Daniel Bryan, the winner of the SmackDown Money in the Bank ladder match, announced on SmackDown that he would cash in his World Championship opportunity at WrestleMania 28. Though the announcement brought a Cheshire cat-like grin from ear to ear, parallels were immediately drawn as a certain loud-mouth from Green Bay, Wisconsin, made a similar promise back in 2007. A name that is hardly mentioned anymore, except for “History of Money in the Bank” WWE.com specials, Mr. Kennedy (TNA’s Mr. Anderson) who won the WrestleMania Money in the Bank ladder match, proclaimed that he would cash in his opportunity exactly one-year later at WrestleMania 24. However, WWE brass quickly lost faith in Kennedy, losing it to Edge just one week after his announcement. Question is: Will Daniel Bryan make good on his promise?
Edge is retired. So there are zero chances that The Ultimate Opportunist will bank on Daniel Bryan’s golden opportunity. The key is to not allow people to get into his head. And from Bryan’s carefully worded response to Michael Cole’s diatribe, Bryan knows that he earned this opportunity. Wrestling at WrestleMania has been a dream for him ever since he was a little boy, and after what transpired in April with his match side-stepped into a dark match, Daniel Bryan not only wants to guarantee his spot for next year, he wants his first WWE World Championship victory to occur there as well.
The decision to wait until WrestleMania benefits Bryan because this grants him about eight months to build his status as a future headliner. Most of the past Money in the Bank winners were too quick to cash in when they weren’t ready to carry the company. Edge lost his first WWE Championship in a matter of weeks, Rob Van Dam landed himself on TMZ with Sabu, costing him his WWE Championship, C.M. Punk didn’t even have the opportunity to lose the World Heavyweight Title, it was stripped from him, Jack Swagger who? It’s all a matter of when you cash it, and your status in the company.
Yet, there are a few dilemmas in The American Dragon’s plan: How to stay relevant for the next eight months, and what about the three months leading into WrestleMania? The Royal Rumble winner in 2012 will have his choice of challenging for either the WWE or World Heavyweight championships. What if Bryan lands himself in the midst of a triple threat? Let’s not forget The Elimination Chamber, winners from Raw and SmackDown chambers usually effect the course of the WrestleMania World title pictures.
So much can and will happen between now and WrestleMania that we can only hope that come April 2012, Daniel Bryan will still headline alongside the WrestleMania marquee John Cena vs. The Rock.
“Did you know?” Bryan Danielson detached his retina during a bout against Takeshi Morishima, who he had challenged for the ROH World title at Manhattan Mayhem in a losing effort.