Monday 11 November 2013

Dream Team

Daniel Bryan's programme with Randy Orton has finished. Replacing him opposite ‘The Apex Predator’ is Big Show. The reason for this varies according to who you listen to and-or what you believe about WWE's internal workings. Some online sites are stating that WWE higher-ups aren't happy with recent pay-per-view numbers and Bryan's being blamed. I personally believe that Orton v Bryan had run its course and WWE have moved 'The Dazzler' out of the main event until WrestleMania season rolls around in order to avoid overexposing him.

Whatever the reason Bryan's no longer linked to Orton or the McMahons. The post-Hell in a Cell RAW on October 28th saw him attacked by Bray Wyatt and his family, shortly after the same thing had happened to CM Punk.

It's a smart move. At first it could be considered a comedown for Bryan as he's main evented the last four pay-per-views (against established stars no less). That's not the case though. Nothing about the feud indicates that Bryan will received less TV time, he's just unlikely to be going on last at Survivor Series. Given the current WWE attitude to pushing new names a move don was inevitable for Bryan anyway. Nobody gets put into the main event and stays there indefinitely these days. This scenario will allow Bryan to form a legitimate dream team alongside fellow indy darling CM Punk and work with the popular Bray Wyatt. It's not as high profile as wrestling for the WWE championship but it's not far off.

It's nice for Punk, for the same reasons mostly. It has the added bonus of adding something new to his tiresome feud with Paul Heyman. Wyatt's statement that "the devil" made him attack Punk and Bryan will almost certainly lead to Heyman being revealed as the Family's new benefactor. Y'know, because of his boast about being Satan at Hell in a Cell. While I wish Heyman v Punk could just end if it does have to continue I think it’s a good idea to integrate new names like Bryan and the Wyatts. ‘The Eater of Worlds’ would be different to Heyman's existing clients and would create a fresh on-screen dynamic, and he'd have the best chance of any 'Heyman Guy' since Brock Lesnar of having a fun match with 'The Second City Saint'.

Just imagine all the beard action that's coming our way with these guys facing Daniel Bryan
The reasons this feud is good for Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan and Luke Harper should be obvious. They could become affiliated with wrestling's most prominent manager. They would be facing, in tag and singles outings, two of the most popular and accomplished men on the roster. It boosts their standing by association. This is of particular benefit to Harper and Rowan: Wyatt himself seems destined to become a big name while they're going to need all the help they can get if they're to progress beyond the role of henchmen.
It's possible that all of this is a test. WWE have put three popular guys (Bray, Punk and Bryan) into something with one another to see how into their interactions fans get. If they draw people in they'll be deemed worthy of booking attention. If people switch off then WWE may take that as a sign that pushing big guys and leaving smaller men in the mid-card is the way forward (or backward).

Could Punk and Bryan be future tag team champions? It may sound farfetched but it's not impossible. The Wyatts could beat the Rhodes boys (perhaps after a miscommunication, sowing seeds of dissection between the brothers) and then drop the titles to the dream team. It would fit with WWE's focus on doubles wrestling, and would be something interesting and unexpected. There would be worse ways of keeping Bryan and Punk busy until, and perhaps during, WrestleMania season.

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