Daniel Bryan, perhaps the best technical wrestler in the WWE right now, can also lay claim to being one of the most exciting and popular superstars on the WWE roster. He’s athletic, he’s experienced and he knows how to get a reaction from fans on the mic (positive or negative).
After defeating John Cena cleanly at Summerslam to become WWE champion Daniel has become the top face (good guy) of the company, especially in Cena’s absence. After that victory Daniel has been stripped of his title and constantly tormented by Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. This has lead to his stock only rising in the eyes of fans, as he is the one tasked with fighting the power of his power hungry bosses.
However even before Summerslam, Daniel Bryan was doing something not seen in years in the WWE. He was putting on technically sound, visually appealing matches that told a story. Matches that grabbed casual fans interest and kept it, matches that woke up fans that were bored of the current state of the WWE as far as the wrestling aspect of it goes. The constant segments, flashbacks, replays of segments past and retelling of story lines to make sure that anyone who is just starting to watch WWE can be up to date. The problem with this is that there no longer seem to be any engaging matches, all the guess work seemed to be taken out. Who’s going to win and how seemed to be a given (yes, I know wrestling is predetermined). The Shield always looked out for their own making sure they won any match a member was in. Randy Orton would basically have the same match over and over, his opponent would change but not the sequence of moves and result. John Cena couldn’t get beat cleanly by anyone, ever… until Daniel Bryan.
Daniel Bryan brought back matches with an arc, a beginning, middle and end. Matches that would make you gasp, hold your breath, drop your jaw and just let out an occasional “wow” all during the same match. For hardcore fans like myself, this is what we want in a wrestler. That is one of the main reasons I miss the attitude era. It’s not just because of the attitudes and personalities (although that is a big reason). It’s also that wrestlers did their thing in the ring thinking not just of that night, but of the overall story line. Today you win, tomorrow maybe you don’t, either way a great match takes place leading to the final confrontation.
Daniel Bryan is actually the best of both worlds for the WWE in this manner. He has the type of Cenaesque appeal for current young fans and yet has the ability to drive a match in a manner that pulls in older fans.
Are hardcore fans coming back to WWE? maybe some are, maybe not, the truth is that the WWE needs more Daniel Bryan type wrestlers, the only other one they have is CM Punk and he can’t be around forever. There are other exciting wrestlers on the roster that fans can really get into (Dolph Zigler, Dean Ambrose, Cody Rhodes, The Usos, to name a few) but they tend to get inconsistent pushes that start and stop before they have a chance to peak, and that is why the most popular wrestlers in WWE right now are the same ones from 10 years ago.
What do you guys think? Is Daniel Bryan the reason WWE you are watching the WWE? COMMENT BELOW!!!