestleMania 34, having the fans clamor to see Bryan get his revenge on the dastardly heels, but it strongly backfired.
The fans just wanted to see Bryan wrestle a great match, not Shane McMahon punching air for what felt like eternity. Since then, Bryan’s face run was met with lackluster feuds and matches that cooled off one of the most beloved performers in the world.
His feud against the Miz should’ve been an easy home run, but it was plagued with silliness like the fake baby crap and the involvement of Maryse and Brie Bella.
The story could’ve simply been about two men who have no respect for each other inside the ring. The layers like the one mentioned above didn’t need to be added. The feud should’ve been a war where both men wanted to destroy each other.
In fact, once Miz was traded to the blue brand then it should’ve been addressed immediately. The eight-time Intercontinental Champion could’ve taken out Bryan on the night of his return to Smackdown thus questioning whether Miz had ended the former Smackdown GM’s career for good.
Miz’s motivation could’ve been jealously over how much the fans love Bryan even though he’s let them down time and time again. This would be a call back to their famous Talking Smack segment a couple of years back.
Keep Bryan away until around Summerslam when he returns by attacking Miz, with security stopping him of course. Then an unsanctioned match is made at Summerslam with Bryan coming out the victor.
This was perhaps the easiest feud for the company to book because the material was already there, but Bryan’s return and face run were lackluster. His heel turn is a breathe of fresh air – despite the randomness of it – and it’s good to see him back in a heel role as I enjoyed his heel World Title run with AJ Lee.
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