WWE fans witnessed the debut of Daniel Bryan as the newest member of The Wyatt Family on the January 6 edition of Monday Night Raw. The very surreal moment saw Bryan not only accompany the family to the ring but also compete alongside Luke Harper and Erick Rowan against Rey Mysterio and The Usos.
While this was just the first televised match in the Daniel Bryan era for The Wyatt Family, the fact is that bigger bouts and bigger Superstars could be on the horizon. And one of those Superstars could be the biggest of them all, John Cena.
The sight of a coverall-clad Daniel Bryan walking side by side with Bray Wyatt is likely something many fans thought they would never see. After all, Bray had spent several weeks trying to convince Daniel that he should turn away from the crowd that had supported him and go his own way.
Bray believed Daniel was being held back by the very machine he had been raging against for so many months. The head of the Wyatt clan was convinced that Bryan's true salvation was with him. The only way for Daniel to truly rise above his station was to follow alongside Harper and Rowan.
And truth be told, who was to say any differently?
Daniel Bryan had been the primary target of Triple H and The Authority since SummerSlam. Bryan was on cloud nine after winning the WWE Championship, and the crowd celebrated along with him. Finally, the hard-working hero of the independent circuit had won the big one. Finally, Daniel was being given what so many fans felt he deserved. He was on top of the world.
But that moment ended as soon as it began.
When The Game delivered the Pedigree to Bryan, allowing Randy Orton to cash in his Money in the Bank title shot, fans were stunned. Even though it was just the beginning of a larger storyline, so many fans truly felt this was highway robbery.
Bryan's role as the underdog was not just a role. The WWE faithful felt the odds were indeed stacked against Daniel from the very start. For them, the ultimate conclusion in the angle of Bryan versus The Authority was Daniel's WWE title win over Randy Orton.
But that win never came. Bryan's efforts were all for nothing, as Orton went on to unify the WWE Championship with the World Championship and fulfill his own role as Triple H's No. 1 Superstar. Meanwhile, Bryan was shoved back down to midcard status, a man with more unrealized potential than perhaps anyone fans had seen in years.
So why not join Bray Wyatt? Why not turn his back on the masses who chanted, "Yes" and supported him through the best and worst of times? After all, did they help him succeed? Was their love for him enough to conquer The Authority or perhaps give him an edge against them? No, not at all.
Who was to say Bray's path would be the wrong one?
But while we sit back and watch Daniel's transformation, I cannot help but believe John Cena will eventually have something to say about it all. While the truth is that John has had no heat with The Wyatt Family, he definitely does have a connection to Daniel Bryan.
It was John who did the job to Bryan back at SummerSlam that got the ball rolling on the angle with The Authority. And it was also Cena who supported Bryan. He openly endorsed Bryan to the company, and it was that belief in Bryan that led many fans to feel that he would eventually overcome and win the war with Triple H.
To see the direction Daniel is now going is surely not what John Cena expected from the man who had earned his respect at SummerSlam. And considering Cena has always been presented as the company's top babyface, I believe it's only a matter of time until Cena weighs in on the situation.
And that is exactly what Bray Wyatt's character is hoping for.
Daniel's first days with the Wyatts have not exactly gone smoothly. Daniel tagged himself in during the match on Raw, which led to a few tense moments in the ring between him and Luke Harper. When it was all said and done, the Wyatts left Raw with a loss.
The assimilation of Daniel Bryan is not going the way The Wyatt Family thought it would. He is a smart man with strong opinions and is not afraid to speak up when the situation calls for it. Bray knows this and understands that the only way to break Bryan is to turn him against his allies—namely, John Cena.
This accomplishes two things. The first, of course, is mentally tearing down Daniel to the point that he will have to act against John, to physically hurt him in order to belong to Bray. If he wants to fit in with The Wyatts, he must first take out Cena.
This also puts the biggest star in the industry right into Bray's path of destruction. The most vital cog in the WWE machine would be at the mercy of The Wyatt Family. Destroying the establishment's most iconic status symbol would be a major coup for Bray and would reinforce the notion that the Wyatts are the most counterculture faction that WWE has ever seen.
And it all begins with Cena. For Bray to fully indoctrinate Daniel Bryan into the family, he must set his sights on Daniel's friend and larger-than-life WWE icon John Cena. Only then will The Wyatt Family truly be able to absorb Daniel into its ranks and make a name for itself at the expense of the company's top star.