Thursday, May 19, 2022
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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?

[adinserter block=”2″]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.

[adinserter block=”1″]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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  1. No one can get behind Swagger. He was a very athletic bust and people just need to get beyond that. And don't blame Cena, Pete. He doesn't book himself. And if he did, he'd be the world beater anyway. Kids love Cena, and those kids have their parents spend what's left of their money.

    But Bryan? He is at least a couple more years from being a force in the company. I'll have more on this next week. Great read, Eric!

  2. "Swagger, Miz, etc, they were all heels. Think about that for a second, and what effect that might have had on the company. Each and every single one of them came into the main event as a heel, and then lost to an established main eventer several times to end their push."

    You mean John Cena. They ALL lost to John Cena. He is ruining wrestling.

  3. I have to say that CM Punk is a failure, whereas Miz was not. Miz was the hottest heel on television, and he's still in the top 5 or so heels. He had a VERY long title reign for a MITB cash-in, and during that time he was unquestionably the best heel on Raw. Punk was off doing the crappy Nexus stuff during that time, and wasn't even important. He's still over, just look at the Subway thing. The only reason he could be seen as a failure is because of the Rock and the Over the Limit travesty. The Rock made the Miz into a third wheel at Wrestlemania, and at Over the Limit Cena nosold EVERYTHING the Miz and A-Ry did to him. CM Punk on the other hand, has been booked so poorly in the last few weeks that I'm sick of him and his stupid feud with Nash. I honestly don't care who hired Nash, unless it was someone insane like Eric Bischoff. He's not over as a face either, everyone is either too quiet or booing him.

    Also interesting to note: all those new people you mentioned? Swagger, Miz, etc, they were all heels. Think about that for a second, and what effect that might have had on the company. Each and every single one of them came into the main event as a heel, and then lost to an established main eventer several times to end their push.


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