The clock is ticking.
April 1, 2012 is the date that wrestling fans all over the world are counting down to, the night of WrestleMania 28 in Miami, Fla.
Right now, only one match is presumably set in stone, the epic confrontation between John Cena and The Rock. It’s sure to do big business and be included on WWE’s list of legendary WrestleMania moments.
The other match already booked for the event? Daniel Bryan cashing in his Money in the Bank title shot for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Now, this one I have to think about.
Don’t misunderstand me here, I am one of those fans who have been pulling for the man formerly known as "The American Dragon" since the day he first came to WWE. I was also right there with open criticism of the company every time I felt as though Bryan was being given nothing, to the point that he was ultimately going to be buried, crushed under the weight of the WWE machine.
Oh, what a difference one ladder match can make.
Now instead of talking about Daniel Bryan the underutilized star, we’re talking about Daniel Bryan, Mr. Money in the Bank.
I was as surprised as anyone when he climbed that ladder and pulled down the blue briefcase. I was just waiting for that last minute interruption, right as he was ready to unclip the handle.
Talk about a swerve out of left field, I have to say I did not see Bryan winning that match. While Money in the Bank is sold ad being anyone’s opportunity, more often than not it comes down to the one guy that we all deemed likely to win.
While many fans were no doubt pulling for Bryan, how many truly thought that his recent elevation to occasional mid-card status would translate to working the world champion at WrestleMania?
So, yeah, about that. Is it possible that Daniel Bryan will not only continue to hold that briefcase, but keep carrying it until the morning of April 1, 2012?
It’s a long road to WrestleMania, and anything can happen. WWE’s recent push of CM Punk, another true professional wrestler, bodes well for Bryan, as it opens the door for his push to continue. Perhaps WWE creative is becoming a little more accepting of the technical side of the business, the art form of pro wrestling that brought them to the dance in the first place.
Man, that sounds good on paper. But, rest assured, it was said with much hesitation.
WWE is all about show business. Doesn’t really matter if a guy can work all that well in the ring, what matters is if he looks good, and if he can talk. And talk. And talk.
If there were ever a perfect catchphrase for Daniel Bryan it would be, “Just shut up and wrestle.” That could be stamped on a t-shirt and sell-out in an hour.
When it comes to the dramatic, awe-inspiring promo, Daniel Bryan is not exactly Dusty Rhodes. But, if you want someone who does all his talking when the bell rings, then Bryan is your guy. He is a throwback to the good old days of the business when it was all about the wrestling.
While other companies use that tag line, WWE seems to actually be taking that road, and with the rise of CM Punk, and now Daniel Bryan, the focus does seem to be shifting to the physical side of the sport.
The fact is, the talking is never going to stop. The long, drawn out promos, with four different workers holding four different mics, will never end. This is what the business has become, and that does not appear to be changing anytime soon.
But, if Daniel Bryan could somehow manage to hang onto that blank contract for the next nine months or so, and not fall prey to a Ken Kennedy situation, then WrestleMania 28 could very well go down as one of the best overall wrestled pay-per-views of all-time.
I, for one, am still in Daniel Bryan’s corner. Here’s to hoping that The American Dragon will breathe fire at championship level once again.