Folks, we were so close. Just mere days away from WrestleMania 34 and the stars were aligning. Daniel Bryan had been cleared, the Owens/Zayn/McMahon/Bryan story would finally have a payoff. But, in the blink of an eye, it’s all gone. It was reported on Monday that Shane McMahon would not be competing at WrestleMania due to contracting a form of Diverticulitis while healing from injuries on vacation.
Granted the tag match had not been announced but with the stories that were told the last two weeks on SmackDown Live, it was apparent where they were heading. So now fans the world over will begin fantasy booking this match and where the WWE may be moving with WrestleMania 34 less than two weeks away. With time running out, tonight’s SmackDown Live will be pivotal for WrestleMania as next week’s go-home show will be too little too late. So with that being said, let’s speculate!
Bryan Finds a New Partner
The easiest solution to the problem would be Bryan finding a new partner. But looking at the roster for SDL, there aren’t really any good option. I’ve heard Ziggler’s name thrown around but that just wouldn’ carry any excitement. And I feel Dolph will have a date with Baron in the battle royal. I then shot over to the RAW roster, because it’s WrestleMania and rules are dumb. The only really entertaining name on the red brand was Ambrose.
Again, it wouldn’t make much sense as Ambrose doesn’t really have any ties to the three guys except some programs here and there over history. My ideal partner would be Chris Jericho, but Fozzy has a show in New Hampshire that day and it just wouldn’t be possible. Jericho would’ve been perfect for this match as there is the obvious story with Owens and a jealousy of Zayn. But again, he’ll be on stage crushing it with Fozzy then having a WrestleMania viewing party after.
So back to the drawing board of who Bryan could tag with at the Grandaddy of Em All. My next dream partner is someone we’ve seen on the main roster as of late and has the history with Owens and Zayn outside of the WWE, Roderick Strong. Strong has made an impact in the Cruiserweight Division in the title tournament and is involved in the Dusty Rhodes Classic. His style would mesh great with Bryan’s and the history would be easy to bring up in a video package. They’ve also had run-ins in the past in ROH and it makes sense that Roddy would want to help a man he respects.
Sadly, we won’t know much of anything until tonight and we can all speculate, but the roster doesn’t offer much as a partner goes. So let’s look at some other options.
Bryan Goes it Alone
With his history of injuries, I’m sure most of us thought that the tag match would be ideal as it would allow Bryan time out of the match. But with no clear partner choices to replace Shane, this may be turned into a singles match. The ideal match would be Bryan versus Owens. Kevin is the obvious ringleader and did the most damage to Bryan and Shane. Bryan going to battle with an unhinged Kevin while Sami is stoking the fire on the outside would be a barn burner.
If we look at the promotional aspect of the match a single match feels bigger to me as a fan as well. Yeah, the tag match would allow for more stars o the billing but the full singles return of Daniel Bryan against a former Undisputed Champion in Kevin Owens just sounds big. The WWE production team could put together a couple fantastic videos not only highlighting both men but also how this rivalry has gotten to this point.
WrestleMania 34 is less than two weeks away and the card is filling up fast. With just a pair of episodes left, SmackDown Live needs to tie up some loose ends and fast. Tonight needs to be the night where the fate of Owens/Zayn and Bryan is determined. This would give the creative team the go-home show to put the final nails in the coffin and go into WrestleMania strong. Like many of you out there, my anticipation for the match is off the charts.