What's the story?
Daniel Bryan's heel turn and WWE Championship win on SmackDown Live took the WWE Universe by shock. Many fans never saw it coming because for the vast majority, Bryan represented a career babyface.
However, WWE decided to take the unpredictable route and according to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, a surprising name was the reason behind his heel turn.
In case you didn't know...
On the 13th November episode of SmackDown Live, Daniel Bryan faced AJ Styles for the WWE Championship. The match was too close to call and intense as expected, but the biggest shock came when Daniel Bryan used a low-blow while the referee was down. He then hit a running knee and pinned Styles, dethroning him after a historic 371-day WWE Championship reign.
Bryan then proceeded to assault Styles, cementing his heel turn. For the first time in years, Bryan was booed heavily by the crowd. Interestingly enough, it also happens to be the first time in six years that Daniel Bryan has turned heel!
The heart of the matter
On the latest Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer stated that Daniel Bryan himself had been pitching to turn heel for at least a month now. He pitched it to Vince McMahon, who finally agreed to it.
Interestingly, Meltzer also mentioned that the title change was decided this past weekend and Vince McMahon also didn't want to spread the events out, so he made the heel turn and title change in one night.
It's interesting if Bryan himself pitched it because it's possible he felt his comeback run was a bit underwhelming and his character started getting stale. Either way, it worked quite well.
Daniel Bryan faces Brock Lesnar this Sunday at Survivor Series. It's going to be interesting to see what happens on SmackDown Live after as we build towards TLC.
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