Just 2 months ago, Daniel Bryan won the Intercontinental Championship at Wrestlemania 31 in a Ladder Match.Last night on RAW, injury forced him to relinquish the title and retire from in-ring action.
While his bowing out was expected at this point, it’s still a huge loss for the WWE Universe. He is also second high-profile WWE Superstar in 6 years–the last of course being Edge–forced to hang up his tights due to injury. This will not be the last you’ll se him, though: D-Bry was one of the Trainers announced during RAW for the relaunch of the TV series Tough Enough. No doubt WWE wants to keep him around to help promote the new show.
As for the rest of the roster, Triple H has everything under control. Damien Sandow, Naomi, Tamina Snuka (recently returned after being out for months due to shoulder surgery), The Prime Time Players (who recently got back together), Neville, Sheamus, Dean Ambrose and even Curtis Axel have all been getting alot of airtime. As Triple H promised, Divas Matches are no longer 5-minute matches. The Tag Team Division is getting competative now that Eric Rowan and Luke Harper have teamed up again and The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) defend the Tag Team Titles using the Freebird Rule.
Speaking of which, The New Day are the first 3-man team since The Freebirds to hold the Tag Team Titles. Under Freebird Rules, ALL of them are the Tag Team Champions. That means they can decide which of them will be involved in title matches. While I’m sure Kofi and Big E will take point as the vets, once Xavier gets more confident I’m sure he’ll get involved as well. It also helps The New Day are Heels as well so…yeah.
The collapse of The Authority is more or less a done deal: Triple H and Stephanie haven’t appeared much since Wrestlemania. Based on what Triple H said last night on RAW–by the way he’s Face now–he’s perfectly fine with that. I predict Seth Rollins drops the WWE Title at Payback. Shouldn’t be hard given he’s in a fatal four-way match with Randy Orton, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose. Yes, all three former members of The Shield are involved in the same match for the WWE Title. J&J Security look like they’re ready to ditch Seth Rollins at the drop of a hat.
As for Kane–who by the way, is Face for the first time since going corporate–I expect him to explode at Payback. His beef with the WWE Champ makes it obvious he’s done playing nice and is ready to put the mask back on. And this time, not even Steph and Junter will be able to stop him.
Oh! Before I forget: Lana’s turned Face! Lana’s been getting huge pops from the house crowd since Extreme Rules much to the Chagrin of Rusev. Lana is scheduled to leave for a month to shoot a movie with WWE Studios though it’s doubtful she will be in his corner when she returns. Now that she’s a Face I can FINALLY say Google “CJ Perry”. It will answer alot of questions about her pre-WWE days. She is American but is fluent in Russian–as is Rusev.
Rusev’s entrance at Wrestlemania is easily his biggest moment since he arrived on the scene last year: