WWE’s Universal Championship — aka the Lord Zedd version of the regular WWE Championship — was introduced back in July of 2016.
About a week later, then-Smackdown General Manager Daniel Bryan took a shot at the title on an episode of Talking Smack: “We don’t wanna be like Raw and just all of a sudden, day after, like, “oh we don’t have a world title so we’re gonna have a UNIVERSAL TITLE, A GALAXY TITLE, THESE GUYS ARE GONNA BE THE MILKY WAY TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS!”
A couple of weeks later, Bryan and Shane McMahon debuted their own mock-up of the “Universal Championship,” and it was just a regular men’s leather belt with a giant aluminum foil “U” across the crotch.
Now that Daniel Bryan has been cleared to compete and has a WrestleMania return win under his regular men’s (pleather?) belt, he’s part of the Smackdown roster again and, by proxy, available for trade in the Superstar Shake-up.
In a backstage interview with Mike Rome, Bryan pleaded with Smackdown’s new management to keep him on Smackdown, because he “bleeds blue,” and also one other very important reason: he really doesn’t want that Universal Championship.