It's being reported that Daniel Bryan is, unfortunately, again "hurting."
Many Cagesiders have discussed and debated his booking, lack of move set adjustment, coworker responsibilities, and overall health.
Before going any further in this post I want to state that Daniel Bryan is one of my favorite wrestlers currently signed with the WWE. I would also like to state that his health is more important than anything else I mention here today and one of the main factors in my following comments.
I think Daniel Bryan is hurting himself, WWE, his coworkers, and the fans.
It's my opinion he should either retire -- hopefully temporarily -- and seek the best medical care possible or, at minimum, move to a commentary type role, if he is to remain on screen.
Not only am I worried for his health, but I believe his presence as an active wrestler is hurting everyone involved with him.
WWE, and justifiably so, has moved Daniel to an upper mid card role. This was done, supposedly, because of lingering concerns over his long-term health and to test his staying power. While I agree with elevating the Intercontinental title, even his presence here will hurt the brand if he has to leave again. With that fact alone, putting him here to start was great in theory but will ultimately lead to another creative gap if he must leave again.
His coworkers are also being hurt, and not only from a creative standpoint. Each coworker needs to be aware of his situation. This not only hampers their respective in ring work, but, as Daniel states himself, hesitation is one of the most common ways wrestlers get injured. It’s also creating criticism of his coworkers every single time Bryan takes any neck area bump (Luke Harper is mentioned almost every time Daniel is now, whether justified or not). Along with those also comes character/heat issues. Of course Bryan wasn't the only problem with the Roman Reigns push, but it didn't help. The dream Dolph Ziggler vs. Bryan feud at WrestleMania could have pushed Ziggler to a whole new level. Perhaps Dean Ambrose could have won the Intercontinental title -- from a booking stand point it seemed the way to go since he started the hot potato feud.
Lastly, it is hurting us, the fans. As much as I love Daniel Bryan, I am having trouble investing in any of the storylines he is in. Every time he's in the ring all that I find myself doing is hoping for a healthy ending and no bad bumps. I cringe at every dive and every suplex. I am watching his matches more intensely than ever, but it's not for the excitement it's from fear of seeing him seriously injured. I find myself watching replays of bumps and thinking of his safety, not of his performance.
But as I stated in my opening, I fear mostly for Daniel Bryan himself. I don't want to watch while I'm afraid, but I do and maybe I shouldn't. More than anything else, I want him to be healthy so much that I am beginning to think I should change the channel while he's in the ring.
Your thoughts, Cagesiders?