Listen Up: How the WWE Ruined the Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton Storyline
While waiting for the return of Taboo Tuesday...
Let's get one thing straight: credit the WWE for doing their best to make a new top-level babyface in the absence of John Cena (also known as the guy that really matters).
Since Cena left to get that third elbow removed, Daniel Bryan has stepped up to the plate and earned his well-deserved spot among the upper echelon at the house that Vinnie Mac built. His battle with the McMahon-Helmsley regime was a great storyline to keep people interested in the fall months while the ratings for RAW take their usual Monday night dip thanks to football.
Are you still enjoying the Orton-Bryan storyline?
Notice that I wrote "was a great storyline."
As the WWE heads into yet another unnecessary PPV in Battleground this Sunday, I realized that for the first time in ages I have more excitement for the start of the NHL season than I do a WWE Championship match (by the way, let's not even get into the "World" Championship match between Alberto Del Rio and RVD, which is nothing more than a midcard title at this point). The fact is that the war between Bryan and WWE CEO HHH (sounds like I'm reading an eye chart) has already reached its apex, with the highly monotone Randall K. Orton basically a pawn in HHH's game.
Yes, Orton can be a vital heel when needed, but did the WWE really have to place HHH in this in order to make Orton his "corporate champ"? It's not even the fact that this is a rehash of when Vince McMahon had The Rock as his own champ back in the day, it's just that for once I figured the WWE would build an old-school angle in which the face gets his ultimate victory.
However, they not only ruined that at last month's Night of Champions (in which everyone knew the "Dusty Finish" was coming) but now are doing the typical "let's drag this out in several rematches" story.
Who has it really elevated in the long run?
Certainly not Bryan, who has worked his tail off to get to this point. He has taken a backseat to a catchphrase as well as HHH's desire to make himself the focal point of this rivalry. So far all three of his championship reigns have amounted to squat, and by the time he wins the title again he will have been booked as some guy who just got lucky.
Call me old school if you wish, but what I enjoyed most about the days of the NWA/AWA and even the UWF was that whenever the heel got his comeuppance it felt like a big moment and also as if wasn't going to be immediately wasted right away. I'm not even talking about the time Orton cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to win the title at Summerslam, which made total sense. However, I figured that after Bryan lost the belt they would actually put in other contenders for a while (Ziggler, I still believe in you) to challenge Orton until Bryan got another chance down the line.
At this point this just seems to me as if they are killing time until Cena gets completely healed, and that's a shame for a guy like Bryan who is one of the best wrestlers in the world (apologies to CM Punk). So once again, the WWE has made its fans look like fools for believing they would actually have a long-term build to an epic conclusion. I won't even get into the reasoning behind putting a Bella twin into the mix.
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