Daniel Bryan wins the WWE title, will face Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/11/13/daniel-bryan-wins-the-wwe-title-will-face-brock-lesnar-at-survivor-series/

The WWE blew up their original plan for the Survivor Series with AJ Styles dropping the WWE title to Daniel Bryan on SmackDown in St. Louis.

The rematch between Styles and Bryan was set up during the opening segment and culminated with Bryan kicking Styles low behind the referee’s back and winning with the Busaiku knee.

The outcome sets up Brock Lesnar and Daniel Bryan to meet at Sunday’s Survivor Series for the first time ever. The two were scheduled to headline SummerSlam in 2014, but the match never happened due to Bryan’s health issues. Bryan was forced to vacate the WWE title that year and led to John Cena facing Lesnar instead at the event.

Styles had been the WWE champion for over one-year and plans for a rematch with Lesnar were thrown out the window Tuesday.

The card has seen a dramatic change after Becky Lynch was injured during Monday’s episode of Raw and will be unable to wrestle Ronda Rousey on Sunday and will be replaced by Charlotte Flair.

Earlier in the night, Bryan was removed from the men’s Survivor Series team and replaced by Jeff Hardy.

Let me be the first one to say this before literally every person involved with wrestling says this. Daniel Bryan (or any wrestler ever after a heel turn) is so much better as a heel and his mic work is so much more interesting. Now that I am the first to say this. What a shitty decision.

There was literally zero build to him turning heel. This is literally like the 6th major heel turn in the last two months. It is way too many all in a short period of time. I agree that despite this Daniel was kinda stale as face and a lot of juice he had was gone but for god’s sake at least build to it. Plus AJ held the belt for a year and you beat him with no build at all to a guy fucked the company over just last week. The first match after his heel turn is against a heel Brock also. How the hell is that going to work?

Did anybody else not like this at all or are you just dumb and enjoy weekly heel turns for no reason and irrational title changes?

It was dumb as fuck. I’m all for a heel Bryan eventually, just not anything like in this scenario.

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Wait. They turned him heel?

He lowblowed AJ and then destroyed him after the match.

I am all for heel Bryan. He was very ordinary after his initial return as a babyface and AJ has had a nice run at the top. This creates an interesting foil for AJ and the story is simple - Bryan snapped and wanted to be better than AJ. Weeks of build wouldn’t have worked for this and yeah he’s going against Brock another heel, but come Sunday who cares - Bryan vs Brock probably isn’t happening any other time in their careers so let’s just enjoy.

Weeks of build is especially needed for this kind of turn. When has the Daniel Bryan character ever shown this much desperation, just to be better than someone? They planted the seeds for it with Miz weeks ago and it was just dropped.

There is no story to be told with heel Bryan & heel Lesnar. We all know Bryan is just gonna lose. It was thrown together for no reason.


Survivor Series has become meaningless. I’m just saying the match is a one time deal and looking beyond that I think AJ is a stronger face having a good foil to chase heading through the winter.

Reading online tinfoils saying they booked this so Brock can beat up Bryan for real :joy::joy::joy:

I feel like this week as been a weird tribute to last year’s survivor series. With Brock killing Kinder and them switching the planned match a week or so before it.
I don’t mind Bryan as champ and I’ll be interested in him as a heel but I completely agree that this should have had so much more build.

The only rationale I can make is with Becky going down they had to make a more interesting match with world title. Since they did Brock/AJ last year I guess they needed a more interesting match. Still fucking stupid and I hate this. There should be a moratorium on how many heel turns they do from here on out.

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I’m of two minds.

You’re not wrong that this could have used a longer build. The end result suffered for, I think, a few reasons, and this was one of them.

That being said, though the execution could have been better, it’s at least nice to know that WWE creative is still capable of mapping out a storyline with distinctive story beats, each with a clear purpose and each pushing the story forward towards a definitive conclusion. I’ve gotten so used to the WWE establishing an angle and then for the next 4-5 weeks hammering us over the head with the same stagnant story beat.

It’s also rare that with the benefit of hindsight I am forced to give the WWE credit for a creative decision I originally hated.

When they first aired, I was ambivalent about both the MizTV segment with Bryan & Styles and the decision the following week to have Styles beat Bryan clean on a submission. In retrospect, both obviously make sense. Using Miz in the former as the viewer’s surrogate and to help massage their response was a nice touch.

You can pick apart either of these first two beats, just as you can pick apart the entire angle, but at the very least I can acknowledge that there was a method to the madness, which is something … I guess.

What really hampered this from coming to full fruition tonight, aside from the story needing more time to percolate, was the fact that the match was a dud. The crowd was also dead, which didn’t help. You needed a match that sucked viewers in and had them on the edge of their seats, so by the time Bryan reverses the ankle lock he lost on originally, you’re certain that he will win once he establishes his own hold. But then when Styles breaks out of that, you throw your hands in the air and in a frantic burst of frustration, confront the idea that if he doesn’t win in a situation so perfectly set up for a redemption narrative as this, then maybe he’ll never win. Which puts you in exactly the same state of mind that Bryan is in, allowing you to more acutely pick up on what he’s thinking after he low blows Styles and we get that close up of his face projecting a range of emotions.

But we didn’t get that match. We got a so-so contest that most people were probably watching half-heartedly at that point so when the moment of truth came, instead of instantly empathizing with Bryan and being able to read his expressions clearly, viewers perceived the whole thing as kind of underwhelming and fuzzy.

I thought Bryan handled it about as could be expected. Conveying his emotional journey from conflict, to ambivalence, to acceptance, and finally to sinister embrace using only facial expressions and all in a span of about 10 seconds could not have been easy, but he was up to the task. If people found it confusing, it was probably the set up that is to blame, not him.

I was at work and unable to see the show. However, I don’t understand the WWE Creative’s need to turn true babyfaces, heel. They ruined Bayley, turned Sami, Gargano, and now Bryan.

Bryans comeback has been underwhelming and stale…his persona itself was waning thin. All he had was the goddamn chant going for him lately. Sure wasn’t over anywhere else, his matches were all considered sub par and the audiences were not coming out to see his great comeback.

And people acting like the last minute change was somehow bad…I don’t get it, would you have rather they just a Raw invasion?

Yes, I’d rather have had a Raw invasion. At least there was reason for it. This is a heel turn, for the sake of being shocking and changing a show, with clearly no thought behind it. I agree that this was probably needed, but that doesn’t mean you should just go ahead and do it.

This guy totally looks like a fucking dork now. Miz said he wouldn’t do something like this and then he went and basically looks like he’s trying to prove him wrong.

Are we sure this was a last minute call? Isn’t it possible that this was the finish for Crown Jewel, but once Bryan was off the show, they couldn’t do the change the week before and then not have the WWE Champion on that card?

The apparent heel turn would have been out of nowhere then too, but at least there would be time before Survivor Seried to explain in the aftermath.

It’s very heel dominant in current WWE which isn’t a good thing.

This year’s Survivor Series card kind of reminds me of Survivor Series 1992 with all of the swerves and changes to the card that happened just before that event. Ultimate Warrior and Bulldog left just a short time before the show, and Mr. Perfect had to turn face and be used as a last minute replacement in a tag match. A main event match that didn’t have much of a story behind it (Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart).

Survivor Series is still intriguing enough to me on paper. I think both the Brock/Bryan matches and Rousey/Charlotte matches will deliver. Brock vs. Bryan is such an interesting dynamic. A recently turned heel Bryan vs. a monster heel Brock. I wonder how that match will play out. Perhaps Braun and/or AJ will get involved.