Bruno Sammartino, Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, John Cena. These names are iconic within Professional Wrestling. Each name, represents the main face of the company during a generation of sports entertainment. Even the uneducated, non-wrestling fan has heard of these names. That says something
The ability of such superstars to make the house hold names amongst not only wrestling fans, but pop culture speaks the volume of what professional wrestling has become since is early establishment as a regional entertainment source, as opposed the phenomenon it is known as today.
Each wrestle has carried the torch for the company go to guy. THE man. If the WWE doesn’t wake up soon, it will pass up on the next biggest thing to hit the sport.
The business has been known to favor the “big” guys. Guys of 250 pounds plus of pure muscle. Goliath versus Goliath would be ideal matches, every match, for the WWE if they could do it. It is no secret.
The next “big” thing, is 5 foot, 10inches tall, and is 210 pounds.
Daniel Bryan is the next big thing for the WWE. Regardless when and how billed, Daniel has come through for fantastic matches, over the top moves, unbeaten charisma, and downright talent.
Daniel Bryan has been with the WWE since his debut in January 2010. He has been consistent, never any locker room issues, and has been billed as a face or heel (good and bad guy for the non-wrestling folk).
Daniel Bryan has shown me signs of the past generation superstars, and has various vague comparisons. Although vague, they cannot be over looked because this recipe of the next thing, is Daniel’s responsibility.
John Cena from the gate was the underdog. Each match, month after month, John Cena climbed his way up the ladder to face top superstars. Superstars in their prime…and defeated each one. Every match where Cena was a sure loser, he became victorious. Daniel, has had the underdog approach as well. Daniel debuted in January 2010, and was the underdog from day one. Negative commentator at the time Michael Cole, would bash him verbally each match with references of nerd, a disgrace, and a non-deserving roster spot. For the millions at home, each week hearing this, the stereotype of this negativity just made fans more interested. What can he do? ALL sports fans love the underdog. If you’re not partial to a particular sports team, majority root for the underdog, correct? Same goes for wrestling. Daniel was never the big guy, tall guy, nor was he frequently even with his opponent. Size alone, he was immediate the underdog.
Daniel as mentioned before, has been billed as a face and a heel. Both times Daniel still had a following of some sorts. If it was you buying a ticket or pay per view to see Daniel, one of his matches, or to cheer for or against him, Daniel was getting a buzz.
The Rock had the uncanny ability to have the crowd eat from his hand. It’s a talent that cannot be taught, only earned. The Rock had several punch lines that were synonymous within the wrestling world. Rock has been gone for years at a time, and continues to come back and pick up right where he left off with the crowd. Minus the departure, Daniel has been the same. Daniel Bryan has made a three letter word, be one of the biggest trends in society, social media, and culture….Yes. The “Yes” chant became hugely popular in 2012, during the title run he had throughout the Road to Wrestlemania 28. One finger on each hand would point to the heavens with the “yes” being projected as loud as possible. The fans, caught on and joined. Daniel at this time became a heel. The “yes” became more of a sarcastic emphasis on his entrances, which lead the fans to chant “no” in spite. As a heel…fans still were talking.
After a small tag team run, Daniel emerged as a face again, starting the “yes” chant as a positive reflection towards any accomplishment he achieved. Now, it’s an uncontrolled forest fire in the middle of August. The fan base within the past year has drank the proverbial “Kool-Aid” of the Daniel Bryan bandwagon.
The cult like fans of Daniel Bryan, not to mention Daniel’s consistent amazing matches, great microphone skills, and underdog character, has made Daniel the next thing.
All the previously mentioned superstars have their moments that will ride with them forever. Bruno was his 7 year title run, Hogan was his body slam to Andre the Giant. Cena was beating Triple H in what it appeared to the “passing of the torch”, and Austin was his unpredictable feud with Vince McMahon.
Daniel has had the titles, he has the fans undoubtedly, and the skill. Daniel has never had the company behind him. This is evident within the storylines, and backstage “real life” scenarios. However, regardless of disbelieve of the company, they have no other choice than to release the reigns of Daniel and let him run with it.
Daniel was arguably the biggest superstar of 2013. The momentum he earned was one of a downhill freight train. For two week, yes, only two, Daniel was recently billed as a heel, joining the deranged Wyatt Family. The fan base never batted an eye. Receiving yes chants, and crowd pops as if he never left the face persona.
However, no moment of Daniel’s was ever more Main Event evident that of the January 13ths edition of Monday Night Raw.
Daniel was trapped into a cage with partner at the time Bray Wyatt. Once the match was completed, Daniel made a turn for the better and broke up the partnership with an explosion of physical frustration towards the Wyatt member. The crowd’s reaction was memorable to say the least. 15,000 plus in unison chanted yes with every move he made, every kick he landed, and every time they were appreciative of an outburst physically by Bryan.
Not since Stone Cold hijacked a Zamboni and crashed into the ring during a WWE title party by Mr. McMahon, have I see a crowd that pro a wrestler. Thank goodness for DVR, for that scene was watched at least 6 times since Monday. The electricity that crowd brought to that moment, made the announcers speechless, the fan base at home in awe with 30,000 hands simultaneously being point up, and the echoing of yes was most defiantly heard by the corporate suits who always stated Daniel “was a B+ player”.
Unfortunately, I can’t say when, but if Daniel gets the push, notoriety and credit he has worked so hard for, that scene will go down as a top highlight and launch of his career.
This has been over a year in the making, a long time coming. However, after Monday’s events, and the Rhode Island crowd speaking for the WWE Universe, the WWE has no choice now but to push Daniel, or they will push away something in the lines of millions of fans, millions of dollars, and one Daniel Bryan

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