WWE: 7 Factors in the Newfound Success of Daniel Bryan
For awhile it seemed like Daniel Bryan would get lost in the shuffle and never reach main-event status in the WWE.
That all changed over the last few months. Right before our eyes, he has evolved into one of the faces of Smackdown.
It isn't just one thing that catapulted him to where he is now. It took many factors and the right blend to create what he is today.
Some people may think that Bryan should rely more on his submission gimmick than his annoying heel persona, but unfortunately, it'd be hard to use that gimmick in today's product.
Several things have to go right in the creating of a main-eventer. Here are seven things that Bryan did well.
When D-Bryan started out, it seemed like every other week he would come out with a new theme, and they were usually corny and had a Star Wars feel to them.
But you can't say the same about his current theme. It's a style that hasn't been used before.
It's not quite hardcore, like HHH or Batista's theme, but it fits his style of wrestling and his gimmick perfectly.
Could you imagine him being where he is today with his old theme? I can't either.
Before Daniel Bryan's beard came along, D-Bryan looked like a scrawny little boy.
But the beard changed everything. You look at him and he looks a lot older and more intimidating. He just looks like a WWE superstar, not an Indy-circuit guy.
It seems like a little thing, but all the little things add up.
I know the robe has been a staple of D-Bryan when he debuted on the Indy circuit, but once he got to the big leagues, it simply had to go.
Could you imagine D-Bryan coming down to the ring to fight The Big Show with that thing on? Nobody would take him seriously.
Besides, he looks a lot more marketable with an "everyone taps" T-shirt.
He's Bulked Up
This is Daniel Bryan in a match against Batista back when he was starting out.
I don't care how good of a technical wrestler you are, when you look at Batista, then look at Bryan, nobody is going to buy D-Bryan defeating Batista, even if it is choreographed.
While I don't believe he actually went from his listed 192 to 210 pounds, there's no denying that he is in much better shape than when he started out.
He's not a 'roid-head by any means, but getting bigger helped his cause.
The power couple is a classic gimmick, but it still is effective.
Daniel Bryan is clearly using AJ, but AJ doesn't realize this yet. Simple? Yes. Effective? Just listen to the crowd reaction he gets (even if it is edited).
Shaking hands before matches (CM Punk, ROH) and his defensive tone of voice make him appear to be the innocent one in any situation.
It's something that hasn't been done in a long time. While some might believe there are better uses for his talent, he is still very good at it.
YES! YES! YES!
When you think of D-Bryan, the words YES, YES, YES, YES come to mind.
With the innocent, annoying heel gimmick comes an equally annoying catch phrase, if you can call it that.
It's simple, yet effective in any situation. The crowd absolutely eats it up, whether they hate him or love him.
Could you imagine D-Bryan without the infamous YES chants?
World Heavyweight Champion
When Daniel Bryan first won the World Heavyweight Championship. I, along with many others, wasn't sure what to think when he cashed in.
I know a world championship shouldn't be a stepping stone to the main-event scene, but he actually looks good with the title around his waist.
In a way, it was the final step into becoming a main-eventer on Smackdown.
A year ago, Daniel Bryan didn't have the look of a champion. He had the technical wrestling background, but that was about it.
Now he has both, and at Wrestlemania, we'll know if he's the real deal, or just a transitional champion.