Daniel Bryan returned to SmackDown Live this week and won the Tag Team Titles following a four-week absence.
Hard to believe, but it has only been a little more than a month since WrestleMania 35. So much has happened in WWE between now and then, most of it chaotic and nonsensical. Once the week after WrestleMania is out of the way, it is usually followed by WWE effectively hitting the reset button. Vince McMahon has attempted to do that but failed miserably.
The main culprit has been the Superstar Shakeup. An event that was supposed to take two nights but went on for three weeks. Then, just to make matters worse, Mr. McMahon threw his weird and unexplained wildcard rule into the mix. It all seems like a way of remerging the brands without actually doing it. Someone who has missed out on all of this fun, up until this week, was Daniel Bryan.
Following his loss at WrestleMania, Bryan hadn't appeared on WWE TV until this past Monday. On Raw, he wrestled Kofi Kingston for the WWE Championship. That could well be the last time we see Bryan in competitive singles action for a while. The next night, on SmackDown Live, he and Rowan successfully defeated The Usos to become SmackDown Tag Team Champions.
Brad Shepard of Oh, You Didn't Know shed a little light on why Bryan's focus has shifted to the tag division. "It allows him to work those matches and get less physical and obviously that’s healthy for him right now," Shepard explained. The reason that makes a lot of sense is Bryan's month-long absence is apparently due to him suffering an injury. Having Rowan do all the hard work during tag matches will give Bryan a chance to recover.
It's really a win-win situation for WWE, something they are in desperate need of right now. Not only can Bryan return to work without putting himself at risk, but it also boosts the blue brand's tag division. Jeff Hardy's injury and the Shakeup have left the division extremely wanting. Now, there is an unexpected team at the top of the pile and, as it stands, four teams to chase them.