When Bryan Danielson was placed on the roster of NXT, the majority of wrestling fans had him pegged as the winner and big things were in store for the submission expert. However, questionable booking and zero wins on the show did not help Danielson's cause and many people felt the WWE was holding him back. After Danielson was one of the first superstars eliminated on NXT, no one had a clue about what was next for Danielson.
Over the past two weeks, Danielson has cut some passionate promos and has begun to get over with the live audiences. The Danielson/Cole/Miz angle is one of, if not the hottest storyline in the WWE at the moment and many people are excited to see where this leads. I for one have not been interested in a storyline/angle since Orton punted Vince McMahon a year ago.
In order to avoid the letdown of the Orton angle from last year, I am going to propose a 5 step plan for Bryan Danielson that I feel will lead to big things. Some of my ideas are common sense, while others may be unique.
Step One: Officially get Danielson on the WWE roster
The first step does not involve anything too complex storyline-wise. Since Danielson can not win a contract via the NXT road, set up a match between Danielson and the Miz on either an upcoming RAW or the Money in the Bank PPV. The stipulation will be as follows: If the Miz wins the match, Danielson will have to leave the WWE forever. If Danielson wins (which would definitely happen), he will be awarded a WWE contract.
Step 2: Build up credibility on RAW or SMACKDOWN??
Now that Danielson is officially a WWE superstar, the decision between which show he should be placed on must be made. On RAW, he could continue his feud with the Miz and Michael Cole will be there at ringside on a weekly basis. On the other hand, RAW is loaded with top talent and there are very superstars for Danielson to feud with.
That is why I believe Danielson should head to SMACKDOWN. On this show, he can have superb matches with the likes of Kofi Kingston, CM Punk, Christain, Drew Mcyintre and so on. While I would not have Danielson win the World Heavyweight Championship, an Intercontinental Championship should be on the horizon within a year.
The most important thing for Danielson for the next year is to build up some credibility with the WWE universe and get some important wins under his belt. With only a single win over Santino Marella, Danielson needs to win some matches before the big time.
Step Three: Win an opportunity for a future WWE Championship Title Shot
After a year or so on SMACKDOWN, I think Danielson would be prepared for the big time and should be drafted to RAW, based on the assumption that the MITB would be discontinued at Wrestlemania.
As I mentioned before, Michael Cole has done some of his best work as a heel on NXT. His mic work has been suprisingly excellent, especially the promo he cut on NXT this past week. While I feel a heel play-by-play announcer may not work, I think Cole would make a pretty good heel General Manager on RAW.
I believe Bret Hart will not be the General Manager come next year, so when Danielson joins the RAW roster, Michael Cole will be the incumbent General Manager on RAW, possibly on the same night Danielson is drafted to RAW.
In order the give RAW a shakeup, Cole will award a No. 1 contenders spot for the WWE Championship against Chris Jericho via a Battle Royal. Much to the chagrin of Cole, Danielson will get the upset win in the Battle Royal, giving him a future title shot against Jericho.
Step Four: Bryan Danielson vs Chris Jericho at a WWE Indy-style PPV
I am not sure about everyone's opinions about WWE Over The Limit, but I found the PPV to be very boring and no where near the level of an acceptable PPV. While I feel discontinuing a PPV after one year may not be the most appropriate route, I am going to introduce a new concept that we have seen before.
On of the more unique PPVs the WWE has ever presented was "One Night Stand." The crowd reactions and overall atmosphere were phenomenal and I am surprised that it was discontinued. I feel as though the WWE should return to this idea, but with an Indy-style environment.
Similar to RVD when he cashed in his MITB briefcase at "One Night Stand", Danielson would invoke his title shot at this new Indy PPV. Danielson's past has been brought up on several occasions before and with him winning the WWE Championship at an Indy show, he would be coming full circle.
It would be a very nice touch for Danielson's career and one of the few championship wins in the past five years that would invoke a similar reaction to that of past title wins (ie. Chris Benoit at WM) where reaching the top of the WWE actually meant something.
Step Five: What lies ahead for the WWE champion Bryan Danielson?
As the top dog on RAW, Danielson would be involved in matches with the likes of the established top stars, like John Cena, Triple H, and Randy Orton, and future stars, such as Sheamus, The Miz and John Morrison.
However, the best thing that could happen for Danielson and the WWE would be the feud between Danielson and the RAW GM Michael Cole (see how I came full circle with this article). I feel as though a Danielson/Cole feud could be something we have not witnessed since the days of Austin/McMahon.
Do I think they could reach the level of Austin and McMahon? I am not sure, but these past few weeks have felt less kayfabe and more shoot-like.
The WWE has an opportunity to do something big with Bryan Danielson. Will you see my five-step plan be implemented by WWE? I understand that only one year of WWE experience may not warrant a WWE Championship reign for Danielson, but Step Two of my five-step plan could be extended for two-plus years before Danielson wins his WWE Championship title shot.
An Indy-style PPV may not be PG-friendly, especially if the audience is primarily comprised of typical independent promotion fans. Adaptations and modifications can be made to my five-step plan or it could even be completely ignored. All I hope is that the WWE career of Bryan Danielson does not go to waste.