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How It Coulda Been Betta: Beard vs Boss

Both Daniel Bryan vs. Authority segments/build moments were strong last night, but as usual, because we have the benefit of time after the fact, here's how they could have been tweaked ever so slightly to have delivered bigger impact.

This is a two pronged piece this week, because I have strong feelings on both segments that took place last night in the final build to the top angle for Wrestlemania 30.

The promo spot early in the night featuring the Hunter "Fandango, that kid is a solid talent" rant and the very solid Triple H sizzle video narrated by Stephanie McMahon, is honestly very difficult to make better as it was executed, so allow me to posit a change in approach that could have altered the initial effect.

Those in attendance and those watching at home on television (no pun intended for the promo I just cut with that line) wanted to see Daniel Bryan last night. Well...all of them but your author, who hoped the beating would be the last the WWE Universe would see of the deity of the YES Movement until Wrestlemania, the night of his possible triumph. That said, WWE couldn't keep their story straight last night regarding Bryan, with Stephanie remarking that she and her husband had "sent him to New Orleans early to rest up and heal" a mere ten minutes before a promo for Tuesday's New York press conference over that hideous Kid Rock song where Michael Cole made it clear Daniel Bryan would be in attendance.


Even though WWE used something similar to this idea a few weeks back with Paul Heyman, here was an opportunity for Triple H to channel the DX character one more time in a semi-recreation of the classic "Crock" promo of 1998. Rather than Motorhead, WWE hits "Flight of the Valkyries" and the fans go crazy with the YES chant. But instead of ole' DB, out comes Triple H in a Daniel Bryan t-shirt, a wig and a fake beard. Once he hits the ring, maybe he plays up the joke just a bit but quickly he just rips it all off and does the exact same promo. The only difference is that H and Steph trolled the fans one final time before Wrestlemania.

The video plays and after it ends, the promo continues and the music hits yet again and H and Steph both look uneasy and Hunter seemingly begins to brace for a fight. Keep the music playing for 30 or 40 seconds as the camera focuses on both the ring and the entrance, cutting back and forth, then H and Steph break out laughing and admit something to the effect of "We just had to do that. It's good to be in control of everything."

Yet another troll move, and one which pays off in the final segment of the show.

The final segment was good and kudos to Hunter for exceptional work not just in the level of his salesmanship but in the "how" of his selling for Daniel Bryan. He was off his feet, off balance, constantly backtracking, and making himself available to be snatched back into the attack. He didn't feed repeatedly. What he did was more of what the Undertaker has made a career off of as he makes you chase him to attack him. It made total sense and both Batista and Orton did the feeding, as they should have.

However, here's the big issue with that segment, and it's my pet peeve in wrestling above nearly everything else. Daniel Bryan showed up through the crowd for this beating of Triple H, which is to be the final image (that matters) before Sunday night. So why in the hell is he in his gear? I know he was potentially slated for dark match work, but that's absolutely no excuse. Daniel Bryan is in a YES shirt, his tights, and his boots. So apparently he pumps gas, goes to dinner, even goes to the movies in his wrestling trunks and boots. Now I could see him enjoying an intimate evening with Brie Bella in gear. Come to think of it, that's an SNL skit waiting to happen...but only if they get a new writing team.

It couldn't be easier how you make this moment better...

Daniel Bryan wears jeans or warmup pants over his trunks, something that oh, I don't know, human beings wear when they aren't booked to compete on a wrestling show. Just hide the gear. And by the way, that does not at all mean to dress like Batista did last night, namely as an extra from an off-Broadway production of Newsies who also has a gift card to Champs...and Timberlands.

But I digress. I get that Bryan may be involved in a match once the show ends, but the television audience doesn't have to see him in tights. The television audience doesn't know about what happens afterward, well, Cagesiders and the Smarts do, but not most of the viewing public. There's no reason any performer should be in wrestling gear who isn't booked to wrestle. When a wrestler comes out to cut an in-ring promo and the plan is for Vickie or Brad or Teddy or H or whomever else to come out and then force them to compete, there's no logical reason why that wrestler is in anything but street clothes. This happens all the time and mentally, infants are punched whenever I witness it.

Sorry, off the soapbox, but it drives me nuts. Don't wear your gear when you aren't ALREADY supposed to be wrestling that night.

The beating, the selling, and the perfect babyface work of Daniel Bryan there were spectacular, but would have made more emotional impact if Daniel Bryan hadn't been dressed for a bell to bell match. Plus, beatings from talented guys wearing street clothes for some reason always look more vicious and more real...and darn sure less scripted, because they look like STREET FIGHTS.

That' you coulda made the final chapter of the preliminaries between the Beard and the Boss(es) just a little bit betta.


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