It passed by without many of us picking up on it. When Triple H was confronting his father-in-law about Vince's qualms with Daniel Bryan, Stephanie McMahon stepped in and made a suggestion.
She inquired about the possibility of giving goat-faced Daniel Bryan a "more corporate look."
This obviously is playing into the McMahon Family drama story line as the powers at be seek to influence the main event scene. Triple H thinks Bryan has proven himself and wants to listen to the overwhelming support of the WWE Universe. Vince doesn't think Bryan fits in the WWE main event. Stephanie is trying to play peace maker.
This entire story line has played off Internet rumor boards, dirt sheets and even the opinions expressed by many on this very website. The overall message being that Daniel Bryan, formerly Bryan Danielson, the American Dragon, the heralded King of the Indies, will never have the look that drives viewers and connects with the mainstream television audience.
When Bryan signed and was part of the first season of NXT, he looked like a 16-year-old kid who let his mom cut his hair. He was intentionally positioned as the indy star trying to make it in the "big leagues." Michael Cole lambasted him for weeks, calling him a nerd, mocking his dietary choices and claiming he'd never make it in the WWE Universe.
Over the last two years, we've seen Bryan grow as a performer to levels that exceed anything he produced in Ring of Honor or internationally. He's a full, complete character that has developed on the mic, in backstage segments and perhaps unintentionally created a definitive look.
Still, though, there are doubters. While Vince clearly is a fan of Bryan based on the focus of the current story line, he likely is hedging his bets. Were the SummerSlam buy rate to flop, he'd certainly blame it on Bryan's position in the main event, because John Cena's stale, boring character is Teflon in the eyes of McMahon.
It is worth wondering, though, whether or not a change in appearance would benefit Bryan. Is looking different than any WWE title contender before him an advantage or disadvantage? What would a "corporate look," well, look like?
Daniel Bryan is never going to be the chiseled action hero we get from John Cena or Randy Orton. He isn't a monstrous physical specimen in the mold of Ryback or possess the Hollywood good looks of The Rock.
Bryan is an undersized underdog that captures the imagination of the fans through his heart and pure will. It's best that he stands out, even if it means looking like an unkempt vagrant. The beard, the hair and the style fit his character and the WWE shouldn't touch it one bit.
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