On Monday night, in light of issues with the the roadblocks Daniel Bryan has encountered during his physical therapy after his neck surgery, he was stripped of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
As announced as the contingency plan last week, the title will be on the line at Money in the Bank in a seven-man ladder match.
The biggest problem with the execution of the storyline is that it seems like there was no consideration given to the idea that Bryan wouldn't be ready for Money in the Bank until right after Payback.
Unless there's a chance she needs to be at home to help her husband during his recovery, what was the point of Brie Bella quitting to save Bryan's title reign? It was rendered pointless the next night when Stephanie McMahon announced that Bryan was being stripped of the title if he wouldn't be ready by the 28th.
This is not exactly that type of situation, but old-school wrestling logic suggests that when there's an injury replacement, the babyface replacement wins.
With three spots left, the only babyface announced for Money in the Bank so far is Sheamus, though Cesaro is obviously on his way to turning sooner or later.
Randy Orton winning the title would be the worst possible scenario for everyone. Short of Cesaro winning or Seth Rollins being added to the match and getting the title, no heel should get it in the first place.
Orton would just be a monumental mistake. He's completely flat as a character, has been a negative draw in the past and seemingly wasn't missed when he'd be off TV for weeks during the WrestleMania build while he was world champion. Think about that for a minute.
Of the guys in the match right now, Cesaro makes the most sense of the heels by far. He's the freshest and has been kind of treading water lately.
I'd even go as far as to say that while WWE clearly had good intentions, pairing him up with Paul Heyman instead of turning him full babyface at WrestleMania weekend was a mistake.
He needs to be positioned as a big star again, and nothing would do that better than giving him the title.
For the happy-ending route, I don't think Sheamus works. He's long since ceased feeling like a world-title-level guy and it would seem like a desperation move. He's talented, but he doesn't click as a main event babyface.
As for the remaining spots, even if you're sick of John Cena, he's the man for the job if the goal is to put the title in a holding pattern.
The problem with that plan is that the the system of having Cena and the champion headlining each house show tour would be disrupted. As currently slotted, there really aren't any other top-tier babyfaces available, though.
Giving the title to Roman Reigns would be way too early, and Dean Ambrose just doesn't fit.
WWE is in a bind. The available choices are too stale or too rushed—except for if Rollins gets added, since he is already the de facto top heel and on a quick ascent. Rollins would also be a great potential opponent for Bryan when he returns, as they've had tremendous chemistry in the past.
What if he's not added to the match, though, and WWE just wants to keep the belt warm? It has to be Cena.
The Shield can headline the other house show tour, and when Bryan's healthy, he can beat Cena to win the title. Again.