This is a joint opinion article done by Vince Morales of OleWrestling.com and myself. Vince’s comments are in plain text, while mine are in bold.
We were hoping to get Joe Lanza to comment as well since he has a different take than Vince or I but he’s away on business, so that’s where you guys can come in. Reply via the comment section or Twitter (@VoicesWrestling / @OleWrestling) and let us know what you think and where you agree or disagree with our opinions.
Let’s say you have this really big fire and you want to keep it going. What do you do? You throw more wood on it, you throw more Miz t-shirts into and you pour more gas on it.
Can’t we just put The Miz in it and not just the t-shirts. I kid, I kid, but seriously, no more face Miz please. Thanks!
If you want it to stay big and hot you need to keep feeding it. It needs gas. It needs wood. It can still be hot without those things, but if you want it big and scary and awesome you need to keep pouring that gasoline. Especially on the Raw before the pay-per-view.
I’d like to bring special attention to that last sentence Vince wrote, this is the go-home Raw show, remember that. The main event this weekend is Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship.
In case you didn’t get the metaphor, the fire in this situation is Daniel Bryan and that fire is not being fed. Not correctly at least. Not from the Vince McMahon school of promotion, at least. Here’s what Stone Cold Steve Austin has to say about the Vince McMahon school of promotion that I think explains the problem perfectly. (He said this in reference to the promotion of Redneck Island.)
“I come from the Vince McMahon school of promotion. If you want to make money, if you want to be successful, you build a star. You build your number one. Once you build your number one, you keep throwing gas on that motherfucker cause you never want it to cool off. Going back to the days when Stone Cold was being built, hotter than a sumbitch, Vince kept throwing the gas on him. Here comes The Rock. Vince starts throwing the gas on him. Blowing him up. He’s burning like a damn sumbitch. He’s on fire. You got two cats on fire. You can do that. You can get number one. You can get number 1A. You gotta keep throwing gas on em.”
Stop and ask yourself if you honestly think this is what has been done with Daniel Bryan in the last few weeks. Yes, he’s been in the main event. Yes, he’s been in important talking segments. And yes, he’s in the main event of the pay-per-view, but are they keeping him hot? Are they throwing gas on that fire? I don’t think so.
The analogy I used on Twitter is he’s simmering on the front burner of the stove. Sure, he’s still the dish we’re going to eat right away but right now we’re cooking the rice in the back and the green beans are starting to get a bit hotter but they have a ways to go. The main dish though, it’s done, it’s there but it’s on low and it if these other things don’t finish right away it’s going to get cold. It never tastes the same when you try to re-heat it, it just doesn’t.
Now let me get away from food analogies because I’m hungry. I think Vince hit it on the head here, Bryan is still the focal point. I don’t think he’s being buried and I don’t think Vince does either. The problem though, he’s not being pushed higher. It’s as if we’re to believe he’s already reached his peak. He’s boiling and we have to reduce the heat a bit and focus on the other dishes. (There’s the food again).
It seems to me like they are trying to use the hot fire of Daniel Bryan to create some other fires. Let’s take some of Bryan’s fire and make another fire with Big Show over here. Let’s take some of Bryan’s fire and start this Cody Rhodes fire over here. Let’s take some of Bryan’s fire and burn Dolph Ziggler’s career to the ground. On the surface this is smart, you can use popular guys to help build less popular guys, but the problem is that Daniel Bryan isn’t done. His fire hasn’t reached the point where he can successfully build other fires while sustaining his own. He still needs some work.
Bingo. He still needs to cook a bit more to be perfect. Let’s not worry about the side dishes right now, we’re making potentially our best side dish in years. Let’s worry about the side dishes when we’re completely done with the main one.
Bryan is in fact being used to help these other guys, at least in my opinion. I’ve heard the inverse — that Big Show and Cody Rhodes are helping get Bryan more over but wait, how is that a good thing? In one breath people are saying it’s alright that Bryan is being treated this way because he’s super over and he’s the focal point and whatnot but we have to use a crying Big Show to get him over more? Doesn’t add up. Is he the star? If so, let him be the star. Let him live and breathe on his own.
I mean, couldn’t the Cody Rhodes thing have waited? Our revenge fantasies are being pulled in two different directions. Daniel Bryan should get his revenge (or be screwed again) before we started introducing other people with legitimate beefs. They are building two fires at once. Finish the first one. Don’t get me wrong, a WWE where Bryan is the Austin and Cody Rhodes is The Rock is my favorite WWE, but there needs to be patience. It can’t just happen in the few weeks between two pay-per-views.
I actually like what WWE is trying to right now. They are trying to get a bunch of guys over at the same time, trying to develop multi-layered storylines… it’s really cool in fact. I just don’t like the timing of it, I don’t think Bryan is the guy that should be giving the rub to others or getting the rub from others. The focal point should always be Daniel Bryan. There shouldn’t be cut away shots of Big Show crying at ringside or Randy Orton yelling at Big Show for five minutes while holding a beaten and battered Daniel Bryan. That doesn’t build Bryan up for the title match at the pay-per-view in six days. I thought they did a great job of building towards Big Show vs. Randy Orton — it’s just a bad thing that’s not the match this Sunday.
Yet the biggest issue, to me, is the whole Big Show thing. The focus on this Sunday’s big match should be “How will Daniel Bryan overcome the odds? How can he win?” but it has instead become “What will Big Show do?” If Daniel Bryan wins via a Big Show KO punch then this whole thing has been for nothing and he is post-Eddie’s death Rey Mysterio. That would be stupid.
And a waste of a great wrestler in Bryan. You can have The Miz be a champion and get help from other guys. Daniel Bryan doesn’t need that. He needs to be the “take on all comers”, clean babyface that wins simply because he’s a better wrestler than you.
Daniel Bryan doesn’t need a big brother. He doesn’t need anyone. He may be smaller, but if you get him into a one-on-one wrestling match he can beat anyone in the world. That is his character. He is Stone Cold Steve Austin (who would never lose a one-on-one fight and didn’t want (or need) your damn help) mixed with Ricky Steamboat (who could out wrestle anyone at anytime.) He is pure. He can beat Orton, Cena, the Shield and Big Show in a one-on-one match.. (Unless you watched last week’s Raw where the point was that Big Show could have totally knocked him out if he didn’t have such a big heart.) He can beat anyone if it is a straight up wrestling match. He didn’t need the Big Show at ringside screaming “Yes!” to beat John Cena and he doesn’t need him now.
To my point earlier, who does this benefit? On one end, If Bryan is a monster babyface that everybody loves and is crazy, super over — why does he need Big Show to help him out? And to Vince and I’s argument, why would Daniel Bryan be helping out Big Show at this point in his career? Bryan is not an established megastar yet, he needs all the fire to himself right now. Give it to him dammit!
Maybe I’m wrong about the direction of this, maybe Show is going to screw Bryan out of the title and then Bryan will Yes Lock him to hell, but last night was the last big Raw before Daniel’s (next) biggest match of his life and the focus wasn’t on him. It was on an impossible Edge/Triple H feud and a Big Show/Orton match that isn’t happening.
It’s all about follow-up, I totally agree. All of this is contingent on what happens at Night of Champions. Regardless, I think it’s getting far too complicated and doesn’t need to be. It needs to be Daniel Bryan got screwed out of the championship by Orton, HHH and the McMahon’s and wants to get the title back because he loves the wrestling business and that’s the top honor. That’s it. No Big Show is broke, he’s crying, Cody spoke up, he’s fired, blah blah blah, none of that is necessary.
It’s all an accessory to a story and a wrestler that needs to not turn into a run-of-the-mill main event WWE star. He needs to be different. This angle, while I’ve enjoyed it, is a paint by numbers WWE angle. Jack Swagger could be Daniel Bryan right now. Any face can do what Daniel Bryan is doing right now. That shouldn’t be the goal, Bryan is a once-in-a-lifetime talent that should be standing alone and building his own history. Not being apart of a Corporation vs. Union 1999 re-deux (Christ, Big Show was in that stable too).
Sure, Daniel Bryan got to end the show chanting “Yes!” with the crowd eating out of his hand, but he only got to do that because Big Show led him there. Because Big Show saved him and distracted the bully long enough for him. It didn’t leave me thinking that Daniel Bryan could win. It left me thinking that no matter what happens this Sunday it will be because of the Big Show and to me that’s not what’s “best for business.”
I think this is the biggest takeaway for me. I’ve been on board with this angle the entire time until this exact moment. Argue all you want, but Big Show vs. Randy Orton and what Big Show is going to do was the focal point of the main event. I don’t care what happened at the very end, look at how we got to that point. Look at the camera shots, listen to what the announcers said, to even get to the point where Bryan had the title and kicked Big Show, it took Big Show’s involvement. It shouldn’t. It should be Bryan, on his own island, constantly screwed by the higher-ups, trying to get that elusive prize that he rightfully deserves.