Daniel Bryan In NXT Would Be Great, But Raw NEEDS Him
Daniel Bryan’s loss to Roman Reigns on SmackDown last week means the former WWE Champion’s time on the blue brand has come to an end. So begins the speculation as to what’s next for Bryan. There are rumors the veteran could have a few dream matches in NXT, and Bryan himself has even hinted he could compete elsewhere. However, no brand in WWE, perhaps wrestling as a whole, needs Bryan more than Raw does right now.
Daniel Bryan Screams NXT
Main roster stars spending a short spell in NXT, or even making the odd visit, is nothing new. Cesaro, Charlotte Flair, even a handful of Natalya’s 1363 matches in WWE were wrestled at Full Sail. Bryan could have some terrific matches under the banner of the black and gold brand. It suits the style he loves more than almost anything he has been able to do on Raw and SmackDown.
Daniel Bryan Admits His Neck Was ‘Wrecked’ After Recent Match
Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Tomasso Ciampa. In fact, Johnny Gargano has jumped the gun and already issued Bryan a challenge. As soon as SmackDown came to a close on Friday night, Gargano tweeted a photo of him and Bryan from a match the two of them wrestled a long time ago, before either had ever set foot in WWE. It’s hard to imagine a rematch between the two in NXT would be anything less than a match of the year contender.
NXT Would Be Cool, But Monday Nights Need Bryan
The desire for Bryan to have a run in NXT is a selfish one, for both his fans and him if it’s something he wants. However, as Bryan has revealed a number of times in recent months, he isn’t about himself in the ring, especially not anymore. Between helping out with creative backstage and aiding Superstars to have the best matches possible, even if it means he ends up losing, Bryan is being more selfless than ever right now.
Should that selflessness continue, which it almost definitely will, the only logical landing spot for Bryan right now is Raw. Whether Vince McMahon wants to admit it or not, Raw is struggling. What was once WWE’s flagship show is failing to even hit two million viewers on a regular basis right now. No matter how much people’s viewing habits have changed, or how WWE wants to try and spin it, that’s bad.
Meanwhile, SmackDown is consistently hitting two million-plus. Yes, being on Fox plays a big part in that, but so does the fact it is simply a better show. It’s two hours long and almost everything on the show is compelling and matters. Bryan has been a big part of that, and it’s why SmackDown matches headlined both nights of WrestleMania this year.
Bryan Vs. Bobby Makes All The Sense In The World
That ever-decreasing rating might have something to do with Bobby Lashley’s lack of challengers. Fans appear to like Lashley as champion. That can and will quickly change if quality opponents for The All-Mighty dry up. WWE is already in a situation where it is having a WrestleMania rematch between Lashley and Drew McIntyre while throwing Braun Strowman in there for no reason at all other than to make it feel different from a match fans have already seen.
Bryan might not seem like the most obvious next opponent for Lashley on the surface, but if you scratch that surface just a little bit it makes all the sense in the world. Despite the difference in size between the two of them, their styles are actually very similar. Bryan and Lashley’s way of wrestling is rooted in grappling and submission holds as Bryan has practiced Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu and Lashley has professionally competed in MMA. Seeing two Superstars who look as different as these two trying to use the same style could and almost definitely would make for a pretty great match.
10 Best WWE Matches of 2018
There’s precedent to suggest that will be the case too. Bryan went one-on-one with Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series 2018 in a match that had fans worried about The American Dragon’s neck and head. The thing is, the beauty of a Brock Lesnar match is that The Beast can make it look like he is almost killing his opponent without actually hurting them at all. He and Bryan had a terrific match in 2018, one that could be used as research for a potential title match between Bryan and Lashley.
Only Bryan and WWE know what’s next. The now-former SmackDown Superstar has been removed from WWE’s active roster for the time being, but that doesn’t mean he will be leaving the company. With Raw viewership continuing to drop, the whole reason Bryan has left SmackDown could be so he can switch to Raw. The red brand needs him. NXT, and maybe even AEW, can wait.