LaBar: Bryan winning world title at WrestleMania 30 is only option
The Daniel Bryan fan base and the CM Punk loyalists have forced WWE into a corner.
The original plan was for CM Punk to face Triple H at WrestleMania. It apparently wasn't good enough for the straight edge star who had been down that road before. To me, it's a guarantee WrestleMania match that won't get cut due to time or politics.
As it stands, Bryan is on a collision course with Triple H. I like this.
These two have had a feud brewing whether they planned for it or not. Triple H cost Bryan walking out of SummerSlam in August with the world title. Triple H has been designated the villain via the online wrestling community which populates Bryan's initial fan base. The two have created a classic wrestling battle where they've barely touched each other while obviously being at odds.
WWE is trapped with the predicament of Triple H and Bryan needing to resolve their issues. At the same time, WWE doesn't have a babyface for its inaugural WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania 30.
Vince McMahon has held true to something: that at WrestleMania, the fans go home happy. This means no forced heel agenda.
The Miz left WrestleMania 27 as the champ, but The Rock and John Cena left a story to be completed which was addressed the next night and culminated in a match made for the following year.
WrestleMania 17 saw Steve Austin turn heel, but even then, it was the biggest babyface ever winning the title, aligning with McMahon and a supporting population remained for him.
WrestleMania 30 is not going to be without a babyface in the world title match. WrestleMania 30 also will not feature a “leave them hanging” type of promotion if Bryan wins a match. This means no goofy stipulation such as if he wins he gets a title shot later in the night.
WWE is all about what it can promote. It wants to advertise, print on shirts, print on programs, hold press conferences. Randy Orton defending against Batista is not it. Even the WWE brass knows it.
WWE needs to have Triple H and Bryan meet in the ring. By accident or design, the two have been the focus of a great story. The established jock in charge putting down the popular underdog.
WWE also needs Bryan in the title match. Cena is tied up with Bray Wyatt. CM Punk is busy being a child. Bryan is the best and only fit good guy to make people care about the first unified world title match in over 10 years on the biggest WrestleMania ever.
The stipulation of Bryan beating Triple H to earn his way to the world title match doesn't make sense. WWE can't capitalize on what people don't know. Let them know Bryan is going to be in the title match. It provides better buzz.
Bryan could pull a Bret Hart of 1994 by competing in both a grudge match and a title match. Hart fought his brother Owen in the opening bout in what I feel was one of the best stories ever told. He then went on to win the world title from Yokozuna.
If he doesn't do that, the only other option is for the world title match to be turned into a fatal four way: Batista, Orton, Bryan and Triple H. You might groan, but it does raise the interest of what could happen.
No way around it, WWE needs a babyface. It won't bill a title match without one.
Look at history: WWE rarely likes to end WrestleMania without a babyface going over.
Bryan's popularity continues to rise. His merchandise continues to rise. CM Punk is gone. The only thing stopping him is The Undertaker's match ending the night. As much of a draw as The Undertaker is, pyro celebrating him beating Brock Lesnar for this 22nd win at the event isn't enough.
Bryan walks out of WrestleMania 30 as champion. There is no way around it. WWE knows it needs to end the epic event on that kind of note. Now, if he loses the belt the next night on RAW, I got nothing for ya.
Justin Labar is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7949 or firstname.lastname@example.org.