Let me explain what most people don't realize about why WWE doesn't look at Daniel Bryan as a star like the rest of the world.
To clarify, when I say WWE, I'm talking about the top-level management. The irony is that most of the company views Bryan the way the audience does. The boys in the locker room and many of the middle men in various departments, they all see Bryan as something big, but they're not decision-makers.
Up to this point, in the eyes of top management, a chant is over, but not Bryan. The audience uses the “Yes!” chant at times for more than just Bryan. Fans are very active when Bryan comes out. This will always keep Bryan on WWE television because the audience reacts to him.
WWE sees the value in Bryan holding the attention of the audience. This is why WWE Creative will often have Bryan make his entrance on Raw and then cut to commercial. It feels confident he can hold viewers over to the next segment.
However, while he grabs attention, WWE doesn't feel he grabs as many dollars. Look out in the crowd at who is wearing what shirts. Sure, Bryan has sold shirts, but he doesn't outnumber CM Punk's or John Cena's. It's not all based on merchandise sales, but it all trickles down in the justification.
Size and image are also factors, as we've all come to learn. I loved how Shane Helms referred to it on Twitter after the Royal Rumble ended when he said WWE is still ran by "Muscle Marks."
Bryan gets a reaction from the audience. Fandango also gets a strong reaction from the audience, as fans usually participate by singing and dancing to his song. Fandango is treated the same as Bryan. Put him on television and often times, you'll see WWE cut to commercial in the middle of Fandango's entrance as well.
The company did it for both Fandango and Bryan on this past week's episode of Raw.
Let me explain before the bashing of me begins—I don't agree with all of this. I'm just explaining how certain people in WWE (remember, top management) justify their actions of Bryan's booking that so many have complained about for the past six months.
The sad reality is people can be upset about Bryan's treatment, but you won't hurt WWE. Vote with the remote or your dollar. Wrestling fans can be upset about Bryan, but they are not going to sacrifice their habit and love of watching the program because of it. WWE knows this, and that's why it will continue with the storyline of Bryan being held down.
WWE is treating Bryan fans like a dog in a race who is chasing the rabbit tail. Every stride fans make around the track is more tweeting, more watching and more talking about WWE. Every stride fans make equals money for WWE.
WWE probably got more buzz on social media over the rage of Batista's win at Royal Rumble than if Bryan had been in the match and won Rumble.
Maybe opinions can change and Bryan will eventually get his moment in the sun. Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley, Steve Austin and so many others can all tweet and comment about how great or in-demand Bryan is. It's a nice rub from all of them, but none of their tweets equate to dollars in WWE's pocket.
It's unfortunate, but it's reality. WWE books to the most casual fan. In its eyes, the casual fan is just chanting “Yes!” the same as they would scream “Woooo” or “What?” in a large gathering.
To WWE, the fans just don't know any better. So WWE will give you what you need to know. It will tell you who is the star.
Justin LaBar is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He also is the creator of the Chair Shot Reality video talk show and Wrestling Reality radio show. He's been featured by various outlets, including several appearances on NBC Sports, and recognized as a lead wrestling analyst in the country.
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