On Monday Night RAW, WWE did something it hasn't done in a long time and that's fool the "Universe."
I'm referring, of course, to the Mark Henry phony-bologna retirement angle that put "The World's Strongest Man" in line for a shot at John Cena's title at Money in the Bank (MITB) next month in Philly (details here).
But it did something more than that.
I'm sure the creative team behind the career-defining angle, prior to suiting up Henry in that pink parachute, wanted the segment to be a home run with everyone from the causal fan, to the boys in the back, to the snarkiest smark.
Well, you got what you wished for.
But knocking one out of the park merely puts you on the scoreboard, it doesn't win you the game. To elevate this program from one special night to an unforgettable piece of pro wrestling history -- the kind that will turn up in shoot interviews 20 years from now with every has-been talent and former writer taking claim for its genesis -- you have to play all nine innings.
Sorry for all the baseball metaphors, but I can't stand basketball.
The worst case scenario has Henry growling at Cena for the next four weeks, only to get clowned at MITB and sent back to the middle of the pack, where he can have his 7,256th match against Big Show.
What a waste.
Or, he can torment the champion all the way up until next month's pay-per-view (PPV), win the title and stake his claim to a new era in "pain." That wouldn't be the end of this game, mind you, merely the seventh-inning stretch (sorry, I can't help myself).
And Daniel Bryan is coming in for a few innings of relief.
"The City of Brotherly Love" is the same place where D-Bry is expected to win the MITB briefcase, which gives him the opportunity to cash it in whenever he wants to secure a shot at the title. Now, do you want Bryan -- the hottest guy on the roster -- to challenge the organization's top babyface?
Or the most reviled heel of the last decade?
Let's not forget what happened the last time Bryan had his hands on the briefcase. He pinned Henry to win the world heavyweight championship, only to have it revoked by Teddy Long on a goofy technicality. That led to the AJ Lee romance, among other things, but the history is there for the taking. Let's face it, the loudest cheers right now are for Daniel Bryan, just as the most deafening boos are for Mark Henry.
Round peg, meet round hole.
And it's not like John Cena needs to wear the strap to keep his spot. It's his for as long as he wants to hold on to it. If Bryan wins the title from Henry at SummerSlam, you can then transition to a feud between him and Cena, but more importantly, you can do it without skipping over Mark Henry, who earned his spot at the top in one special night.
Which with little effort, can become one crazy summer.