When Daniel Bryan picked up the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XXX, nobody would have been able to guess that his first defense of the belt would be against Kane at Extreme Rules.
Kane came from absolutely nowhere to emerge as the contender for Bryan's first serious defense of the championship—albeit due to a number of circumstances.
The largest of those circumstances was without doubt the creation of Evolution vs. The Shield—which took all three of Bryan's real challengers out of the limelight in one swoop.
That left The Authority's other guy with the opportunity—and give credit to Kane, he really hasn't disappointed.
In fact, Kane has done such a good job that he should be given the opportunity to mix it up with Bryan over at least the next couple of months—which is effectively long-term in WWE circles.
The return of the masked Kane as opposed to the one in a suit and tie has brought the best out of him once again. He is ruthless, demonic and twisted—and that is what Kane has been about during his entire career. His best work comes when he is effectively unleashed and unchained, just as we are seeing right now.
The introduction of Brie Bella into the feud has added a nice twist, one which also brings the best out of Kane. Targeting opponent's loved ones is a ploy that Kane has employed for years and years, and it has once again delivered.
Above all else, Daniel Bryan vs. Kane at Extreme Rules would have to be deemed a roaring success. The fact that it was an Extreme Rules match helped, as both men really put their bodies on the line for the cause and produced a stunning match.
Hopefully a rematch is in the cards at Payback at the very least. Both men seem to be thriving in the feud, especially Bryan. He has been fighting what seems like the same men for the championship over the past six months—most notably Randy Orton.
Having a fresh contender makes things interesting for the championship, even if it is a veteran like Kane. His demonic side is coming to the fore once again, and it has made for a superb rivalry.
If the WWE is smart enough, this feud will play out for a good while yet. It would be a move that makes sense all around, as it would allow the excellent Evolution vs. The Shield rivalry to continue for a few more months, too.
When Kane was announced as the challenger at Extreme Rules, it was met with extreme skepticism. However, the feud has more than delivered.