Daniel Bryan is the new WWE champion—for now.
And thus, the WWE Championship has been soiled.
After pinning Randy Orton at Night of Champions, his character has now picked up clean victories over both Orton and John Cena at back-to-back PPV events.
Bryan is the most over man in the company right now, and the WWE opted to pull a shocker by awarding him the championship months before most expected.
The momentum of his feud with Orton has now taken a U-turn, and we'll see what happens on Monday Night Raw in respects to a three-count that came suspiciously fast.
The issue here isn't Bryan winning the championship because of a fast referee count.
The issue here is Bryan holding the WWE Championship all together.
Quickly to be dismissed as "hating" or "Orton bias"—there's a strong foundation to the argument against Bryan's credibility in respects to being WWE champion.
- He's too short.
- He's too small.
- His image is poor.
- His character has shallow-depth.
- His "underdog" persona is tailor-made to last short term.
I've expressed this point of view—much to the chagrin of Bryan's fanbase.
If the company has decided to ride the momentum Bryan has built over the past two months, the end result is inevitable. Because for so much as his character has been able to generate excitement from the crowd, reliance on his portrayal as an "underdog" and elementary catchphrases leave the "Daniel Bryan product" with a very shaky foundation that great technical ring-skills can not compensate for.
Reality is: His character was more popular chasing the championship he never should have won.
No doubt the fans will be excited come tomorrow night—that's to be expected.
For Bryan, it's no longer a matter of "overcoming the odds," as it is overcoming his own limitations as a character. He is one of the best in-ring technicians in the business, and no one has short-changed him his just due there.
They've even worked it into the storyline.
But ask CM Punk, who was a great in-ring technician for years before he became a force to be reckoned with in the industry—it's going to take a lot more than what we've seen from Bryan "in the ring" for him to become "the face of the WWE."
Ryan Michael is a Senior Writer for Bleacher Report.