On one of the most notable Smackdown episodes in some time, Daniel Bryan won the WWE Championship last night. He also turned heel in the process.
According to a report from Wrestling Observer, the decision was made to put the title on him before Becky Lynch was injured. As for Bryan’s heel turn, that is something he has personally been pushing for recently. The decision was not made to pull the trigger on it until yesterday, however.
Daniel Bryan Heel Turn, WWE Championship Win
“It’s a complicated story,” Dave Meltzer said. “Daniel Bryan himself has been pushing the idea of going heel just because his booking as a babyface with the Miz – it’s counter-productive.”
“For whatever the reason, I don’t know the reason but it was over the weekend, Vince changed plans and wanted to go with Brock Lesnar against Daniel Bryan,” Meltzer continued. “So this is before the Becky Lynch injury but the heel turn was decided this afternoon. It was basically Vince going ‘let’s do it all in one day and get the biggest impact.'”
Based on this report, the WWE title switch was decided independently of Becky’s injury. Bryan’s heel turn was decided the day of Smackdown. He had evidently been pushing for the turn in recent months, however.
The heel turn and title change led to a heel vs heel Champion vs Champion match Survivor Series.