Coulda Been Betta: Daniel Bryan Stripped

Last night's RAW in its broadest swaths seemed to hit more than it missed, with the opening segment working in a big way. Add one small dash of something extra, and you would have had a troll job for the ages.

I was pleased overall with RAW last night, possibly because I had very little expectation outside of Seth Rollins and the response from Ambrose and Reigns. Both certainly delivered, but the show in its most important moments did succeed on most fronts. The main event was solid but could have been trimmed for time a bit as it felt somewhat bloated and overly long. Seth's promo was focused, made sense for the character shift, and certainly did a nice job in making Rollins a very unlikable figure even past the events of last Monday. As I was comparing Ambrose to Roddy Piper during the promo, a listener gave me an even better comparison...Brian Pillman. Superb choice and dead on, especially in facial expressions.

Today I turn to the very beginning of the program and in the spirit of this series, simply add something to make what was already a very well-executed segment just a bit stronger and more emotional.

Nothing changes as Triple H and Stephanie walk to the ring to address the crowd and strip Daniel Bryan officially of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Nothing necessarily changes in the idea that the winner of the Money in the Bank ladder match will become the new Champion, however I do like my Squared Circle Radio cohost's idea of how to handle that portion of the story. About a month ago, he suggested the concept of liberally cribbing from the past and even borrowing from UFC in creating an interim Champion that would provide a ready-made feud for Daniel Bryan whenever he returned. The added benefit would be making it easier to get away from any kind of long-term Bryan/Kane feud. But with that said, let's get to the "Betta" of the segment.

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At some point, unprompted, all they would have had to do is hit Daniel Bryan's music. This would happen in the middle of the promo, after the title was stripped, and it would literally interrupt Stephanie in mid-sentence. The camera pans up to the top of the ramp and Cole goes crazy screaming about Bryan's return and after about thirty seconds, everyone would realize nothing was actually going to happen.

Triple H and Stephanie sell this thing as legit the entire time and then simply explode uncontrollably in laughter when the jig was up. And here's the line that to me would make it better:

"Sorry to do that to you, but honestly, we know you guys like Daniel Bryan's music, so we thought it would be smart to use it. Oh, and unlike the former B+ Champion, that A+ player of a song was actually capable of doing its job and performing for you people here tonight."

It's not original to hit theme music as a troll move, but it's also something that never fails to piss people off in the exact way WWE would want in that situation. It helps Daniel Bryan, it makes Hunter and especially Steph look like absolute jerks, and it would have been so simple to execute.

So add a little "Valkyrie" to the mix and there you have it. Voila.

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