Is Daniel Bryan's Delayed Payoff Best For Business?
By Richard Latta II @dangerrich32 on November 15th, 2013
"Best for business", the phrase Triple H has beaten into the ground over the last 3 months, has had its fair share of ups and downs. Since the summer night in Los Angeles, where Randy Orton cashed in the "Money In The Bank" briefcase, pissing off those in attendance, and almost all of the Internet Wrestling Community, we’ve all been taken back and forth on this once promising storyline.
Daniel Bryan had just defeated John Cena…CLEAN. Read that again, go ahead I’ll wait…
And we’re back. John Cena had not lost "Clean" since Wrestlemania 28, where he was defeated by The Rock. Triple H, who somehow ended up as the special referee at another SummerSlam main event, was to his credit largely absent from any meaningful part of the Cena vs Bryan contest, and left both performers to put on a masterful match. Daniel Bryan had seemingly conquered "The Land of The Giants" on a higher level than even his fellow indy alum, CM Punk, until the real story came into play.
Throughout wrestling history, the thrill and $$$ has been in the chase of watching the babyface go after the evil heel champion. Whether it was seeing Stone Cold chase down Shawn Michaels to kick off the Attitude Era, seeing Hulk Hogan battle to regain the WWF title against a former friend turned foe in Macho Man Randy Savage, or even as recent as seeing John Cena himself win his first WWE Title from the George W. Busheque JBL, it was the payoff that fans had been waiting for in each of those situations. The WWE’s overkill of John Cena the last 8 years, had created more negative feelings in males 18-34 than mention of a kick to the testicles. WWE whether they know this or not had it right!!! Daniel Bryan was facing a MEGA HEEL even though it is not thought of that way. There is no true way to end a face vs face feud. It usually is a one off, someone turns heel, or someone takes a hiatus. (This time WE GOT ALL 3!!)
As the fireworks went off, to further lure fans in to thinking "Oh my god this is legit there will be no cash in!!" I sat with an uneasy feeling knowing the swerve of the decade was possibly on our hands. Triple H was still in the ring for some reason as the YES chants fell from the 300 Seats. Randy Orton’s music blared from the speakers as Daniel Bryan seemed to welcome the challenge from the "Money in The Bank" briefcase holder. The Game then attacked Bryan, drilling him with a Pedigree and handing the WWE Championship to his soon to be revealed, handpicked champion and former partner in Evolution Randy Orton.
As you can imagine this did not sit well with the IWC. WWE flipped "Smart Fans" on their heads. Thinking they were giving them the payoff to the chase that I previously referenced, they literally left legions of fans holding the bag and swearing to never watch WWE again, until the next night.
Since then, we’ve seen, The Returns Of The Big Show & Shawn Michaels, Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan headline 3 PPV’s, Non Finishes, group beatdowns via The Shield (who apparently squashed all beef with Orton) Fast counts, and other WCW like booking that has even the most patient fans wondering "WHO BOOKED THIS SHIT?" There were few people that shared my logic about the thrill of the chase that would eventually lead to Bryan winning the title for good. I was doing fine on my island until HE NEVER ENDED UP WINNING THE BELT BACK. Now I’m not counting night of champions where the upcoming swerve was so obvious, we could have brought out rapper Big Sean to do the honors.
Sometimes you have to give the people what they want, but the more I thought about it, it just is not the right time. Capturing the energy around Bryan's initial rise will be hard to replicate, but WWE seems to be betting on that doing just that. For now some will wonder why we’re getting Big Show Vs Randy Orton, instead of watching Daniel Bryan unleash the best main event championship wrestling since Bret Hart. (To be fair a lot of the acclaimed Punk championship matches were not main events) While you wonder, remember in WWE, you want to peak around Mania time not the dog days of the WWE schedule in September, October, & November. So let’s see Punk & Bryan "The Indy Powers" as I will call them going forward, fend off the Wyatt family and watch the dynamic with these guys shift from "guys coming together to fight a common enemy" to "partners" back to "this generations in ring Shawn Michaels vs Bret Hart rivalry." If I was betting on anything for Wrestlemania 30 it would have to be these two in a prominent spot on the biggest show in history. Then again, they could be break dancing with the Great Khali in a Triple Threat match at which point I would go play in traffic.