Daniel Bryan def. Randy Orton and Batista to become the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion

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April 06, 2014

NEW ORLEANS – Batista has to deal with it. The voices in Randy Orton’s head are speechless. And Triple H’s corporate throne will have to do without its crown jewel, because Daniel Bryan – the Goat Face, the Weak Link, the B-plus player, he of the high school gyms and double-digit paydays on the independent scene – is the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

Perhaps, however, to say he simply won a title (or two) is an understatement. Bolstered, as ever, by the legions of the “Yes!” Movement that have carried him to glory, Bryan didn’t just capture the championship he’s chased for almost a year now: He rectified every malicious misfortune that befell him throughout his rise. He beat The King of Kings via pinfall in the opening match of the evening to earn his way into the title bout. He reclaimed the WWE Title that was stolen from him at SummerSlam (and again after Hell in a Cell) via submission. Given the two-title nature of the WWE World Heavyweight Title, he even got his hands back on the World Heavyweight Championship he lost in 18 seconds two years ago, in an ignominious WrestleMania XXVIII loss where this Movement really started.

Despite the fairy-tale ending, the bout was far from a fantasy fulfilled until the last possible second: Opposed by not one but two of Triple H’s protégés, Bryan fought tooth and nail to claim the ultimate prize. He certainly had to fight to earn the honor. Orton is the embodiment of WWE’s status quo; a Superstar for whom the brass ring practically came with the brass baby rattle. Batista – despite being recast by the fans from a conquering hero to an extension of The Authority’s rampaging ego made flesh – is and always has been less a man than a force of nature inside a wrestling ring.

Bryan, meanwhile, was always the perennial underdog: a “B-plus player” who supposedly would never make the grade and a bearded ragamuffin who simply would not do as the clean-cut face of a WWE that would never give him the opportunity to succeed anyway. In the months leading up to WrestleMania, it became apparent from screwjob after screwjob that Bryan would never be given  the ultimate prize in the same gift-wrapped way that Orton did. He would have to take it.

In so many words, he did. 

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