Perhaps there is a reason the Roman Reigns-Daniel Bryan storyline that has played out on SmackDown the last several weeks has almost zero semblance of sense to it.
According to veteran wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, WWE CEO Vince McMahon ripped up the SmackDown script about four hours before Tuesday night’s show and re-wrote the program himself.
Let’s summarize through the Reigns-Bryan storyline over the last several weeks and see if it makes any sense to you.
First, Reigns was attacked backstage at a WWE event — he had a set of staging pushed over on top of him — and then he was run down by a car in a parking lot during a RAW.
From there, the search was on for who attacked Bryan and maybe thought that it was Erick Rowan, who has been attached to Bryan as his lackey for months.
Bryan said Rowan had nothing to do with it and said he captured the real attacker last week on SmackDown. At the end of the show, an older gentleman, who had the same beard as Rowan, was unmasked as the attacker on Reigns.
But this week, that was thrown out the window. Why? Because Reigns had a better video (different than the first evidence, apparently) where Rowan is clearly seen as the person attacking Reigns.
Bryan demanded that Rowan apologize, he didn’t, and Reigns attacked Bryan in the ring on this week’s episode. Bryan said he wasn’t directing Rowan, so now the mystery has changed from “who attacked Reigns” to “who directed Rowan to attack reigns.”
It’s been a long and winding road of nonsense, and WWE seems intent on dragging out this mystery week after week. Or, rather, Vince McMahon seems intent on dragging out the mystery.
Bryan and Reigns are two of the biggest stars in the company. They don’t need this type of convoluted storyline to pit Bryan and Reigns against each other. All they need is a good personal issue. Maybe they’re fighting for the chance to challenge Kofi Kingston? Anything other than this, quite frankly.
Meltzer’s report also shines some light on how much autonomy Eric Bischoff has as the executive producer of SmackDown. It should be noted that, while it could very well be happening on RAW, there is no evidence that McMahon tears up Paul Heyman’s scripts hours before RAW every Monday night. This seems like a regular occurrence on SmackDown for much of the last 6-8 weeks.
McMahon said, on a recent investor call, that the idea of bringing in Bischoff and Heyman to run point on the two flagship programs was done because McMahon “can’t be in the weeds” as he was before. Yet here we are, and it seems that McMahon is as deep in the weeds as he has ever been.