CM Punk winning the WWE Championship wasn't the only major surprise at this year's Money in the Bank event.
Daniel Bryan becoming Smackdown's latest "Mr. Money in the Bank" was an outcome that many craved but few expected would happen.
Even more surprising was the announcement on the subsequent Smackdown that he was naming a date for his cash in in of the contract: April 1st 2012, WrestleMania XXVIII in Miami.
Nine months is a long time. However, in pro-wrestling and wrestling companies, for obvious reasons, wrestlers reserve the right to tweak plans to fit ongoing storylines or unforeseen circumstances.
With this in mind, the current plans for Bryan to main-event WrestleMania is not the only storyline that Daniel Bryan could be involved in with the Money in the Bank privileged, so here are some options for what Daniel Bryan could do with the briefcase.
It has been said that the Money in the Bank briefcase is "as good as gold."
Indeed, everyone who has cashed in their briefcase has successfully won their title match. However, it is not the case that every contract holder has won the title. Just ask Mr. Anderson (nee Kennedy), who in 2007 won the briefcase, only to lose it to Edge before he could cash it in.
This is my least favourite suggestion, as I want to see Bryan win the World Heavyweight Championship, but perhaps because I'm still in disbelief that WWE actually have faith in Bryan as champion, I have a bad feeling that he might not be able to hold on to the briefcase.
Before the pay-per-view, Cody Rhodes was my pick to win the Smackdown contract, and considering the current feud between Rhodes and Bryan, it could be the case that Bryan will lose the briefcase and lose it to Cody Rhodes.
CM Punk is not only a two-time Money in the Bank briefcase holder, but he is currently the hottest personality in pro-wrestling. Punk's current story has been completely unpredictable thus far, and for once it seems that literally nothing can be ruled out for the Second City Saint.
When CM Punk mentioned ROH and Colt Cabana during his first "shoot" interview, it set fantasy bookers, including me, down storyline paths surrounding ROH and Punk's contemporaries from that company.
I even thought, after Bryan won the briefcase at MITB, that he would help out his ROH brethren by giving it to Punk that night in the event that Cena won so that Punk could fulfill leaving Chicago with the title.
That didn't happen, but it could happen in another setting. For instance, if WWE are planning to unify the two top titles, when CM Punk eventually returns to television it could be during a dual-branded RAW which features the World Heavyweight Championship.
With the Smackdown champion fresh in the ring, Bryan's music hits and he arrives in the ring with the briefcase. Immediately following this, Punk's music hits and he comes to the ring and stands next to Bryan.
Bryan thrusts the case in to Punk's hands and Punk cashes in the contract to win the title and hold both championships.
This may seem like it buries Bryan, but I think it would be a good way to drag Bryan up to main-event level as part of the hottest angle of recent wrestling history.
Throughout his WWE tenure, unless you consider his one-day participation in Nexus, Daniel Bryan has been a babyface, and he works well because he has a quiet charisma that is often underrated.
Though he could be built in to a fantastic everyman hero, fans of his indy work will know that he can work very well as a heel.
With Bryan unquestionably the second face on Smackdown now that he's won the MITB briefcase, him turning heel would require one or two Smackdown heels turning face, but I think a heel Bryan would really enliven the brand.
Now that Bryan has promised that he would "name the date" in a very honorable way, to cash in his title, if he was to go back on that, it could, under the right circumstances, bring him a lot of heat and a heel-turn.
So once Christian drops the title to a face eventually, Bryan could wait for him to be downed before cashing in, saying he was sick of waiting and sick of the fans telling him how to act and that he decided to take things into his own hands by cashing in and guaranteeing himself the title.
If, for whatever reason, WWE wanted Bryan to win the title before WrestleMania and keep him as a babyface, he could cash in his contract against a heel for honorable reasons.
This requires a heel champion, and while I know current champion Christian is a heel, I am imagining Wade Barrett in this situation, and this is because of their history.
Bryan and Barrett have some of the most developed background between them than any other two superstars in the WWE currently. Starting as two of the stand-outs on NXT, before Bryan joined and then left the Nexus, and leading to them sharing time on Smackdown.
Bringing this to its natural circular conclusion, these two should eventually feud over the world title.
Barrett would make a worthy champion at any point from now, and so, I would like to see him become champion going in to a later PPV.
Barrett could go on to feud with a face for the title, going over big faces like Randy Orton and Sin Cara, all the while with Bryan and Barrett having face-to-face confrontations with Barrett bragging that he'll keep the title until WrestleMania to take on Bryan.
After Barrett defends the title against a face with underhand tactics, backstage Bryan reminds him that he wont be as lucky against him. Barrett flips and attacks Bryan.
Barrett comes out and explains by saying that he was sick of Bryan always being there with the briefcase instead of doing anything and calls him out.
Bryan comes out, selling his injuries and says that he agrees with Barrett, and that he can't wait until WrestleMania and will cash in at the Royal Rumble, for instance, starting a brutal feud that lasts through to WrestleMania.
My final option is also my favourite.
This premise of this slideshow was the worry that WWE surely wouldn't book Daniel Bryan for the main event of WrestleMania, but in this "new era," it is not completely inconceivable that Bryan does get that spot, especially given that the Smackdown main event is the secondary (yet still very important and prestigious) main event.
There are around nine months from now until WrestleMania, which is plenty of time to get Bryan main-event calibre status and support.
He's already popular if not fully over, but if he's put in some good storylines, with great matches and is allowed to talk on the mic in a way that is from the heart and not overly-scripted, he could become a top face with ease.
Let Bryan fulfil his dream. He's deserved it and can carry the ball, so let him.