WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE’s New Issue: The Reigns vs. Bryan Debate

The WWE has a problem on its hands that might be bigger than the fallout from the Roman Reigns win at the Royal Rumble.

What is the company going to do with Daniel Bryan? Can the “YES!” Movement get past the error of the WWE’s ways? Can the “Yes!” Movement ride the momentum that continues to be the biggest phenomenon since The Rock controlled Raw and SmackDown like they were his own personal playground?

From now on when commentators talk about the 10th entry in the Royal Rumble, it will be remind fans of the “Daniel Bryan” spot – the one where the WWE made a big mistake sending the company’s most popular star back to the locker room so early in a match that meant so much.

The WWE does get some credit for putting the former WWE World Title holder in a spot with Kane (one of the most trusted men in the ring and someone who will protect Bryan’s neck injuries) and continuing to play off Bryan’s feud with The Authority, which eventually led to him winning the title at WrestleMania XXX.

Hopefully a new week and some WM momentum will soften the reaction from fans and the hundreds of wrestling websites that continue to bash the WWE for its decision to place Reigns in the main event at WrestleMania XXXI. Raw’s review show last week gave Bryan a chance to speak about his opinions on the Rumble match, the past and the future. In a sense, he has become the voice of the masses and the company’s new “People’s Champion.”

Bryan was very clear in stating he never lost the WWE World Title. Injuries prevented him from defending it, as has been the case in past decades where champions dropped a title for one reason or another. Dusty Rhodes was famous for this – both with the US Title and the World Television Title. It was not uncommon to see regional stars have to give up championships for one reason or another. This, however has more teeth to it mainly because there is only one true game in town. Now that the company is trying to move away from the Cena-tion Era with the company, Bryan is the WWE’s hope of trying to bridge a gap between a 12-year run of Cena and his marketing brilliance and the idea of taking a kid who is greener than an avocado and making him the new face of this company.

Just a question, “Where is that fair to Bryan?”

The WWE is not in a position to try and play games with the Road to WrestleMania. There are too many variables that have to be solidified for the program on the west coast to impress us.

  • Can Brock Lesnar carry a stiff and robotic Reigns?
  • How much of Paul Heyman can save that match?
  • How will Undertaker and Bray Wyatt be a part of the undercard?
  • Will Rusev and John Cena create the buzz of former anti-American feuds?
  • Does Dolph Ziggler continue on a momentum high?
  • What happens now to Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose?
  • Would The Mix vs. Damien Sandow draw real interest?

A friend of mine summed it up in a blog about Bryan easily, referring to his neck injury and the idea that creating the same situation at WrestleMania from last year with Batista, Randy Orton and Bryan is not good for business.

Having Daniel in the main event would have been a copy of last year, but mostly they need to see him stay healthy before putting it all on his shoulders. If they truly have no intention of ever putting him back at the top, that’s another story. But Daniel had and still potentially has a serious injury. I would think that even he would want to KNOW it was solid before going rounds with Brock. Does he really know he can survive a dozen German suplexes? I don’t. Landing square on his neck that many times? His time should come and soon after WM, but the decision to push it past that is right. At least to me it is.

Here’s hoping the WWE fixes the Bryan situation, can make Reigns a “likeable” challenger to the WWE World Title, and can let Paul Heyman do what only Heyman can do – create drama that helps the Reigns. As for Bryan, he has only been in the ring two weeks. Let’s see what happens in two months. If Reigns is a total flop in the ring and with the title, then maybe a heel turn and a feud with Bryan is just what this company needs to restore the faith in the idea that the fans want the “People’s Champion,” and that is what they should get. But not at this moment.

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