The surprising news to come out of Monday’s “WWE Raw” was that WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan has sustained a neck injury that will require him to undergo surgery. Bryan made the announcement himself, revealing that he is scheduled to go under the knife Thursday (May 15).
It’s unknown how long Bryan will be out of action due to the injury, which creates an interesting dilemma for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. With Bryan on the sidelines, the question will arise of whether or not to strip him of it.
In an interview, Triple H said that decision would be made after the surgery, when the full extent of Bryan’s injuries are known. Making that call is a tricky issue, though.
On one hand, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship is treated as the “ultimate prize” in professional wrestling. Not having it represented on pay-per-views could could damage the value of the show. Whether or not that matters as much with a large chunk of the pay per view audience coming via the WWE Network is another question entirely.
On the other hand, something special has been born through Daniel Bryan. Over the last year he has become a hero to WWE fans and, in turn, their support propelled him to the very top of professional wrestling. When he won the main event match at “Wrestlemania 30” and become the company’s champion, it was a victory for the viewers who demanded to be heard.
Now, with only one pay-per-view title defense behind him, stripping the championship away from Bryan could easily negate all the goodwill that was built be having him win it in the first place. That would be through no fault of either WWE or Bryan, but could do lasting damage.
WWE seems to be moving forward with two main event matches at “Payback” on June 1 that don’t include Bryan. If his injuries were enough to keep him out a second pay-per-view, which will be “Money in the Bank” on June 29, do you think he should be stripped of the title? Share your opinion in the poll below.