Daniel Bryan wasn’t at WWE Crown Jewel even though he won a 2-minute match against The Miz at Super Show-Down to earn the title shot. Instead, Bryan decided not to travel to Saudi Arabia so WWE booked the match to take place on the SmackDown Live before they were set to fly around the globe for the big event.
During the conclusion of that match, Bryan tapped out to AJ Styles’ Calf Crusher and it raised a few eyebrows across the WWE Universe in the process.
Dave Meltzer discussed this booking decision from WWE on Wrestling Observer Radio where he explained that while he doesn’t know specifically in Bryan’s case — he does know how Vince McMahon’s mindset operates around babyfaces submitting, especially on television.
“Whatever Tuesday was or wasn’t the only person who knows is Vince because that was Vince’s call to make him submit. All I know is Vince’s mentality to babyfaces submitting on television and again, I can’t even remember when is the last one of a top babyface submitting? I know some people will go, ‘Oh, he’s not a top babyface, he’s a midcard guy which in fact, if you watch the booking he kind of is — but he ain’t paid like a midcard guy.”
“That’s the one thing that may be the savior in that is will Vince turn him into what Bill Watts did with Brian Pillman on a much higher level. In the sense of spite him — even though I’m paying you to be a top guy, you ain’t a top guy — I’m just gonna spite him. I guess time will tell what will happen next.”
It was also noted that if you’re going to pay anyone a lot of money to lose, it might as well be Daniel Bryan because he’s just so happy to be a pro wrestling. Because when Watts did that to Brian Pillman, he stood up to Watts — but Bryan is happy to be there and game to do whatever.
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