The eyes of the millions of WWE fans around the world are focused on tonight’s edition of RAW, which looks to bring some closure to last night’s preeminent spectacle in sports entertainment today. While the WrestleMania XXVII pay-per-view failed to meet many of our expectations, we must keep in mind that the rubber meets the road for the WWE and its superstars after the show.
The significance of WrestleMania is discovered in the fallout of the event, the time where we can collectively access the pros and cons of the pay-per-view’s action-packed matches or lack thereof.
This bit of poetic palavering serves as a perfect segue to a brief look at the futures of Daniel Bryan and the WWE United States Champion, Sheamus.
Their previously announced title match scheduled for the pay-per-view ended up being a dark match that turned into the standard pre-WrestleMania battle royal. In case you were wondering, The Great Khali won.
I cannot report much on the match because it morphed into the battle royal so quickly that I missed it completely. To be honest with you, I was on my way to our suite in the Georgia Dome after coming from the merchandise tables when it took place.
What I do know is completely based on what I was told by friends who actually saw what happened: Bryan and Sheamus were having a lumberjack match, brawling between the lumberjacks and the competitors ensued, Teddy Long inexplicably had the power to change the match between two RAW superstars to a battle royal and The Great Khali won.
Even as I write, I remain confused and angry with how that part of the show turned out.
Perhaps there is a bright side to the debacle that robbed fans of witnessing what was sure to be a stellar match between Bryan and Sheamus, two men who could surely bring some spice and excitement to the company’s sagging mid-card division.
Here's what we can expect next from both of these men:
1. The Feud Between Sheamus and Bryan Can and Will Continue
The “finish” to last night’s match clearly points to the continuation of the bad blood between Sheamus and Daniel Bryan. Bryan has yet to have his rematch, and Sheamus really has nowhere to go and no one to battle for the time being.
Having Bryan and Sheamus battle over the WWE United States Championship makes the title worth something and also allows the two hard-hitting superstars to entertain fans with their stiff matches. This isn’t saying and implying that the United States Championship will be redeemed with their feud, but it will make the secondary title seem much more important with a prolific superstar and Sheamus fighting over it.
There’s also the irony that an Irishman is the United States Champion, a fact that Sheamus can use to gain cheap heat from the fans. Bryan can counter this by using the old tried and true “American Made” approach, giving him an easy pop from the fans that will in turn support his resiliency and never quit determination to bring the title back home.
A feud such as this could last for about a month, which not only raises the profile of both stars but also gives creative enough time to plan for the champion’s next challenger(s).
2. Fans Will Get a Free "Pay-Per-View" Match on Tonight’s Episode of RAW
Keep in mind that we agreed earlier that the true value of WrestleMania XXVII will be found in tonight’s episode of RAW. With this being the case, fans are sure to get this match tonight.
Pro wrestling companies are known for dropping matches from a live event and often save their hides by inserting the standard “card subject to change” phrase in fine print at the bottom of their advertisements. If a match is dropped from the card for whatever reason, the given company usually makes it up to the fans in one way or another.
In this instance, the WWE will probably show the Bryan and Sheamus match tonight on RAW to satiate the fans who were actually looking forward to seeing the two men have at one another.
Showing the match tonight also brings a close to the no contest that happened at WrestleMania. Although it was mentioned that their feud could continue for at least one month, there is still some need for closure from last night’s bout. If you study the card from top to bottom, each match had a definite victor even if we don’t agree with the man or team that won.
Bryan and Sheamus’ championship match deserves a definite victor to either push their rivalry to the next level or to at least push one of the stars to the next competitor.
3. A Match Tonight between Bryan and Sheamus Won’t Be Overshadowed by the Rest of the Card
Fans can and will speculate on the reasoning behind leaving the United States Championship match off the card, but my opinion is that it was a good call for the sake of both men in light of the card by itself.
Again, we can disagree on the quality of the card as it was presented to us, but with so many blockbuster matches and very little time to fit them all in four hours, Bryan and Sheamus would have easily been overshadowed by even the more well-developed mid-card matches.
The build to Sheamus’ victory over Bryan was weak to begin with, and the rematch last night would have been just as equally pedestrian. Compared to the build for the Cody Rhodes-Rey Mysterio match, it’s very understandable why Bryan-Sheamus would be better suited for RAW than WrestleMania.
This breathing room for Bryan and Sheamus allows them to tell a great story in the match as well as allowing them the space to shine in their own right without having to live up to the rest of the card. I’m positive the focus of RAW tonight will focus on superstars either complaining about their losses or bragging about their victories.
In simple terms, the show will more than likely have TONS of promos.
With this being the case, Bryan and Sheamus are destined to have THE match of the night if the match actually takes place. Even eight minutes of fighting between them will do much more for fans than the countless minutes of talking and backstage shenanigans that are sure to dominate the show from top to bottom.
When it is all said and done, the WWE has a prime opportunity to make the United States Championship, Sheamus and Daniel Bryan worth something if their bout takes place on RAW tonight.
If the quality of WrestleMania’s card last night left a sour taste in your mouth, then you definitely should plan on rinsing out the bitter taste of mediocrity with the par excellence skills of Daniel Bryan and Sheamus.