Does WWE owner Vince McMahon lack faith in Daniel Bryan?
One recent report indicates this may indeed be the case.
First, some background. Last week, retired wrestler Shawn Michaels gave an in-depth interview to the Ministry of Slam podcast (via PWTorch) mentioning a recent discussion he had with McMahon over an unnamed talent that the boss felt couldn't draw money:
I had a conversation a couple of weeks ago with the man in charge," Michaels said, "and we were talking about a certain individual and he goes, 'I just don't see money in him.' And I said, 'You said the same thing about me.' He said, 'I did not.' I said, 'Yes you did!' (laughs) I said, 'And it's okay. It's just one of those things.
Interestingly, in this week's (subscribers-only) F4W Newsletter, Bryan Alvarez claims the wrestler being talked about was Daniel Bryan. Michaels trained Bryan back in the early '00s, which may explain his willingness to stand up for the star:
Shawn Michaels did an interview this week and said he'd had a talk with Vince McMahon about a certain superstar, and Vince said that this superstar, in his opinion, couldn't draw money, and Shawn said he tried to convince McMahon otherwise. It is said that McMahon was talking about Daniel Bryan, which does make sense given that was pretty much written into storyline on Raw Monday.
Many wrestling fans will no doubt find McMahon's (reported) ambivalence towards the wrestler disappointing, but this news cannot be considered a true surprise.
Daniel is small, not blessed with a great physique or a particularly good camera look. And while the 32-year-old has a quirky, endearing sort of charisma, he's still a million miles away from the over-the-top magnetism that made the likes of Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin and John Cena major stars.
No wonder McMahon is a bit chilly on him. On paper, Bryan is the total opposite of everyone he has pushed before.
But this news may not be totally bleak.
Who's to say Bryan can't turn things around and get the boss to change his mind on him? After all, this is a wrestler who has spent his career proving people wrong.
Update: Michaels has insisted to his followers on Twitter that Bryan was not the wrestler discussed in the conversation with McMahon.