Monday night we found out the news that WWE World Heavyweight champion Daniel Bryan is injured and this Thursday will be undertaking neck surgery. Whilst it is not clear what will happen, early reports indicate Daniel will be out of action for up to 2 months. WWE will wait for the results of the surgery to react to the status of the WWE championship. Realistically WWE have two options, keep Daniel as champion like they did with Punk in late 2012 or vacate the WWE title if the injury is worse than first thought. This does highlight an issue with WWE at the moment. Who can realistically step up into the shoes of Daniel Bryan?
What about the two men he faced at Wrestlemania? Orton had a lengthy and mostly forgettable title reign before losing the title to Bryan at Wrestlemania and wouldn’t be a great choice. Batista is a sensible option for the short term but will likely leave to promote his film very soon. Brock Lesnar in my opinion should become WWE champion, however the time is not right for that to happen any-time soon. It is too soon for Cesaro to carry the belt and RVD is best suited as a challenger right now.
Another easy choice is John Cena, however with already gaining 14 title reigns fans could perceive this as a cheap way out. The less time Cena is near the title the better. He is doing a great job with Bray Wyatt at the moment anyway.
Guys like Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Bad News Barrett all deserve a run with the title however none of the above have enough momentum to carry the company forward currently, a title run now will only damage them.
Bryan’s injury highlights a possible gap and huge concern over main event talent. Sure WWE are slowly building stars ready to be stars in the near future but this is today. Years of depending on old timers rather than pushing younger talent has harmed WWE. A lack of focus of the midcard division hasn’t helped matter either. Surely guys like Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, Wade Barrett should all be solid main eventers by now but they aren’t. Instead guys who first won their titles 10 years ago are still being dependent on and that is not what is best for business.
So the answer to who can become WWE champion in the mean time, is a very difficult one to answer. You don’t want to risk rushing someone to the main event, Ryback became victim to that when John Cena was injured in 2012, nor do WWE have the luxury of a second world title to lean on in the shorter term. Nor do you want to make it predictable and give the title to John Cena or Randy Orton. One thing that is for sure is by the time Raw rolls into London on Monday we will get a good clear idea of what the status of the WWE championship is hopefully for Daniel Bryan fans its a positive one.