Daniel Bryan shocked the world by defeating AJ Styles for the latter’s WWE Championship.
Styles’ lengthy reign as WWE Champion (371 days) coming to an abrupt end on the go-home episode of SmackDown Live before the Survivor Series PPV, was quite shocking. What shocked more to the WWE Universe, was the manner in which the title was won by Bryan.
Bryan hit Styles with one. . .Alright, perhaps not as brutal as the ones Shinsuke Nakamura repeatedly hit Styles with throughout their long-running competition this season.
No matter Bryan incapacitated Styles with the blow, hit him with his finisher scored the victory and became the new WWE Champion. The WWE recently confirmed that Bryan will defend his title against Styles in the TLC (Tables, Ladders & Chairs) PPV on December 16th, 2018.
Make no mistake about it, Bryan is on a hot streak right now, and is thought of as the favorite keep his WWE Championship and to beat at Styles at TLC. However,”The Flying G.O.A.T.” faces a murderers’ row of challengers on SmackDown Live — all of whom are eager to win the title.
Today, we look at a select few top Superstars whom the WWE could place the WWE Championship on after Daniel Bryan…
#5 After beating against AJ Styles at TLC, Daniel Bryan could lose at the Royal Rumble PPV to Styles
Alright let’s get the usual suspects out the way! AJ Styles was originally designed to defend his WWE Championship in Riyadh against Daniel Bryan at the Crown Jewel event.
But, Bryan allegedly refused to go to Saudi Arabia and wrestle at Crown Jewel, because of that, Styles defended his WWE Championship against Bryan on the October 30th, 2018, episode of SmackDown Live — in a game where Styles submitted Bryan with the Calf-Crusher.
Well, despite losing”blank” to Fashions, Bryan received another shot at the WWE Championship, and faced Styles on SmackDown Live (November 13th, 2018), wherein he beat The Phenomenal One and won the title…I’d like to bring another important part of the equation , the vast majority of professional wrestling specialists feel that Bryan will defend his title against Styles at the TLC PPV on December 16th.
Now, although Styles may lose in TLC to Bryan, it would only be fair for the WWE to give him a second shot at the title he held for so long! The Royal Rumble PPV has historically been a special event of Styles, as he made his WWE debut in the 2016’Rumble and faced John Cena in an instant matchup in this Royal Rumble event’s 2017 variant.
Out of Styles is probably the least likely to beat Bryan right now. However, the Royal Rumble PPV (January 27th, 2019) would be the ideal time for the WWE to book Styles to regain the WWE Championship from Bryan…
#4 After teasing us the WWE could eventually put the WWE Championship
When Shinsuke Nakamura won the Men’s Royal Rumble Match on January 28th, 2018, every WWE fan in attendance to the Royal Rumble event in the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was on his/her feet!
Besides, heading into WrestleMania 34 (April 8th, 2018), all signs pointed towards Nakamura defeating then-WWE Champion AJ Styles, and winning the title for the first time in his WWE career. Well, Nakamura lost at’Mania and turned heel by hitting a barbarous low blow on Styles on”The Grandest Stage Of Them All”, but in the months that followed, the Japanese phenom failed to win the WWE Championship.
However, Nakamura did win the United States Title, and retains it with pride! That said, the WWE Championship is still regarded as the biggest prize on WWE’s SmackDown Live brand, and after the promotion teased the possibility of”The Artist” winning the WWE Championship for a better part of 2018; it only makes sense that they eventually make him winner in the weeks to come.
I’d love to make an important point about our discussion here: Although I’ve listed every top Superstar and the analysis which suggests the reason why they’re likely to become the next WWE Champion after Daniel Bryan’s reign ends, in my personal opinion, I’d absolutely love it if Nakamura is the one to dethrone Bryan! After all, Nakamura is a charismatic genius and deserves to hold the most prestigious title in the realm of sports-entertainment…
#3 Heel Randy Orton could conquer heel Daniel Bryan and become a 14-time World Champion
I’m going ask you an honest question What’s common between Randy Orton and Charlotte Flair? Well, no need to scratch your head trying to answer that question!
Both Orton and Flair are now playing up the”psychopathic” aspect of their various characters in SmackDown Live’s continuing storylines. For enacting their onscreen personalities — going all out with their behavior, both Superstars have received a whole lot of praise from both fans and pros!
Orton has always been one of the most popular WWE Superstars, who also enjoys a great amount of mainstream notoriety, partially because of this”Randy Orton RKO Outta’ Nowhere” memes and movies that was one of the biggest talking points online about 4 years ago, and is quite common.
Besides, with AJ Styles unlikely to defeat Bryan, and Samoa Joe now dealing with a few nagging injury problems (Joe continues to wrestle despite dealing with minor injuries), the WWE will be looking at the possibility of Orton beating Bryan for the title. . .In case Orton defeats Bryan at the Royal Rumble PPV (January 27th, 2019), Elimination Chamber (February 2019), Fastlane (March 2019), or WrestleMania 35 (April 7th, 2019), he will turn into a 14-time World Champion.
Orton is currently a 13-time World Champion (having won the WWE Championship 9 times, and the World Heavyweight Title 4 times)…
#2 Lars Sullivan or The Miz could defeat Daniel Bryan
The motive Lars Sullivan has been included in this discussion of ours, is because”The Freak” is undoubtedly due for a huge push when he debuts on the primary roster. But, I must note that in order to win the WWE Championship, Sullivan has to be delegated to the SmackDown Live brand instead of the RAW brand.
There is always the chance that Sullivan ends up on RAW, and if he does end up on RAW, I believe he won’t have the ability to beat the red brand’s reigning kingpin Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title. That brings me to somebody who is now a SmackDown Live Superstar!
Now, over the past few days, the professional wrestling world has been busy with speculation the Miz could be involved at a WrestleMania 35 narrative with Shane McMahon — with The Miz rumored to be turning face, and facing Shane O’Mac at a match at’Mania.
Let’s face it, wouldn’t you want to see a Miz take on Daniel Bryan’s heels version? This is a feud that has been years in the making, and even though they did face each other this year, their feud seemed rushed and involved a few Superstars such as The Miz’s wife Mary and Bryan’s spouse Brie Bella.
Don’t be surprised if the WWE novels a babyface Miz to feud with this villainous version of Bryan — with The Miz possibly beating Bryan and winning the WWE Championship either at the Royal Rumble (January 27th, 2019) or WrestleMania 35 (April 7th, 2019)…
Before we expound on this subject I want to note a few stats . Jeff Hardy has won the WWE Championship only once in his career so far — back when he faced Triple H and Edge in a Triple Threat Match at the Armageddon PPV on December 14th, 2008, wherein he scored the pinfall victory over Edge to win the first World Championship of his professional wrestling career, the WWE Championship.
Alright, now that we’re done with the stats, let’s proceed! Considering that Hardy’s WWE Championship win came on December 14th, 2008, the fact remains that it’ll be that he now finds himself in a position to win the WWE Championship.
Now, though Hardy did capture the World Heavyweight Title (Big Gold belt) at WWE twice in 2009, before leaving for TNA (now–Impact Wrestling) and winning the TNA World Heavyweight Championship 3 times, the significance of the WWE Championship is undeniable.
I want to assert that if the promotional higher-ups don’t put the WWE Championship on Orton or The Liz (who, I think, are the best bets to dethrone Daniel Bryan as the champion); Hardy might be the likeliest candidate to become the next WWE Champion.