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WWE News: A special guest referee and a "too sweet" after SmackDown went off the air

Gary Cassidy
18.87K   //    27 Dec 2017, 12:46 IST

AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan were part of the match after SmackDown went off the air
AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan were part of the match after SmackDown went off the air

What’s the story?

We all know the house normally gets an extra special treat in the form of a "dark match" after televised events, but after last night's WWE SmackDown went off the air, something REALLY special happened in Chicago.

WWE Champion AJ Styles teamed with Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura to defeat Jinder Mahal, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens in six-man action.

Not only that, we had a special guest referee was none other than SmackDown Live General Manager Daniel Bryan - and there was a highly unexpected "too sweet" gesture afterwards!

In case you didn’t know…

At Clash of Champions, Daniel Bryan was also a guest referee in a match featuring four of these combatants which saw he and Shane McMahon get some wires crossed, and Daniel Bryan administered a fast count for a Sami Zayn roll-up on Randy Orton, which in turn allowed Zayn and Owens to keep their jobs.

The "Yep Movement" story doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon, but the special guest ref grabbed the headlines when interacting with someone else during the match...

The heart of the matter

AJ Styles is famed for the "too sweet" gesture, and we've already seen it in WWE when he and Finn Balor exchanged it in a mark of respect after their match at TLC.

But possibly the least likely scenario for an AJ "too sweet" in this match was the one that actually happened after SmackDown cameras stopped rolling when he and Daniel Bryan embraced the "too sweet". Needless to say, it got a monstrous pop from the crowd too.

What's next?

Well, only time will tell if this was just for TV or if there's something more to it. The "too sweet" may be a one-off, unfortunately, but seeing Daniel Bryan in the ring may not be. His special guest ref appearance may be the strongest indicator yet that we'll see him competing in a WWE ring before long, with rumours implying that if he doesn't, he'll be competing in a ring outside the WWE after his contract expires.

Daniel Bryan had previously said that he would prefer to wrestle in a WWE ring, but even with a plethora of doctors clearing him, WWE are erring on the side of caution and not clearing him due to previous concussion issues.

Author’s take

It's always cool to see a "too sweet", and to see Daniel Bryan in amongst the action - even if we'd much rather see him wrestling. To see Bryan and AJ throw up the "too sweet" is probably a one-off, and something really cool for the house in Chicago where the crowd never disappoints.

I'm sure this would have got a huge pop anywhere, but WWE really pulled out all the stops with this cool dark match. Now just to hope one of the thousands in attendance caught some footage.

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Gary Cassidy
Gary Cassidy is a freelance journalist from Glasgow, Scotland, specialising in professional wrestling with Sportskeeda. Gary has ten years' writing experience and a 2:1 Honours degree, and is also a subtitler working on both live and prerecorded broadcast for television channels across the UK, USA and Australia.
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