Daniel Bryan's victory over Randy Orton and Batista at WrestleMania XXX ushered in a new era for the WWE.
Often the underdog—for almost a year, in fact—Bryan's victory against all the odds confirmed what many WWE fans knew for a very long time: Daniel Bryan is over, big-time.
However, as is often the case with a guy who has worked tirelessly to become a champion, a period of reflection—and even change—is now required.
Bryan is at the top of the tree and the guy with a huge target on his head. That is a stark difference to the Daniel Bryan we have seen recently. Bryan has been the guy targeting the champion of late, but that has now all changed.
Looking long-term, it is difficult to estimate just how long Daniel Bryan will be champion. That should not be perceived as a slight, it is simply a reflection of WWE's current landscape.
One thing is for certain, though—Bryan is certainly going to be in control of the championship for the immediate future.
Indeed, it is hard to see how the WWE could even contemplate having Bryan drop the championship to Kane at Extreme Rules, an event that will provide the first real test of Bryan's championship credentials.
That is the first obstacle on the road to a pretty lengthy championship reign for Daniel Bryan. It is an obstacle that should be crossed with consummate ease, and he can look forward to the next few months with cautious optimism.
However, does the WWE need to change his persona for a title run to be a success? The immediate answer to that would have to be "yes," but with extreme caution.
The company has a guy on its hands who is the hottest thing since "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. That would immediately suggest that a change is not necessary, but it does need to address his underdog tag.
Having Bryan assert his authority on the company would be an incredibly smart move if it is planning to make him a credible champion. Make him wrestle on TV often, and have him win on TV as often as humanly possible.
Obviously, that cannot happen every single week due to storylines and rivalries developing, but WWE must make Bryan a strong champion.
If that happens, then there is every possibility that the company could have a long-term champion on its hands. You are talking SummerSlam and beyond, perhaps right through to the end of the calendar year.
After all, it is the least that Bryan deserves following a year of near misses.
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