WWE Raw: Daniel Bryan Pulled From Universal Championship Battle Royal

WWE announced on Monday afternoon that this week's Monday Night Raw would feature a 10-man battle royal to determine Brock Lesnar's challenger for the Universal Championship at SummerSlam on Aug. 11. However before Raw even made it onto the air the company had already changed up its plans.

The original lineup for the match included Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, Bobby Lashley, Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton, Baron Corbin, Cesaro, Big E and Daniel Bryan. However, original announcement for the match was later deleted and replaced with a new announcement, swapping out Bryan for Sami Zayn.

There's no official word yet on why the former multi-time WWE Champion was taken out of the match. However, PWInsider's Mike Johnson reported that Bryan is still backstage at Raw for the show, so it's possible he's still involved somehow.

Bryan and his tag partner Rowan lost the SmackDown Tag Team Championships to E and Xavier Woods in a triple threat tag match on Sunday night at Extreme Rules. In a crazed backstage promo (h/t Cageside Seats) after the show, Bryan said that in order to save the planet he'd have to "go where Daniel Bryan has not gone before."

"I had this dream," Bryan said. I had this dream that I was going to elevate the tag team division, the entire tag team division. And look what happened! I failed! I followed the dream. I followed the dream and I tried to take all these jokers, all these people swiveling their hips, I tried to take them to the main event, I tried to take them to the main event of WrestleMania, and I failed!


"But you know what? I don't... I don't think that it was me that failed. I think in pursuing this excellence they brought me down to mediocrity. I was trying to elevate the tag team division but they are un-elevatable. Do you hear that? Un-elevatable! If I want to change the planet, if I want to save the planet, I have to aim higher. I have to aim higher. I have to go where Daniel Bryan has not gone before. I know exactly what I have to do."

Another match announced for this week's Raw will see Natalya vs. Naomi vs. Carmella vs. Alexa Bliss in an elimination four-way bout. The winner will face Becky Lynch for the Raw Women's Championship at SummerSlam.