The winds of change are blowing with fervent gusto—winds of change that were once summoned by the leader of the Nexus, but they shuddered and stopped before the might of the leader of the Cenation.
They’re finally here now, for better or for worse.
On many occasions, we need to put aside instant gratification and look at the bigger picture. In retrospect, was Daniel Bryan’s 18-second loss to Sheamus at Wrestlemania a poor decision?
Sure, some could and have been saying that it was a slap in the face for all those fans who expected a spectacle from reputed wrestlers, and they are justified in saying so. But the talking point and the most sympathized figure from a Wrestlemania featuring main-events like John Cena vs. The Rock, Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk and Undertaker vs. Triple H was Daniel Bryan.
I remember it like it was yesterday—a barrage of agitated articles and comments, depicting enraged entities promising to stop watching WWE and others inciting riots. I doubt any of that happened, but the important thing is there was hate—buckets of it.
Riding the wave of sympathy, Bryan went on to evolve into a deranged character with anger management issues, resulting in some quality entertainment that further increased his standing among the fans. Come Wrestlemania 29, the rebellious minority chanting "YES!" at Miami had spread its aura over the entire arena.
Once again, in an event featuring Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Triple H and The Rock, one of the loudest moments of the night was 80,000 strong unanimously chanting "YES! YES! YES!" after an irrelevant tag team match.
The experimental screwjob had fulfilled its purpose, and it was time for a more profound one.
Now that we have a regular non-actor who has cleanly pinned John Cena and not torn half his muscles in doing so, we have established a new face for the future.
A likable character with tremendous wrestling ability standing up against the all-knowing malicious corporate machine is a story we want told and want to be emotionally invested in.
When CM Punk tried it, it was undeniably legendary, but his major problem was that his antics and promos relied on his heel persona. A heel persona against the company produced enough quality television to be called a classic, but it was hard to make the crowd hate the heel for it.
Would WWE turn Cena heel if Daniel Bryan can successfully become the face of the company?
So they turned him face, and you could see he didn’t enjoy portraying a good guy. The brash, pipebomb-dropping, sly egomaniac was lost to a fake hero who was reduced to bullying around John Laurinaitis and cracking Twilight and "goat-face" jokes.
CM Punk works best when he’s allowed to be the most despicable character on television, and while that’s awesome for fans, they can’t build the most despicable character as their face.
Daniel Bryan now has the opportunity of single-handedly changing WWE forever. Not only can he establish himself in the apex echelon, he can also give WWE Creative a reason to prod the impossible.
The only reason John Cena is still face is because WWE didn’t have anyone to step into his shoes as their most charitable and marketable man. Once you guarantee that someone else carry on the noble work by granting wishes and drawing ratings, there is no reason for Cena to prolong his stale character.
Once you give them the alternative, in this case a dual-headed monster of both Bryan and Punk (not Punk alone), John Cena can blissfully turn heel and give us the character we’ve demanded since we lost the genius of Mike Knox.
All our hope now lies with one little hobbit.
Thanks for the read, all.
Shalaj Lawania is known for his disappearing acts, because being there all the time is too mainstream. Do show him love, he needs it. For more love, you can follow him on Twitter, if you have a good annoying tweets threshold. For the rest, use Wikipedia.