WWE | Pro Wrestling

Has Daniel Bryan touched the WWE World Title for the Last Time?

It’s been a week now and WWE fans are still in an uproar over Daniel Bryan’s early exit from The Royal Rumble. The man that once took the company by storm with his infectious enthusiasm and his feel good underdog story is now the center of attention once again.

Only this time, he’s being talked about in a much different tone. It’s almost like the guy died. Of course, one Rumble match does not define a career and fans will eventually calm down. But the moment does beg the question of what if? What if Daniel Bryan has touched the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for the last time?

It’s a situation that many likely never thought would happen, at least not right now. After all, Bryan just came back from injury and he did so with much promise. After months of uncertainty and speculation, Bryan finally returned and he did so like a man possessed.

Daniel looked as good as he did when he was forced to leave in 2014 and it brought hope to many that felt he would inevitably rise to the top once again. Despite any plans that the company may have had for Roman Reigns or for anyone else, there was no denying the fans loved Daniel.

WWE surely knew this and would not allow the Yes man to fade back into obscurity. Bryan is a star and that would be acknowledged once again, like it was before. It may have never been said aloud by WWE but fans knew it. They believed it.

And then it was all torn apart. The dream of Bryan coming up again ended in the blink of an eye. His ticket to WrestleMania 31 was snatched away from him by WWE and the guy that built a fan following from nothing was suddenly on the floor looking up at the lights.

The elimination came so unexpectedly that many likely didn’t believe it at all. I for one was waiting for the punch line. Had there been a mistake? Was it all part of a swerve on Daniel’s part? Would Sting come from out of nowhere and right the wrong?

But there was no Sting. There had been no mistake. And as the Philadelphia crowd booed throughout the rest of the night, it hit me that this could very well be the end. Well, at least for now. WrestleMania 31 seemed to be set in stone but that was certainly not the case for any event after that, right?

Then the story broke online that WWE was not only not interested in booking Daniel at Mania, he was also not even considered to be a top guy by Vince McMahon. For those of you that grunted when you read that, I’m with you. Totally.

First off, let’s all remember that you can only trust dirt sheets to a point. Even in this informed day and age, there’s still a lot of copying and pasting going on. What if all that had been done from a hollow story from the beginning? What if it was all nonsense?

Right now, there’s no way to know. But assuming there’s any grain of truth to it, then that means the Yes Movement is dead. And if not, it’s definitely on life support. If that’s true, think about the consequences of that.

WWE has always pushed the idea of the boyhood dream. From Shawn Michaels to Edge to John Cena, one guy after another has been portrayed as a kid at heart, a kid that had a dream and worked hard to make it happen. One by one, all of these men climbed the ladder and earned their spots. And it was all done with the backdrop of the boyhood dream.

The idea that a man can work his way up, overcome adversity and accomplish his goals, is not just a WWE concept; it’s the American dream. That scenario plays itself out to the cheers of crowds all over the world and it goes a long way to getting the guy in question over. It worked for Shawn, Edge and Cena; it also worked for Daniel.

But what if it only worked that one time? What if Daniel is one and done with the industry’s top prize? Is it possible that WWE would do all that work; elevate Bryan that high up, only to let him slide back down through no fault of his own?

It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Daniel Bryan is the equivalent of a one term President? This is the same Daniel Bryan that can put on a clinic in the ring, the same guy that took up the slack from CM Punk as if he was born to do it. He is arguably the most popular Superstar that WWE has seen since the summer of Punk and the fans are the ones that opened the door for Bryan to get to the top.

But if he’s done as a top level star then I for one have to seriously question WWE’s thought process right now. Elevating Roman is understandable; the company has to think about the future and he’s certainly part of it. But to leave Bryan out of the main event equation is insanity the likes of which we haven’t seen since Donald Trump and Rosie O’Donnell look-alikes squared off on Raw.

Daniel Bryan is a star. And with any luck, WWE will see that so we can all get back to our living our lives again. I for one am ready to do just that.

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Tom Clark

Tom Clark can regularly be found on Camel Clutch Blog. His podcast, Tom Clark's Main Event, is available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Android, Windows Phone and online at https://tomclarksmainevent.libsyn.com/

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