As I sit down to write this article, 13 hours have passed since the opening match of WrestleMania (seen almost in its entirety above). The shock and disbelief I felt when it happened still hasn't seemed to dissipate. I still feel like I've been screwed.
Going into WrestleMania, I expected the World Heavyweight Championship match between Daniel Bryan and Sheamus to open the show. It made sense. Sheamus and Bryan were sure to put on a brutally stiff match and get the live crowd booming. We've seen how stiff Sheamus can work, and anyone that has seen Bryan's work in ROH knows just how intense and brutal his matches can be. This match had all the makings of a WrestleMania classic. At least in my living room, this match was set to steal the show.
As amped as I was for this match before their entrances, I was even more excited when Daniel Bryan made his way to the ring a fresh American Dragon robe. It was so perfect. The guy that's traveled the globe and put on some of the greatest matches in modern wrestling history finally gets his moment on the biggest stage of them all, and he brings a piece of his past with him. I had goosebumps.
YES! YES! YES! Ringside was a sea of YES! The live crowd, at least the parts we could see around ringside area, seemed to be ready to burst at the seams for this match. As a Bryan Danielson fan, this was what I'd been waiting for since he signed with WWE. WrestleMania, The American Dragon, the World Heavyweight Championship; this was it!
Kiss, Kick, Pin. Just like that, it was all over.
There has to be a plan, right? This has to lead to something, right? Honestly, it doesn't matter. WrestleMania isn't the stage to further storylines with fluky endings, and it isn't the place to crown a new champion with a one-shot victory. Especially not when you alienate the a large portion of your audience in the process.
Daniel Bryan and the fans weren't the only ones who got the shaft here. Sheamus deserves better. Sure, he looks like a monster. Sure, he's the World Heavyweight Champion. WrestleMania is about more than winning and losing. As cliche as it has become in the last few years to say this, it's true : it's all about getting that WrestleMania moment. Sheamus has a very promising career ahead of him and I don't doubt for one second that he'll be main eventing plenty of WrestleManias in the future. Even still, after getting dark matched last year, Sheamus deserved to earn his title in front of 78,000 people.
WWE screwed Daniel Bryan. WWE screwed Sheamus. WWE screwed its fans.
@TheAlexArcher | #FTLOW