Daniel Bryan! (clap, clap clap-clap-clap) Daniel Bryan! (clap, clap clap-clap-clap) Daniel Bryan! (clap, clap clap-clap-clap) Daniel Bryan! (clap, clap clap-clap-clap) ...
Anyone else's hands tired from all that clapping?
I know what you're thinking, "Geez, we finally get Daniel Bryan in the top spot, which is what we always wanted. He's not going to whine about Daniel Bryan being in the top spot now, is he?"
Yes he is!
This is pro wrestling, folks. If you're not whining, you're not trying. I should clarify: I don't have a problem with D-Bry becoming the "it" guy, but last night in Texas, things started to get a little weird. Remember when the Fandango theme song went viral and turned up in the damnedest of places?
Then remember when WWE trotted Jerry Lawler out to the ring to tell us how epic it was?
That's kind of how I felt during Monday Night RAW. I know Daniel Bryan is a star. In fact, I'd be willing to bet most of the WWE Universe knows he's a star, too, because we've been watching him over the past year and had the privilege to witness his rise to prominence.
Not just his, but those around him, as well.
I think it's important to note that everything Bryan touches, turns to gold. How much did we care about AJ Lee before she became his jilted ex-lover? She started out getting squashed by Big Show and became the fall gal every time "goat face" dropped the ball.
Then came the wedding, her role as RAW General Manager and well, just look at her now!
The same thing goes for Kane. It wasn't that long ago when he was jumping up through a hole in the ring to molest Zack Ryder, or dropping shipping pallets on John Cena out behind the arena's loading dock. He was about as one dimensional as they come, having already done the same shtick for years.
Then came Team Hell No.
I'm not saying Lee and Kane didn't have a hand in that success, because they are both talented performers in their own right, but at the same time, you cannot overstate how well those programs worked because of their common denominator and that's Bryan.
He tells a cool story, bro.
But we're not there just yet. Bryan's picture hangs above the fireplace in the cool kids club, but we still have to make sure he has staying power in the house of the casual fan, who may (or may not) be ready to go all in. To that end, I think the approach should be less, not more, when it comes to advancing his storyline.
We don't need Vince McMahon to be a helicopter parent.
When I talk about overexposure, I don't mean Bryan's gauntlet-style booking on RAW. Hell, you can leave him out there for an hour, especially against a guy like Antonio Cesaro, who made JBL's "Clothesline from Hell" look like ring around the collar (GIF).
But it would also be nice to leave me wanting more.
The announcers are supposed to sell me on his awesomeness, but I don't want him anywhere near Cena prior to SummerSlam. I understand the psychology behind it, but it still has that Cena/Ryder "little engine who could" feeling to it.
And I'm cynical enough to believe he's just trying to leech onto all that Bryan adulation from the fans.
I'd rather not start up with those tired cliches (but I will anyway) about brightest stars burning out the fastest, and I know everyone is in a big hurry to cash in on years of waiting for this moment, but let's take our foot off the gas pedal -- just slightly -- and let this thing play out the way it should.
Like Hodges told Pac Man:
"Hear the one about the two bulls? These two bulls are sittin' on a grassy knoll, overlooking a herd of cattle. The baby bull says, 'Hey pop, let's run down, fuck one of them cows.' But the papa bull says, 'No son, let's walk down ... and fuck 'em all.'"