Having one of the rockiest career paths in recent WWE memory, Bryan Danielson has been revered as one of the best technical Professional Wrestlers in the history of wrestling. Being a submission specialist and knowing the ring, inside and out like nobody else, Danielson made himself known with his unique intensity inside the ring. Before, I really get in depth on this piece, I'd like to give a timeline of all the key events that occurred during Danielson's run as of now in WWE.
- August 23rd, 2009: Ring of Honor announces one of the founding fathers of the promotion, Bryan Danielson will be heading to the pinnacle of sports entertainment, WWE.
- January 14th, 2010: Bryan Danielson makes his debut in FCW, WWE's training facility against KAVAL (Low Ki).
- February 16th, 2010: Renamed, Daniel Bryan, it is announced that Bryan will partake in the premier season of, WWE NXT as one of eight "Rookies"
- February 23rd, 2010: Daniel Bryan wrestles his first television bout against World Heavyweight Champion, Chris Jericho. Bryan lost via submission, but had one of the best TV matches all year
- May 10th, 2010: Daniel Bryan, after losing every single bout on WWE NXT, he captures his first win on Monday Night Raw over Santino Marella.
- May 11th, 2010: Daniel Bryan is surprisingly eliminated from NXT, after being ranked #1 overall out of all eight rookies. This elimination was due to a comment made by himself that he should be eliminated
- June 7th, 2010: After on and off appearances on Raw and NXT, Bryan and the rest of the WWE NXT Rookies from the first season crashed Raw, all turning heel in the process. This group was known as, The Nexus.
- June 11th, 2010: Daniel Bryan was let go from his WWE contract due to controversial actions he did during The Nexus. Daniel Bryan would then on take several Indy appearances as the fans demanded for him to be re-hired over the next few months.
- August 15th, 2010: Daniel Bryan has a surprise return at WWE Summerslam, as he joins Team WWE to combat the Nexus in a big multi man tag team main event match. Bryan had eliminated several members, including Darren Young within a minute into the match.
- September 19th, 2010: Daniel Bryan captures his first taste of WWE gold, the United States Championship by defeating, The Miz
- March 14th, 2011: Daniel Bryan drops the United States Championship to Sheamus on an edition of Monday Night Raw. From then on, Bryan would be on and off WWE television
- July 17th, 2011: Daniel Bryan overcomes odds over eight other men and wins the Smackdown Money in the Bank Ladder Match. He announced the next week on Smackdown that he was going to cash it in at WrestleMania the following year...From then on, Bryan has been booked very inconsistently on a losing streak...
Why would WWE give Daniel Bryan the briefcase, if they had no plan for him afterward? Sure, WWE's creative squad has been questioned from time to time, and for good reason. This is the same group of people who thought ideas such as putting Johnny Ace on television and trying to make two Sin Caras interesting. There are countless times WWE has failed to meet expectations over the years, but one thing WWE has always tried to make work was the story of the Money in the Bank victor. Sure, Jack Swagger could be an exception, but I simply blame that on the fact Swagger is not a main event caliber talent. Sorry, folks....He's a decent in ring guy at most.
Back to the topic, from Edge to Miz to every other Money in the Bank holder, there has always been a plan because the briefcase is so vital. Money in the Bank has always been one of the most exciting matches of the year, leading to some of the biggest shockers in regards to the cash ins. Whether or not their runs were really successful is all subjective, but the push and the cash in following the victory has always been very well done. Why is this? WWE has had faith in who they give the briefcase to.
Shouldn't this automatically indicate that WWE has some sort of plan for Daniel Bryan? Why, if Daniel Bryan has a losing streak storyline in September, does that mean he will not become a credible name by WrestleMania time? Why do people assume this is the end of Daniel Bryan's WWE push? They gave the guy one of the biggest rewards in the WWE calender. Sure, if they gave Yoshi Tatsu this briefcase, you could question their methods, but Daniel Bryan is an asset for the company in the upper mid card and main event for the foreseeable future. Making stars is a long term process, which may mean this run for Bryan may not be THE run, but it is a good indication that he does indeed have a future.
Look at CM Punk. He had a horrid first reign as champion when he first won it. It took five years for Punk to truly become the megastar he was destined to be. Bryan may not have the mic ability that Punk has, but he sure as Hell can work great on the mic and work even better than Punk in the ring. Don't believe me? Check out Bryan's promos on the Indy scene. Is he one of the best guys out there in terms of charisma? No, but his intensity and ability to sell does make him an asset.
He seems to come off as a Chris Benoit, like character. He can work in the ring, is very intense, and he let his actions speak louder than most of his words. It will always take time to build up an in ring machine, but it can be done before WrestleMania and it will be. Why wouldn't it? Is it because he is losing in September? WWE fans do not realize that these types of storylines can benefit a push in the near future. For example, Bryan can come out next month, say he's fed up with his on and off wins, and becomes a submission machine up to WrestleMania.
Build him up like TNA has done with Bobby Roode, and then you have a credible contender for a PPV that will be overshadowed by Rock, Cena, CM Punk, and Randy Orton anyways. He won't sell the PPV, of course, but he can have a very good match in the midst of the show that satisfies many. Why not have him be the man to stop Mark Henry? That alone will launch his career into new heights, if all booked correctly. Even if Bryan were to lose the briefcase, it could be an even better situation, furthering his frustration and leading to a heel turn, revealing a more charismatic side of himself.
When you look at all the possibilities that can be done on top of this rocky road Bryan has taken to get here, how can one honestly believe there is nothing for Bryan in the near future? This guy is the Money in the Bank winner, of course they have a plan for him in some mannerism! Whether it be a cash in and victory at WrestleMania to the possibilities of an eventual heel turn, one can only speculate as to how Bryan's future in WWE will go in terms of his inevitable push. However, that's exactly what it is...inevitable. It's not a matter of "What If?" It's a matter of how and when this push will happen. He may not be the next John Cena, but he's without a doubt an asset
Just because there aren't immediate pushes for every talented guy at once, does not equate in there being no plan for a Superstar at all in the near future. Daniel Bryan is an asset and WWE recognizes this. CM Punk has been a massive success and soon enough, so will Daniel Bryan. In one year, Bryan has been a former United States Champion (a strong run in WWE today, at that) and won the Money in the Bank Ladder Match in a matter of his first year. Calm down, folks....It's coming....Just be patient.
Running on five hours of sleep this week, give me a break, folks. Hope you enjoyed the short, straight forward article.