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Daniel Bryan Says He Owes CM Punk His WWE Push

Daniel Bryan continues to be one of the most honest interviews you’ll get from a top WWE superstar. Bryan recently appeared on Chris Jericho’s podcast and what he said about his current push reveals a lot about how committed the WWE may be to the champ.

The WWE world champion was a guest on Chris Jericho’s Podcast One show recently. The two-part interview is fantastic and Bryan pulls back the curtain more than you’d expect from someone in his position. Yet it was their conversation regarding his current push that is drawing headlines.

According to Bryan his push to the WrestleMania main-event and the WWE world championship had more to do with CM Punk than it did with the Yes Movement. Bryan told his former partner and foe that if it wasn’t for Punk leaving, we probably would be seeing a different guy with the WWE world title

“It wasn’t necessarily that I felt a shift. It was essentially after Punk quit. It was like, ‘Well, we’ve got John and we’ve got eeeeeeeh.’”

Talk about truth in jest. What many people don’t know is that Bryan was originally penciled in to wrestle Sheamus at WrestleMania 30. The match would have been low-mid card and served to get Sheamus over as a new heel. Keep in mind that this was still in the midst of the Yes Movement and after the Royal Rumble (although Punk did quit the day after).

This confirms what many of us believed from the start. The WWE are not nearly as committed to pushing Bryan as they appear to be. I have said this plenty of times in this blog and I’ll say it again. He was not their choice. While he should have been their choice, they were ready to ignore him in spite of all of his momentum. One thing I think a look at WWE history will reveal is that they don’t push guys that aren’t necessarily “theirs” the same way they would a guy they groomed.

Bryan also talked about the booking in 2013. Bryan confirmed what many refused to believe at the time. Bryan was not necessarily receiving a push. Many Bryan supporters would become enraged at the booking of Bryan during this time. Bryan told Jericho that he was never meant to be the guy. Bryan revealed that the angles were meant to get Randy Orton over and not Daniel Bryan.

The only reason I bring up all of this is that I think the jury is still out on Bryan. His injury withstanding, I am not convinced he is going to have this long title reign that many pundits and fans feel he will receive. Again I am not saying he doesn’t deserve it. I am just saying that he was never their guy, thus I don’t expect anything substantial to come out of this.

I also think this goes back to the argument whether Daniel Bryan is a draw or not. Vince McMahon is not a stupid man. If he felt that the business was shifting along with the Yes Movement, Bryan would have been picked to be their guy. But the fact remains that there have not been any significant increases in business reported since Bryan won the belt. An impact on business would immediately shut down this argument and solidify Bryan’s spot. Unfortunately he doesn’t have that security.

On a side note Jericho brought up a great observation he had about Bryan early on. Jericho said that he was confident that Bryan would get over at some point the second he was signed by the WWE. Jericho said that to him, if a guy can get over elsewhere, he can get over anywhere. It makes sense but that isn’t always the case. I think at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what you did elsewhere if the booking team doesn’t have the confidence in you. Yet if you look back he is right in that most of the guys like Punk, Rollins, and Bryan who got over elsewhere eventually got over in the WWE. The same can’t be said about guys like Low Ki, Monty Brown, and the original Sin Cara to name a few.

The positive to all of this is that for Daniel Bryan fans, you are getting more than you should. If CM Punk never left, your Daniel Bryan WrestleMania 30 moment would have been Bryan putting over Sheamus. Instead you got one of the greatest moments in WrestleMania history and a guy on top you probably wouldn’t see in most other eras.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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