For a time it looked like this episode of Monday Night Raw was preempted in favor of a very special showing of As the McMahons Turn. Pure soap opera was the story of the night.
Sure, wrestling matches were going on throughout the evening, but all anyone in the announce booth could talk about was Stephanie and Vince McMahon's decision to keep Triple H from wrestling Curtis Axel.
Are we in for a return to the Attitude era, when the McMahon family starred as the show's center point, the villains everybody love to hate (Vince) or just plain hated (Stephanie)?
Not if Daniel Bryan has anything to say about it.
The diminutive, absurdly bearded mat technician stole the spotlight with not one but two amazing matches, making sure no one left the arena with "McMahon" on the tip of their tongue.
That's the beautiful thing about being a truly great wrestler. A wrestling match has the power to transcend even the most mind-numbing material, to make it okay to watch television that sometimes seems to lack the Wizard of Oz essentials—heart, brains and courage.
A great match can teleport you into another world, where nothing else matters, where there is just Ryback, Bryan and a hot crowd. That's a good place to be.
Bryan gets an A+ on the night—but I didn't just grade the weak links. Every live segment was scrutinized and put under the microscope. Disagree with my decisions? Let me know in the comments.