Credit: WWE on Fox
After a long-noisy show, including contributions from SmackDown’s top stars, Daniel Bryan made his way into the square shot for Roman Reigns and Universal Champion. Victory and the leader of YES! The movement will consolidate his legacy. The loss would lead to his expulsion from the blue mark.
The head of the table entered the arena for new themed music, an orchestral epic with a bad rhythm, befitting the irresistible force in sports entertainment.
Brian attacked from the start bell, shook the champion with a draw. He flattened Reigns with a running knee from the ring apron aimed at the break.
The challenger worked with the left hand and shoulder of the champion, going to him with a wave of kicks on the shoulder. The king absorbs and returns the fire, cutting off Brian with a big back for two. Brian sent him face down in the ring, but the Big Dog recovered and dropped a bomb from the upper rope for two.
Reigns dominated, returning from the break, unloading clothes ropes on the floor, then adding Bryan̵
Brian delivered a huge side suplex from the top rope and shot half of the Reigns, scoring two. He kept rolling, taking The Tribal Chief to the floor. There, Raines tried for the spear, but Brian moved and the champion crashed into the guardrail.
Returning from another commercial, Brian jumped from the top rope with a diving blow for another near fall. Reigns responded with Superman Punch. Brian stuck it in YES! Lock. Reigns ran away and delivered a copy, but he could only hold the contender for a count of two as Brian’s stamina and heart took over.
He reigns in Brian’s trap in the guillotine, but the baby’s face escapes and he applies a hand. He joined YES! Lock. Reigns struggled for the ropes, but Brian pulled him back. The champion feeds, finally managing to hit Brian on the mat. He hit the back of Brian’s head, punishing him before delivering another bomb.
Raines used his good hand to apply the guillotine, suffocating the battle from Brian and retaining the title.
After the match, Reigns tried to make a brutal attack against Bryan, only to save Cesaro. The Swiss Superman unloaded the champion until Jay Uso saved. Reigns sent President Brian while Cesaro was tied up in ropes, forced to watch.
Reigns defeated Bryan to win the title
It was one of the best matches of the year, a battle with high stakes not only for championship gold, but a continuation of one of WWE’s top-class careers. WWE made an extraordinary deal out of competition and the performers delivered exponentially.
Expectations were high and the match far exceeded them, providing a dramatic encounter in which fans thought an inspiring victory might not disappear from the cards before Reigns lost any sense of hope that still exists.
Not only was the match superb, he scored a rare clear victory for the Head of the Table.
Caesar, who is saving, supports the idea that the Swiss Superman will be next to challenge Reigns. While WWE is all-in with Big Dog right now, we need to ask ourselves if now is the time to use it to raise Cesare, especially given how hot the Swiss cyborg is at the moment.
But that’s for later.
Friday night was the culmination of Reigns and the enmity of Brian, Match of the Year candidate, and proof that WWE can still deliver these must-have event-style matches whenever it wants.