Monday 2 December 2013

B Plus Storyline

Before Survivor Series I expressed the hope that the teaming of CM Punk and Daniel Bryan was the start of a long term plan. I didn't have a specific idea in mind but a second PPV against the Wyatt Family at TLC seemed likely and seeing the pair of them as the final two in the Royal Rumble wouldn't have been hugely surprising. In fact I would have only been partially shocked if one had turned on the other (at, say, Elimination Chamber) to setup a singles match between them at WrestleMania XXX.

Will the universe implode if Daniel Bryan teams with a man in a goat mask?
With so many options available I predicted a win for the tandem. My reasoning was that if they were building to anything together that involved their period as a team being taken as meaningful they had to have experienced success, otherwise there would be no logic for them staying together. Beyond setting up a match between them of course, but in storyline terms that wasn't something we could point to.

When the Wyatt Family duo of Luke Harper and Erick Rowan fell to Punk and Bryan I assumed I was right and that WWE had plans that stretched a significant distance into the future. And then the November 25th RAW happened.

On that show Bryan and Punk were beaten up by the Wyatt boys. Nothing wrong with that, you might think. And you'd be right. The heel beat down is an integral part of the modern pro wrestling landscape.

The trouble is that it didn't end with a mere duffing up. The Wyatt Fanily also kidnapped Bryan. This was followed a few days later on SmackDown with Bray Wyatt informing the world that he's going to turn Daniel Bryan into a monster.

And so it has come to this. Daniel Bryan, the hottest WWE wrestler of 2013, has been placed into a brainwashing angle. There are few things more synonymous with the mid-card than this sort of story.

In fairness it's possible WWE will surprise us (well, me at least) by having Bryan return to RAW completely normal, perhaps throwing in the enjoyable touch than his boundless positivity (Yes! Yes! Yes!) helped him resist Bray's wiles. More likely is that Bryan will become a fully-fledged member of the Wyatt Family and face Punk at TLC. Potentially we'll get both: Bryan returning to a big pop in his normal outfit on RAW before swerve-turning and aiding the Wyatts, followed by him tugging on some saggy dungarees on SmackDown.

Nothing about Bryan joining the Wyatt Family would be positive. If you think it giving us Punk v Bryan justifies it you're wrong. Those two have wrestled many times before and will wrestle again without this storyline involvement. It's just being done to give 'The Dazzler' something to do because WWE have already done everything they can think of with him besides letting him hang out in the main event continuously, and the reason that's not happened is that the "B plus" shtick you've heard Helmsley spout isn't solely a part of the show. It runs the risk of harming Bryan. Why should we rally behind and support him if he's shown to be the kind of man who's easily corrupted by a sinister Floridian swamp preacher?

The Punk and Bryan team had long term potential. Both in regards to the tag division and as the starting point of a future rivalry. The Wyatt Family made great opponents. But allies to the most popular man in the promotion? No. No. No.

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