Daniel Bryan Emerging as Top Candidate for Raw MITB Briefcase Victory

Bill Atkinson@@BAtkinson1963Analyst IJune 21, 2013

(WWE.com photo)
(WWE.com photo)

It appears Daniel Bryan may be joining some elite company as a multiple winner of the Money in the Bank briefcase.

F4WOnline (via WrestlingInc.com) reports that for next month's MITB, it is shaping up to be Bryan capturing the red briefcase at the pay-per-view—putting him into a position to face John Cena for the WWE title. According to the report, that differs from what WWE originally wanted:

The original plan for Daniel Bryan's push had him facing John Cena for the WWE Title at Money in the Bank and SummerSlam. There's been talk over the past week that it was looking more like Bryan would win Money in the Bank and announce that he is cashing in at SummerSlam.

If it happens, the move will put Bryan—who already is so over with the fans that it is scary—into some rarefied air.

If Bryan wins, he would join CM Punk as the only other multiple winner in the nine-year history of Money in the Bank matches. Punk won back-to-back MITBs in 2008 and 2009.

But Bryan would be in another category all by himself. Since WWE went to Raw and SmackDown MITBs in 2010, no one has won both briefcases.

Bryan won the SmackDown case in 2011 and cashed it in later in the year to capture his first WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

With an MITB victory and subsequent cash-in, Bryan also could be en route to knocking Cena off literally and figuratively. There have been many contenders to Cena’s crown as king of WWE, but most of them turned out to be pretenders.

Punk has come the closest of any of them to date, starting with that famous worked rant against WWE management in 2011 and carrying it through his 434-day WWE title run. It also helped Punk’s cause that of all the competition in WWE Cena has faced, no one has given him more fits than Punk.

Bryan is a lot like Punk in two ways.

First, he can sell a story almost as good as Punk. Look how far and how well he is carrying the latest “weak link” and “inferiority complex” storyline.

Second, just like Punk, Bryan puts on great matches with whomever he faces. He has had some fantastic encounters with members of The Shield—especially Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. His match against Rollins at the pre-Payback Raw show kept the Richmond (Va.) Coliseum fans enraptured from the opening to the closing bell, and his crowd pop was the largest of the night by far.

A Bryan-Cena battle may not be as epic as Cena-Punk, but it would be close to classic.

If Bryan wins the briefcase, that should practically guarantee a Cena victory over Mark Henry in the main event at MITB. WWE knows that, while a cash-in on Henry would be a crowd-pleaser, a cash-in on Cena would shoot Bryan over the moon, or even over the sun if he were to make Cena tap out instead of pinning him.

Right now, Daniel Bryan is WWE’s mad bull. And nothing ramps up a mad bull more than to make him see red—as in a Raw red briefcase.


Follow Bill Atkinson on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.