On August 18th at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, something will happen within World Wrestling Entertainment. A major power struggle will be revealed and the world will be watching. Just like the former opener of Raw, "THE WORLD IS WATCHING."
Those were the good old days, right? well, maybe.
The meteoric rise of Daniel Bryan is more of a feel-good story than an expected one. After he was released from NXT a couple of years ago due to his show of aggression (see tie-choking of Justin Roberts on YouTube) not much was expected from young Mr. Danielson.
However, at SummerSlam that year, Bryan returned and shocked the WWE Universe. There wasn't a huge buzz like the recent comeback from Rob Van Dam. The IWC created a spark that not too often comes around.
The thought process by many in the boardroom, regardless of all his success and fan-loved screams, is that he is too small. Let me go through a list of some guys who were "too small" yet went above and beyond in this business. I'm sure these names are repeated constantly, but it is still an important point to be proven.
- Shawn Michaels: 6 ft 1 inches, 225 lbs.
- Ricky "the Dragon" Steamboat: 5 ft 10 inches, 235 lbs.
- Rey Mysterio: 5 ft 6 inches, 175 lbs.
- CM Punk: 6 ft 2 inches, 218 lbs.
- Edge: 6 ft 5 inches, 241 lbs. (not a lot of muscle mass, look back to WWF days.)
- Christian: 6 ft 1 inches, 212 lbs.
- Chris Jericho: 6 ft, 231 lbs.
- Eddie Guerrero 5 ft 8 inches, 220 lbs.
- Mick Foley: 6 ft 2 inches, 287 lbs. (didn't have physique)
- Chris Benoit: 5 ft 11 inches, 234 lbs.
Those gentlemen not only transcended the business in one way or another, but also did it without the body of John Cena, the Rock or Ryback. They proved to guys like Vince McMahon (yes, he is a bodybuilder fanatic) that they can sell without a six-pack and a bench press record of 350.
This match is also a metaphor for the power struggle backstage. Triple H and Vince McMahon have differing views and the audience has seen it come to light on television. HHH loves Bryan and I believe he is the reason the match is happening.
However, many clues have risen that McMahon is not the biggest supporter of the American Dragon and does not see the money in a small guy like that. The result will come out at the pay-per-view as to who might have the biggest pull.
For Bryan to get over 40 minutes on Raw last week and receive praise from Jim Ross, he has to be doing something right.
What matters most is how the wrestler connects with the fans and performs in that ring. Many people would agree that on the list I mentioned, many of the wrestlers were under-utilized.
That may or may not be correct. Consider this: would Michaels be an 11-time world champion if he looked like his buddy Triple H? How are we as the fans supposed to know that?
The fact is that we can't predict what would have happened, and playing the "IF" game in wrestling is a norm in current society practice.
Bryan has already won himself a Money in the Bank contract, a World Heavyweight championship, United States title, one of the lengthiest Tag-Team title reigns in history and has won multiple Slammy awards for Best Upset of the year and Best Shocker of the year.
Oh yes, he has only been with the company for three years to boot.
Not to mention in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Bryan was voted as the Best Technical Wrestler from 2005-2012, Most Outstanding Wrestler from 2006-2010 and won Match of the Year in 2007 with his spectacle against Takeshi Morishima.
In 18 days, six hours and 34 minutes, two styles will clash. We will see the big and strong vs. the small and quick. We will see the multiple-time WWE champion, future Hall of Famer and face of the company against a man who cannot even get full support from brass backstage.
To use a former analogy from Mr. CM Punk; it is the Yankees vs. the Red Sox in 2004. Bryan will be down 3-0 in the bottom of the ninth with Mariano Rivera coming to the mound with "Enter Sandman" playing throughout the stadium.
All of the intimidation factors will set in, as Bryan is about to face his toughest task in his wrestling career to date.
Will Bryan prevail at SummerSlam?
Yes... or no?
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