Triple H’s lengthy beatdown of Daniel Bryan last week on Raw resulted in a (kayfabe) shoulder injury for WWE’s top babyface. The injury is just another caveat to Bryan’s hunt for the WWE title that will add drama to WrestleMania.
Bryan’s shoulder injury can be exploited for his ongoing storyline through WrestleMania, should he make it that far. In fact, the question of whether he will make it that far now means more because of his ailment.
A strong case can be made that Bryan will walk into his match against Triple H as the underdog. Per basic booking, WWE executive Triple H will figure to be positioned as a strong favorite by bell time. Being a one-armed competitor will only increase support for Bryan.
If that one-armed man manages to beat Triple H, the match itself will cause more damage to Bryan’s shoulder. Furthermore, a post-match assault would affect the suspense of Bryan’s chase.
On paper, it’s a foregone conclusion that Bryan will become the WWE world heavyweight champion once he is able to unseat Triple H. With a debilitating injury, however, one must stay tuned for the dramatic finale.
Imagine Bryan’s condition degenerating to the point where—after beating Triple H and suffering a subsequent attack (which could involve Dave Batista and Randy Orton)—he requires medical attention. If he’s nowhere to be found for the first half of the WrestleMania main event, this accomplishes several goals.
Triple H would come off as a dangerous, bitter heel despite losing. The Triple Threat match wouldn’t seem like so much of a formality, and fans would be treated to the canceled spectacle of a Batista-Orton match.
Every ounce of disapproval for Batista and Orton would be preplanned, and Bryan would be the only person able to save the main event with a valiant return. “Daniel Bryan” chants would actually mean something beyond trolling banter with fans urging their underdog hero to fight through the pain and compete.
Winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against all odds would be a fitting conclusion for Bryan.
By the WrestleMania main event, reaction to a second Bryan entrance would decline. If there’s uncertainty as to whether or not Bryan will be there, that entrance suddenly means everything.
A banged-up Bryan dragging himself to the ring, a failed attempt to slap on the Yes Lock and two heels working over his shoulder would instill the high level of drama required for this stage.
All would contribute to a monumental celebration if and when Bryan is able to overcome his added hurdles.