At Night of Champions, Vince McMahon and WWE Creative did something few saw coming. They put the title back around Daniel Bryan’s waist.

This was surprising to me on a few levels. First, having only just cashed in his Money In The Bank briefcase, I honestly expected a longer run for Orton. But it appears that the cash-in and brief title run was intended to serve the greater good-furthering the Corporate storyline, and really getting Daniel Bryan over even more. Mission accomplished.

So, what can they do for an encore? Where do things go from here?

For starters, I know this won’t end the Power Trip for HHH and Stephanie. If anything, I expect things to get even more interesting now that their hand-picked champion has been dethroned.

Given the amount of beatings, and the severity of them, I had thought to myself over the past few weeks that the only way this balances out would be a Bryan win at NOC. And, I actually did expect him to win-but I expected there to be outside help of some fashion. When HHH said no outside help, it was a bit of a surprise, though I was still anticipating a finish that kept the belt with Orton. A DQ would have achieved both, but right off the bat that was taken off the table. A clean pinfall by Orton over Bryan would have almost defied current booking logic. Having the American Dragon win clean and take home the belt surprises us all and actually adds more fuel to the fire. This angle should only get hotter.

For one, Hunter’s explanation, to Randy, of the stipulation: he wanted to find out if he picked the right guy to be the face of the company. Is there a swerve coming? Has Hunter and WWE soured on Orton as champion-again? Hunter was a big fan of pointing out things as good for business, and if Orton as champion doesn’t excite people, even after one month, is he that fickle? Is Hunter thinking that only he should be the face of the company?

Second, the fast count. Everywhere you see analysis of the match, everyone notes Scott Armstrong’s relatively quick three count giving Daniel Bryan the gold. One needs to presume this is all a part of the storyline-rarely does WWE do something that isn’t. So, who was Armstrong working on behalf of, if he administered the quick count? Was he just being a rogue referee, determined to “right the wrongs” of the Corporation? Or, is he in someone’s pocket, someone who was determined, from behind the scenes, to undermine HHH and his every decision? My money is on someone directing him to ensure a Bryan victory, and as for who was providing the direction? Well, if undermining HHH was the intent, that sure seems like what VKM was doing prior to taking a TV hiatus.

One thing’s for sure. I was planning on watching RAW, as always, just to see how depressing HHH and Steph can make the faces. Now, I am tuning in wondering how frustrated the power couple will be by the Bearded One and his new championship reign.

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