The dust has settled from the mass firing that closed last week’s Raw. But the wound is still open for John Cena, who indirectly allowed the reinstated Authority to serve Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan and Ryback their walking papers as payment for getting them ousted from power at Survivor Series. The 15-time World Champion’s vow to finagle the reinstatement of the “Corpus Christi three” by winning the WWE World Heavyweight Title and holding it hostage only provided ample opportunity for the corporate triptych to salt said wound. The Authority dangled an opportunity for Cena to get his three buddies their gigs back provided he defeats Seth Rollins in a Lumberjack Match.
Almost a year after he won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and just three days before he returns to the ring, Daniel Bryan made his way back to The Big Easy for some one-on-one time with his beloved “Yes!” Movement. Bryan’s message was as gutsy as you’d expect — he promised to go the distance and win the big one all over again but Stephanie McMahon’s retort was as vicious as it ever was during The Beard’s rise to glory.
Not only did McMahon remind Bryan of the beating he sustained at the hands of Kane, but she also implored the former WWE World Heavyweight Champion to abandon his quest for the sake of his family. When Bryan, declined — let’s call it — McMahon played her ace in the hole and revealed Bryan’s opponent on SmackDown: Kane. The Devil’s Favorite Demon picked up right where he left off by brutalizing his former fellow WWE Tag Team Champion. Bryan thwarted another Tombstone to the steps, though, instead unleashing hell on his former buddy. Bryan beat Kane back with dropkicks and a suicide dive as vicious as anything he pulled off in his prime. All of which is to say, has Daniel Bryan slowed down?