It hurts to write this about a man I really admire and respect
It's not entirely what you think, Bryan Danielson, champion or not, is still the best technical wrestler in the world no matter what happens to him, he's still awesome, and still has the potential to be awesome. However, a lot of people are getting really excited that Danielson has the MitB briefcase, and with his promised cash in date of Wrestlemania looming ever closer, the thrills grow even deeper.
But the truth is, it doesn't matter if Danielson actually becomes world champion. It's not because the belt is a Smackdown belt, and even though I've gone on record as a Mark Henry hater, theoretically, Henry could still put Danielson over clean, and get Danielson somewhat over as a result. But I'm not holding my breath, and it's best if no one else does either.
But why is this the case?It goes back to why I'm calling "Daniel Bryan" Bryan Danielson. It's not because of a "WWE name" mentality, despite my hatred of a lot of WWE names, Dolph Ziggler being the worst of the lot, "Daniel Bryan" is an adequate stage name. The problem is, Bryan Danielson's WWE incarnation "Daniel Bryan" lacks any substance. Bryan Danielson's WWE persona has been made to job for months on every WWE program except Superstars, given little mic time, no gimmick, no manager, no friends, and his history is rarely brought up. What are people supposed to identify with when there's no character? It may seem like a silly thing to get hung up on, but if there's no character, there's no heat on a wrestler, no connection between them and the audience, and any hopes given to a title reign automatically evaporate.
Even if Danielson's "Daniel Bryan" character had any actual character, the other hurdle Danielson faces is WWE's booking. Danielson became number 1 contender just last week, giving him a chance to face Henry at TLC, a show that could easily test if Danielson can get over in a WWE PPV main event with no risk because no one will buy the show anyway. But rather than experiment, WWE ran Danielson's match this week on Smackdown so that Big Show can conclude his awful program with Henry. It severely damaged Danielson's heat and credibility when Daneilson needs it more than ever for no reason. If Vince McMahon cares that little about giving Danielson any heat, how little will he care about actually making Danielson's reign meaningful and not just another heel turn cash in?
But most importantly, come time for the actual reign, Daneilson has virtually no guarentee of having either a face or a heel reign he's given getting the proper treatment. A similar situation raised with Rey Mysterio when he first won the world title in 2006. Rey Mysterio won the World Title in what was supposed to be a big moment, but was made to job endlessly to the giants of the roster for no reason other than Vince McMahon's size fetish, suffering clean losses to Mark Henry, Big Show, and Great Khali while champion. Danielson is about Rey's size, and currently even less protected than Rey was back when they were at similar periods in their world title path, and that was the treatment Vince McMahon gives undersized babyfaces.
I personally prefer Danielson as a heel, unless he's facing Takeshi Morishima, but Vince McMahon's treatment of undersized heels is much worse than the treatment of undersized babyfaces. When's the last time a WWE heel that wasn't a walking colossus was given clean wins over meaningful opponents even once, let alone on a regular basis. The last I can remember was when Jeff Hardy lost to CM Punk, but Punk was quickly made to be Undertaker's whipping boy for the remainder of the 2009 autumn season. As for undersized main event heels before Punk, the only ones that come to mind are Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle, and for all Daneilson's strengths, he lacks Michaels tan, good looks, mic skills, and chiseled physique which helped Vince McMahon look past Michaels size, and unlike Angle, Danielson lacks the badass martial arts skills that instantly legitimized Angle in McMahon's eyes. Not that Angle didn't have great mic skills and a chiseled physique, but I already mentioned Daneilson lacking those earlier.
This doesn't even get into Michael Cole's treatment of Danielson, which isn't funny, isn't getting Danielson over at all, is a waste of everyone's time, and only further solidifying that Michael Cole wasn't even good enough to replace Mike Adamle, let alone Jim Ross.
A world title reign is only meaningful if its booked properly. Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, and Alberto Del Rio all held world title in WWE, and despite the fact that all three of those men are incredibly talented, they not only failed to get over after becoming champion, they got less over than they were before winning the strap.
Don't wish for the day Danielson wins a WWE world title, wish for the day WWE books it properly, and wish for Michael Cole to be exsanguinated on live TV while you're at it.