Daniel Bryan Update

The following was reported by PWInsider:

“WWE officials were hoping to get Daniel Bryan back in the ring this month and have him defend the Intercontinental Title against King Barrett this Sunday at the Payback pay-per-view but as noted, they got MRI results back on May 8th and it was determined that Bryan would not be able to return any time soon, if ever again.

The situation has brought a lot of frustration within WWE. WWE officials want what’s best for Bryan but they obviously want him working for the company and want him on TV as they have a DVD and other products coming out that need to be promoted. There has been some talk that Bryan is now so injury-prone that maybe they could best use him in a non-wrestling position.

Since Monday’s RAW where he dropped the Intercontinental Title, the talk has been that Bryan is trying to figure out a way to get cleared. There’s been no word yet if Bryan will be getting the surgery that he was so reluctant to get before but people are wondering if that’s an option. Needless to say, a lot of people in the company really feel bad for Bryan right now.”


So, About Daniel Bryan…


What's Bryan's future? We're 3 weeks from Mania and there's nothing for him. Was Fast Lane the last time we see him in the Main Event? Kind of a sad ending.

​At this point I can't think of a single reason why they even bothered to bring him back.  They had literally NOTHING for him to do and all that's happened is he looks like a huge geek now and it destroyed Roman's heat.  It's probably gonna go down as an all-time bonehead move.  ​

Daniel Bryan

Scott – now that it's been a year since the Daniel Bryan/crowd hijacking stuff I want to ask a couple of questions…….

1. Has anything like that ever happened in wrestling before?  If so, what/who was involved.

2.  Does the whole thing get enough credit for being a huge deal?  I mean correct me if I'm wrong – but didn't the audience basically change the entire direction of the company – at least from royal rumble to wrestlemania XXX?  That's pretty amazing to me.

3.  Do you think DB will have the same crowd support/momentum when he's back or has the moment passed?


​Finally, a fresh topic.
1. I'd say the closest analog was Hulk Hogan getting all those title shots in the AWA because Verne was basically forced into it by crowd reactions, but the dynamic there was totally different, as clearly Hogan was the future of the business and the AWA couldn't actually lock him down.  Other than that, it was such a unique situation with a perfect storm of factors like the Batista backlash that I doubt it will ever be duplicated again.  
2.  ​Well, no matter what happened we were always gonna get Brock Lesnar as champion by Summerslam and John Cena on top again, so I'd say "changed the direction of the company" is going a bit far.  
3.  Depends on how much Philly hates Roman Reigns, I guess.  

E-Mail from Daniel Bryan’s Mother

Hello Scott, I'm Daniel Bryan's Mother.

I'm deathly afraid for my son because he worked so hard to reach this point in his career and, now, after only a year or so of making main event money, he's down with a career-threatening neck injury. I'm worried that he hasn't been able to save enough money to make his years in WWE count and, God help me, he ends up like Dynamite Kid.

Please console me and let me know that everything will be ok for my boy.

​Wow, what an honor.  Well, since the Network has apparently imploded tonight, I have time to answer.  First up, wouldn't you call him Bryan and not Daniel?  But I'm getting sidetracked here.  Clearly this is a legitimate and serious e-mail.  However, given that I'm not his doctor, I can't give you a legitimate and serious answer.  
Also, aren't you dead?  Just curious.  
If not, you might want to keep his bedroom maintained, because I don't see him coming back any time soon.  And Brie Bella doesn't come cheap.  ​

Dean Ambrose IS Daniel Bryan

So at HIAC 2013, Bryan main events, gets screwed and is thrown into an out of nowhere feud with Bray Wyatt for 3 months while Cena vs. Authority (Orton) dominated the main events until a surprising big man (Batista) returns to win Rumble and the crowd totally shit on it.
Fast forward a year, plucky Indy darling Dean is the obvious crowd favorite, main events HIAC, and instantly gets tossed down the card into meaningless feud with… Bray Wyatt while the main event storyline is Cena vs Authority and a surprising big man returns (Reigns) to win Rumble.
They're gonna run into the same damn problems as last year.   Do you see any way Dean pulls a Bryan or was that such a natural organic thing?  It just seems that Reigns is being forced on the fans and that usually gets a backlash.

​Well, Reigns does sell merch and people seem to like him so it's not likely going to be a case like with Batista.  Batista was transparently someone coming back for the part-time payday to promote his movie and fans were clearly resentful of that.  The issue with Reigns is that WWE just isn't very good at spotting who the top talent is going to be, especially at that stage in their career. They got Cena right (after nearly cutting him in 2002) but it took 3 years for him to get the big belt, and rightly so.  But for example, back in 2004 they decided that Randy Orton was gonna be their next big star and that went horribly wrong.  And now there's no competition for them to raid, so anyone who they don't deem to be a top prospect is just leaving the business rather than going somewhere else to develop into a star.  ​
So I'd say that Reigns COULD be a big star, but their track record doesn't say so and it's way early anyway.  

Daniel Bryan’s WrestleMania Run


Do you think that Daniel Bryan's Road to WrestleMania was one of the best in WWE history? I think it was, but a lot of the details surrounding it had little to do with WWE's booking. They caught on and were able to turn it into a satisfying storyline, but some of the best moments of it were ones that were completely unplanned. The crowd turning on the Rumble, the crowd chanting for Daniel Bryan when he was in the ring while HHH was trying to push Cena/Orton, etc. The whole buildup was completely unique in that sense.

​It was certainly one of the most memorable, although time will tell if it actually helped Bryan get to the next level.  It certainly hurt Batista and nearly destroyed him as a draw in what should have been his glorious comeback, for example.  But as an organic story, with WWE wanting one main event the fans dictating another one by overriding them at every turn, it'll probably be untouched. k​

Let’s talk about….the return (?) of Daniel Bryan

Let’s talk about….the return (?) of Daniel Bryan
It was the loudest ovation I’ve ever heard.
Wrestlemania weekend was coming to its final act inside the
Smoothie King Center, and I’m sure that I have more than a little bias in my unabashed giddiness; after
more than 2 decades as a fan, I had finally made the pilgrimage to attend the
granddaddy of them all, and after a weekend of wrestling that had filled my
palate with nothing but the most delightful of tastes, after live ROH, Shimmer,
the Hall of Fame, and Wrestlemania 30, we had reached our final moment together
at Monday Night Raw. It was transcendent for me to be a part of something I had
watched for so many years, to gorge on wrestling all weekend without anyone
asking me why I ‘still watched that fake crap’; it was truly one of the finest moments
I’ve collectively had with any crowd for any reason.

But still, even keeping that in mind, this crowd was LOUD.
We knew who we wanted from the opening jump – the ‘Yes!’
chants that had permeated Bourbon Street all weekend were fired up 20 minutes
before showtime with no signs that this crowd was going to slow down at any
point. Perhaps it was the less cavernous confines of the smaller arena, perhaps
it was the fans that had said ‘hey, we can take that extra day off work before
we go home’, perhaps it was the high from getting exactly what we wanted the night
before, I don’t know; all I do know is that when Raw started and Justin Roberts
began to introduce “The NEW World Heavyweight Champion….”, we became a force
unrivaled in my life of attending live events.
And there he was, the man of the hour. Daniel Bryan stood
tall, and for a little while, it sure felt like everything was going to be
all right. There was no time to let him talk; to do so would force us to stop
showering him with the much-deserved affection for the moments he had given us
the previous night, and the moments he had given us on the road to that final
coronation. And so we cheered on, cheered through his promo, cheered when he
thanked us, cheered when he smiled, we just….cheered. It was the truest magic
of professional wrestling, that moment of connection between wrestler and fans.
Less than 3 months later, it was all gone. He promised to
return, promised us he wouldn’t let this be his legacy, he wouldn’t let this
beat him. He held out as long as he could, and he had given all that he could.
And we saluted him as he left, scanning every dirt sheet, looking for any clue
to his return, any chance that it couldn’t be true, that he would be back
sooner than later.
But should he?
I try not to pretend to know what these wrestlers are like
in real life. After Benoit, I promised myself that I never would – it just hurt
too goddamn much. When the facts of what had truly happened began to emerge,
what he had put himself through and what it had cost his family above all, I
began to truly question my fandom in ways I never have before, and I have yet
to resolve those questions.
I am torn about Daniel Bryan in ways that I never thought I
would be. I am torn about how much he should have to give for me, for any of
Let’s make one thing clear: Daniel Bryan will do what he
wants. If he wants to wrestle again, he will. He is a big boy who can make his
own choices, and if he decides to lace up the boots again, it’s between him and
his family. I somehow doubt that most of the online fans enter into the
equation for him. We honestly know very little at this point except what we can
reasonably ascertain; the fact that he is sidelined at the time that he
should be making more money than ever before means that what has happened is
far more serious than something as simple as ‘he’ll be back any day now’. After
watching enough wrestler shoot interviews, I am sure enough that no one would
turn down a run in the main event unless they truly had no other options.
Clearly, this injury is career-altering.
But I want Daniel Bryan to return, triumphantly, to regain
what was taken from him. Not just in the storyline sense, but in the sense that
I want to see him beat this thing, I want him to get the chance to decide on
his own terms when he wants to stop wrestling. I want him to get those moments
at the top that have been denied so many, I want him to continue to put on 4*-
5* matches with Reigns, Rollins, Ambrose, Cesaro, and more.
I want. I want. I. WANT.
Thinking about it in those terms made me feel like the most
selfish son of a bitch on the planet. Like a leech, someone who wants his
entertainment, consequences be damned to
whoever is providing it. Broken neck? Who cares, put some tape on it and work
through it. I need my wrestling, so fuck you, get out there and dance, monkey!
And then I got over myself for a few minutes; I’m just a guy
who wants to see his favorite performer of the last several years come back,
not a monster. How can I punish myself for that? How does that square with the
wrestlers as characters, not men; how can I reconcile with the person I
resolved to make myself post-Benoit? That’s what makes this so difficult – I want
Bryan to return so BADLY, to give me more great matches, to give me more great
moments. It reminds me, in some ways, of my friend Rhianna’s reaction after her
favorite, Edge, was forced to give up the ghost in the ring; no matter what
happened next, she was never going to be the same fan. She would always think
about how her favorite had his career cut shorter than it should have been.
Wrestling is one of the cruelest endeavors one can imagine
in so many ways, I cannot deny. These guys bust their asses day in, day out, to
try to make it to the top. Not even the main event per se, but the chance to
entertain all of us. Whenever I hear now about a wrestler who has health
problems, I go back to Bret Hart in ‘Wrestling with Shadows’, where he compares the life of wrestler to that of a circus animal, and we all know what
happens when that animal heads behind the barn when their use has dried up. The barbarism of that simple explanation makes it much clearer why Bret has nothing to do with wrestling these days….oh. Right. 
But we’re talking about Daniel Bryan.
Daniel Bryan, newlywed.
Daniel Bryan, one of the best wrestlers in the world.
I don’t know how I would feel about Bryan returning. I know
that I would be screaming along with the rest of the crowd when he made his
return. I would rush to Twitter, I would be glued to the screen to see what happened next. But the first time he took a flatback bump off a dropkick, the first
time he went up for that headbutt, I would cringe. And it’s not because I’m a
good person. It’s because, deep down, I would be afraid that his career would
be cut even shorter and deny me more matches, and that’s actually a hard admission
for me to make. It’s the acknowledgement of my love of the performer over the
man, and it’s admitting that I have the ability to divorce their well-being from
my entertainment. And I wonder why that is. I wonder why I can’t look back at
his WWE career and have that be enough, I wonder why I can’t look back at his ROH
career and have that be enough. I wonder why nothing can be enough for me. Why is it so hard to satisfied with what I already have from this man?
The answer, I suspect, is the fact that I will never set
foot in a ring, take a bump. I’m the observer, the critic, the fan; I sit in
the seats and judge with the dollars that put me inside the arena. They are
actors, after all, and when was the last time that you worried about an actor
in a film being injured beyond repair while doing a stunt? Wrestlers are merely
a resource, right? Just another moving part in the overall show, albeit the
most necessary one. And thinking of them as people is dangerous, because that’s when you put your heart on the line and risk it getting broken. Better to just think of them as merely a piece of the puzzle.
Yet, I think of Daniel Bryan.
I think of him, and what he has left to give.
I think of him, and what he might have left to lose.
I think of him, and what could await him in the future, good
or bad.
I think of him.
Or do I just think of myself?
Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter

Daniel Bryan and WWE World Title Updates

The following is from today’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter:

Money in the Bank PPV Update

“The plan as of 6/9 was to go with two ladder matches on the show, one for the title, and the other for the briefcase that could be cashed in for one year as is usual for the show. With two Raw TV shows left until the PPV, there was no announcement made of such a second match. Given that Cesaro was originally one of the favorites to win the briefcase, and he’s instead in the title match, his being in the key match is interesting. What’s also notable is that my pick to win would have been Seth Rollins. It shoots the rocket for him after his turn, and he’s filled with obvious contenders in Cena, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, as well as Bryan. Rollins getting one of the final spots leaves Reigns and Ambrose with nothing for the PPV, since whether it’s a ladder match or some other type of match, the very obvious direction as the hottest program for the PPV would be Rollins vs. Reigns & Ambrose. With Orton in the ladder match that could lead to Rollins & HHH as a team, but all of this is speculation.”
Bryan’s Health Update

“Little is known about Bryan’s situation other than the bad news from last week that his right arm was actually getting weaker and not stronger since surgery, which was a bad sign.
The only thing we had heard was that they were still going with the idea that Bryan vs. Brock Lesnar would take place at SummerSlam in Los Angeles on 8/18. But that may not indicate anything because a week ago the idea was still that Bryan be working 6/29, but they were concerned and did formulate the ladder match back-up plan. At this point nobody has given an estimate return date for Bryan and because of that, the speculation has been running crazy as to what that means.”

All credit goes to Dave Meltzer and the “Wrestling Observer Newsletter.”



Daniel Bryan Surgery Update

The following was reported by Mike Johnson from PWInsider.com:

“WWE announced this afternoon that WWE World Heavyweight champion Daniel Bryan has successfully underwent neck surgery earlier today in Pittsburgh, PA.
A WWE news update referred to the issue as a “lingering” nerve issue with his neck and that Bryan underwent a cervical foraminotomy in order to decompress the nerve root. During that procedure, surgeons go in through the back of the neck and shave the inside edges of joints in the neck and spine that are causing compression in order to prevent the eventual collapse of a spinal disc.
Bryan is already out of bed and wearing a soft neck brace. He is expected to be released from the hospital in 1-2 days.
WWE noted there is no timetable yet for Bryan’s return but the usual recovery from such a procedure for heavy physical activity is 2-3 months.
Prior to the surgery, WWE sources noted to PWInsider.com that they expected Bryan out for about two months and that Summerslam was a likely return.

WWE announced they would officially explain what the status of the WWE World Heavyweight championship is during this Monday’s Raw, which will be taped in London, Great Britain.”

Daniel Bryan = Zach Ryder v 2.0

Why is Daniel Bryan running away from Kane like a pussy?  How is anyone supposed to cheer for a little bitch coward?  What's next after the failed car escape from Monday Night?  Bryan's wife leaves him for Kane?

​Look, all the great World champions were booked like this, it's nothing to worry about.  Steve Austin used to run away in terror in a cheap rental car every week, and he turned out fine.  I can't count all the times that Rock looked like a dork in interview situations.  And don't get me started on poor HHH and how he would always have to sell being afraid of guys he had already beaten cleanly! 
Plus, it's really unfair to make the comparison with Ryder.  Ryder had much better merchandise.  ​

Daniel Bryan initial push

Much like you and a some other BODers I fell away from the product around 05 till 2011. It was the Summer of Punk and the rise of Daniel Bryan that brought me back into the mix around then. 

Since I wasn't following during that time and I was never much of an indy fan, the only stuff I had to go on about Bryan was the little snippets from people on the blog and what I saw on TV. Plus the poor booking of the mid 2000s is part of the reason why I stopped watching so it was easy to buy  into this "burying" of Daniel Bryan idea. I never thought it was as bad as some people thought. But it did seem like at times that  the "B Plus Player" comment was based on how the company really felt about Byran overall. 

So after watching the Bryan "Road to Wrestlemania" doc it got me thinking. I went back and watched the Summerslam 2010 match when Bryan returned and then the next three PPVs. 

Here is my question: How did Bryan go from some Indy geek who's 10 years of experience wasn't good enough for more then a developmental deal and an NXT spot, to getting fired for being too violent to getting resigned and being put in the main even of the second biggest PPV of the year? 

Then that is followed up by winning the US Belt by beating The Miz clean with a submission. The Miz, the guy who would be WWE champ a few months after that, headlining Wrestlemania and BEATING JOHN CENA! 

Bryan follows that up with a clean submission win over Ted Dibiase From everything I've read Dibiase was a guy they wanted to push huge,and the next PPV Bryan makes Miz tap AGAIN in a threeway with John Morrison. 

That's quite the return for a short guy with supposedly no charisma who was "too Indy". Cena mentioned in the doc vaguely that he was some how involved in Bryan's return at Summerslam. I could understand that now since they are practically brothers in law. But I don't think either of them were dating the Bellas at that point. Was Cena just a fan of his work? Did he really have something to do with Bryan's return and initial push?

And it wasn't like the extent of his run was a little mid-card push with a meaningless title. The next year he wins the Money in the Bank, then goes on to become World Heavyweight Champion. The year after that he gets a multiple match run with Punk for the WWE title, a 200 plus day run as tag champ with Kane in a solid mid card comedy angle. And then of course the Summerslam main event with a clean victory over John Cena for the WWE title and finally the Wrestlemania main event with another clean title victory. Punk never got to main event Wrestlemania. 

And that's not to say there hasn't been some odd booking moves by the WWE when it comes to Bryan. But even before I realized all this I thought the whole "burying" theory was a stretch. 

​That's exactly what they WANT you to think so that it'll be all the more satisfying for them to bury him even further.  ​

Daniel Bryan’s father passes away

Excerpt from WWE.com

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan’s (Bryan Danielson’s) father
has unexpectedly passed away. Bryan was made aware of his father’s
passing after returning from his honeymoon with Brie Bella. Despite the
news, Bryan has insisted on performing for the WWE Universe tonight
(April 21) and will be on Raw. WWE extends our deepest condolences to
Bryan and his family.


Bret Hart vs Daniel Bryan as a draw

Hey Scott,
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.
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.  

Triple H vs. Daniel Bryan in the opener…..

Scott, what is your opinion on HHH and Daniel Bryan certain jerking? Prior to last week, it wouldn’t have made sense because it would have given Bryan a lot of rest if he were to win. But now that HHH believes he’s going to be in the title match, it makes perfect sense from a storyline standpoint that HHH would want as much rest as he could get. I also believe it would start the show off with a giant bang and get the fans invested into the show right off the bat (which is something they’ve struggled doing ever since they got rid of the MITB ladder match). I believe it would be the most logical thing to do.

I'm pretty sure that the Andre Rousimoff Memorial BAttle Royal (The ARMBAR, tm Justin Shapiro) is opening the show, in the grand tradition of Wrestlemania IV.  I'd run HHH-Bryan back to back with the title match just to really fuck with Bryan by having their be no rest for him and thus no apparent chance for him to win at all.  Which of course there isn't.