WWE (the company, not the Universe) won’t miss Daniel Bryan. I mean this, in the sense that he’s already been gone. When he handed over the Intercontinental Championship, especially following his last title reign ending due to injury? WWE moved on from Daniel Bryan. I am sure the door was left open for his potential return-which, sadly, never came to pass. But from that point on, creatively and from a booking sense, WWE in my mind moved forward as though there was no Daniel Bryan to count on.
Because, let’s be blunt. There wasn’t. Bryan was, like it or not, damaged good at that point. I think most of the writers here, myself included, openly wondered if Daniel would ever sniff a singles championship again, upon return to the ring, due to his durability. And, when you run a business like WWE, you have to move on quickly. It’s the reality of things. You don’t get to dwell on things, and WWE in this case, did not.
Don’t get me wrong, the company, the people and the shows will miss Bryan. He is and was a unique talent. The kind that don’t come along every day. These are not guys you usually easily replace, or have a lot of at any given time. Sure, there are a good number of strong Superstars, but few become those transcendent, generation defining guys. Daniel Bryan was one of those.
So, yes, I realize you all probably think I am nuts, saying what I just said, when you compare it to the headline.
But again, I repeat. It’s not that the people won’t miss him. It’s that WWE as a continually moving business won’t. Because, in that mindset, they would have done the farewell for Daniel Bryan last Summer, basically at the same time he handed over his Intercontinental title. The fans, the wrestlers, we never moved on, or rather, we didn’t start to move on until Monday. Sure, some of us were resigned to him likely never wrestling again, but until it’s officially official, most of us held out some hope for a return. We were allowed to be sentimental, to be emotional.
But WWE, as a business entity, as the saying goes, will always do what is best for business. And last year, it was best for business to forget about Daniel Bryan and move on. And let’s be honest. While we may have missed Daniel, has the Intercontinental Title picture suffered in his absence? Dare I say it has not? Starting with a really good Elimination Chamber match, which saw Ryback earn his first singles title, up through current champion Dean Ambrose, and his feud with former champion Kevin Owens, the title has had a good last 10 months of matches, all things considered. Of course, having Bryan in the mix would have made it better, but we’ve gotten some excellent matches in any case.
In the grand scheme of things, I hope we don’t miss Daniel Bryan because WWE finds a way to keep him involved-and that he wants to stay involved, if only sporadically throughout the year. That may be the best move forward, so no one-not even WWE as a business-has to worry about missing him yet. Because then, he won’t really be all the way out of the public eye.