In his first pay-per-view singles match since returning from a three-year absence, Daniel Bryan cut down Big Cass en route to victory at WWE Backlash Sunday night in Newark, New Jersey.
Big Cass might consider himself a 7-footer, but his height didn't help him escape from the Yes! Lock. Eventually, Cass tapped out to give Bryan the win:
Bleacher Report's Kevin Berge was surprised to see Bryan win so decisively:
Big Cass didn't take the loss very well, though. He attacked Bryan after the match, concluding the assault with a big boot. By the time the dust settled, Bryan looked like anything but the victor:
After getting cleared for in-ring competition, Bryan initially set his sights on Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Bryan teamed with Shane McMahon at WrestleMania 34 to beat Owens and Zayn, thus preventing them from returning to SmackDown Live.
Bryan vacated his role as SmackDown general manager after that and set his sights on getting back to the top of WWE as a wrestler.
On the Superstar Shake-up edition of SmackDown Live, however, the returning Big Cass attempted to put a quick stop to Bryan's ascent.
In a match that saw Bryan team with AJ Styles, Cass showed up and laid Bryan out with a big boot, signaling the official start of their feud.
The Miz made his return to SmackDown Live the following week after moving to the blue brand from Raw as part of the Superstar Shake-up.
Miz addressed his rivalry with Bryan and invited him on Miz TV as a guest, but Big Cass showed up instead and explained why he took such great issue with the leader of the Yes Movement.
Cass revealed that he and Bryan were cleared to return from injury on the same day, and it infuriated him that he was overshadowed by Bryan.
It was later revealed that Bryan didn't appear on Miz TV because Cass had assaulted him backstage.
The rivalry between Cass and Bryan carried over to the Greatest Royal Rumble event, which saw Bryan enter No. 1 and set a new Royal Rumble record by lasting for one hour, 16 minutes and 16 seconds.
Big Cass entered the Rumble at No. 49 and set his sights on Bryan. After Bryan failed to get Braun Strowman over the top rope despite coming agonizingly close, Cass managed to toss Bryan out and end his incredible run.
That gave Cass bragging rights, but more importantly, it garnered him additional heel heat since there was so much support behind Bryan to win the Greatest Royal Rumble.
The conflict between Cass and Bryan made it among the most highly anticipated matches on the Backlash card, and the David vs. Goliath feel of the match created an exciting environment.
Bryan managed to beat the odds by overcoming Cass' size advantage to pick up the win. While all signs point toward a potential long-term feud with The Miz, Bryan may still have some unfinished business with Cass before he moves on to the former intercontinental champion.
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