I was just wondering if you could chime in on a debate that's been going on today on the blog. People have been debating whether or not Bryan is more popular now than Bret and Shawn ever were and that led into a discussion about whether or not Bret was a draw and if the actual down turn in WWF business was his fault for not drawing.
So 1) do you think Bryan is more popular than Shawn or Bret in the 90's
2) Do you consider those guys "draws" for keeping the WWF alive and enjoyable in the mid 90's or are there short comings (and not the growth of wcw/steriod scandals/loss of hogan and savage) to be at blame for the down swing in business. Thanks!
I don't think Bryan is more popular because house show business hasn't gone up with him on top, whereas Bret won the title from Diesel in 95 and immediately the numbers went up noticeably. Plus Bret was a legitimate mainstream sports star worldwide. It's hard to do any other kind of comparison, though, because the business is completely different now and operates on a different model. It doesn't matter who's a draw on top because people are only there to be part of the show or see John Cena. You could argue that hijacking the show on behalf of Bryan has become as much of a part of the show as watching him wrestle, but that would send the debate too far down the rabbit hole even for me.
So my stance: No, Bryan is not more popular.