Coming out of last night's (Sun., Aug. 18, 2013) stellar SummerSlam pay-per-view (PPV) from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, there seems to be two prevailing thoughts regarding Daniel Bryan winning the WWE championship from John Cena before Triple H turned heel with a pedigree on him that allowed Randy Orton to cash in his Money in the Bank contract to steal the title.
PWInsider.com has it:
The feeling backstage was mixed on the end of the show. While everyone agreed that the work was fantastic, some took the "now we can tell a great story and when Bryan gets his revenge it will get him over even more" stance. Others took the "They should have let Bryan have his moment and it would have made him right there and he wouldn't have had to be made after a chase" position.
Another position might be that WWE gets to have its cake and eat it too.
How many times since 2005, when he became the company flagbearer, has Cena taken a clean pinfall loss in a spot like this on a major PPV with so much build up? As many have already pointed out, even CM Punk at Money in the Bank 2011 didn't win clean.
You would have to go back to WrestleMania 28 and his loss to The Rock. That's the kind of company Bryan now keeps with his flying knee destruction of Cena last night.
Is that, combined with the reaction he gets from every audience across the country, and maybe even the globe, not enough to consider him a made man?
The idea that he isn't made yet because he has to chase the title once again while up against the all powerful machine seems silly considering what he's already pulled off. And, remember, the man who took the title from him, Orton, suffered a clean submission loss to him in a Monday Night Raw main event last month.
WWE made Bryan last night, if he wasn't already, and now they get to eat their cake by positioning him as the top babyface for Cena's hiatus thanks to that pesky elbow injury. Yes, they have a great story to tell, and if it ends in Bryan winning the title and getting a prolonged run with it, that's great.
But it's no longer a necessity. He can headline PPVs as a legitimate main event level player from now until he retires. I would say that means he's made in the shade, jack.