Daniel Bryan Gets 2nd Chance vs. Bray Wyatt and More WWE SmackDown Fallout

Kevin Berge@TheBerge_Featured ColumnistDecember 28, 2019

Daniel Bryan Gets 2nd Chance vs. Bray Wyatt and More WWE SmackDown Fallout

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    Credit: WWE.com

    In the fight for the heart of SmackDown, Roman Reigns and King Corbin have quietly given over the blue brand to a familiar face. Daniel Bryan has returned and made a splash in short order.

    The December 27 edition of the Fox show highlighted him. The Planet's Champion rose above all of Corbin's tactics and a motivated performance from The Miz to become the No. 1 contender to the WWE universal champion.

    As 2020 ended, many were looking to take a step forward and forge a new path. Braun Strowman was another man looking to set himself up to win gold. He pinned Shinsuke Nakamura in a six-man tag team match to earn himself a future WWE Intercontinental Championship shot.

    Lacey Evans continued to forge her path by challenging the reign of Bayley and Sasha Banks over SmackDown. The Sassy Southern Belle proved she is a kind spirit by defending Dana Brooke and fighting with her against the heels.

    Even Otis and Mandy Rose seemingly started a new path as the two slowly grow closer, promising to potentially add some character to their simplistic personas.

    These moments defined a night that was almost entirely looking forward, exploring the potential for a great new year.

WWE Has a Chance to Let Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt Go All-Out Again

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    After multiple false starts throughout the night, the No. 1-contender Triple Threat match was under way as Daniel Bryan and The Miz made King Corbin pay. Once Roman Reigns sent his rival and Dolph Ziggler running, The A-Lister and The Planet's Champion fought alone. Bryan won by making Miz tap out to the LeBell Lock.

    The original match between Bryan and The Fiend had massive hype, and it was fine. However, it did not live up to expectations. These two had one of the greatest matches of either of their careers at WWE Royal Rumble 2014.

    The two can return to that peak at the 2020 edition of Royal Rumble. The story has already been built. Wyatt changed Bryan and pushed him to become a man he had not been for a long time.

    The red lighting will likely get in the way once more, but it does not have to stop the two from telling a compelling story in the ring. The best wrestler in the world is stepping into the ring with one of his greatest rivals.

    SmackDown needs this story to get people talking. Too much of the blue brand has focused on Reigns and Corbin. Bryan deserves his complete spotlight as much now as ever before.

Braun Strowman May Finally Win Singles Gold in 2020

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    In a competitive six-man tag team match, Kofi Kingston took the brunt of the offense from Sami Zayn, Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura until Big E helped get him to safety. Braun Strowman got the hot tag and a timely assist from Kofi, bashing The Artist with a pancake platter, to pin the WWE intercontinental champion.

    The Monster Among Men has never won a single championship in WWE. The Greatest Royal Rumble Championship does not count since it was more of a trophy than anything.

    It's a wonder that a man with so much talent and the look to define WWE has been so underused. While Nakamura introduced the new Intercontinental Championship, it is tailor-made to give Strowman a fresh start.

    The Artist has been a forgettable champion even with The Critic of the Critics talking for him. He's losing steam fast. The gold doesn't belong to him as much as it once did.

    Hopefully, The Monster gets a lengthy title reign when he dethrones Zayn's client. It might allow him to win feuds and build momentum for once.

WWE May Finally Make Mandy Rose an Interesting Character with Otis

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    Otis gifted Mandy Rose a homemade fruit cake. Later in the night, Dolph Ziggler took it from her and stomped on it, trying to convince her to spend New Year's Eve with him. The big man of Heavy Machinery found his cake destroyed afterward, thinking God's Greatest Creation hated his gift.

    The slow-building relationship between Otis and Rose has been a surprise storyline but a welcome one. It has the potential to add depth to both simplistic characters.

    God's Greatest Creation has been playing the mean girl for too long, especially now that Sonya Deville is growing beyond her. Rose's repeated taunts about being better-looking than anyone else add nothing to her matches. It just makes her less interesting.

    Otis has been a running joke since he came to SmackDown. While it has allowed him to be entertaining every time out, The Heavy Machinery star can never grow when his whole role is as the funny fat man.

    His vulnerability makes it easy to root for him. Rose's sympathy for Otis makes it less clear how much she is a heel. It will be interesting to see whether this romance falls apart or allows both to become interesting faces.

Lacey Evans' Protective Nature Has Made Her a More Interesting Babyface

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Lacey Evans explained on A Moment of Bliss that Sasha Banks made the biggest mistake possible by threatening her daughter. Sasha Banks and Bayley dragged Dana Brooke out before their tag team match, and The Sassy Southern Belle saved her partner. In the action, Brooke tapped to the Bank Statement.

    The Lady has come around by focusing more on what makes her a good guy in WWE. She is a protector. She defended her daughter, but she also has come to Brooke's aid many times.

    That growing relationship has allowed fans to root for Evans without irony. She has become a babyface and not just because she is a Marine and a mother. She is someone who will not let bullies get their way.

    The Boss and the SmackDown women's champion have been great foils to her throughout. They put down the roster. Despite stating they are a step above everyone, the heels continue to take shortcuts and cheap shots to stay on top.

    The rise of The Sassy Southern Belle to challenge them has been far more successful than her heel run despite feeling out of place at first.

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