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29.12.14 0419
The W - Pro Wrestling - Daniel Wyatt? No! No! No!
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Tyler Durden
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Since: 22.2.04
From: Frankfurt, Germany

Since last post: 5 days
Last activity: 3 hours
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.63
Interesting read by Mike Johnson from PWInsider:

"I am often criticized by others who work on PWInsider as being too willing to give the benefit of the doubt to those who work on the creative end of professional wrestling. It may be a fair criticism at times, but a lot of it comes from my own life experiences working in the TV and film industry before this site came to being.

I understand all too well how hard any creative writing is, especially in the era of social media. No matter what direction any TV series, film, book - really, any piece of writing created for the entertainment consumption of others - takes, you are going to have some that love what you do and others that are completely turned off.

That is life, so having worked in that world, I know what the pressures of trying to churn out content, especially when you are being overseen by someone who may not care about the original vision as much as the bottom line - things get lost in the translation, ideas are tossed aside and something that may have been an awesome, vibrant idea in the writer's room ends up being a lifeless husk by the time it's actually executed. Sometimes the best ideas in theory just end up massive duds. I have a respect and a sympathy for those that work in creative endeavors, because there is very little credit for what works and lots of scorn for what doesn't - and what works changes all the time with no warning.

Every major entertainment form has ideas that just don't work. For Star Wars fans, there was The Phantom Menace. For old school DC Comics fans, there's the vast majority of the "New 52" direction. For Marvel Comics fans, there's been a ton of great movies, but there were also "Ghost Rider" and "Man-Thing" that they will always have to live down. It happens in all forms of entertainment. For every "Friends", there are far more "Joeys" that are long forgotten. Hell, at one point, George Lucas toyed with the idea of Luke Skywalker assuming the mantle of Darth Vader in "Return of the Jedi" and then vowing to wipe out the Rebel Alliance. Can you imagine how many childhoods, my own included, would have be scarred with that decision?

Flipping the coin, there are also times where ideas that aren't especially planned to be successes take on a life of their own. In the 1980s soap opera world, an actor named Stephen Nichols was booked as thug for a few episodes of "Days of Our Lives". He wasn't planned to be a star but something about the performance moved the audience and he quickly became not just a regular, but one of the more beloved actors and characters of that era, Patch.

In a lot of ways, Daniel Bryan is that type of personality. Sure, WWE did things to promote him, but there was never really a plan to make him a top talent for the company....but the audience loved him, because they often recognized he was being shafted.

Have a good run on NXT but be fired for being too much of a villain and choking someone with a tie when the Nexus is formed? The audience responded by chanting his name until the company relented and brought him back. Yank him from his first Wrestlemania the night before it was scheduled to happen? The audience only loved him more because they saw Bryan was getting a raw deal. Finally making that Wrestlemania debut, receiving a standing ovation, only to lose in 18 seconds? The audience revolts louder then ever with "Yes" chants, even after WWE attempts fleetingly to deflect them over to AJ Lee. Make Daniel Bryan a hugging, flying goat with an anger management issue? The fans don't care, because they love Bryan. The chants would not stop.

WWE's own belief that Bryan couldn't be a success actually helped spur him onto success, because the more they seemed to dismiss and overlook him, the harder the audience grabbed onto him and the more they loved him all the way to the top. They forced him to that position, because there's an organic relationship between the wrestling fans and Daniel Bryan.

Bryan was trained by Shawn Michaels, one of the best ever. He was the best in the world before that was a marketing term while working with an amazing array of independent talents. He had been hired and released a number of times by WWE and all through it all, he represented what wrestling, pure, athletic wrestling, can and should be when it's presented in the right, best possible way and he's been able to maintain a reputation as being a good person, even in the TMZ.com era where anyone and everyone gets caught being a jerk. For the majority of the average wrestling fans out they, they know Bryan's a good guy and a guy that in many ways, represents what they believe pro wrestling should be. He's their avatar.

Bryan's fans have suffered through a lot and never wavered, because they felt he was the Best in the World. Have him finally challenge for the WWE title and then lose it right away? The audience shrugged it off. Screw him over and over and over. The audience loved him more and more, even after it was apparent that creatively, it made no sense for Shawn Michaels to screw over his best protege.

Then WWE moved Bryan away from the main events to help make Bray Wyatt a star, something I discussed at the time. The audience didn't want to see Bryan removed and assumed he would return. Royal Rumble is coming and there's the possibility Bryan can win and be redeemed. There's the chance he'll work with Shawn Michaels, as good of an attraction at Wrestlemania as there is outside of the main event or facing Undertaker.

But instead, WWE creative decided that Bryan had enough of being screwed and in a scene right out of "Star Wars - Revenge of the Sith", Bryan declared Wyatt his master, threw himself at Wyatt's feet, crawled to him and swore his allegiance. Was Bryan, as I wrote last week, now Anakin Skywalker to Wyatt's Emperor Palpatine?

I felt and still do feel that it was a good cliffhanger during a time period where most WWE shows end with the hero standing tall and celebrating to his theme music. It got a lot of people talking about it - good and bad - and there was no sign of where it might be going, not even on Smackdown, which featured a fierce Wyatt promo.

WWE had me interested. I even discussed different ways they could go in my Smackdown "What Worked" column.

Then Raw came...and they didn't go in any direction....at all. The cliffhanger went right off a cliff, crashing into the rocks below.

As I noted above, I'm not usually the kneejerk reaction guy who immediately shames something. I don't try to rate the wrestling world on what it used to be. I realize the landscape changed and will change again, often so quick that everyone involved is playing catch-up, but seriously, as they say here in NYC, "Yo, what the f*** was that?"

Bryan shows up, dressed like a Mexican mini version of Eric Rowan, teaming with the Wyatts, who then LOSE their first match with him after weeks and weeks of being dominant monsters. So, the first week of this new direction, they have already taken some of the bite out of this by having them lose.

Then, backstage, Bryan says that he chose to join the Wyatt Family because he wanted to learn how to become a monster. So, uh, what the heck happened to weeks of Bryan being beaten down, being told he can't beat the machine, not to mention Bryan committing himself to Wyatt a week ago. No Anakin Skywalker falling from grace? No crisis of faith? No, well, anything? Just a choice to dress in something that makes him look even less impressive visually and choose to team with the three guys that have been beating his brains in, because....well...why?

There's no reason, because even when WWE left themselves open with a cliffhanger to pursue and explore what could have led Bryan to doing this, they opted to make the entire thing a mid-card deal. It would be like Andre the Giant joining the Heenan Family and then immediately having them lose to the Killer Bees while he told the others that he joined to learn the secret of King Kong Bundy's Avalanche.

Whatever this experiment is, whatever this storyline is, even if it's to sacrifice Daniel Bryan completely to make Bray Wyatt a Wrestlemania main event worthy headliner, the direction last night isn't going to get that job done. It would have been one thing to show the world that Wyatt is such a dark, demonic force that anyone, even the great Daniel Bryan falls at his feet and can be corrupted. Imagine the message THAT sends about what a dangerous foe Wyatt is for the WWE competitors! But, that's not what happened here. It's Bryan wanting to learn how to be a monster (you know, as if all those months teaming with Kane didn't teach him) and wanting to teach the guys that have been killing him for years to be better.

Yeah. that's not going to do the trick. What is is going to do (and perhaps this is the maniacal, evil plan underneath all this, I don't know) is that WWE is going to sacrifice Bryan for nothing, killing his drawing power and his ability to move merchandise as they compartmentalize him into being part of a quartet. Sure, at some point, he'll break free and turn babyface again....but usually once WWE loses that lightning in a bottle, they are never able to get their performers as hot again. Look at CM Punk for proof of that.

This is the WWE equivalent of trying to make Luke Skywalker into the new Darth Vader. It's too far a departure and even if you want to take a step back and let the storyline breath like a bottle of wine, it still stinks once you take a good whiff. It makes no sense whatsoever.

But, that's where you Daniel Bryan fans come in. Some of you have been with him for the entire WWE run. Some of you go all the way back to the Murphy Rec Center for ROH. Some of you were watching him in Delaware for the ECWA...and some of you, the luckiest ones of all, saw him under a mask as American Dragon in Shawn Michaels' TWA in Texas. You've been following Daniel Bryan for a reason - you love his work and you like what he brings to the ring and to WWE's product.

So, don't forsake him.

The crowd, for the first time I can remember, was confused and tepid towards Daniel Bryan last night. There was a reason for that. WWE broke down all the elements of the presentation for his character that you've come to know and love - so if you truly hate this new role and want to him see him overcome and bounce back, you have to go back to the well. You have to do what you did when he was fired, when he was ignored at Wrestlemania, when he was killed in his Wrestlemania debut, when he was screwed for the title, when he was standing in the ring among a number of other WWE and World championship alumni.

You need to hijack the show and let your voices be heard. Chant Daniel Bryan's name. Chant "Yes." Let WWE know that not only is this ridiculous, but that you don't want it. In the end, they'll have no choice and Bryan will rebound, because that's what you've always done for him and that's what he's always been able to accomplish because of it. Ignore any notion that you should give up and not care about the guy, if anything, you should be as offended at this as you were Bryan being killed at Wrestlemania in 18 seconds.

I don't know that Daniel Bryan will ever headline Wrestlemania or will ever be the nucleus of WWE. I do know this - the current direction could very well just dilute him into being just another WWE guy...and that's the last thing anyone in WWE or their fans, need right now. WWE shouldn't be robbing themselves or you of the asset Daniel Bryan has become. it's not about him being turned heel. It's about him being turned heel and being minimized in the process. This never would have happened to Randy Savage or The Rock or Randy Orton and it shouldn't happen to Bryan.

So folks, you made him a legitimate WWE player. You made him WWE champion. You made him Superstar of the Year. Are you ready to save Daniel Bryan from truly going off the cliff into oblivion? Help Daniel Bryan. Based on the last two weeks, you are his only hope."


In my opinion, Johnson is right. Our voices need to be heard...again! Daniel Bryan is the true - uncrowned - WWE World Heavyweight Champion. He should be in the main event of this year's Wrestlemania, not Batista, or whoever they'll decide to go with instead. If Orton vs. Batista truly goes down, I hope the fans will crap all over it, like they did with Lesnar/Goldberg at WM20, or chant for Daniel Bryan like the fans chanted for Flair during that Luger/Windham match back in the day.




(edited by Tyler Durden on 7.1.14 1734)


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Matt Tracker
Scrapple








Since: 8.5.03
From: North Carolina

Since last post: 4 days
Last activity: 6 hours
#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.85
People make the comparison between Daniel Wyatt and Shawn Michaels, JBL's indentured servant. Me, I'm old. I think of Ric Steiner in the Varsity Club. He fought because he liked it. The crowd got behind his signature moves. And when he turned against Sullivan and Rotundo (Bray's dad, coincidentally), that audience went nuts.

They're not the same kind of guy at all, I concede. But the story works when done right. And Daniel has a story. A big story. Look at everyone who doesn't, and that's practically everyone except the various champs and the Shield. (For crying out loud, did we need to turn Wade Barrett into Brother Love? We need more talking and less ringwork from him?)

I liked the Wyatt segments this week. I like the group not winning because -- and this was clearly the story they were telling last night -- Rowan and Harper didn't trust the new guy. Daniel tagged in and was immediately tagged out, and his team lost. Then Bryan reminds them he knows how to win matches (not three-on-one beatdowns) and challenges them to meet him halfway. Wyatt steps up to prove his faith in Daniel, and that subtly implies he himself isn't sure of Daniel yet.

What we might be seeing is the danger of the True Believer. Bray has the shtick all wannabe messiahs have, and he combines it with a little bit of smarts and a lot of charisma and a whole buncha intimidation. Harper and Rowan follow orders. But Bryan might invest in the Wyatts more than Bray is prepared for. He might prove to be a better role model for the other two. This story has potential, and the first post-conversion show worked for me.

There's certainly a case to be made for the WWE wasting popular talent. Ziggler's new injury only stalls the latest low-gear angle for a guy who does everything right. Kofi can't get any momentum. I still mourn the departure of Morrison. I mean, that guy had it all.

But Bryan is the biggest character outside the title picture; even Brock is the inevitable challenger after Orton/Cena. He's not losing two-minute matches to Kali or putting over Los Matadors or spinning wheels against Sin Cara or selling for Miz or eating Ryback moves.

He's fine.



"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
Big Bad
Scrapple








Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

Since last post: 5 hours
Last activity: 50 min.
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.73
I'm hoping that Bryan Wyatt thing is the equivalent of Eddie/Chavo in late 2003, early 2004. Eddie was red-hot as a character and was still slumming it in tag matches, leading to the inevitable Chavo turn and feud, and then Chavo actually WON the blowoff match at the 2004 Rumble. It seemed like Eddie's potential as a big draw was being wasted....until they suddenly gave him the rocket push and put him over Lesnar at No Way Out, then suddenly Eddie is champ and co-headlining Mania.

So yeah, best case scenario, this is just a short-term storyline that's giving Bryan something to do during the Rumble month. It culminates in Bryan tossing Bray from the Rumble to win, or Undertaker intervening and setting up Bryan/Taker for the streak. Hopefully.



"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." --- Bart Giamatti, on baseball
lotjx
Scrapple








Since: 5.9.08

Since last post: 5 days
Last activity: 8 hours
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.31
    Originally posted by Big Bad
    I'm hoping that Bryan Wyatt thing is the equivalent of Eddie/Chavo in late 2003, early 2004. Eddie was red-hot as a character and was still slumming it in tag matches, leading to the inevitable Chavo turn and feud, and then Chavo actually WON the blowoff match at the 2004 Rumble. It seemed like Eddie's potential as a big draw was being wasted....until they suddenly gave him the rocket push and put him over Lesnar at No Way Out, then suddenly Eddie is champ and co-headlining Mania.

    So yeah, best case scenario, this is just a short-term storyline that's giving Bryan something to do during the Rumble month. It culminates in Bryan tossing Bray from the Rumble to win, or Undertaker intervening and setting up Bryan/Taker for the streak. Hopefully.


Eddie won at the Rumble and proceed to lay down one of the most uncomfortable beatdowns of all time on him and Chavo Classic.

(edited by lotjx on 7.1.14 1459)


The Wee Baby Sheamus.Twitter: @realjoecarfley its a bit more toned down there. A bit.
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My vote for line of the night was Cole saying Rico got 23 facials. I mean I know he is supposed to be gay and all but damn.
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