Randy Orton has been screwed over.
Disagreement is to be expected as popular opinion is often predictable.
It's all subjective.
It's funny how when one expresses support for a sports entertainer, it's rarely questioned; so long as said support fits the bill in respects to what's "commonly accepted."
If my views metamorphisized into rhetoric the likes of "Daniel Bryan's 15 year journey has culminated in the crowning of the rightful champion and the new face of the WWE."—nobody would blink.
Because head's like to nod.
Ignore the obvious of course—that such proclamations just so happen to fit right into "bandwagon momentum." As soon as you attempt to string together a clever adjective for such fan support—it's not shocking to see such views swiftly rejected.
There's an irony here.
Orton's following can be dismissed by weak humor and accusations of homerism that attempt to discredit fans of the established.
It really doesn't matter if you're an Orton fan or a Bryan fan—because the reality is that one guy has been main-eventing for almost a decade while the other has become a recent fad.
The definition of fad can be summarized as:
"an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, esp. one that is short-lived and without basis in the object's qualities; a craze."
If that doesn't fit the "Daniel Bryan beard-wearing t-shirt crowd" to a 't', I don't know what does.
For as much as Triple H's recent promos are supposed to be kayfabe, his remarks have been painfully accurate in spite of the heel-heat he's received while executing his character to par.
Remove Bryan's t-shirt, "yes" catchphrase and underdog pity and what do you have?
"First we win our tag match and then...group hug!" -Daniel Bryan
I coined the term "Ortonite" here on Bleacher Report in 2009 and I may have just coined another.
Because "cheap pops" pretty much sums up the depth of the Bryan character: a great technical wrestler who's short and stalky stature makes for an unrealistic main-event player.
Sprinkle in a catch-phrase that's bound to stick and you've got yourself a recipe for success.
The Rock understood this [7:20].
"All of you son's of b**** might as well go baaah, baaah, you bunch of sheep." -The Rock
So when I refer to Bryan as "cheap pops", you'll know what I mean—even if you disagree.
Bryan Danielson the man appears to be a nice enough, sharp enough guy.
Those who read into criticism of fiction and become impassioned with distaste for the critic need to slow themselves down and stop taking the criticism offensively. There seems to be a belief that if you're writing about a topic (in this instance: live-event fiction), there is a standard requirement for writers to back up their opinions with "facts", all within the subjective world of entertainment.
I've written numerous articles in the past that have stated my opinion from a factual perspective. Not every sentence is going to be prefaced with a note the likes of "my opinion is..." because it goes without saying.
There's a double-standard.
If someone writes a support-piece, praising the championship victory of Daniel Bryan—there is no expected prerequisite for substantiation.
Fans are free to reiterate the same spiel; that "Bryan has waited 15 years to become champion and he truly deserves it. He's been a hard working wrestler who has performed in gymnasiums, slept in his car and paid his dues. He deserves this moment."
I disagree with him being worthy of the WWE championship but opinions are opinions.
It's just that opposing viewpoints come from a well that's run dry of late.
Even the most devout of Bryan's fans should apply the same standards to the competition.
It's worth noting that while Bryan was wrestling at the bottom of cards for minor league promotions, Orton was main-eventing WrestleMania's with the pressure of having to perform and deliver in front of 70,000-plus people.
Why is wrestling in a High School gymnasium suddenly a more strenuous, commendable sacrifice than having to regularly manage media events, main events and shows that sell out football stadiums with your name at the top of the card?
Some people may have been sick seeing Orton champion for a tenth time—but for as much as they cry for change, they've done so at the expense of short-changing another performer who has paid his dues ten times over.
It's not Orton's fault that his popularity, notoriety and ability to excel as both a face and heel has left him a desirable and valuable commodity for the company.
Fans saw a whole lot of Steve Austin and The Rock in the attitude era—because there's an understanding and expectation to see great talent recycled.
At the end of the day, Triple H was right—the WWE did deserve a champion the caliber of Orton.
For at least one night, they gave the fans what they wanted.
It's just important not to forget that what the fans want is not always what's best for business.
Take CM Punk at the peak of his heel-run and put him in a title match against Santino Marella—the fans would cheer for Santino to win. It's both predictable and disappointing.
Sometimes, what the fans want in the short-term is not what's best for the long-term.
Triple H was routinely booed with intensity during his 2002-03 stint with the World Heavyweight Championship.
At one point, the fans wanted Scott Steiner to become champion at the 2003 Royal Rumble.
Sometimes, it's a good thing to deny the fans what they want. And for as quickly as I expect readers to use the Triple H/Steiner example to discredit the heart of my argument, understand that I never claimed the analogy to be equivalent to Bryan vs. Orton.
I'm simply making a point.
It doesn't concern me that my opinion may be unpopular—it's always easier to agree with the crowd.
It's apparent: I'm putting down a babyface champion at the peak of his hype.
Resistance is to be expected. But should the WWE decide to continue to roll along with Bryan as champion, people can look back years from now and understand why I was skeptical about his longevity as a credible main-event performer in the first place.
Ryan Michael is a Senior Writer for Bleacher Report.
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