Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were all smiles on the June 9 edition of WWE Monday Night Raw. The reason for their happiness was due to the fact that Daniel Bryan had to be stripped of the WWE World Championship because he still is not 100 percent following neck surgery.
And while fans in the building booed in protest and fans at home likely hurled obscenities at their TV's, the fact is that The Authority just kept laughing. But for many fans, the jokes need to stop and the believability needs to begin. WWE needs a corporate babyface to counteract The Authority.
The idea is certainly a long time coming for many that just cannot take it anymore. After all, The Authority's power mad reign has been happening since SummerSlam in 2013. That was the night that Triple H delivered the Pedigree to Daniel Bryan, allowing Randy Orton to get the pin and the WWE title.
From that moment to this one, The Authority has been calling the shots on WWE programming.
They have lied, they have cheated and they have manipulated. If a situation was not to their liking, then they fixed it to become what they wanted. They worked the WWE locker room like pieces in a chess game. No one was safe from their wrath and some paid the price for crossing them.
Big Show, Cody Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler and of course Daniel Bryan, all suffered the wrath of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. They held the fate of the whole roster in their hands and whenever it was convenient for them, they made a fist.
Bryan suffered more than anyone of course. The Authority sought to keep him down and they used every weapon at their disposal to achieve that end. All Daniel wanted was a fighting chance to prove that he had what it took to perform on the main event level. All he wanted was to take what he had worked so hard to win: The WWE World Championship.
And every time he got close, The Authority was there to stop him.
It was a pattern that repeated itself for months after SummerSlam and finally culminated in Bryan's win at WrestleMania. The corporate menace had been silenced at long last; The Authority's plan to rule WWE with their own handpicked champion in place had come to an end.
Yet it continued on the very next edition of Monday Night Raw.
There was something about that particular program, something about the vibe that many fans immediately picked up on. Why had The Authority's heat with Daniel not been cooled off to an extent? Understanding that Hunter would have been furious over the events at WrestleMania and would respond, why not distract him with another Superstar that required his attention?
Why not allow Daniel at least a month's worth of just being the champ before rekindling his feud with The Authority?
But that was not the case, as The Authority went from using Randy Orton to combat Daniel to using Kane. Kane and Bryan had a lot of history together and the rivalry between the two men made perfect sense in many ways.
But Stephanie McMahon was constantly behind the scenes, pulling The Big Red Monster's strings. The Authority could not stay out of Daniel's business.
The reality however is that Daniel's road to the top had to be met with adversity. A strong babyface is only as good as his strongest adversary and Bryan needed a major threat to elevate him in the eyes of fans. The fact that The Authority spent so much time trying to stop Daniel and focused so much of its energy on him only reinforced the notion that Bryan was a Superstar that was worth the fans' support.
After all, if the biggest heels in the company thought he was important enough for all that effort, then he must be important enough to believe in.
And at the end of the day, The Authority is comprised of heels that fans should hate. Their antics should grow tiresome; the WWE faithful should dread the moment that The Authority shows up on TV. Anything less means that they are just not effective, which hurts the fan appeal of any Superstar they target.
But at some point, realism must come into play. And that is where the company could do an angle with a different approach altogether.
How believable is it that WWE would continue to allow its two most visible authority figures in Triple H and Stephanie all the freedom in the world to keep interfering with the world title? Why would someone from the corporate level, whether it's Vince McMahon or perhaps even Linda McMahon, not have shown up by now to try and reel in the power couple that is obviously out of control?
Why has Shane McMahon, who is not even directly affiliated with WWE anymore, not cut at least one promo or taped at least one vignette, proclaiming that The Authority had to be stopped? When does someone stop and realize that company executives should behave like executives and not villainous egotists?
Yes, it's pro wrestling and yes, pro wrestling's core concepts are based on good-versus-evil scenarios. Those scenarios should play out all the time, despite who wins or loses and despite who is or isn't gaining ground in the company.
But the protagonist should see a victory at some point. The scales must be tipped back in favor of the hero eventually. And in this particular storyline, the only way to do that is for WWE to introduce a corporate babyface to the mix. And if it's not feasible for that babyface to be another member of the McMahon family, then it should be a General Manager.
The heels have had their time; Daniel Bryan has been persecuted long enough and he has eventually fallen to The Authority. The time is coming that The Authority will need to answer for its crimes. It's time for the villain to get his.