Wednesday, February 25, 2015

First title win at wrestlemania.

Hey Scott,
There have been several wrestlers whose first world title win has been at wrestlemania but it hasn't happen in awhile.
Savage at 4; warrior at 6; Yokozuna at 9; michaels at 12; Austin at 14; Benoit at 20; cena and Batista at 21; and Rey at 22.
If reigns wins, this will be the first time in 9 years a persons first world title was at wrestlemania.
One cannot even say it is because of the two title system because all of the recent wm title changes like Bryan and cena and Sheamus already a world title for 2-3 reigns already.

Thoughts?

​It just goes to show how incredibly stale all the characters over the past few years have been, with everyone already multiple time World champions by the time they get to Wrestlemania.  That's one thing that worries me a lot about moving the belt from invisible champion to Reigns -- you can bet they're going to start going back to the follow-the-bouncing-ball title changes when business drops and they need a ratings crutch.  ​

Also, Meltzer had an awesomely bittersweet piece in the new Observer talking about the fate of Daniel Bryan this year, and it's just tremendous as you can really tell how sad he was personally when the promotion gave up on Bryan and then the fanbase also gave up on him the night after Fastlane.  HHH may have talked about how the book is never finished or whatever nonsense on Austin's podcast, but in Bryan's case the book is really closed now on his time as a main event guy, and it's gonna go down as such a huge waste, all for Vince's failed Reigns experiment.  

152 comments:

  1. I think for me the biggest thing is that Wrestlemania has become a parade of part-time wrestlers and they do a poor job of actually making someone into a main event guy at Wrestlemania. If Reigns was treated like someone like Warrior or even Cena, fans would have bought him winning the title in the main event. Now they have this self-fulling deal every year when their wrestlers for the entire year are not given a chance to shine in the main event, instead stepping aside for the Undertakers, Rocks, HHHs, Lesnars, and Stings of the world.


    As for Bryan, too bad. I think what is most disappointing about the WWE today is that if you are not involved in any of their actually developed 2-3 storylines, then you just float around and do nothing. People like Bryan, Ziggler, Ambrose...etc..etc...etc...could really have a great career and be fondly remember if they had their mid-card actually worth anything. Feuding for the IC Title was a honor 20 years ago, now it actually kills your career.

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  2. Didn't watch Raw ... fans turned on Bryan?

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  3. With thirty writers, you'd think it would be pretty easy to split them into teams, give them rough "divisions" or groups to book and then have multiple little stories carrying over through the show. They've got THREE HOURS every Monday - there's no excuse with such a thin roster to have so many people flailing aimlessly. Of course, any idea of consistent direction and booking is lost because everything has to run upward and through the Senile Old Man filter and be rewritten on a napkin as the show is starting.

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  4. More that they finally gave up on him.

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  5. Mission accomplished for Vince McMahon!

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  6. "See! I was right!"

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  7. Hard to care about a guy who comes out and says "well, I tried my hardest but I lost to the better man, ho hum." I mean, he basically told the fans in so many words to stop cheering for him because it didn't really matter.

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  8. How so? Fewer yes chants or just kind of sat on their hands.

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  9. Ah got it. Bummer.

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  10. It's been a tough thing to watch but Dave nailed it so well in writing, it was concentrated feels. It's super depressing and I've felt down ever since reading it.

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  11. And now, boys and girls here he is, the boy that says the words you've been longing to hear like the salivating dogs that you are, Daniel Bryan!

    Daniel Bryan: "YES YES YES YES"

    **crickets**

    Daniel Bryan: What happened?

    Vince McMahon: Oh, don't worry about that. You're just finished, that's all.

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  12. very true!

    It also doesn't help that they have guys lose every
    week. Why should anyone care about Erik Rowan when he never wins and
    nobody really understands his character?

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  13. And now, boys and girls here he is, the boy that says the words you've been longing to hear like the salivating dogs that you are, Daniel Bryan!!

    Daniel Bryan: "YES YES YES YES"

    **crickets**

    Daniel Bryan: What happened?

    Vince McMahon: Oh, don't worry about that. You're just finished, that's all.

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  14. How must it feel, to come back from the injury Bryan had after so much lost time and necessary rehab...and to basically be an afterthought? Imagine if Triple H had come back from the quad injury and then lost at the Rumble? But that's what happened to Bryan.

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  15. He's the big red. What more did you want?

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  16. We remember the Jake Roberts, Hacksaw Duggans, Tito Santanas, Ted DiBiases, JYDs, etc. but would anyone actually remember this group of midcarders twenty years from now?

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  17. We remember the great ic title matches from 20 years ago (Bret/perfect; hbk/razor x2; hbk/jannety; rude/warrior; savage/steamboat). I cannot remember one 4 star ic match in the last 14 years.

    I was watching savage/honky on snme a few weeks ago and the crowd was going batshit crazy over a count out win for savage.

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  18. I disagree a bit about Bryan. His chase was done last year. There's simply not that same investment anymore anyway. Last year was a big revolution sort of deal, but without him being the underdog anymore (he already won the biggest show ever last year) his story is told. It's why Ziggler is still getting cheered even though he is jobbing left and right. There's the investment in the chase but without something compelling afterwards everyone will flame out.

    Ultimate Warrior, Sting, Benoit, ortons face run...it's not a new phenomenon. Maybe Bryan *was* a fad. It's really hard to say yet. Last year they tried to steal his yes chant and put it on Show. He was still over. Then they put him with Wyatt. He was still over. Right now...he's not as over. If the fans don't want Bryan, then the reality is the fans actually have spoken. It may not be what you like personally, but that's where things are.

    I also think it's more evidence of how generally apathetic the fans have become and not of Bryan specifically,
    But that's just me.

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  19. I think there is some overreacting here. Crowd was dead by the main Monday...then Bryan went to the comeback and kicks sequence and they lit up again. I think Mania being in San Francisco, post-Raw mania, and the Chicago for Extreme Rules, will be far more telling about whether Bryan is really out of the main level. One crowd in Memphis isn't the whole story and resignation on the road to Mania might only be a calm before the next swell.

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  20. For me personally, it's not about the fact that Bryan isn't THE guy, main eventing WM. I wanted him to, but there are tons of other things they could do with him there that would still be a big deal. It's about the fact that judging by what Dave says in the Observer, and judging by the Smackdown spoilers, it's at least a possibility Bryan is going to get shoved into what is, at best, a midcard multi man match for the loser title which immediately causes anyone who holds it to become a jobber. My god, it's gotten to the point where I'm practically praying for Sheamus VS Bryan to get a 7-8 minute match, because the alternatives are horrifying in their implications for how the company sees Bryan. I at least had hoped that Bryan could face off against Sheamus and, sometime in the next few months, feud with Rollins, perhaps for the title if Rollins cashes in beforehand. That'd be awesome even if it was just for Bryan to put over Rollins. Instead I'm left to hope Bryan isn't jobbing to Fandango to build to a "big title match" on Main Event. I'd like to say that's an exaggeration, and it probably is, but every week that goes by, the rumored match for Bryan at WM gets worse and worse.

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  21. Not just lost, but to have one of the worst showings ever for a top guy (let alone a returning top guy), entering for 10 minutes and then getting casually pushed out by some guy you won't be interacting with again (i.e., it wasn't a big elimination sequence to build to his next opponent).

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  22. Side note: if they had pushed Reigns into that last year when no one was considering it a foregone conclusion, I bet it would have actually gone quite a bit better.

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  23. How can I read this Observer piece? I'll pay money to Meltzer; I'm not looking for a freebie. I just don't know how to get this one article, if that makes sense.

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  24. They should have put the title on him at mitb or the fatal 4-way

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  25. Makes me so mad about Bryan....I'd been a fan of his ever seeing him go against Black/Rollins during that brief period of time ROH was on HDNet. I'd become invested in him, and him rising up to the main event was such a thrill for me. To think that it's over actually bums me the fuck out. I still keep holding out hope that Vince will change his mind again, but I know it's futile. Except for the period where they were doing the Kane/Lita/Snitsky angle (the angle started the day before my wife lost our first daughter), I've been watching for 28 years, but now I'm close to being done. No matter how bad the product got, I've always watched. Now? Unless the product gets much better, I think I'm done until Vince retires/dies.

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  26. How many wrestlers on the roster have yet to win any title at all? 20%?

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  27. So does Bryan ever get his rematch? Being that he never lost the belt int he ring and all...


    Is he going to be our generation's Bob Backlund?

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  28. Hey was on fire coming back from the injury and it was over the second he lost to Wyatt. The Rumble was his funeral.

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  29. It's on the BoD Evening Thread. Should be the top voted comment last I checked.

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  30. This is nonsense: Bryan was still over after his comeback, and the fact that Vince ran him out to pre-emptively announce he was going to be in the Rumble proves that even Vince knows he's over and thought it would sell Network-subs. But having Reigns go over him clean and then having Bryan do the "endorsement" promo is just going to suck the ability of the crowd to continue expending energy on him when it clearly isn't going to matter. Until he delivers a big time performance at Wrestlemania and the "Daniel Bryan" chants drown out the Reigns coronation, anyway.

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  31. Sure, put all the blame on your wife. I'm sure she doesn't mind.

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  32. Oh wow. Cool beans. Thank you. I normally read the evening thread, but I was out tonight.

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  33. He will be the guy someone has to beat before they get the title match

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  34. Well....you're a step ahead of me. I'm pretty much hoping Bryan figures out how to force his way to TNA right now.

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  35. The shit Bryan was and is willing to do on TV is a big reason fans are turning on him. At least with CM Punk he walked and told the truth. With Punk at least there is a man in a room.

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  36. Uh dude, she miscarried. I couldn't watch a badly acted version of what we actually were going through. (Minus the forced marriage of course.) Wasn't blaming her for me not watching (or for anything).

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  37. I would have suggest stop watching Raw, but continue watching Smackdown back when they sort of cared about seperating the brands but I think that was the year JBL was champion so that would have been equally as depressing.

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  38. I don't know, for everyone that says that Bryan is done for and no one will cheer for him like they did before, and he's not a 'real man' for not walking out like Punk, I'm pretty sure that , when they turn Reigns heel, there will be one guy that people will be cheering for to kick Reigns ass, and that'll be Bryan. There is no way that Reigns isn't turning heel, and I'm predicting that it'll happen in the main event of Wrestlemania.

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  39. I don't know if it's that Bryan isn't over anymore, or if the crowd just realizes that the company gives zero fucks about him.

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  40. So he's the Junkyard Dog.

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  41. Wow you really are some kind of special fuckhead.

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  42. I think they have just accepted that they can chant and cheer all they want, but it means precisely dick to the bosses. So why bother?

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  43. "in Bryan's case the book is really closed now on his time as a main event guy"


    And you know this how? Because Meltzer thinks so? They don't exactly have a ton of credible/popular guys on the main show's roster, and by this point they've invested enough in Bryan (how many guys on the roster can say that they've beaten Cena and three-fourths of Evolution clean?) that I doubt they're just going to drop him since all of that will go to waste. Being in a midcard match at this 'Mania and not being quite as over as he was a while ago is hardly the death-knell for his main event status.

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  44. Bryan had his big moment last year. The stars all aligned perfectly, he got to bask in the glory and live forever in wrestlemania history. That doesn't mean he was going to be a massive draw afterwards even if he hadn't gotten hurt.

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  45. Yeah, but they've missed the boat on him being a special, tippy-top-tier Main Event guy. Just as they did with Punk. Now he'll just be on the level of Orton, Big Show, Kane and all the others who trade meaningless wins and losses.

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  46. At this point, it seems likely that fans are over his current face run. That's not to say Bryan can't be a main eventer again, but the guy needs to reinvent himself as the Yes gimmick looks to be done.

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  47. Orton isn't on the same level as guys like Show and Kane. But anyway, I agree that Bryan will never be "The Guy". But that's not what Scott said, he said "the book is really closed now on his time as a main event guy".

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  48. Exactly. If they put the belt on him tommorow everyone will be going nuts. The fans just realize that this isn't going to happen anytime soon if ever again.

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  49. Exactly Show and Kane transcend all. I'm pretty sure Show and Kane could have beaten Bruno, Hulk, Austin, Rock in their primes too.

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  50. I work til midnight on Mondays now. I'd been DVRing it but its now to the point where I'm spending more time fast forwarding than actually watching. I'm starting to not see the point.

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  51. Lol. I meant Orton's above Show and Kane. Kane seems to lose a vast majority of his matches. I'm not sure about Show, but he isn't an upper card guy like Orton.

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  52. Yeah, it was actually probably worse then. That's just...yikes.

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  53. I don't think they're over his current face run. I think they're not as hot for him now as they used to be. He's still the most over guy (or maybe second most over after Cena, depending on your POV) on the roster, at least amongst live audiences. There's still plenty of juice to be squeezed out of a Babyface Daniel Bryan.

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  54. How dare you besmirch the good names of Show and Kane, sir. Show and Kane have been all over the main event scene recently and ratings have never been better and even recently the Network got a million subscribers, all thanks to the hard work of Show and Kane, I bet.

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  55. He is, then he isn't. Then he is again. It's fucking stupid.

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  56. The Jericho/Mysterio IC title matches about five years or so ago were great. There are a few others too.

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  57. I was just watching the "Top 10 Most Infamous I-C Champions" Countdown (and I'm not sure they really know what infamous means), and it's sad to see all the great I-C champions, and hear about how that used to be the stepping stone to the world belt, and the worker belt. Now? You've either already been world champion (Ziggler) or have held the I-C belt a million times already (Barrett). Just another reason today's product sucks so bad.

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  58. He's Arturo Gatti. Except alive.

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  59. By the way, why does everyone seem to be overlooking the possibility that perhaps the Rumble crowd wasn't quite as representative of the general audience as we'd like to think, and perhaps Bryan's relatively tepid recent reactions have to do with him feuding with another babyface (albeit a less popular one) in Reigns, rather than a dastardly heel like Kane/HHH/Orton/Batista?

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  60. When hhh went into that whole 'book never ends' bullshit, was I the only one that got the Neverending Story theme in my head?

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  61. He might as well wear a shirt that says "I AM A EUNUCH" now.

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  62. "Oh, that Wade Barrett guy. They really dropped the ball with him and the Nexus."
    "Dolph Ziggler! They really dropped the ball on him."
    "Kofi Kingston! He could have been so much more!"

    "Look at this fucking jobber Dean Ambrose."

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  63. I always have that song in my head because it's a great song.

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  64. Yes, all the best faces throughout history were sore losers who called their clean losses cheap flukes and discredited their fellow opponents non-stop.

    Well... Actually, that pretty much IS Hulk Hogan.

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  65. Punk had fuck off money from putting up with this bullshit for a decade. Bryans still building his fuck off money, otherwise he'd probably play out his contract and head over to njpw.

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  66. It was definitely a good one.

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  67. Because it doesn't fit the chosen narrative.

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  68. Sgt. Thunderfist MDFebruary 25, 2015 at 9:47 PM

    I think he'll be set up as a challenger for Roman some time after Mania or Rollins if he cashes in.

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  69. It's just the chosen story now. Time was, it was "Vince and HHH hate Bryan," then HHH sold his ass off for him and put him over twice in one night, so then it was "Bryan is champion against Vince and HHH's will," so when he got injured, it became "Vince and HHH see this as a blessing." Now, it's time to get all mopey and throw a pity party, because the new story is "Bryan is done forever as a guy who will ever main event a show."

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  70. I'm sick of them giving us guys "on top" who are only there for a moment and who don't have any long lasting impact on ANYTHING and therefore are throwaways. They don't garner enough heat to be able not only to sustain their own runs, but also not enough to transition to the next guy to keep the ball rolling. All you're left with a whole lot of meh.

    Examples include Del Rio, Miz, Swagger, Sheamus to a lesser extent, and of course Ziggler (though not through any fault of his own, IMO).

    I like Ziggler and didn't have a problem with Sheamu's extended reign in '12 (which is why I said "to a lesser extent"), but the rest can right fuck off (esp. Swagger for derailing Ziggler by injuring him).

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  71. The big problem with Bryan being seen as a top guy again is that WWE are going to be more weary of it now. Bryan is a guy they obviously don't want to push, so in the future if Bryan generates the smallest of heat, WWE will make sure to put a stop to it. They never bothered putting a stop to it originally because they probably never imagined just how over Bryan could get.

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  72. Mania is in San Jose, not SF.

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  73. This would work if, you know, Reigns wasn't booed at Fast Lane. Or are we just going to cherry pick crowds to support arguments now?

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  74. You msunderstood.

    People nowadays say "we're pregnant", but you never hear a guy say "we miscarried" That's always 100% on her.

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  75. He makes his wife take all the blame for the miscarriage and I'M the fuckhead?

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  76. By far the most blatant case of false advertising.

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  77. I can only give my point of view, they have a guy in Bryan who (prior to this most recent bit) got universal GOOD crowd reactions, smarks, marks, kids alike all loved. So why don't they put the weight of the company behind the guy that most people generally like? To me, unless there's some other internal reason that we don't know, it just doesn't make sense to me.

    I don't mind them trying to push new people, but you have someone that's "already there" in Daniel Bryan. Roman Reigns isn't quite there yet with the crowd, what's the rush? Hell, as loathe as we are to see the Big Show and Kane again, I think a great WM match would've been Reigns destroying both of them in a triple threat or handicap match at Wrestlemania in impressive fashion. Sure the match wouldn't have been very good, but it would slowly build momentum (Michael Cole tm) for him. Just my opinion.

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  78. Actually, I normally do. I didn't even realize I posted it like that until you pointed it out, so yeah. A bit 'off' today....spent most of the day at doctor's. Gallstones suck.

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  79. The only two people I can think of who had a chance of being long-term stars were CM Punk and Daniel Bryan (strangely, the two guys Vince and Co. went out of their way to ruin).

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  80. Dude they fucked up CM Punk so bad that he had to be champ for over 400 days. Thats some serious mismanagement bullshit. Thank god I don't work for a company like that.

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  81. Reigns isn't getting Batista levels of heat, but the problem is he has never gotten a big enough reaction/draw/merch to warrant the main event of Wrestlemania, Especially over a guy who does get that reaction/draw/merch, Daniel Bryan.

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  82. From a career and kayfabe standpoint, hell yeah, he got to be champion for 400+ days, but let's not pretend that it couldn't have been even more. Midcard defenses while Cena fights Laurinaitis and Show? C'mon now.

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  83. ...could have been more...
    Well sure! Why not? Why wasn't the poor guy promoted to CEO? Totally fucked over. Again, thank the gods I don't have to work there. To think, he could have been fighting Johnny Ace, Big Show AND been CEO. Instead the poor screwed over bastard can only go down in history as the longest reigning champ in the modern age. What a gyp.

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  84. On that we can agree.

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  85. All fans wanted was for WWE to give Bryan a chance.

    They did, and Bryan dropped the ball.

    There's no compelling reason for fans to want to give him another chance.

    That's the breaks boy.

    Yeah.

    That's the breaks little man.

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  86. I just read Meltzer's piece on Bryan, and it saddens me a little. Last year, when Bryan was given a death sentence where he was suddenly a lackey to Bray Wyatt, I argued that as long as the fans believed in him and kept the same spirit for him as they had through the latter half of 2013, everything would hopefully work out. The crowd stayed supportive, and the WWE finally did what the fans wanted. Now, it feels like WWE has done everything to crush his momentum, and turn the crowd against him by giving the old thumbs up approval to the man chosen over him because of his long, beautiful hair and muscles. Fastlane was an excellent effort into making Reigns, but I'll just remember that and the next episode of Raw as the death of Daniel Bryan meaning anything beyond whatever the fuck level the Barrett's and Ambrose's, and Ziggler's are at.

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  87. There's no blame, or anybody to blame. It was a horrible thing that happened to both of us. As I posted elsewhere, I've usually said 'we' . Dana is not just my wife, but also my best friend of 25 + years. I would NEVER disrespect her like that. Not sure why you took it like that , but I admit my wording wasn't how I intended it to come across.

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  88. He's in a meaningless midcard match for a jobber title on the biggest show of the year. It's over. If you want to believe otherwise, more power to you.

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  89. I always felt that Bryan was this generation's Bret Hart. Bret was able to fight through and get the spot back. I think Bryan has a chance to do it too.

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  90. Goodness yes. Worse than hipsters.

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  91. You're being purposely obstinate and condescending. I never once said "poor him", quite the opposite, I said that he should be quite proud of his career and accomplishments.

    That does NOT mean, however, that it couldn't have been even better. EVEN better. Emphasis on "even", meaning that what was accomplished was already really good. It's like the difference between having a gold album and a platinum one, or a silver medal and a gold one. The"lesser" accomplishment is still pretty damned good, but there's nothing wrong with striving for even more.

    But, yeah, keep twisting my words.

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  92. Getting hurt = dropping the ball?

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  93. I wouldn't say that Bryan "dropped the ball". He got injured. It hhappens, much like out did to Austin, Trips, Batista, Cena, Shawn.

    Granted, out happened to Bryan far sooner after his first real big shot, but it's not like no other Superstar has ever had a long lay-off due to injury and been refused a spot back at the top of the mountain.

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  94. People who complain about hipsters are worse than actual hipsters.

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  95. Since being injured is the new "dropping the ball", Reigns should be dropped on the card.

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  96. I've not read the article, but I'm 100% sure Bryan will be back in the main event at some point in the next couple of years.

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  97. Dropping the ball doesn't have to be intentional. You can fail even when you do nothing wrong.

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  98. I'm sure he'll be inserted into a typical multiple challengers match if they ever decide to bring Elimination Chamber back, or some kind of lame, mass Ladder Match. 1 on 1, I don't see it unless everyone falls apart. Reigns, Cena, Orton... and even then we might get babyface run #17 for Big Show.

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  99. Yes. But there's more:

    1. Failing to pop a Wrestlemania buy rate.

    2. Choosing a honeymoon over RAW after becoming the face of WWE.

    3. The title feud with Kane that didn't set the world on fire.

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  100. "After the Rumble, there was a vocal protest. Did it mean anything business-wise? Well, WWE did change some plans, but in the end went right back to the original one. If a lot of people would have canceled the WWE Network, there would have been no choice but to react. Instead, far more people signed up in the two days after the show than canceled. It was a lot of noise and little action." - Observer


    I think that says more about the fans feelings about Bryan right there.

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  101. Hey, so was Hogan at WM9. Maybe Bryan will come out to "check on" Reigns after he loses and get invited to a title shot on the spot. :)

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  102. The beautiful thing about my argument is that I don't have to convince you. The only person that needs convincing is Vince.

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  103. They yelled for him, because that's free. That's all they ever did for him.

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  104. I don't know that he's reading. He's probably still on Tout.

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  105. He's still over and talented.

    Bret wrestled bob backlund at wrestlemania and was back in the main event soon after.

    He is this generations Bret hart.

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  106. He's Fandango with a beard.

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  107. Thanks. I appreciate the clarification.

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  108. That they didn't actually cancel the Network and signed up to support him? Yes. Yes, it does say a lot.

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  109. Illogical to make that conclusion, given past performance.

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  110. Call me a fuckhead and I still upvote you. Because it's best for business.

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  111. It's not illogical at all.

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  112. I think that's reaching.

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  113. This is a great comparison. And Bryan's injury came when he was the biggest face in the company, yet his comeback was an afterthought....HHH was a hated heel and was still immediately brought in as a conquering hero and put on the fast track to the Mania main event.

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  114. Agreed. Even if you don't think Bryan is a viable long-term 'face of the company' guy due to his age or injuries (or more goofy Vince factors like his look or size) you can still make gobs of money off him by striking while the iron is hot. Steve Austin's top run was only two years long (1998-99) and that was the best financial period in WWE's history.

    Do Bryan vs. Lesnar this year, make a match like Reigns vs. Rusev (to give Reigns a big signature win and a singles title to carry for much of 2015) on the undercard and then build towards Reigns winning the title at WM32, either off Bryan or perhaps a heel champ by that point.

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  115. Sure it is. I'm making an argument you don't like.

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  116. Do we like to watch Daniel Bryan wrestle? Sure, we do.

    That's not what made last year's run work. He was opposed. He was given insurmountable obstacles and somehow managed to overcome them. Management was personally opposed to him, running him down at every opportunity. Like we lived our fantasies of getting back at our bosses the way that Austin did in the Attitude Era, we've all had people doubt us and hold us down and we wish we could show them that we are good enough and that we're more that what they'd like to lock us into being.

    As much as I hate The Authority and "evil owners keeping faces down" as a default set up for a wrestling promotion--it absolutely made the Yes Movement something that the fans connected with and cared about.

    So, Daniel wins. Great. Can't wait to see him be a fighting champion and...oh, damn...stupid angle with Kane. Bad decision. (And bad Bella acting.) Then injury. Then sapping his heat for a Brie vs Steph storyline.

    But, mostly, The Authority got into other things. They were holding Reigns down--then he got hurt. Then they were holding Ambrose back. Then they were making Cena's life miserable...and getting Ryback/Ziggler/Rowan fired.

    When Daniel Bryan came back...he wasn't involved with the Brie heel turn for no reason storyline. He wasn't desperate to get his championship belt back...though he said he wanted it, it wasn't with any intensity. He wasn't really even involved with The Authority when he came back. To the fans, he came back as just a guy...cue up the Gotye, because for the fans, "now he's just somebody that we used to know."

    I'm fine with moving Bryan past his feud with the Authority (anything but more Bryan vs Kane or Bryan vs Show)...but you had to give him something, WWE Creative...and you didn't. He looked weak and meaningless in the Rumble. He had a good but not great match against Reigns at Fastlane. And now he's laughing buddies with the heir apparent, who the fans are also not hugely behind (because they've been given little reason to be hugely behind other than "he's the guy we want you to cheer for now.")

    You pissed Cesaro's heat away...and you've drained the life out of the Yes Movement. And for what?

    Good job, WWE. Pah.

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  117. Nah, I'm happy to take that side of the argument, I just honestly don't see the connection. Meltzer didn't see the connection either, because the rest of his article is basically saying "if this really angered people, they would've dropped the network".


    I still think it's a giant reach given the past history, but I'm open to the possibility - what rationale were you using to indicate that people were buying the Network to support Bryan?

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  118. Just about every main eventer of the last 20 years should have had his push aborted using that logic, too.

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  119. Money in the Bank has ruined the "guy slowly works his way up the card for his first world title win at Mania" storyline. Since Cena and Batista did it the traditional way, guys like Punk, Swagger, and Miz have won their first championships by cowardly cashing in on downed champs. One of the things I truly hate about the product these last ten years, and I really think relying on that gimmick in that way to crown new champs consistently is something that's done a lot of damage.

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  120. Bryan's been the main focus or a part of the big picture since 2012. How is that turned into "don't want to push"?

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  121. Matches are only meaningless when fans start fantasy booking what's going to be meaningless at a show that hasn't happened yet.

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  122. Yeah I'm not being either. I'm being sarcastic and a bit humorous (which is always subjective)

    By what I honestly understand you saying, is that even though Donald Trump is a billionaire (he is, right? I dunno go with me) he COULD be even better...a trillionaire. Without realizing the guy won.

    The reality is this...guy goes down in "history" as the longest reigning champ in modern history. Rich enough to call his own shots. That's not a gold album...that's triple platinum...you're telling me "yeah, but it coulda been QUADRUPLE!" Which is silly to me and like Punk seem ungrateful for the great thing you DID get.

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  123. Alright, I'll bite. How so?

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  124. Fans hooked onto a simple catchphrase. It's not like they are enthralled by his promo skills or compelled to actually purchase merchandise.

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  125. Yeah, that Meltzer report was just straight-up sad as fuck. Basically Vince never had any intention of pushing Bryan that hard, and now he'll spend his career putting over the MVPs of the future.

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  126. I have hated the MitB trope for years now. Hope they find a different excuse for a ladder match soon.

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  127. The Rumble crowd was definitely uber-hostile compared to the norm, but the problem with Reigns now is that he's getting mostly tepid reactions- some boos, and some cheers. Cena, a much more polarizing figure, gets TONS of boos, and TONS of cheers.

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  128. I like your tinfoil hat.

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  129. Or Bryan, being a guy who famously scored a zero on a competitive aptitude test, is perfectly happy doing what he's doing.

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  130. I'd argue they're enthralled with his ringwork too, and have been for longer than his catchphrase has been around. Fans have certainly taken to the catchphrase, no doubt, but I'd argue there's a ton more substance to him than that. Fans latched onto Fandango for two weeks because of the catchphrase because that's all he was. Bryan's support has stayed strong for years.

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  131. My gut theory is that the BS involved would still annoy him.

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  132. His ringwork has gotten as stale as Bret Hart's. Flying goat, triple corner dropkicks, yes kicks, yes lock, and running knee are the new five moves of doom.

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  133. I've hated it from day one. If the briefcase meant you can say "I want a title match tonight" then fine. But having Hardcore 24/7 nonsense with the World Title is plain wrong and counter-productive.

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  134. Every guy on the roster has their own five moves of doom, though. That's WWE style.

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  135. "Lukewarm" MrJustinBFebruary 26, 2015 at 5:59 AM

    So, like, if you're being set up to win the World title for a whole year, and you get injured for a couple months right in the middle of that story, does that count as dropping the ball? Or do you already have to be champion?

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  136. The chaser doesn't have the ball. The one being chased has the ball.

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  137. Man, I got sad just reading your last paragraph here... it's too early to read the Meltzer piece right night.

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  138. He was just in the main event 4 days ago.

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  139. You can always just not watch Wrestlemania since part of their reasoning is that we're going to watch it anyway.

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  140. I don't mind the MITB in theory, although it's been over used. The problem is that most times they think the MITB case made the guy so they can bury him until it's time for him to cash in. It's a great way for a sneaky heel to win the title but not once a year.

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  141. Meltzer also just said on Jericho's podcast that he understood the decision to put Reigns over based on long term booking and wanting the person Brock put over, after breaking Taker's streak, to be his next long-term star. In essence, this may be about Taker as much as it is about Reigns or Bryan.

    I was as angry about this all as the next person after the Rumble but, the more time passes, the more I get Reigns as a better long-term option here. I pretty much assume Bryan's going to blow out his arm every match. Whether Reigns is ready or not, and will do well in the role, is another question.

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  142. Edge. I love Edge. But he was hurt constantly and came right back to his spot. It actually surprised me because I didn't think they were that high on him but every time he was hurt he came right back to his spot.

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  143. While I do believe in wrestling you can never say never I do believe they have gone now very close to completely burying Bryan for good. The worst part about it is they had the guy they wanted Reigns to be in Daniel Bryan and they pissed it all away to make Reigns take his place. What was the point? Why manufacture a new Daniel Bryan in the image of what Vince wants when the future of your company has been handed to you on a silver platter by the fans. To hit the point home go back and watch Daniel Bryan's entrance vs HHH at WM 30 it hits the point home so hard that they had the guy and pissed it all away essentially because Vince McMahon is an out of touch 70 year old man. Its quite possibly the worst thing they have done besides ruin their other easy top guy in CM Punk.

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  144. "Lukewarm" MrJustinBFebruary 26, 2015 at 9:12 AM

    Not for nothing but that sounds super deep.

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  145. Imagine if Bryan had come in as a "surprise" entrant in the Rumble -- and won? Imagine the fan reactions? Is it so hard to book-, er, "write" a compelling story?

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