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What if Daniel Bryan had beaten Roman Reigns at Fastlane 2015?

Mike Chin
ANALYST
Feature
Modified 21 Dec 2019, 00:15 IST

Daniel Bryan battled Roman Reigns at Fastlane 2015, with a WrestleMania title shot hanging in the balance
Daniel Bryan battled Roman Reigns at Fastlane 2015, with a WrestleMania title shot hanging in the balance

In early 2015, the writing was on the wall that WWE intended for Roman Reigns to become the new face of the company. The pieces were all in place for that to happen. Brock Lesnar had been positioned as one of the most dominant monster heel champions in company history, complete with dominating John Cena to take the WWE Championship off of him at SummerSlam 2014. Meanwhile, Reigns had moved up the ranks, most notably winning the Royal Rumble to set him up as the number one contender going into WrestleMania.

The trouble was, the fans weren't buying into Reigns.

Not only had Reigns been booed with fury at the Royal Rumble, but the returning Daniel Bryan had garnered a hero's welcome. The message was clear that vocal contingent of the WWE Universe would rather have seen Bryan vs. Lesnar, and in particular Bryan winning back the title he had never lost.

WWE seemed to acknowledge the fans' reactions in booking Reigns vs. Bryan for Fastlane 2015, with The Big Dog's 'Mania title shot on the line. Reigns won, thus reaffirming the path WWE had put him on. But what if WWE had gone the other way?


#5 Daniel Bryan Vs. Brock Lesnar three and a half years early

Daniel Bryan and Brock Lesnar had a very good match at Survivor Series 2018
Daniel Bryan and Brock Lesnar had a very good match at Survivor Series 2018

Daniel Bryan and Brock Lesnar staged a fun match at Survivor Series 2018, which was particularly memorable for the oddball heel vs. heel dynamic at play. The story saw Lesnar using his brute force, while Bryan countered with not only his speed and technical savvy, but also his newfound heel machinations to hold his own.

Bryan facing Lesnar as a face could have worked just as well, if not more naturally in pitching him as a straight-up underdog hero. That's exactly the dynamic we could have expected had Bryan beaten Roman Reigns, and thus taken his WrestleMania 31 title shot opposite The Beast Incarnate. There's little question that the resulting match would have been great, for not only both of these men's talent but Lesnar's propensity to work especially well with smaller opponents and Bryan's ring generalship which would have all but guaranteed a carefully crafted, superb outing.

Bryan vs. Lesnar would have been a more than worthy main event for WrestleMania 31, nicely combining Bryan's appeal to the hardcore fan base with Lesnar's broader name recognition and credibility.

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Published 23 Aug 2019, 08:44 IST
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