WWE | Pro Wrestling

The Curious Booking Of Daniel Bryan

One of the biggest complaints I have with WWE booking is their lack of foresight when it comes to cultivating talent. That is why I was pleasantly surprised when that appeared to change with Daniel Bryan. Unfortunately, old habits die hard in Titan Towers.

Take a look at the last several guys that the WWE has tried to elevate over the last two years and what comes to mind? The Miz, Jack Swagger, Wade Barrett, Sheamus, and even CM Punk were given the ultimate prize in regards to booking, the WWE championship. Four of them failed, two miserably, and the jury is still out on Punk. Are the fans really that fickle or is there something more at play here?

The common denominator is the booking. For decades, pro wrestling promoters followed a simple formula when it came to developing top talent. They identified their money players six months-two years ahead of time, protected them with advantageous booking, and had challengers and champions that the fans could believe in when it became their time to shine. As simple as that process sounds, the chapter appears to have disappeared from the WWE creative team hand book.

That is why I was excited when Daniel Bryan not only won the Money in the Bank briefcase but told the world that he would cash it in at WrestleMania 28. Sure, Bryan had been booked throughout most of his tenure to look like a mid-card geek but this would give them enough time to right the ship. From the looks of things, it appeared that the WWE was ready to right the ship, and make Bryan into a credible headliner over the next nine months. Guess who got fooled again?

The WWE has already blown a month and a half with Bryan. Since winning MITB, Bryan has barely won a match on SmackDown. He hasn’t been booked in anything close to a meaningful feud, lost on the following pay per view to a guy that has been booked worse than he has, and even lost to a WWE champion on television. If the idea was to kill Daniel Bryan on television for the next nine months making sure he doesn’t draw a dime during his chase for the WWE world heavyweight championship, well then mission accomplished.

Trying to make sense out of Daniel Bryan’s booking is like trying to balance Ric Flair’s checkbook. None of it adds up. The WWE has faltering ratings on both of its major television shows and is in desperate need of “fresh meat” as the old promoters would call them on top. Apparently someone must have seen something in Bryan to give him the briefcase and storyline, so what is exactly the problem here? If there is anyone that needs to be reintroduced to fans as a title threat it is him, yet they continue to spin the wheels of insanity.

Am I one of those dreaded “Internet bloggers” who worship Daniel Bryan? No, but I am a fan who knows a great pro wrestling match when he sees it and this kid has certainly delivered plenty of those throughout his career. If this is some big inner office joke to tease Bryan’s loyal following, well then the last laugh will be on them anyway when he doesn’t draw a dime in the top spot. Quite frankly, I have no other explanation for it than that because it just doesn’t make any sense.

Why the same writers would protect Mark Henry at all costs to get him ready for a throwaway title match and not the kid who is supposed to headline WrestleMania is beyond my understanding. Regardless of the rationale, until someone has the guts to pull the trigger on these new pushes and give new stars the vote of confidence they need, the perception will continue to be that these new guys just got lucky and aren’t on the same level as other current and past champions and headliners.

Sadly, Daniel Bryan will be that next “lucky” failed champion unless something changes immediately.

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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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Welcome to the Camel Clutch Blog. The CCB was born in 2007 and features blogs from over 50 different writers. Articles from the Camel Clutch Blog have been featured by some of the world's most respected websites including; CNNSI.com, Foxsports.com, Yahoo News, Business Insider, MSNBC, NBCsports.com, and more.

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