Two months after Bryan beat John Cena at Summerslam, the big question coming out of the match was whether or not WWE would go all-in with Bryan or if they would lack the confidence to let him stand on his own two feet and be a man. Since when did being “on the chase” equate to getting consistently screwed over and over? Remember when champions were actually portrayed as strong and accomplished? Why is management so allergic in letting a legitimate babyface superstar look smart and strong on a consistent basis?
Is Daniel Bryan going to become John Cena’s version of Brutus Beefcake?
When Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage had their famous split apart in Milwaukee on Saturday Night’s Main Event, it was Beefcake who stupidly yelled “What are you doing?!” right at Randy Savage before getting clocked. It went down as one of the funniest moments in a major heel turn that I can recall. Beefcake looked so stupid. And yet Beefcake got the last laugh because his friendship with Hulk Hogan made its way on camera and the two buds would soon go over on the bad guys. Hell, this friendship lasted for over three years on WWE TV. From Zeus and Randy Savage to Money Inc, Beefcake was kept somewhat high on the cards but Hogan always got the top billing.
In 2013, Daniel Bryan is supposed to be on the top of the cards as the lead babyface. And, yet, he’s been overshadowed the last couple of months since his big win… kind of like how Ultimate Warrior got overshadowed by Hulk Hogan when Hogan took a break after the Wrestlemania match in Toronto. Despite putting over Warrior at Wrestlemania, Hulkamania came back shortly thereafter and got top billing once again. The Ultimate Warrior was an awful wrestler but Vince gave him every chance possible to try to stay on top. Daniel Bryan is the complete opposite of the Warrior, thankfully, and yet WWE management has decided that they just can’t put him over in top matches in clean fashion. God bless the WWE fans for sticking by Bryan despite the crappy booking.
Just like when Hogan came back at Summerslam ’90, John Cena is now returning to action only two months after a torn triceps injury.
“That is an amazing human being,” echoed Jerry Lawler on RAW after a Cena recovery video package aired.
WWE’s addiction to Cena is only rivaled to their past addiction to Hogan. The ratings, the merchandising, and the booking. His return to action against Alberto Del Rio is on par with the Randy Orton/Daniel Bryan Hell in a Cell match. Oh, did you know that Shawn Michaels is going to be the guest referee for that match? Just checking. It seems like WWE can’t get out of Bryan’s way and let him be his own man.
Bryan is being set up as Cena’s little buddy. A perfect example happened on Monday night when Bryan wrestled Cena’s HIAC opponent, Del Rio. Randy Orton waited for a while before interrupting Bryan on the video screen and teased attacking the Bella Twins. Bryan ignorantly ran to the trainer’s room only to get laid out by Orton. The Twins, who have no real talent for the wrestling business, barely put on much of an act when Orton laid out their man. Seriously, this was beyond awful. If it’s not John Cena or Big Show or Shawn Michaels, then it’s the Bella Twins who are inserted into Daniel Bryan’s on-camera business. The Bella Twins left WWE, tried the autograph circuit, and found out that WWE wasn’t so bad after all. They return to WWE, get hitched up with Bryan & Cena, get their own reality TV show, and now get constant exposure on weekly television. And they still can’t work a lick. Bryan is Cena’s buddy and basically second fiddle when his talent says he’s anything but a secondary player. Any wrestling fan worth their salt respects the hell out of Bryan and his accomplishments. The guy’s smart, tough, and dedicated. Put him over strong on television! WWE had no problem letting him do his thing against the Shield during their Spring 2013 program, which is why he caught fire with the fans. And now WWE management is prohibiting him from doing the things that made him so successful in the first place.
Think about how WWE has booked Bryan since the Summerslam win over Cena. Orton beat him right after the Cena match to win the WWE title. Bryan won the title for a second time when Scott Armstrong screwed everyone over with a fast count, resulting in the title getting vacated. Then came the horrendous Battleground finish where paying customers were flipped the middle finger by having Big Show KO both Bryan & Orton, which made no sense. Bryan, once again, isn’t champion. Orton decides that messing with Bryan’s babe will give him a mental edge. Show then KO’s Hunter on RAW and Bryan, instead of attacking Show (who got “fired”) for costing him the title at Battleground, decides to celebrate and do a “Yes!” chant over Hunter’s body in the ring. It was a fun television moment but where was the outrage by Bryan against Show for costing him the title at Battleground?
On Monday night, Show interfered in the main event match between the Rhodes clan and The Shield in order to dish out some vigilante justice. That finish is part of the pending Hunter/Big Show match that probably will happen at Survivor Series. We’re a couple of weeks away from Hell in a Cell and Big Show vs. The Authority gets the focus in the main event slot on RAW. The same guy who spent over a month crying his eyes out on television for punching poor Dusty Rhodes is suddenly is the one outsmarting the heels so that Dusty’s kids can win the tag titles. The show closed out with him doing the “Yes!” chant with the fans. Meanwhile, the guy who started that “Yes!” chant, the supposed number one babyface, continues to get screwed over and treated as the underdog after beating Cena at Summerslam. Who do you think is the one getting the blame for RAW’s recent rating woes? Hunter’s not going to be blaming himself.
Silly me, I forgot, John Cena is still really the number one babyface who is a super hero for returning on such short notice. What was I thinking? He’s back to save the day.
Fans don’t lack confidence in Daniel Bryan but WWE management does, both in real life and in storyline. They always feel the need to surround him with others who they think can help draw more eye balls. Why?