It wasn't that long ago when Daniel Bryan was arguing with Team Hell No partner Kane.
I'm the tag-team champion!
No, I'm the tag-team champion!
They couldn't come to an agreement over who the real tag-team champion was. Since they both wore gold -- essentially making them equal -- the real argument wasn't over who the "champion" was, but rather who was the standout player of the group.
In reality it was the gimmick, not the participants, who was the real star.
That's kind of how I feel as we start to log some serious miles on the "Best for Business" bandwagon. In the beginning, I was expecting this to be the Daniel Bryan show, as he got the party started with his big win over John Cena at SummerSlam -- only to get screwed out of the title because he looked like a billy goat and came from the Indy circuit.
He wasn't a purebred like Randy Orton.
That led to a power struggle as the evil empire -- consisting of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, along with Randy Orton and The Shield -- stuck it to the little guy. But then we had a subplot involving the Rhodes family, which resurrected the awesome career of Goldust.
And we can't forget about The Big Show, who has been with Bryan every step of the way (for better or worse).
That begs the question, who is the real star of WWE's "Best for Business" angle? The easy answer is Bryan, as he's the backbone of the "Us vs. Them" movement. But you also can't rule out Triple H and Stephanie, who are equally important as Bryan.
Perhaps more so.
You can have the "Best for Business" program without D-Bry. Rhodes and Show are two examples. But you can't have it without Trips and the Billion-Dollar Princess. And no evil faction would be complete without ruthless enforcers and that role is dutifully filled by The Shield, as the supporting cast continues to grow.
What started as a one-man crusade has evolved into Voltron with chair shots.
Emperor Zeppo's John Cena's impending return affects the trajectory of this storyline remains to be seen. Pairing him off with the cast and crew of the World Heavyweight title picture will keep him busy for awhile, but sooner or later he's coming back around, which means a rematch against Bryan or a new feud opposite whatever corporate-approved stooge holds the WWE strap.
Either way, expect this program to hit second gear at this Sunday's Hell in a Cell pay-per-view (PPV).
When it does, it may or may not leave Bryan in the dust. Triple H has been crushing him on the mic pretty hard and really ratcheted up the rhetoric on the go-home edition of Monday Night RAW. If the organization's top babyface doesn't get to prove him wrong this weekend in Miami, then most of what 'Aitch said will be hard to disprove.
Above all else, we need a clean, convincing finish.
WWE has tainted the outcomes of its last three PPV events with Daniel Bryan as headliner. First, he was screwed over by Trips and Orton at SummerSlam, then we had the referee fast count at Night of Champions and finally, the No Contest at Battleground.
While it would be an epic finish to have Bryan and his real-life sweetie, Brie Bella, both close the show with a pair of championship straps, I don't want to get too greedy. I'd settle for a pinfall, followed by the understanding that we move into phase two of "Best for Business" with a new direction and alternating characters.
The Stars Are Ours!