Last year around this time, Daniel Bryan was coping with his sudden retirement as an in-ring wrestler with the WWE. Bryan opened and closed WrestleMania 30, reaching the pinnacle of the profession by winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the main event against Randy Orton and Batista. Earlier in the night, Daniel defeated Triple H in order to qualify for that headlining title match.
A year after closing out “Yes-tle-Mania,” Daniel Bryan opened WrestleMania 31 and captured the Intercontinental Championship against six other superstars in the multi-person ladder match opener. But, of course, injuries cut his career short, relegating Daniel to the role of SmackDown Live general manager as we embark on this year’s WrestleMania.
Under the leadership of SmackDown Live commissioner Shane McMahon, Daniel Bryan has helped put together half the card for Sunday’s blockbuster show. The blue brand will send several WWE superstars into the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, but there are, of course, five other marquee matches worth investing in.
This year’s IC title will be defended by Dean Ambrose against Baron Corbin, Shane McMahon will battle AJ Styles, the SmackDown Women’s Championship match currently has six participants in it, and Bray Wyatt battles Randy Orton for the WWE Championship. But the match that Daniel Bryan and his wife may be paying the closest attention to is the mixed tag team affair between John Cena and Nikki Bella against the Miz and Maryse.
Rumors have been circulating for months that Cena will be proposing to Nikki following their WrestleMania showdown with the rival couple from SmackDown Live. Daniel Bryan has been a key component in their feud, one which was met with little fanfare at the onset, but has been, arguably, the most compelling storyline on Tuesday nights leading up to the WWE’s ultimate thrill ride. Daniel is the real-life brother-in-law of Nikki, but Bryan has been at odds with the Miz ever since the brand split.
The war of words between Daniel Bryan and the Miz, primarily on Talking Smack, has blurred the lines between kayfabe and reality for months, generating a very devoted reaction to their rivalry. Bryan will likely never wrestle again for the WWE, which means their angst will never see the ultimate payoff, but Daniel would take pleasure in Miz getting his comeuppance from Cena and Nikki.
As noted, speculation of a marriage proposal has loomed over the entire angle, leading many to believe that that was the reason Cena was booked in this storyline instead of one with someone like the Undertaker. WWE officials believe that the current mixed tag angle, and potential proposal, would generate much more mainstream press than a singles match between John Cena and the Undertaker, or some other top level star. That may be the case, but Daniel Bryan isn’t sure it’s going down like the WWE Universe seem to believe.
YouTube personality, Myles, interviewed Daniel Bryan on the eve of WrestleMania, as covered by Wrestling Inc, and was asked about the match between Cena and Nikki vs. The Miz and Maryse. Myles said he thought that if Cena and Nikki were to win, that it would be a great time to do it. Daniel admitted that he didn’t know anything about it, but questioned whether it was actually a good time to do it. Bryan believes, that even though cameras follow him around a lot, that he is a very private person and a proposal should be a special, private moment.
It was clear, however, that in the interview, Daniel Bryan said he wants their match to be a face-punching extravaganza, and a one-way face-punching extravaganza at that. Bryan is looking forward to seeing Cena and his big hands deliver big blows to the Miz and his big face. But it will be interesting to see if the proposal actually happens, because you’d have to wonder what most of the build-up was all for if it doesn’t. In any event, Al Roker will be present as the special guest ring announcer for the match at WrestleMania.
[Featured Image by WWE]