WWE champion Daniel Bryan is in the midst of a career resurgence. The “New” Daniel Bryan is on top of SmackDown Live and his heel character is really beginning to click with the fans.
But who’s next to challenge Bryan for the WWE Championship? That question has been answered on the New Year’s Day SmackDown Live taping. The event emanated from Pittsburgh on December 29 and will air on January 1. The program featured a Fatal 5-Way main event, with the winner being named the new No.1 Contender.
Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Samoa Joe, Mustafa Ali and AJ Styles went to war for the right to face Bryan at the Royal Rumble on January 27. In the end, it was The Phenomenal One that came out on top and now Styles will get another shot at the title that Daniel took from him.
This is surely good news for fans that wanted to see more of Styles and Bryan in the ring. AJ is arguably the best in WWE right now and he may even be the best in the world. He had a tremendous 2018 and held the WWE Championship for 371 days.
Daniel also had a defining year in 2018. He returned to the ring at WrestleMania 34 and went on to battle against long time nemesis The Miz on SmackDown Live. But nothing compares to the run that Bryan is currently on now.
Daniel has completely reinvented himself and gained a world of momentum in the process. He’s proven that he is just as effective working heel as he was working babyface and the WWE faithful definitely recognizes that. The Yes Movement may be dead, but the “New” Daniel Bryan is very much alive.
There is no word yet on whether or not Bryan’s title defense against AJ will be a gimmick match. Styles’ recent attack on Vince McMahon may impact the match itself, but it’s unknown how WWE will use that attack moving forward.