Fly, American Dragon: Could Daniel Bryan be Elevated to WWE Main Eventer?
It had just turned 7:15 EST, and I was still battling with myself on whether I should buy what looked to be a lackluster SummerSlam pay-per-view, or just catch the results a day later.
On paper, the booking was atrocious, and no great matches were set to take place, with the exception of one or two.
Being a lifelong WWE fan, I finally gave up in this situation and called Dish Network to order the pay-per-view.
Not all bad. I split the tab with the cousin I was watching it with.
I ultimately predicted that, overall, SummerSlam was a going to be a huge letdown from expectations.
Unfortunately, I was proven right.
Small SummerSlam recap
The first match on the card was, Kofi Kingston vs. Intercontinental champion Dolph Ziggler.
For those who don't know yet, Nexus came out and interrupted a match that looked like a good start to the show.
The second match on the card featured Divas champion Alicia Fox vs. now new Divas champion Melina.
It was a okay match, nothing over the top. It would be considered a terrific effort from two divas nowadays, but if you compare it to diva matches of the past decade, it wasn't as great as people think.
Straight Edge Society vs. Big Show was up next, and I believe that if SES was going to be taken seriously, they needed to win this match.
Not only did they lose, they didn't dominate the big man, either. Punk proved what a great leader he was by leaving Luke Gallows and Joey Mercury.
The WWE Championship match was up next, and Randy Orton and Sheamus locked horns, and, in my humble opinion, had the best match of the night.
I predicted that Randy Orton would walk out Champion, well, at least he won the match.
The Undertaker made his return, only to be hit by a tombstone piledriver from Kane.
Again, I wasn't expected a lot out of the pay-per-view, and I was being proved right.
When the entrances for the Team WWE vs. Nexus match took place, I got out my seat and went to the kitchen for a quick refreshment and snack break.
As soon as the music for the Miz hit, I slowly started to walk to the living room, where the show was on.
The music stopped and I heard John Cena mention Daniel Bryan, and off I went into the room.
I couldn't believe what I was seeing—Daniel Bryan, the same man that had been fired from the company three months prior, had been brought back to join Team WWE. Daniel Bryan, on the same team as the man he spit on.
One of the best wrestlers on the earth was in a WWE ring, one more time.
I COULD believe the tremendous performance he gave in the ring,
Starting off the match, Bryan quickly eliminated Nexus member Darren Young, and by submission, no less.
Bryan clearly brought his A-Game, and was heads and tails the best performer in the match.
He showcased his technical ability and brought out a move that WWE fans aren't used to seeing since the Chris Benoit death case, the crossface.
Proving he wasn't a "one-trick wrestler," Daniel Bryan showed off a sample of his high-flying ability. A couple of moonsaults backed up his athleticism.
As I sat there watching this all unfold, I couldn't help think to myself, "Could Daniel Bryan seriously be a WWE main eventer?"
World Wrestling Entertainment actually replaced their "Money in the Bank" winner and United States Champion, the Miz, with a guy that is a virtual nobody, to half the WWE Universe.
Instead of possibly using Evan Bourne or Ted Dibiase, Jr. as possible replacements, they highlighted Daniel Bryan as this "next big thing" in the WWE.
But let's get back to the question: Could Daniel Bryan be a serious WWE main eventer?
If we went on just pure wrestling ability, this would be the easiest question in the world, and if you needed more then two seconds to think about it, I suggest you get your head examined.
Like I said before, Daniel Bryan is one of the best in the world at his craft.
And the WWE has proven that if you have the look and wrestling talent, somewhere down the line, you will be promoted to that elite status.
Look no further then the 21st century: Kurt Angle, Shawn Michaels, Brock Lesnar, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Rob Van Dam, and others were all given that huge push.
Certainly, Daniel Bryan has a LONG way to go before his career can be mentioned in the same sentence with Kurt Angle or Shawn Michaels.
But his talent takes a backseat to absolutely no one.
That being said, he will have to work his way up.
Being a mere 5'10" and 190 pounds doesn't help his case.
It is a unwritten rule, but smaller guys in the WWE aren't usually given an automatic push. Rey Mysterio is the perfect example, Bryan would have to get to a certain level of popularity with the fans and can't bore them.
Chris Jericho would be one of only exceptions to this rule, as he was given an automatic push from the company when he first got to the WWE.
But unlike Jericho, Daniel Bryan has been advertised by the WWE as a guy that has all the ability, but has no explosive personality.
The WWE have made him look like the next Chris Benoit type wrestler, who has the heart, but can be boring on the mic.
Certainly, that doesn't mean that you can't have a great career. Before Benoit had the incident, he looked like he was on course to be known as one of the greatest of all time.
If Bryan were to be a main eventer faster then we expected, he would probably have to be on the B Show, SmackDown!
SmackDown! doesn't have a whole lot of top flight main eventers. With the exception of the Undertaker, Kane, Rey Mysterio, and maybe CM Punk, they don't have any guys who are automatically plugged into the main-event.
Having him be a champion on SmackDown!, and then moving him to RAW would be great.
But it's tougher for him, because he is starting out on the A Show, RAW.
Monday Night RAW is heavy with main eventers; Triple H, John Cena, Randy Orton, Sheamus, Chris Jericho, Edge, and even the Miz, would fit that bill.
It's unfair, but we won't see a nine-time World champion like Edge get demoted to the midcard for a guy like Daniel Bryan, who hasn't done anything for the company.
It's just backstage politics; the big name always gets the meat before the newbies do.
Some might make a case for his lack of star power, like Michael Cole, but I am a firm believer in the old saying "talent does beat the look" in the end. His ability can make up for the lack of gimmick.
So, for now, that's pretty much all working against Daniel Bryan and superstardom.
And all these things, over time, can be overcome.
But unlike the equally-talented Kaval (Senshi or Low-Ki), on WWE NXT, Daniel Bryan has SO much working for him right now.
Think about it.
Not only is has he gained a ridiculous amount of popularity by being the final replacement and helping Team WWE beat Nexus.
He also has an automatic storyline that he can be inserted in RIGHT NOW!
The Miz is currently the holder of the Money in the Bank briefcase AND the United States Title—sorry Miz, old Vinne Mac isn't running on half a brain.
Miz was Daniel Bryan's disrespectful pro on NXT.
A storyline between the two is almost certain to take place, where Miz drops the U.S. title to Daniel Bryan.
Miz has a bright future, and might be a WWE champion in the works, but the WWE won't make the Miz the first man to hold the U.S. and WWE championships simultaneously.
Also, he's only 29, and John Cena is 33, so, assuming Daniel Bryan doesn't get unhappy with the WWE or mess up his life, he will be in the WWE for a while.
He will get his time to shine.
But are we going to see a, WWE Championship Match featuring Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan at Survivor Series? No.
Are we going to see Daniel Bryan headlining WrestleMania 27? No.
But championships are just the icing on a career; a performer's goal is to entertain the fans and put on a great match.
Daniel Bryan doesn't need a World title to do that.
So, to answer the question in short—yes, but not right now.
Thanks for reading!
Let me know if you enjoyed the read.
And as always, VOTE ON THE POLL!
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