Two nights ago, Daniel Bryan yet again retained his title by disqualification when the Big Show ran into AJ Lee. Bryan made a huge deal about how he couldn't stand Show making the mistake and that he could just have the belt.
On the surface, it made Bryan look like a champion who didn't always do the right thing, but still cared about people more than championships when it came down to it.
But things might not be what they seem. In fact, they probably aren't.
And that could be a bad thing.
Bryan was backstage before his match with Lee before his match and mentioned that she said she loved him. Then he asked how much she loved him.
How much do you love me?
Hopefully, none of the men reading this article have used that line.
Unfortunately, everyone reading has heard it and seen its effects whether it was through a personal experience or watching it happen to a friend.
It is a line used by men who know that they can manipulate their significant other in any manner they want and get away with it. Used with the right character on Smackdown, it would be great. It has just enough real-world connection that it could make someone a great heel.
The problem is that the WWE let Daniel Bryan use it.
It was never shown what he talked to Lee about, but considering that Show ran into her, it seems obvious.
She is a wrestler herself and getting caught by him, while Bryan was running away, seems unlikely. It's more plausible to guess that Bryan convinced her to take the bump and get him out of the match with the title.
If Bryan was an established star, then it would be great and get him serious heat.
If Lee was an established female wrestler, then it would give her a more nuanced character for the fans to sympathize with.
Neither has really had a chance to make a impact with the fans, and to make them hated heels now doesn't make sense.
It will give them some heat for now, but to be hated and despised, someone has to have been adored first. Bryan was starting to get there as a plucky underdog with his equally underdog girlfriend.
Having Bryan face monsters with him stepping up each week and somehow winning with just technique and heart would have slowly gotten him a following. The same can be said of Lee.
Making them heels before they have had a chance to really connect with the fans will get them noticed more and net them more fan interaction, but it is the easy path.
It is easy to agitate people and get under their skin. I could write a bunch of articles that are meant only to frustrate fans and enrage them.
I could easily net 50,000 views with an article like The Undertaker was Never That Good: Why Fans Should be Glad When he Retires. The article obviously would do well, but it wouldn't really help me or those that read it. It would end up being a frustrating piece that benefited no one in the end.
The same thing is happening with Lee and Bryan. They are being set up to get serious attention, but the kind that is fleeting and isn't built to sustain anything.
Both of them are talented wrestlers with great personalities, but without a solid foundation, they will crumble.
All because they were pushed the wrong way.