Daniel Bryan defends the WWE championship against AJ Styles at tonight’s (Sun., Dec. 16, 2018) WWE TLC pay-per-view (PPV) at the SAP Center in San Jose, California.
It’s almost unfortunate for Styles but this is all about Bryan and his character’s story arc.
When he was finally cleared to wrestle again earlier this year, Bryan was inserted into a tag team match teaming with Shane McMahon as his first match back at WrestleMania 34 and it was all downhill after that. To put it simply, WWE completely screwed up booking a guy who should have been easier to book than any wrestler since Hulk Hogan in the late 80s.
His big comeback story should have involved the WWE championship.
It did not.
Styles was the guy holding that championship, on a year long run with the title that saw plenty of great matches and no memorable stories. Bryan toiled away in feuds with the likes of Big Cass, and we wondered just what the hell was going on. While he managed to get some decent matches in, it was baffling that WWE had turned him into just another guy on the roster.
That all changed when, out of the blue, he was given a title shot just days before Survivor Series and he won the belt to set up a dream match against Brock Lesnar. When I say he “won the belt,” I mean he decided to forgo being a good guy anymore and kicked Styles right in the balls. After tearing down the house with Lesnar in one of the best matches of the year, he explained that, well, fans are fickle and he’s got no more use for the so-called “YES movement.”
He’s since run down everyone for their reckless consumption and ruthless destruction of the planet, which one would think noble but he’s such a condescending ass about it you can’t help but hate his guts for it. He’s far more interesting than he has been in some time, and all it took was one shot to the balls.
What to expect
This is Bryan and Styles getting the chance to showcase just what they can do in a PPV match with the WWE championship on the line. That’s something that, as little as five years ago, would have been crazy to think could ever happen. Yet here we are, and you can bank on both wanting to make this one of the best matches of 2018.
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