Posts Tagged ‘Daniel Bryan’

Thank you, Daniel Bryan!

Posted: February 9, 2016 by daltonclass in Shane D, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Let me take you to 2003.

I had been a die hard, dyed-in-the-wool wrestling fan for almost 10 years.  I had liked it for longer, but from September 4th, 1995, I was a wrestling fan.  However, in my junior year of college, I fell out of love with WWE.  My beloved WCW was gone.  HHH was on his reign of terror.  Shane just wasn’t enjoying it anymore.

So, I started looking elsewhere.

Japan was one place and I was enjoying what I was finding there, however, there was another place that I found and that rekindled my love of all things wrestling.  That place was Ring of Honor.  Suddenly, indy wrestling was something that I knew of, something that I began pouring over, and something that started to fill up my DVD shelf.  New wrestlers began to show up on my “favorites” list.  CM Punk, AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Low Ki, Samoa Joe…and this other guy…

file_189679_0_champion_danielson(1)This other guy who was a small, white, kinda generic looking guy.  He kind of looked like the default guy in WWE video game creation modes.  But damn, could he wrestle!

Of course, as this is a wrestling blog and it’s the night after Raw, you can guess that this guy was the man who would eventually become Daniel Bryan.  Back then, however, he was the “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson.  He was the main event of the first ever ROH show; competing in a three way match with Christopher Daniels and Low Ki.  I watched matches of his in ROH, Japan…basically anywhere I could find him.

At this time, my favorite wrestler was Chris Benoit.  I’ve made no bones about my love of Benoit at that time, and I legit believed him to be the best technical wrestler in the world.  I would go back through stuff from him in Japan and see that they were heralding him as the successor to Dynamite Kid.  Then, more and more through the grapevine, I begin hearing that they’re starting to refer to Danielson as the successor to Benoit.  There’s nothing that could have put the guy higher in my mind at that point.

Over time, something awesome started happening.  Those guys that I loved in the Indies…they started showing up in WWE and TNA.  Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, and Christopher Daniels spent the better part of a year and a half owning TNA.  CM Punk had been brought into WWE.  Low Ki had bounced around in TNA a bit and would eventually show up in WWE as Kaval.  I wondered, though, if Bryan would be able to make the cut.  He was small and WWE has always been the Land of the Giants.  I just didn’t see it happening.

It did happen, though.  Unfortunately it came during my second great exodus from WWE, so I wasn’t watching wrestling when Bryan showed up on NXT.  I remember hearing about him having his first WWE match against Jericho, though, and making sure that I went back and checked that out because that was one of my dream matches that I only thought could happen on my copy of Fire Pro Wrestling.  I heard about him debuting with the Nexus, and subsequently getting fired for choking out Justin Roberts with his own tie.  I heard about the controversy that surrounded that and then about him getting brought back in grand fashion at SummerSlam.

Bryan-Danielson-CM-PunkAbout a year later, I came back to wrestling.  I was gone for about five years but when I came back, Punk was the talk of the town and we were leading into Money in the Bank.  Imagine my surprise when that night ended with my favorite wrestler as WWE Champion and that other guy I liked a lot had won Money in the Bank.  Fast forward a few months to Survivor Series…and the two of them stood in the ring together, holding the company’s two top prizes.  It was reminiscent of my favorite Wrestlemania moment in 2004 when Benoit and Eddie Guerrero did the same.  Wrestling was changing.  Things were getting awesome and I was loving it.

Bryan suddenly got a personality…or, rather, WWE let him finally use his personality.  He became the cocky champion that had let success go to his head.  He was mean to his ultra hot girlfriend, making the crowd hate him just as much as they were loving him.  He became insufferable.  It was awesome.  He lost his title in 18 seconds at Wrestlemania and became even hotter.  So hot that the crowd the next night couldn’t stop chanting his name.

c3c8e42f2014995520767db2af0a9499_crop_northBryan would go through a few more things over the years, going from my favorite match of 2012 against Punk at Over the Limit (which is currently on while I’m writing this), to joining Team Hell No (showing us his comedy chops) and then through becoming the hottest thing in wrestling as he battled the Wyatts and the WWE itself for his rightful place as WWE World Champion.

Bryan’s place in wrestling history is a very interesting one.  I remember thinking it was so interesting that CM Punk became as big as he did because he’s everything the WWE front man isn’t.  However, Bryan, moreso than Punk, exemplifies that idea.  Bryan is 5’8”, 180 lbs.  Remember, this is a place where Shawn Michaels was small…and he’s got a good four inches and thirty pounds on Bryan, at least.  However, for a time, Bryan was THE MAN in WWE.  I read something on Reddit the other day that said the CM Punk called himself “the Voice of the Voiceless” but it was Bryan who gave the Voiceless their voice back.  When WWE wasn’t using Bryan the way we wanted them to, we made sure we let them know we weren’t happy with it.  Go back and watch the Raw he referenced last night during his speech.  Go back and watch the Royal Rumble from 2014 and the boos that Rey Mysterio got when he came out at #30 and it became apparent that Bryan wasn’t in the plans for that year.  The WWE Universe let WWE know, loud and clear, that Bryan was our guy and that he was who we wanted.  We knew what he could do…just put him in and let him go.

Watch Wrestlemania 30 again.  You see him go through the company’s three top guys not named John Cena in one night.  You see him at the end, hands held high, with the entire world behind him.  He was our guy.

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That’s what has made the last two years so hard, I think.  Knowing that a week after Mania that his father died.  We felt that.  Sure, we didn’t know the man.  We don’t know Bryan himself, for that matter.  But our guy was hurting.  Then the injury.  The rumors that he was finished.  The rumors that he wasn’t healing properly and that we may never see him wrestle again.  The joy that we felt when he came back…and the crushing defeat we felt when he got hurt again…and those rumors started back up.  We would get angry any time someone would tell us that he might not come back.  Hell, the Internet collectively got angry at Bret Hart for saying it when no one else would.

Then last night…

Last night hurt.  Last night hurt in a way that hasn’t hurt since Eddie died.  We had to watch a man come out and stand in the midst of his adoring fans…and tell us that what he loved and has wanted for his entire life has been taken away from him.  That tomorrow (or today), when he woke up, he wouldn’t be Daniel Bryan anymore.  He’d be Bryan Danielson…sans his American Dragon moniker…husband, son, brother…ordinary man.  I can’t imagine that.  I mean, yeah, I’ve been a husband.  I’m a son.  I’m a brother.  I’m an ordinary man.  Those parts are easy to understand…they’re my reality…

However, I’ve never been Superman.  I’ve never been Brad Pitt.  I’ve never been Tom Brady.

I’ve never been Daniel Bryan.

Long ago, I had the dream of being a wrestler.  For better, or worse (who really knows), I gave that dream up a while ago…but the ghost of it still lingers.  Any time I get really excited about wrestling, that wonder comes back.  What if?  What if I had done it?  Where would I be now?  Some little promotion in VA?  ROH?  Japan?  Dare I say, WWE?  I never wanted to regret not going for it, but I do…every time those thoughts come up, I do.  I wish I had done it…hell, I wish I had done it and failed…but I do wish that I had stepped into the ring for at least one time.

CayzrBGUUAAfjOhThat guy…the guy who thinks those thoughts…that’s who watched Daniel Bryan retire last night.  That’s who saw the picture of Bryan and his wife backstage, her comforting Bryan and Bryan knelt down in tears.  That’s who watched one of his heroes get his dream taken away from him.  I felt for him, because as much as that idea hurt me…I knew it was hurting him so much more, and on a level I would never understand.

To finish this off, Bryan repeated a single word throughout his speech.  Grateful.  I’m grateful to have gotten to watch Daniel Bryan wrestle.  I’m grateful to have been able to buy his action figure, pay to see him in person, buy DVDs with him on them, play as him in video games.  I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to be his fan.  I’m grateful that he has ushered in this new wrestling world where WWE and NXT are full of the Indy stars that I love.  Samoa Joe, Kevin Owens, AJ Styles, Sami Zayn, Finn Balor, Hideo Itami, Shinsuke Nakamura…all of these guys are now on the big stage.  These guys will get Wrestlemania matches and moments.  This doesn’t exist without Bryan.  WWE is in an exciting place right now and I can’t help but feel that a lot of that was built off of his shoulders over the last few years.

I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to cheer him.  To buy his merch.  To have my wife suggest that we “YES!” our way into our wedding reception.

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Thank you, Daniel Bryan.  It may not be a lot.  It may never leave the small group of people that run this site and the small group that read it.  It may never reach your eyes or your ears…but you have my gratitude and my support.

Shane

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WWE Extreme Rules. The Extreme Event set in a world of PG rules. So, yeah this PPV isn’t really going to hardcore or anything but never the less lets see how WWE plans to hold our attention following a good Wrestlemania Event…

WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: Seth Rollins vs Randy Orton

Robbie’s Pick: Seth Rollins – The RKO being banned won’t matter. Randy will RKO Seth just for spite and I see Orton losing by a DQ.

Shane’s Pick: Hulk Hogan – As much as I hate to pick Hogan, it’s apparent he’s been running strong recently, tagging with Booty Man and winning matches like crazy.  

Derick’s Pick: Sid Vicious- Sid has the deck stacked up against him. First, he has the Harris Brothers. We’ve seen over the past month what they are capable of. But Sid is Sid. He’ll defeat them and take our Nash to become world champ. Book that!

WWE United States Championship Russian Chain Match: John Cena vs Rusev

Robbie’s Pick: John Cena – I’m actually digging Cena in this role. Let’s leave him here awhile and maybe he will deflect a lot of hate.

Shane’s Pick: Konnan – I see Konnan retaining the US title for this match.  He hasn’t yet really connected with the fans, but still, he’s clearly the guy they’re going with right now.

Derick’s Pick: Shane Douglas- Chain matches are intense. And no other feud is more intense than Shane Douglas and General Rection. This will come down to determination, will and most importantly, experience. I expect The Franchise top pull this out, if not barely.

WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Daniel Bryan vs Bad News Barrett

Robbie’s Pick: Bad News Barrett – My guess is WWE is going to take Bryan of TV for awhile and have a full medical evaluation. I’m not sure what he’s suffering from but there is no reason for Daniel to keep pushing himself until he ends up like Stone Cold, Edge or so many others. I really fear Daniel’s days as a wrestler are closing in and that’s sad.

Shane’s Pick: The Belfast Bruiser – He debuted great against Regal at Uncensored and had a hell of a match, so I expect that to carry over here.

Derick’s Pick: Glacier to win- With his 400 year old helmet handed down to him by some old dude in Japan, Glacier gets his vengeance tonight after the many beat downs by Wrath and Mortis. Glacier via Cryonic Kick to Wrath.

WWE Diva’s Championship Match: Nikki Bella vs Naomi

Robbie’s Pick: Naomi – Are the Bellas still leaving WWE?

Shane’s Pick: Bull Nakano- Really, she’s the best female wrestler in the company right now…how do you pick against her?

Derick’s Pick: Devil Masami- Now we go Live via satellite to Kanagawa, Japan for the Women’s title bout. Devil wins via Fire Valley to win. Sorry Zero, you knew your days were numbered.

Last Standing Match: Roman Reigns vs The Big Show

Robbie’s Pick: Roman Reigns – Good Lord this match reaks of bleakness but “we gotta make sure Roman looks strong.”

Shane’s Pick: The Giant – He’s been showing a lot of flavor since turning against the Dungeon of Doom a few weeks ago…that being said, Jimmy Hart did pay him off to beat up Sting recently, so we’ll see.

Derick’s Pick:  Ernest Miller- “The Cat” is not to be messed with. Once you get hit by the Feliner, you’ll be down for WAY longer than 10 seconds. Be sure to ask Elix Skipper tonight on the post-show what it’s like to get danced on by The Cat!!!

Chicago Street Fight: Dean Ambrose vs Luke Harper

Robbie’s Pick: Dean Ambrose

Shane’s Pick: Sting and Booker T – Lex Luger’s mouth may have gotten Sting into this match, but it will be Sting and Booker T that take out the Road Warriors and show who is dominate in WCW’s tag team division.

Derick’s Pick – Dustin Rhodes – This match is dangerous. Very dangerous. You have 2 competitors on the back of a big rig, trying to ring a bell on the other side of the tractor trailer. This honestly is a toss up, so I’m gonna pick Dustin.

Kiss My Arse Match: Dolph Ziggler vs Sheamus

Robbie’s Pick: Sheamus – Good Lord WWE! Stop making Dolph look stupid by putting him in terrible situations and awful matches!

Shane’s Pick: Marcus Alexander Bagwell – This kid has an amazing dropkick and it’s going to lead him to singles glory right now.

Derick’s Pick:  Jericho to retain- Raven is great. He really is. But expect Jericho Security to interfere to allow Chris to retain via Liontamer.

WWE Tag Team Championship Match: Tyson Kidd & Cesaro vs The New Day

Robbie’s Pick: Cesaro and Kidd – Way to keep Cesaro on the preshow….again…

Shane’s Pick: Public Enemy – They got a good one over on the Nasty Boys the other night, so I see that carrying over to this match as well.

Derick’s Pick:  Minnesota Wrecking crew: I see the MWC going over Flair and Valentine. Gene and Old are on a huge roll as of late. Plus it seems to me that Flair has his eyes on the main title. So MWC to retain.

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Here we are at WWE’s biggest PPV of the year. While this hasn’t exactly been the most thrilling ride on the Road to Wrestlemania, there are still a few matches on this card I’m interested in seeing. That and it is Wrestlemania so it’s kinda of tradition. Let’s take a look and see how Kick Out at 2 predicts the outcome of Wrestlemania 31.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns

Robbie’s Pick: Brock Lesnar – I’m really glad to hear that Brock resigned with the WWE and that he has effectively retired from the world of MMA. I think Brock is exactly where he should be and I honestly do not see him letting go of the championship any time soon. In fact, if he holds onto the title for roughly 7 more months, he will take away CM Punk’s record of being the longest reigning WWE Champion of the modern era. With Punk not being one of WWE’s favorite people, I could really see them using Brock to take that achievement away from The Second City Saint. Brock isn’t going anywhere for awhile so they may as well make use of that new 3 year contract.

Shane’s Pick: Brock Lesnar – The moment Brock made his announcement, I feel that solidified him as keeping his belt at Mania.  They may still feel the need to go with their favorite boy in the end and give Reigns the belt, but I just feel that if they push him for another year, let him get better and make him earn it, then this same match at WM32 with Reigns winning will taste a lot better than it would this year.

Derick’s Pick: Brock Lesnar – Because he’s Brock F***ING! Lesnar!

Sting vs Triple H

Robbie’s Pick: Sting – I know this is the match that Shane and Derick are looking forward to the most so I will let the Master of WCW knowledge explain this match.

Shane’s Pick: Sting – Potentially the Stinger’s last match and I don’t believe that they’d bring him all the way in just to lose that one final match since this one isn’t against Taker.  This is the match I’m looking most forward to, just as Robbie said, and just as you can all read about in my Kick Out at Nitro segments!  I am, however, calling some interference by Sting’s longest foe, The Nature Boy, right now.

Derick’s Pick: Sting – I was WCW before I was WWE so I gotta go with what I know. Sorry, Hunter…. but “You’re still the best at Wrestling

WWE Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: Daniel Bryan vs Stardust vs Dolph Ziggler vs Luke Harper vs Dean Ambrose vs R-Truth vs Bad News Barrett

Robbie’s Pick: Daniel Bryan – My guess is WWE uses Daniel to help elevate the Intercontinental division. With Brock keeping the main title, I see them using top tier talent as the Intercontinental and United States Champions.

Shane’s Pick: Dean Ambrose – Honestly, I think it’ll be Bryan, but I’ve now sided with my compatriots twice and I didn’t want the third one in a row to happen.  I do REALLY hope it’s Ambrose, though!

Derick’s Pick: Daniel Bryan – Time to bring the IC title back to some relevancy.

The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt

Robbie’s Pick: The Undertaker – The Streak is over and we haven’t seen The Undertaker in a year. I see him returning with a vengeance, with a purpose and the Dead Man will be there to show he hasn’t missed a step. My only question is will he return as The Dead Man, Big Evil or a new version we haven’t seen yet? At the end of the day, it isn’t Wrestlemania without The Undertaker.

Shane’s Pick: The Undertaker – As much as I would like to see Bray get this win, it doesn’t mean as much as it could have now.  Taker comes back, everyone is happy with a win and it vindicates last year, we all go home.

Derick’s Pick: The UndertakerSurely they won’t have him lose twice at Wrestlemania. I honestly think they realize they made a mistake last year and don’t see them doing that again.

Randy Orton vs Seth Rollins

Robbie’s Pick: Seth Rollins – I really wanted to pick Orton here. I really did. The only reason I’m not is because I know if Rollins lost here he would go on to cash in later in the night after the Main Event and I just don’t see anyone but Brock walking out as Champion. Orton has already gotten his retribution for being put out of action so I’m going with Rollins. This is the only match I don’t feel good about my pick and if Orton wins I will probably literally” kick myself where my appendix used to be!”

Shane’s Pick: Randy Orton – Seth is bulletproof right now, so the loss to Randy makes the fans happy and Rollins still has that briefcase he can use at any time.

Derick’s Pick:  Seth Rollins – If he loses at Mania it makes him look weak. Being Mr. Money in the Bank, I just see him walking out of Mania with a win.

WWE United States Championship Match: Rusev vs John Cena

Robbie’s Pick: John Cena – I’m still surprised Hulk Hogan isn’t in Cena’s corner but then again it may be a last minute addition to the match. I just see Cena winning here and USA getting the best of the “Evil Russian.” With all the America vs Russia stuff in this setup, I can’t see anyone but Hulk Hogan or Sylvester Stallone holding Cena’s hand high in victory.

Shane’s Pick: John Cena – I’m okay with this.  I wasn’t…until I watched Cena on Kimmel the other night.  Why isn’t he like that ALL the time.  Yes, it was jokey Cena, but it wasn’t silly jokey Cena and he actually put over Rusev as a threat…he just made funny comments on how he was going to win.  I liked it.

Derick’s Pick – Rusev – Because F*** Cena that’s why!

Wrestlemania Andre The Giant Battle Royal Match

Robbie’s Pick: Sheamus – Those return videos airing on RAW haven’t been for nothing.

Shane’s Pick: Hideo Itami – ‘Cause, why not?

Derick’s Pick:  Damien Mizdow – Wouldn’t that be the best thing EVER…. OF ALL TIME!?

WWE Tag Team Championship Match: Cesaro & Tyson Kidd vs The New Day vs Los Matadores vs The Usos

Robbie’s Pick: Cesaro and Kidd – You don’t put 3 baby face teams against the heels unless you really want them to pull all their hell like shenanigans.

Shane’s Pick: Cesaro and Kidd – What are they going to do…give it to the Uso’s for the eleventieth time?

Derick’s Pick:  Cesaro and Kidd – Cesaro should be the ruler of EVERYTHING!

Diva’s Tag Team Match: AJ Lee and Paige vs The Bella Twins

Robbie’s Pick: AJ and Paige – The Bellas are leaving. I care about that as much as I do this match. Why isn’t this the match that got bumped down to the pre-show?

Shane’s Pick: AJ and Paige – It’s Mania…babyfaces winning makes us feel good.

Derick’s Pick:  AJ and Paige – Because one of The Bellas is dating Cena. Let’s face it, I simply don’t pick anything Cena related….

 

Hey we are at the second PPV of the Year, WWE’s Fast Lane. Fast Lane as you know by now has taken the place of Elimination Chamber which overall we think will be a good idea. Elimination Chamber has always seemed out of place and logically I think this PPV will fit more with the “Road to Wrestlemania” theme. Hopefully its debut will not be a disappointment and go over a bit better witht he fans than The Royal Rumble did. Let’s take a moment and look at our predictions for WWE’s newest PPV…

WWE World Heavywight Championship No. 1 Contenders Match: Daniel Bryan vs Roman Reigns

Robbie’s Pick: Daniel Bryan – I truly and honestly want to believe WWE has realized that the fans simply just do not want Roman Reigns as their top guy at this time. Daniel is apparently the money maker on the roster right now. Hopefully WWE likes money.

Shane’s Pick: Roman Reigns – I just see this match existing to shut up the fans who don’t like Reigns, but only for a moment because Reigns is the guy right now and there’s no way he’s not going to Mania.

Derick’s Pick: Roman Reigns – Roman Reigns wins this match but somehow someway Daniel Bryan will be in the Main Event of Wrestlemania.

United States Championship match: Rusev vs John Cena

Robbie’s Pick: John Cena – I know right!? You’re probably shocked but I see this as a good thing. Cena going after the secondary titles will be overall good for multiple reasons. It can help give some more credibility to them, it will keep Cena away from Ric’s 16 time record, allow the kids to have their winning hero and honestly I just don’t care about Rusev at all. Like Shane has said on multiple occasions “This isn’t 1983 anymore.” That being said I wouldn’t be surprised if this story leads into Wrestlemania with Hogan in Cena’s corner… AMERICA!

Shane’s Pick: John Cena via shenanigans – They really couldn’t wait until Mania?  That’s the worst part of WWE’s booking right now…they build up to a match by giving you the same match over and over again.  Cena wins but doesn’t get the belt, setting up the same match at Mania.

Derick’s Pick: Rusev – I don’t even know enough about about this big Russian bastard but I’m sticking to my guns. I hate Cena and said I’m not picking him so there!

Intercontinental Championship Match: Bad New Barrett vs Dean Ambrose

Robbie’s Pick: Dean Ambrose – Dean lost enough of his matches during the Bray Wyatt feud. Time for him to be like his former Shield brother and “look strong” Giving him the IC strap is the thing he needs at this time. 

Shane’s Pick: Wade Barrett – As much as I want Ambrose to win this, I just figure Barrett retains.

Derick’s Pick:  Dean Ambrose – I like them both so this was a literally a coin toss decision.

WWE Tag Team Championship Match: The Usos vs Cesaro and Tyson Kidd

Robbie’s Pick: Cesaro and Tyson Kidd – It’s long overdue for Cesaro to be wearing some gold again in WWE. I’m really digging this team and Cesaro knows a thing or two about being a tag team wrestler. If they are not going to push him as a single competitor let him do what he does best! Maybe Tyson will get the recognition he deserves as well.

Shane’s Pick: The Usos – Giving Kidd & Cesaro makes too much sense, so I figure we’ll go the other way.  Plus, we’ll get to see how much heat Cesaro got for his Twitter being hacked and it saying that he wishes Vince would die already.  Yeah, I know it wasn’t HIM, but still…

Derick’s Pick – Cesaro and Tyson Kidd – You know why? I hate The Usos…. USO DUMB!!!!! STUPID!!!! STUPID!!!!

Dolph Ziggler, Ryback & Erick Rowan vs The Authority

Robbie’s Pick: Dolph Ziggler, Ryback and Erick Rowan – Seems like this match was randomly thrown together and Seth may be in a little bit of hot water for his little “Social Media incident”

Shane’s Pick: Team Babyfaces – Because logic.

Derick’s Pick: Dolph Ziggler, Ryback and Erick Rowan – Big Show is trying to tie Rey Myeterio’s knee injuries with Face/Heel Turns. Go get ’em Big guy!

Goldust vs Stardust

Robbie’s Pick: Stardust – Maybe Goldust will drop the paint and just be Dustin after this match blows over. Leaving Cody in the paint and the “Crazy one” of the family.

Shane’s Pick: Stardust – Again, why do this before Mania?  Ugh!  Cody as Stardust is killing it right now, so I like him sticking around a little longer.

Derick’s Pick: Goldust – Why you even asking me that? You know where my allegiance lie. I’d follow that guy to the gates of Hell and carry him back! LOVE THAT GUY!

WWE Diva’s Championship Match: Nikki Bella vs Paige

Robbie’s Pick: Paige – Despite the on again off again Bella feud the past year I still think we are getting a Nikki vs Brie match at Wrestlemania.

Shane’s Pick: Nikki Bella – I’m taking Robbie’s logic, and applying the fact that the Nikki VS Brie match will be for the title, so Nikki retains.  Gotta get the story line for Season 19 of Total Divas worked in there somehow!

Derick’s Pick:  Paige – Not picking Nikki anymore either….stupid Cena!

Two weeks ago the WWE hit a major setback on the road to this year’s Wrestlemania. The Royal Rumble usually has been the PPV that launches the build to WWE’s biggest event of the year – Wrestlemania, their Super Bowl if you will. However, for the past two years, to say The Royal Rumble PPV has been a misstep would be an understatement. Last year we saw the return of Batista, who for some reason went on the win the Rumble match. The decision was unpopular with the wrestling fans so much so that it quickly lead to a heel turn for the former Champion. This year, so much effort has been going into elevating Roman Reigns and trying to build him into the next face of the company, that it was no shock that he would emerge the victor. What was surprising was how quickly the fans turned on him. Despite WWE’s best efforts to get Reigns over which included bringing in Roman’s fellow member of the Anoa’i Family, The Rock, WWE creative clearly did not get the reaction they were hoping for.

10961968_10103211063619623_1312139453_nOne year ago the fans were cheering for Reigns like crazy wanting to see him dump Batista out of the Rumble when it came down to those two. This year, Roman has found himself on the opposite end of the spectrum receiving a very different reaction from the fans. Like last year the fans have let their voice be heard and it seems WWE is wavering in their decision to run with Reigns vs Lesnar at Wrestlemania. At Fast Lane, Roman will put his No. 1 Contendership on the line against Daniel Bryan who defeated Seth Rollins this past Monday to earn a shot at his once vacated title. This is WWE’s answer to protecting Reigns by using the clear fan favorite Bryan to hopefully help elevate Reigns to the next tier. Over the past few weeks I have went back and forth myself so much on Reigns. “Is he ready?”, “Is he not?” and at the end of the day I think this is just a classic example of wrong place at the wrong time.

There is no doubt in my mind that Reigns will be a top tier talent one day and I have absolutely no problem with that. The problem that I do have is WWE wanting to push him too hard and so fast that he becomes another Ryback. Another big guy with so much more potential who had a brush with the main event only to drop back to mid-card hell and lost in terrible booking for a year of so. It’s not fair to Reigns and putting him out there only to have his legs cut off from under him would only hurt him in the long run. With the return of Daniel Bryan and Brock Lesnar now receiving a a Baby Face pop each time he shows up, despite being a Heel, there are just so many X-factors that come into play to shape a World Title picture that the fans will accept.

If they go with the current plan, despite WWE’s story and commentary, Roman would be the heel and Brock the face going in that match simply based on crowd reaction alone. The question is would WWE be bold enough to allow this to be an organic turn. I’ve thought of the possibility of having Paul Heyman turning on Brock and being Roman’s manager and voice, much like he did for Lesnar after his debut. Speaking has never been one of Lesnar’s high points and it’s become painfully obvious that Reigns has some issues as well. While teaming Heyman with Reigns may work out down the road, I’m not sure it should happen just yet. Perhaps WWE should look to the past and at what has worked before. If I were booking this I would have them use Wrestlemania 2000 as the template going forward.

Wrestlemania that year consisted of a Fatal Four Way Match for the WWE Championship. The Rock had won The Royal Rumble that year, eliminating The Big Show last and earning the right to go on to face Triple H at Wrestlemania. Triple H had retained the title against Mick Foley and throughout the months building up these 4 were heavily involved in each others matches and stories that eventually lead to each person having a legitimate claim to the title resulting in the Fatal Four Way Match.

It worked then and it could really work now. Brock has proven he can beat anyone, even walking away from an awesome Triple Threat at The Rumble. If the rumors are true and he is leaving WWE he will need to drop the title at Wrestlemania. After a Triple Threat, naturally you add one more person to the fray. Seth Rollins was made during that Triple Threat and has proved he is more then ready to step up. Daniel Bryan clearly isn’t going anywhere after making his return which many thought may never happen and Reigns’ Rumble win traditionally gives him the right to Main Event Wrestlemania. At Fast Lane what should happen is Seth Rollins should interfere in Reigns’ match resulting in a loss for Reigns, officially adding Daniel to the main event. Later in the night Lesnar should make an appearance cutting a promo with Paul only to be attacked by The Authority. The Authority makes random attacks anyway so why not make this one count? Kane, Big Show and J&J Security should get the best of Lesnar, maybe even playing off his “broken ribs” angle leaving him broken and beak down…cue Seth Rollin’s music. Seth attempts to cash in only for an enraged Reigns to storm the ring shortly after the bell rings. Reigns takes out Seth and pulls Lesnar over Seth’s body. As Reigns distracts The Authority the ref comes to and makes the count with Reigns gaining revenge by costing Seth his contract.

wpid-fb_img_1423047235399.jpgGoing into Wresltemania each person could argue that they had legitimate claim to The WWE World Heavyweight Champion. WWE creative could be happy, Vince could be happy and the fans could be happy seeing so many people in the mix. A Main Even consisting of these four individuals would cover every demographic the WWE tries to cater too. You would have your company guy, your indie guys and your special attraction…. the best of every world possible. If WWE we’re smart they should let this unfold…. only question is, are they smart?