By Jason Powell
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All signs point to Batista winning the Royal Rumble. Of the 20 advertised entrants (what happened to Bad News Barrett?), only Batista and C.M. Punk seem like realistic candidates to win. I am happy that Batista is back in WWE, yet I am praying that WWE has something hotter in mind for the Royal Rumble finish.
The time is now to reward the Daniel Bryan fans who have stood by their guy despite all of the clunky booking. The fact that he's not advertised for the Royal Rumble match and instead has a match against Bray Wyatt makes the surprise factor even great. Just imagine mega reaction there would be if Bryan's music hit and he entered the Rumble match.
I would even have the match come down to Bryan and Batista. Bryan would come out on top, leading to Batista giving Bryan the death stare after the match before shaking his hand and then respectfully raising it in victory. Meanwhile, I would have John Cena beat Randy Orton for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to set up Cena vs. Bryan at WrestleMania 30.
I'm sure WWE would like to do something with Cena and Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania, but Cena vs. Bryan is the most appealing title match the company has to offer. Surely they can find another spot for Hogan on the card that doesn't involve Cena. And I can't say I have any desire to see Orton vs. Bryan again in the featured match at WrestleMania 30.
Leading up to the Cena vs. Bryan showdown match, I would have Bryan establish that as much as Triple H and Stephanie McMahon do not want him to be champion, everyone knows the importance of WrestleMania to the McMahon Family, meaning he knows that it's the one time he doesn't have to worry about them sending in the goons or doing anything to tarnish the biggest main event of the year. Triple H and Stephanie can sell it in a way that tells viewers that Bryan is right and that they are handcuffed.
Yes, I would finally pull the trigger on Bryan capturing the championship and having a meaningful run with the title. I know everyone has been calling for Bryan to have that run for months, but I have always felt that making the fans wait would be the most rewarding approach (though this in no way validates the awkward path that WWE took to get us to this point).
This scenario even benefits John Cena, as I truly believe that back-to-back losses to Bryan at SummerSlam and then WrestleMania 30 would actually be good for his character. It would give Cena a real mountain to climb, as he would have a long term rival who has actually defeated him in two big matches, and thus it wouldn't feel like a foregone conclusion that Cena would win when they meet in future money matches.
Give Bryan his moment at WrestleMania 30 without any involvement from The Authority. Wait until Raw the next night to make it very clear that The Authority are going to send everyone they can at Bryan, starting with Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules. They don't need to overbook Bryan's title matches with a bunch of cheap run-ins because The Authority can simply express confidence that Lesnar and future opponents can defeat him.
If WWE wants to hold off on Bryan vs. Lesnar, then kick off the day after WrestleMania 30 by having Sheamus, the man who beat Bryan in 18 seconds WrestleMania 28, step up as The Authority's first handpicked challenger. There's big money (including WWE Network subscriptions) to be made with the simple David vs. Goliath formula, as Bryan could have money matches with Lesnar, Sheamus, Batista, Roman Reigns, and Big Show, plus some great traditional wrestling matches with Cena, C.M. Punk, Bray Wyatt, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and others.
This isn't far fetched fantasy booking from another online guy who worships at the alter of Daniel Bryan. This is truly what I believe is the best move that WWE could make for business in 2014. Will WWE take this approach? We'll start to find out at the Royal Rumble. Do I believe this scenario will play out? Find out later this week when I release my Royal Rumble predictions.
Powell's Blog: It's finally Daniel Bryan's time, the simple formula that will make him a money champion for WWE
Jan 21, 2014 - 11:45 AM
Jan 21, 2014 - 11:45 AM
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