WWE Hell in a Cell signed off with an apparent heel turn when Shawn Michaels cost Daniel Bryan the WWE Championship via superkick.
It was the type of newsworthy finish sure to stimulate a post-pay-per-view audience on Raw. That finish has eluded WWE for the past two pay-per-view cycles, because while fans were talking, they were doing so for all the wrong reasons.
No outrageous demand for refunds will dominate post-Hell in a Cell headlines. Instead, reactions to Michaels' foreseen-by-some-yet-still-improbable heel turn will.
During the closing moments, Michaels sold a ref bump more than Lex Luger sells a slap. Leading up to Sunday's pay-per-view, fans had been treated to archival footage of the WWE legend surviving a fall from atop a cell structure. The extended sell job from a simple ref bump had to be either an overdramatized insult to intelligence or part of a setup.
Shockingly, it was the latter. And one Hell of a sell.
Bryan finally laid out Triple H with a running knee as Michaels "came to." With one swift kick to Bryan's temple, Michaels became a villain for the first time since his tension-filled 2005 feud with Hulk Hogan.
Will Shawn Michaels' heel turn hurt Daniel Bryan moving forward?
Michaels' full-fledged turn indicates he will be on television for the foreseeable future. His actions were a clear-cut indictment on his integrity, but HBK appeared conflicted as he solemnly retreated up the stage.
Michaels' explanation and possible heel christening is a must for this angle to maintain its newfound momentum.
Everything from a bigger, stronger "Authority" stable to a possible Michaels return to the ring will feed the speculation machine.
WWE created an explosion so loud, fans can no longer hear the unproductive noises of Battleground or Night of Champions.
To borrow a cliche, Michaels turning heel is what's best for business.