Daniel Bryan wants to increase the prestige of WWE’s Intercontinental Championship, but Sami Zayn is standing in his way.
Another fierce rivalry is brewing on WWE SmackDown. The Blue Brand already had wrestling’s two most compelling matches this past Sunday at Hell in a Cell in Roman Reigns vs. Jey Uso and Sasha Banks vs. Bayley, and Daniel Bryan looks set to renew his spring rivalry with Sami Zayn.
The latter won the Intercontinental Championship off Bryan at WrestleMania 36, and then he proved himself as the rightful champion at Clash of Champions in a hellacious ladder match with AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy.
Now, Zayn’s days as champion seem numbered, because Bryan may be hot on his heels. Zayn heard how much Bryan wants to win the IC Title, defend the championship night-in and night-out, and make it the biggest title in WWE. He wants the title to be the workhorse title it was meant to be, whereas Zayn hoards the championship and barely defends it. That’s the antithesis of a champion, in Bryan’s eyes.
Zayn is one of SmackDown’s best wrestlers and has cut incredible promos already since returning to the IC Title picture. But the title does need someone like Bryan, who can be a workhorse babyface champion. Bryan can do exactly what he says, increasing the prestige of this coveted title.
Daniel Bryan can make the IC Title feel like a huge deal on WWE SmackDown
If this is indeed Bryan’s last run in WWE, then it needs to count. He’s almost certainly not winning the Universal Title off of Roman Reigns, though we would all love to see them go at it in the ring one day. However, he can win the IC Title and leverage his popularity into boosting that championship and, later, putting over an up-and-coming talent in the upper mid-card scene on Friday nights.
Bryan is one of the best technical wrestlers in wrestling history. Over the years, he’s also become one of the best promos in all of wrestling, developing a well-rounded skill-set that makes everything he touches turns to gold. Plus, we already saw how well he played his role as the heel in Kofi Kingston’s historic title win at WrestleMania 35, which was probably the greatest WrestleMania triumph in history. His qualities as a babyface are just as legendary, but it’s the promo work I’m referencing here as a whole. He can sell any rivalry.
Zayn can’t have a long reign as champion, because people will get tired of it. The IC Title needs to be regularly showcased, especially since the Universal Champion shouldn’t be defending the title each week. That title is an attraction held by THE attraction in Roman Reigns, aligned with Paul Heyman. So to counteract that, the new IC Champion must be super active.
Wrestling fans want to see great IC Title matches each week on Friday nights, and it would bring something new to the show each Friday night. There’s nobody better to do that than Bryan, and fans have likewise been waiting for him to have a true run as a workhorse IC Champion