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Inside The Wheelhouse: Were the WWE and Daniel Bryan working us the whole time?

Daniel BryanThis past Sunday night I sat down and watched Summerslam, the 2nd biggest WWE PPV of the year and the self proclaimed “biggest party of the summer.” For the most part I was let down by the first part of the matches and was picked up by the final three matches on the card (Orton/Sheamus, Kane/Mysterio & WWE/Nexus). But then the PPV was made all better when one single moment happened in the Main Event of the night.

Daniel Bryan a.k.a Bryan Danielson returned to World Wrestling Entertainment. It was one of the more shocking surprises of 2010 as two months prior the WWE had released Bryan Danielson following the Justin Roberts/Neck tie incident. Many fans including this one here were skeptical at first due to how popular Bryan was with the fans and felt that the WWE would be making a huge mistake should the release him, it had the makings of complete work.

But Daniel Bryan was released, made independent wrestling dates throughout the summer and showed up at various wrestling conventions. He was indeed back on the Independent circuit and it no longer had the makings of his release from the company being a work. But then the unthinkable happened on Sunday night at Summerslam.

[adinserter block=”1″]The WWE left the fans wondering who would fill The Great Khali’s (no that’s not a typo) spot on Team WWE in the main event at Summerslam. All signs led that the position would be filled by current WWE United States Champion and holder of the RAW Money in the Bank briefcase, The Miz. They ended RAW with Cena & Hart asking The Miz and had The Miz announce that he would be the 7th participant for Team WWE during the Summerslam PPV itself.

As the six members of Team WWE stood at ringside awaiting The Miz to come down the ramp John Cena announced that the 7th member of the team would be Daniel Bryan. A move that shocked WWE fans, especially those who follow the internet. It was a move that swerved every fan in a day in age where Wrestling fans find out spoilers rather easy.

Daniel Bryan made his return to the WWE, 60+ days after being released from the company as well as working independent wrestling dates throughout the country. The return led many to believe that this could have been a work the entire time by both the WWE & Daniel Bryan. If it was in fact a work the entire time it was one of the best works on wrestling fans in quite sometime and possibly one of the biggest works in the internet era.

Reports on whether or not the WWE worked the fans into believing that Daniel Bryan was released this whole time have been conflicting since writing this blog the day after Summerslam. One report currently states that WWE made the move to bring Danielson back to the WWE just days ago, something that doesn’t make sense to me heading into the 2nd biggest PPV of the year. Would the WWE really roll the dice on hoping Bryan would return to the company in one of their most hyped main events this year?

[adinserter block=”2″]I guess we will truly never know whether or not this was a work the entire time. In my wrestling fan heart I truly believe that it was a work the entire time and this whole release angle has led to Daniel Bryan & The Nexus to receive quite the “rub” in the WWE. It’s amazing that eight wrestlers who were not on the WWE roster in January of this year were main eventing Summerslam eight months later.

It was great booking done by the WWE and now the sky is the limit for Daniel Bryan as he returns to the WWE with more hype then he did when the first season of NXT was announced. They left the door open for a Daniel Bryan/The Miz feud which would appear to be the next step in Bryan’s progression in the WWE. A United States title reign would help solidify him with the wrestling fans that were never familiar with his work until now.

Whether it is a work or an actual shoot, the release of Daniel Bryan had wrestling fans buzzing for two months. It made many wrestling fans feel extremely upset with the way the WWE handled it and it also made many wrestlers on the current roster of the WWE upset with the way it was handled. In the end good has prevailed and “The American Dragon” stood center stage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles at Summerslam.

I truly feel that when it is all said and done I will look back at this entire summer long neck tie debacle and say…the WWE got me. Well played WWE creative team, well played.

Do you think it’s a work or shoot? Tell us what YOU think for this week’s edition of The Still Real to Us Show with Eric Gargiulo and I by sending us an e-mail at and give us your thoughts on whether you agree with more or not! Then go ahead and download the show this Thursday July 22nd @ 8pm ET/5pm PT at or to find out if your pick made it to the air!

Jeff Peck is the producer for the “Wheelhouse Radio” program that airs every Sunday – Thursday @ 8pm ET/5pm PT at and at @ 2am ET/11pm PT

Jeff also co-hosts “The Still Real to us show” with Eric Gargiulo which can be available at and can be downloaded in the “Real Guy Radio” section of the site..”

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  1. Totally agree, Bryan's appearance was a really cool surprise and the way he took out nearly 50% of Nexus made him look very strong.

    And THEN they had Michael Cole absolutely BURY him last night on Raw for reasons that completely escape my understanding. As is always the case with WWE, it was one step forward and two HUGE steps back.


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