Daniel Bryan overcame The Authority, but he couldn't overcome neck surgery.
A little over two months after winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 30, Bryan was stripped of the title Monday night on Raw:
Dr. Joseph Maroon, who performed the surgery on Bryan's neck, announced in the Raw opener that the Superstar would be physically unable to compete at Money in the Bank.
Bleacher Report's Justin LaBar tweeted out that Maroon can now add "pro wrestling heel" to his decorated resume:
With Bryan out, the Money in the Bank Ladder Match will be for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Randy Orton and Alberto Del Rio were announced as the first two entrants:
Heading into the show, Triple H teased a major announcement to kick off Raw:
That immediately led many fans to speculate that Bryan wouldn't be able to go at Money in the Bank, which was corroborated on F4WOnline.com. WrestlingInc.com's Marc Middleton cited the report, saying Bryan's recovery from neck surgery wasn't going according to plan:
F4Wonline.com has confirmed the earlier report that Daniel Bryan will not be cleared to defend his WWE World Heavyweight title at Money In the Bank.
Bryan learned this bad news from his doctors this past Thursday or Friday and WWE officials were made aware also. It's expected that Bryan will be officially stripped on RAW tonight and that the Money In the Bank Ladder Match will officially be announced for the title.
Bobby Bamber of WrestleZone.com revealed a pretty disappointing stat when it comes to Bryan's WWE title reigns:
Daniel Bryan has been WWE Champion three times now, he's defended it once. That must be a record— Bobby Bamber (@BobbyBamber) June 9, 2014
With Bryan out of the title picture, it's anybody's guess as to who will hold the WWE World Heavyweight title next. But few current Superstars are in a position to hold the honor.
Orton, Triple H and The Shield are all involved in a storyline that should run through SummerSlam, independent of the title scene. Sheamus is holding the United States champion. Former WWE/World Heavyweight champions like Kane, Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, the Big Show and Mark Henry have all been out of the main event for too long to hold the biggest title in the company.
That pretty much leaves John Cena—unless Brock Lesnar makes a surprise return within the next month or so.
While Cena winning the belt would be a predictable outcome, he's at least a safe pair of hands with the title until WWE can create a more compelling storyline with fresh challengers.