While it might not be accurate to say that WWE is pulling out all the stops to get attention for their secondary program, Smackdown, moving from the Friday night time slot it has occupied since 2005, they are using a pretty big bullet when they feature Daniel Bryan in his first official in-ring action since his injury was announced eight months ago.
The man who never lost the WWE title was pitted against his old partner, and the man who put him on the shelf (according to the official on-screen story, anyway), Kane. Principal owner Stephanie McMahon made the match herself last night on Raw, and brought out the now-Corporate Demon to get a head start on the Authority-sanctioned assault.
Bryan was able to fight off his nemesis and even showed flashes of the high energy style that contributed to his becoming one of the most popular acts on the roster.
In other action, Intercontinental champ Bad News Barrett lost his only match since claiming the belt from the since "fired" Dolph Ziggler. Luckily for him, it was a non-title affair. On Smackdown, the Brit will get a chance to avenge that loss. On the flip side, this time his opponent, Sin Cara, will be able to claim his first WWE singles crown if he wins.
What do you think of these contests, Cagesiders? Are they squandering Bryan's return? Is the IC belt the biggest joke, or just a regular sized one?
And, most important for WWE, will DB vs. Kane and BNB vs. SC get you to tune in to SyFy on January 15th at 8PM Eastern?