Daniel Bryan's recent heel turn and alliance with the Wyatt Family is not a bad thing, no matter how much you may have convinced yourself that it is.
It may be the latest attempt by WWE management and its crack creative staff to try to kill some of the overwhelming babyface support Bryan has elicited over the last year, but that does not mean it is bad or that it will not work.
See, one of the most common complaints about today's WWE product is that the babyface stars are booked so similarly and so boringly. They are often compared to superheroes because no matter the obstacles or the villains put in their path, they manage to overcome them and send the fans home happy.
It is cookie-cutter booking that goes back to Hulk Hogan and the first big wrestling boom of the 1980s.
Now, wrestling fans have been presented with a morality play of sorts, a test of will and spirit.
After fighting so hard since August to achieve his goal of becoming champion and a top star in the industry, Bryan was beaten, battered, bruised and defeated to the point where he could no longer take it—physically or emotionally.
Rather than continuing to fight and carry the burden that comes with being a hero to millions, he broke. "The machine" never allowed him to take the spot he worked so hard for. He turned to the dark side as so many great characters in mythology, comics, film and television have in the past.
The booking decision may not be popular, but it makes for very intriguing television.
On Monday's Raw, Bryan told Luke Harper and Erick Rowan that he wanted to become a monster like the two of them. That statement opens up a plethora of opportunities. Will we see Bryan finally adopt the ruthless aggression that was missing during his feud with The Authority? After all, no matter how frustrated or exhausted he may have become during that period, he never really did a great job of portraying his anger.
The recent storyline development should allow Bryan to discover that edge to his character that was missing before, that meanness that will allow him to show greater intensity and show emotion to the audience, which has been his biggest weakness.
It also gives the heel side an established Superstar, one who is seen as a top star by the majority of the audience, who can carry matches from a work-rate perspective. Outside of Randy Orton and Alberto Del Rio, the roster is sorely lacking legitimate main event heels. Sure, The Shield has been outstanding and the core Wyatt Family members have been impressive, but Bryan is a legit worker who can be thrown into a pay-per-view main event and do 30 minutes without hesitation.
Is Bryan's heel turn counterproductive in terms of listening to the audience and giving them what they want? Yes, of course. No argument will change that fact.
But if handled correctly, it can still succeed in a way that sets Bryan up to have a monstrous 2014 as one of the marquee Superstars on the roster.