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Stephanie McMahon calls Daniel Bryan an "A-plus player"

On TV, they calls him a B+ player, but in real-life Triple H and Stephanie McMahon want you to know that their grade for Daniel Bryan is A+, all the way!

Vince McMahon: Always in the background, screwing things up for his meddling kids?
Vince McMahon: Always in the background, screwing things up for his meddling kids?
Taylor Hill/Getty Images

In a sign that WWE management wants to get hardcore fans on their side and also increasingly shape the media's narrative about how the company is run, they allowed Bleacher Report's Jonathan Snowden to have what was billed as "unprecedented access" into their behind the scenes creative process, so that his readers could understand better how a pro wrestling story comes to life. The particular plot in question focused upon in the article was how Daniel Bryan overcame tremendous odds to thwart The Authority at WrestleMania 30 and become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion on the grandest stage of them all, craftily cherry-picked because it was WWE's best storyline in recent memory.

Unfortunately, there's little in the way of new insight offered by Paul "Triple H" Levesque in the quotes Snowden was given for his study. Have your mind blown as Hunter reveals top secrets like they have a whole creative writing department with more than 20 writers and that they write 10-15 hours of original content a week. Discover that WWE tweaks their scripts until the very last minute that they go live. Did you know that WWE are more like the Rocky movie than they are a real sport? Well, I never! Next you'll be telling me that WWE owner Vince McMahon has the final say on everything. Wonders never cease!

There's also the faint whiff of revisionist history as Stephanie McMahon argues that she always knew WWE were onto a winner with Daniel Bryan, going so far as to call him an A+ player:

"Our fans do have a powerful voice. They do influence our decision-making and our storytelling. When our fans got behind Daniel Bryan in the beginning...that absolutely was a key indicator to us that Daniel Bryan was an A-plus player, not just in our minds, but in our fans' minds.

He was absolutely a talented in-ring performer. That anyone could see. The fact that our fans were connecting with him on an even more emotional level—and then when we started telling the story the way they got behind him, we just knew that he was the right guy."

Holy breach of kayfabe, Cagesiders! The proof will be in the pudding, so to speak. If Daniel Bryan wins this weekend's Royal Rumble match that will go a long way to cast off any doubt that today WWE management do indeed see him as one of their handful of A+ stars, even if it took them longer to get to that conclusion than they would like to publicly admit. If not, then the naysayers might still have a point.

However, perhaps most eyeopening was Daniel Bryan's claims that he actively encouraged getting beaten at every turn in the early days of The Authority angle, feeling it would make him an even more beloved babyface, and that Triple H was lobbying to face him at WrestleMania before CM Punk had even quit the company, because he felt it was a more logical storyline move:

"I thought, 'If I'm going to be beat up, I need to be really, really beat up.' I thought it was important to get what we call heavy heat on me in all of those segments. To get that sympathetic response....

Triple H was trying to make it me and him at WrestleMania. It was originally on the schedule as him versus CM Punk, but Triple H thought that after the story we had over the summer, it would make so much more sense for us to continue that story."

That new information suggests that Daniel Bryan's biggest roadblock to the top of the mountain was and remains to be Vince McMahon. It doesn't matter if both Hunter and Steph now see him as an A+, if Vince grades him lower. But that might be what they want you to believe, as they attempt to craft a new kayfabe.

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