There's no question that Daniel Bryan's popularity has been a thorn in WWE's side over the past two years as it pertains to their WrestleMania plans. There's also no question that Daniel Bryan vs. Brock Lesnar is a much more interesting match-up than Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns. Now, it seems that WWE -- for the second year in a row -- is realizing that they cannot eliminate Daniel Bryan from the WrestleMania main-event and WWE Championship picture.
This past week on Monday Night RAW, Daniel Bryan defeated Seth Rollins to earn the right to take on Roman Reigns at Fast Lane, where Reigns' number one contender spot will be on-the-line. There are people who are confused by this, as Reigns is likely going to walk away the winner, which will likely infuriate WWE fans even more. But, WWE does seem to change their minds about things every other minute, so Reigns defeating Bryan isn't quite a guarantee.
It seems like the thing WWE fans are paying attention to the most is the live crowd reaction to Roman Reigns, which has been somewhat mixed. He was booed at the Royal Rumble and on last week's live SmackDown, but was cheered on this past Monday's RAW. According to WWE COO Triple H, nobody boos Reigns when he appears at WWE's untelevised live events.
Nobody knows exactly what to expect at WWE Fast Lane. There are people who expect that Daniel Bryan will be cheered, and Roman Reigns will be booed. However Daniel Bryan appeared WREG News 3 in Memphis, Tennessee, -- where Fast Lane will take place -- and said that he fully expects a mixed reaction from the Memphis crowd during his match with Roman Reigns.
"I'm going to be wrestling Roman Reigns, who's also very popular. I'm very popular. The crowd's going to be very split, it's going to be a pretty intense atmosphere.If Bryan doesn't end up beating Reigns, that could very well lead to a Reigns heel turn. Also, if Bryan isn't involved in the main-event at this year's WrestleMania, his two likely opponents are Sheamus, who WWE wanted to have him face last year, and Dolph Ziggler, who has been campaigning for the match on Twitter. Bryan has made it clear that he would rather work with Ziggler if he's not involved in the WWE Championship match.
"I need to beat Roman Reigns at Fast Lane. If I win the match, then I get to go on to WrestleMania and face Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, and that's the match I want."
[Image via WWE]