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Daniel Bryan thinks WWE needs ‘a change of presentation’

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Tuesday’s Rude Awakening looks at Daniel Bryan’s thoughts on WWE, Kairi Hojo coming to Orlando, and the Fashion Police’s shirt.

WWE on Twitter

We publish a whole lot of content here at Cageside Seats. We’re also [looks around and whispers so the bosses can’t hear] not the only place producing wrestling content on the internet. So, as a service to you on the weekdays, we’ll be producing a wrestling newsletter, "Rude Awakening." Well, it will be a newsletter eventually: for now, it’ll just be part of your experience here at Cageside, collecting the news, recaps, and social moments from the greater wrestling universe daily so you won’t fall behind, with a newsletter format to come.

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There are a number of complaints anyone can lodge against WWE: honestly, you don’t need to hate the company or even dislike them to have issues with how they present themselves and their performers. Hell, Daniel Bryan rose to fame with them and is even still employed by them, but he thinks they have real presentation issues, as revealed in this interview with NBC Sports.

“I think a change of presentation is absolutely necessary. I think the way that we present our superstars probably needs to change. Years ago, [WWE] went through with this idea of having as much live stuff as possible on the shows, but I think when you watch say UFC for example, some of the things that are the most endearing, that make you care the most about the fighters are these backstage vignettes that show their real personality. You’ll see great fights that people will cheer maybe because they’re great fights, but the fights that have the most impact are the ones with fighters who people actually care about.

He’s not wrong! There’s a reason that, in the last couple of years, people grew to love New Day, Heath Slater and Rhyno, the Fashion Police, and so on. Those were the wrestlers who seemed the least limited by WWE’s usual approach, who were given more room to do pre-taped segments or just be weird and/or themselves. Fans noticed, fans cheered, and the internet was abuzz with whatever it was the respective groups/wrestlers had done the night before.

That’s not to say everything needs to be taped, either: Braun Strowman has shown time and time again since the brand split that there’s a ton of life in live segments, be they backstage or in the ring. But even he’s had major success on Twitter expanding his character, and in videos that show off his feats of strength.

Bryan is right that giving their performers more opportunities to stand out, for fans to get to know them in a way that makes a connection, is something WWE should focus on. We’ve seen it work on the main roster, at NXT, in other promotions, in other sports, even. And with WWE currently having far more heels getting cheers and love than their faces, it’s not like a major shift like this would hurt what they’re doing. It can only help.