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Can champion David beat challenger Goliath?
In the first SmackDown of 2012, World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan will face Big Show, the very Superstar against whom he cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase to capture the title. Although Bryan has built his career around defying odds and silencing naysayers, how can he topple The World’s Largest Athlete this Friday night?
Bryan stunned the WWE Universe at December’s WWE TLC pay-per-view when he pinned a war-torn Big Show, who not only endured a hellacious Chairs Match with Mark Henry, but also a post-match beatdown at the hands of The World’s Strongest Man. In a span of 45 seconds, Bryan went from holding his championship contract to grasping the championship gold, while the only thing Big Show was left with was the dishonorable distinction of the shortest World Heavyweight Title reign in history.
Now Bryan will attempt to repeat his success. This time, however, the giant will be upright and expecting the challenge, so what does that portend for Bryan’s chances of securing a victory?
To describe the size disparity as considerable would be a severe understatement. Standing more than seven feet tall, Show towers over the 5-foot-10 champion. Bryan competes at a trim 210 pounds. Show, on the other hand, tips the scales at 440 pounds-plus.
Perhaps the most significant aspect of the size difference is its potential impact on Bryan’s offensive game plan. At WWE TLC, Bryan used the element of surprise to take advantage of the already-battered giant and score the three-count. Yet is a similar strategy possible when the two Superstars start off on an even playing field?
Big Show’s sheer immensity could very well render Bryan’s extensive repertoire of submission holds useless. When it comes to applying maneuvers that make opponents cry “uncle,” few are better than Bryan, who considers himself a true student of the art. That said, no amount of expertise can reduce The World’s Largest Athlete’s immensity, which suggests Bryan might have to rely on something other than the Lebell Lock to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.
Big Show, meanwhile, is on a quest for not only the championship, but also retribution. Already upset with Bryan for using the World Heavyweight Championship contract against him, Big Show has since repeatedly asked – to no avail – that Bryan, who fancies himself as Show’s “good luck charm,” keep his nose out of the big man’s matches.
Big Show has insisted for weeks that giants do not need luck, much less good luck charms. This Friday, in SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long’s bid to outdo the Raw SuperShow’s main event from last Monday, he will have a golden opportunity to prove that he’s right.
As if facing a giant isn’t daunting enough, Bryan will have to contend with a fuming giant. Unless he can prove otherwise, Bryan’s upcoming defense against Big Show appears to be an uphill battle, and perhaps an insurmountable one.