Daniel Bryan won the WWE Championship in a surprising turn of events on the go-home Smackdown for Survivor Series. That was not the only shock waiting for us on the show as the new champion also changed his character. He dropped the universal babyface gimmick and turned heel by attacking AJ Styles in a despicable manner.
This changed the match card of the Survivor Series PPV event as we got to see a dream match. Daniel Bryan took on against Brock Lesnar in a match that we never thought to witness. It happened in a very interesting capacity where a heel took on against another heel. The question is how this villainous turn came about for the leader of the YES nation.
Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter published a report on the same. He revealed that none other than Daniel Bryan wanted this heel-turn for a long time. Basically, the focus following his in-ring return was on the feud against The Miz. But it did not turn out to be a successful one for the babyface superstar. So he wanted to transition his role for a long time.
As per him, his ‘booking as a babyface against The Miz was counterproductive’. So he did not want to stay the same way. We felt the same way for quite sometimes as the YES movement went soft for the past several months. The Miz was a perfect winner in this rivalry proving Super-Show-Down for Daniel Bryan a big fluke.
Here’s the analysis by the veteran wrestling journalist, (courtesy wwfoldschool.com)
“It’s amazing to me that he came back in March and here we are in November and obviously, he made this choice some time back — not a long time back but weeks back — that he had to go heel. So that was Daniel’s call, well, in the end, it was Vince’s call. So that was something that he wanted to do that had not been approved.”
The source continued saying that Daniel Bryan wanted to get a villainous gimmick for a long time. Vince McMahon took the final call on this on Tuesday. He already took the decision of arranging ‘Brock Lesnar against Daniel Bryan with a title change to Daniel Bryan’. But the heel-turn was not official by then. So they had another meeting after reaching the host venue of Smackdown.
They initially were not going to pull the trigger considering Brock Lesnar is the ultimate heel. So logically it might not seem right to many. Daniel Bryan should turn heel once Survivor Series concludes. But the Vince McMahon decided, ‘Let’s do it all in one day and get the biggest impact.’ Well, it did send the pro-wrestling fans to a frenzy for the next few days. We hope this heel-turn gives a major boost to Bryan’s career from here on.