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SmackDown In A Nutshell: Daniel Bryan Fights For Fastlane

It’s time for us to wrap up another week, which means another [1] SmackDown In A Nutshell. This week, the theme: Daniel Bryan [2] fights for Fastlane [3].

The American Dragon sort of had a chance at the Universal Champion following the Elimination Chamber [4] match a couple weeks back.

Sort of, because he got the shot immediately after enduring the grueling match. He fought valiantly, but in the end he lost to the Head of the Table.

Well, tonight Daniel Bryan fights for  Fastlane. As in, Bryan is on a quest to get himself a proper shot at Roman Reigns and the title.

So, what will Daniel Bryan do to get a fight at Fastlane? How about a steel cage match.

Yep, that’s what is set for our main event this edition of SmackDown. That’s a satisfying way to wrap up another wrestling week.

So lets get into it, no?

It’s time for SmackDown In A Nutshell: Daniel Bryan Fights For Fastlane!

Let’s crack open this Nutshell and see how things work out!

Daniel Bryan Fights Fastlane
Image Credit: provided via wwe.com

Best Match of the night:

Daniel Bryan is one of the best performers of this (or any) generation. Jey Uso is one of the more unsung Superstars of his generation.

Uso has been doing some of his best work ever. Put him together with Daniel Bryan, inside a steel cage…it was a really solid main event.

Like…really, really solid. Very enjoyable match.

Worst match of the night:

There is a tie…and some blame.

The two singles matches pitting each member of the Street Profits against Sami Zayn and Baron Corbin.

The blame is on WWE for thinking having 2 singles matches is better than just using a tag team in a tag team match.

What a silly idea, right?

Star of the Night

With his tapout win in the cage, Daniel Bryan punches his ticket to Fastlane. From there, he hopes to get another WrestleMania moment.

He was excellent. Reigns and Uso were too, but those two (plus Heyman) have been at the top of their game for months.

Spot of the Night:

No single spot for me, but plenty of good cage action.

Jobber of the Night:

Reginald. Easily Reginald.

I will say…I am very curious where WWE might take some bizarre love angle between him and Nia Jax though.

Especially because…I don’t know…isn’t it weird to see him bounce from Carmella, to Sasha Banks, to Nia Jax in a matter of months?

Upset of the Night:

I have nothing here.

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

We have a Murphy sighting [5], and it seems that just like that, he’s nearly back with Seth Rollins [6].

Seems like not that long ago that we nearly had to put an APB out for Murphy [7]. Which was sad, because he was on a nice face trajectory for a bit with the Mysterio family.

Now…just like that, he’s back and trending toward Rollins.

Commentary of the night:

I don’t often touch this anymore, but I will say that Graves had some really good lines tonight. Had a couple zingers toward Reginald in particular.

LOL Moment of the night:

From somellier to Nia Jax’ love interest in a couple short months?

That could be happening. And as it unfolded, you can’t help but laugh.

Noteworthy Moment:

Daniel Bryan gets another shot at the Universal Championship, thanks to winning the cage match with Jey Uso this week.

I know they are set for Edge and Reigns at WrestleMania. I also know that there are plenty who are saying Reigns should squash the Rated R Superstar.

So…here’s my thought…

I think Daniel Bryan and Edge probably gives us a more interesting match…like, more compelling, longer and more engaging.

Also, we’re seeing more of the new Apollo this time around. Now he’s got his “real” accent, and came out with a spear and flanked by “elite Nigerian guards”.

I think I’d have skipped some of that, just seems a bit over the top, but still curious how heel Crews plays out.

Overall lowlights:

The worst part of the show was the whole Street Profits-Sami Zayn-Baron Corbin chunk of the show.

All four are capable of so much better, and yet…we got two uninteresting singles matches, not clean endings, the whole nine yards.

If you are going to give ten minutes of the show to them-or whatever amount of time it was-surely you can do better than that.

Overall highlights:

Daniel Bryan, Roman Reigns, Jey Uso and that whole dynamic.

It’s an interesting shift from Reigns and Kevin Owens. It’s also a bit of a palate cleanse between that feud and the lined up Reigns-Edge battle we are being promised.

I think to a point, WWE painted themselves into a corner, with the formerly retired Hall of Famer earning the big match at WrestleMania.

They had to do something to keep things going for Reigns between now and ‘Mania, and they don’t want to over-use the special attraction.

This is a good option. Perhaps the only downside is, as much as Edge winning the title would be a feel-good moment…I’d be completely down for another Daniel Bryan WrestleMania moment too.

After the final bell:

Here’s my take of the night: WWE isn’t doing a good job, nor a bad job, prepping for Fastlane.

I am not overly excited for the card yet, though Bryan and Reigns goes a long way in my book. That said, I’ve mentioned it before, but this is a PPV that I feel WWE should not have.

Like, skip trying to build up to an intermediate PPV. Have the Elimination Chamber in February, then take the 6 or 7 weeks after it to purely focus on WrestleMania.

It is their single biggest PPV of the year. Surely it should get a bit more focus on the build, and by having almost two months between shows would do that.