Brie Bella adds another stick of dynamite for Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton to set off at WWE Battleground.
Infusing real life and storyline, WWE has incorporated Bryan's relationship with the former Divas champ into his rivalry with the merciless Orton. It's an addition that invigorates the feud, creates a new dramatic layer and will have the match mean even more.
On Monday's Raw, Orton encountered the Bellas backstage. He showed his fangs as he tried to intimidate Brie.
He slithered uncomfortably close to her aggressively asked when Brie and Bryan planned to get married. When she didn't answer quickly enough, he asked again, growling at her.
Brie's vulnerability juxtaposed with Orton's destructive capabilities made for a compelling moment. It echoed the tension created in another recent segment.
This is where bringing in Brie is a wise move.
The emotions of the match are suddenly amplified. Bryan has more reason to hate Orton and "The Apex Predator" is made to look even more dangerous, thanks to Brie's involvement.
Every time he nears her at Battleground, the tension will rise.
As unlikely as it may seem, one has to wonder if Orton will return to his most vicious state. He once drove Stephanie McMahon's head to the mat and then kissed her while she was unconscious while her husband was watching in handcuffs.
Would he ever do something like that to Brie? As intense as his glare at her on Monday's Raw was, it certainly felt like it.
Just teasing the return of that monster revs up the drama of the Bryan and Orton feud.
Should Bryan defeat Orton, he will look more like a knight fending off a beast. He's not only fighting against a man he's grown to hate and battling for the vacant WWE Championship, Bryan is eliminating a threat to his fiancee.
WWE can set Brie at ringside during the match at Battleground to echo the emotions simmering in the ring.
When Orton hurts Bryan with a power move or tortures him a submission hold, Brie can act horrified on the outside. She has a tendency to over vocalize in situations like these, but should she tone down her acting and simply exude concern, the match will be better for it.
Brie's addition to the rivalry also emphasizes Bryan's humanity.
When WWE Superstars battle in the ring, it can sometimes feel like we're watching characters from a comic book go at it. It's easy to forget that these are men with families, toiling day after day.
Putting Brie into the storyline reminds us that Bryan is a boyfriend, a fiance and under all the beard and boots, a dude trying to make a living. The way Cody Rhodes' marriage made his firing more dramatic, this feud uses Bryan's relationship to show the audience how much he has to lose.
If Orton looks like he is about to seriously injure Bryan, if he set him up for his devastating punt kick, having Brie cringing in the background can only add depth to the story inside the ring.
At the very least, it adds a refreshing change to their series of bouts.
Counting Orton's cash-in at SummerSlam, Battleground marks the third straight pay-per-view where these two rivals have collided. Add that to the times Orton and Bryan faced off on Raw and SmackDown earlier this year, and it becomes a clash in danger of becoming tedious.
Brie's involvement is something new, pushing the story in a new direction.
Monday's Raw saw Orton use Brie as a means to insult and goad Bryan. He said for Brie, that sleeping with Bryan must be like sleeping with a barnyard animal.
Acknowledging Brie and Bryan's relationship provides an additional button to push, another reason for these two men to hate each other.
The show ended with Orton destroying Bryan in front of the Biloxi, Miss. crowd. Brie ran down to attend to her man.
She was helpless as Orton hit Bryan with a DDT on the outside of the ring and sent him crashing through a table. She leaned over Bryan, concerned and scared, amidst the remains of a broken announce table.
This was a preview of the powerful images Brie can help create.
Brie can serve as a vital character in an unfolding drama, providing the heart to a story of violence and anger.
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