As revealed on Tuesday’s episode of SmackDown Live, the WWE took the decision to turn Daniel Bryan heel and make him the new WWE Champion.
This decision, which didn’t come as a surprise for many wrestling fans, enables the creative team to work on new storylines, since Bryan is expected to be a fighting champion that will often defend his title on SmackDown Live.
I guess the company had Bryan turn heel and win the title prior to Survivor Series in order to avoid a rematch between Lesnar and former WWE Champion AJ Styles.
Bryan lived up to the expectations, as his match with the Beast Incarnate was one of the best of the pay-per-view.
If rumours are to be true, Bryan himself was the one that proposed this idea and Vince McMahon decided to go ahead with this and get maximum effect, especially with Becky Lynch out with injury.
Now, with the next pay-per-view, TLC, fast approaching, the WWE will likely focus on presenting Bryan as the top heel, who will do everything to remain on top and become the face of the company.
This was obvious with the way he defeated Styles and claimed the title, which would be unlikely to happen when he was a babyface.
The WWE has already revealed that Styles will evoke his rematch clause at TLC and challenge Bryan for the WWE Championship.
In addition, the outcome of this match will determine whether they will continue with this feud until the Royal Rumble or they will have another superstar of the roster (maybe Samoa Joe or Rey Mysterio, or Randy Orton?) become the number one contender.
It will not be a surprise either if the WWE decides to go with Bryan as the champion until Wrestlemania 35 and have him face SmackDown Commissioner, Shane McMahon (with Shane as babyface).
This was a match that the company had originally planned for Wrestlemania 34, but they changed it and made it a tag-team match, with Shane and Bryan as tag-team partners.
The company’s decision to turn Bryan heel was smart, given the latter had nothing more to accomplish as babyface.
Either on RAW or SmackDown, Daniel Bryan had a babyface role (either facing the Authority, or as GM of SmackDown or fighting against the Miz, and more), which fulfilled it in the best way possible. So, this change helps him also create a new profile and get away with his previous “Yes” movement.
Overall, Bryan made a great start as heel on SmackDown, but he now has to prove that he can be consistent in his role.
Otherwise, and if Vince McMahon sees that this change is not working the way he wanted to, then it is not unlikely Bryan will again become babyface from Royal Rumble onwards.