Daniel Bryan will face Roman Reigns in a high-stakes matchup on tonight's edition of Friday Night SmackDown. If The American Dragon wins, he will become the new Universal Champion, but he will be banished from the blue brand if Reigns comes out on top.
While the nature of the stipulation gives the match a big fight feel, few believe Bryan will be banished from SmackDown for long, especially as WWE has reneged on numerous stipulations over the years.
Bryan plans to stick by the stipulation if he loses to The Tribal Chief, though, and he told TVLine he will just have to be "okay with it" if he is banished from SmackDown.
"Before the brand split in 2015, I went to [WWE creative] with this idea that I would be a SmackDown exclusive wrestler. This was before we were on Fox, so it's still considered the underdog show but it was using the same wrestlers [on both Raw and SmackDown]. I thought, 'How do we make the show special?' When the brand split, I became the general manager of SmackDown, and since that time, I've been exclusive to SmackDown," Bryan said.
"The idea of being banished from my favourite show is a tough pill to swallow. Falling in love with '80s Mexican wrestling, one of the things that I think Mexican wrestling does better than anybody is they have matches with stipulations that have real consequences. They'll do mask versus mask matches, or hair versus hair matches, and they never go back on the situation. If you lose the mask versus mask match, your mask is gone and you wrestle without a mask for the rest of your career. So, that's one of the things that I've really tried to take to heart with my love of Lucha Libre. If I do this, and if I lose, I'm banished from SmackDown and I have to be okay with that.
"The flip side of that is getting the opportunity for the Universal Championship. There's nothing quite like being the top guy. I love wrestling under any circumstance, but when you're in a championship match and you're the champion, there's just a different feel [to them] and that's the feeling I love... When I came back from my injury, Roman was the one guy on my list that I wanted to have a big match with. This is it. This is as big as it gets."
Daniel Bryan won't be the only Superstar challenging for a title on tonight's SmackDown. Big E is also scheduled to face Apollo Crews for the Intercontinental Championship in a rematch from WrestleMania 37.