It seems lately that the WWE and the WWE Universe have been busy trying to sell us on the idea that the “Yes Movement” and Daniel Bryan will have their moments of glory when WrestleMania XXX concludes in New Orleans. The WWE, the company that has been worried for months that wrestling’s “Mighty Mite” may not be able to draw as the face of the corporation is faced with the reality that Bryan has to save the company and the main event at WrestleMania from being a total loss. Because there is little interest in Randy Orton and Batista in the main event, Bryan must come in to save the day.
Would his win signal a return to form of Evolution? Who becomes the fourth member? Does that in some way help ensure the return of CM Punk? And does a win by Bryan over Triple H and then Orton and Batista slow down the new champion? Bryan’s hunger for the title and his desire to destroy The Authority has been the adrenaline the WWE has lived on since SummerSlam last year.
It is a calculated risk the company must look at with thick glasses and make a decision that likely will carry over until SummerSlam 2014.
Right now, there is no CM Punk to help save the program. There is nowhere for John Cena to jump in and protect his little buddy. Everything the WWE does with the rest of the year is predicated on this two matches. The Shield’s apparent face-turn is one that is meeting the WWE fans with great joy, but I do not see them trying to defend someone who took his time to systematically beat all three of Hounds of Justice.
Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow and maybe Goldust could be added to the fray – even The Miz in future programs – but nothing seems to work once the strap is around Bryan’s waist for any length of time. It is a lot like the issues surround wrestling promotions in the 1970s and 1980s.
I know I keep harping on it, but there really is an art to selling at the gate. It is the reason (and it has been discussed many times on Raw and other wrestling programs) Vince McMahon once allegedly thought Triple H and Shawn Michaels couldn’t sell. It is also one of the many reasons Hulk Hogan stuck around so many years when others like Randy Savage and Roddy Piper weren’t given the chance to take the WWE Championship and run with it the way Hogan had.
Oh, and if you are wondering, the fact Piper never had the WWE Title is a travesty that will be touched on in another story.
The NWA went back to Ric Flair over the years because he could draw, Sting was a great fan favorite, but once he won the title in the NWA and WCW, his draw wasn’t nearly the same. The same holds true for Ricky Steamboat, Lex Luger and other “Short-lived” champions. Dusty Rhodes could carry it. Jack Brisco could carry. So could Harley Race and the Funks. But they were “schooled” in the former era of the business.
It is also the same reason Nick Bockwinkel and Vern Gagne continued to trade the AWA Title back and forth.
Can Bryan live up to those standards? Can he keep the momentum of the modern performers? Is he on par with Cena, Punk and Orton?
And more importantly? What happens the day after he captures gold?
Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71
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