Last month, Daniel Bryan became the most unsuspecting Money in the Bank winner in the match's six-year history. In a match filled with promising young superstars, Bryan came into the ring with a very slim chance, but left on top of the world in a ultimate underdog moment.
Now, Bryan has six months to prepare for the biggest match of his life, when he cashes in his briefcase at the show of shows, WrestleMania 28. That's right, Danial Bryan is going from competing in a throwaway dark match at WrestleMania 27, to headlining the biggest WrestleMania of all-time.
In addition, the WWE now has over six months to build Daniel Bryan into a legitimate title contender, and it'll be interesting to see how they accomplish that.
Granted, Daniel Bryan is already a pretty popular wrestler. The crowd went absolutely insane when he snagged the briefcase in Chicago. Not to mention he's adored by the IWC and most older fans. The talent is most certainly there, as is the fan base.
But as of right now is Bryan really a main-event caliber performer? Better yet, is his name really big enough to headline WrestleMania?
In my opinion, not quite yet. Although he's a recognizable superstar and was in the main event at SummerSlam for his very first match, he's still a mid-card talent.
Like CM Punk a few months ago, Bryan's face isn't seen much on programs, or cups, or t-shirts. But like CM Punk currently, Bryan now has a boatload of momentum going into the second half of the year.
Still, if the WWE can make the right moves, there's no doubt that Daniel Bryan can be a huge draw once WrestleMania rolls around.
For one thing, his mic skills need some work. As WrestleMania draws closer he's going to have to cut some entertaining promos, and in all honesty I can't remember the last time he said anything that really caught my attention.
The WWE also has to ensure that Bryan stays busy and on television with some interesting feuds. One seems to already be in the works with Wade Barrett, which isn't too bad. But if the WWE can get him involved in some big-time rivalries, then it would definitely allow "The American Dragon" to gain some very important exposure.
These things are both pretty crucial if Bryan wishes to make an impact on the blue brand. As of right now, Bryan is pretty overshadowed by SmackDown's star, Randy Orton. Plus, with Sheamus slowly becoming the No. 2 babyface on Friday nights, Bryan's got a couple hurdles to clear if he wants to successfully represent SmackDown at WrestleMania next year.
It'll be interesting to see how the WWE pushes him as the event draws closer, especially with all these superstars already crowding the World Heavyweight Championship scene.
Bryan has the wrestling skills to compete with anyone in the business, and he's been doing it for a while all over the world. Now its up to the WWE and Bryan to create opportunities that will turn him into a bona fide superstar.
The new entrance music and minor image change was a good start, but the WWE still has a few things to accomplish before Bryan is truly ready for the his WrestleMania moment.
Time to put his face on a few programs guys.