Since WWE was gearing up for its obligatory world tour, intent on visiting places I've never been and don't particularly care about, last night's pre-taped edition of Monday Night RAW didn't offer much in the way of big-ticket items, instead riding those wheels already in motion and coasting through Laredo, Texas.
Video replays available here.
That said, there were a handful of talking points that do warrant further discussion. Chief among them is the planned "corporate makeover" for Daniel Bryan, who is expected to challenge John Cena for the WWE Championship next month at SummerSlam.
Nothing personal, just business.
I say that because it's a tried-and--true formula in the corporate world. What happens when you have an employee who threatens the establishment, but is too "over" with clients -- and even other employees -- to get fired or pushed out? You do the next best thing and
alienate promote them.
Make them part of said establishment.
Bryan is untouchable right now. How he became such a red-hot superstar is debatable, but it is this writer's opinion that he used his natural abilities -- both in the ring and on the stick -- to make the most of whatever opportunities creative bestowed upon him.
So far, so good.
Naturally, WWE head cheese Vince McMahon wants to take credit for the aforementioned ascension and if the fans won't let him, then he will bury (kayfabe) his top star by turning him into a company man. Let's face it, a stiff in a suit is the last thing anyone in the "Universe" wants to see.
With the exception of John Laurinaitis, of course, but you get my point.
So, what exactly is a "corporate makeover," which is expected to be handled by the billion-dollar princess? Is he going to shave his beard and put on pleated pants? That remains to be seen, but I think that's what makes this angle so much fun. There are a dozen different routes they can take.
Let's just hope that all roads meet in the middle.
I think in order for this to work, the day has to come when Bryan busts out of his suit, kind of like when Forrest Gump sheds his leg braces after outrunning that truck full of slack-jawed bullies. And wouldn't it be fun to see "D-Bry" fumbling his way through the corporate world?
I can see the vignettes now.
I'm imagining him answering the phone at Titan Towers, peeking up Stephanie McMahon's dress and kicking the crap out of the copy machine. Maybe he can get paired off with Gerald Brisco, Pat Patterson and Sgt. Slaughter to reform The Corporation.
Heck, while we're at it, drop Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns into the fold for this generation's Corporate Ministry.
The Corporate Shield!
Fantasy booking aside, I was surprised to see so many fans reacting negatively to the new direction. Sure, it's just another reason to get the McMahon family on television, but if we've learned anything from these past two years, it's that whatever Daniel Bryan touches, turns to gold.
His "corporate makeover" will be no exception.