WWE Pulls a Bait and Switch on SmackDown

Instead of the promised Samoa Joe vs. Daniel Bryan main event, Big Cass got involved ...

There was good and bad to the main event of SmackDown on Tuesday night. The good was Daniel Bryan lost, clean. That’s right, that’s a good thing (we’ll explain in a second). The bad is that Bryan’s comeback tour is getting sidetracked by a nonsense feud against Big Cass.

Let’s start with the good. Samoa Joe made Bryan pass out in the Coquina Clutch, securing Joe’s spot in the Money in the Bank match and relegating Bryan to something different on that pay-per-view card. Oh, Big Cass was in the match for some reason as well.

That’s good for a few reasons. First, it made Joe’s Coquina Clutch look incredibly strong as a finishing move. It re-established that choke in a big way. It puts Samoa Joe in the title picture while holding back Bryan, and rightfully so, given that his comeback is only about a month old. He doesn’t need to be rushed into the title picture right away, and given WWE’s hesitation to use him seriously in that role in the past, I’m almost glad they’re keeping him away from the main event for now.

The way the storyline has played out, it’s allowing Bryan’s comeback story to be more of a journey rather than immediate gratification from the fans’ standpoint. In the long run, that’s going to be more beneficial for Bryan, and it’s going to make for a better story, especially for those fans who follow Bryan’s journey to it’s end.

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So there’s plenty of positive in putting over Joe and using Bryan as the man to do it. It accomplishes things for both storylines, as Joe looks to be a good contender for the summer โ€” it wouldn’t be surprising to see him win Money in the Bank and cash-in at some point.

That doesn’t mean the angle isn’t without some negative, though. The Bryan-Cass feud started with some sound logic. Cass complained that Bryan got all the attention for his comeback while Cass was making a comeback of his own, and he was jealous. That promo from Cass โ€” as awkward as it felt at times โ€” was actually really good and hit on a truthful storyline that was totally plausible. That’s the type of stuff wrestling should be using in storylines. It was a great idea.

But the first match between Cass and Bryan wasn’t very good, and I don’t think it’s fair to put it on Bryan. The reaction from the crowd at the beginning of the show on Tuesday, when Cass was added to the match, was a bad type of boo. People weren’t booing because Cass had heat, people were booing because they didn’t want to see Cass mess up the promised main event of Samoa Joe vs. Daniel Bryan.

That’s bad news.

The bait and switch is bad business by WWE.

Daniel Bryan vs. Samoa Joe is a huge “dream match” for those who didn’t see their Ring of Honor matches back in the day. Adding Cass to the match didn’t put heat on him, it put heat on WWE for not delivering the promised main event. It’s also going to make people reject Cass, the sam way they rejected Roman Reigns when he was forced into the picture time and time again.

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After a strong opening promo from Cass last month, I’m cashing out on the Bryan-Cass feud. The in-ring chemistry just isn’t there, and Bryan should be doing something better on the card than feuding with Cass. The idea was good, and the reasoning was believable, but the execution has been poor, and I think it’s more due to lack of chemistry than anything else.

No one is doing anything wrong … it’s just that the dynamics don’t work.