John Cena may not be too hurt to perform, but his recent injury scare put a glaring spotlight on the fact that WWE’s main event roster is alarmingly thin.
For years people have been talking about the consequences of WWE not pushing enough new talent. Well, that grim future has become a reality and the company is in desperate need new stars—and quickly.
There are many talented performers who could be valuable main event players, but two of them are hiding in plain sight.
Kane and Daniel Bryan are currently the tag team champs, but Team Hell No has done all it can to revitalize the division. It's time for WWE to pull the trigger on this tag team's inevitable implosion.
The company has two big stars in John Cena and CM Punk—and that’s basically where their main event roster ends.
Randy Orton has two strikes against his name, which is likely the cause of his under-utilization. Part-time talent like Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker aren’t around nearly enough to build a brand around.
The distance between CM Punk and the rest of the roster is noticeable, but the unmistakable separation between Cena and the roster is staggering. The WWE needs to close that gap.
Daniel Bryan is an outstanding candidate for the company’s next breakout superstar.
Not because he’s arguably the best full-time wrestler in the company and not because he can get a good match out of anyone, but simply because he’s over.
WWE’s decision to slap the Money in the Bank briefcase on The American Dragon back in 2011 was odd. He had very little momentum going into the match and the company did next to nothing with him from the time he won the briefcase until the time he cashed it in.
He seemed doomed to fail, but he didn’t.
Daniel Bryan’s world championship reign should’ve been a catastrophe. Creative made him look weak. It put him in a boring feud with Big Show and Mark Henry and it gave him a girlfriend, an angle that hadn’t helped him much in the past…and he had to shout “Yes!” after every victory.
That sounds like a recipe for disaster, but for whatever reason, whether it was Bryan’s talent or just luck, it made him the most over person in the company for months.
He wasn't cheered because he was shoved down our throats and told he was a superstar. Everything just worked.
Arenas all over America chanted “Yes!” and what did WWE do? Teased a WWE championship run, changed his catchphrase and put him in an arbitrary program with Kane. And guess what? He never stopped being over!
Team Hell No doesn’t just work because of Bryan, though. Kane has done some of the best work of his career and is in a the creatively lucrative position of being funny and intimidating at the same time.
WWE should utilize this momentum and do something big with The Big Red Machine.
We can assume that Kane’s in-ring career is closer to its end than its beginning, but as an established name he could achieve a lot in a little time.
Conversely, building up Daniel Bryan as a big time main event star may take some time, but the long-term payoff is huge.
There have been rumors that Team Hell No will be dropping the tag titles to The Shield sometime soon. Let’s hope that a breakup follows and it is put in a position to add some depth to the main event roster before the year’s end.
Follow Daniel on Twitter @dvanboom